Ichthys vs Cross

Kissa

Hi all,

Two years ago, I had an intense mystical experience that almost brought me to Christian baptism.

I live in Finland where the official faith is Lutheranism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheranism). I got an atheist education and baptism would be a huge step. Anyhow, after hanging for some time in the international friendship group of the local parish (I am not a native Finnish), I got annoyed and angry at some of the things and thoughts I repeatedly heard (mostly homophobic comments and "we know better, we are examples" clan philosophy) and I withdrew.
I kept on praying with my kids at home and then little by little this too stopped, which I deeply regret. I haven't opened my bible in months. I have issues with the Bible as well LOL

Yet part of me is nostalgic for the overall good feeling I had when I was praying and felt the undeniable presence of this Light in my life.
Maybe it is like falling in love: after some time, the boosting effect of hormones decreases and you face the reality...??

Anyhow... I accidentally walked pass the church last Saturday and stepped in, as it is open all day during summer (for tourists). We sat there with my hubby, only the two of us and I prayed for help, guidance. I feel I need it.

I started to wear my ichtus (ichthys) "Jesus fish" necklace again as I've felt after some time that it suited more my vision of Christianity than the Cross.
Ichthys on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys

Early Christianity, revolving around Christ's personality, deeds and words, moves me more/makes more sense to me than beating myself up with the sacrifice, crucifixion, resurrection issues. The only masses I ever attended *willingly* and happily were Saint Thomas' Masses (http://www.tuomasmessu.fi/?sid=72) which seems to be quite a Nordic specialty.

Something happened yesterday, the same kind of unlikely coincidences that used to happen so often after I came to faith, so I feel God's presence very strongly now and I know He is reaching out to me, now it's my turn to welcome Him back.

I was just wondering if there are other people here who'd rather wear a fish than a cross ;-) and quite honestly, if there are, I'd be glad to switch to PM or private emails for further correspondence. Could use some like-minded support right now :)

Blessings

K
 

Milfoil

The fish has long been the symbol for the soul, way before Christianity and I think possibly one of the reasons it was dropped in favour of the cross.

If you feel that your truth lies in a positive and open symbol then go with your heart and instinct.
 

Sophie

I hope you find some brothers and sisters to walk with you, Kissa :) I assume you mean 'masses' and 'mass' rather than 'mess' (the latter means 'désordre'!).


Millie, the cross predates Christianity too: it was the symbol of the Sun. It was deliberately chosen to replace the solar cults of Antiquity (which were all cults of sacrifice too); and therefore eventually came to replace the ichthus.

The ichthus was also the vesica piscis, the Great Mother, the symbol of life ever-renewing.


I personally have always preferred the Ichthus, but I'm not a Christian. I do have a strong feeling for Jesus though, and have felt called by him, though not as a Christian. Simply as a human being having a mystical experience. Kissa, if you're interested - you can read of my experience with Christ resurrecting on my website :)
 

Glitterbird

I grew up Catholic, and I could never figure out why the cross was so revered when it was a torture device that killed Jesus. I mean, if he had been pulled apart by the rack, would we be wearing that around our necks?!? The fish seems like - life eternal.


I may not agree with 85% of the things they preach in church, but there is no where I feel more at peace than in a beautiful Catholic church.
 

cardlady22

Thank you for posting this, Kissa!
While I am very much into using symbolism & lore in the jewelry that I design, I was never comfortable with wearing a cross. For me, the point of Jesus' life & mission was that it didn't/doesn't end there! The only cross I own has the drape of the empty burial cloth (in rose gold) ~ When I saw it, I had to have it even though I don't wear it.

I will have to give some serious thought to what specific symbol (if any) I would choose.
 

Moonbow

Lovely post Kissa. Its wonderful that you are feeling this strong presence in your life and I think if you are drawn to the Ichthys then wear it with happiness. I certainly support that. I wear a Heart Jewell crystal and a tiny silver cross given to me by my Grandmother. I wear them together on the same chain because my own spirituality is akin to both, it very personal.
 

JSNYC

Kissa said:
Early Christianity, revolving around Christ's personality, deeds and words, moves me more/makes more sense to me than beating myself up with the sacrifice, crucifixion, resurrection issues. The only messes I ever attended *willingly* and happily were Saint Thomas' Masses (http://www.tuomasmessu.fi/?sid=72) which seems to be quite a Nordic specialty.
Freudian slip?!? :laugh:

The Christianity I grew up with was protestant. The whole point of celebrating the cross is that "he died for our sins". They say, "there must be a price paid for sin". That price is represented in the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. Then in New Testament, Christ was the new covenant. He died so that the price was paid for all eternity, then all we have to do is accept that the price is paid.

I think the three cards, Justice, The Hermit, and The Wheel of Fortune are important. And that belief in the cross violates Justice. No, we don't have to get what we deserve. We really do deserve more than that. What Jesus told the thief on the cross confirms this interpretation.

Additionally, the 3 days in the tomb and the resurrection compliments The Hermit, confirming that yes, there is something more. And The Wheel of Fortune is the its divine expression, the ascension to be with the Father.

Kissa said:
Something happened yesterday, the same kind of unlikely coincidences that used to happen so often after I came to faith, so I feel God's presence very strongly now and I know He is reaching out to me, now it's my turn to welcome Him back.
Hey, if you figure out how to make that happen, let me know. That is fun isn't it! ;) But must we always get smacked around really hard first?

Talking about strange coincidences, how in the world did picking up a Tarot deck lead me to talking about Christianity on a message board? :confused: Still not sure how I feel about that. :eek:
 

Kissa

JSNYC said:
Freudian slip?!? :laugh:

*blushing* I had already corrected the one I saw after Sophie's remark and forgot the other "mess" LOL.

Thank you for your post JSNYC, I guess I should read more about the connection between Christianity and Tarot symbolism.

JSNYC said:
The Christianity I grew up with was protestant. The whole point of celebrating the cross is that "he died for our sins". They say, "there must be a price paid for sin". That price is represented in the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. Then in New Testament, Christ was the new covenant. He died so that the price was paid for all eternity, then all we have to do is accept that the price is paid.

The sin part is where I have the most issues, well apart from narrow-minded ideas on homosexuality. I see my children and I think "they are not sinners". The fact that we carry the original sin as humans... it is hard for me to understand. Oh, well no, I am a huge sinner but not all humans are. I don't know... that's the fun of it, not knowing and pondering about it. I teach my kids to listen to this little voice in their heart, because I think we all have that voice and this is the voice of Truth, God, Universe, Creator whatever. I try hard to teach this to my kids: listen to your heart, whatever the rest of the world says, be true to yourself. Could "being a sinner" means that it is our nature to always sit on the fence, always almost ready to give in and yet fighting? If so, I accept the concept of "potential sinners" LOL

Hugs :)
 

Kissa

Sophie said:
I hope you find some brothers and sisters to walk with you, Kissa :) I assume you mean 'masses' and 'mass' rather than 'mess' (the latter means 'désordre'!).
Kissa, if you're interested - you can read of my experience with Christ resurrecting on my website :)

Hi Sophie, I tried to clean the mess ;-) but still missed one LOL

I haven't had time to read about your own experience but I watched your blog fast and bookmarked it since it looks so bloody interesting. I will sink into it over the weekend.

You seem to be going through an important phase in your life right now. You sound very happy about it, it's nice to have you here as "Sophie" :)

Porte-toi bien !

K
 

JSNYC

I find this discussion interesting. I was thinking about this thread while lying in bed last night. But to be talking about Christianity after all these years… I have mixed feelings. Also, I feel like you really have two questions. One of the questions I feel knowledgeable enough to add to the discussion, but the other, I am seeking the answer to that too.

I believe the Tarot portrays the Christian message more accurately than the church does. Although my viewpoint is my own, being raised in protestant churches, my views of Christianity and church dogma have undoubtedly been influenced by that perspective.

Christianity, the Bible, and spirituality in general, never really made sense to me until I picked up the Tarot. However, a few months does not equal a couple years. I view the church as represented in The Hierophant and the Tarot reader in The Hermit. The Hierophant has The Emperor on one hand, The Lovers on the other, the rules and the original sin, or human nature. The Hermit has Justice on one hand and The Wheel of Fortune on the other, the punishment for breaking the rules and the release from original sin, or divine nature.

Kissa said:
The sin part is where I have the most issues, well apart from narrow-minded ideas on homosexuality. I see my children and I think "they are not sinners". The fact that we carry the original sin as humans... it is hard for me to understand.
I believe "sin" is a construction of the church, not Christianity. In the Bible sin is simply a representation of defiled or flawed human nature, or original sin as you mentioned. The church says that we all have sinned, thus we need the church to put us on the "correct" path. It is a method of control. But I believe the Bible says that we all have sinned and thus we simply need to accept it, it is in our nature, and if we are made in the image of God that also implies that it is not “evil” and is simply natural. (It is also interesting to think about what this implies about God. Jung discusses this topic in his book, Answer to Job.) If there were no original sin a “holy man” could claim he is without sin and then claim to be somehow above or better than those who have sinned, which I know with certainty every religious leader would do. With the concept of original sin, we are all equal regardless of what we do.

When presented with an adulteress, Jesus said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus never once punished "sin", the Scribes and Pharisees did. They even punished Jesus for sinning, which he never did, which proves the ridiculousness of church’s concept of "sin". As a matter of fact, Jesus’ most contemptuous words, and almost his only contemptuous words, were for the religious leaders.

Where is the concept of “sin” represented in the Tarot deck?

[size=+1]Romans Chapter 3[/size]

23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Everyone is equal. The Bible had to establish this, thus its two options were to say everyone is completely flawed, or everyone is completely divine. The Bible choose the more modest option.

24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
However, a simple and easy redemption from that “sinful nature” is immediately given. Everyone is “justified freely by his grace”, nothing is required, there are no stipulations, and no exemptions. I think the use of the term “justified” is also quite appropriate and relates to my comments on the Tarot’s Justice. This justification only needs to be accepted and cannot be earned or deserved.

25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
The important thing about this verse is the mention of “sins that are past”. There is one warning applied to that freely given justification, it is not a “license to sin”! :D

26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27: Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

And here it is reiterated, original sin is partially, if not primarily meant to make us all equal, no matter how great someone’s good works are (or how much someone else sins), no one can boast or hold themselves above anyone else. It is ironic that original sin was obviously meant to release us from guilt, and church uses that same concept to apply and manipulate guilt. But I don’t think this would surprise Jesus.

28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
No matter which laws or rules are upheld or broken, it is what is in the person’s heart that matters. And again, the reference to Justice.

29: Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Now the Bible tries to address those instances where two good people or groups have differing and possibly contradictory rules or sins.

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Since no one can (ever) agree on the rules, do we just throw them out? The answer is no. Because of original sin, our flawed human nature, we need rules, we always will. The fact that those rules will always be flawed does not negate their necessity. But it is equally necessary to understand that they are flawed.
Kissa said:
Oh, well no, I am a huge sinner but not all humans are. I don't know... that's the fun of it, not knowing and pondering about it. I teach my kids to listen to this little voice in their heart, because I think we all have that voice and this is the voice of Truth, God, Universe, Creator whatever. I try hard to teach this to my kids: listen to your heart, whatever the rest of the world says, be true to yourself. Could "being a sinner" means that it is our nature to always sit on the fence, always almost ready to give in and yet fighting? If so, I accept the concept of "potential sinners" LOL
Hugs :)
I think the message of the verses above is that we don’t fight it, we just accept it. Like you said, listen to your heart. This is at the heart of the dichotomy of what the church teaches and what the Bible says. The church says you need to “fight” sinning and you need their help to do so. The Bible says you simply need to accept that you sin. It is called human nature. Sin is not evil; it is the things that we do to hurt ourselves. The church says that when you sin, you sin against God, and thus need to repent and ask his forgiveness. What a bunch of insipid, self-righteous garbage! The Bible says that when we sin, we hurt ourselves. Sin is a disease, not an evil to be punished. Jesus told the thief on the cross he was preparing a place in heaven for him, because his actions (sins) didn’t matter, it was his heart.

And to your second question… I believe I am as lost as you. :) I think that is why The Fool has such a difficult time stepping off the cliff each and every time. No matter how many times we come to the edge of the cliff, it is still just as equally impossible to see the edge and to be prepared for the drop. Or are we talking about The Tower?

I have always had a preference for Eastern religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc.) I think the primary reason is simply because I like that they don’t have a deity. This God and The Devil paradigm implicitly creates a black and white perspective that can introduce horrible distortions. However, since I have picked up the Tarot, they all have made so much more sense… Eastern religions, Christianity, the whole world. Just thinking about and writing this post has made me remember some of that wonder I felt when I opened my eyes. So I thank you for asking the question. I think all these paths and messages can be modeled, explained, or illuminated with the Tarot. So in closing, I will expound briefly on my view of the Tarot cards I mentioned in my first post.

The dynamic of Justice is further illuminated through the card it is a cross-sum of, The Star. The blinding and oppressive power of Justice cannot be seen until we can see outside of it. Justice cannot be defeated by force, only by opening our eyes and seeing the truth. That is why Waite put a veil, similar to The High Priestess's veil on the card of Justice. Justice guards one of the keys to the next dispensation.

The next card, The Hermit also holds a key. But the wise hermit knows this, that is why he has withdrawn from the world and turned his eyes to the card he is a cross-sum of, The Moon. The card that is at the end of the next dispensation. I have always viewed The Moon as a very positive card. The Moon is the card of new or different questions. The Hermit has seen the illusions and delusions for what they are, but it is not until he walks under the light of The Moon that he finally receives different questions. New questions are one of the keys, questions find and open doors, answers close them.

Finally, The Wheel of Fortune, this is the only card whose cross-sum is within the same dispensation. The Wheel of Fortune’s cross-sum is The Magician. The final key is understanding that no matter how hard we fight, no matter how much of the power of The Magician that we bring to bear, we cannot tame The Wheel. The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes the free will of mankind. Essentially that free will comes down to a simple choice, do we accept the turn of The Wheel, or do we reject it and fight it.

And that leads to the next card, Strength, the first card of the next dispensation. What truly is Fortitude? True Strength is knowing, truly knowing. How could Daniel walk into the lion’s den and calmly sit down with the lions? Because he knew. He didn’t question the randomness of life and why The Wheel turned the way it did, he understood and accepted it. He didn’t know the lions weren’t going to attack him, he only knew that he was following the correct path. That is why the cross-sum of Strength is The High Priestess; true strength is getting a glimpse behind her veil. When The Fool met The High Priestess the first time, the secret he learned is that there was a veil. The second time The Fool meets The High Priestess in Strength; he gets a glimpse of what is behind the veil, and understands.