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"Now I will believe that there are unicorns..."
~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Beautifully hand-made tie dye blue Celtic Unicorn tapestry / bedspread, adorned with Celtic knot designs along the border. Can also be readily used as a wall decoration/hanging, tablecloth, couch cover and many other creative options. HUGE, 58" x 82" and made of 100% cotton.
History of the Unicorn as a symbol
The unicorn is one of a very few mythological creatures that are considered to be beneficial in almost all traditions. The unicorn is universally beautiful, mysterious and difficult to capture or tame. Although modern unicorns are depicted simply as horses with a single horn, traditional unicorns also possessed a billy goat’s beard, a lion’s tail and cloven hooves. Unicorns have a place in Greek mythology, Chinese traditions, in the art of the Indus Valley and India. Greek writers including Pliny the Elder and Aristotle mention the unicorn in their writings.
Unicorn Meaning in Art and Heraldry
The unicorn became a religious symbol in the art of the Middle Ages. The original tale was that a beautiful maiden representing the Virgin Mary managed to trap a unicorn, whereupon the unicorn became tame and lay its head in her lap. As the legend grew through reinterpretation, the unicorn was viewed as the Christ or Incarnation and the death of a unicorn as the Passion of Christ. This allowed a pagan symbol to become highly esteemed within the church. In fact, a grouping or herd of unicorns is called a “blessing” of unicorns. Unicorns are also prominent in heraldic symbolism, usually with a spiral horn, sometimes of red and black. In heraldry, unicorns are often shown with a collar and a broken chain, indicating that they have freed themselves from bondage and cannot be taken again.
The Magic of Unicorns
The magical powers of unicorns are also legendary. Unicorn horns are said to be harder than diamonds and to be able to neutralize poisons. Unicorn tears can heal both physical wounds and sorrows of the heart. A person with the ability to see a unicorn may have a wish granted as a reward. Unicorns are often reputed to have the ability to fly. Some unicorns are believed to be able to speak to all kinds of other creatures. In modern literature, the lure and mystery of unicorns remains. In the recent Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, powerful wands are made with a core of unicorn hair. The blood of a unicorn is also reputed to keep a person alive even if he is very close to death. The ongoing body of literature associated with unicorns and the powers attributed to them will undoubtedly continue to add to their value as symbols of freedom, healing and beauty. Unicorns have long been a representation of the Moon, a clear indication of female energy; this yin side is evident in the mysterious, intuitive, magick found within the unicorn. This embodiment of purity and natural truth is found threaded throughout most of the major cultures of the world and is thought valid to be an archetypal image. Archetypes are universal, reflecting a primal energy pattern. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, symbols and images reflect an archetypal energy at play within our lives. When we work with archetypes, we are lead back to our own primal source. The journey becomes part of the sacred quest, in which we find our true core. Archetypes can be seen as spiritual symbols, and the magick and power they hold is only as great as the significance we attach to it.
Unicorn as a Spirit Animal
The unicorn is an archetype of purity and innocence. He is by definition a magical animal, not bound by earthly form. Shamans who are drawn to the unicorn as their power animal have a deep affiliation for the spiritual realm and have a natural gift for shamanic journeying. Your innate sensitivity opens you to the innocence and wisdom of the unicorn. The unicorn power animal has many positive characteristics: His white coat symbolises the essence of purity. The single horn of the unicorn is associated with the opening of the third eye, an organ of spiritual vision. The timid unicorn is associated with innocence, clear vision and even virginity. A unicorn has astonishing powers of perception way beyond the limited senses of the material realm. It is not for nothing that the unicorn is known for its power of flight. He can cover great distances, carrying you rapidly and safely through the spiritual realm. When on your spiritual journeys with your unicorn guide, no words are needed. Simply open your spirit and wait for a clear, radiant light to illuminate your mind. You are sharing your consciousness with your unicorn power animal, which can be a giddying experience! Relax, trust your instinct, and enjoy the intimate bond with your totem animal. The Significance of The Unicorn Spirit Guide Strengths of the unicorn he shares with the shaman: The unicorn is a creature of emotion and instinctive understanding. When journeying with your unicorn power animal do not seek to understand what you experience with your intellect. Rather, call upon your bond with your unicorn spirit guide for an instinctive, intuitive and immediate reaction to events as they unfold. Your response will be far more appropriate when using instinct and intuition instead of reason, and your progress will be far swifter than were you alone. Suspend disbelief, trust to his innocent purity and ride on the wave of light that enfolds him!