The 12th Day of Christmas, January 6th, is the Feast of the Three Magi or Epiphany. Legend and song tell us the Wise Men brought frankincense, myrrh, and gold as gifts to the Baby Jesus. Ever wonder why they bring those three gifts?
Ancient Jewish mystical traditions place those items as symbols of three spheres on the Tree of Life. The colors of the wise men refer to the colors of the spheres that each man represents. Frankincense belongs to the white sphere, Chokmah, whose names means Wisdom and offers the gift of guiding future decisions. Myrrh goes with the black sphere, Binah, meaning understanding. Its gift is the ability to look backwards and comprehend what has happened. Gold symbolizes Tiphareth, the yellow sphere which balances the light and dark.
In giving those gifts, the Wise Men demonstrate that the Baby Jesus will know both the past and the future with the talent to be able to balance them in an eternal now.
In following a star to find the Baby Jesus, the three Kings became the most celebrated astrologers in Western culture. As the Magi who visit Christ’s first dwelling place they are said to lend their gifts to blessing homes. Here’s a traditional house blessing you can easily do yourself.
You’ll need a piece of chalk and a step ladder or someone who can reach the area above the door frame on the main entrance to your home.
Write the following inscription above the door…
20 + C M B + 20
And say aloud, “May Christ bless this house and all who enter here with peace and grace and wrap this home in the gift of your loving protection. Amen”
In the inscription, C M B stands for two things. The Magi are traditionally known as Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar so those letters are their initials. They may also represent the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “May Christ bless this house.”