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The moon in June

It?s jyeshta purnima this weekend and there?s much else to rejoice in

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 11:10 IST

Trinity Sunday, the Christian festival of Pentecost last Sunday on June 4 marked the foundation of the Church. ‘Pentecost’ comes from the Greek for ‘counting fifty’. The Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost 50 days, or seven weeks, after the resurrection of Jesus.

As the story goes, after Jesus ascended to heaven on Easter Sunday, his apostles went to a house in Jerusalem. There they waited for the appearance of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised. Suddenly, after 49 days, the sky filled with the sound of a mighty wind that then roared through their house. Tongues of fire appeared and sat on them. As the Holy Spirit filled them, they began to speak in languages they did not otherwise know. Overcome, they hailed God.

But while Pentecost marks the foundation of the Church, there was no festival for centuries to mark its central belief in the Trinity of Father (God), Son (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost/Spirit (the divine guidance that stayed on after Jesus).

Finally, the feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century. It was only inserted in the Church calendar in the 14th century by the then Pope (John XXII). Since then, the Sunday after Pentecost, called Trinity Sunday is a big Church event all over.

Trinity Superstitions The weather on Trinity Sunday is said to be always benefi cial, just like it always rains on Janmashtami. ‘Trinity rain’ is credited with special powers of health and fertility. Ghosts and witches can’t harm you! Magic flowers blossom at midnight that can heal, lead to hidden treasures, protect against accidents, and bestow freedom from pain for the rest of the year. But like with Karwa Chauth, no needlework on this day, it’s bad luck.

Trinity Symbols During the early centuries of the Church, the Holy Trinity was sometimes painted as three identical young men. By the sixth century, however, only the Father and Son were shown in human form. The Holy Spirit was then represented by the figure of a dove (we see this in Indian churches).

A popular symbol of the Trinity, thanks to the Irish, is the trefoilated shamrock. (The Church doesn't accept such folkloric fancies but tolerates a few). Another symbol is the triangle surrounded by rays (divinity) with an eye inside (allseeing, all-providing God). This design is supposed to be found lurking in European homes, on wayside shrines and even in churches. Some say that a version of this symbol is found in the Great Seal of the United States (reproduced on every one-dollar bill). But is that getting too Dan Brown?

A special starscope This Purnima (June 11), chirp astrologers, the full moon is in Sagittarius, "which is an invitation to bask in the light of some good old Jupiter joy and optimism. This full moon represents the union of the physical and the spiritual in the search for knowledge. Sagittarius wants to understand the totality of existence through ‘journeying’ in all its forms. This sign loves to travel abroad to foreign lands or armchair travel with books and on the Internet. It also loves to move through the spirit realms and use the mind to uncover deeper levels of the psyche. The bright fire of knowledge is at its apex with a full moon in Sagittarius.”

So start that longdreamed-of project this weekend, renew old neglected contacts, brush up your special (rusted) skills in doing something only you do rather well. Especially, says this happy conjunction of moon and stars, meditate on the kingly Jupiter, lord of the skies, and let that positive energy build up!