The Gifts of the Magi
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Randy Sanders
Recently as I prepared my meditation space, my mind wandered as it often does. This time, it was again toward the mixture I like, and that I was getting low on my supplies. It was time to reorder some resins so I might combine them the way I prefer. This time I also began thinking of where the supplies might originate, and all the generations using incense before me. We know incense has been used for millennia, whether you find it on temple walls in Egypt and other ancient cultures or simply look in the book of Exodus to note Frankincense called out for use in worship thousands of years ago.
As I meditated that morning, I let thoughts come and go, and recurring was the consideration of the gifts of the Magi as noted in the New Testament book of Matthew. Out of nowhere, three Magi show up bearing gifts to Mary and Joseph for Jesus. This is the only major note, but it has a recurring theme in the subject of the gifts. Gold, we can all agree, would be extremely useful, and while valuable as a commodity, Frankincense was essentially a perfume to most of that time while also used in the temples, and Myrrh was a perfume often used in embalming or around embalming because of the smell. The usage of incense is repeated in the bible, in other holy books, and passed down through almost every culture.
So who were these Magi? The only group using that term at the time were the Zoroastrian priests. The common historical belief is the three visitors of legend weren't actual Oriental Kings, but they were in all likelihood traveling priests of Ahura Mazda. More on that in some other paper, but the result doesn't change. The three priests gave their most precious gifts to someone they believed would grow up to be amazing and special. They gave incense as an equal gift to gold.
But wait, there's more. Frankincense, like most incense, is sourced from plants. In this case, Frankincense is the dried resin from the Boswellia plant and was found to have psychoactive antidepressant and antibiotic properties through Johns Hopkins and other university studies. Even if Myrrh was only considered in funeral rites, and the symbolism of that alone is staggering, Myrrh was known to have other properties as well. The Magi/Priests gave Jesus the gift of two medicinal plants also used in meditation. I smiled and continued my own morning meditation exercises knowing the secrets weren't lost. Oh, and if you want my preferred blend, come see me. I'm happy to tell you in person, and I look forward to our discussions afterward.
Bro. Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a Bachelors's Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30 plus years teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12-year span. Randy's Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two Symbolic Lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, a full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.