The White Dove
Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service Recording from July 31, 2016
Many of us are thinking about, holding space for and even wishing for peace right now. It can be challenging to be in a world where what we see and hear about is wrapped in anger, hatred and division. As the divine feminine energy floods the planet, it is shining light on all the places where we as humans do not live in alignment, where the darkness lives.
For centuries the world has been ruled by patriarchy, which holds its power through fear and control. The Divine feminine doesn’t need to rule, it ushers in partnership, equality, unity, collaboration and community; nor does it fight. It has a certainty that moves through the world, claiming its rightful place. Because of this, the old patriarchy, with its need for control has gone into overdrive in its effort to try and hold onto control.
Plus, in order for the world to truly change, all the deep, dark ugly stuff needs to come to the surface. You may be familiar with the phrase ‘dark night of the soul,’ one of those middle of the night moments when you can’t sleep and all of the deep dark stuff within you rises to the surface; well, the collective whole of humanity is experiencing its own ‘dark night of the soul.’
As peace is on many of our minds, I found myself reflecting on the White Dove and its message of Peace, Hope and Unity. I find it fascinating when many cultures and religions throughout history attach the same or similar message to the same animal or object.
I suspect on a physical level it is because at some point someone traveled, or read, or viewed and brought back the symbolism to absorb into their own culture or religion; but where does the very first moment of seeing this animal and associating it with something specific come from.
I believe it is because Nature speaks to us in a deep and powerful way. In the presence of Nature we have certain feelings and certain ideas come into our heads.
The Dove is one of three birds that produce milk. It begins to produce milk two days before the babies hatch and will stop eating during that time so that its milk will be free of bits and pieces that the babies would not be able to digest. Which means that they have an innate connection to their babies that enable them to know exactly when they will hatch.
Humans have often derived their messages they draw from animals and the world by observation. This act of the Dove’s gives it high marks where motherhood is concerned, exemplifying sacrifice and a mother’s instinct.
White is traditionally a color of purity and peace. We say ‘traditionally,’ so casually, but who was the first person to say ‘white, it’s so pure and peaceful?’ Or the first peoples because more than one culture saw white in this way; and remember there was no ‘google’ or internet, or even airplanes to transport us from one place in the world to another.
In looking through many different sources, it seems the dove and its connection to peace and unity first appears during Egyptian times over 120,000 years ago. But interestingly in many associations the dove is an adornment for a god or goddess that depicts love or protection or even war. For example, the Japanese god of war, Hachiman, had the dove as a sacred symbol of peace indicating that after war, peace would come.
Of course in the story of Noah, it was a dove he sent to find land and the dove brought back an olive branch, to demonstrate that it had found land. The Dove and the Olive branch became symbols of peace and forgiveness in the bible.
So what can we draw from this?
Sometimes my mind spins around on reflections as I look for the thread and the connection; as I seek to understand what message wants to be shared.
I can tell you, it’s much better to sit in quiet and simply let the message come. The mind, will seldom if ever ‘figure it out.’
After doing just that, this is what I have to share with you.
The White Dove carries a sense of calm and certainty. It has a deep connection to the world it creates, like knowing exactly when its babies will hatch; it focuses on the moment and what is needed in that moment. It doesn’t concern itself with the lives of those around it, it doesn’t fight for food or space, it lives for itself and its family.
From that we can begin to see how the White Dove could come to symbolize peace and unity; but I think that only scuffs the surface, or better yet it distills what we can learn from this beautiful being.
To be a symbol equals being an icon or an image of something. The White Dove is so much more than just an icon; its lessons are profound and the message really is, if we live more like the White Dove, peace will prevail. So not that the Dove is a symbol of peace, but rather that its way of life creates peace.
Take some time this week to reflect on how powerful messages have been distilled into sound bites or icons; and begin to dig deeper and find the true meaning in moments and encounters.
Also, find some time to sit quietly and reflect on The White Dove and see what information and insight comes to you from this beautiful creature.
Rev Christine Agro, Reflection from Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service for July 31, 2016 heard first on Nature’s Channel.fm