Understanding the symbolism of the pinecone, the peacock and the lions.

The pinecone,  I believe it has to do with the fruit of the evergreen tree of life symbolism and its encoded fibonacci mathematics.

It also resembles the lotus bud which is also seen sometimes at top of tree of life or pillars in Egypt. Like the sun the lotus and the pinecone closes at night to open in the day. When warm and dry the pine cone opens up to release the seeds. When it is damp or cold, the scales close up.

It is the pine we still use as Christmas tree, with its lights also a symbol of the starry night sky. Not for nothing is the pilgrimage to Santiago de campostella, which derives from campus stellare or starry sky.

The pinecone is Fibonacci, it is maths and Pi and a representation of the fruit of the evergreen pine, the tree of life. Not only that, it also displays the PI circle like the sunflower does. It encodes the very essence of maths of natures growing patterns and proportions.

For that reason and for the reason of an evergreen tree, the pine is symbolic for life/nature and related to “the tree of life”, the universe. This maths occurs in the whole of nature.


Classical representations of the pincecone are below.

Even though it has been suggested of a pineal gland third eye, the peacocks are related to Indra the storm God just as the eagle relates to Zeus. The peacock was born out of Garuda the Celestial eagle. So I believe what we see here in Rome is a crude tree of life pillar of heaven composition just as shown in the royal seal of the Kurds or byzantine stone relief. You can not only look at the pinecone or peacocks. The lions at the bottom are part of the composition. Items made 1000s of years apart from different sources, the lions came from Egyptian Temple, the peacocks from hadrians mausoleum, and the pinecone came from a fountain in front of the isis Temple.

Yet they made it in the exact tree of life composition at the Vatican as seen below.

The Pinecone, the centerpiece of Cortile della Pigna

The pinecone and pinecone staff thrysus originates from Egypt as ‘Osiris staff’ then topped with a lotus flower and was moses staff.


The esoteric(astronomical) symbolism is of great importance, including the peacocks, the lions(or tigers!!),  the pillar and pinecone.

Particularly notice how in ancient Egypt, the tip was an open lotus flower.  A closed one looks similar to a pine cone. (as flowers also follow the Fibonacci pattern)

It is important to see the surrounding symbolism. The two peacocks AND the lions at the bottom.  It is a grouping of objects, pinecone, lions and peacocks, just like in the byzantine  relief and Kurdish royal seal. The pine cone OR peacocks can not be seen as an individual object.

Lets first start with why the peacock is there.

Peacock On The Gopuram Of Rathinagiri Hill Temple (note Hill/meru/tree of life)

The peacock is a common addition to the tree of life symbolism.In Meso American art, its the quetzalbird in top of the tree and we also see the eagle (Garuda, or double headed eagle)

The peacock, lotus and tigers are India’s national symbols. I could recreate the tree of life composition with Indian symbols only. In older depictions from Egypt the thrysus is capped with a lotus flower.


“In Greek mythology, Hera created the Peacock from Argus. The tail features symbolize the vault of heaven and the eyes of the stars.”

In India, the peacock was created from one of the feathers of Garuda, a mythical bird and a carrier of Lord Vishnu. It is a symbol of the circle of time.

The peacock is related to the storm God indra. (and of shiva) which in turn is thus symbol for any “storm God” worldwide.

In a battle between Ravana and Lord Indra, the peacock spread its feather wide open to hide Indra. In return, Indra made the peacocks feather iridescent. Indra is seated on a peacock throne. Peacocks are also associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of weath. Placing peacock feathers in the home can attrack wealth and prosperity.

The peacock is an Indian bird. It kills snakes: remember the Hero killing the snake in every myth around the world as shown in my article, “the universal religion”?

Another good writeup on the peacocks symbolism is found here by Elaine Jordan. See how Christianity also adapted a peacock to their main “god”. This is NOT a coincidence. (as Jezus symbolism is the last adoption of the worldwide “storm god” constellation)

The Symbolism of the Peacock

Elaine Jordan
source: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/f023_Peacock.htm
Seeing the beautiful background of peacock feathers on the entrance to the Our Lady of Good Success page, I began to wonder about the symbolism of that majestic bird. I have also seen the peacock on art works in medieval paintings and manuscripts and used in decorative motifs on churches and buildings. The peacock even appears among the animals in the stable in Christ’s nativity. This made me wonder what it represented to the medieval world.

Peacocks on the stable rooftop  in a Fra Angelico nativity scene

As readers of this site undoubtedly know, for medieval man everything in nature had a significance that related to God’s purpose for the universe. So, I was not surprised to find a wide gamut of rich symbolic meanings for the peacock.

Catholics adopted the symbol of the peacock to represent resurrection (or orion), renewal and immortality. (like the evergreen IVY and Pine / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_City_of_God)

This came from the ancient legend that the flesh of the peacock did not decay. (Augustine, city of god)

Thus we find paintings and mosaics with the peacock as early as the 3rd century on the walls of the catacombs of Rome, a symbol of the exchanging of the mortal earthly body for the glorified body and eternal life of the glorified soul in Heaven.

Also the medieval bestiaries tell us that the peacock sheds its old feathers every year and grows newer, more brilliant ones each year, a sign of renewal, and the feathers were used to decorate churches at Easter and Christmas. You can also find the peacock in many mosaics and images in baptisteries of ancient Catholic churches in the East and West.

Because of this belief that the peacock’s flesh did not decay after death, the peacock became a symbol of Christ, and, as such, early Christian paintings and mosaics use peacock imagery. When the peacock displays its tail, it looks like hundreds of eyes are watching us. Because of this, the peacock has been associated with the all-seeing eye of God.

Who sees all actions and all people, meaning that nothing escapes the universal Justice. The peacock also came to symbolize the all-seeing Catholic Church, who watches over her children continually, day and night.

Note how in this image its is again with a pillar and a cup on top, a symbol of the tree of life.

Peacocks were common decorative motifs on old churches and buildings. The eyes of the peacock feathers also symbolize the beatific vision, the direct perception and knowledge of God as He truly is, enjoyed by Angels, Christ, and the Saints in Heaven, which was another reason it was a decorative motif on medieval tomb sculptures.

The peacock is a destroyer of serpents (like the eagle and the “storm hero”) and the bestiaries tell us it could swallow the poisonous venom without harm. It then used the poisons it swallowed to create its colorful plumage. For this reason, its blood was believed to dispel evil spirits, and its feathers and meat to cure snake-bite and sickness. St. Augustine affirms this belief of the antiseptic qualities of the peacock flesh in The City of God:

“For who but God the Creator of all things has given to the flesh of the peacock its antiseptic property? This property, when I first heard of it, seemed to me incredible; but it happened at Carthage that a bird of this kind was cooked and served up to me, and, taking a suitable slice of flesh from its breast, I ordered it to be kept, and when it had been kept as many days as make any other flesh stinking, it was produced and set before me, and emitted no offensive smell. And after it had been laid by for thirty days and more, it was still in the same state; and a year after, the same still, except that it was a little more shriveled, and drier.” (Book 21, chapter 4):

Peacocks are also known to eat poisonous plants with no ill effects, another reason why their feathers are a symbol of incorruptibility and immortality.

Moral and allegorical lessons

The Aberdeen Bestiary offers moral and allegorical lessons about the exotically beautiful bird. It explains that the pride of the peacock became a lesson for the Catholic who strives for perfection.

The eyes in the peacock tail represent the all-seeing eye of God and of Holy Mother Church


The pine cone at the Vatican is a  newer display of older symbolism. The peacocks flesh would not decay, so, this together with its ability to kill snakes made it “holy”. Like the evergreen pine and the evergreen Ivy. Green was also the colour of osiris. The green of the land at spring.


1. Peacock (from Garuda),  Eagle (highest flying bird /skygod), double headed eagle,  Garuda

2. Pillar (of heaven) / world tree /obelisk / world axis / Tree of life / Menora / Bodhi tree / Xmass tree / Pine / Jewish Menora etc etc

3. Flanking Lions (As seen everywhere on tree of life symbolism, from Mycenea, to Vatican etc etc) Sometimes its goats (Capricorn) or the Makara as seen on Budhas shoulders.

(Capricorn) Related to end of tropics. 6000 years ago LEO was the summer constellation. 2000 years ago crab was summer Constellation and Capricorn winter. This is where we have our tropics named from. Yet these names are not correct as this was 2000 years ago. as should be tropic of Aquarius and tropic of Leo.










Why is the tiger and the peacock considered to be the national animal and bird of India, respectively?


Besides the pine being the fruit of the evergreen tree of life, also the ivy vine surrounding the Thyrsus is an evergreen vine. Its symbolism can be found here:

Ivy, being an evergreen plant, represents eternity, fidelity, and strong affectionate attachment, such as wedded love and friendship. The ivy plant is also a strong plant which can grow in the hardest enviroment.

Quote: “Another association of Ivy as an evergreen, is perennial life and immortality. It also may represent dependence and attachment, which can be seen in the way it climbs trees and buildings to get sunlight. The ivy leaf is also phallic, depicting the male trinity, but it can also be a female symbol denoting a force in need of protection. Conversely, however, its malevolent, poison feature can cause it to be seen often as ingratitude.”



English Ivy Symbolism, Traditions, and Mythology

Source article: https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/English-Ivy-Symbolism-Traditions-and-Mythology

Updated on March 13, 2017
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about animals and plants.

English ivy leaves
English ivy leaves | Source

An Attractive and Symbolic Plant

English ivy is an attractive plant in the ginseng family. It’s a climbing, trailing, and creeping vine that forms dense coverings over trees and other supports. The plant is often admired for its beautiful appearance on the walls of buildings. In the past, English ivy was valued for more than its appearance, however. The plant had important symbolic meanings and was part of a rich mythology. Even today, some people appreciate the symbolism of the ivy plant.

English ivy, or Hedera helix, is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. Ivy has large leaves with interesting shapes, spreads rapidly over a wide variety of supports and is evergreen and perennial. These traits ensure that the plant is noticed.

English ivy berries
English ivy berries | Source

English Ivy

It’s easy to imagine how ivy first drew attention to itself. It has lobed and often large leaves, grows in many different environments, and sometimes spreads aggressively. It can climb to great heights, using its aerial roots to create strong attachments to its support as it ascends. When an ivy plant is allowed to grow undisturbed, its older stems can become as thick as those of some trees.

Despite the fact that it adheres to tree trunks, English ivy isn’t a parasite. Only the roots attached to the ground penetrate their substrate to absorb nutrients. The function of the aerial roots is attachment to a support, not absorption.

Today, ivy is sometimes considered to be a nuisance rather than an asset. This is especially true where ivy is an introduced plant. In its native habitat it’s more likely to form a peaceful but assertive part of its environment.

The vegetative, climbing stage of English ivy is the most noticeable and the one that most people are familiar with. Its leaves are medium to dark green, shiny, and thick. The leaf veins are conspicuous and are light yellow or white in color. The leaves of the reproductive stage of the plant are oval with pointed tips and have no lobes. Ivy has clusters of greenish yellow flowers and produces clumps of blue-black berries.

English ivy reproductive stems and flowers; the leaves are oval and pointed instead of lobed
English ivy reproductive stems and flowers; the leaves are oval and pointed instead of lobed | Source

The Ancient Deities of Wine

Dionysus was the Ancient Greek god of wine, agriculture, festivity, and theatre. The festivals related to Dionysus sometimes included drunken frenzy and ecstasy as an important component of the revelry. In Ancient Rome Dionysus was known as Bacchus.

In most versions of the ancient stories about Dionysus, his father is Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother is the human Seleme. Both the grapevine and the ivy vine are his symbols.

Dionysus is often depicted wearing a crown of ivy and carrying a thyrsus. The thyrsus was a wand or staff made from a stalk of the giant fennel plant or the branch of a tree. Ivy was wrapped around the stalk or branch, which was topped with a pine cone. The thyrsus is believed to have been a fertility symbol. Dionysus sometimes carries a kantharos, or drinking cup, as well as a thyrsus.

A gold stater from the city of Lampsacus, cIrca 360-340 BC; the coin depicts either Dionysus or Priapos (Priapus) wearing a crown or wreath of ivy leaves from the reproductive stage of the plant
A gold stater from the city of Lampsacus, cIrca 360-340 BC; the coin depicts either Dionysus or Priapos (Priapus) wearing a crown or wreath of ivy leaves from the reproductive stage of the plant | Source
The giant fennel, or Ferula communis, was used to make a thyrsus.
The giant fennel, or Ferula communis, was used to make a thyrsus. | Source

Interesting Connections

Why did grapes and ivy become associated with Dionysus/Bacchus? Ancient people believed that Dionysus discovered how to make wine from grapes and taught the skill to humans. Therefore he became the god of wine. English ivy was said to grow abundantly over the mythical mountain of Nysa, the childhood home of Dionysus, which may explain the link between ivy and the god.

In the Middle Ages ivy was still associated with wine. A branch or bunch of ivy was often hung on a pole outside a tavern to indicate that the building sold wine or ale. The pole was known as an alepole or an alestake. The bunch of ivy was sometimes known as a bush. From this came the saying. “Good wine needs no bush”, meaning that something of merit doesn’t need to be advertised because the good news will travel by word of mouth.

Red wine grapes; both grapes and ivy were symbols of Dionysus
Red wine grapes; both grapes and ivy were symbols of Dionysus | Source

Despite the plant’s association with wine and the fact that its fruits are the same color as some grapes, English ivy berries are poisonous and mustn’t be eaten.

The poet Alexander Pope wearing a crown of ivy; the crown was traditionally associated with a poet of esteem
The poet Alexander Pope wearing a crown of ivy; the crown was traditionally associated with a poet of esteem | Source

The Binding Ability of Ivy and its Symbolism

English ivy travels along the ground and also climbs up vertical supports such as tree trunks, fence posts, and walls. If its growth is unchecked it can travel from one plant to another, binding the plants together. This ability sometimes has a symbolic meaning.

Some versions of the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, or Iseult, refer to ivy’s ability to bind. Tristan was a Cornish knight and Isolde was an Irish princess. Tristan went to Ireland to claim Isolde as a bride for King Mark. During the journey back to Cornwall, Tristan and Isolde fell in love after drinking a love potion.

Beyond this basic plot there are many variations in the story. In some versions, Tristan and Isolde die and are buried in separate graves by King Mark so that even in death they cannot be together. However, an ivy vine (or another vine or a tree) grows out of each grave towards the other one. The ivy vines meet and twine around each other, forming a connection. Even when the king cuts the vines they regrow and reconnect.

Ivy represented peace to the Druids of old, perhaps because of its ability to bind different plants or even different kinds of plants together. Today ivy is often used at weddings, where it symbolizes fidelity.

English ivy climbing up a tree trunk
English ivy climbing up a tree trunk | Source

In the Middle Ages, holly represented the masculine element, perhaps because of its prickles and harder leaves, while ivy represented the female element. Both plants were appreciated as winter greenery at a time when many other plants were bare of leaves, especially as holly and ivy had attractive berries.

Old and Symbolic Christmas Carols

Edith Rickert (1871-1938) was an English professor at the University of Chicago. Even before she became a professor she was an active investigator in the area of English literature and carols.

Rickert’s book “Ancient English Christmas Carols:1400-1700” was published in 1910. In this book she says that many holly and ivy carols existed during the time period that she investigated and that they often involved a debate about the relative merits of men and women.

The first three verses of one of these carols is shown below. The words of the carol describe why holly is superior to ivy, or why males are better than females. They may also indicate that holly was brought indoors as a winter decoration while ivy wasn’t. The word “lybe” in the third verse refers to chapped skin or a chilblain. The carol is believed to date from the 1500s but the spelling has been updated to that of the 1800s. The newer version was published in 1868 in a book compiled by William Husk called Songs of the Nativity.

Another carol involving a competition between a male and a female and published in William Husk’s book is “Holly and Ivy Made a Great Party”. In the last verse of this carol, Ivy appears to have won the debate about who “will have the mastery” as Holly goes down on one knee in front of her. The carol is thought to date from the late 1400s.

Holly leaves and berries
Holly leaves and berries | Source

The Contest of the Ivy and the Holly

Holly standeth in the hall fair to behold,
Ivy stands without the door; she is full sore a cold

Holly and his merry men, they dancen and they sing;
Ivy and her maidens, they weepen and they wring.

Ivy hath a lybe, she caught it with the cold,
So may they all have, that with Ivy hold.

Decorating for Christmas

Carols such as the ones shown above may have been sung in conjunction with the decorating of a house or a church hall for Christmas. A common story on carol websites is that good-natured singing contests were held during the time when the two carols were popular. In these contests, men (holly) sang songs disparaging women (ivy) and women sang songs disparaging men. The contest is a nice idea and may well have happened, but so far I haven’t found any reliable evidence to support it.

Choir of Kings College Cambridge Sings The Holly and the Ivy

A Traditional Carol

Pagan customs such as bringing evergreens into the house during the winter solstice continued even after Christianity became dominant in Britain. Many of these customs are still popular during today’s Christmas celebrations. The old carols about holly and ivy have been replaced by a Christian version, however. This song is known as “The Holly and the Ivy”.

For those not family with the words of today’s carol, they can be heard in the video above. The lyrics are somewhat puzzling. The first line is “The Holly and the Ivy”, yet ivy is mentioned nowhere else in the carol except in the last verse, which is a repeat of the first verse. Holly is given the starring role in the song and ivy is ignored, so it seems strange that ivy is even mentioned.

The explanation that is often given is that the first line in the carol is a remnant of the old custom of linking holly and ivy together. In the rest of the carol ivy isn’t needed. The “holly” in the carol refers to Christ and the theme of the carol is his life.

Manning Hall at Brown University
Manning Hall at Brown University | Source

The Ivy League

The Ivy League is a group of eight private and prestigious universities in the northeastern United States. The universities were established in the 1600s to 1800s and have a long tradition. The oldest of the group is Harvard, which was founded in 1636. Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth were founded in the 1700s and Cornell was founded in 1865.

The term “Ivy League” at first referred to the athletic league to which all eight universities belonged. Now it refers to the universities themselves. Some of the university buildings are covered with ivy, and in the 1800s the students at some of the institutions planted ivy as an annual tradition. These factors aren’t believed to be directly responsible for the term Ivy League, however. The explanation that is considered to be most likely for the origin of the term is its mention by a newspaper reporter named Caswell Adams.

In the early 1930s, a writer at the New York Tribune named Stanley Woodward referred to the northeastern universities as “ivy colleges”. This was perhaps the start of the tradition of using the word ivy in the group name for the universities.

Caswell Adams also worked at the New York Tribune. In 1937 Adams was assigned to write a report of a football game between two universities belonging to today’s Ivy League. This assignment reportedly prevented him from covering a game involving his alma mater—Fordham University—which was doing very well in football at that time. Apparently, Adams complained about having to cover a game between either two “ivy covered” or two “ivy league” universities. When the report appeared in the newspaper it referred to the universities as Ivy League institutions.

English ivy growing on a brick wall
English ivy growing on a brick wall | Source

The Plant Today

English ivy is an interesting and tenacious plant that can be a useful part of its environment or an annoying interloper. Some people value ivy as an ornamental plant or as a part of nature. Ivy’s nectar and pollen can be important for bees and butterflies. Other people dislike the plant for its rapid growth and its ability to cover other plants and block sunlight. Whether we are an ivy supporter or a detractor, however, the plant is hard to ignore. Just as in the past, English ivy can make its presence felt.

Monarch Butterflies Feeding on English Ivy Nectar


© 2014 Linda Crampton

The following article explains this symbolism in more details.

Source article: http://www.eoht.info/page/Thyrsus

Four images of the thyrsus, the first being a spear (or pinecone topped) with leopard skin hanging off (representation of the starry sky), bound by a fillet (generally shown next to Osiris); the second, being a topped with a lotus plant, wrapped in ivy or some plant; the third being topped with a pinecone, wrapped in a blow (oft held by Bacchus); the forth being a pinecone topped staff wrapped in some type of ivy.

In religio-mythology, thyrsus, aka “Bacchic wands” (Plutarch, 100AD), are []

Some of the earliest depictions of Osiris show him standing next to a thyrsus; the following, e.g., shows Osiris in the Judgment Hall, during the Judgment of Amenti, with the “thyrsus” shown shown with a fillet, to which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended:
Judgment of Amenti
The spotting on the skin, supposedly, was thought to be representative of the constellations:

“The spotted skin of the leopard, which serves him for a mantle, represented the heavens filled with stars and constellations.”

Baron d’Holbach (1770), The System of Nature (pg. 179); commentary on Pan

Robert Brown (2002), citing Gardner Wilkinson (1836), comments on this diagram: [1]

“It is the same that the high-priest, clad in the leopard-skin dress, carries the processions, and which gave rise to the ‘nebrus’ and ‘thyrsus’ of Bacchus, to whom Osiris corresponds in Greek mythology (Wilkinson, 1836). The lotus flower, the emblem of a new birth, is represented just before the thyrsus.”

Osiris (and thyrsus)
Osiris standing with a “thyrsus” pole shown on each side; below left (Ѻ) is from the tomb of Sennedjem (c.1250BC) (Ѻ) at Luxor; below right (Ѻ) is of similar period:

In 1875, John Wilkinson, in footnotes to HerodotusHistory, gives the following account of the thyrsus:

“The thyrsus is shown by Plutarch to be the staff (fig. 1), often bound by a fillet, to which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended near the figure of Osiris; for it is the same that the high priest, clad in the leopard skin dress, carries in the processions (Plut. de Is… s.35). Another form of it is the head of a water-plant (similar to that in fig. 3), to which Athenaeus (Deipn. v. p. 196) evidently alludes when he speaks of some columns having the form of palm-trees, and others of the thyrsus.”

John Wilkinson next surmises incorrectly on the symbolism of the pinecone as follows:

“The adoption of the pinecone to the head of the spear of Bacchus originated in the use of the resinous matter put into wine-skins, and afterwards into amphorae; but the thyrsus was also represented as a spear having its point ‘concealed in ivy leaves’, or: pampineis agitat velatam frondibus hastam (Ovid, Metamorphosis, iii. 667; comp. xi. 27, &c. Diodorus, iii, 64. Athen. Dipn. Xiv. 631 A.) Thus the poets generally describe it, as well as the paintings on Greek vases: and if the pinecone was preferred for statues of Bacchus, that was probably from its being better suited to sculpture. The resemblance of the nebris, and the Semitic name of the leopard, nimr, is striking, the car of bacchus being drawn by leopards; and the Bochart points to the analogy between Nebrodes, a title of Bacchus and Nimrod, who is called the Philo-Judaeus ‘Nebrod’. The pinecone was adopted by the Arabs as an ornament in architecture at an early time, and passed thence to cashmere shawls and embroidery.”

This conjecture that the pinecone originated because of its use in “using resinous matter put into wineskins” per reason that Osiris, in the great tale of the Passion of Osiris, was reborn as an “evergreen tree”, hence the pinecone is symbolic of this.

Dionysus, Bacchus, and Moses

See main: Osiris, Dionysus, and Bacchus; Osiris, Dionysus-Bacchus, and Moses

In c.800BC, the model of Osiris, and his thyrsus, was imported into Greece, via either migration and or Greeks studying abroad, into the guise of Dionysus and his thyrsus; in 200BC the Greek model of Dionysus and his thyrsus was imported into Rome into the guise of Bacchus and his thyrsus; in 200AD to 1000AD this general Osiris turned Dionysus-Bacchus model, according to the so-called Vossius-Huet conjecture (c.1680), was monotheized into the mold of Moses and his “magical staff” that parts the Red Sea and smites water from rocks, such as shown below right:

Osiris, Dionysus, Bacchus, Moses

In Exodus 14, segment 14.16 (Ѻ) in particular, we find Moses famously “lifting up his rod”, just as Bacchus had done with his thyrsus, to part the Red Sea, as follows:

14.1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Moses with rod (c.1000AD)
A c.1000AD depiction of Moses with his magical “rod”, which, by the power of god, he used to part the red sea; as did the god Bacchus with his “thyrsus” before him.

15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

Actual depictions of Moses with a thyrsus-like rod or staff, e.g. as shown adjacent, to note, supposedly, did begin to be seen until (Ѻ) the 10th century

1. Herodotus. (c.435). (1875). History of Herodotus, Volume Two (editors: Henry Rawlinson and John Wilkinson) (pg. 87). Publisher.
2. (a) Wilkinson, Gardner. (1836). Ancient Egyptians. Routledge, 2013..
(b) Brown, Robert H. (2002). Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy (pgs. 102-3). Publisher.

External links
Thyrsus – Wikipedia.
Thyrsus – Penelope.UChicago.edu.

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Latest page update: made by Sadi-Carnot , Feb 15 2018, 9:52 PM EST (about this update complete history)
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