Epiphany, Twelfth Night or Three Kings Day


Today marks in the Catholic liturgical calendar when the Three Magi or Kings arrived and gave gifts to the infant Jesus the Christ, as a recognition of his special nature and divine kingship.  A popular folk magic practice that coincides with this day is to write out the year numbers and between the first two numerals and the last two numerals is written C+M+B, which stand for the traditional names associated with three magi, that is Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.  This is written over the front entrance to the home and is thought to bring protection and blessings.  In some Christian denominations, this is the day that presents will be given.  This day also marks the end of the Christmas celebration and the beginning of Carnevale, the period preceding Lent.  As Lent is marked by fasting and solemnity, Carnevale is usually marked by indulgence, celebration, and parties, which begins with Three Kings day. A popular food during this season is king cake, which can take various forms depending upon the culture.
One forgotten or little-known piece of information is that the three stars that make Orion’s belt are also identified as the Three Magi. This comes about become Orion is one of the most visible constellations in the winter sky, with the belt being the most obvious.  Three stars lined up, as though they could be three figures in a line, traveling in the same direction, that also lines up with the chosen time for the celebration of the birth of Christ and the three Magi who visited Christ and recognized his divinity makes perfect sense.
One way you might connect more with the Magi would be to make a star talisman, or make a petition to Magi by timing the rising or culmination of the three stars.  The names of the individual stars are Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak. You could time their rising or culmination by using Star Maps or on the astrological charts, they are placed in the 22, 23, and 24 degrees of Gemini.  A simple offering of fresh water and incense (preferably a mixture of myrrh and frankincense) with a simple prayer would be enough.  If you’re eloquent or inspired, you might invent your own prayer on the spot, or write one up in advance. Some Catholic websites also offer up prayers to the Three Magi as well. Using an image of the three kings, or praying and facing the stars themselves, make your prayer and petition.
It is also said that the joint influence of the stars of the belt or the Three Magi is to give strength, energy, industry, the ability to organize, infamy, good fortune, lasting happiness, a sharp mind, and memory.

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