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When we study sacred geometry, we begin to see the world of form differently. We gradually begin to recognize how these seminal shapes and proportions repeat themselves over and over, in nature. We also look at symbols, religious and otherwise, with new eyes. I had one of those moments of realization this morning, when I glanced at a Happy Thanksgiving post, on a blog. An image of a cornucopia, overflowing with harvest bounty, topped the page. I haven't really thought much about cornucopias since I was in grade school, tracing my hand to make Thanksgiving turkeys, and looking at pictures of happy "Indians," with their pilgrim friends. It had never occurred to me how profound a form the cornucopia is.
This symbol of the abundance, for which we give thanks each November, traces to ancient Greek mythology.
The cornucopia is a symbol of food and abundance dating back to the 5th century BC, also referred to as horn of plenty, Horn of Amalthea, and harvest cone.
In Greek mythology, Amalthea was a goat who raised Zeus on her breast milk. When her horn was accidentally broken off by Zeus while playing together, this changed Amalthea into a unicorn with 17 whiskers. The god Zeus, in remorse, gave her back her horn. The horn then had supernatural powers which would give the person in possession of it whatever he or she wished for. This gave rise to the legend of the cornucopia. The original depictions were of the goat's horn filled with fruits and flowers: deities, especially Fortuna, was depicted with the horn of plenty. The cornucopia was also a symbol for a woman's fertility.