(Third Century Christian Martyr - 235 AD)

Offer It Up, Barbara

Barbarian Chant

Offer it up, BarbaraOh, where was Wisdom
Offer it up.The voice of Sophia.
Offer it up?Barren were the stems
Yea, BarbaraWhere the white rose
Offer it up.Did not blossom,
And all ye maidensBarren was the fragrance
Who follow of Sophia's breath
Offer it up.The words of Wisdom -
All ye CatherinesFace it Barbara
And JoansSolve it.
Offer it up.Ye can do it
Bitter the tears Barbara
Bitter more the offeringYea, ye can do it.

Barbara, a third century Christian martyr was imprisoned in a tower by her father in order to keep her safe from the new religion called Christianity, and as she was very beautiful, from the eyes of men. Women from the family household brought her food and fresh clothing, sending it to Barbara in a basket tied to a rope. One woman inserted, in the folds of clothing, information on a miraculous man called Jesus the Christ. Eventually, Barbara became a Christian and while her father was away, had his servants add a third window to her tower. When her father returned and asked why the extra window, Barbara replied, "To remind me of the Holy Trinity." Furious, Barbara's father broke down the sealed door and drug her by her long hair to the magistrate where he ordered her to reject her new religion. When she refused, her father took her to a mountain top, grabbed her by her hair and beheaded his daughter. As he descended the mountain he was struck and killed by a tremendous bolt of lightning.

This event is probably the forerunner to the fairy tale Rapunzell which had a decidedly happier ending.


1. Severed head - The life force; the Soul; denotes wisdom.

2. Hair - The life force from the head; the power of thought. In Christianity long loose hair indicates penitence or the virgin saints, however, long loose hair generally symbolizes freedom.

3.Crescent moon - Feminine principle; here depicted as a chalice which is also a feminine symbol.

4. Lightning - Spiritual illumination; enlightenment; sudden realization of truth cutting across time and space.

5. Sword - Power; authority; physical extermination. It is also the masculine principle and phallic. The cross.

6. Dove - The Soul; passing from one world to another. Sacred to all Great Mothers. Flying from the body depicts freedom.

7. Lilies and serpent - Lily, symbol of purity. The serpent in Christian symbolism represents the low nature. Together they represent the dichotomy of women's passions imposed by the church.

8. Three-towers, Three windows - Trinity.

9. XII and Four stars - The feast day of Barbara, December 4.



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