I WAS ORDAINED and also elevated in the month of Leo, which is ruled by the sun and symbolised by the lion. The Leo qualities of warmth, outgoingness and magnamity are important to me in my work as a priest and Meritus.
The symbol on the nape of my priest stole was the sun. I chose this symbol because I see the sun’s outpouring of light on everyone as the greatest expression of love.
When I was elevated to the Office of Meritus it was necessary to choose an ‘animal’ symbol for my Meritus scapula. I chose the zodiacal equivalent of the sun, which is the lion. The lion is a symbol of strength, courage, nobility and love, and these are the qualities I seek to clothe myself with in the execution of my ministry as Meritus.
- Also see “The Lion Sylbom and Nature” by Rev Mario Schoenmaker
The Meritus Ring − Aquamarine
THE MERITUS RING which I wear was given to me by my father. He bought it for me while on a visit to Holland. The stone is an aquamarine. Its name is derived from the Latin ‘aqua’ (water) and ‘mare’ (sea). When I asked someone I had just met what it made them think of they said, “The sea.” It also reminds me of tears.
The ancient Romans believed that the aquamarine was sacred to Neptune, the god of the sea, and it has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone. My middle name is Marina − so there is a connection with the sea and safety.
The association with water led to the belief that the aquamarine was particularly powerful when immersed. The water in which this gemstone had been submerged was used in ancient times to heal a variety of illnesses.
Iron is the substance which gives aquamarine its colour, a colour which ranges from an almost indiscernible pale blue to a strong sea-blue. The iron also makes it a strong stone.
Aquamarine is useful for meditation, in which case you simply hold it in your hand. It enables the soul to immerse itself in and feel the beauty of all of nature. It adds a feeling of serenity and peace to a troubled soul and softens the thymus gland of the heart to give peace and yet it also gives the strength not to be broken.
Rev Antoinette Schoenmaker