Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Past and present beliefs or Index

Partridge in a Pear Tree

In Middle English pertriche "partridge," was derived from Perdix, one of Athena’s sacred kings, thrown in the seas from a tower, and carried to heaven in the form of a bird by his Goddess. He was the partridge, she the pear tree. Athena was worshipped in Boeotia as Once, the Pear Tree, mother of all pear trees. Perdix, whose name originally meant "the Lost One," was a form of Vishnu-Narayana, called Lord of the Pear Trees in his holy city of Badrinath in the Himalayas (from badri, "pear tree"). The pear tree had a feminine-masculine significance through Eurasia. It was also sacred to Hera, whose oldest image at Heraeum in Mycenae was made of pear wood. European peasants considered the pear a favorite "life-tree" for a girl. In Russia pears were used as protective charms for cows. It seems that when the partridge in a pear tree was made into a Christmas carol the symbol of Christ was substituted for Perdix. A.G.H.

Source: 56.

Home    Alchemy    Ancient Beliefs    Buddhism    Christianity    Demonology    Divination    Goddess and witchcraft    Great Mysteries    Hinduism    Islam     Judaism    Magic    Neo-paganism    Other    Paranormal    Past and present Beliefs    People    Places    Religions and sects    Rituals and texts    Shamanism    Stones    Theosophy African Mythology    Asian Mythology    Buddha Mythology    Egyptian Mythology    Greco-Roman Mythology    Greek Mythology    Hindu Mythology    Native American    Persian Mythology    Roman Mythology    South American Mythology