One plus one equals three. In my collage there are three stone carvings representing father, mother and child. The figures are the three travelers or the three wise men. The burled wood shape combined with the distant tree on the left and the stone figure creates a visual triangle framing the stone carvings. The triangle is an ancient symbol for the feminine.
In the background of the collage, there is a slope of Bristle cone Pines. These trees grow at the very top of the tree line where very few plants can survive. High in the mountains of Utah, Nevada and the eastern slopes of the California Sierra Nevada live the Bristle cone pines. These trees are long living. One member of the species is 5,063 years old and is one of the oldest known living non-clonal organisms on Earth.
Even after one of these trees dies, the skeleton survives for centuries because the wood is very dense and resinous and does not rot. The tree wears away like stone. It is the wind, rain and freezing that sculpts away at the tree making its shape twisted and gnarled.
When older religious images are supplanted or discredited by later forms, the elder symbolism passes into the realm of the occult or of magic. Hence, in Christianized Europe anything repeated three times becomes magical. Fairy tales and folk traditions produce nearly everything in triplicate … three wishes, three trails, three sisters, three princesses, three tests or three characters. In the Christian world it is the Father, Son and Holy spirit.
Like the Bristle cone pine, the trinity is ancient, dating back to the pagan faith of the Goddess who with her three personae, Virgin, Mother and Crone personify the Ancient Trinity.