OWEN, A Modern Spiritual Meaning

Today I was reviewing the origins of my name, OWEN, from some sources I had previously collected.

My final summary is:

Owen (Welch).

Eochaidh/Eoghan (pronounced ‘owen’ in irish gael)/Owain

Meaning: “Born from the yew tree” or “youthful warrior” or “god’s gracious gift”, “well-born”.

The Yew tree is a hardy evergreen and can live for thousands of years and keep its “youthful” appearance by never having anything dead to fall off of it.

As I whittled the sources into this concise summary, I was left with a minor, interesting historical story of the origins of Owen from the irish word for King, “Eochaidh”

“The “Eochaidh” the Heremon or King of Ireland (one of the 1st Irish Kings), married Royal Princess “Tamar Tephi” meaning Palm Beautiful , an appropriate name for the one destined to fulfil Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Tender Twig (Ezekiel chapter 17).”

Interested in the reference to ‘tender twig’ I decided to look up the chapter of Ezekiel. What I found was a parable, a vision, and a prophecy seeming related to the Babylonian conquest of the Israelites. See the full chapter 17, below.

What struck me was the prophetic resolution of the conquest. In 17:20, Ezekiel seems to imply that all of this conquest is a trap designed by God to achieve God’s purpose. Well maybe then, another way of saying it might be that, any sovereign or peoples who break the covenant of God, although ascendant for a time, are falling into a trap of destruction that the covenant is designed to prevent. The ‘trap’ verse immediately precedes the verse I was searching about the ‘tender twig’.

This verse implies that the purpose of this trap and its destruction is to punish the breakers of the covenant by the conquerers but also the believers. While the punishments are worldly in nature, the problem of covenant-breaking is still a spiritual one, requiring spiritual restoration and renewal. Thus, God’s plan doesn’t restore the previous religion, certainly not it’s leaders, but takes a ‘tender twig’ that has nonetheless grown from the old religion, the great tree, to be the renewal, the rebirth of a new tree, a new religion. The ‘tender twig’, planted on the mountain of Israel, reiterates other prophecies about it becoming the tree beneath which all peoples will live in harmony, well-being, productivity and progress.

The ‘twig’ resonating so strongly from my readings of the writings of Baha’u’llah, sent me in search of it’s various use. I am providing some of these from Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha (Baha’u’llah’s son who is know as ‘The Most Great Branch’, ‘The Centre of the Covenant’ and was the head of the Baha’i Faith after Baha’u’llah’s passing).

The writings refer to the ‘twig’ as of the tree of divinity and become specific to the being and role of Shoghi Effendi, Guardian and head of the Baha’I Faith during its great worldwide spread and organizational establishment in the 20th Century, including, as alluded in Ezekiel, the establishment of the World Centre of the Baha’i Faith on Mt Carmel, Israel. As prophecied by Ezekiel, God has renewed His religion, His Covenant and planted that ‘twig’ on the Mountain of Israel so that it will grow into a divine tree for the spiritual and material protection and progress of all humanity, the raison d’etre of the Baha’i Faith.

 As I concluded my research on the spiritual idea of the ‘twig’ I was struck that, although Princess Tephi was named in relation to the prophecy of the ‘twig’, OWEN also is a name drawn from the renewing (youthful) and everlasting tree.

So maybe now, looking at the older meanings and the newer possibilities, I take the meaning of my own name, OWEN, as ‘the youthful (renewing, transforming) guardian (guardian-warrior-servant) of (from-for) the everlasting tree (divinity).”

SOURCES

Bible (King James):Ezekiel

17.1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;

17:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:

17:4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.

17:5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.

17:6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.

17:7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.

17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

17:9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.

17:10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.

17:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

17:12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;

17:13 And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:

17:14 That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.

17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?

17:16 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

17:17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:

17:18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.

17:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

17:20 And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.

17:21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.

17:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:

17:23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.

 ‘TWIGS’ from the writings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha.

“Give ear unto that which the Dove of Eternity warbleth upon the twigs of the Divine Lote-Tree: O peoples of the earth! We sent forth him who was named John to baptize you with water, that your bodies might be cleansed for the appearance of the Messiah. He, in turn, purified you with the fire of love and the water of the spirit in anticipation of these Days whereon the All-Merciful hath purposed to cleanse you with the water of life at the hands of His loving providence. This is the Father foretold by Isaiah, and the Comforter concerning Whom the Spirit had covenanted with you. “

            (Baha’u’llah, Summons lord of hosts)

“THIS is a Tablet sent down by the Lord of mercy that the people of the world may be enabled to draw nigh unto this Ocean which hath surged through the potency of His august Name. .. hearken unto the sweet warblings of the Bird of Heaven singing upon the twigs of the Tree of eternity: Verily there is none other God but Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. This is the Day that hath been illumined by the splendours of the light of Our countenance — the Day around which all days and nights circle in adoration. Blessed is the man of insight who hath perceived, and the sore athirst who hath quaffed from this luminous Fountain. Blessed the man who acknowledgeth the truth, earnestly striving to serve the Cause of his Lord, the Powerful, the Almighty.

O servant who hast fixed his gaze upon My face! Hearken unto the Voice of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, calling aloud from the dayspring of grandeur and majesty. Verily His Call will draw thee nigh unto the realm of glory and will cause thee to extol His praise in such wise that every created thing will be enraptured, and to magnify His glory in such manner as to influence the entire creation. Truly thy Lord is the Protector, the Gracious, the All-Informed.                   (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 260)

Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas; upon the offshoots of the Tree of Holiness, the twigs of the Celestial Tree, they that in the Day of the Great Dividing have stood fast and firm in the Covenant; upon the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God that have diffused widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His Proofs, proclaimed His Faith, published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him, stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of God in the very hearts and souls of His servants; upon them that have believed, rested assured, stood steadfast in His Covenant and followed the Light that after my passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine Guidance — for behold! he is the blest and sacred bough that hath branched out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind.

(Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 3)

After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsan (Branches), the Afnan (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of the Abha Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi — the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees and the fruit grown from the union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness, — as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsan, the Afnan, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn.    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 10)

It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees, that no dust of despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become even as a fruitful tree. For he is, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Guardian of the Cause of God..        (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 23)