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Tao

Mountainman

El Croco loco
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Frances
(StJ-Santiago) 2007, 2009
(StJ-Fisterra) 2011, 2012
Future:
Camino del Salvador 8/2014
Camino Primitivo 8/2014?
Camino del Norte 9/2014,
and hopefully many more yet unplanned
I may have missed other topics about this, but I would like to know more about the Tao-symbol I found everywhere on my 2009 Camino (whereas in 2007, I never noticed or they weren't there that much).

I have found some info on Wiki, but I'd love to hear about the symbolism of the Tao, especially in relation to the Camino...
 
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nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I think the spelling is Tau?
Nell
 

markvanoss

New Member
From Jack Hitt's "Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route":

"... That code turns on the letter T, or Tau, which signifies the Templars and the cross and is somehow related to the number twelve, which in turn harkens to all kinds of associations--master Templars, apostles, months, zodiac signs. Only one Templar establishment has twelve towers--Ponferrada."

Legend has it that something of great value (treasure? the Holy Grail?) is hidden somewhere in the Templar Castle in Ponferrada.
 

Trudy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
The Tau Cross is the symbol of St Francis of Assisi and the Franciscans. Legend has it that St Francis walked the Camino de Santiago, and no doubt in medieval times there were Franciscan monasteries based along the Camino. While St Francis used the Tau to represent his vision of monasticism, the Tau Cross itself is believed to date back to the Coptic Desert Fathers. I guess that's why it's used as a symbol at the ruins of San Anton monastery near Castrojeriz - St Anthony was one of the desert fathers. I don't know of any connection to the Templars, but it's a possibility.

Trudy
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
One of the theories about San Anton monks is that the blue Tau on their tunics represented a crutch used by pilgrims recovering from Ergotism, a crippling disease resulting from the ingestion of mould on rye.
Wiki - The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony (monks) specialized in treating ergotism victims with balms containing tranquilizing and circulation-stimulating plant extracts; they were also skilled in amputations. The common name for ergotism is "St. Anthony's Fire", in reference to monks who cared for victims as well as symptoms, such as severe burning sensations in the limbs
 
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