Clan Carruthers LLC
Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
At the very top of a Coat of Arms sits the Crest. When we updated the Coat of Arms I learned a lot about each and every piece of art word on a Coat of Arms. Each and every piece had to be of historical significance to the Carruthers family. I hope to send out information about each part of the Coat of Arms for you.
If you did not see it, there are three Fleur de Lis’ on the shield and a blog was sent out about that already.
If you live in Scotland, you might be presented with an individual Coat of Arms, that can only be used for the person it is given too. The last individual Coat of Arms of a Carruthers was in the Holmain line, and many people have seen it. It was not the first Coat of Arms issued to a Carruthers. This Coat of Arms by the Holmains can only be used by the man it was given to, not for use by all Carruthers.
Through out time there has been an artistic license taken with the Crest, and its description. The description most people see today is “Seraphim Volant”. This was the Crest description on an individuals Coat of Arms. It is believed that there were changes made to either the drawings or the descriptions. We had to look at this quite carefully.
Seraphim means: An order or group of Divine Beings distinguished for fervent zeal, unconquerable will, and religious ardour and vivacity. Yet on this individual Coat of Arms, it is a single angel, not a group of angels.
Volant means: In flight
There are not a group of angels, or Divine Beings in flight on the Crest.
On one of the older Crests, the upright angel has their right arm raised in the air. This might represent being in flight to some.
Lets look at the word Seraph, or Saraph.
It is said the word Seraph comes from the Hebrew verb saraph (fiery or to burn), or Hebrew noun saraph (a fiery, flying serpent).
Seraph as a Verb
The word Seraph appears three times in the Torah (Numbers 21:6–8, Deuteronomy 8:15) and four times in the Book of Isaiah (6:2–6, 14:29, 30:6). In Isaiah 6:2-6 the term is used to describe a type of celestial being or angel.
The vision in Isaiah Chapter 6 of seraphim in an idealised Jerusalem First Temple represents the sole instance in the Hebrew Bible of this word being used to describe celestial beings. “… I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the Hekhal (sanctuary). Above him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” (Isaiah 6:1–3)
In Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature, they use it in the verbial sense as a celestial being with two or three pairs of wings who guards the throne of God. They are described as very tall, with six wings and four heads, one for of the cardinal directions. One pair of wings are for flying, one for covering their eyes (for even they may not look directly at God), and one for covering their feet (which is almost certainly a euphemism for genitals).
Seraph as a Noun
As a Herbrew noun, the term appears several times with reference to the serpents encountered in the wilderness (Num. 21.8, Deut. 8.15; Isa. 14.29; 30.6), it has often been understood to refer to “fiery serpents”. From this it has also often been proposed that the seraphim were serpentine in form and in some sense “fiery” creatures or associated with fire.
The text describes the “seraphim” as winged celestial beings with a fiery passion for doing God’s good work. Notwithstanding the wording of the text itself, at least one Hebrew scholar claims that in the Hebrew Bible the seraphim do not have the status of angels, and that it is only in later sources (like De Coelesti Hierarchia or Summa Theologiae that they are considered to be a division of the divine messengers.
So, a Seraph may not be an angelic being at all, but a fiery flying serpent. Either noun or verb, it is said that whoever lays eyes on a Seraph, he would instantly be incinerated due to the immense brightness or fire.
Are we using the right symbol?
The ancient symbol of a Seraph is the six wings. If you do a quick search you will see how this ancient symbol has been used for thousands of years. Eastern Orthodox religions, Buddhist, Japanese, Egyptian, and such all have used this symbol for a Seraph.
There is one more twist to this.
Our relatives The Gotlanders may have something to do with all of this too.
flammende flyvende slange : This is a term used to describe our relatives in Gotland. The ship builders, the men of the Ash Tree, the adventurers who sailed the seas, and the warriors who dangerously sailed at night.
fiery flying serpent is the translation: Men who were rich from making ships that sailed so fast. Men who were the ones they hired to sail at night, with a fire on board their boats. Men who had the symbol of a serpent on their sails.
The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.
The Jewish Encyclopaedia states: “The seraphim are frequently mentioned in the Book of Enoch (xx. 7, lxi. 10, lxxi. 7), where they are designated as δράκονες (‘serpents’), and are always mentioned, in conjunction with the cherubim, as the heavenly creatures standing nearest to God. …Some authorities hold that the seraphim had their origin in the Egyptian ‘seref,’ a composite, winged creature…” (Hirsch and Benzinger, 2002, p. 201). Since the Israelites had lived with Egyptians for so many years, it is not surprising that they would have adopted their word.
Is Seraph/Saraph a noun, a verb, a sailing ship or even a pterosaur?
Anyway you want to look at it, it is ours!