St. Francis of Assisi used the Tau for his signature and as the key symbol of what all Franciscans are called to be. It is one of the smallest letters of the Greek alphabet and the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For Francis, the Tau resembled the cross of Christ and reminded him of the smallest and poorest of the world. “It is in our poverty that we become, like Jesus, the Image of the Divine. The Tau for Franciscans is both a reminder of our commitment to stand with the poorest of the poor and of the promise Jesus made to the needy and broken-hearted, that in the Kingdom, ‘…the last shall be first and the first shall be last.’ It is our hope and our goal that in educating and forming the whole person, the presence of Christ is revealed through and in the ministerial life of each of our graduates.”
Tau is a very old symbol and has diverse connotations:
The ANCIENT GREEK considered Tau to be symbolic of life and resurrection, while ‘theta’, the 8th letter of the alphabet was used to denote death.
In ANCIENT EGYPT, the Tau symbol was thought to represent a phallus and was also regarded as the marker for holy waters.
Ancient mythology associates the symbol with the Greek deity Attis and the Roman god Mithra or Mithras. Several Western religious traditions and European cultures associate Tau with the crucifix.
According to KABBALISTIC BELIEFS, the symbol refers to the mystical number three and signifies intuition, magic, creativity, and expansion.
In the Freemasonry, Templar or Rosicrucian symbology, Tau stands for the all-pervasive God and Its 3 attributes of strength, wisdom, and harmony.
SIZE: We offer 2 stock size variations. The Full size is approximately 7.5 inches tall by 7 inches wide. The Mini is 4.5 inches tall by 4 inches wide.
THE CARVING: Our carvings are single pieces of western red cedar, designed and carved to be wall hangings. Each carving begins as a 1 X 12-inch cedar board. While we use power tools (Scroll Saw, Rotary shaft Tool, handheld detail sanders etc.), we use no lasers, CNC machines or computer-operated cutting machines. All work is done with our hands and eyes…
We cut the 2-dimensional blanks with scroll and jigsaws (double-sized custom orders have to be cut with a jigsaw). Carving is done with rotary shaft tools and disc grinders. The 80 grit sanding is the final phase of the carving process, removing the nicks and gouges from the carving tools, and finishes the shaping of the weave. The next 2 sandings with 120 then 220 grit finishes the smoothing and polishing. They are immersed in Clear Danish Oil to seal the piece, bringing out the grain and the color.