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University of Wisconsin Madison Seal

Source: http://www.plaquesandpatches.com/university-of-wisconsin-madison-seal/

Numen Lumen (Latin) - "God, our light" or "The divine within the universe, however manifested, is my light."

'The literature of religious experience abounds in references to the pains and terrors overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with some manifestation of the mysterium tremendum. In theological language, this fear is due to the in-compatibility between man's egotism and the divine purity, between man's self-aggravated separateness and the infinity of God.'
+ 'The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell' - Aldous Huxley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numinous

'Numen, pl. numina, is a Latin term for "divinity", or a "divine presence", "divine will." The Latin authors defined it as follows. Cicero writes of a "divine mind" (divina mens), a god "whose numen everything obeys," and a "divine power" (vim divinam) "which pervades the lives of men." It causes the motions and cries of birds during augury. In Virgil's recounting of the blinding of the one-eyed giant, Polyphemus, from the Odyssey, in his Aeneid, he has Odysseus and his men first "ask for the assistance of the great numina" (magna precati numina). Reviewing public opinion of Augustus on the day of his funeral, the historian Tacitus reports that some thought "no honor was left to the gods" when he "established the cult of himself" (se ... coli vellet) "with temples and the effigies of numina" (effigie numinum). Pliny the younger in a letter to Paternus raves about the "power," the "dignity," and "the majesty;" in short, the "numen of history." Lucretius uses the expression numen mentis, or "bidding of the mind," where "bidding" is numen, not, however, the divine numen, unless the mind is to be considered divine (which well may be the case), but as simply human will. Since the early 20th century, numen has sometimes been treated in the history of religion as a pre-animistic phase; that is, a belief system inherited from an earlier time. Numen is also used by sociologists to refer to the idea of magical power residing in an object, particularly when writing about ideas in the western tradition. When used in this sense, numen is nearly synonymous with mana. However, some authors reserve use of mana for ideas about magic from Polynesia and southeast Asia.'
+ Numen - Etymology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numen

'UW–Madison claims more distinct archaeological sites than on any other university campus. The campus contains four clusters of effigy mound located at Observatory Hill, Willow Drive, Picnic Point and Eagle Heights. These sites, reflecting thousands of years of human habitation in the area, have survived to a greater or lesser degree on campus, depending on location and past building activities. Surviving sites are marked and fenced on the campus, ensuring that they are not disturbed. Wisconsin statutes protect effigy mounds by giving them a five-foot buffer zone. The Lakeshore Nature Preserve Committee is endeavoring to “…safeguard beloved cultural landscapes,” through aggressive enforcement of measures for the preservation of such zones and advocating for broader buffers where possible.'
+ University of Wisconsin–Madison: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Wisconsin%E2%80%93Madison

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