Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#1
This may have been noticed before, aplologies if so. But could there be a connection between the biblical death of Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords? There's a hint of the Hanged Man too.

From 2 Samuel xviii, 1-17
Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
The full text is here: Death of Absalom

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#2
Good point. I've never liked that card and Absalom gives it greater depth for me whether true or not. Not so much for the pain that Absalom felt, but the pain of his actions to David and others. Reminds me of the reverberations of this card, it's not always in your control or because of your actions, and things like envy and manipulation can stab and eat away at your heart and poison your life as sure as a sword.

I recently did a little study of Absalom with the Minchiate deck. It's a dreadful story, isn't it?

I guess I'm not so keen to pin these things down for sure the way the guys are, but I DO like the idea of this association.

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#3
Hi Cadla. The bible is so full of dreadful stories. I'm re-reading The Harlot by the side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch. It's about the forbidden stories in the bible - the difficult ones that have tended to be swept under the carpet. The title makes it sound sensationalist (and probably helped to sell lots of copies), but the treatment is fairly serious although very readable. The author tells the stories in his own words alongside the actual biblical texts, before exploring meanings/misunderstandings based on research into possible origins, authors, translations, additions etc.

It's almost certainly true that one can find or prove anything at all by quoting the bible, and I posted more for interest than with any serious proposal that the image of the heart pierced by three swords originated from the story of Absalom's death, although a heart pieced by three darts/swords seems unusual enough, even though three has always been a magic number. These days I see everything through tarot eyes. But I hadn't seen this connection mentioned anywhere before, so thought it was worth posting.

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#5
Pen wrote: Later still is a heart with seven swords.

Pen
Oh wait, the seven swords and the heart--think this is a Sacred Heart of Mary association. Just let me check my Tarot of the Saints study.....Mary's seven sorrows.

http://woley.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/threes/

There you go on the Three of Swords.
The Harlot by the side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch
I've got to research that one further. I bought myself a NIV study bible last year so I could get the gruesome breakdown on some of these stories in the annotations. But this book sounds interesting. I might try to get an inter-library loan for it.

p.s. on edit: Just ordered it Pen, no doubt thrilling the inter-library loan person yet again. Let's hope they can get it.

p.p.s. I am listening to this song over and over again. Too bad Huck can't hear it--not sure if everyone over there in Europe is locked out of hearing it for copyright reasons or not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKjqrEMzlbA

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#6
cadla wrote:
Pen wrote: Later still is a heart with seven swords.

Pen
Oh wait, the seven swords and the heart--think this is a Sacred Heart of Mary association. Just let me check my Tarot of the Saints study.....Mary's seven sorrows.

http://woley.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/threes/

There you go on the Three of Swords.
Yes, I do know of Mary of the Sorrows, but still thought it worth mentioning - at least they're swords rather than darts, arrows or spears. But I'm sure the number must be more significant than the actual objects. I must try to translate the Latin on that emblem with the three darts.

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#7
Pen wrote:There is a heart pierced with three darts, spears or arrows in this emblem book on page 65 (53 actual numbered page). I must try to translate it when I've a few spare days...

Francisci Ponæ Cardiomorphoseos


Pen
I began to copy out the Latin - this emblem is clearly about the death of Absalom. I'd guess that none of this is new to dedicated tarot historians, but I'm surprised never to have seen it mentioned before.

I can hear the song... (%)
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#8
Pen wrote: I began to copy out the Latin - this emblem is clearly about the death of Absalom. I'd guess that none of this is new to dedicated tarot historians, but I'm surprised never to have seen it mentioned before.

I can hear the song... (%)
Well, it's new to us, this Absalom tie-in. I love this thread Pen, I've honestly always hated that card with the heart and the swords but finally it makes sense and you have provided some much-needed depth to the archetype.

If you don't meander about and discuss things that occur to you, life wouldn't be much fun.

Isn't that song atmospheric? I just love it, but then I always loved plainsong and chanting even when a teenager back in the 1970s.

In case Reece is around, here is my Absalom thing with the Minchiate. I was disappointed with Brian Williams's book that he wrote for his Minchiate, as you can see in this post. Proof that even "experts" are imperfect.

http://woley.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/a ... -centaurs/

I always meant to get a copy of the Sola Busca when it was in-print, but didn't, alas.

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#9
Pen wrote:
Pen wrote:There is a heart pierced with three darts, spears or arrows in this emblem book on page 65 (53 actual numbered page). I must try to translate it when I've a few spare days...

I began to copy out the Latin - this emblem is clearly about the death of Absalom. I'd guess that none of this is new to dedicated tarot historians, but I'm surprised never to have seen it mentioned before.
It is indeed the heart of Absalom 'pierced by three spears' - Unus Non Sufficit Ictus - one stroke is not enough. I haven't the time to parse it all, but I think on glancing through it that it is drawing on the example of Absalon to reflect on the commandment to honour your parents? There is some gouging out ones eyes and being eaten by crows and such...
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Absalom and the Sola Busca Three of Swords

#10
Steve, do you think there could be a connection between Absalom's death and the card? You didn't say, and I'm curious. Interestingly, the swords on the Sola Busca seem to be sheathed, and the Three of Swords with its wreath and fruit (also pierced by the swords) has (to me at least) more an air of celebration or victory than sorrow.

Cadla, the music is wonderful. Hope you enjoy the book when it arrives - we seem to prompt each other to investigate books and cards. I'd love a facsimile of the Sola Busca - I'm not keen on old images redrawn - things get changed and left out - the artist seems to have completely missed the snake on the Queen of Cups (Polisena).

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

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