Re: The Moon

#31
More news about the girdle!

After finding the Schifanoia Decan (which is the first of Aries, not of March, I must correct myself) I checked Scion's guide to the Decans. I found that the girdle is not accidental. For instance, this is Agrippa's description:
in the first face of Aries, ascendeth the image of a black man, standing and cloathed in a white garment, girdled about, of a great body, with reddish eyes, and great strength, and like one that is angry; and this image signifieth and causeth boldness, fortitude, loftiness and shamelesness;
So I thought, if the girdle is relevant for the Decan, possibly it is also relevant for the Moon: holding the girdle means "notice my girdle, it has a meaning". I checked Ripa's Iconologia and found out that the white girdle is, since the times of ancient Rome, a symbol of Virginity (a moral attribute of Diana).

Thanks for pointing out and discussing this odd detail. I never noticed it and I never thought that it could have been a symbol. Now, as it always happens when I understand something, the meaning seems obvious :)

Marco

Re: The Moon

#32
marco wrote:More news about the girdle!
Here's what Ripa says:
Fig. 316. Verginità: VIRGINITY
A pretty girl cloth'd in white, and crown'd with Gold; her Wast surrounded with a girdle made of white Wool, which in old times Maids wore, called Zona virginea, not to be loosed but by their Husbands on their Wedding-night.
'Notice my girdle' makes complete sense, and if it were made of wool, that would explain its seeming thickness and weight.

Marco, you're a (*) !

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

Re: The Moon

#33
marco wrote: So I thought, if the girdle is relevant for the Decan, possibly it is also relevant for the Moon: holding the girdle means "notice my girdle, it has a meaning". I checked Ripa's Iconologia and found out that the white girdle is, since the times of ancient Rome, a symbol of Virginity (a moral attribute of Diana).
White belt of white wool as symbol of virginity would certainly make sense in relation to moon/diana.


Re: Schifanoia Decan here is a quote from an old post over on AT:


In the Schifanoia image of the first decan of Aries is a bedraggled figure holding the torn end of a rope wrapped round his waist - possibly meant to represent lent.

See first image here:

http://www.tarot.org.il/Decans/

It is under a larger representation of a palio related to the season of Lent; palio races were held as part of the festivals – including as part of the carnival prior to Lent. The loser of the major horse race 'won' a side of pork. A great win to celebrate the end of Lent you may think for who was after all the 'loser'. However the ham was tied round the losers waist and he had to run through the streets home to keep it, and everyone would make a grab for the ham; not only would he end up losing the ham but most if not all of clothes (and dignity) too!

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=40

With date, close to easter, it is perhaps more to the end of lent rather than its beginning. We may relate it to the Moon in that Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday following the full Moon which falls on or after the entry of the Sun into Aries*, of which this image is the first decan.

There is more on the palio in thread here:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?p=966339

SteveM
*i.e., the Vernal Equinox
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: The Moon

#34
OK, a girdle representing chastity. But there has to be more. She has a sad expression on her face, and she has taken the girdle off. She is discarding her chastity, unwillingly. In those days girls were often pressured into marriages before they were. I am of course thinking of Elisabetta Maria Sforza, married at age 13, shortly after her older brother's marriage at 24, when he was the head of both household and state.

But it is not quite like a "girdle," i.e. a belt around the waist. It is too stiff, in an odd shape. It is also like a broken bow. For a devotee of Diana, i.e. chastity, to have a broken bow is like taking off her girdle: it leaves her defenseless. She will soon be violated, with the blessing of the Church. Her brother, commissioning the card with his usual detailed instructions, realizes his sin too late; his sister died in childbirth.

Re: The Moon

#35
mikeh wrote:OK, a girdle representing chastity. But there has to be more. She has a sad expression on her face, and she has taken the girdle off. She is discarding her chastity, unwillingly. In those days girls were often pressured into marriages before they were. I am of course thinking of Elisabetta Maria Sforza, married at age 13, shortly after her older brother's marriage at 24, when he was the head of both household and state.

But it is not quite like a "girdle," i.e. a belt around the waist. It is too stiff, in an odd shape. It is also like a broken bow. For a devotee of Diana, i.e. chastity, to have a broken bow is like taking off her girdle: it leaves her defenseless. She will soon be violated, with the blessing of the Church. Her brother, commissioning the card with his usual detailed instructions, realizes his sin too late; his sister died in childbirth.
Mike, I can't see that she has taken the girdle off. It looks to me as if its two ends are emerging from where it's tied underneath the peplum or overhanging part of her dress. Re. your other points, I can believe it entirely possible that the artist painted it like that to suggest a broken bow for the reasons you mention.



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

Re: The Moon

#36
Yes, I see. I keep forgetting. But isn't it kind of ambiguous? It looks separate from the robe, but then again... I just consulted my wife, and she agrees with you (again, she says). Then why is she so sad? Is she perhaps pregnant? Or is that the way they painted women in those days? I will have to study some 15th century North Italian Virgins, and virgins.

Re: The Moon

#37
mikeh wrote:Yes, I see. I keep forgetting. But isn't it kind of ambiguous? It looks separate from the robe, but then again... I just consulted my wife, and she agrees with you (again, she says). Then why is she so sad? Is she perhaps pregnant? Or is that the way they painted women in those days? I will have to study some 15th century North Italian Virgins, and virgins.
Mike, I agree, it does look somewhat ambiguous, which is why I guess, both Moakley and Kaplan identified it as a broken bow at one time or another). I think Kaplan later revised this opinion to allow other possibilities.

Re. why she's so sad - given the suggested Visconti-Sforza tendency to feature members of the family (both past and present) on the cards, it's possible that this figure could be intended to represent Elizabetta. If it were painted some time after her death it could represent her before marriage and illustrate her regret at the imminent loss of virginity. She was very young, and possibly fearful too. With hindsight, her brother may have felt some guilt at his part in her death and commissioned the Moon card as a memorial to her. Again, just a thought.

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

Re: The Moon

#39
I'd like to get back to the Cary Sheet Moon card--and, eventually, the dog and the wolf. The Cary Sheet Moon card is one of the cards on that sheet in which I see Egyptianate imagery, by which I mean images created during the Renaissance in response to a relatively new demand for Egyptian symbolism.

Image


Does anyone else see two crocodiles sitting next to the lake, from the center of the bank to our right? They are sometimes identified as dogs. But if so, they are the strangest looking dogs I've ever seen. Above, I've enlarged where they are, on the right lower side of my image. They are facing each other, and the one on the right has something small and round in his jaws. I can't tell if the other one has anything or not.

Above the detail with the crocodiles, I've put the claws of the crayfish on the Noblet. If you notice the wavy lines indicating water, you will also notice that there are none in the open space between the pincers of the two largest claws. In the Conver, above the Noblet, there is actually something being held in both, roughly diamond-shaped. If you can't see these objects in the Conver, let me know and I will post the Camoin-Jodorowsky Moon, where they are more obvious.

In the Noblet and Conver, the crayfish, which has nothing in its mouth in the Cary Sheet, has taken over the job formerly done by the crocodiles, that of holding the precious little objects, like diamonds, glistening in the deep. It is the motif of the dragon with the treasure, or the Acts of Thomas' "one pearl,/which is in the middle of the sea/surrounded by the hissing serpent" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymn_of_the_Pearl). The sea is not named, but it is in the vicinity of Egypt.

A few other aspects of the Cary Sheet Moon card look to me Egyptianate. Artificial pools were characteristic of temples; in Italy, there was the example of Trajan's Villa in Tivoli, always a great tourist spot, modeled on what Trajan saw in Egypt. In the background on the card are what might be a Greco-Egyptian temple, Parthenon-ish, and two obelisks (I'm not sure what the giant leaves are at their base), quintessentially Egyptian, as anyone in 15th century Rome would know.

When the crocodiles were later (see below) changed to dogs, or a dog and a wolf, that too is Egyptianate. Clement of Alexandria said:
...And some will have it that by the dogs are meant the tropics, which guard and watch the sun’s passage to the south and north... (Stromata Book V Chapter 6, at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02105.htm).

The idea is that if the sun went any further north in its mid-day course than the Tropic of Cancer, it would make the summer too hot. And if it went any further south than the tropic of Capricorn, the winters would be too cold. Since the sun and the moon take the same course, they serve to guard the courses of both. (And it is possible that both are on this card, in a solar eclipse, during which dogs typically bark.) I get this reference from de Gebelin, always an interesting source of scholarly analysis of the cards (http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/Du_Jeu_D ... I.The_Moon).

Image


If they are not two dogs, but rather a dog and the wolf, from alchemy, that again is Egyptianate, for in the Renaissance Egypt was considered the home of alchemy. What we have, as suggested at the beginning of this thread, is the solar canine of the day and the lunar canine of the night, with the symbolism attaching to the Latin expression "between the wolf and the dog" (as well as to the two colors generally, in this card as elsewhere in the deck). It the same symbolism as the obelisks. Obelisks, as the highest structures, caught the first light of the sun. We are in the time between night and day.

The "Marseille" cards also have what look like drops--some say rays--coming down from the moon. De Geblin says:
Pausanias teaches us in his description of Phocide, that according to the Egyptians, it was the Tears of Isis that flooded each year the waters of the Nile & which thus rendered fertile the lands of Egypt. The tales of this Country also speak about a drop or tear, which falls from the Moon at the time when the waters of the Nile must swell.
Pausanias does indeed speak about the Egyptians' belief that the Nile flood was caused by the "tears of Isis" (Description of Greece 10.32.18, at http://www.theoi.com/Text/Pausanias10C.html).

Pausanias does not speak of the moon, but Plutarch talks of Isis as the moon (Isis and Osiris LI)--and Apuleius associates her with the moon in Lucius's famous night-time vision of Isis in his Golden Ass.

In this connection, Pausanias does not also speak of the "tears of Osiris" in the Sun card. But Plutarch does speak of Osiris as the water swelling in the flood, and Isis the fecundated earth (Isis and Osiris XXXIII-XXXIX). To be sure, the "drops" on the cards could be explained away as moonbeams and sunbeams. But they look like drops.

I have not found a reference to the two towers among Greco-Roman descriptions of Egypt, but that may be just me. De Gebelin says (http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/Du_Jeu_Des_Tarots):

This is similar to the function of the dogs, as de Gebelin says; but I do not see Clement of Alexandria mentioning the Pillars of Hercules It would make sense for them serve to guard against the Sun and Moon going to far one way or the other, after Phaeton's disaster, just like the dogs, but I can't find a specific reference.

De Gebelin also speaks of "two palaces" with guard-dogs. I cannot identify a source for this remark. Earlier, discussing the Maison-Dieu card, he spoke of two statues placed near each other, to winter and summer. That one I found, in his History. Herodotus (http://www.piney.com/Heredotus2.html) speaks of a certain temple complex, including:

Winter and summer do correspond to the sun's movement toward the two Tropics. And the two towers do stand at the gateway to a temple complex in the distance. True, the towers on the card are not statues, nor are there suggestions of offerings. The card-designer has made them into guardhouses. (As such, I have another interpretation of them from a Greco-Roman source, but since it is not Egyptianate I will discuss it in another post.)

I have not found any Greco-Roman source for Egyptian crayfish or lobsters. But again there is an Egyptianate interpretation for those who wanted one. The Latin "cancer" meant both crayfish and crab (http://freepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ ... ateng.html,
([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_(constellation)
), and the Greek "karabos" meant both "crab" and "beetle" (http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/in ... unit/3559/). Beetles are Egyptian, specifically the scarab beetle known--like the crab--for moving backwards. Plutarch Isis and Osiris LXXIV (http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Isis.html) compares it to the sun, which moves opposite to the apparent direction of the stars. Plutarch also describes it as depositing its semen in its dung and rolling it into a ball: this description does not fit a crayfish. But the crayfish is the scarab's northern relative, with common symbolism.

On the one hand, the crayfish is a symbol of rebirth, for like the snake it sheds its outer covering periodically, after which follows a period of extreme vulnerability. There is a persistent belief that molting occurs more often at the full moon. (See, among others, http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... ccvJG5AVZw. Find "full moon." Flornoy reports his own observations of crayfish, apparently confirming this belief, in his book Pelerinage des Bateleur.)

The scarab symbolizes rebirth by its ball of dung, containing its own progeny. Italians would have had the symbolism of rebirth confirmed by the scarab amulets found in Etruscan tombs (1910 Encyclopedia Britannica: article on the scarab by Hugh Chisolm, in Google Books).

On the other hand, the crayfish is the sign of the zodiac corresponding to the moon and also to the first month of the Egyptian calendar. when the inundation of the Nile started, as de Gebelin points out--when the "tears of Isis" reached Egypt. The Dendera zodiac associated not only the crab but the scarab to that time, if we may speculate--here as with several other cards--that by the time of the Cary Sheet images from Dendera had reached Italy (drawings from Desroches-Noblecourt, [/i]Fabuleux Heritage de l'Egypte[/i]).

Image

All in all, the saying "between the dog and the wolf" is reflected in more than just the two animals. July is the time between the dry season and the Nile flood, the pre-dawn of the annual cycle where the first signs appear. The scarab/crayfish's ball is the outward manifestation of new birth. And the crocodile holds in its jaw, or the crayfish its claw, the sun's brilliance itself, still hidden from casual view. (But shown more clearly below, Emblem XLVII of Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens, 1618.)

Image

Re: The Moon

#40
Between Pharos and Pharillon

It was there, beyond the sandbars,
a man made moon in a marble tower
adorned with gods -now 'neath the ocean-
protecting those upon the sea:
adorned with gods long since abandoned
between Pharos and Pharillon.

It was there that hid the sly architect,
hid his name beneath the lime
concealing it beneath the king's...
as the king's name disappeared
Sostratus was revealed.

Ah yes: and he endured... so they say,
but Alexandria left him too:
to lie among the abandoned gods
between Pharos and Pharillon:
there at the center of time we begin
our dive for old gods...and maybe find-
revealed from within- an architect...
or sculptor.
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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron