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Re: The Moon

Posted: 01 May 2010, 00:00
by mikeh
O Dionysos Phanes, Illuminator of my heights and depths,
Help me to see my divine being within.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 01 May 2010, 07:04
by SteveM
Between judgement, which begins with the fall at the house of God and ends with the resurrection, is Time: signified by the markers of Time, the celestial lights of the Stars, Moon and Sun: with the Moon at the center of Time. The Moon, unlike the Stars (night) and Sun (day) can be seen both during the day and the night at different times in it cycle. "Between the dog and the wolf" refers to the twilight time of day between night and day. This bifurcation of Time in historical terms is the central point from which what went before and what comes after is measured, the between before and after the live of Christ of the Christian calendar, between the before and after of Mohammed in the Islam, the before and after the earthquake between Pharos and Pharillon in the Alexandrian books of Forster; the ever present now between the yesterdays and tomorrow of our personal being in time. In the tarot we have the center of Time between the darkness of the fall of the past to wards the brightness of salvation in the world to come between which we exist in the twilight between the human and divine, trying to distinguish between the dog and the wolf, the good and the bad, God and the Devil.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 01 May 2010, 08:13
by mikeh
Food for thought--and amplification, in due time, I hope. Thanks, in your poem, for steering us to Forster. I spent some of the evening reading the one about Pharos, on the Internet. Delightful. Even the Dioscuri, the "savior gods," are there. I'm not finished yet.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 03 May 2010, 06:59
by mikeh
SteveM: Reading Forster, I was also struck by Cavafy, and how Forster's prose seemed to in part be an extension of his verses, with British irony thrown in. Your poems remind me of Cavafy, too.

When you say "judgement," in your last post, do you have in mind a particular event or group of events--the eating of the fruit, the tower of Babel, the lightning-struck tower in Dante's Inferno, etc.? By "resurrection," do you mean a particular event or group of events--i.e. Christ on the third day after the crucifixion, or the appearance of the Lamb at the Last Coming, or the resurrecton of the dead at the Last Coming, etc.? I see Time as occuring between the Fall and the New Jerusalem. Is that what you mean?

Re: The Moon

Posted: 03 May 2010, 07:12
by SteveM
mikeh wrote:SteveM: Reading Forster, I was also struck by Cavafy, and how Forster's prose seemed to in part be an extension of his verses, with British irony thrown in. Your poems remind me of Cavafy, too.
In "Between Pharos and Pharillon" I deliberately included some structural devises common to Cavafy's poetry.
mikeh wrote: When you say "judgement," in your last post, do you have in mind a particular event or group of events--
I have in mind the bible, 'judgement begins with the House of God', it says: there are numerous way that can be interpreted, in the immediate literal and allegorical context of its setting, in terms of Christian typology as being allied to biblical events (many, not just one, a group of events as prefigurements one of the other back to the fall), to the history of the Chrisian faith, to apocalyptic traditions (in which the Pope is identified with the anti-Christ for example) or as social commentary...

So between the House of God (Maison Dieu) where 'judgement begins' and the final judgement we have 'time' as signified by the celestial lights. So, in the Tarot de Marseille ordering, we have the symmetry in the top row of seven cards between the fall (XV) and restoration (XXI), the beginning and end of Judgement (XVI and XX), and time running from night (XVI) to day (XIX) via 'twilight (XVIII) in a triumph of light from the darkness of the fall to the light of the world to come, reflecting the providential hand of God through history leading man back from fall to salvation.

I see 'time' as connected with death, which triumphs with the fall (which brings death into the world) and is triumphed over by the resurrection (of Christ, and of humanity through Christ at the final judgement). So the beginning and end of judgment also represents the beginning and end of death/time (between which we find the celestial markers of time). This can also be seen reflected in the sixth column (of the cards, Tarot de Marseille, laid out in a 3x7 grid), with death triumphing over cupiditas in the figure of the lover with cupid below, and caritas triumphing over death, in the form of the final judgment above - the final judgment being connected with Caritas in Augustinian theology.

(Similarly we may note that the deceiver of an Ephesian juggler old Adam is below the great deceiver the Devil above, they are lovers of this world of vain trifles and mutable things and the prince thereof; the Popesse _ which we may interpret as an allegorical representation of the Church or Faith, is below another card representative of the Chuch or congregation of the faithful, the House of God; the empress, wife and mother of king of kings is below the star, sign for the birth of the king of kings: the light of the world emperor is beneath the light of the world the moon with which he is identified in the medieval two lights theory, as the Pope is below that of the Sun with which he is identified; cupiditas is below caritas; and the chariot of 'the little world' is below the greater world above (which also bears the four holy animals that are not only symbols of the four apostles but of the Chariot in Ezekial's vision), or the triumphal prince as groom is below his bride, the City Jerusalem represented by a maid (as was common in triumphal entries of the king into the city). This relates to my 'crackpot theory' that the triumphal prince completes a rank of seven cards that mirror the Augustinian concept of citizenship of the two cities as dependent upon the object of one's love, not one's position in society. Thus we move from old Adam in the figure of the juggler, to the Adam new apparelled through Christ in the triumphant prince aboard the chariot, from a lover of vain trifles, of the passing to a lover of the eternal. From perfect love arises the virtues by which one triumphs over the viscitudes of life towards the perfection of the soul, thus the middle rank of seven cards defined by a virtue beginning, middle and end. We begin with Justice and end with Temperance on the second rank because in Christian terms of progression Justice represents the old covenant of Law of the old testament, as that of temperance represents the covenant of Love of the new testament. Also the law is for the unrighteous (1Tim 1:9-11) and the card in the vertical lies between the unrighteous, the devil and old Adam: and the law is fulfilled when we love (Rom 13:8-10;Gal 5:14 and the seemingly antinomian precept of Augustine to 'love God and do what thou will") and the cup-bearer lies between the prince and maid, the groom and bride, the triumphant citizen and the city of God as a symbol of their marriage ~ as in the first miracle of Christ, the miracle at Cana, when Christ turns water into wine for the wedding festival. In decks in which the figure is rather an 'ecce homme' behold the Man (ie, New Adam) figure(which I think is probably a later variation), then the charioteer may be seen as a man of virtue, having taken on the apparel of the New Adam above him, as the juggler is a man of vice, in whom the 'seed' of the devil above him is perpetuated.)

Re: The Moon

Posted: 04 May 2010, 07:41
by mikeh
Thanks Steve. I think I understood your first three paragraphs, which answered my question. And now I have some idea about the rest. Now for something completely different.

I am ready to talk in more detail about the two towers on the Moon card, in terms familiar to the humanists of the 15th-17th centuries, that is, the people who were inspired by the Greco-Roman classics as well as by the Church Fathers. I have two interpretations, one in terms of Porphyry, the other in terms of Plutarch; but they build on each other and both are needed.

My first text, by the third century philosopher Porphyry (student of the Alexandrian Plotinus), is his Commentary on the Cave of the Nymphs in Book XIII of the Odyssey. Andrea Vitali, in his essays on the tarot, applies this text to the Star card (, starting with the Cary Sheet. Porphyry is writing about Homer's image of a cave with two portals in it that are passageways to other realms. Since there are no portals on the Star card (just water gliding aimlessly in the cave), I think this text applies better to the Moon card, with its towers and guard-dogs.

Vitali observes that Porphyry's Commentary, printed in 1518, was already well known from the praise given it by Pico della Mirandola in his famous Oration of 1487, Politian's praise of Porphyry's other work, and Ficino's championing of him and the other pagan Neoplatonists. Here is the relevant verse from the Odyssey:
Perpetual waters through the grotto glide,
A lofty gate unfolds on either side;
That to the north is pervious to mankind:
The sacred south t'immortals is consign'd.
( ... lation.htm)
One gate leads up, for immortals, and one leads down, for mortal humanity. But why north and south? In Porphyry's view they are like the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn:
..there are two extremities in the heavens, viz., the winter tropic, than which nothing is more southern, and the summer tropic, than which nothing is more northern. But the summer tropic is in Cancer, and the winter tropic in Capricorn. And since Cancer is nearest to us, it is very properly attributed to the Moon, which is the nearest of all the heavenly bodies to the earth. But as the southern pole by its great distance is invisible to us, hence Capricorn is attributed to Saturn, the highest and most remote of all the planets. Again, the signs from Cancer to Capricorn are situated in the following order: and the first of these is Leo, which is the house of the Sun; afterwards Virgo, which is the house of Mercury; Libra, the house of Venus; Scorpio, of Mars; Sagittarius, of Jupiter; and Capricorn, of Saturn. But from Capricorn in an inverse order Aquarius is attributed to Saturn; Pisces to Jupiter; Aries to Mars; Taurus to Venus; Gemini to Mercury; and in the last place Cancer to the Moon.
Let me interrupt here. Porphyry is not talking about the Tropics that we know, invisible lines on the earth's surface, but about places in the sky, its north and south poles. When he says that Capricorn is the southernmost point, he means, I think, the southernmost point attained by the sun in its yearly movement north and south in the sky. For earlier in the essay he said, speaking of Homer
He likewise elsewhere speaks of the gates of the Sun, signifying by these Cancer and Capricorn, for the Sun proceeds as far as to these signs, when he descends from the north to the south, and from thence ascends again to the northern parts. But Capricorn and Cancer are situated about the galaxy, |33 being allotted the extremities of this circle; Cancer indeed the northern, but Capricorn the southern extremity of it.
What is important for our purposes is that the gate for mortals, Cancer, is associated with the lowest of the planetary wanderers, the Moon, and the the one for immortals, Capricorn, is associated with the highest, Saturn.

Porphyry continues:
Theologists therefore assert, that these two gates are Cancer and Capricorn; but Plato calls them entrances. And of these, theologists say, that Cancer is the gate through which souls descend; but Capricorn that through which they ascend. Cancer is indeed northern, and adapted to descent; but Capricorn is southern, and adapted to ascent. The northern parts, likewise, pertain to souls descending into generation. And the gates of the cavern which are turned to the north are rightly said to be pervious to the descent of men; but the southern gates are not the avenues of the Gods, but of souls ascending to the Gods. On this account, the poet does not say that they are the avenues of the Gods, but of immortals; this appellation being also common to our souls, which are per se, or essentially, immortal.
On the Moon card we have two guard-houses, one for each Tropic; and we know from Clement of Alexandria's account of pagan beliefs that each has a dog. I quoted him in an earlier post: here it is again, from Stromata Book V Chapter 6, at

We also know, from Virgil, Dante and other sources, that otherworldly gates have guards. The gate to Hades is guarded by the three-headed dog Cerburus (Aeneid 6, 417, at Dante's gate to Hell is no less imposing, with its "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here." The gate to Purgatory is guarded by an angel with two keys, gold and silver (Purgatorio Canto IX); these are the solar and lunar colors, corresponding to the dawn-red and night-silver of the canines on the card. So each guardhouse on the card controls an entrance, one to a new incarnation and the other to Heaven.

But where, in Porphyry's essay, are the guard-houses themselves? The scene on the Moon card does not look much like Porphyry's cave. Perhaps we may draw on earlier traditions. In Plato's myth of Er, instead of a gate leading to the earth, there was the River Lethe, which is where souls in Hades come before they return for a new incarnation. Plato says nothing about another such body of water, such as the lake or pond on our card; but perhaps one may be inferred from the Orphic Hymn to Mnemosyne:

Mnemosyne here is a goddess, but in Pausanias (Description of Greece 9.39.9, at "Mnemosyne" is the name of a spring, the spring of Memory, to be drunk from after drinking from another spring called Lethe, the spring of Forgetting. These might be the two waters on the Star card. If so, the two guardhouses on the Moon card would be beyond them, for souls taking one way or the other. Perhaps the spring of Memory empties into the lake where the crayfish is, and the diamonds in its claws ares what we must find in our own unconscious selves, a process Plato, and Freud after him, called anemnesis, the recovery of what we have forgotten. For Freud it was the recovery of personal memories, often traumatic, from the time before we had speech. For Plato it was memories from a time before that, before our descent into matter at all.

It is still not clear where the scene on the card is, and why the card focuses on the Moon, i.e. Cancer, rather than Saturn, i.e. Capricorn. For further clarification I turn to an essay by Plutarch, first century. Since Plutarch was before Porphyry, perhaps Porphyry had it in mind as a background familiar to his readers.

Plutarch's essay is Concerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon section 29, ( ... on*/D.html). His argument starts at line 330. Just before, he has been discussing the three parts of the soul, body, soul, and mind. For "mind" he uses the Greek word "nous," which in his time meant something more than our understanding of "mind"; it was the governing principle not only of human beings but of the whole universe. The beginning of what I am going to quote has been cited before in relation to the Moon card, by Jean-Michel David in his on-line course on the Noblet, but I am following out the rest of Plutarch's argument and making a different point. Here is Plutarch:

Plutarch is concerned with what happens to the soul and mind after the death of the body, and especially with the the second death--which is also a birth.
334 While the goddess here335 dissociates the soul from the body swiftly and violently, Phersephonê gently and by slow degrees detaches the mind from the soul and has therefore been called "single-born" because the best part of man is "born single" when separated off by her.336 Each of the two separations naturally occurs in this p201fashion: All soul, whether without mind or with it,337 when it has issued from the body338 is destined to wander in the region between earth and moon but not for an equal time. Unjust and licentious souls pay penalties for their offences; but the good souls must in the gentlest part of the air, which they call "the meads of Hades,"339 pass a certain set time sufficient to purge and blow away the pollutions contracted from the body as from an evil odour.340 Then, as if brought home from banishment abroad, they savour joy most like that of initiates, which attended by glad expectation is mingled with confusion p203and excitement.341

At the uppermost boundary of this Hades, which Plutarch locates between the earth and the moon, is the moon itself. My thought is that the scene on the card might from this perspective be on the surface of the moon, where the better souls rise, enjoying a life comparable to that of the initiates. Yet the moon also has its place of punishment, he goes on to explain, in a great valley, and moreover the moon has two sides, separated by mountains. When we see what looks like a face on the moon, actually we are seeing mountains and valleys, he says. And between mountain ranges are the "Gates," a word we recognize from Porphyry. Here is Plutarch again:

Why two Gates? Plutarch says that spirits there go in both directions. One is for spirits going to the side facing the earth, the other for those going to the side facing heaven. So far it is like Porphyry. But Plutarch is not talking about mortals in general, just mortals of the better sort, and about passages on the moon itself. But even spirits on the moon do not remain there, but return to the earth, disembodied, where they tend oracles and such:

By "flashing forth as savior a manifest in war and on the sea," according to the translator, Plutarch means the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, whom he sees as spirits descending from the moon. Part of the Dioscuri legend was that they would suddenly appear in the middle of a battle helping the righteous side, or as guides to sailors.

If we may combine Plutarch and Porphyry, perhaps we could say that one gate not only allows spirits to go to the earth-side of the moon, but also to return to the earth itself. So let us look now at the second gate. That one allows souls properly qualified to enter the "Elysian plain." What happens on that other side, the side facing heaven? The spirits there must, at some point, be the ones that returned to the earth, because Plutarch says of those spirits who come to earth as saviors or oracle-tenders that eventually they stop working miracles on earth, because they have achieved the second death. Speaking of the numerous places dedicated to these spirits, he says of them:

The places where spirits work wonders after a time cease their magic; so says this priest of Apollo, Plutarch. The reason is that they have attained their goal, through the mystery of communion with the sun: the separation of mind from soul, as I think we see in the next card in the tarot sequence as well. Plutarch does not say much about this process, other than that the soul faces "heaven" and especially the sun. Perhaps it is not only the sun, but the five other planets as well. Only when--as I may fill in his account using Porphyry--it has successfully attained to Saturn is it ready to join the immortals.

The process does not end there. The Sun takes its own back, a second death, this one of the soul,and also a third birth, assisted by Persephone,this time of mind alone, on the sun. Then soul remains alone on the Moon and is absorbed into it, just as the body is by the earth. But the result does not occur immediately. He cites Homer: Odysseus saw the shade of Heracles in Hades, although Heracles himself, his essence as mind, was with the immortals. Sometimes, Plutarch says, a mindless soul of an irascible nature manages to get through Hades (the space between the earth and the moon) before it is absorbed. The result is destructive creatures like Typhon and the Python, Plutarch says. But at last the soul-substance is dissolved. Then the Sun sows mind in the Moon and she produces new souls, which descend into new bodies.

Plutarch at the end brings in the Fates:

Atropos, the one who cuts the thread, for Plutarch is the one associated with the Sun and generation. For while in being taken back by the sun the soul dies in bliss, pure mind is born in the sun, and the sun generates new souls in the womb of the moon. Clotho, the one who spins the yarn, the stuff of soul, is associated with the Moon, the place of soul-substance. Finally, Lachesis, the one who measures the thread that determines the length of life, is for Plutarch the fate associated with the earth, for "she has the largest share in chance."

The early tarot cards, such as the "Charles VI" and "Beaux-Arts-Rothschild," had it differently: Clotho was on the Sun card, perhaps, among other things, by virtue of such verses as Ecclesiastes 1:3: "What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?" But the Vieville of 1650 fits Plutarch's text.


To sum up: The towers are the gates of Cancer and Capricorn, leading downward to a new incarnation on earth, and upwards into immortal realms. They are on the Moon because it is there that souls move back and forth between its two sides, the earth-facing and the heaven-facing, and down to the earth and up toward heaven. In front of the guardhouses is the Lake of Mnemosyne, which before passing to the heaven-facing side the soul must probe to its depths even into Hades itself if necessary, past forgotten trauma to one's inner purity of spirit. In the crayfish's claws are the clear spiritual equivalents of Dante's gold and silver keys on the level of soul. On the other side of the guardhouses is the Temple of the Sun, flanked by its two obelisks, in which blessed minds barely attached to souls sing hymns to the sun. And while backsliding down to a new incarnation on earth is always possible, these minds active in contemplation will someday separate from the soul completely.

Or such is one interpretation, as derived from classical sources much studied in the 15th-17th centuries.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 04 May 2010, 08:06
by SteveM
The gates of the universe are also discussed a little in thread here:


There is also mention there of the House of God as beginning of Judgement and its relation with the arrow (an alternative name of this card), also some more on Gemini.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 04 May 2010, 08:39
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
mikeh wrote: Plutarch at the end brings in the Fates:
Of the three Fates too Atropos enthroned in the sun initiates generation, Clotho in motion on the moon mingles and binds together, and finally upon the earth Lachesis too puts her hand to the task, she who has the largest share in chance.

Atropos, the one who cuts the thread, for Plutarch is the one associated with the Sun and generation. For while in being taken back by the sun the soul dies in bliss, pure mind is born in the sun, and the sun generates new souls in the womb of the moon. Clotho, the one who spins the yarn, the stuff of soul, is associated with the Moon, the place of soul-substance. Finally, Lachesis, the one who measures the thread that determines the length of life, is for Plutarch the fate associated with the earth, for "she has the largest share in chance."

The early tarot cards, such as the "Charles VI" and "Beaux-Arts-Rothschild," had it differently: Clotho was on the Sun card, perhaps, among other things, by virtue of such verses as Ecclesiastes 1:3: "What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?" But the Vieville of 1650 fits Plutarch's text.
A couple of years ago Michael Hurst sent me a different scheme from Plutarch, where Clotho is the Sun and Atropos is the Moon -

Me -
Today I have spent some time trying to figure out how a woman with a distaff could be thought an appropriate vignette to illustrate the Sun. I learned someting from Lacroix and Kastner, that "la Parque" is a collective term for the three Fates. This reminded me that the person who discusses the Sun card in Berti and Vitali's 1987 book used the term "la Parca" for the spinster in the card. So a century and a half ago somebody also saw Clotho (standing for all three) in that card. The dictionary says that "la Parca" is also a term for "death", and if you check images under "la parca" you get mostly the Grim Reaper.

But that doesn't answer the question - why would the Fates illustrate the Sun? Diogenes and Alexander brings to mind the punchline of the Sun immediately. Why the two children in the Tarot de Marseille? And for some of the other vignettes on the Star, Moon and Sun...

Anyway, I have come up with four possible subjects, which might be recognizable to an early 15th century audience, given what I know so far -

Eve (helps explain the two children, if boys - but still doesn't explain why relevant to the Sun - unless "toil under the blazing sun" is implied)
Mary (unconvcing, since she might too sacred a subject, and there is no Annunciation indication - so it's far-fetched)
Clotho (seems to be favored by generations, but still I don't understand why it would be a way to illustrate the Sun)
A woman spinning = woman's work (thus back to the "toil under the blazing sun" notion... but it seems a bit ad hoc)
Michael -
Apparently Plutarch says, "Atropos is situated in the invisible, Clotho in the sun, and Lachesis in the moon."
Me -
I got a good Bible quote for it - Proverbs 31:19 "She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hand holds the distaff." Since it is the last chapter, there might be a tradition of illuminating Proverbs with an image of such a woman (the whole last section is about the qualities of a righteous woman, who is worth more than anything in the world). So, it might tie in with the next book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, which starts off about vanity and everything being the same under the Sun. I'm guessing about some such kind of association, but I haven't found any illumations yet. I haven't seen much really, to tell the truth.
"A couple more quotes re Clotho in Plutarch (De genio Socratis 591B)
According to plutarch, if the air between the earh and the moon were to be removed and withdrawn, the unity and connection of the universe would be broken up since there would be an empty and unbound space in the middle. Similarly, there are said to be four principles of all things, the principles of life, motion, generation, and decay which are bound together at the various levels of the cosmos. The monad at the invisible (the outer rim of the celestial sphere) binds the first principle together with the second, the second in turn is bound together with the third by the demiurgic mind at the sun, while the third is bound together with the fourth by nature at the moon. These bonds are taken charge of by Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis respectively, the goddess of fate and daughters of necesity.
Cosmic Christology in Paul and the Pauline School
Geurt Hendrik van Kooten, George H. van Kooten

Hellenistic Astrology
With the emphasis of the irrational soul and the mixture of forces in the sublunary realm, Plutarch's cosmology allows for the possibility of astrology. Plutarch also posits four principles (arkhê) in the cosmos, Life, Motion, Generation and Decay (De genio Socratis, 591b). Life is linked to Motion through the activity of the Invisible, through the Monad; Motion is linked to Generation through the Mind (Nous); and Generation is linked to Decay through the Soul. The three Fates (Moirai) are also linked to this cycle as Clotho seated in the Sun presided over the first process, Atropo, seated in the Moon, over the second, and Lachesis over the third on Earth (cf. De facie in orbe lunae, 945c-d). At death the soul of a person leaves the body and goes to Moon, the mind leaves the soul and goes to Sun. The reverse process happens at birth. Plutarch is not rigid with his use of planetary symbolism, for in another place, he associates the Sun with the demiurge, and the young gods with the Moon, emphasizing the rational and irrational souls.
In De Genio Socratis, 591B Atropos is situated in the invisible, Clotho in the sun, and Lachesis in the moon. The order there is the same as it is here and different from that in the De Fato (568E), where in interpretation of Republic, 617C Clotho is highest, Lachesis lowest, and Atropos intermediate. Both orders differ from that of Xenocrates (frag. 5 [Heinze]), which was Atropos (intelligible and supra-celestial), Lachesis (opinable and celestial), Clotho (sensible and sublunar). The order of De Facie and De Genio Socratis is that of Plato's Laws, 960C, where Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos are named in ascending order as the epithet of Atropos, Τρίτη σώτειρα, shows; here in the De Facie it is the passage of the Republic, however, that Plutarch has in mind, for his συνεφάπτεται is an echo of Plato's ἐφαπτομένην and ἐφάπτεσθαι there. Cf. H. Dörrie, Hermes, LXXXII (1954), pp331‑342 (especially pp337‑339), who discusses the relation of these passages to the pre-history of the Neoplatonic doctrine of hypostases and argues that in writing them Plutarch was inspired by Xenocrates.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 04 May 2010, 09:21
by SteveM
For sake of completeness one may as well mention as well that along with eve, mary, clotho the image of a woman weaving, spinning et al, was used to represent the 'active life' as distinct from the 'contemplative life' and can be found used to represent such on cathedrals and churchs, however usually also with an image to indicate the 'contemplative' life such as a woman with a book for example, the active life being represented on one side of a porch for example and the contemplative on the other.

Re: The Moon

Posted: 04 May 2010, 11:10
by mmfilesi
Excellent posts! Thank you very much everybody. Great. (*)

The scheme Fates - Doors - up and down souls that is present in many texts from antiquity. More than Porfirio, I think it is important the influence of Macrobius, above all, the Commentary to the Dream of Scipio (rather than the Saturnalia).

The first translation of the Republic is 1403, by Decembrio father.

Tower doors, however, in this case, I dont think they are the leading of the eighth to the ninth sphere, says Vitali, but those between the sublunary world and the world supralunar.