May 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Parsifal (Perceval, Percival) of Chrétien de Troyes, becomes a red knight after defeating the Red Knight. On one of his early travels, Parsifal meets a knight in red armour; the knight is riding on a black horse with trappings and furniture in red. He fights the Red Knight and kills him, taking over his horse and his armour.
A Red Knight is the knight who has mastered the steed and defeated the monster. He is clothed in red garments, because he has come through war and sacrifice, sublimated through every possible trial, now deserving of ultimate transmutation (gold).
May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
“The dark grove at the heart of the forest witnessed extremes of desire and violence.” (Christopher Wood)
Lancelot du Lac (Robert Bresson, 1974)
April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
The general symbolism of precious stones, jewels and gems, is that they signify the spirit, and spiritual truths. The treasures and the riches that they stand for symbolize moral and intellectual knowledge. Hidden gems are symbols of superior knowledge; treasures in a dark cave signify intuitive knowledge that can be found within the vast darkness of the unconscious. In myth, these treasures are often guarded by a dragon or a serpent.
Crystals. The state of transparency of crystals, is a conjunction of two opposites: it is matter that exists as though it did not exist (since one can see through it). Its transparency offers no hardness or resistance to contemplation. Pliny writes that crystal is a kind of ice, because it “is only to be found in places where the winter snow freezes with the greatest intensity”. This is why, he says, in Greek its name is derived from the word for “cold” (κρύσταλλος, from κρύος). Rain-water and pure snow are absolutely necessary for its formation, he adds (book 37, chapter 9). Pliny also describes how crystal can be used in medicine, saying that the best method of cautery for the human body is a ball of crystal, acted upon by the rays of the sun.
Diamonds. The diamond is a symbol of light and brilliance; it often signifies the mystic Centre. Cirlot says that the word diamond is derived from the Sanskrit’s dyu, which means “luminous being”. Diamond, is usually traced to the word adamantine wich is derived from the greek word adamas, meaning “unbreakable”, “unconquerable”. In Natural History by Pliny, adamas is described as the substance that possesses the greatest value of all human possessions. Pliny writes that its hardness is beyond all expression and that it also is incapable of being heated, and can block the effect of a magnet. It is because of these indomitable powers it has received the name adamas in Greek. But Pliny also says that the stone’s power might be yielded if the stone is steeped in the fresh (and warm) blood of a he-goat, and subjected to repeated blows. But even then, it might break both anvils and hammers of iron. Pliny says that adamas overcomes and neutralizes poisons, dispels delirium, and that it can cure depression and prevent suicide. (book 37, chapter 15).
Other keywords: subterranean astronomy
April 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Blood is symbolic of sacrifice; spilt blood, in particular, because of its function as an indexical sign of a sacrifice having taken place. Liquid substances, like milk, honey and wine, that were offered to spirits and gods in antiquity, are all images of blood as well – substitutes of the sacrificial blood, which was the most precious thing that could be offered.
Sacrifice is linked to the concept of inversion, which is the principle that everything can be transmuted into its opposite – for example illness turned into health, defeat into victory, poverty into luxury, etc.
When a potentiality for inversion appears, symbolized by a cross-roads (X), the sacrifice can be made. After this the process of inversion and transmutation takes place. The spiritual energy that is gained from the sacrifice is thought to be proportional to the importance of what is lost (i.e. how great the sacrifice is).
January 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
Closing wounds with fire; An old treatment of wounds is the method of burning. Applying white-hot iron, cauters, to the arteries and to tissue of the body in order to make the bleeding stop, and to close the wound. It is a way to stop severe blood-loss, like the heavy bleeding that occurs during amputation. There is still the risk of infection, however. Infections can’t be treated through cauterization, and could eventually lead to a feverishly painful death.
Other keywords: electrocautery, chemical cautery, bloodless knife, branding
November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
Recently, I spotted a fox in the wild. It was moving forward; creeping (creeping – but quickly), with its body pressed close to the ground, near a ditch next to a field. It was moving in a way that informed me that it had caught sight of a prey it now was stalking. A couple of days later, I spotted another fox near a glade next to the road. I have never seen foxes in the wild before. But I have dreamt about them.
Further up the hill, a fox was playing in the snow. The fox, strong and sturdy, was jumping up in the air and diving down; as if he was attacking a prey, or toying with something. I tried to move closer, wanting to see the fox up close, but the fox just moved further away from me. I could now see that he was playing with a dead magpie; its feathers were all torn, and sticky and wet from melted snow and its own blood.