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Re: VMs: A Possible Interpretation of the Four Figures, one with an Egg

Hi, List

A correction:  The central object has eight lobes, not

I must have just looked at it and multipled three
lobes by four sides.  Clearly, counting by hand is
called for.



--- Pamela Richards <spirlhelix@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> A Suggested Interpretation of the Four Figures and
> the
> Egg
> Greetings to the List
> I have been looking at the circular illustration
> with
> concentric written characters surrounding the four
> figures in the center of the page, one holding an
> egg
> or a similar round or spherical object, which I will
> call an egg for simplicity?s sake and other reasons
> I
> will soon explain.  I have been looking at it to
> find
> ways to relate this illustration to other themes I
> can
> see in the VMs.
> My initial instinct is to try to interpret the four
> figures and the egg in the center of the concentric
> circles of characters, hoping that might shed some
> light on the possible content or intent of the
> written
> text.  First I will describe what I see, then I will
> suggest what I think it might signify.  
> In the center of the illustration is a small circle
> with a dot in the center, surrounded by an irregular
> scalloped cloud or flower-like form with twelve
> lobes.
>  There are four figures arranged in a circle around
> the central cloud or flower-shaped object.   Written
> labels extend from the central cloudlike object to
> the
> figures.  Three of the labels extend to the hand of
> one of the back-facing figures; the label nearest
> the
> figure with the egg, however, exists without
> reference
> to any of the figures.  Other written labels seem to
> be deliberately placed near each of the figures; one
> of the back-facing figures has two labels extending
> from his hands, and one label extending from the
> central cloud.  The figure opposite the one with the
> egg has two labels extending from one hand (I will
> explain why I ascribe this one a feminine gender in
> a
> moment); but it is not clear that both labels
> ?belong?
> to her; one label floating over her head and other
> extending from a back-facing figure may actually
> both
> ?belong? to the back-facing figures..   The figure
> with the egg has only one label which extends from
> his
> general vicinity to the central cloud-flower shape.
> One human-like figure appears primary because of
> several differences between himself and the other
> figures.  He  is holding an egg, so he is the only
> figure holding an object.  He is also pointing to
> and
> looking at the figure directly opposite him, who
> returns his gaze, while receiving to her hand one of
> the labels extending from the cloud-shaped central
> object.   The two figures to his sides have their
> backs to the central figure and to us and look
> outward.  One of the back-facing figures has both
> hands pointing at a different label which seem to
> extend from her hands.  The other back-facing figure
> has two labels near each of its arms and is
> receiving
> to his hand one of the labels extending from the
> central cloud shape.         
> First I counted the labels associated with the
> figures.  I counted eight labels, total.  Then I
> looked back to my research on the number eight in
> the
> Second Bool of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius
> Agrippa
> and found a reference to Orpheus, who called on
> eight
> gods: Sun, Moon, Fire, Water, Earth, Heaven, Night,
> and Phanes.  I wish to thank Jean for introducing me
> to the significance of Phanes on another Voynich
> list,
> although I did not go much further with my research
> at
> that time.  This time, I was even more curious about
> Phanes, since I have rarely come across this name
> before learning about the Voynich Manuscript and
> researching the number eight.  I wish to thank Jorge
> for helping me think along this line; perhaps due to
> his prompting, this association reminds me of the
> 2x2x2 sequence leading up to eight.
> One ancient system of beliefs built upon the idea
> that
> all that exists is created in diads; that for every
> force that exists, there is a masculine and feminine
> component, and that all existence holds together in
> the tension that exists in the urge these diads
> experience to be united.  This is one of the beliefs
> of a certain sect of Gnosticism which subscribes to
> the teachings of Orpheus.
> Phanes, as an Orphic god or demiurge, is a prominent
> character in Gnostic theogony, the story of the
> creation of the gods..  I?m most likely not the only
> one who has come across this fact, and I would be
> happy to read whatever anyone else has written on
> the
> subject of Phanes references in the Voynich Ms to
> date. Here is what I found about Phanes: He was said
> to have created the three worlds, the intellectual,
> celestial, and material out of Chaos, dividing Night
> from himself while simultaneously forming many
> generations of diads of gods from his emanation. 
> Some
> of his other names are: Demiurge, Protogonus, Metis,
> and Ericapeaeus.
> Phanes initiated the creation of the worlds by
> ordering chaos: this action is described as the
> breaking open of an egg.  There are some very
> mystical
> descriptions of this event, but I am sure being the
> earthbound Taurus that I am, that in attempting to
> express it in my own words, I will manage to make
> the
> mystery of the creation of the universe seem as
> numinous as a recipe for cooking an omelette. 
> Therefore I apologize in advance if I make this
> material sound trivial when, if it  is approached
> with
> the proper sense of awe, it is actually fraught with
> deep cosmic, symbolic and spiritual significance.  
> In the instant of creation, ?Orpheus likened Chaos
> to
> an egg? ?Clement, Homilies VIiv671.
> So for a moment let us permit ourselves to imagine
> that the central figure of the four-figure
> illustration can be identified with Phanes and his
> egg, and let us see whether this creation myth is
> able
> to shed any more light on our illustration.  I
> believe
> it was Nick who observed that the egg actually looks
> somewhat more spherical than ovoid.  
> Proclus says in  Euclid, ii.42; Parm., vii.153, and
> in
> his Commentary on the Timææus: iii. 160, 'The
> spherical is most closely allied to the all.. . .
> This
> shape, therefore, is the paternal type of the
> universe, and reveals itself in the occult diacosm
> itself.'
> Which is scholarese for ?The perfection of the
> sphere
> has to do with this whole creation scenario.? 
> Forgive
> my paraphrase.
> Phanes is gesturing toward the figure directly
> opposite him in the circle; it is here his gaze is
> directed.  If we follow his gaze, we find our track
> interrupted by the shape in the exact center of the
> illustration: for a moment, let us call it a dot
> inside a circle inside a cloud.  Does this object
> have
> any possible significance to the Orphic creation
> myth?
>  You know what I?m about to say.  I have the feeling
> it just might.  
> Having cracked the egg open, the eggshells were
> divided in two, becoming the heavens and the earth:
> I
> promise, we will get back to this.   The contents of
> the egg were likewise divided into two, separating
> into a round inner, fertilized mass, surrounded by a
> luminous, opalescent cloud-like mist.  
> Damascius, in Quææst., 380 quoted Orpheus as calling
> the egg  the 'Brilliant Vesture' or the 'Cloud'. 
> It seems possible to me that the flower-cloud object
> in the center of the illustration is actually an
> opened egg; and the echo of the creation myth
> sequence
=== message truncated ===

"I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."

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