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Re: VMs: A Possible Interpretation of the Four Figures, one with an Egg
Eight lobes, eight gods?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pamela Richards" <spirlhelix@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 07 September 2004 18:00
Subject: Re: VMs: A Possible Interpretation of the Four Figures, one with an
> 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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