Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Symbols and talismans Part I heart

The heart was important in many religions.

Human sacrifice was a religious practice characteristic of pre-Columbian Aztec civilization, as well as of other mesoamerican civilizations such as the Maya and the Zapote.

                                                           Kodeks Tudela

 Aztec ritual human sacrifice  of the Codex Magliabechiano..

  Our Lady of Guadalupe Churhc, Calle 69 n53 -Av.6, Venustiano Carranza, Federal District, Mexico

Sacrificial knife, Aztec or Mixtec, Late Postclassic (15th-16th century AD).

We have Egyptian "Weighing of the Heart" The ancient Egyptians believed that, when they died, they would be judged on their behavior during their lifetime before they could be granted a place in the Afterlife. This judgement ceremony was called "Weighing of the Heart" and was recorded in Chapter 125 of the funerary text known as the "Book of the Dead".

 It has been asked why the Egyptians, who had no belief in a material resurrection, took such infinite trouble to preserve the bodies of their dead. They looked forward to a paradise in which eternal life would be the reward of the righteous, and their creed inculcated faith in the existence of a spiritual body to be inhabited by the soul which had ended its earthly pilgrimage; but such beliefs do not explain the care and attention bestowed upon the lifeless corpse. The explanation must be sought in the famous Book of the Dead, representing the convictions which prevailed throughout the whole of the Egyptian civilization from pre-dynastic times. Briefly, the answer to our question is this: there was a Ka or double, in which the Heart-Soul was located; this Ka, equivalent to the astral body of modern occultists, was believed to be able to come into touch with material things through the preserved or mummified body. This theory accords with the axiom that each atom of physical substance has its relative equivalent on the astral plane. It will therefore be understood how, in the ancient religions, the image of a god was regarded as a medium through which his powers could be manifested. "As above, so below"; every living thing possessed some divine attribute.

Weighing of the heart scene, with en:Ammit sitting, from the book of the dead of Hunefer

We have Egyptian heart talismans.

The Heart was believed to be the seat of the Soul, and Illustrations Nos. 67, 68, 69, Plate V, are examples of these Talismans worn to prevent black magicians from bewitching the Soul out of the body. The importance of these charms will be realized from the belief that if the Soul left the Heart, the Body would quickly fade away and die. According to Egyptian lore at the judgment of the dead the Heart is weighed, when if found perfect, it is returned to its owner, who immediately recovers his powers of locomotion and becomes his own master, with strength in his limbs and everlasting felicity in his soul.

The Sacred Heart (also known as Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) is one of the most famous religious devotions to Jesus' physical heart as the representation of His divine love for Humanity.
This devotion is predominantly used in the Catholic Church and among some high-church Anglicans and Lutherans. The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a French Roman Catholic nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a mystical experience. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism.

 Marguerite Marie Alacoque or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (22 July 1647, Verosvres – 17 October 1690) was a French Roman Catholic nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.
She had visions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience and continued to practise austerity. However, in response to a vision of Christ, crucified but alive, that reproached her for forgetfulness of him, claiming his Heart was filled with love for her due to her promise, she entered, when almost 24 years of age, the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial on 25 May 1671, intending to become a nun.

 Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 Engraving of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, according a vision of Marguerite Marie Alacoque, 18th century. Musée du Coeur, MRAH, Jubilee Park, Brussels.

 Devotion picture of the Sacred Heart with adoring Maria Droste zu Vischering und Marguerite Marie Alacoque

 Emblem of the Missioners dels Sagrats Cors, with the Sacred Hearts

  Sacred Heart (of Christ) and Immaculate Heart of Mary, probably early 20th century.

We have an eight pointed star.

 Veneration of the Heart of Mary is analogous to worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 Sagrado Corazón de María, en la iglesia de San Francisco de Asís, en Bilbao

And we have a wheel of fortune again. Click here to read a blog

 Stained glass in Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Grenelle's church, in Paris (Paris XV, France)

And we have a heart and Venus.
 Parz castle ( Upper Austria ). Frescos ( 1580 ) at the facade - Allegory of the planet Venus
 Beham, (Hans) Sebald (1500-1550): Venus, from The Seven Planets with the Signs of the Zodiac, 1539

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1591 version
 Alchemical illustration involving the caduceus. Woodcut from Johann Sternhals Ritter-Krieg, Erfurt.

To view Part II click here