Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Symbols, talismans, caduceus, Mano Pantea, spider, lizard.

Let’s look again at Etruscan, Greek, and Roman talismans. To view a pine cone blog click here  and here
I haven’t noticed that a caduceus has a pine cone located on the top. I have noticed the pine cone on many sculptures of caduceus but not on a talisman.
To view caduceus click here
A talisman (from Arabic طلسم Tilasm, ultimately from Greek telesma or from the Greek word "telein" which means "to initiate into the mysteries") is an amulet or other object considered to possess supernatural or magical powers.
Let’s start with the caduceus.
The Gnostics had great faith in the efficacy of sacred names and sigils when engraved on stones as Talismans; also in magical symbols derived principally from the Cabala.

The origin of Talismans and Amulets is lost in the obscurity of the ages, In the writing of the philosophers and Alchemists of the Middle Ages directions are given that these Talismans should be made, or commenced, under favorable aspects, so that the Work may receive the vitalizing rays proceeding from the planet represented.

From The Evil Eye, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy
The Caduceus, The Wand Of Mercury (Illustration No. 105, Plate VIII), was considered an extremely efficient Talisman, being worn to render its possessor wise and persuasive, to attract Health and Youthfulness, as well as to protect from the Evil Eye.
In its composition the Pine Cone, which surmounts the staff, was credited with great health-giving powers; is a symbol of Apollo, or the Sun; the wings are emblematic of the flight of thoughts in the minds of men, the two serpents in amity signifying love prototypes of Aescu-lapius and Hygiea who influence the health-giving attributes of the Sun and Moon respectively, both deities being associated with serpents because by their aid maladies are sloughed off and vigour renewed, just as serpents were believed to renew their lives each year by casting their skins.
According to the author, pine cone is a symbol of Apollo or the Sun. It is another explanation and different explanation than of Joseph Campbell. It is really a symbol of Apollo?
He was depicted as a handsome, beardless youth with long hair and various attributes including:--a wreath and branch of laurel; bow and quiver; raven; and lyre.
Apollo was depicted with a snake. 
                          Apollo rests his arm on a pillar coiled with a snake. Louvre.
                      Apollo Belvedere statue in Museo Pio-Clementino.

I have found only found a pine cone and Apollo at: Apollo, Poetry and Music by Aimé Millet (ca. 1860–1869), viewed from the boulevard de l'Opéra. Roof of the Palais Garnier, Paris.

In the British Museum may be seen a life-sized hand in bronze in the form assumed in the Benediction of the Christian Church, the third and fourth fingers being closed, with thumb and first two fingers extended; this form has its efficacy as a Talisman against the Evil Eye increased by numerous other symbols (already dealt with), a pine cone being balanced on the finger-tips, a serpent running along the whole length of the back of the hand and towering above the third finger; and, amongst others, the Asp, Lizard, Caduceus, Frog, and Scales may be seen, all probably connected with the worship of Isis and Serapis. This form, known as Mano Pantea, and the life-sized hands were kept in the house as Talismans to protect it against every evil influence of magic and of the Evil Eye, whilst small replicas were worn as Amulets for personal protection.
Mano Pantea

We have seen a bronze hand used in the worship of Sabazios (British Museum). Roman 1st-2nd century CE.

The Lizard And The Tortoise were symbols of Mercury, and the Caduceus is frequently depicted placed between them on ancient Talismans. The Lizard is also to be found engraved on many of the old Roman rings, and was used as charm against weak eyesight, the brilliant green of its body, like the Emerald, causing it to be held in high esteem, both spiritually and physically.
Apollo rests his arm on a pillar with a lizard. Date: C1st - C2nd AD, Louvre
The Spider, like the Lizard, was sacred to Mercury and was considered a most fortunate symbol engraved on precious stones, its remarkable quickness of sight recommending it as a Talisman for shrewdness in business matters and foresight generally; and according to an old writer, prognostications were made from the manner of weaving spiders' webs, and it was deemed a sign that a man would receive money if a little spider fell upon his clothes.
Let’s look at spider structure by Louise Joséphine Bourgeois.
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (French pronunciation: 25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010), was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman.
                                               Spider. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

                                                     Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa

  Cast of the bronze spider sculpture "Maman" by Louise Bourgeois, Bundesplatz, Bern, Switzerland. In the background, the Swiss Parliament Building.

Let’s look at other talismans.
We have Anubis talisman. (# 107)

Anubis is symbolized as a Jackal-headed god who, in the Egyptian religion, is depicted in the Judgment as weighing the souls of the dead; he is the Guardian of Souls in the under-world.
Another mystery is  resolved as we have seen a big statue of Anubis. Nice connection: Anubis- Hermanubis, caduceus……..a pine cone and  Baphomet.

The big statue, 26 tons of jackal-headed deity, will spend the winter in Landmark Plaza, next to Landmark Center and Rice Park. The statue also was displayed before the exhibit's opening in Atlanta, New York City, London, Toronto and Vienna.