The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art

Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier - 1452-60 Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia
Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier – 1452-60
Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia

This image is from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet.  It is one image from Fouquet’s paintings of the book of hours. It was commissioned by king Charles VII of France in the 14 Century.

In this image we see the Quaternity. The three white robbed men share a throne and to the left we see the Virgin on a thrown by herself.  The three white-robed men may be seen as representing the Trinity, and the inclusion of the Virgin (divine mother) creates a Quaternity. Notice also that the painting forms a mandala.

Continue reading “The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art”

Advertisements

Durga on a Lion: anima and the tiger

The goddess durga on her lion kills the demon mahishasura, 1880, kalighat school. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
The goddess durga on her lion kills the demon mahishasura, 1880, kalighat school. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

There is a relation between the feminine and big cats. Carl Jung notes the link when he says that the anima “can appear as a … tiger” (CW 9i, para. 358).  In dreams, imagination, and art we find powerful female figures appearing as or with big cats such as pumas, panthers, leopards, and jaguars. The big cats represent feminine power. To confirm this understanding, we turn to the above image of the Hindu Goddess Durga. She appears here with her lion.

Continue reading “Durga on a Lion: anima and the tiger”

Melusine: ‘the anima… can appear as a snake.’

Melusine's secret discovered, from Le Roman de Mélusine, circa 1450- 1500, US Public Domain, Wikimedia.
Melusine’s secret discovered, from Le Roman de Mélusine by Jean d’Arras, ca 1450-1500. Bibliothèque nationale de France. US Public Domain, Wikimedia.

In the above image, we see Melusine, a feminine spirit, half snake and half woman. Carl Jung spoke of her as an anima figure (CW 13, para 180). Like Melusine, ‘the anima… can appear as a snake’ (CW 9i, para 358). In Alchemical Studies, Jung speaks of Melusine:

Continue reading “Melusine: ‘the anima… can appear as a snake.’”

Lingam: the companion of the chthonic mother

Linga and Shiva of Parashurameshvara temple of Gudimallam, Andhra Pradesh, India Shunga 1st century BC sandstone. US public Domain via wikimedia.
Linga and Shiva of Parashurameshvara temple of Gudimallam, Andhra Pradesh, India Shunga 1st century BC sandstone. US public Domain via wikimedia.

In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung notes that “the companion to the chthonic mother is the ithyphallic Hermes or a lingam.” He adds “In India this symbol is of the highest spiritual significance” [1]

Continue reading “Lingam: the companion of the chthonic mother”

Kali Yantra: mandala

Guhyakali (Secret Kali) Yantra ,Madhubani Painting By Dhirendera Jha and Vidya Devi- 2008, Image from Exotic Indian Art with permission.

The yantra above is the Secret Kālī Yantra. Kālī is a Hindu goddess. Kali is the force of time. She holds the power of creation and destruction.  In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kāli in the form of sakti is praised by Shiva. The tantra says:

“At the dissolution of things, it is Kāla [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahākāla [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahākāla Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kālika. Because Thou devourest Kāla, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.”

Continue reading “Kali Yantra: mandala”