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CURL (OR LOOP)
The theory of 'correspondences' is basic to symbolist tradition. The implications and scope of this theory are beyond measure, and any valid study into the ultimate nature of the universe must take it into account. But here we can give little more than a brief idea of its scope, with some particular instances. It is founded upon the assumption that all cosmic phenomena are limited and serial and that they appear as scales or series on separate planes; but this condition is neither chaotic nor neutral, for the components of one series are linked with those of another in their essence and in their ultimate significance.
It is possible to marshal correspondences by forcing the components of any given scale or scales into a common numerical pattern: for example, it is not difficult to adapt the colour-scale from seven to eight colours, should one wish to equate it with the scale of temperaments laid down by modern character-study, or, for that matter, to reduce it from seven to six colours for some other comparable reason. But it is always preferable to make sure of the correspondences which exist (apparently) only in part between different patterns, rather than to force them into unnatural moulds.
The attributes of the ancient gods were really nothing less than unformulated correspondences: Venus, for example, was felt to correspond with the rose, the shell, the dove, the apple, the girdle and the myrtle.
There is also a psychological basis for the theory of correspondences, related to synaesthesia. Louis-Claude de St. Martin comments in his L'Homme do désir:
'Things were not as they are in our gloomy dwelling, where sounds can be likened only to other sounds, colours to other colours, one substance to another; there everything was of a kind. Light gave out sounds, melody brought forth light, colours had movement because they were alive; objects were at once sonorous, diaphanous and mobile enough to intermix and flow in a line through all space.' In Schneider's view, the key to all systems of correspondences is music. He points to a treatise by Sarngadeva in the Indian Samgita Ratnakara (I, iii, 48) of the 13th century which expounds the mystic relationship between music and animals. He comments that nothing similar is to be found in the West, although he suggests that the capitals of San Cugat del Vallés and those at Gerona (of the 12th century) portray a series of animals which, being disposed in a kind of scale, are somewhat comparable.
He points likewise to Jakob Böhme and Athanasius Kircher, both of whom sought to incorporate all these ideas into their systems of mystic correspondences (Musurgia universalis)
Ely Star offers a somewhat crude explanation of correspondences: 'Each of the colours of the prism is analogous to one of the seven faculties of the human soul, to the seven virtues and the seven vices, to geometric forms and to the planets, etc.' Clearly there are certain correspondences of meaning and situation in the physical world itself. For example, sound is the more shrill (or higher) the faster it moves, and vice versa; hence, speed corresponds to height and slowness to lowness, within a binary system. If cold colours are retrogressive, then coldness corresponds to distance, and warmth to nearness; here, then, we have another scientifically demonstrable correspondence.
Taking the septenary system, Star suggests some correspondences between colours and musical notes, which we find exact enough: violet (the leading-note); red (the tonic); orange (the super-tonic); yellow (the mediant); green (the sub-dominant); blue (the dominant); indigo (the submediant) The Greeks, the Cabbalists and the Gnostics founded a great deal of their philosophy upon the theory of correspondences.
Porphyry mentions the following, between the Greek vowels and the planets: alpha corresponding to the moon; epsilon to Mercury; eta to Venus; iota to the sun; omicron to Mars; upsilon to Jupiter; and omega to Saturn. Again: within the novenary system, he underlines the significance of the Hindu theory of 'modes', that is: the erotic, heroic, odious, furious, terrible, pathetic, marvellous, agreeable, humorous.
The symbolism of plants, scents and animals is often based upon the theory of correspondences or derivations of it. To mention a few: the oak (by association with the sun), the walnut (with the moon), the olive tree (with Mercury), the pine (with Saturn); the correspondence may range from the most obvious (such as that of the oak allied with strength, or the palm tree with victory) to the less obvious Among the most important of systems of correspondences is the Zodiac; corresponding to the twelve signs of the Zodiac, one finds the months of the year, the tribes of Israel, the labours of Hercules, and the colour-scale adapted to include twelve colours.
Vital also is that relating to the parts of the human body:
Aries (corresponding to the head),
Taurus (the neck and throat),
the Gemini (the shoulders and arms),
Cancer (the chest and stomach),
Leo (the heart, lungs and liver),
Virgo (the belly and intestines),
Libra (the backbone and marrow),
Scorpio (the kidneys and genitals),
Sagittarius (the thighs),
Capricorn (the knees),
Aquarius (the legs) and
Pisces (the feet)
The first six signs form an involutive series which corresponds to the 'descending' colour-series of the alchemists, that is, from yellow, through blue and green, down to black. The evolutive series corresponds to the 'ascending' metamorphosis from black, through white and red, up to gold. Schneider, who has made a very useful study of correspondences, refers to Alberuni's The Book of Instructions in the lElements of the Art of Xstrology, 1934, where the author relates the signs of the Zodiac with the principal elements of landscape:
Aries corresponds to the desert,
Taurus to the plains,
the Gemini to twin mountain-peaks,
Cancer to parks, rivers and trees,
Leo to a mountain with castles and palaces,
Virgo to the homestead,
Scorpio to prisons and caves,
Sagittarius to quicksands and centres of magic,
Capricorn to fortresses and castles,
Aquarius to caverns and sewers,
Pisces to tombs
Piobb has also shown that there are correspondences between the signs of the Zodiac and the processes of the alchemists
The basis of most cosmogonies is the 'cosmic sacrifice', expressing the idea that the creation of forms and matter can take place only by modifying primordial energy. Such a modification, so far as most primitive and protohistoric peoples are concerned, was seen to exist in such painful forms as mutilation, struggle or sacrifice. In Babylonian cosmogony it assumed the form of the killing of the original mother Tiamat (the dragon), whose body was used in the creation of heaven and earth Hindu tradition links the struggle of the gods with a tribe of devils called Asuras, or with monsters of some other kind. According to the Rigveda, the gods would sacrifice a primeval being the giant Purusha.
In Persia it was a bull which was sacrificed by Ahriman or Mithras. In Scandinavia it was the giant Ymir who was dismembered by the Aesir gods and then used as the material for the creation of the world Clearly, then, these cosmogonies have a psychological implication because they express the central idea that there is no creation without sacrifice, no life without death (this being the basis of all inversion-symbolisms and of the Gemini). Here we have the origin of all the bloody sacrifices of the world's religions.
It is to the Chinese writer Huai-nan-tzu that we owe a more advanced cosmogony which, while incorporating certain of the above ideas, takes its inspiration mainly from the conception of the cosmos as a new order imposed upon primigenial chaos. Here is Wilhelm's version of this interesting passage of Huai-nan-tzu : 'The collapse of heaven had still taken no definite form. It was floating and swimming and was known as the great light. When the Sense began in the empty chaos of clouds, the cloud-chaos engendered space and time. Space and time engendered force. Force had fixed limits.
The pure and clear floated upwards and formed heaven.
The heavy and the muddy coagulated below to form earth....
The seed of heaven and earth is the union of the clear and the obscure.
The concentrated seeds of the obscure and the clear are the four seasons.
The scattered seeds of the four seasons is the quantity of things.
The heat-force of the clear, when concentrated, engenders fire.
The seed of fiery force is the sun.
The cold strength of the dark, when concentrated, is water.
The seed of water is the moon....
The path of heaven is round.
The path of the earth is square.
The essence of the round is the clear.'
Every eschatological process is a partial regeneration of the universe, partaking of the cosmogonic and hence of the sacrificial. Similarly, it is not possible to transform the human soul in any way, except through sacrifice.
Associated with the earth and with the moon. A great many lunar goddesses wear the horns of a cow on their head. When linked with the primigenial goddess Neith, the cow is a mothersymbol, representing the primal principle of humidity and endowed with certain androgynous or gynandrous, rather characteristics In Egypt it was linked with the idea of vital heat Vac, the feminine aspect of Brahma, is known as the 'melodious Cow' and as the 'Cow of abundance', the first description stemming from the idea of the world's creation out of sound, while the second as hardly needs be said comes from its function of nourishing the world with its milk, the fine dust of the Milky Way. In this we can see also the idea of heaven as a fecundating bull, with its sex inverted; in Hindu belief, the bull and the cow represent the active and the passive aspects of the generating forces of the universe
In cultures ranging from the Chinese to those of the Mediterranean, the crane is an allegory of justice, longevity and the good and diligent soul
In the Egyptian system of hieroglyphics, the whole process of creation is expressed by four signs: the spiral, as the symbol of cosmic energy; the squared spiral, as the symbol of the workings of this energy within the heart of matter; a formless mass, of self-evident meaning; and the square, as a symbol of organized matter There is, then, a duality of the greatest theoretical importance two paths: that by which abstract energy develops towards energy as an organizing force, and that followed by pure matter towards a state of matter ruled by a given order. Here lies the explanation of the process of all creation in its two most essential aspects: that of energy-content, and that of material form.
Death at the stake, the consummation of sacrifice through fire, and, from the mystic point of view, any kind of cremation, are all symbols of sublimation, that is, of the destruction of what is base to make way for what is superior; or, in other words, salvation of and through the spirit. This is the significance of the self-sacrifice of Hercules. It was a very common symbol among the alchemists. For example, the 24th emblem in Michael Maier's Scrutinium Chymicum 687) shows a wolf representing prime matter burning in the furnace
There is a dual significance to this symbol. In so far as it pertains to the moon, it stands for the world of changing forms or of phenomena, for the passive, feminine principle, and for things aquatic. Secondly, in mediaeval emblems of the Western world, and especially when associated with a star, it is a symbolic image of paradise
Because of its position on the helmet (linked symbolically with the head), the crest clearly stands for thought, and comes to be a symbol of the predominating theme the leitmotiv of the knight, which he displays as a token of his beloved (that is, his anima) and so giving tangible expression to his adventures and his combats. The encaged bird of Walter von der Vogelweide (of the 1 3th century) is probably an emblem of a soul yearning to fly away in freedom.
Man tends to question his destiny mostly in moments of crisis, that is, when the stream of life (either the stream within him of his feelings and passions, his abnormal urges or sense of inadequacy, or that flowing outside him the flood of obstacles and failures in communication) goes against him or carries him along farther than he would wish. There is, then, a primordial desire in Man to experience 'inversion', that is, to find the technique whereby everything of a kind can be transmuted into its opposite. So, for example, illness inverted becomes health, hate becomes love, loneliness company, ignorance wisdom, dissension solidarity, rancour forgiveness, sadness happiness, the enemy's victory turns to rout and drought to fertility. Such inversion at first appears as a cross-roads, that is, as a potentiality. Then it takes the form of symbols of sacrifice, expressing the latent and valid idea that in every negative situation there is a direct or an indirect sense of guilt. Then, finally, come the symbols of Inversion proper and of rebirth.
Two basically different aspects of the crocodile are blended in its symbolic meaning, representing the influence upon the animal of two of the four Elements. In the first place, because of its viciousness and destructive power, the crocodile came to signify fury and evil in Egyptian hieroglyphics ; in the second place, since it inhabits a realm intermediate between earth and water, and is associated with mud and vegetation, it came to be thought of as an emblem of fecundity and power In the opinion of Mertens Stienon there is a third aspect, deriving from its resemblance to the dragon and the serpent, as a symbol of knowledge. In Egypt, the dead used to be portrayed transformed into crocodiles of knowledge, an idea which is linked with that of the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. Blavatsky compares the crocodile with the, Kumara of India The predominant characteristic of crocodile-symbolism is viciousness.
It corresponds to the general symbolism of stonemonuments and is related to fertility cults. Eliade mentions that, in popular European beliefs even today, there are remnants of the ancient faith in the powers of large stones. The space between these rocks or stones, or the holes in the stones themselves, played an important part in fertility and health rites. The cromlech is regarded as a symbol of the Great Mother, whereas the menhir is clearly masculine
By Cronos we mean here not so much the general symbolism of Saturn as those images of time which originated in oriental thought, and which were so common in the Lower Roman Empire. He is sometimes portrayed with four wings, two of which are outspread as if he were about to take flight, and two are lowered as if he were resting; this is an allusion to the dualism of time: the passage of time, and ecstasy (or transport beyond time). Sometimes he was also depicted with four eyes, two in front and two behind; this is a representation of simultaneity and of the position of the Present between the Past and the Future, a symbolism comparable with the two faces of Janus More characteristic of the general symbolic meaning is the 'Mithraic Cronos', a deity representing infinite time, derived from the Zervan Akarana of the Persians. He has a rigid, human figure, and sometimes is bi-somatic: a human body with the head of a lion. But when the head is human, then the lion's head is located on the breast. The trunk is enclosed in the five folds of an enormous snake again denoting the duality of time: the passage of time intertwining with eternity which, according to Macrobius, represents the path of the god along the celestial ecliptic. The lion, which is generally associated with suncults, is here a particular emblem of destructive and all-consuming time. It occurs in this sense in many representations of Roman as well as mediaeval funerals.
The hooked staff is a pastoral attribute in the Church and a symbol of faith By virtue of the sigmoid significance of the hook, it stands for divine power, communication and connexion ; because of its spiral form it is a symbol of creative power.
The complex symbolism of the cross neither denies nor supplants the historical meaning in Christianity. But in addition to the realities of Christianity there are two other essential factors: that of the symbolism of the cross as such and that of the crucifixion or of 'suffering upon the cross'. In the first place, the cross is dramatic in derivation, an inversion, as it were, of the Tree of Paradise. Hence, the cross is often represented in mediaeval allegory as a Y-shaped tree, depicted with knots and even with branches, and sometimes with thorns. Like the Tree of Life, the cross stands for the 'world-axis'. Placed in the mystic Centre of the cosmos, it becomes the bridge or ladder by means of which the soul may reach God.
There are some versions which depict the cross with seven steps, comparable with the cosmic trees which symbolize the seven heavens The cross, consequently, affirms the primary relationship between the two worlds of the celestial and the earthly But, in addition, because of the cross-piece which cuts cleanly across the upright (in turn implying the symbols of level and of the axis of the world), it stands for the conjunction of opposites, wedding the spiritual (or vertical) principle with the principle of the world of phenomena.
Hence its significance as a symbol for agony, struggle and martyrdom Sometimes the cross is T-shaped, further emphasizing the near-equilibrium of the opposing principles. Jung comments that in some traditions the cross is a symbol of fire and of the sufferings of existence, and that this may be due to the fact that the two arms were associated with the kindling sticks which primitive man rubbed together to produce fire and which he thought of as masculine and feminine. But the predominant meaning of the cross is that of 'Conjunction'. Plato, in Timaeus, tells how the demiurge joins up the broken parts of the world-soul by means of two sutures shaped like St. Andrew's cross Bayley stresses the fire-symbolism of the cross, and explains that all the words for 'cross' (crux, cruz, crowz, croaz, krois, krouz) have a common etymological basis in -ak, -or or -os, signifying 'light of the Great Fire' The cross has been widely used as a graphic emblem, very largely as a result of Christian influence but equally on account of the basic significance of the sign; for it is clear that all basic notions, whether they are ideas or signs, have come about without the prompting of any cultural influence. Hundreds of different shapes of crosses have been summarized in works such as Lehner's Symbols, Signs and Signets, and it has been found possible, by the study of graphic symbolism to elucidate the particular meaning of each one. Many of them take the form of insignias of military orders, medals, etc.
The swastika is a very common type of cross (q.v. Swastika).
The Egyptian, anserated cross is particularly interesting in view of its antiquity. In Egyptian hieroglyphics it stands for life or living (Nem Ankh) and forms part of such words as 'health' and 'happiness'. Its upper arm is a curve, sometimes almost closed to form a circle. Enel analyses this hieroglyphic as follows: 'The phonetic significance of this sign is a combination of the signs for activity and passivity and of a mixture of the two, and conforms with the symbolism of the cross in general as the synthesis of the active and the passive principle.'
The very shape of the anserated cross expresses a profound idea: that of the circle of life spreading outwards from the Origin and falling upon the surface (that is, upon the passivity of existence which it then animates) as well as
soaring up towards the infinite. It may also be seen as a magic knot binding together some particular combination of elements to form one individual, a view which would confirm its characteristic lifesymbolism. It may also signify destiny.
Judged from the macrocosmic point of view, that is of its analogy with the world, the Ankh-cross may represent the sun, the sky and the earth (by reference to the circle, the upright and the horizontal lines). As a microcosmic sign, that is by analogy with man, the circle would represent the human head or reason (or the 'sun' which gives him life), the horizontal arm his arms, and the upright his body In sum, the most general significance of the cross is that of the conjunction of opposites: the positive (or the vertical) with the negative (or horizontal), the superior with the inferior, life with death. The basic idea behind the symbolism of crucifixion is that of experiencing the essence of antagonism, an idea which lies at the root of existence, expressing as it does life's agonizing pain, its cross-roads of possibilities and impossibilities, of construction and destruction. Evola suggests that the cross is a synthesis of the seven aspects of space and time, because its form is such that it both maintains and destroys free movement; hence, the cross is the antithesis of the Ouroboros, the serpent or dragon denoting the primeval, anarchic dynamism which preceded the creation of the cosmos and the emergence of order.
There is, thus, a close relationship between the cross and the sword, since both of them are wielded against the primordial monster (Plate V).
According to Jung, it is a mother-symbol. He comments: 'Where the roads cross and enter into one another, thereby symbolizing the union of opposites, there is the "mother", the object and epitome of all union.' Amongst the Ancients, cross-roads were symbols of an ambivalent theophany, since the joining up of three elements always presupposes the existence of the three principles of the active (or beneficent), the neutral (or resultant or instrumental) and the passive (or hurtful). Hence, cross-roads were sacred to the 'triform' Hecate. It was at the crossways that dogs were sacrificed to her, and the bodies of hanged men dumped
Because of its black colour, the crow is associated with the idea of beginning (as expressed in such symbols as the maternal night, primigenial darkness, the fertilizing earth). Because it is also associated with the atmosphere, it is a symbol for creative, demiurgic power and for spiritual strength. Because of its flight, it is considered a messenger. And, in sum, the crow has been invested by many primitive peoples with far-reaching cosmic significance. Indeed, for the Red Indians of North America it is the great civilizer and the creator of the visible world. It has a similar meaning for the Celts and the Germanic tribes, as well as in Siberia In the classical cultures it no longer possesses such wide implications, but it does still retain certain mystic powers and in particular the ability to foresee the future; hence its caw played a special part in rites of divination In Christian symbolism it is an allegory of solitude.
Amongst the alchemists it recovers some of the original characteristics ascribed to it by the primitives, standing in particular for nigredo, or the initial state which is both the inherent characteristic of prime matter and the condition produced by separating out the Elements (putrefactio) An interesting development of crowsymbolism is the representation of it with three legs drawn within a solar disk. In this form it is the first of the Chinese imperial emblems, and represents Yang or the active life of the Emperor. The three legs correspond to the sun-symbolism of the tripod: first light or rising sun, zenith or midday sun, and sunset or setting sun. In Beaumont's view, the crow in itself signifies the isolation of him who lives on a superior plane , this being the symbolism in general of all solitary birds.
The idea of the 'crowd' is symbolically superior to that of 'multiplicity', since it implies a new concept of the numerous as a totality, or of Oneness as a fragmented whole. Thus, Jung's interpretation of the multitude or crowd is well judged; he asserts that, especially when moving or restless, it corresponds to an analogous movement in the unconscious Homer has a well-known simile in which he likens a crowd of warriors in the agora (or in battle) to the ocean swell (constituting another symbol of the unconscious).
The essential meaning of the crown is derived from that of the head, with which it is linked unlike the hat not in a utilitarian but in a strictly emblematic manner. By reference to levelsymbolism, we may conclude that the crown does not merely surmount the top of the body (and of the human being as a whole), but rises above it and therefore symbolizes, in the broadest and deepest sense, the very idea of pre-eminence. That is why a superlatively successful achievement is spoken of as a 'crowning achievement'. Hence, the crown is the visible sign of success, of 'crowning', whose significance reaches beyond the act to the person who performed it. At first, crowns were made out of the limbs of various trees, hence they are still connected with the symbolism of trees in general and of some trees in particular. They were the attributes of the gods; and they also were once a funeral-symbol The metal crown, the diadem and the crown of rays of light, are symbols of light and of spiritual enlightenment In some books of alchemy there are illustrations showing the planetary spirits receiving their crown that is, their light from the hands of their king that is, the sun
The light they received from him is not equal in intensity but graded, as it were, in hierarchies, corresponding to the grades of nobility ranging from the king down to the baron Books on alchemy also stress the affirmative and sublimating sense of the crown. In Margarita pretiosa, the six base metals are first shown as slaves, with their uncovered heads bowed low towards the feet of the 'king' (that is, gold); but, after their transmutation, they are depicted wearing crowns on their heads. This 'transmutation' is a symbol of spiritual evolution whose decisive characteristic is the victory of the higher principle over the base principle of the instincts.
That is why Jung concludes that the radiant crown is the symbol par excellence of reaching the highest goal in evolution: for he who conquers himself wins the crown of eternal life Secondary or more particular meanings sometimes arise from the shape or the material of the crown, on occasion differing considerably from the basic meaning outlined above.
The ancient crown of the Egyptian pharaohs is a typical example of unusually shaped crowns with exceptional meanings. Marqués-Riviere here points to the emblematic and near-figurative source of its two basic components: a white and a red crown. The former is similar to the mitre-like bonnets worn in the East through the ages. The latter 'according to de Rochemonteix, is probably a pattern evolved from adapted hieroglyphs. The coif is probably a glass, the curved stem of which represents vegetation and the upright stem the ideogram of the earth.... M. E. Soldi sees the curved stem as a "projection of the solar disk, a spiralling flame which fertilizes the seeds".'
The symbolic meaning of the crucifixion which does not oppose nor alter the historic fact, but provides further explanations of it seems to be related to the suffering which is at the root of all contradiction and ambivalence, especially if one bears in mind the practice in mediaeval iconography of showing Jesus on the cross surrounded by symmetrical pairs of objects or beings. These paired items are sometimes, but not always, based upon the actual witnesses of the scene. Thus, the cross may be shown between the sun and the moon, between the Virgin and St. John, the good and the bad thief, the lance and the cup or chalice (or sometimes a stick and the sponge soaked in vinegar), and, of course, between heaven and earth. On occasion, there is the added symbol of the Holy Spirit balancing Adam's skull.
These pairs of opposites, then, only serve to emphasize the essential binary system underlying the cross itself. The horizontal limb corresponds to the passive principle, that is, to the world of phenomena. The vertical limb denotes the active principle, that is, the transcendent world or spiritual evolution. The sun and moon are the cosmic representatives of this dualism echoed also in the symmetrical placing of the Beloved Disciple and the Holy Mother (of opposite sexes) who stand also, respectively, for the outcome and the antecedent of the life and work of Jesus, and hence for the future and the past. The two thieves represent binary symmetry on the moral plane, that is, the two potential attitudes between which Man must choose: penitence leading to salvation and prevarication leading to damnation.
The symbolic meaning of the crutch derives directly from its literal sense: the invisible, moral or economic means of supporting any other form of existence that may 'lean' upon it. In this sense it has often appeared in Salvador Dali's paintings. It forms one of the Chinese emblems, again with the same significance Frequently the crutch stands for an immoral, hidden or shameful support; this is because the foot is a symbol of the soul , and an infirmity or mutilation of the foot is the counterpart of an incurable defect of the spirit. Hence, in legends and adventure-stories, the common appearance of sinister characters, pirates, thieves and immoral hypocrites with crutches that bespeak their symbolic lameness. For a man to seek to revenge himself upon the cause of his mutilation shows that in his spirit he still retains some of his moral strength and that he will endure until he has been vindicated. This is the symbolic background to the famous novel Moby Dick, in which the protagonist has his leg torn off by the monster of the deeps, but pursues it dauntlessly to the end.
Like precious stones, it is a symbol of the spirit and of the intellect associated with the spirit It is interesting to note that mystic and surrealist alike share the same veneration for crystal. The 'state of transparency' is defined as one of the most effective and beautiful conjunctions of opposites: matter 'exists' but it is as if it did not exist, because one can see through it. As an object of contemplation, it offers neither hardness nor resistance nor suffering.
Among solid forms, it is the equivalent of the square. Hence it stands for earth, or the material world of the four Elements. Denis the Carthusian pointed out that cubic objects are not capable of rotation as are spheres, and that therefore they represent stability This explains why the cube frequently forms part of allegories illustrating the solidity and the persistence of the virtues It also explains why, in symbols and emblems, thrones or chariots are sometimes given cubical form.
Curl (or Loop)
In the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs, the loop is a determinative sign defining the ideas of either binding or unbinding, depending upon the position of the loose ends It corresponds to the general symbolism of bonds and knots. The hair-curl takes its meaning from the symbolism of the hair.
This goddess, the wife of Saturn, is the personification of the energy animating the earth. The lions drawing her chariot represent the controlled energies necessary for evolution; the chariot in which she is riding is cubic in shape, the cube being a symbol of the earth. Her crown is shaped like a battlemented wall, and this, like the cube, also conveys a sense of building. Associated on occasions with this allegory, is a seven-pointed star (a symbol of cyclic progression) and a lunar crescent (a symbol of the world of phenomena, of the appearance and disappearance of earthly forms in the sublunary world).
The cyclic character of phenomena cyclic, that is, because of the tendency of the final stage to curve back towards the initial stage of the process in question leads to its being symbolized by figures such as the circle, the spiral and the ellipse. All processes are cyclic in this way, embracing movement in space, passage through time, and any change in form or condition, whether they are cycles pertaining to the year, the month, the week, the day, or the span of life of a man, a culture or a race. The symbolism of the Zodiac and the division into twelve (four times three and vice versa) are inextricably linked with the symbolic meaning of the cycle 0, 51). Graphically, the completed cycle is represented by two signs or images facing in opposite directions, symbolic of the acts of going and coming. This can be seen for example in Roman steles, having footprints pointing in opposite directions.
A man with one leg and one foot, found in Romanesque decoration. It is the antithesis of the figure of the two-tailed siren. If the latter is a symbol of femininity, arising out of the number two, the cydippe is symbolic of masculinity arising out of the uneven number one. It may also have some connexion with the figures of Hermes, and perhaps has a phallic significance.
A tree dedicated by the Greeks to their infernal deity. The Romans confirmed this emblem in their cult of Pluto, adding the name 'funeral' to it, a significance which still clings to it today