[UPDATED: Dec. 29, 2005]
So, when the third night before the Nones has come,
And the earth is drenched, sprinkled with heavenly dew,
You’ll search for the claws of the eight-footed Crab in vain:
It will plunge headlong beneath the western waves.
Ovid, Fasti, Book I
Left page : (close up of the steel heads Eyes)
Right page: A red motif
of two facing/fighting fishes or eels or whales printed on sand.
7 or 8 seashells are distributed in a seemingly random fashion on the sand.
The page number is place inside a slanted (45° angle)
This double page somehow refers to Ely's OCTOGON, also called the Eye or the LANTERN.
close-up on the Steel Eye on page 8 confirms this correlation.
The seashells are forming the pattern of a star. The word MAROONED form the anagram A RED MOON.
Page 8-9: Marooned. Motive of red fighting dolphins or whales (?)
printed on the sand + several seashells. The word "OTTO" (italian word
for 8) is printed white on a red little face on page 8.
Concepts of isolation, exile from home, desert island. Publius Ovidius Naso was exiled from Rome (Italy) by emperor Augustus. He landed on TOMIS (now Constanta), a coastal city of the Black Sea, now situated in Romania... Ovidius was a good OBSERVER of the Roman Life.
MAROONED contains the AMOR/ROMA anagram. Rome was considered as the city of Love since the Roman era. In his Art of Love, Publius Ovidius Naso celebrates Roman women as the most beautiful.
The music of MAROONED has a very nostalgic tone. It could well express the notion of Exile/Separation from home/Remoteness that is implicitly suggested by the title.
Ovidius was assigned to this remotest outpost of the Roman Empire after having an argument with the emperor, who was displeased by his book, the Art of Love (Ars Amatoria).
Interestingly, the coat of arms of Romania contains, among other symbols, a pairs of dolphins.
At the beginning, we hear waves and seagulls. The city of TOMIS/CONSTANTA is a famous place on the Black Sea since Antiquity.
Though we are reluctant to admit it, we are driven to link this
double page to the biblical Story of Mary Magdalene.
- The red color made of seashells
- the "marooning" (sand, beach)
- The star pattern of the seashells
- The page number (8) and its symbolic association with the Christ.
- The homonymy between STEEL EYE and STELLA (latin word for STAR).
- The fact that Ely's Octogon can represent a compass, indicating the eight directions. ORIENTATION.
An ancient title of the north star was STELLA MARIS, STAR OF THE SEA.
Stella Miryai (Polaris) has been known by many names in the past;
Miriam (by the Hebrews), Stella Maris 'Star of the Sea', the Pathway; the Pointer - showing the way;
Navel of the World, Gate of Heaven, Hub of the Cosmos, the Highest Peak of the World Mountain, Lodestar;
the Steering Star; the Ship Star, Stella Polaris, the Tyrian Cynosure, the Steering Star and the Chariot Star, Loadstar or Lodestar in ( a magnetic rock that is used to determine magnetic north) ,
Merchant's Guide, the Ship Star , Angel Stern, Star of the Angel, the Golden Peg, the Spindle Star, the Pivot Star, the Pole Star and the Stake Star., Kynosoura (Dog's Tail), Cynosure ( 'the central attraction'),
Pivot of the Planets, Emperor of Heaven, Tou Mu (Taoist goddess of the North Star believed to have the power to prolong life and to answer all prayers), 'Great Honorable Lord of the Heavens',
the Virgin Mary . Stella Miryai (Polaris) has been seen as a great celestial millstone peg upon which the wheat of the stars are ground and it is true that our lives and experiences, in the lower worlds ruled by these stars, hopefully culminates in the development of perfect love represented by Miryai the Star of Loving Compassion and Star of graduation from the lower worlds of fate and karma.
Mary Magdalene is also often depicted wearing red, crimson, or purple coat.
Mary Magdalene is frequently shown with red hair. Her Feast: July 22.
[…]When Mary Magdalene was called a hetera or prostitute back in the early centuries of Christianity, the people of the time knew perfectly well what that meant, she was a Temple Priestess, serving the Goddess.[…]
[…]Ancient pagan temples of both Old and New Testament times were populated with sacred "prostitutes." But these women were NOT what we consider prostitutes today. They were highly respected representatives of whichever goddess whose temple they served in. The words used to indicate them are not "whore" or prostitute, but Hierodules or Hetera (singular) heterae (plural), meaning sacred dedicant, sacred temple-worker. My friend, a sort of historical columnist, Joseph Kerrick writes:
Truly sacred prostitutes existed in past cultures, like the heterae of Greece and the shaktis of India. In fact, the words "prostitute" and "prostitution" have such an indelibly negative imprint in the modern Western mind that in order to properly grasp the meaning of these things we should resort to one of the older terms -- so I'll use "hetera" and its derivatives.
So: the purpose of heterism is not mere sexual gratification, but first of all healing, and secondly transcendence. In the first function, the hetera is what we would today call a therapist, who specializes in the use of sex to accomplish the aim of healing. The second function [transcendence] has been practically forgotten in the postmodern world, and can only be understood in a societal context where the higher forms of spirituality are practiced. The process of negating the ego to perform selfless service to God and his children is only known in the West in a matrix of ascetic monasticism; but there have been, and are, other cultures where these same principles are applied in a specialized form of sexual relationships -- namely, heterism in its higher form, in which it can not only heal people of pathologies, but help them transcend the human condition and become better than they could ever hope to be in "normal" life.
"But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth," that Gospel [of Mary] reads. "The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, `Why do you love her more than all of us?' The savior answered and said to them, `Why do I not love you like (I love) her?' "
In looking again at the picture, I noticed the twin pillars holding up the arch. These pillars, "Boaz and Jachin" mentioned in the Book of Kings, are symbolic of the Temple of Jerusalem, and this reminds me of the "Shekinah" (Bride of Yahweh) whose myth, like Mary Magdalene's, is another Bride in exile--suffering separation from her Beloved following the destruction of the Temple which cannot be rebuilt because of the "cardiosclerosis" (hardness of heart) that seems to be so prevalent on the planet. The "blueprint" for the New Jerusalem is (as in the Book of Revelation!) the Sacred Union (the "sword" and "blade" triangles intertwined--Star of David). Carl Jung has this right--integration of the "opposites" (Logos/Reason and Eros/relationship) starts in each individual psyche and spreads out into the community and from there into the wider world.
This painting seems to say that the "abandoned one" (MAROONED!) has been locked out of the "Church" which does not recognize the need for her necessary contribution to the spiritual (and therefore also the emotional and physical) well-being of the community. The "Bride" is being denied access...
One tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that following Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by Emperor Tiberius Caesar. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed "Christ is risen!" Caesar laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house.
About the association between MAROONED and Mary Magdalene
I think TDB has something to do with the unification of male and female
within the Church. This means having a new look at the central figure
of the Missing Disciple, that is Mary Magdalene. To quote Ed conroy,
author of the article: "I think that the rejuvenation of
goddess-oriented and earth-centred religion, as well as the awakening
of Mary Magdalene in the collective awareness, is indicative of the
divine yearning toward union within us."