wombat1138: (narbat)
...I've been unsuccessfully trying to work out another color-coded "elements" set of magatama necklaces: the five (or six) Eastern ones (earth, metal, wood, water, and fire; air/sky was occasionally added to the set in China) or the four Western ones (earth, water, fire, and air; let's ignore "spirit/aether" for now).elemental color stuff )

So instead, I've ended up working out two pieces (for "piece" = necklace and matching earrings) of color-coded emotional dyadic symbolism; I've mostly tried to base the color linkages on English-language idioms, but they're bound to be somewhat idiosyncratic (frex blue <- healing <- the Virgin Mary's robes? is the only way I've managed to rationalize that one).

The blue one is sorrow/healing, with teardrop shapes and freshwater pearls; pearls are formed around a core of pain, but the mollusc uses that to form something precious and beautiful.

The yellow one is fear/hope, with long rounded tubes to resemble a draped yellow ribbon and some transformational play with little lemon-shaped beads-- they first appear as single drops, in obviously lemony format; they then combine with other beads to form a sort of stylized bee; and finally in the centerpiece, the lemons form the petals of a flower. I've probably overthought the symbolism, but there's sort of a double idea of lemons/lemonade and bees/honey. It might be one of those things that requires too much explanation, though.

So now I'm pushing around various red beads, with a general idea of double-edged passion: love and/or violence. There are some odd little drops I'd like to use that resemble a closed fist-- I have no idea what their original cultural context was, but they seem like a possible good match (and the only thing I've ever been able to work them into was a notional nod to the goddess Kali's hula skirt of severed hands). Or if I can find more conventional teardrop-shaped drops in red (they're probably around here somewhere), they could probably undergo transformations in a similar way to the lemon, from individual blood drops to clustered flower buds or pomegranate seeds etc.).

So that would complete a red/yellow/blue triad of primary colors, but I'm still curious about finding a similar emotional dyad for green; "jealousy" would be one obvious starting point, or perhaps a more general sense of "possession/acquisitiveness" if material greed is also folded in-- but what would be a good oppositional emotion that's also associated with green? If the "green" holistic/global movement is taken into account, perhaps a dichotomy between selfishness and... um... I'm not sure how to articulate its opposite in this context; taking account of the effects of one's own actions on other people? "Generosity/harvest" would be easier to describe, but doesn't quite feel right to me :|
wombat1138: (Default)
Another table/infosplat from the Okami wiki:

The twelve-part pattern on the floor of the circular elevator room shows a form of clock dial associated with the lunar zodiac.Read more... )
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Tablesplat, carried over from another fit of geekage on the Okami wiki. I still want to find/integrate some other info, so this may be an ongoing project. Then again, I may wander off and get distracted by something else instead.

Quick overview: the 12-year cycle of the Asian "lunar" zodiac seems to be originally based on the apparent circuit of the planet Jupiter around the solar ecliptic. The "lunar" label derives from the lunar determination of the new-year date (usually the 2nd new moon after winter solstice). The 12-critter sequence (Rat to Pig) is fused onto a different tradition of the "Twelve Earthly Branches"; the result has been applied onto several different systems in addition to the yearly calendar cycle. (Bonus randomness: Onmark has a nifty chart here syncretically assigning eight Japanese Buddhist protectors among the critters.)

It reminded me of a factoid that I can't remember if I've previously mentioned here, though it may've come up in an old discussion on RKDreams-- according to the RK chronology, Tomoe's birthdate was in a Year of the Fire Horse. In Japan, Fire Horse women are thought to be dangerous and nearly unmarriageable; if they do marry, there's a superstition that they'll kill their husbands. As recently as 1966, the last Fire Horse year, there was an uncharacteristic plunge in births in Japan because apparently/supposedly no one wanted to have Fire Horse children. NYT article here.Read more... )


Dec. 9th, 2006 08:31 pm
wombat1138: (Default)
Dammit, I thought I collected all this info in one place before, but it was probably in an old eBay listing which has now vanished into the aether. But at least I've finally found a kanji version of Tamayori's name, though not nec'ly a definitive one (q.v.).

The main purpose of this entry is to roughly collate information about Japan's (three?) legendary sea-dragon princesses and their jewels. Of the daughters of the Dragon King(s), the names of the two sisters Toyotama (豊玉) and Tamayori (玉依?) directly contain the word "tama" (jewel).

Some sources claim that "Otohime" is merely an alias for Toyotama, but that name occurs in a completely different mythic context, the tale of Urashima-Taro, and besides whereas Toyotama is generally identified as the older sister to Tamayori, the kanji I'm finding for "Otohime" (乙姫 or 弟姫) mean "youngest princess".

(WRT the header, the tamatebako was a jewel-casket which Otohime gave to Urashima when he left the sea; I complained recently about the origami reconstruction.)Read more... )
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Some years ago, I ran into a Geocities-based page that attempted to intercorrelate several different sorts of personality typology; when I went looking for it again just now, I found that the latest version now has its own domain with even more material tucked around the edges.

While I have no particular Definite Faith in any of those systems, I do find this sort of thing endlessly fascinating, rather like this magnificent example that tries to do something similar with different sets of metaphysical elements and culminates toward the bottom of the page by charting all of them onto a seven-part cube (six faces plus the contained space within it).

In any case, the former page has enough bibliographic pointers that I promptly nipped elseweb to find a used copy of an interesting-sounding book on tailoring cognitive therapy to various personality disorders. The second edition came out a few years ago, suggesting that the first edition was useful/influential enough to make an update worthwhile. Amazon had much better pricing than eBay, semi-surprisingly; the best price on eBay was considerably offset by the seller padding the shipping/handling fee to over $20. For one book. Sheesh.
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Recently, while reading two out-of-print books about jade (both from a library sale), I came across some interesting symbology which I don't recall having seen elsewhere. Both books were essentially targeted to wealthy collectors who were snapping up artifacts from the post-Imperial chaos of China; the one I'm adapting this entry from, Jade: Stone of Heaven, was written by Richard Gump, a scion of the high-end San Francisco store founders.Read more... )
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Nifty historical overview of the sex life of the sphinx.

Toward the end, the author approvingly cites the virgin/mother/crone triune goddess as per Robert Graves (he didn't actually originate the trope, did he?). I gather this concept has been gathering an increasing quantity of flak from within neopaganism, or at least certain quarters who question the underlying disparity of concepts; as presented, the thresholds are presumably defloration/childbirth (*not* synonymous; sheesh) and menopause, though Graves considered the term "nymph" roughly synonymous with "mother" as simply representing a woman of fertile age.

So what we're really talking about with Graves' thresholds are several overlapping sets: defloration (by itself), menarche/menopause, and impregnation/childbirth. Completely aside from how much women's identities should be shaped around sexuality and reproduction, there's a historical question of whether most women would've necessarily menstruated at regular intervals for most of human history, esp. in peasant populations with chronic caloric deficits, or lived long enough to reach menopause. If those phenomena were experienced only by a privileged minority, then their invocation as liminal events might be like saying "You're not a real adult until you get your driver's license" or "You know you've become a respected elder when you finish paying off your mortgage".

Also, danger + opportunity = eyeroll.
wombat1138: (Default)
From their entry for Dido (a.k.a. Elissa), Queen of Carthage.

"In Italy, during the Fascist Regime, her figure was demonized, perhaps not only as an anti-Roman figure but because she represented together at least three other unpleasant qualities: feminine virtue, Semitic ethnic origin, and African civilization. Her name and her memory were very feared. [....] After her death, she was deified by her people with the name of Tanit and assimilated to the Great Goddess Astarte. [...] The cult of Tanit survived Carthage's destruction by the Romans; it was introduced to Rome itself by Emperor Septimius Severus, himself born in North Africa. It was extinguished completely with the Theodosian decrees of the late 4th century."

(The middle sentence is from a recent historiographically-disputed account. The more succinct phrase "revisionist history" seems to've been pretty darn tainted by the image of Nazi apologist scum at this point. Pity; it's a useful shorthand for rethinking the old traditional biases of dead white males, which is probably why it was rendered useless by people who remain in that camp.)

Rambling quasi-thinkitude-- Tanit was the consort of Ba'al (= "Lord") Hammon, who was apparently not the same as Ba'al Melqart of Tyre after all despite the (evidently outdated) material I remember from my mythovorous stage of childhood. (I suppose there could also be some stuff about Ba'al(s) in Graves. If so, he probably got it wrong out of sheer Gravesian Gravesiness.) I'm not actually sure whether Melqart had a consort, but I'm suddenly reminded of the strong not-quite-consorty parallel bonds between Melkor and Ungoliant and Sauron and Shelob. (And Ted and Alice, of course. "If you can't say anything nice, sit down next to me?")

Tolkien's most significant female antagonists are monstrous devouring beasts, treacherous and inhuman with no pretense at anything except appetite. (Queen Miriel of Numenor might've developed a great deal of ambiguous complexity, if those drafts had been followed up in which she willingly accepted her cousin's courtship. I can't remember enough about Erendis and Ancalime at the moment to say much about them) Compare to Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle in Narnia, whose seductive subterfuge is a key part of their evil. Cite key examples to support your argument, and use clear, bold handwriting in sea-blue or slate-grey ink. All serifs should be clearly marked with flowing elegance. Start now.

Kali Ma

Jan. 15th, 2006 05:33 pm
wombat1138: (Default)
I couldn't find [livejournal.com profile] punkwalrus's old entry about the Earthsea miniseries to add a belated comment onto, so this link is for him.

At some point in my childhood, I formulated the notion that fairy-tale heroines tended to be sweet, passive, and rather stupid, functioning more as semi-ambulatory quest objects[*] than doing much of anything that seemed, well, heroic. To be comprehensive about this in retrospect, I'm not necessarily certain why I decided this. The 70s didn't have much cultural saturation from Disney per se; except for "Donald in Mathmagic Land" at school and a short film reel (monochrome and silent) we had at home of Prince Wossname battling the Malifidragon from Sleeping Beauty, I don't have any specific recall of any Disney animation until The Little Mermaid. I do recall puzzling out the meaning of the word "indeed" from the Disney storybook of The Sword in the Stone, but that was part of a wider pool of Arthuriana, retellings of "Robin Hood", Greek mythology, and Andrew Lang's international compendia of [Color] Fairy Books. Of course, as with the Grimms' original collections, all of these stories would've been filtered through various layers of selection and editing by the time they got to me.

[*: like the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, inanimate ordinary materials sanctified by the sacred objects that were put into them, rather than a living goddess in her own right like, say, the one in the second Indiana Jones movie. Maybe a bit like the Iliad's Aphrodite, though.]

Wicked witches and stepmothers, however, were allowed to think up cunning plans and try them out with the countries or families that they ruled. Okay, so they were usually also evil and ugly and ended up dead, but that just ended up getting factored into the cost/benefit analysis. I didn't want to sit around being useless and helpless, like the heroines; it seemed like more fun to run around being feckless, like the heroes. Unfortunately, as a girl, I couldn't be a hero. All I could do was be evil. "Ugly" might be a later step in career development, but then so might be "ominously seductive", and it's not as I could look like a heroine anyway, since even the ones that weren't blondes or redheads had blue or grey eyes. (I was so incredibly gobstruck the first time I read Katherine Kurtz's Deryni Rising and saw that the evil sorceress was a blue-eyed blonde; I'd probably have been more impressed by the dark hair of the virtuous (grey-eyed) prince if I hadn't already read Tolkien.) "Dead" was inevitable at some point anyway, no matter what; I hadn't been born an immortal goddess in my own right, and the only way to get inducted into immortality seemed to be sleeping with a god, most of whom were gits who'd probably rape or at least deeply finagle you in the first place and then let their (evil!) jealous kinsgoddesses turn you into random critters afterward.

And then there's the subtle(?) racism of the Color Me Beautiful seasonal palettes, which essentially consign all non-Caucasian women into looking alike, but I think that's an entire 'nother nitpicnic for later on.
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I was tidying up some earlier entries by tucking them into lj-cuts, and got caught up again in webhunting stuff on color linguistics as related to two different palettes of metaphysical elements:

Asian quincunx: earth, wood, fire, and metal, and water

Western quartet: fire, air, water, and earth
(sometimes this set also quincunxes with the central addition of spirit.)

From this point on, forget about the metaphysical stuff. You may have noticed I changed my virtual crayon for "water" between the two lists, which I rearranged into the chromatic order given in an older post: Read more... )
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I'm thinking about recanting an earlier determination to reconcile the "traditional" Eastern/Western elemental cosmologies, mostly due to the appalling number of similar-but-different systems among various Amerindian groups. But maybe if the New World is left out of it, the exercise is still barely possible. Maybe.

As a quick'n'dirty summary, the common Western system based on Gardnerian Wicca is oriented (oriens, rising) toward the east, the direction of sunrise. The traditional symbols ended up carrying over from Tarot to modern card suits, although sometimes Air and Fire swap gear with each other. Read more... )

By constrast, Chinese astronomy was based on equatorial observation toward the south. I have no idea why, since they were familiar with the North Star and had special names for the nearby constellations, but there it is. And while the Chinese zodiac has twelve signs, there's no direct correspondence with the twelvefold Western zodiac because of different timeframes and nonfixed elements: counterintuitively, while the Western "solar" signs change on a monthly basis, the Asian "lunar" signs change yearly; while the Western signs are inherently attached to certain elements, all twelve Asian signs rotate through a five-element system to create a sixty-year macrocycle. Read more... )
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I've always liked the Seven Deadly Sins, in the same vein as other obscure listlets like the names of the Nine Muses. Since I'm awake anyway and feeling loopy, here's my Grand Unified Theory du jour about them, with the standard disclaimer that this is all constructed in a virtual frame of mind rather than core beliefs etc.: Read more... )

I'd planned a segue into how much the Calvinist fivefold TULIP completely freaks me out, but that's probably good for a whole 'nother post to itself.
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Monotheism gets all the big press these days; at best, I consider myself a rabid agnostic, at least in the sense of paradoxical certitude that if there is a God, obviously He decided I would be a better person if I didn't believe in Him. (Anti-conversion capsule: you'd think that God would be pretty good about answering childhood prayers to stop being such a klepto, but evidently if there was a Master Plan for my salvation, it depended on my reasoning that stealing was bad because it hurt the former owners of the property in question, and even if they were profiteering capitalist pig-dog scum, they'd just pass on the extra costs to other consumers.)

So as somewhat of a segue from last entry, I've decided to noodle around various forms of cosmological polygons, if that's the right term for it. These are more in the sense of dividing the world into N general domains, rather than personifications of nature, and at the moment I have no particular idea what to do with them other than play around.
two potato, three potato, four... (Five, sire!) )

Most cosmological divisions up from here are based on multiples of N | N = 2...5, except for the ones based on seven. The only seven-based system I was going to natter about was the Seven Deadly Sins, but since that's really a separate topic I'll lay off for now.


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