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Albion
07-12-2011, 11:17 AM
Nothing much to say here, really. Just an observation.

Perhaps it was meant to evoke the ambiance of Egypt. Back when European archeologists were raiding Egyptian tombs, a market was created for mummies and all-of-a-sudden it was quite the rage to own one.

[Which reminds me of the “Garden Hermit” fad that took place in England, around the same time. Some wealthy folk would advertise for, and hire, a Hermit to take up residence in their garden. There were some simple rules the hermit had to abide by, but otherwise he was free to ponder in his hut while contributing his quaint, evocative presence to the semi-wild private garden scenery.]

But why was the crocodile suspended? Because shelf-space in an Alchemist’s lab is ever at a premium? In order to create the impression of a dragon? Some sort of ancestral/homeland reptillian/thuban thing going on? Astrological reference?

Having a suspended crocodile, for whatever reasons, seemed de rigueur among a certain set of Alchemists - all across Europe.

http://www.spectrumlabs.com/generic/big/125110P.jpg

http://www.rosicrucians.org/salon/swiss/swiss_2.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3025/2916656282_ba4a3f64cd.jpg

http://www.corbisimages.com/images/LX005485.jpg?size=67&uid=f1d5f6e5-5afa-4e77-90f9-27ed7c1e3adb

An article touching upon the subject:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ApothecaryAlligator


We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…

Aleilius
07-12-2011, 12:56 PM
This is strange!

The crocodile is representative of Saturn. Here's a number of associations:



Key Scale: 32 (#)
Name (Hebrew Letter): Tau (Cross) (#)
Value of Hebrew Letter: 400
Path joins: Yesod (9) and Malkuth (10)
Tarot Atu: The Universe (XXI) (#)
Element: — (#)
Astrology: Saturn (#)

Material Correspondences

Animals: Crocodile (#)
Plants: Ash, Cypress, Hellebore, Yew, Nightshade [Elm] (#)
Precious Stones: Onyx (#)
Perfume: Assafœtida, Scammony, Indigo, Sulphur (all Evil Odours) (#)
Mineral Drug: Lead (#)
The Human Body: Excretory System (#)
Metals: Lead (#)

Albion
07-12-2011, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the Crocodile/Saturn connection, Aleilius [not that I know what to do with it, at the moment].
______________________________________________

Following up on the possibility, however slim, that a suspended crocodile may simply have served as a sort of decorative item meant to colourfully link the imagination back to Egypt, I am reminded of the common literary pose of floating documents and movements on some trumped-up connection to some presumably more glorious past. Joseph Smith's faux Hieroglyphic Tablets, and The Essene Gospel of Peace spring to mind.

In chapter 4 of Not Out of Africa, Mary Lefkowitz looks behind the curtain of “The Myth of the Egyptian Mystery System” as held and promulgated by various & sundry Mystery Schools. You might find it interesting reading:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/52631984/Not-Out-of-Africa

[Download, then on to chapter 4, beginning on page 91]


Excerpts:

“Although James concentrates on the forty-two books of "philosophy" catalogued by Clement, the principal source of the notion that there was a corpus of Egyptian philosophy derives from yet another, and even later source, the so-called Hermetica or discourses of Hermes. These are writings that were supposed to have been composed at the beginning of time by Hermes the Thrice-great (tris.megistos), grandson of the god Hermes, who was identified with the Egyptian god Thoth.

The pagan writer Iamblichus (ca. 250-326 A.D.), who believed that these discourses were authentic, says that one of the authors he consulted knew of 20,000, and another 36,525 such treatises. But the two dozen discourses attributed to Hermes that have come' down to us are not Egyptian at all.

Rather, they are treatises written in Greek centuries after the deaths of the famous Greek philosophers they purport to have inspired. As Isaac Casaubon showed in 1614, this small collection of writings could not be as early as Iamblichus and other ancient writers thought, because its author or authors were much influenced by the very writers that Hermes the Thrice-great was supposed to have inspired, especially Plato, and his much later followers the Neoplatonists, not to mention the Hellenistic Hebrew writers known as Gnostics. There is no record of any Egyptian-language original from which they were derived, and it is clear from both their style and their vocabulary that they could not have been composed without the conceptual vocabulary and rhetoric developed by the Greek philosophers in the fourth century B.C.

Why did the Greek author or authors of the discourses of Hermes pretend that their writings were written by Egyptians at the dawn of time? It would be wrong to imagine that these writings. were forgeries in the modern sense. Rather, the Greek authors were following the standard conventions of a type of historical fiction that was popular in antiquity among both the Greeks and the Hebrews. In order to make their work seem more impressive, ancient writers concealed their real names and pretended to be famous historical figures and to have been living in earlier times. Often ancient writers of historical fiction claim to have found a hidden document, or to have translated a text from an ancient language. The story of the "discovery" of the discourses of Hermes follows that established pattern.”


“A striking quality of Freemasonry is its "imaginative attachment to the religion and symbolism of the Egyptians." The Egypt to which the Masons refer is of course an imaginary one, but this was the Egypt that was rediscovered in the Renaissance: for .convenience, I shall call it Mystical Egypt (to distinguish it from the historical Egypt that was first explored. scientifically and understood only in the nineteenth century). European writers learned about Mystical Egypt from the writings of the church fathers. They knew the Hermetic treatise known as Asclepius because it had survived in a Latin version, and they supposed that it was one of the books of Hermes to which Clement of Alexandria referred in his description of the procession of Egyptian priests. So around 1460, when a Greek manuscript containing most of the Hermetic treatises was brought to Florence, Cosimo de'Medici thought that it was more important to translate them than the works of Plato, because "Egypt was before Greece; Hermes was earlier than Plato. As a result of this "huge historical error," the Hermetic corpus was given serious attention, and its fictions were widely accepted as truth.”

[My note: This doesn’t mean there is no relative truth-value to a number of the propositions in the writings attributed to Hermes, only that their connection to Egypt was likely contrived so as to lend them the halo of authenticity that surrounded antiquity in the imaginations of readers]

horticult
07-12-2011, 03:28 PM
heh, i saw one of this suspended monster on mine eyes

it is called *´s dragon

never heard about alch connection

Aleilius
07-12-2011, 03:39 PM
Thanks for the Crocodile/Saturn connection, Aleilius [not that I know what to do with it, at the moment].
No problem. What I was trying to point out is that the Crocodile is the animal associated with the path from Yesod to Malkuth. Perhaps it was symbolical? The alchemists lab represents Malkuth, and the crocodile suspended represents the path from the lower to the higher, and the means to rise to Yesod?

Perhaps I was looking into it too much though! Well, there's the Saturn/lead connection for sure, but the rest is probably just speculation on my part.

http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Path_of_Tau

solomon levi
07-12-2011, 05:15 PM
Perhaps it is suspended to occupy a third space: water, land, and now air.
I get the impression it was meant to be heavenly - saturn, a black sun???

Curiously, there are silicates named serpentine, amphibole, crocidolite...

On second look, I think if you spin them they are ceiling fans. :D

Fr. S.O.L.
07-12-2011, 05:20 PM
But why was the crocodile suspended? Because shelf-space in an Alchemist’s lab is ever at a premium? In order to create the impression of a dragon? Some sort of ancestral/homeland reptillian/thuban thing going on? Astrological reference?

Equally curious is the fact that each crocodile appears to be missing a foot.

Albion
07-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Equally curious is the fact that each crocodile appears to be missing a foot.

One crocodile may eat another crocodile's foot when hunger gets the better of them.

As such, the three-footed, non-museum-grade, model, being more common, may have been the more economical choice.

But that's such a prosaic explanation, it hardly seems fitting.

Albion
07-12-2011, 06:36 PM
I get the impression it was meant to be heavenly - saturn, a black sun???

Yes, their being "up in the air" must have carried some deliberate symbolic meaning.


On second look, I think if you spin them they are ceiling fans. :)

Ever the keen eye towards practical application... :)

Albion
07-12-2011, 07:09 PM
Equally curious is the fact that each crocodile appears to be missing a foot.

Funny, your post just reminded me of a scene from the series LOST [Season 2-The 4 toed statue]:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHt7mdmQTY&feature=related

“I don’t know what is more disquieting - the fact that the rest of the statue is missing… or that it has four toes.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ8z5GDzNuk&feature=related
__________________________________________________ _______________________________________


http://www.tvtango.com/uploads/blogImages/161/lost_four_toed_statue.gif http://mycrazylosttheory.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/lost-statue.jpg http://historylink101.net/images/sobeth.jpg

Wikipedia article on Sobek:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek

Aleilius
07-12-2011, 08:05 PM
Equally curious is the fact that each crocodile appears to be missing a foot.

Ever heard of the rabbit's foot lucky charm? Missing foot? No biggie. They made a crocodile's foot lucky charm from it! I can imagine those crazy alchemists would do such a thing.

Ghislain
07-12-2011, 08:11 PM
Perhaps the Alchemists of the day wanted to let the 'powers that be' know they knew who they really were?

Or maybe to honour those in power?

Or else to bring out one who is hidden...could you look at a person hanging without being taken aback?

Emerald Tablets of Thoth - Reptilian Agenda (http://www.reptilianagenda.com/hist/h100899a.shtml)

Ghislain

Or maybe not :)

Awani
07-12-2011, 09:57 PM
Great thread, never noticed this before myself. Things are always stranger than we can imagine them to be. Crocs are a superior creature, having ruled the Earth for millennia... it ties in nicely with the reptilian agenda theory though. Icke should be pleased.

:cool:

Aleilius
07-12-2011, 10:05 PM
Crocs are a superior creature, having ruled the Earth for millennia... it ties in nicely with the reptilian agenda theory though. Icke should be pleased.

:cool:

I've mentioned the Reptilian agenda quite a bit in the "Alchemists sure are pale!" thread if any of you are interested. That was partly what the thread was about. In the thread I showed a number of serpents/dragons eating humans/children. I also mentioned the very important connection between the pineal gland, their obsession with it, and the hybridization program they're carrying out.

I don't blame any of you for not reading the whole thread. It's long, and probably not the most interesting read if you're not into symbolism, fringe conspiracy theory, etc.

Just wanted to throw this out there since that aspect was completely overlooked by most posting in the thread.

Albion
07-13-2011, 12:15 AM
Perhaps the Alchemists of the day wanted to let the 'powers that be' know they knew who they really were?

Or maybe to honour those in power?

Or else to bring out one who is hidden...could you look at a person hanging without being taken aback?

Emerald Tablets of Thoth - Reptilian Agenda (http://www.reptilianagenda.com/hist/h100899a.shtml)

Ghislain

Or maybe not :)

Good selection of possibilities.

I’ll be happy to embrace a more benign interpretation, should anyone happen to present one that seems at all reasonable, but for the moment, I’ll expand somewhat on your second offering - more as speculative, hypothetical play, than firm conviction:

When one considers that few rooms on Earth are kept as scrupulously private as an Alchemy Lab, and that many an Alchemist treats his creative haven as a vibrational sanctum - and/or shrine, to varying degrees - the eye-catching presence of a large, stuffed reptile-mobile, seems, in my opinion, to lend itself more towards a religious interpretation [the only others who would see such an icon being fellow religionists]. Well, perhaps it wasn’t so much a religious figure [in the sense we are used to] as it was an archetypal identity flag, serving as a reminder of where one’s loyalty must continue to be placed.

It would perhaps be naïve for us to presume that just because Alchemists, in general, were frequently subject to persecution, that therefore Alchemists, taken as a whole, must represent “the good guys.” There could well have been [be] various streams or lineages that, if put together in one room, would in no way consider themselves brothers in some common struggle. And, by extension, any number of “Mystery Schools” could have been formed and maintained simply for purposes of dead-ending potential competitors in labyrinths of quasi-meaningless minutia-of-the-esoteric. A pre-emptive strategy, in other words.

The good news is [and I believe I have it on good authority]: All of that nonsense is being unwound as we speak. Those who supported illusion for personal ends won’t quite find the ground to gain traction on; won’t find the energy to support their hidden agendas; won’t have the illusion-sustaining job they once filled so well. It was a dirty job. Someone had to do it. Now it's ending. Relief for all concerned.

Having said that, I'd be more than delighted if someone could provide historical documentation that these hovering dragons were, in fact, simply intended to frighten off small, curious children, and other potential alembic-breakers.

http://images.travelpod.com/tw_slides/ta00/d3d/274/male-guard-dragon-dujiangyan.jpg http://static.flickr.com/110/287044297_c6a7b61438.jpg?v=0

Or, again, it could have been just a cultural fad - like "fuzzy dice."

http://www.allposters.com/IMAGES/NGSPOD01/100264.jpg

horticult
07-13-2011, 12:59 AM
*´s dragon origin:

1. from a town, which name is mercury anagram
2. this beast sieged * & endangered people & cattle. so one clever man prepared a trap: in cattle skin some quicklime

Albion
07-13-2011, 12:37 PM
Another example:

http://www.propertiesofmatter.si.edu/images/L22/L22_alchemy_LC.jpg


Just a fish in this one [It's probably all just a taxidermy fashion of the era]:

http://www.corbisimages.com/images/AABR002187.jpg?size=67&uid=7ea1b74b-b979-49bd-af58-c2f3afadbb97


A cartoon from 1802 [Entitled "Hudibras beats Sidrophel and his man Whacum"]:

http://www.william-hogarth.com/hogarth/images/4713.jpg


Every small diner I'd ever been in out West featured an obligatory,
mounted "Jackalope." Typically, the naive Easterner would ask about
it and the waitress would have some fun explaining this rare creature
[with a straight face] while all the locals within earshot would have fun
watching the rube make a fool of himself. Perhaps they'd find it even
funnier if some future Historian came to the conclusion that the relative
ubiquity of The Mounted Jackalope, throughout the homes and dining
places of the Western States, meant it had to have been a religious icon.

http://www.krismbeal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/JackalopeMount.jpg

Karl
07-13-2011, 08:26 PM
This link describes an Italian alchemical church and explores the meaning of the crocodile hanging there. The hanging letter G and the crocodile seem to have a few things in common.

http://www.fermi.mn.it/grazie/italiano/s4.html

The pithy summation of that article, in translation, reads:


The crocodile, the alchemical serpens, in this context symbolizes the realization of the unity of material and spiritual ascent.

To pull the mystery in a couple of other directions, the body of Osiris is often depicted on the back of a crocodile. Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god cures ills. I can't find any proof for this but someone mentions this in a blog:


Drug suppliers would present gifts to apothecaries who sold their goods (plus ça change) and a favourite offering was an alligator or crocodile due to their associations with learning and as a symbolic defence against disease. They were also relatively easy to preserve; indeed, the oldest surviving example of taxidermy is said to be a crocodile mounted in 1623 and exhibited at St. Gallen's Museum of Natural History in Switzerland.

Karl
07-13-2011, 08:36 PM
Just a fish in this one [It's probably all just a taxidermy fashion of the era]:


The fish is a puffer fish. A True Puffer fish.

Albion
07-14-2011, 12:23 AM
Wow, Karl, you really seem to have nailed this!

It certainly sounds like a far better match, both to
the thinking of the age, in general, and Alchemists
in particular, than any of my speculations.

Thanks!
________________________________________

Perhaps this was the Blog you were alluding to:

http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2011/03/apothecarys-alligator.html

Karl
07-14-2011, 01:18 AM
Wow, Karl, you really seem to have nailed this.

It certainly sounds like a far better match, both to the thinking of the age, in general, and Alchemists in particular, than any of my speculations.

Thanks!

Albion, I've wondered about those crocodiles for awhile. Your thread got me off my ass to research an answer so thank you.

Awani
07-15-2011, 12:03 AM
Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god cures ills.

Yes Sobek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek) is probably the key. All things come from Egypt anyway so it is only natural for it to remain in later cultures.


Egyptians who worked or travelled on the Nile hoped that if they prayed to Sobek, the crocodile/Nile god, he would protect them from being attacked by crocodiles... As a creator god, he [Sobek] was occasionally linked with the sun god Ra... Gradually, Sobek also came to symbolize the produce of the Nile and the fertility that it brought to the land; its status thus became more ambiguous... a representation of strength and power... the symbol of royal authority - the uraeus. He was also shown with an ankh, representing his ability to undo evil and so cure ills. Once he had become Sobek-Ra, he was also shown with a sun-disc over his head, as Ra was a sun god... Sobek was credited for catching the Four sons of Horus in a net as they emerged from the waters of the Nile in a lotus blossom. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f1/Sobek.svg/220px-Sobek.svg.png

:cool:

MarkostheGnostic
08-15-2011, 04:36 AM
Gee, I wish I hadn't cut open the 2' brown alligator my Nana brought me from Miami Beach when I was very little. If you can find one, it's an antique and a fortune.

Awani
03-19-2012, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the Crocodile/Saturn connection, Aleilius [not that I know what to do with it, at the moment].

Plato called Saturn "the great renewer".

:cool:

MarkostheGnostic
03-23-2012, 03:54 AM
'LOST'

http://i39.tinypic.com/2v3qw6q.png

Andro
03-23-2012, 04:06 AM
MTG,

Albion already mentioned the Crocodile Deity from 'Lost' earlier on this thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2215-Suspended-Crocodiles&p=15248#post15248).

Personally, I find Lost (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2065-Lost&highlight=lost) to have extremely strong and at time quite explicit Alchemical implications.

solomon levi
03-23-2012, 11:13 PM
From my current perspective, I now see this crocodile as a creature which
emerges from the waters onto land, and then returns to waters, recycle.
As in the purifying of the black earth into volatile alkali by repeated distillations
and cohobations. Or repeated deliquescence and evaporation.
Synonymous with the devil-lucifer-baphomet and Solve-coagula:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a4/Baphomet.png/220px-Baphomet.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Baphomet.png)

MarkostheGnostic
03-24-2012, 06:05 AM
MTG,

Albion already mentioned the Crocodile Deity from 'Lost' earlier on this thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2215-Suspended-Crocodiles&p=15248#post15248).

Personally, I find Lost (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2065-Lost&highlight=lost) to have extremely strong and at time quite explicit Alchemical implications.

D'OH! My bad. Spontaneity can be replicative with similar psyches. :o

Andro
03-24-2012, 06:25 AM
Spontaneity can be replicative with similar psyches. :o

LOL :D! How very true!

It (the repetition) was worth it, even if only for the above statement :)

solomon levi
03-24-2012, 06:36 AM
I really liked seeing the picture.
If it was there before, I missed it. So thanks. :)

Krisztian
05-08-2012, 03:13 AM
This link describes an Italian alchemical church and explores the meaning of the crocodile hanging there. The hanging letter G and the crocodile seem to have a few things in common.

Karl, I posted something akin to your comment recently but another member of this Forum kept missing my point - so I moved on. Our ancestry, our genetic programming, our hybridization, comes from the Creators of Humanity that appears, if you're well-versed in symbolism, that we were created by humanoid-type of reptilians. That's why as I suggested the "G" in Freemasonry was originally a small "g". The Masonic symbol depicts the masculine, active force - from above - the compass and the feminine, passive force, 'the square' or ruler. In the middle, we have the small "g", the darkened scene behind the reptile figure.

Take a look at the outline of a small "g" from ancient times. You'll see the snake-like characteristic of the letter g.

Krisztian
05-08-2012, 03:22 AM
Al-kemi, in it's modern version, is really a crude form of Arabic science coming down to us from the original Creators. In other words, in it's more evolved form, the science of making lifeforms, humans. Before Buddhism took over, even prior to the Bön Tradition, alchemists and their "craft" (like the Masonic language suggests) were the premier spiritual discipline in that region of the world, in the Himalayas. It might be difficult to believe, with a modern mind, it is known that it was the "peaceful" Buddhist who drove alchemists underground.

Believe it or not, I have soul-memory from this period.