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Thread: Suspended Crocodiles

  1. #1
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    Suspended Crocodiles

    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.









    An article touching upon the subject:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ecaryAlligator


    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…
    Last edited by Albion; 07-12-2011 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    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 (#)

  3. #3
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    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]
    Last edited by Albion; 07-12-2011 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #4
    heh, i saw one of this suspended monster on mine eyes

    it is called *´s dragon

    never heard about alch connection

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
    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

  6. #6
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    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.
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
    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.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fr. S.O.L. View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Albion; 07-12-2011 at 07:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi View Post
    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...
    Last edited by Albion; 07-12-2011 at 08:22 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fr. S.O.L. View Post
    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=ljHt7...eature=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=KJ8z5...eature=related
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________________




    Wikipedia article on Sobek:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek
    Last edited by Albion; 07-14-2011 at 01:17 AM.

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