Friday, October 31, 2014

Star of David Engraving by Vredemann De Vries

Rosicrucian in his temple - Transmutation
 by Hans Vredemann De Vries
Dutch Renaissance architect, painter, and engineer.

Two Interpretations for the Star of David as a Medical Symbol

Source: Schat der Gesontheyt (1672) by J. van Beverwijk

Jan Schouten  wrote a book about "The Pentagram as a Medical Symbol - An Iconological Study" (1968) where he claims that it was a medical symbol in the 16th century and brings some cases of hexagrams that seem to him to be mistaken pentagrams. Ewa Chojecka in her review of this book (Isis, Vol. 60, No. 2 (Summer, 1969), pp. 242-244) has another interpretation for these hexagrams:
"llustrators of this kind of imagery were usually quite accurate in drawing iconographic details, and by ignoring this one might easily fall victim to the pitfalls of wishful thinking. For example, the woman enthroned on a socle adorned with hexagram and cornucopiae from J. van Beverwijk's Schat der Gesontheyt (1672, Plt. 31- See Above), identified by Schonten as personified-Health-with-corrupted-pentagram, is in fact closely analogous (with the same attributes—hexagram and horn of plenty) to a personification an the title page of M. Merian's Musaeum Hermneticum (Frankfort, 1677), where she is a symbol of Nature.

Source: M. Merian's Musaeum Hermneticum (Frankfort, 1677)

Again, hexagrams on the series of German eighteenth-century pharmaceutical jars (Plt. 38) are most probably not misinterpreted pentagrams but, together with the two ravens and the sun painted above them, rather seem to he alchemical symbols (the black raven symbol of the liest phase of alchemical transmutation, the nigredo; the hexagram - sign of the materia prima)". 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Star of David as an Astral Symbol

The shape of the hexagram, two interwoven triangles, doesn't convey necessarily an association of a star or a shield or a seal, but during the course of history Jews called it the Shield of David, Muslims called it Solomon's Seal and Christians called it The The Star of David. It seems that not this SHAPE but these NAMES made people start drawing the Shield of David on shields, Solomon's Seal on Seals and night stars in the skies as The Star of David.

Archaeologists discovered hexagrams as stars or on shields or on seals, and their "proofs" helped dividing the meanings of the hexagram into these three main categories, while actually it is an abstract shape, invented by geometers, and its main meaning, protection, is not depending on any physical thing.
Here's an example for The Star of David as an Astral Symbol Archaeological interpretation:

Herbert G. May reports in his book Material Remains of the Megiddo Cult, (Chicago 1935, p. 6.) about the discovery of a Magen David from ninth or eighth century B. C.  incised on the wall of a temple of Anat, Queen of Heaven, at Megiddo. Professor May explains that "on the south face of the south wall of Room 340, near the southeast corner... is incised a "shield of David" (See above). In view of the religious associations of this building, this sign may be interpreted as the symbol of the fertility goddess, whose model pottery shrines were so numerous in this district. The five-pointed seal of Solomon and the six-pointed shield of David are probably of astral origin with their roots in the fertility cult. This is confirmed in part by the occurrence of both a five- and a six-pointed star on an Astarte plaque from Tell es-Safi. [In a note Professor May refers to a six pointed star made from six lines, not a star of david]:

 Astarte plaque from Tell es Safi
Bliss & Macalister, Excavations in Palestine, London, 1902, Plate 67 No. 15s

Hildegard Lewy, brings the Megiddo artifact as one of the proofs to her main claim in the introduction to her article Origin and Significance of the Magen Dawid, (Archiv Orientalni, Vol. 18, 1950, 330-65) that "the Magen Dawid can represent only one of three planets ... Jupiter Mars and Saturn".

Friday, October 17, 2014

Detail of a Christian Manuscript from 1475

Star of David as one of the elements decorating
 a Christian (Gospel) Manuscript from 1475  
 (Walters Manuscript W.540, fol. 205r)
Photo courtesy of Flickr Member: "Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oldest Prehistoric Hexagram

The BBC News reported on 10 January, 2002, about the "Oldest" prehistoric art unearthed". In the Blombos cave, 290 kilometres east of Cape Town, South Africa, archaeologists found, among 8,000 other pieces of ochre, one which is engraved with a pattern that includes a rude hexagram. This piece is from Middle Stone Age layers which are at least 70,000 years old.
Photo source: Wikipedia entry Blombos Cave

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Star of David and the Evel Eye

Ritual and Belief in Morocco:, Volume 1, 1926, by Edward Westermarck p. 465
"The eye is often represented in the form of a triangle. Fig. 102 ... But if the eye is thus conventionalised into a triangle, we may suppose that the two intersecting triangles with a small round figure in the centre are a conventionalised pair of eyes with a common pupil. This figure, called hatem slimaniya sdasiya is very prevalent. It occurs, for instance, on Moorish coins Fig. 103, and, drawn on a paper and provided with inscriptions from the Koran, it is used as a charm against the evil eye. Sometimes a small "eye" is added outside each point of the triangles, as is shown by Fig. 104 representing a charm which is used at Fez". 

Star of David on a flag from 1253

Source: Lapidario (1253 ) by Alfonso X (the Wise),  
King of Castile (1221 –1284)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Star of David in the Catalan Atlas

1375, attributed to Abraham Cresques, a Jewish book illuminator
Source: tr.wikipedia entry Samsun
The red flag is the flag of Candar, small Turkish  kingdom

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Star of David on a Seal of a Christian Notary from 1340

This Seal belonged to a notary named Dominique Delchambronet (1340)
Source: Fig. 74 from Signum Salomonis by Leite De Vasconcelos (1918)
who copied it from:
L'origine de la signature et de son emploi au moyen age par M.C. Guigue, Paris, 1863
(Plate. xix, n° 1) 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Tombstone of David Moshe Laniero

Bordeaux; 1731. Fig. 20 from Signum Salomonis by Leite De Vasconcelos (1918) who wrote that it "alludes to the name of the deceased"
"O hexalfa está gravado em urna sepultura judaica de Bordeus; de 1731, fig. 20 , onde ele, como «escudo de David», creio que alude emblematicamente ao nome do falecido, -Moises David Laniero".
Georges Eugène Alfred Cirot, Recherches sur les Juifs espagnols et portugais a Bordeaux, 1909, p. 124 with the following text: "MOISEH DAVID LAMEIRA L'étoile représente sans doute le Maguen David (bouclier de
David), symbole très courant chez les Israélites. Quant aux palmes, on les retrouve fréquemment".