Tuesday, August 24, 2010

notes from my lunar insomnia: inconstancy

Inkonstanz, Allegorie der Unbeständigkeit (1617) by artinconnu.

Why is the moon, symbol of femininity, also a symbol of inconstancy? I understand that both are subject to cyclic change, but why is that often seen as a negative thing in Western culture? Where is the notion of positive power, of wonder at the connectedness of humans and the sky and other parts of nature? This is something that bothers me off and on, and this allegorical image of Inconstancy brings many of these irritations bubbling up to the surface…

There’s that damn crustacean again—I mentioned it once before in one of my lunatic posts--that horrific symbol of meaningless cycles of nature, that, according to traditional thought that I find quite compelling, has nothing to do with a good god.The depths-crawling lobster represents the nightmare of the unknown, of the subconscious, and also of the deep unexplored ocean; the things we know exist and don’t want to understand—all brought up by the moon’s powerful force.

 

Abraham Janssens “Inkonstanz, Allegorie der Unbeständigkeit” (1617)

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