Monday, November 17, 2014

Ethiopian Star of David Appears for the first time in 1866

Imperial coat of arms of Ethiopia - Menelik II
 Source: Wikimedia

Ian Campbell discovered that "The emergence of an official imperial Ethiopian coat of arms occurred during the reign of Emperor Menilek II [1889-1913]. There had been earlier coats of arms attributed to Ethiopian emperors, but these appeared only in European publications, and are not known to have been used in Ethiopia or even authorised by the sovereigns concerned... In 1866, during the reign of Tewedros [1818 –1868], the six-pointed star of David, which when incorporated with the Greek Cross is known as the seal of Solomon or the shield of Solomon, came to be depicted for the first time on a Ethiopian military award"
it appears on the Coat of Arms of Empress Zauditu [Zewditu I] (1916-1930)... and on the Coat of Arms of Empreror Haile Selassie I (1930-1973).

Source:   Orient meets occident at the imperial throne: the origins, evolution and symbolism of the Royal Ethiopian Coat Of Arms by Ian Campbell, published in
√Ąthiopien zwischen Orient und Okzident : wissenschaftliche Tagung der Gesellschaft Orbis Aethiopicus - K√∂ln, 9.-11.10.1998 / Walter Raunig, Asfa-Wossen Asserate/ 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Solomon’s Seal as a Flower

Richard Pearce tries to explain why did the Polygonatum flower get the name Solomon’s Seal in his video:

His  pdf version is on:

You"ll see some of my photographs from 6:13 minutes.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Star of David on an Autograph Letter of a Pseudo-Messiah

Source: The Jewish Quarterly Review   >   Vol. 19, No. 1, Oct., 1906   >   An Autograph Letter of a Pseudo-Messiah by David S. Sassoon p. 163
Here's some quotes from this article:
"THE accompanying facsimile is reproduced from an original autograph letter [dated 1870] of the Pseudo-Messiah Judah ben Shalom of Yemen, known as Mari Shooker Kohail. Although he is not as famous as Shabethai Sevi, still a letter of his may be of some interest to the Jewish public... The document consists of one leaf of paper, size 14 x 8a inches... At the end of the letter are three seals... and the one in the center has Magen David surrounded by some mystical letters". 

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".