1900: Family

Carl Fredrik Hill - Family (c. 1900)

Carl Fredrik Hill: Family (c. 1900)

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1188: Two Islands

Gerald of Wales - Mappa Mundi - Topographia Hibernica (1188)

There is a lake in the north of Munster which contains two islands, one rather large and the other rather small. The larger has a church venerated from the earliest times. The smaller has a chapel cared for most devotedly by a few celibates called “heaven-worshippers” or “god-worshippers.” No woman or animal of the female sex could ever enter the larger island without dying immediately. This has been proved many times by instances of dogs and cats and other animals of the female sex. When brought there often to make a trial, they immediately died. A remarkable thing about the birds there is that, while the males settle on the bushes everywhere throughout the island, the females fly over and leave their mates there and, as if they were fully conscious of its peculiar power, avoid the island like a plague. In the smaller island no one ever died or could die a natural death. Accordingly it is called the island of the living. Nevertheless the inhabitants sometimes suffer mortal sicknesses and endure the agony almost to their last gasp. When there is no hope left; when they feel that they have not a spark of life left; when as the strength decreases they are eventually so distressed that they prefer to die in death than drag out a life of death, they get themselves finally transported in a boat to the larger island, and, as soon as they touch ground there, they give up the ghost.

Gerald of Wales, The History and Topography of Ireland (1188) (John J. O’Meara, trans.)

“I protest solemnly that I have put down nothing in this book the truth of which I have not found out either by the testimony of my own eyes, or that of reliable men found worthy of credence and coming from the districts in which the events took place,” Gerald says.

The map from the book shows Europe, Great Britain, Ireland (Hibernia), and Iceland; north is on the left.

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100 AD: Leucippus

Museo BarraccoRoman copy of  a Greek original (late 5th century BC)

Galatea, daughter of Eurytius, who was son of Sparton, married at Phaestus in Crete Pandion’s son, Lamprus, a man of good family but without means.

When Galatea became pregnant, Lamprus prayed to have a son and said plainly to his wife that she was to expose her child if it was a daughter. When Lamprus had gone off to tend his flocks, Galatea gave birth to a daughter.

Feeling pity for her babe, she counted on the remoteness of their house and—backed by dreams and seers telling her to bring up the girl as a boy—deceived Lamprus by saying she had given birth to a son and brought the child up as a boy, giving it the name Leucippus.

As the girl grew up she became unutterably beautiful. Because it was no longer possible to hide this, Galatea, fearing Lamprus, fled to the temple of Leto and made many a prayer to her that the child might become a boy instead of a girl, just as had happened to Caenis, daughter of Atrax, who by the will of Poseidon became Caeneus the Lapith.

So also Tiresias changed from man to woman because he had encountered and killed two snakes that had been mating at a crossroads. He changed again from woman back to man by killing another serpent. Hypermestra had frequently sold her body in the form of a woman for a fee, becoming a man to bring food for her father, Aethon. The Cretan, Siproites, had also been turned into a woman for having seen Artemis bathing when out hunting.

Leto took pity on Galatea because of her unremitting and distressed prayers and changed the sex of the child into a boy’s. In memory of this change the citizens of Phaestus still sacrifice to Leto the Grafter because she had grafted organs on the girl and they give her festival the name of Ecdysia [“Stripping”] because the girl had stripped off her maidenly peplus. It is now an observance in marriages to lie down beforehand beside the statue of Leucippus.

—Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphosis (100-300 AD) (Francis Celoria, translator)

Head of a youth, Roman copy of a 5th century BCE Greek original (source)

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2106: Transitional Object

Cornelia Parker - Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) (2016)

In 2016, Cornelia Parker installed this replica of the house from Hitchcock’s Psycho on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city. It’s made from repurposed wood from a red barn; the title of the work is Transitional Object (PsychoBarn).

In 1953, Donald Winnicott introduced the term “transitional object” to describe those blankets, soft toys, and bits of cloth to which young children frequently develop intense, persistent attachments. Winnicott theorized that such…attachments represent an essential phase of ego development leading to the establishment of a sense of self. Subsequent psychological theorists have linked the T.O. to the processes of: separation-individuation; ego and body ego development; the birth of memory, libidinal object constancy, and the capacity for symbolization, creativity; and the capacity for object relations and empathy. (source)

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1966: A World of Limitless Dimensions

Jack Kirby - Fantastic Four Vol 1, No 51 (June, 1966)

Jack Kirby: collage from Fantastic Four Vol. 1, #51 (June, 1966)

Original art:

Jack Kirby - Fantastic Four Vol 1, No 51 (June, 1966) original art

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1886: Methods

Raphaelle Peale - Cheese and Three Crackers (1813)

The following list of terms used to express diverse modes of divination, with explanations, will be found unusually complete and may interest students of occult science. The expressions have been gathered from various sources :

Aeromancy, by appearances in the air.
Alectoromancy, Alectryornancy, by a fowl picking up grains of wheat.
Aleuromancy, by meal.
Alphitomancy, by barley flour.
Amniomancy, by the amnion.
Anagrammatism, by anagrams of a person’s name.
Anthropomancy. by human entrails.
Anthroposcopy, by the features of men.
Arithmancy, by the use of numbers.
Astragalomancy, Astragiromancy, by little sticks, bones, tablets, or dice.
Astrology, by the heavenly bodies.
Austromancy, by winds.
Axiomancy, by the axe or hatchet.
Belomancy, by arrows.
Bibliomancy, by the Bible.
Bletonism, by subterranean springs.
Botanomancy, by herbs.
Capnomancy, by smoke from the altar.
Cartomancy, by playing cards.
Catoptromancy, by mirrors.

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340: Patron Saint of Beekeepers

Jacques I Laud - Saint Ambrose

According to tradition, a swarm of bees settled on the face of the infant St. Ambrose, leaving a drop of honey and thus foretelling the saint’s eloquencehis honeyed tongue. He is the patron saint of bees and beekeepers.

A certain woman having some stalls of bees which yielded not unto her the desired profit, but did consume and die of the murrain, made her moan to another woman, who gave her counsell to get a Consecrated Host and put it among them. According to whose advice she went to the priest to receive the Host; which when she had done she kept it in her mouth, and being come home again she took it and put it into one of her hives; whereupon the murrain ceased, and the honey abounded. The woman there-fore lifting up the hive in due time to get the honey, saw there (most strange to be seen) a Chappel built by the Bees with an Altar in it, the walls adorned by marvellous skill of architecture, with windows set in their places, also a door and a steeple with bells. And the Host being laid on the Altar, the Bees making a sweet noyse flew round about it.

Charles Butler: The Feminine Monarchie (1609); Butler was among the first to identify the queen bee as a (female) queen and not a (male) king.

Jacques I Laudin (1627-1695): Saint Ambrose

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