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The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper 
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
ant wrote:
A good starting point to avoid a scatter-brained method would be to start with context, both personal and social, then attempt to arrive at the most likely explanation.


No matter how strong your hermeneutics at proposing a most likely explanation, they are insufficient to rule out alternative intentions. I'm not saying interpretations. I'm saying intentions. Artists can and do create artwork with crazy hidden intentions, never discovered until they reveal it later on. Others take their intention with them in death, and the best we can do is not enough to move us from an agnostic position in many cases.


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Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:34 pm
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
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I'm not saying interpretations. I'm saying intentions. Artists can and do create artwork with crazy hidden intentions, never discovered until they reveal it later on. Others take their intention with them in death, and the best we can do is not enough to move us from an agnostic position in many cases.


There is no evidence that Leonardo's intentions were crazy in any of his writings or his works.
There is no evidence or any record of claims espoused by 3rd parties that Leonardo had at any time crazy intentions in his works or writings.

Any idiot is welcomed to introduce unfounded conspiracy theories.
That's what idiots are for in situations like these - to introduce conspiracies that are totally contrary to historical evidence and serve as the most highly unlikely explanations for us to compare and give credence to the most likely explanations.

An idiot is not smart enough in situations like these to move a rational person to the agnostic position without having extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim.

Are you running out of life jackets?

Throw out some more. I don't care. They're amusing me.



Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:42 pm
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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Quote:
Are you running out of life jackets?

Throw out some more. I don't care. They're amusing me.


Life jackets for who? If I'm defending the agnostic position, I'm saying that I believe neither you nor Robert. He can't prove he's right, because that would require an admission from LDV. You can't prove he's wrong, because that would also require an admission from LDV.

You can both state the case for your opinions, but you need to be mindful that they are just that - opinions. Which means these sorts of comments aren't justified: "Anyway, when anyone has the time, google some of the this craziness.
It's very entertaining.
"

Robert wrote:
The finger in the wound is not the simplest explanation for how Leonardo constructed this painting to link time and eternity, but the finger pointing to heaven manifestly and simply explains this intent.


With regards to intention, simplicity isn't necessarily the best investigative value. Artists are complex people, with complex intentions. Parsimony doesn't necessarily apply to a piece of artwork for this reason.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Interbane wrote:
Robert… can't prove he's right, because that would require an admission from LDV.
An explicit statement by an artist is not the only proof of intent for the rationale of the composition of a painting. Numerous religious paintings are understood through their inclusion of symbols (eg keys and rooster for Peter) because these symbols are part of the widely understood language of the community and do not require writing by the artist to explain them.

The situation with The Last Supper is that the observation that Leonardo Da Vinci encoded a depiction of the annual star path of the sun is far too detailed, accurate and explanatory to be mere coincidence. But the community who understands this language has been heavily suppressed, so alternative literal false explanations have emerged.

Creationists are blind and hostile to this material because it comprehensively dismantles their obsolete worldview, so their ideas should be ignored as random spurious idiocy premised on error. Scientists and modern philosophers also find it difficult to recognise how this observation uncovers the Hermetic context at the root of the modern rational enlightenment. There is extensive analysis of this paradigmatic context of hermetic philosophy, for example in a wonderful book I mentioned here earlier, The Forbidden Universe by Picknett and Prince.

The alignment of Leonardo's work with Hermetic philosophy is abundant and compelling. Leonardo was a leader of the intellectual scene in Florence where the major rediscovery of Hermetic texts occurred in his life time. He explicitly states in his extant writings “Hermes the Philosopher”, and discussed at length the exact same motif he uses in The Last Supper, how man is a microcosm of the universe. The core of this hermetic philosophy is the ‘as above so below’ theory that became the basis of modern science in the theory of gravity.

Hermetic philosophy came to be regarded as heretical by the church, so the best way to convey it to a mass audience was to use its methods and ideas in popular works without explaining explicitly why. The Last Supper is the supreme example of this method.

The extremely widespread and prominent historical use of the motif of the twelve apostles as symbols of the zodiac provides abundant precedent and context for Leonardo’s use of this same motif. Unfortunately, the persecutory attitudes of the church, when seen together with the unscientific attitudes of popular astrology and the natural sceptical attitudes of scientists, have combined to make this a difficult research topic.

Leonardo advances significantly from the previous merely symbolic use of the zodiac by providing a purely scientific and empirical use of the stars as a framework of exact observation of the cosmos, along the lines of his anatomical drawings with their exact and meticulous observation. Leonardo is laughing at the church by providing a modern scientific drawing of the cosmos, concealed within the heart of the cultural understanding of how man has fallen and betrayed this cosmic knowledge.

The great beauty here is that the hypothesis I have presented is as simple and logical and elegant as Galileo’s observation of the moons of Jupiter. All it takes for people to see it is to look carefully and without prejudice.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Further on this question of how we know Leonardo used the stars as his map.

We know Judas has his head in front of Peter’s heart because Judas is holding a bag of money and Peter is holding a sword. These are identifying symbols based on the Gospels.

All twelve of the apostles and Christ also have specific identifying symbols for the stars, as follows, in order from the right of the painting.

Aries – ice hockey stick or plough shape
Taurus – V and O
Gemini – parallel lines
Cancer – Y
Leo – Reverse Question Mark ?
Virgo – Diamond
Pisces (Christ) – V
Libra – Rhombus
Scorpio – curved sting
Sagittarius – teapot
Capricorn – Triangle
Aquarius – Right Turn Sign
Pisces – V

Without considering the painting, these are the shapes that we should look for in the sky to find each of these constellations, as seen from the northern hemisphere, in order along the path of the sun. Now, when we look for these shapes in the painting of The Last Supper, we find them in the right order, embedded in each of the thirteen figures. These cosmic shapes are as specific and basic as the sword and money for Peter and Judas. That is only possible if Leonardo used these shapes on purpose.

I think the reason I get no traction on this topic is because the simple explanation just provided involves a paradigm shift, and people cannot believe that is possible. But I say it is necessary to fix our scientific understanding of how we connect to the cosmos, or humans are likely to go extinct. We have a very deep religio-scientific pathology that is preventing this simple knowledge from being seen. It is fascinating and dangerous. This pathology is what John Calvin called ‘Total Depravity’. The remarkable thing here is that Leonardo had a vision of genius, of how human life connects to the cosmos, and the depravity of the world has meant no one has seen his vision for half a millennium. It is hiding in plain view.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Interbane wrote:
A man can have a thousand intentions with a single piece of art. Listing many of them does not exclude others.


While it is true that an artist can have any number of intentions, messages or symbols within a single piece of art, that does not give unlimited license to presuppose any particular intention, even in cases where the intention seems blatantly obvious to the reader.

Allow me to illustrate: Say an author wrote as the first sentence of a story, "The walls were blue." A literary critic comes in to talk to the author on a news program, and says to the man, "I love how this opening sentence decries your neo-sexual depression, how you reject the norms of your inner world, and how you may or may not want to change."

The author gets up, angry, and before storming off, says, "No, the fact of the matter is, the walls were f**king blue." (I apologize for censoring myself--I am normally against it, but as I am new here and am unsure of the rules on profanity I figured I best kep it safe.)

To further illustrate my point, I turn to Harlan Ellison speaking in the 2009 documentary made on his life and writing, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH. After listening to various writers and professionals speaking on how his childhood may have shaped some of the darker aspects of his stories, Harlan turned around and said, "You know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!" (I believe this to be jacked from Freud, and of course serving as a deviation of another glib statement made about roses.)

As a writer myself, I understand perfectly well just how many intentions and ideas can go into a particular story, poem, teleplay, etc. However, it is sometimes tricky for the reader to go to certain lengths in guessing what they are, unless they know intimately what's inside the author's own head. Of course, that's just my opinion--I could be wrong.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
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I think the reason I get no traction on this topic is because the simple explanation just provided involves a paradigm shift, and people cannot believe that is possible.


I would enjoy it if this were true. I have no resistance that I don't think is warranted. There are so many permutations for the patterns to fit. First, the scale of one to another is off. Yes, I know it would have to be that way for it to fit. The starts don't adhere to a precise point(a fingernail/mole), but an entire hand or face. The ratios are off, as your video has shown.

There are a number of degrees of separation. I don't think you're justified in saying it was Leonardo's intent, even though it's a stronger case than merely apophenia. It's close, but I think it needs a touch of corroboration.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Movie Nerd wrote:
To further illustrate my point, I turn to Harlan Ellison speaking in the 2009 documentary made on his life and writing, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH. After listening to various writers and professionals speaking on how his childhood may have shaped some of the darker aspects of his stories, Harlan turned around and said, "You know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!"


I'm a big fan of Harlan Ellison, who wrote many classic sci-fi stories and also penned the script of one of the most famous Star Trek episodes—The City on the Edge of Forever. The episode was critically acclaimed and was awarded the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Though Ellison still rants about how the script was butchered by Roddenberry and other screen writers. He's a very interesting personality, that Ellison.

Stephen J. Joyce, grandson of James Joyce, once commented at an academic conference, that “If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing." The grandson further commented that Joyce's work can be "picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations."

That last comment might be a stretch for Joyce's last novel, Finnegan's Wake, which is notoriously impenetrable, containing numerous obscure allusions and a stream-of-conscious kind of writing that leaves scholars still wondering what it means.

I have no doubt that some of our genius artists like Leonardo might be inclined to amuse themselves with secret or hidden messages or with obscure references that most people would miss entirely. I've never been very convinced by Robert's thesis of astrological symbolism in the Last Supper, but I don't think it's that implausible either. So as an agnostic I don't understand the hostility towards the idea. There's no reason to take a firm stance either way. It's at least a very interesting theory even if we will never know the answer.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
geo wrote:
...
Stephen J. Joyce, grandson of James Joyce, once commented at an academic conference, that “If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing." The grandson further commented that Joyce's work can be "picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations."
...
I have no doubt that some of our genius artists like Leonardo might be inclined to amuse themselves with secret or hidden messages or with obscure references that most people would miss entirely. I've never been very convinced by Robert's thesis of astrological symbolism in the Last Supper, but I don't think it's that implausible either. So as an agnostic I don't understand the hostility towards the idea. There's no reason to take a firm stance either way. It's at least a very interesting theory even if we will never know the answer.


Firstly, I must say I love DUBLINER'S. It is one of the finest short story collections ever written in English, perhaps written in any language. As a fan of Souther Gothic, I found many parallels to Joyce's Dublin and Faulkner's Mississippi.

Secondly, I can neither confirm nor deny any astrological, mystical, or any other interpretation of Da Vinci's art. I wouldn't even say I'm hostile towards the idea; in fact, the idea is rather interesting to me. I just don't know that we can properly claim it as fact beyond our own interpretations without the original artist here. I maintain there is a difference between what the audience interprets and what actually went on inside the writer's own head. If that makes sense.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Movie Nerd wrote:
geo wrote:
...
Stephen J. Joyce, grandson of James Joyce, once commented at an academic conference, that “If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing." The grandson further commented that Joyce's work can be "picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations."
...
I have no doubt that some of our genius artists like Leonardo might be inclined to amuse themselves with secret or hidden messages or with obscure references that most people would miss entirely. I've never been very convinced by Robert's thesis of astrological symbolism in the Last Supper, but I don't think it's that implausible either. So as an agnostic I don't understand the hostility towards the idea. There's no reason to take a firm stance either way. It's at least a very interesting theory even if we will never know the answer.


Firstly, I must say I love DUBLINER'S. It is one of the finest short story collections ever written in English, perhaps written in any language. As a fan of Souther Gothic, I found many parallels to Joyce's Dublin and Faulkner's Mississippi.

Secondly, I can neither confirm nor deny any astrological, mystical, or any other interpretation of Da Vinci's art. I wouldn't even say I'm hostile towards the idea; in fact, the idea is rather interesting to me. I just don't know that we can properly claim it as fact beyond our own interpretations without the original artist here. I maintain there is a difference between what the audience interprets and what actually went on inside the writer's own head. If that makes sense.


Hey Nerd, sorry about that. There is some hostility towards the idea on this thread. but I didn't mean to imply it was you. Your comments were spot on!

We discussed the Dubliners some time back. It's a great collection to be sure.

I'm also a big fan of southern gothic. Faulkner's Rose For Emily is one of the best examples of short fiction period. And Flann recently mentioned Flannery O'Connor who is also one of my favorite writers.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Interesting that FO'C is a favorite but an appreciation of fiction and the ability to write same is a plus on this thread.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Flannery O'Conner is excellent Geo. My personal favorite female writer is Eudora Welty. I just love her dry wit.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Movie Nerd wrote:
While it is true that an artist can have any number of intentions, messages or symbols within a single piece of art, that does not give unlimited license to presuppose any particular intention, even in cases where the intention seems blatantly obvious to the reader.
Movie Nerd, thank you for this comment, I appreciate it. It presents a useful basis for me to help explain why the explanation I have provided of Leonardo’s composition method for The Last Supper is not a case of license or presupposition.

People these days are not very familiar with the visible stars of the sky. Those who are familiar with looking up at night can see that the shapes visible along the path of the sun are the same patterns and order as the shapes of the figures in The Last Supper. This is what Max May immediately saw when he read this thread and used it to make his video. It is that simple, but you have to be aware of the star patterns, something most people these days are ignorant of.

Movie Nerd wrote:
Allow me to illustrate: Say an author wrote as the first sentence of a story, "The walls were blue." A literary critic comes in to talk to the author on a news program, and says to the man, "I love how this opening sentence decries your neo-sexual depression, how you reject the norms of your inner world, and how you may or may not want to change."
Thanks for the comparison, as it helps to indicate degrees of iconicity. As I mentioned earlier, if a painting has a saintly man holding a bunch of keys, and even better if he is holding a sword and has a rooster on his shoulder, we can be pretty sure it is intended to depict Saint Peter. Using your example, if a figure in the painting is wearing blue, that is going to tell us little or nothing in iconic terms, unless it is associated with other features such as the Blessed Virgin Mary who usually got about in blue and white. There is also the association between blue and blues, which you seem to allude to regarding depression. But blue or some other colour is more a vague indicator of mood or tone than a direct symbolic icon.

Now let’s look at The Last Supper and the zodiac. The zodiac has twelve groups of stars with iconic shapes roughly like this: __/ Vo Π Y ? <> X ζ Д Δ Γ Λ. These are the shapes of the stars behind the sun in chronological order for each of the twelve months. The beginning point is now about April 18, but due to precession at the time of Christ the beginning point for these twelve shapes was the March equinox.

I have just chosen from word twelve symbols that are fairly close to the actual visible star shapes. The star shapes are almost exactly the same now as they have been for thousands of years, which is why Plato regarded the stars as the symbol of eternity.

You can see that all twelve shapes I chose are different from each other. If you look at the video you will see the actual star shapes. I have simplified the actual sky star patterns for these symbols. You can see more detail at this 2MB pdf

These same twelve shapes appear in order in The Last Supper. This continues an age-old tradition of linking the twelve apostles to the twelve signs of the zodiac. There is motive, method and opportunity. Leonardo’s innovation was to use the actual stars as his template. It really is very simple.

It is nothing like a vague colour which can be interpreted any which way. Rather, it is a precise natural iconic set of symbols, with order and reason and motive.

Movie Nerd wrote:
"You know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!" (I believe this to be jacked from Freud, and of course serving as a deviation of another glib statement made about roses.) As a writer myself, I understand perfectly well just how many intentions and ideas can go into a particular story, poem, teleplay, etc. However, it is sometimes tricky for the reader to go to certain lengths in guessing what they are, unless they know intimately what's inside the author's own head. Of course, that's just my opinion--I could be wrong.

Well yes of course in this case you are wrong, but I appreciate your constructive interested curious approach. Freudian phallic symbolism is far vaguer than the precise encoding of unchanging natural observation of the cosmos that we see in The Last Supper.

So I remain intrigued by the inability of people to understand this basic simple observation. I am not talking about anything as vague as ‘blue’ or ‘cigar’, but a specific code
__/ Vo Π Y ? <> X ζ Д Δ Γ Λ
that appears both in the annual star path of the sun and in The Last Supper. It is obvious that Leonardo got this code by looking at the night sky with his own eyes, just as he looked at botanic specimens and drew them with scientific accuracy. And it is obvious that just as Leonardo said man is a reflection of the earth, so too he depicted the central scene of history as a reflection of the great unchanging eternal visible pattern of nature.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Robert Tulip wrote:
Well yes of course in this case you are wrong, but I appreciate your constructive interested curious approach. Freudian phallic symbolism is far vaguer than the precise encoding of unchanging natural observation of the cosmos that we see in The Last Supper.

So I remain intrigued by the inability of people to understand this basic simple observation. I am not talking about anything as vague as ‘blue’ or ‘cigar’, but a specific code
__/ Vo Π Y ? <> X ζ Д Δ Γ Λ
that appears both in the annual star path of the sun and in The Last Supper. It is obvious that Leonardo got this code by looking at the night sky with his own eyes, just as he looked at botanic specimens and drew them with scientific accuracy. And it is obvious that just as Leonardo said man is a reflection of the earth, so too he depicted the central scene of history as a reflection of the great unchanging eternal visible pattern of nature.


I think you missed my point about the cigar. I was further illustrating the author's intentions versus the reader's interpretations, and how much we, to use a pun, read so much into a piece of art. And of course I wasn't attemtping to critique your symbolistic observations on the painting, but rather a comment left by another poster. Unless of course we're talking abotu totally something different.

I actually find your zodiac comparisons intriguing, and might be inclined to explore them further at a later date.


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Post Re: The Zodiac in Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper
Movie Nerd wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
I am not talking about anything as vague as ‘blue’ or ‘cigar’, but a specific code
__/ Vo Π Y ? <> X ζ Д Δ Γ Λ
that appears both in the annual star path of the sun and in The Last Supper.


I think you missed my point about the cigar. I was further illustrating the author's intentions versus the reader's interpretations, and how much we, to use a pun, read so much into a piece of art. And of course I wasn't attemtping to critique your symbolistic observations on the painting, but rather a comment left by another poster. Unless of course we're talking abotu totally something different.

I actually find your zodiac comparisons intriguing, and might be inclined to explore them further at a later date.


Thanks Movie Nerd. You might not intend your comments as a critique, but that is what they are objectively. I am saying the apostles are not just apostles, but symbols of the visible cosmos. And the precision of the code, shown above, is such that this cannot be random coincidence since the same code is visible in the sky and the painting. It is not something I am ‘reading in’ as you put it, but something there objectively.

Freud’s famous apocryphal remark about cigars carries the direct implication here that ‘sometimes an apostle is just an apostle’. But that is not true for The Last Supper. The apostles are objective symbols of the stars. They are not just apostles. By contrast, Freud smoked twenty cigars a day, and symbolic analysis of this habit would most definitely involve reading things in that were not intended when he lit up.

You might find this cigar aficionado article on Freud of some interest, although I should say don’t try this at home http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatu ... Cigar_6051

I should note, it is best to ignore the creationists on this thread as they are incapable of scientific analysis and are focused just on shoring up magical faith. But it can be useful to discuss their comments, as long as we don’t just whet the appetite for goats and trout.


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