For me, the least-scary prop in the first Ghostbusters movie was the fridge. I have just such a fridge you see and it’s quite normal that on opening the door I come face to face with a gateway to another dimension.
More usually I find objects I’m quite certain I didn’t put there myself. Some of which engage me in conversation. Especially the cheeses. Very chatty, cheese. And I’ve just assumed that everybody’s fridge is like that.
A recent appearance in my fridge was this slice of melon. Its beauty mesmerised me, like a hare transfixed by a Blood Moon. Strange that I should come up with such a simile as actually, I was born in the Year of the Rabbit according to Chinese mythology, which is more accurately named the Year of the Hare. That’s because China has no rabbits. It’s a mistranslation from the Chinese into the English. And the rabbit/hare is also a symbol for the moon.
I’m pleased about the hare thing because I could never see myself, in a millions years, with the attributes of a rabbit. Timid? Non-confrontational? Happier in a herd? What – like timid, non-confrontational Mao Tse-tung? (Mao means rabbit in Chinese.)
According to Erica Sofrina (Feng Shui for the Western World) the hare type is not about cute bunnies. It’s about big feet and powerful legs – a kick that can kill a fox with a single blow. The hare is well able to defend itself! But the hare also defends itself and its young by burrowing. (In fact, this is only true for rabbits, hares generally live in the open. When the need arises however, they will make shallow burrows for their young.)
Well I don’t believe in popular astrology. And I have little feet. Though, uncannily perhaps, looking back, I have tended to choose physical activities that required nifty footwork. At school I played hockey and though a team activity, I was a lonely goalie. I was even chosen for the county team at 16 (youngest ever, apparently). I used also to run, both at school (cross- country and half mile) and in my 30s I was running 5 miles daily. Besides running spikes, I’ve hurled myself about in ballet shoes, in black sling-backs with wine-glass heels (ballroom and latin-american dancing) roller skates, figure and ice dance skates. Size 2 and a half jazz dance shoes, and none at all (when I had a go at karate). Flippers for snorkeling. And now into my senior years, I WALK (poetically mapping as I go, of course) in Merrells.
As for burrowing, well, I have to admit that I love digging. Unearthing a fragment of old china brings with it a frisson of excitement. I have boxloads of such artefacts dug out of my various past gardens – each of them an entire history – waiting for me to do something arty with them. I dug out a new raised border in the garden only this morning, unearthing yet another china fragment to add to my collections.
Hares are also about the fey, the mystical. Researching hares as symbols in folklore and belief, I came across material concerning ancient motifs made up of three hares – an ancient archetype spanning all the major religions and cultures.
The majority of three hare motifs in the UK can be found in churches in the West Country (of England) particularly Devon. They appear on more than two dozen roof bosses as stone or wooden bas-reliefs – such as this fabulous one below from St Andrew’s Church, South Tawton. There’s a close-up of this boss by photographer & film maker Chris Chapman. There’s a link on his site to the Three Hares Project. The project has been researching and documenting the symbol of the three hares, which run in a circle and are joined in the centre by three ears that form a triangle. There’s a page of images of 23 different Three Hares bosses in Devon churches here.
And treat yourself to a gander (pun – sorry!) at the fabulous images of Three Hares motifs from around the world.
As soon as I set eyes on this motif however I thought of the Breton Tryskelle. I came upon this celtic symbol when travelling the length and breadth of Britanny some years ago, which included one wet and cold visit to the International Celtic Festival of Lorient, which takes place during the first week of August every year. We even sported a sticker of a Tryskelle on our previous car.
There are many variations of the motif, such as the Triquetra, the Manx Triskelion (formed of three human legs). The Tryskelle however is a set of three interlocking spirals. And that brings me right back to my mouldy melon slice!
If you look closely at the image on the left, you’ll see there’s a star pattern and the end of each of the star’s arms, a spiral. I can’t find any information about the spiral structure of watermelons, though spirals abound in nature. Ferns, for instance. Next time you take a walk in a wood, take a close look at any ferns you come across. I took this photo of an unfurling fern leaf on a walk through the spectacular landscapes of Emmetts Garden, which is on Ide Hill, near Sevenoaks, Kent.
The shells of molluscs, such as the Nautilus, and the common garden snail, develop in spiral fashion.
The seeds on the heads of sunflowers are arranged in spiral fashion.
As my old friend Hermes Trismegistus once wrote: “As above, so below.” This was on the famed Emerald Tablet. The Tablet has been found appended to various manuscripts, including the Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature, dating to 650-830 AD.
A new translation of the Tablet contains references I find remarkable in that they seem to be in line with the Big Bang Theory of our origins:
- What is the above is from the below and the below is from the above. The work of wonders is from One
- And all things sprang from this essence through a single projection
The growth rate of spirals of a certain kind in nature are supposed to be in line with The Golden Ratio. These spirals follow a mathematical order called the Fibonacci Sequence or Numbers. The Nautilus shell grows in spiral fashion in just such a manner. Actually it’s called a logarithmic spiral. I find this fascinating. I wondered if the growth of spiral galaxies followed the Golden Ratio and discovered there are many!
The Golden Ratio – used since Renaissance times and considered the epitome of design perfection in art – is everywhere in nature from micro to macro. Getting back to the Nautilus, how can a mollusc know to grow its shell in accordance with a set of numbers? The Golden Ratio? Some argue that consciously, it cannot. The consciousness must then have come from elsewhere. What about the spiral galaxy? Just coincidence and accident?
So – sitting in my fridge – the Milky Way in a single slice of watermelon (with a very healthy growth of rather exquisite mould)?
What’s in your fridge today?