Quando in un bosco ne percepisci la bellezza e diventi tutt'uno con il bosco, allora, intuitivamente, sei in armonia e in pace con le Dee e con gli Dei. Essi sono parte della nostra vera natura, la nostra Natura Profonda, e quando siamo separati dalla nostra vera natura, viviamo nella paura. Percepire questa normalità vuol dire dare un senso reale al vivere che è insito in tutte le cose.

Intraprendere la Via Romana al Divino significa iniziare un percorso di risveglio: praticando l'attenzione e la consapevolezza continua ci incamminiamo lungo una strada sapendo che ciò che conta è il cammino per sè più che la destinazione.

When you, entering a forest, perceive the beauty of the forest and you feel to be in a complete harmony with it, then, intuitively, you are in peace with the Deities. They are an essential part of our real nature, our Deep Nature, and when we are separated by our real nature we live in the fear. Perceiving such normality means giving a real sense to our lives.

Undertaking the Roman Via to the Deities implies a path to awakening: with the practice of continuing consciousness and awareness we undertake our walking knowing that taking the path is more important than the destination itself

venerdì 21 marzo 2014

The symbolic value of the fingers

Some days ago, while browsing a book looking for some religious details, I have found a nice imagine of a roman bronze hand used for divination through palmistry-chiromancy

Here I don't want to discuss about ancient palmistry in detail (too complex, too long) but rather to use this imagine to make some brief consideration about the symbolic value of the fingers according to the Traditional Roman Spirituality.

I want to highlight that this is a very complex symbology: the present discussion has thus to be included in such a perspective. This is to say that when mentioning a Deity, it should be clear enough by now the meaning and sense within which this Deity is cited. For example, when mentioning Jupiter I do not refer to an old man with white hairs and beard appearing from the clouds: I'm citing a force, an energy, a declination of a precise manifestation of the Being.

About the symbolism of the hand, I have already written something in a previous post

The human body, as well as other manifestation of the Nature, is a sort of microcosm in strict relation with the macrocosm, where force and energies of the Nature and Universe are articulated and expressed. Hands and fingers show therefore a complex cosmic symbology whose main goal is to maintain our awareness about these forces around us and inside us.

In particular I'm discussing about the fingers in the left hand (the favourable hand).

The annular is defined as the "medical finger", "Goldfinger", Snakefinger", "Dragonfinger". In Arvalic terms is mentioned as the "Poplar Finger" (sacred tree to Apollo). This finger is related to Apollo. In esoteric and astrological terms, the annular is linked to the heart (sacred to Apollo). For this reason the wedding ring must be made of gold (symbol of the Sun-Apollo) and must be worn in the annular of the left hand. Please note that rings, nodes and necklaces, according to the Tradition, are always tools to control, to block, to regulate, to slow down the circulation of the energy inside the body. Wearing a ring in the left annular means that the matrimonial loyalty is under control and directly connected to the heart, seat of the everlasting love. The annular, being connected to Apollo and "medical finger", is used to stir potions, medical remedies and infusions.

The index is related to Jupiter and Juno .It is the "Authority Finger", "The Justice" and the "Loyalty finger". In Arvalic terms is defined as the "Oak Finger" or "Broom Finger". Judges, Emperors as well as the pater and mater familias, when underlining their authority, always raised the index: we still do the same when we want to reproach someone... Being the Loyalty Finger, the index was used in the past to salute: the gesture of the roman salute was made just rasing the index of the right hand (Hand of Fides). Other forms of roman salute, invented in more or less recent times, are just fantasies.
In rites related to the death or to infernal Deities, the index is linked to Pluto and Proserpina as Authority of the Underworld. 
The tip of the index is named "Divination Point". In Arvalic terms, the index tip is defined as the "alder point" or "ash-tree point": these trees were used for divination.

The smallest finger is connected to Mercury in his infernal and ctone aspects. It is defined sometimes as "Soul Finger" or "Shadows' Finger". In Arvalic terms, it is identified as the  "Yew Finger" because the wood of this tree is used for the dead fires (cremation) and to make the urns for dead. The ship taking the dead's souls to the Underworld is made of wood of yew, This tree is also sacred to Maia (the underground tepor). It plays an important role in the ancient palmistry and divination above all for the rites for dead. The smallest finger is connected to the lungs (lungs are sacred to Mercury).

The thumb is related to Venus having an essentially phallic symbology. In Arvalic terms it is mentioned as the "Palm Tree Finger" or "Grapevine Finger" (both plants are sacred to Venus). In the past, men wore an iron (this metal is linked to Mars and Volcan) ring in the thumb as tool to control an eventual excessive virility. The thumb is connected to the kidneys (sacred to Venus).

The middle finger is linked to Saturn. In the Arval symbology is named as the "Heather Finger" or "Willow Finger" or "Rebirth Finger". Having a golden ring in the middle finger symbolizes the re-birth (finding the Gold in Saturn, according to the Alchemy formula).

The centre of the hand is considered a point where the energy of Mars converges. Frequently in the left hand it is possible to read, among the lines, the letter "M" (Mars) in the centre of the hand. Of course it is possible also to read many other letters: but this is a too long topic to be discussed here.

The palm of the hand is linked to the Moon and Diana: this point is named "Light in the Night" or "Light in the Underworld". Sometimes it is possible to note, at the hand's base, a triangle. This triangle is the symbol of the feminine energy inside us. It is the symbol of the power of the inner water in the body. The palm is connected to the head (sacred to Diana).

The smallest finger and the palm are therefore related to infernal forces. In particular when the smallest finger touches the palm (Mercury and Moon) the hand shows a position used in the past in the rites to recall the dead.

The knowledge of this symbology is at the base of the so called "Latin Blessing": the thumb, ths index and the middle finger are raised. The thumb, sacred to Venus, evidences "the Growth", the index (sacred to Jupiter) evidences a favourable life and the middle finger (sacred to Saturn) the re-birth (the three phases of the Being). This gesture, as many other things, has been "stolen" by the christians: the christian pope, when blessing, makes the sign of the cross putting the fingers according to the Ancient "Latin Blessing".

Similarly it is possible to explain the "Infernal Blessing" or "Pan Blessing" or the index (Pluto and Proserpina) and the smallest finger (Mercury) raised  while the other fingers touch the palm of the hand (Moon). This gesture in the Middle Age became the "witch's blessing": today it is known as the sign of the horns (negative and ill omen). This superstition is unknown in the Traditional Roman Spirituality.

In the Middle Age (but in some parts of Italy this stuff remained alive well beyond the Middle Age) in the foolish and ignorant waves of those times, they tried to reproduce the magical badly understood powers (considered as such) of these bronze hands used for the "Latin Blessing", through the so called "Hand of Glory". The Hand of Glory was the right hand amputated from a hanged criminal which was dried through specific expedients. It was moved for magical and divination goals with the absurd and grotesque results we can easily imagine.

It is possible to clearly understand that fingers and parts of the hand show an oracular value and the right knowledge of their use, meaning and value, according to the Traditional perspective, plays a fundamental role when performing rites and rituals above all those related to the augurales, pontificales, divination and haruspex Sciences. Please note, in the antique imagines, the position of the hands and fingers (but also the position of the feet) the augures, flamines or pontifices had during these rites.

This issue, as already mentioned, is very long and complex showing many interrelated questions and links for example with the Theobotanica. Of course, I'm just a Cultor: so, my knowledge about these topics is very limited. An augur or a pontifex have a deeper knowledge about it. For any further detail please contact them above all about how to use hands and fingers in the proper way while performing important divination rites.

I want to include the following carmen (I think with celtic origins: the "Dichetal do Chennaib"): it recalls a common tradition resuming many concepts useful for the Arvalic Knowledge. I think that an Arval Sister or Brother should memorize it...

 Tree powers, finger tips,
First pentad of the four,
Discover all your poet asks,
Drumming on his brow.

Birch peg, throbbing thumb,
By power of divination,
Birch bring him news of love,
Loud the heart knocks.

Rowan rod, forefinger,
By power of divination,
unriddle him a riddle,
The key's cast away.

Ash, middle finger,
By power of divination,
Weatherwise, fool otherwise,
Mete him out the winds.

Alder, psychic finger,
By power of divination,
Diagnose all maladies
Of a doubtful mind.

Willow wand, ear finger,
By power of divination,
Force confessions from the mouth,
Of a mouldering corpse.

Finger-ends, five twigs,
Trees, true-divining trees,
Discover all your poet asks,
Drumming on his brow.

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