Monday, March 27, 2017

The Goddess Kali Ma depicted in the Unicorn Tapestries, tapestry #6 The Unicorn Killed and Brought to the Castle




I will be using a magic box as the labeling for a 16 square grid that the reader can use as a key to locate what is being discussed.




This is a fairly large image. It was procured from the Metropolitan museums website.  The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle  (Cloisters Museum). The set of tapestries are said to be woven between 1495-1505. The only manipulation that was performed on this digital image was Increasing the DPI (Dots Per Inch) to 300. Increasing the DPI to 300 will keep the image from distorting or pixelating when we zoom in. Right now we are just going to look at square 7. 


Let me, catch you, the reader, up on the artistic tale put to tapestry over 500 years ago. The Unicorn hunters have returned to the castle. They have finally killed and captured the unicorn. And for a moment lets agree with all the scholars who for many years have echoed the same stale opinion of the Christ allegory. Or let us pretend that the unicorn which has some pagan roots and is mentioned in the bible a few times, represents the "Christ energy". David Rockefeller, (whose family has the tapestries on loan to the Met) has been quoted as saying "My father would say the unicorn represents the Christ energy"

tapestry #6 The Unicorn Killed and Brought to the Castle









We will take a closer look at square 7 of tapestry 6 in a moment. First, lets look at a picture of Kali Ma.






This is a classical depiction of Kali Ma.
Kali has 4 arms, there may be depictions of Kali with more than 4 arms, but traditionally she has only 4 arms.

She is dark, a dark blue. (she is referred to as the dark goddess)
has a garland of skulls and bracelets of skulls.
In her left hands she holds a sword and a severed head.
Her wrists and ankles are adorned with jewelry.
And she has some decoration or indication of a third eye. Her tongue is sticking out.
In some depictions of Kali Ma she holds a trident (similar to Poseidon's) and a bow in her right hands.












So now lets look at square 7 of tapestry 6. We will determine if the queen shares enough attributes that we can safely say that she is a depiction of Kali Ma.



When square 7 is viewed in isolation the queen appears to have 4 arms. she does not have a garland of skulls but she does have a rosary of skulls and she is wearing a bracelet of skulls on one of her right hands.

We can only see one of her four wrists and she is wearing a skull bracelet.  If we follow her dress down toward the ground we will see a dark almost black leg with a golden ankle bracelet. It is to the right of the horses leg. Interesting to note, there appears to be an eye on what would be the queens foot, odd?


Attribute count:
1. The queen has 4 arms.
2. She has a rosary of skulls. (close enough to a garland)
3. She has a bracelet of skulls.
4. The queens leg is dark and is adorned with a gold bracelet.
5. Every visible ankle or wrist has been adorned with jewelry.

No third eye, no pitch fork (weapon), no tongue, and no severed head. Wait, wait, wait!

There is a reference to the Rapunzel fairy tale in the middle right portion of the square. 

Starting where the queen is holding the rosary beads that are made of small skulls, in one of her left hands, we have a thin oval made by the rosary, that has two larger brown beads. These beads act as the eyes for the basic elements of the face and the pale threads from the queen's sash flows like hair behind the face and down toward the ground, to an awaiting lover?

6. That would count as a severed head.

and what about that Rapunzel reference? Well if we take our attention up toward square #11, (the square just above square #7) we find two faces looking down at the spectacle below.

The face on the left looks nearly identical to the face of the queen on the ground in fact they are identical. The woman in the tower is wearing the same exact headdress as the woman on the ground. Above her forehead is what could be called an indication or reference to a third eye.

7. That counts as a third eye.

Lets look again at square #7 and especially lets give some attention to the right hands of the the woman on the ground, who may be an imposter queen, an imposter Kali, or both.

The woman appears to peeling back part of the horses bridle decoration revealing... Wouldn't you know it, the devil, truly, is in the details.  She is exposing a small red horned devil or demon (Chemosh or Moloch) holding a shield in his left hand and a trident in his right hand. Also important to note the horses tongue is sticking out. Some experts might argue that the horses tongue sticking out is an allusion to the style and detail of certain royal family's coat of arms, or an allusion to the unicorn who is seen with its tongue sticking out in previous tapestries. But because there are so many other references to Kali we will count the tongue sticking out as a legitimate allusion.

8. We found a pitch fork.
9. We found a tongue sticking out.

There are a few more oddities to explore before we are done.

The man who is taking credit for bringing down the unicorn appears to be receiving some type of recognition for a job well done.  But we will notice that the surprised look on his face may be from the imposing, powerful queen standing before him or it could be because his head is skewered on a pike. 


We will notice that the artisan of the tapestry made sure that the detail near the back of the hunter's head does support the observation that his head is indeed on a pike or stake.

Before we end this journey let us return our attention to the pair locked in the tower.  Without having to resize the image we should be able to notice there is a dark female silhouette or female shadow between the two heads that we see in the tower window.

Another reference to the Dark Goddess or an indicator to who the real Kali might be?

And then there is the negative space.


Negative Interpretation tapestry #6 

We will be focusing on square 16 in the negative interpretation of 
tapestry #6 The Unicorn Killed and Brought to the Castle.

In the upper left hand corner of the tapestry square 16 resides.

Zoom negative space Tapestry #6 square 16



Several things appear from the negative space

Zoom negative space Tapestry #6 square 16


500 years and not an expert in the world has reported finding what we just found. How can that be? I have studied the tapestries for probably a total of 30 hours, I have spent a good deal of time looking at them in 300 DPI, which will not distort the image. I do not posses an art degree nor do I posses any formal or informal schooling regarding art, or the unicorn tapestries.

Expect more wonderful goodies regarding these amazing tapestries





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