Hello all! So as I draw Chapter 2 of Limbo to a close, I decided to make a blog entry explaining some of the thought processes behind symbolism along with a few visuals for those who may be unfamiliar with the layout of churches.
So first and for most this chapter opens in a church. I use some technical terminology and I'm not changing it because writing "middle aisle" instead of "nave" or "the center of the cross shape of the church" or "the transept" is just. Well it's a lot wordier than it needs to be. So to save you some trouble (and when I post this chapter I'll probably embed the same image) here's the layout for a gothic styled church (which is what this abandoned one is based off, just cause I REALLY like the gothic architecture).
The internet is hella useful lol. Saves me the trouble of scouring through art-history notes from like 5 years ago and scanning this stuff in. Anyway fun fact, churches at least in the contemporary sense, were always shaped like crosses.
So this is a bit of a reiteration of a previous blog post, but the description of the "gold circlet" ties to the Revelations verse in which it describes the Locusts of the Abyss or Abaddon having "gold like crowns".
On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
This is why the circlet is gold and they have masks. Since I've obviously taken creative liberties with the Locusts, I decided to make them wear masks for the "faces of men". There's no description of what the mask looks like in this part but that'll come up later.
Also for anyone who doesn't know:
Circlet: a circular band, typically one made of precious metal, worn on the head as an ornament.
Finally there's mention of the masks somehow being painful and drawing blood, clamping, biting etc. This is a tie towards the crown of thorns Jesus was forced to wear. It's also how the masks stay on. Embedded in their skulls. Ouch right? It's a practicality and a punishment. Which will be explained at a later time.
In one of the previous versions of the story the altar had a very in depth description.
He’s reached the altar and his fingers grasp at its stone edifice, stroking it. Etchings and markings adorn its surface and in four directions rise four gargoyled visages, their mouths open and expressions locked in varying looks of agonized horror.
To the north there’s a woman’s face contorted as if in a scream. It’s marble. White. Pure. Pained. Her eyes shine in the green glow of the candles, shadows dancing over it with life like clarity. Next, to the East, is the stone face of a beast, a canine with its fangs bared and its mouth open. The fur on its pelt sticks up as if its hackles are rising in warning, snarling at an invisible enemy.
A man laments to the south. Carved hands claw at his face. His lips twist down as unruly locks made of obsidian cast a disheveled look over his gaunt cheeks. Finally, to the west is the lamb. Doe eyed and meek it looks out to the wall, but it lacks innocence. Instead in its stone wool is darkness, a perversion of holy order as its neck constricts to the side and its eyes bulge from its sockets in a style reminiscent of the Dark Ages.
The description of the four statues isn't so much as important as what they are.
The Lamb: A general sacrifice used in the bible. I've come to associate it with a level of innocence and sinlessness.
The wolf: The wolf is in this instance the personification of natural chaos. Where the lamb is to be treasured and protected, nurtured the wolf comes as a natural predator to break it.
"He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
The woman and man: These represent Adam and Eve. They represent the original sin and humanity.
As this is the set of a satanic ritual everything of course is warped, hence the juxtapositions in the the descriptions. It's sort of a double paradox.
The Mysterious Woman
Bees have been associated with the spirit world and death. Before the Oracles of Delphi, there was the Melissa (or Melissae),who was a bee goddess. Associated with well a lot of stuff. Suffice it to say there's the birth of souls and Priestesses that would be in an order to protect that type of thing. So fun facts. Take that as you will. Bees have importance mates. Though the origin aint biblical and actually predates most GrecoRoman mythos.
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