Tag Archives: Lunar

Peru at SAM: The Seattle Art Museum

Photo: Daniel Giannoni

 Going, Going, Gone…

The Peru exhibit is over now and I wanted to share a little of what we saw there with you. According to Seattle Magazine, ‘Seattle is the only U.S. venue to host Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, a rare and astonishing collection of sculpture, metalwork, paintings and textiles spanning a whopping 3,000 years and several cultures.’ – Brangien Davis, Seattle Magazine 

Did you catch that? Seattle is the only place this in the US where the collection will be shown, pretty cool, eh? Some of the pieces in the collection were from Machu Pichu and were discovered by Hiram Bingham III.  He took over 46,000 of them back to Yale with him where they lived until 2012 when they were finally returned to Peru. Seeing how Peru just got them back, one can understand why they are loathe to let them out again. I have a picture of Bingham in the gallery below, if he reminds you of Indiana Jones, there is a good reason for that, Indie was actually modeled after the Yale Historian and tomb raider.

Why is Peru significant?

K, Peru is a South American country that, alone with Meso America in this hemisphere, holds cradle of civilization status. This means that it attained a culture with a level of complexity and advancement, with or without writing, that places it in the same club as ancient Egypt, China and Mesopotamia.

What did we see?

We took a few photos before we saw the NO  PHOTOGRAPHY sign and the rest in my slideshow are from the SAM website. The exhibit was a good combination of history and art and this is something SAM seems to do particularly well based on other shows we have seen here. I would have liked more textiles but just because that is my thing. There was a beautiful blue and yellow hanging that I waited in line for specifically to read what dyes could have given those colors only to find that the “dyes” were in fact macaw feathers traded with the Amazonian tribes, still bright after 700 years. Another complicated textile design turned out on closer inspection to be eight strips woven in two long narrow strips, each in two colors on a backstrap loom no doubt, then pieced together in alternating sequence, with a border in a narrower pattern. Clever, but not complicated.

There was a jug found in a temple that had obviously Lunar symbolism on it. I can’t find a picture of it online to share with you but it had 4 little guys each depicted at different angles, one facing front, one facing left, etc., which I figure have to represent the phases of the moon, below was a dragon with heads at each end with each head swallowing a black stone (even now our symbol for a new moon in the calendar or almanac is a black circle) and along its back were 29 glyphs (because there are 29 days between New Moons). Unfortunately there wasn’t any placard explaining any of it so no one would know about it all unless they knew what to look for.

There was a small bowl that was half silver and half gold to represent the combined energy of the Sun and Moon. I also found it intriguing that Aztec Mummies were buried with gold trinkets on their right side and silver on their left side as those are the same sides of the body said to correspond to solar and lunar energies in Western tradition. There were several examples of turquoise that were interesting because they were much more blue than the color we associate with turquoise, really almost a royal blue. Quite different from the aqua or sky-blue colors of Kingman or Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise from the American Southwest that we are accustomed to.

In spite of the lack of a written “language” they did have pictograms and a way of keeping historical data by tying knots in different colored cords. There was a beautiful example of knotted cords in a case showing the different colors of fiber and different complicated knots. Unfortunately each “scribe” had their own system of knots and colors so while it was useful for the keeping of records, it was was not transferable for the sharing of information. You can see my bad sketch of it below. 

There were two more rooms about the Spaniard’s encounter with Peru which had all the amazing European-style silver and gold work you would expect and then another about the post Colonial era but we were mostly interested in the PreColumbian era so we went back that direction again.

Many items had stories,  for instance the ornament pictured above:

This spectacular Mochica gold forehead ornament from the fourth or fifth century A.D.—a representation of a terrifying sea god surrounded by eight tentacles—was intercepted in a London gallery by Scotland Yard, subsequent to a 2004 tip from an individual informant. Instantly dubbed by some newspapers the “Peruvian Mona Lisa,” the famous Mochica octopus was recovered in 2006 by the Peruvian authorities and returned to the Museo de la Nación in Lima. It had, according to archeaologist Walter Alva, been discovered during the illegal excavation of a tomb at La Mina in the Jequetepeque Valley, which had been extensively looted in 1988. The present exhibition of this masterpiece of Mochica goldsmithery, which quickly became a symbol of the war on art trafficking, is its first showing outside Peru since its incredible recovery.

We followed our tour of Peru with a stop at the  Pike Brewpub at the Pike Place Market, We haven’t been down here in years and the brewpub has really grown but it winds around so many levels that it is hard to really tell. The pub has turned into kind of a museum as well with copies of early Kent Valley settler Meeker’s pamphlet on Hop growing and various ephemera about the history of beer making in the Washington territory.

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Once in a Blue Moon…

Happy New Year!

This New Year’s eve is not only a Full Moon, but a Blue Moon. What does that mean? It means that there are two full moons this month. When that happens, the second full moon is called a blue moon. It happens infrequently, which is why we refer to something rare as happening once in a blue moon.  The last blue moon was in 2007.

Click to read more about Blue Moons.

January is named for Janus, the Roman god of doorways and gates, beginnings and endings. Janus has 2 faces and can see the past and future simultaneously.

Click here to read more about Janus.

Click here to read my New Year’s Resolutions post from 2009.

Click here to read about New Year’s traditions from around the world.

A few ways to celebrate the New Year:

Fireworks at the Space Needle! Seattle’s Space Needle will host the West Coast’s version of New York’s Time Square as more than 50,000 people gather below to watch the Fireworks shoot across the mid-night sky.

This year’s New Year’s Eve concert at St James Cathedral will be a performance of the Roman Choral Fireworks by Handel. It starts at 11pm and my buddy Kimmie’s husband is one of the musicians.

Jan 1 at noon is the Polar Bear Plunge at Burien’s Three Tree Point.

EMP’s Indulgence 2010 SeattleBash features a variety of live music, comedy and dancing for the 21 and over crowd.

Tacoma hosts a New Year’s Eve festival;  a family-friendly, alcohol-free bash called First Night.

What will you be doing?

Friday the 12th is a Full Moon in Gemini.

This Moon will appear exceptionally large as it rises since it is both full and at its perigee, the point in its orbit where it passes closest to the Earth. At midnight, it will appear quite high and bright. The Full Moon is when you can “see” the results of what you have been planning and working on for the last two weeks. It is time to release the plan and review your ideas and to reorganize or restructure where necessary.  The Moon in Gemini can indicate distraction and difficulty in focusing your energy. One way to try to help your self to get tasks done is to use the distractions rather than fighting them  Make a list of what you need to get done and then just go ahead and start a few of the items on the list. Don’t worry about forcing yourself to methodically finish one task then the next and so on, but just allow yourself to flit from one to the next. When I have needed to do this, I’ve noticed that I do complete all the tasks that need to get done without the procrastination and stress that would be caused by forcing myself to work on just one task at a time when my “brain” isn’t in the right mood. Leave a comment if you try this or if you want to share what you are working on.

Are you looking for last minute holiday gift ideas? How about a gift certificate? We make a beautiful one that can be used for a relationship, natal or transit report, the jewelry in my store, a consultation, or soon to be available, relaxation and stress release mp3s. Call 206-459-6963 or email me for more information.

Other gift ideas: I am fascinated by Josh Simpson’s little “planets.” The planets are hand blown glass marbles. Check out his Infinity Project scrapbook which contains photographs of his marbles that have been placed all over the world as “a testament to the longevity of glass.”

The cool book of the season is Porn For Women. Also in the same series: Porn for New Moms. No, honestly… you MUST click the link and then post what you think.

And a plug for my perennial companion: Every home and every gardener needs a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Inga >^..^<

Venus and Jupiter

Step away from the computer and go outside. No, really! Jupiter and Venus are conjunct and the Moon will appear to pass right by them. The best pictures of what to look for are here at Skytonight.

The other important item is that tonight is a New Moon which means that NOW is the time to start whatever new project or new practice you’ve been planning. Sorry the distribution list isn’t set up yet. You will get proper warning for the upcoming Full Moon!

I’ll get to see the conjunction on my way to take Rob to class. He is finishing Beyond Basic Obedience tonight. At least, I think he is, he may have one more week to go. It is a good thing I don’t have children, eh?

Robert Bruce

Picture of Robert Bruce taken by Stephanie

Inga >^..^<