Friday, June 29, 2007

The Empress

The Empress card reminds me of Angie and Josiah, both Virgo's. The card is linked with Venus - see the symbol on the throne? And Virgo is supposed to be ruled by the planet Venus as well. There is a plentiful harvest of grain all around the Empress, and she has a beautiful, starry crown on her head. Her gown has pomegranates (again, a symbol of autumn or the harvest) on it. She is calmly in control: kinda maxing and relaxing in her throne, in a beautiful, pastoral setting.

As Virgos they are both typical, in their own ways. One of the funny ways this plays itself out, aside from housekeeping - which is never funny - is in the differences in Josiah's and my favorite church styles.

Josiah, perhaps claiming an affinity for his Finnish heritage, loves the "clean lines" of Finnish Modern design. He's actually an expert on Finnish modern glass and ceramics (don't ask how this mixes with having small children in the house). His favorite churches are those designed by his favorite (Finnish) architects. So, Alvar Aalto's work would be a great example.

I, on the other hand, love the excess of Mexican Colonial "Ultra Baroque". There are great examples of this in Oaxaca. My father describes my fascination as "horror vacui" - and I think that sums up the style of these churches perfectly. Look at the gilt, the angels all over, the floral motifs. Apparently, some of the indigenous workers, when they were forced to build these fantastic buildings, not only recycled the actual stone from the temples which had previously been there, but also worked in some of their own design elements and colors. The red church domes of Mitla are an example of the fusing of the pre- & post- Colonial emphasis on the color red (for blood) in religious sites.

I really love all the blood in Mexican religious art, but that's another story, for another time.


Kalyani said...

The Empress is my card! Juno/Hera is my matron goddess. But I'm a water sign!

As for Mexican churches, we went to the most amazing church in my life: Santa Maria Tonantzintla. See:

Not only was the interior architecture breathtaking, but it was a magical place. As soon as you entered the churchyard (filled with citrus trees in flower and fruit), you entered a world of calm tranquility. But it was also alive! There were kids everywhere playing, talking. Better yet, there was a children's service taking place. Over 100 children were lined up (boys in one line, girls in the other) singing and carrying flowers to the Virgin. Amazing! We learned later that they each get a piece of candy after the service, so that's why they do it.

chartreuse velour said...

hi kalyani!

sally, even though i love those vases of josiah's, when it comes to churches, i'm gonna go with baroque too.