For the series of snakes devouring flowers, according to Barrault and Martin, one can suppose the serpent-dragon to be finally tamed, so that eats flowers. Croziers below shown are no longer about a snake devouring flowers but flowers in the same glaze. The authors explain that with the legend of the stick rod Aaron becomes a flowering branch.
The first on the left above belonged to Cardinal de Bonal, the museum of Lyon. In the middle, the crozier belonging to Saint Hildesheim Bernward is also very interesting for the matter of composition in an alloy of aluminum, which still preserves one thousand years after a white splendor. The decoration of the knob of the shaft has griffins ( which we can see in the right picture below), very difficult theological symbols to locate indeed.
If we enlarge the flower crozier above on the right, from Abbey de Saint Maurice en Valais, and look closely it shows another apparently out-of-place griffin on the knob of the shaft. White alloys, flowers, and griffins are all symbols for the same Mercurius/Virgin’s Milk.
The snake sometimes takes on different heads, as we can observe in these two above enamel specimens. The first enamel crozier on the left belonged to the abbot of Saint Wast in Arras in the 13th century and has a lion’s head. According to the authors here snake has disappeared and gives way to a real lion on the end of a leafed branch. So the hopeless beast is in the middle way to turn into a flower, or the beast is on its way to redemption. The lion is less wild and single-minded than the serpent. The same explication for the dog-headed enamel crozier of the twelfth century in Biblioteque Imperial. I agree with Barrault in giving a similar explication for both lions and dogs. But, in my opinion, they stand for volatile becoming fixed.
In the series of angels with spears is all too easy, for our authors, to say that the serpent was finally defeated. In hermetic symbolism this serpent iconography is the same but slightly different from the aforementioned since it represents Primitive Mercurius, then turned into an Angel/Mercurius Philosophorum to pierce or dissolve our dragon, or metallic matter in its incrudating way. Pay attention that in some dry metallurgic ways spears may have a similar but not identical meaning.
Concerning the pictures above, always in our Barrault and Martin opinions, we finally have the complete symbol of victory upon evil: the serpent is defeated and becomes the guardian of the treasures of heaven. On the left the ivory specimen on the “Le Baton Pastoral” from abbey d’Estival 15th. On the right, an enamel crozier belonged to the Bishop of Bethlehem and dates to Baldwin the second (12th).
A hermetic explication for those croziers can be directly provided by Sychardus, bishop of Cremona, who wrote at the end of the twelfth century that the crozier was a symbol for eternal life or immortality: “ Moyses ex mandato Domini virgam habuit, qua terribilia fecit in coelo, in terra et in mari: quia cibum de coelo potum de terra produxit, et gregem ad terram fluentem lacte et melle minavit. … Hic ergo baculus ex osse et ligno conficitur, quae cristalina vel aurata sphaerula conjunguntur; os superius recurvatur, lignum inferius ferro acuitur, modice tamen retunditur; os et lignum arte rasii poliuntur… aliquando in curvatura Cape ponitur, quoniam ad Dominum conversis vita aeterna promittitur”. Translation: “By God, Moyses was assigned the stick, which produced awesome things in earth, sky and sea, which supplied food from the sky and drinking from the earth, and sustained the flock in the earth with milk and honey in large quantity… thus this stick out of wood and bones made, which is connected with golden and crystal sphaerula (little sphere), the superior bone is curved, the inferior wood sharpened by means of iron, nevertheless slightly rounded; the bone and wood with art smoothed… finally put in the curvature, when turned towards God we are promised eternal life”. Capis has two meanings: 1.capis, vase-amphora with capide at ablative; 2. Capis, a personal very rare name, with Cape at ablative. In both cases a very strange and interesting sentence.
As far as “curvature” is concerned: At the end of their book Abbot Barrault and archaeologist Martin present and find no explication for some 11th-century outlandish iron croziers. Below on the left is the crozier belonging to bishop Termondus of Affinghen, while the right one is to abbot Guillome the second. They designate the original hermetic ringlet, which I have already talked about in the previous Croziers & Ringlets of Serpent 1. Definitely the last part of our alchemical works. But this is only a part of the Secret Fire job, whose flux seems to coil like a serpent.
- The serpent symbol is the measure, as well as the main key, to open all hermetic symbolism, as very properly represented in the ivory crozier of Saint Trophime in Arles (11th) on the top of this page.
“Le Baton Pastoral etude archeologique par l’abbé Barrault et Arthur Martin S.J”. Extrait du Tome IV des Melanges d’Archéologie, d’Histoire et de Literature, redigés ou recueillis par les auteurs de la monographie de la Cathedrale de Bourges. Paris 1856;
- Caduceus concept has already been covered in the antecedent Croziers & Ringlets of Serpents 1;
- See also Guido de Montanor & Regimens of Fire;
- See also Codex Marcianus Ouroboros and Cesare Ripa & the Hot Frozen Ouroboros World Machine ;
- See also Sun & Moon at the turn of the turn of the first millennium or Philosophia Reformata, Father Sun & Mother Moon;
- Blaise de Vigenère & salt sacrifice;
- See also Kamala Jnana & Introduction to a live Secret or Artephius, Secret Book & Secret Fire;