Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LUX UMBRA DEI EST

It's the first Daily Digital Alchemy challenge: Shadows of A Different World. Instructions: "Alchemists know that shadows of a different dimension reach into this world. Capture an unworldly example of a shadow of a different world. It should indicate something more than we can see with our own eyes."

I decided to go with this beautifully paradoxical Latin saying: LUX UMBRA DEI EST. Light (lux) is (est) the shadow of god (umbra dei). 

I made a cheezburger cat with it, and you can also see the motto as it is used on a sundial below:


Lux umbra dei est.
Light is God's shadow.

Here's the sundial from quisnovus at Flickr with those words as its motto:


A close-up of the Latin:


And check out the eerie eyes to left and right:



When poking around on the Internet looking for other places this phrase appears, I found something similar in the Neoplatonic Renaissance scholar Marsilio Ficion (more at Wikipediatext online): Lumen est umbra dei

By using the Latin lumen instead of lux, Ficino can then make this lovely play on words: Denique lumen est quasi numen quoddam in mundano hoc templo dei similitudinem referens, "light is like a certain divine power bearing the likeness of God in this worldly temple."

As I poke around in alchemical writings later today, I'll see what else I can find by way of light and shadows. :-)

1 comment:

  1. share this with my friend who got a tattooed on his arm

    ReplyDelete