Jack and the Beanstalk

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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby spiral » 7:43 pm

hvered wrote:Jackstraws, or pickup sticks, is a game that's still played. You throw a bundle of thin sticks and pick them up with another stick moving only one at a time. It requires a great deal of attention and patience. On the other hand there are elements of chance and secrecy, typical of Hermes, associated with straws as in drawing the short straw (bad luck).

Stick-throwing is said to have been a form of forecasting or divination, like casting lots. The ritual seems to be very ancient, perhaps it arises from laying sticks for kindling?


Yes in all of this there is an element of a decision at a "critical moment", maybe that is the point as these are all the attributes (attention, patience, secrecy and yes a calculated gamble) you need at a critical moment. Jack = check (after all it sounds similar) look around, use your skills it's critical.....
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Maribel » 11:13 am

Online etymology connects check to shah but this is in relationship to chess (did chess originate in Persia?)

Etymonline says
check
"a call in chess noting one's move has placed his opponent's king (or another major piece) in immediate peril," from Old French eschequier "a check at chess" (also "chess board, chess set"), from eschec "the game of chess; chessboard; check; checkmate," from Vulgar Latin *scaccus, from Arabic shah, from Persian shah "king," the principal piece in a chess game (see shah; also cf. checkmate (n.)). Also c.1300 in a generalized sense, "harmful incident or event."

It then backtracks to "sudden stoppage" which is more in keeping with getting hold of a hock or astragalus (strangulating?)
When the king is in check that player's choices are severely limited. Hence, "sudden stoppage" (early 14c.), and by c.1700 to "a token of ownership used to check against, and prevent, loss or theft" (surviving in hat check) and "a check against forgery or alteration," which gave the modern financial use of "bank check, money draft" (first recorded 1798 and often spelled cheque), probably influenced by exchequeur.

Check or cheque in the commercial sense is the equivalent of securely fastening something, or someone, and Hermes as the god of commerce is associated with banking.

Pawn, another chess piece, is having something in hock. If check is the shah, pawn is the peon or peasant (or pagan).
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby hvered » 11:42 am

We're getting into Harlequin territory. The archetype of the fool or clown wears a chequered cloth bound at the waist like a monk's habit and carries a long staff like a pilgrim or herdsman.

Image

Were black and red the colours of a chessboard before today's black and white squares became the norm?

Chequers is the name of the prime minister's country house in the home counties' Megalithic heartland (near the Ridgeway).
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Stuart » 1:02 pm

hvered wrote: Stick-throwing is said to have been a form of forecasting or divination, like casting lots. The ritual seems to be very ancient, perhaps it arises from laying sticks for kindling?

The 'sticks' may have been bones originally. The word bonfire comes from 'bone-fire'.

Fire is so important that it's hardly surprising that it was sacred, in the far north the flame cannot be allowed to die. Even today fire is the most essential part of Saami herders' tool-kit and traditionally a few drops of spirit were sprinkled on it every morning.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby spiral » 10:21 am

Maribel wrote:Online etymology connects check to shah but this is in relationship to chess (did chess originate in Persia?)

Etymonline says
check

"a call in chess noting one's move has placed his opponent's king (or another major piece) in immediate peril," from Old French eschequier "a check at chess" (also "chess board, chess set"), from eschec "the game of chess; chessboard; check; checkmate," from Vulgar Latin *scaccus, from Arabic shah, from Persian shah "king," the principal piece in a chess game (see shah; also cf. checkmate (n.)). Also c.1300 in a generalized sense, "harmful incident or event."

It then backtracks to "sudden stoppage" which is more in keeping with getting hold of a hock or astragalus (strangulating?)
When the king is in check that player's choices are severely limited. Hence, "sudden stoppage" (early 14c.), and by c.1700 to "a token of ownership used to check against, and prevent, loss or theft" (surviving in hat check) and "a check against forgery or alteration," which gave the modern financial use of "bank check, money draft" (first recorded 1798 and often spelled cheque), probably influenced by exchequeur.

Check or cheque in the commercial sense is the equivalent of securely fastening something, or someone, and Hermes as the god of commerce is associated with banking.

Pawn, another chess piece, is having something in hock. If check is the shah, pawn is the peon or peasant (or pagan).


Very good. Here is another wiki page about a variant of Knucklebones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shagai. Shagai sounds like shogi (japanese chess). It seems to me that Jacks/Knucklebones develops into a number of games sports. Its nearly always the ankle bone. And ankle bones are important because they signify both "control" and "direction". Its a hunting game.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Iona » 11:12 am

Ludo is, according to Wiki, a simpler version of Pachisi which is played in India. Pachisi is similar to pascha, a governor.

Ludo boards are chequered with squares within lozenges, quite maze-like. It sounds like a reference to Lugh or Lud, the Celtic god of arts and crafts.

Image

In hunting words like 'game' or 'quarry' are used. Quarry implies hard work and digging, not playfulness. In any case, hunting is a sport which has associations with jest and a certain cruelty.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby hvered » 11:27 pm

Iona wrote: In hunting words like 'game' or 'quarry' are used. Quarry implies hard work and digging, not playfulness. In any case, hunting is a sport which has associations with jest and a certain cruelty.

The chansons de geste of the eleventh and twelfth centuries are said to be predecessors of chivalric romances. Perhaps some chansons were marching songs.

I just learned that the first person to die at the Battle of Hastings was William the Conqueror's jester. His name was Taillefer which seems to mean 'iron-shaper'. He doesn't feature in the Bayeux Tapestry but his presence and supposed death were described by Henry of Huntingdon and other chroniclers. Does it not seem odd for a jester to lead the way on a battlefield?
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Mick Harper » 1:52 am

This is just the Normans having a laugh. The Battle of Hastings never took place.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Penny » 10:03 am

spiral wrote: It seems to me that Jacks/Knucklbones develops into a number of games sports. Its nearly always the ankle bone. And ankle bones are important because they signify both "control" and "direction". Its a hunting game.

Whenever heel comes up in mythological and biblical stories it seems to signal vulnerability, the chink in human armour. Achilles' mother held him by the heel, the weak spot, but ankle makes more sense than heel, you get more purchase by gripping the ankle.

The ankle is the joining point of the leg bones, tibia and fibula, to the talus bone of the foot - heel in Spanish is talon, same in French. Talon is claw of course in English.

Ankle = angle. Also ankh, which is all about 'control' and 'direction'. No Egyptian god/dess would appear without one.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby spiral » 7:03 pm

hvered wrote:I just learned that the first person to die at the Battle of Hastings was William the Conqueror's jester. His name was Taillefer which seems to mean 'iron-shaper'. He doesn't feature in the Bayeux Tapestry but his presence and supposed death were described by Henry of Huntingdon and other chroniclers. Does it not seem odd for a jester to lead the way on a battlefield?


Nope, a shaman signals the direction at a time of crisis.

Walter Raleigh/Francis Drake were playing Bowls......(Jacks) as the Armada approached.
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