Jack and the Beanstalk

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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Marko » 10:51 am

The thicket is protecting the rose much as a dragon in the stories stood guard over treasure. The origin of 'treasure' is unknown but has a direct connection with Troy. The town of Troyes in France is where precious gems and metals were measured (there may be a reason why English aristos brought up to speak French had a tendency to pronounce 'r' as 'w'!).

The name Troy is connected to tree, three, true etc. and of course contains 'roi' or king. The root seems to be truare which means “circular movement around a stable centre”. Troy was originally the descriptive name for circular hillforts which were usually surrounded by concentric rings of dykes. These hillforts date back in many cases to the Neolithic period. There are ancient rock carvings which show this circular form of labyrinth leading by devious route to the centre.

In Northern Europe the treading of a maze is still called the “Game of Troy” which suggests a common characteristic between circular (or unicursal) labyrinths and circular hillforts of the ancient city of Troy; both protect something valuable at the centre.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby hvered » 11:19 am

Boreades wrote:The emphasis that Grimm puts on 12 usurping 13 feels significant as well. Lunar calendar (old knowledge) being replaced by a Roman calendar perhaps?


Thirteen, connected with the lunar calendar, is the natural cycle. It was once a lucky number. Some people claim that many stone circles consisted of 13 stones, or 12 in the circle with the centre stone making up the 13th. Be that as it may, there were twelve apostles circling around the Son or Sun.

When you divide the year up by the moon, you get 13 moons of 28 days each, plus one extra day. Each moon is four perfect weeks. Each year is 52 weeks. These are the cycles that govern the physical aspects of life including the menstrual cycle (the pricked finger may be a veiled reference).

The Ogham alphabet apparently consists of thirteen consonants and five (sacred) vowels. According to Robert Graves, the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar/alphabet consists of thirteen lunar trees and five solar trees. At any rate, the thicket sounds very much like a Druidic "sacred" grove.

And roses are full of symbology as well. Anyone for a Rosicrucian connection?

Could be. These old stories have a tendency to get reworked and return in a new, more 'civilised', guise. The Rosicrucians seem to have been quite high up the social ladder.

The thorny briars are equivalent to a girdle and various Celtic saints, not to mention moon-goddesses like Aphrodite, were girdled. Breaching the girdle has sexual connotations but in esoteric-speak means enlightenment.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Iona » 11:21 am

In many cultures the moon goddess is a white cow or sow. Is it significant that Jack sells his mother's cow in return for magic beans?
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Boreades » 1:26 pm

hvered wrote:
Boreades wrote:The emphasis that Grimm puts on 12 usurping 13 feels significant as well. Lunar calendar (old knowledge) being replaced by a Roman calendar perhaps?


Thirteen, connected with the lunar calendar, is the natural cycle. It was once a lucky number. Some people claim that many stone circles consisted of 13 stones, or 12 in the circle with the centre stone making up the 13th. Be that as it may, there were twelve apostles circling around the Son or Sun.

When you divide the year up by the moon, you get 13 moons of 28 days each, plus one extra day. Each moon is four perfect weeks. Each year is 52 weeks. These are the cycles that govern the physical aspects of life including the menstrual cycle (the pricked finger may be a veiled reference).

The Ogham alphabet apparently consists of thirteen consonants and five (sacred) vowels. According to Robert Graves, the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar/alphabet consists of thirteen lunar trees and five solar trees. At any rate, the thicket sounds very much like a Druidic "sacred" grove.

And roses are full of symbology as well. Anyone for a Rosicrucian connection?


Could be. These old stories have a tendency to get reworked and return in a new, more 'civilised', guise. The Rosicrucians seem to have been quite high up the social ladder.

The thorny briars are equivalent to a girdle and various Celtic saints, not to mention moon-goddesses like Aphrodite, were girdled. Breaching the girdle has sexual connotations but in esoteric-speak means enlightenment.


So Briar Rose's parents got her in trouble by denying the natural cycles (and related knowledge). But thanks to the intervention of a good wise woman, the feminine was given a chance to survive and prosper, and be reunited in harmony with the masculine. And they all live happily ever after.

Or was Briar Rose a Vestal Virgin priestess for a 100 years? The "asleep" people around her would presumably be the unawakened or unenlightened people who had not been initiated and raised in consciousness. Much like Lazarus.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Marko » 3:31 pm

hvered wrote: At any rate, the thicket sounds very much like a Druidic "sacred" grove.

Be careful or you'll get your wiccas in a twist. The thicket is just an animal enclosure, or trap.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby hvered » 5:01 pm

Marko wrote: There are stories of heroes and giants, crossed lovers and criminals, thrown off or jumping from cliffs into the sea or being stoned, burnt or chained to rocks. The general assumption is that the stories describe rituals to purge the community of its sins, heaping each and every misdemeanour onto a pharmakos or scapegoat.

Throwing stones and/or pieces of broken crockery sounds like animal-scaring tactics, perhaps to protect the community's sheep-goats. It's quite likely that one or more newborn animals would be stillborn and thrown out for carrion birds to clean up.

In some areas such as Wiltshire and Dorset Shrove Tuesday is known as Pansherd or Pansherding Day which seems to refer to pan-sherds rather than herding with pans... boys go round the houses begging for food, if refused the door of the house is pelted. The shriving of sins aka Pancake Day seems to have been tagged onto an altogether older practice connected to the birthing of lambs and kids. The origins of pancakes are no doubt as Megalithic as 'treats' at Hallowe'en.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Boreades » 10:25 pm

So many stories talk of searches for hidden treasures.

We tend to externalise the meaning of stories of hidden treasure, or assume it means a tangible physical treasure. In the Hermetic tradition, the greatest hidden treasures are within ourselves. The Grael Chalice for example.

Image

In an evolutionary tradition that I can personally date to the 1970/80s, the Grael tradition combines with Yoga and Psychology. The Chalice is a symbol of two faces facing each other, in communication, or reflecting each other. We only recognise in others what we have already seen in ourselves. Know Thyself.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Maribel » 10:00 am

hvered wrote: The thorny briars are equivalent to a girdle and various Celtic saints, not to mention moon-goddesses like Aphrodite, were girdled. Breaching the girdle has sexual connotations but in esoteric-speak means enlightenment.

The rose in a thicket has an obvious sexual meaning. Even 'prick' is still a popular word for penis. It's well known that a rose in sailors' tattoos hides a vagina.

Esoteric interpretations are terrified of sex like Victorian gents and today's parental controls, the story is much earthier and the 'enlightenment' is carnal knowledge.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Marko » 1:08 pm

Maribel wrote: Esoteric interpretations are terrified of sex like Victorian gents and today's parental controls, the story is much earthier and the 'enlightenment' is carnal knowledge.

Indeed but these stories can be read on different levels. Folk tales can be described as a collective memory referring back to very ancient times, such as the legends that accumulate around prehistoric sites. Trouble is, memories are notoriously unreliable and get altered over time which changes the meaning(s) of these tales.

Jack and The Beanstalk seems to contain several archetypes of folk stories. For starters, the name Jack is similar to joke so he is reminiscent of folkloric jokers, and linked to yoke, the pairing of two draught animals, which in turn is reminiscent of Hermes' caduceus uniting a pair of snakes.
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk

Postby Marko » 2:05 pm

The world tree seems to be a universal symbol even in places where no trees grow e.g. the tent-pole of a yurt 'holding up the sky'. There are accounts of children being passed through a cleft tree as a birth ceremony, trees being associated with truth and birth (birch, the birth tree, is the first 'letter' in Ogham) and longevity.

Trees regrow if cut down regularly, rather like a hydra's heads, making them virtually immortal. After stealing treasure, Jack cuts down the beanstalk though in some versions both Jack and his mother cut it down which suggests a two-headed axe was used.

These double-headed axes are said to be ritual objects, archaeologists called them labrys after the Cretan labyrinth at Knossos but clearly they were once eminently practical. Even after the introduction of metallurgy flint axes were being traded and were the mainstay of the economy in some places such as Jersey, an island which like Crete is on a busy trading route. There may be a connection between two-faced Janus and the two-headed axe.
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