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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Cormorant
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0039  Wednesday, 7 January 2004

[1]     From:   Nora Kreimer <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 16:06:08 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0031 Cormorant

[2]     From:   Nora Kreimer <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 16:43:36 -0300
        Subj:   From the Aberdeen Bestiary Re: SHK 15.0031 Cormorant


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nora Kreimer <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 16:06:08 -0300
Subject: 15.0031 Cormorant
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0031 Cormorant

http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/legend01/pelican.htm

PELICAN
Self Sacrifice

This bird exemplifies the sacrificial love of a parent for its
offspring.  The mother pelican's habit of reaching into her pouch to
extract food for her young led to some misunderstanding amongst early
peoples. They believed that the parent bird was tearing open its breast
to feed its babies on its own blood.

Legends abound in which the father pelican revives his deceased young by
tearing open his heart and drenching them with his life's blood. In
some, the mother inadvertently smothers the children with her abundant
caresses.  In others, the babies die of weakness, are killed by snakes,
or treat the father so insolently that he murders them in a rage. In
each case, the father, seeing that his children are dead, mourns them
loudly for three days and then revives them at the cost of his own life.
The resurrected young awake full of health and goodness. These legends
serve as allegories for the resurrection of mankind in Christ and the
purifying sacrifice of blood and water which flowed from the wound in
His side. [Jn 19:31-37] Inspired by these legends, Thomas Aquinas wrote,
"Pelican of mercy, Jesu, Lord and God, cleanse me, wretched sinner, in
thy precious Blood; Blood, whereof one drop for humankind outpoured,
might from all transgression have the world restored." During the Middle
Ages, many artists placed a pelican with its nest on top of the cross.

St. Gertrude had a vision of Christ in the form of a pelican feeding
humankind with His blood. Her vision has Eucharistic connotations. Jesus
told His astonished followers, ""Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My
blood has eternal life..." [Jn 6:54]

Until the 18th century, the Christ-pelican was almost always portrayed
piercing itself on the right side of its breast. This imagery was drawn
from a vague interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy, "...the water
(Christ's blood and water) was flowing from under the right side of the
temple (Christ's body)... and it shall be that every living thing that
moves, wherever the rivers go, will live..." [Ezek 47:1 & 9 -
parenthesis added] Later, Freemasonry would use a pelican piercing its
left side as a symbol of the self-sacrifice required of its members.
Many artists and craftsmen were unaware of the significance of the right
side of the breast and the pelican of the Free Masons began appearing in
Christian art and churches.

Just as Christ's sacrifice was the ultimate act of charity, so too, is
the pelican's gift of life to its undeserving young an emblem of this
Christian virtue which is ever ready to lay down its life for a friend
or the sheep.  [Jn 10:11 & 15, 15:12-13] Its antithesis is the vampire
(representative of the heretic) who prolongs his own life by taking
blood (eternal life) from its victims.

In the Bible, the destruction and utter desolation of nations is summed
up by saying that the pelican, along with other wild beasts and birds,
shall dwell in their place. [Isa 34:11; Zep 2:14] Through the psalmist,
Christ also called Himself "a pelican of the wilderness." [Psa 102:6]
This phrase refers to His rejection by His people and abandonment by His
followers during His Passion. [Mt 26:56; Lk 55-62; Mk 14:50-52] The
"pelican of the wilderness" has also been associated with Christ's fast
in the wilderness after His baptism in the River Jordan. [Mt 4:1-11]

Another pelican myth is that it would eat only the smallest amount of
food necessary to maintain life. It therefore became symbolic of those
who fast and/or strive for spiritual purification.

All scripture quotes are from the NKJV Bible.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nora Kreimer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 16:43:36 -0300
Subject: Aberdeen Bestiary Re: SHK 15.0031 Cormorant
Comment:        From the Aberdeen Bestiary Re: SHK 15.0031 Cormorant

http://www.clues.abdn.ac.uk:8080/bestiary_old/alt/translat/trans35r.html

Translation

On her young and lets her blood pour over the bodies of the dead, and so
raises them from the dead.

In a mystic sense, the pelican signifies Christ; Egypt, the world. The
pelican lives in solitude, as Christ alone condescended to be born of a
virgin without intercourse with a man. It is solitary, because it is
free from sin, as also is the life of Christ. It kills its young with
its beak as preaching the word of God converts the unbelievers. It weeps
ceaselessly for its young, as Christ wept with pity when he raised
Lazarus. Thus after three days, it revives its young with its blood, as
Christ saves us, whom he has redeemed with his own blood.

In a moral sense, we can understand by the pelican not the righteous
man, but anyone who distances himself far from carnal desire. By Egypt
is meant our life, shrouded in the darkness of ignorance. For Egiptus
can be translated as 'darkness'. In Egypt, therefore, we make a
wilderness (see Joel, 3:19), when we are far from the preoccupations and
desires of this world. Thus the righteous man creates solitude for
himself in the city, when he keeps himself free from sin, as far as
human frailty allows.

The pelican kills its young with its beak because the righteous man
considers and rejects his sinful thoughts and deeds

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