Saturday, May 26, 2012

The flaming sun

Elements of the Dutch landscape - 4

Many years ago I became aware of the angry flaming sun while walking in Maastricht. This one was not so angry, more pensive and melancholic. Last year I saw that the sun was still there. It's even on google street view. Notice how one of the sun faces has been blurred (modern technology meets ancient symbol). 
Once I was sensitized I now see the symbol everywhere. On each of our walks I see it at least once. Why is such an ancient symbol so popular in the modern suburbs? Is it an archetype that cannot be suppressed?
I looked at a few websites for the symbolism and it's exactly as one would expect:
  • The sun stands for: truth, light, fertility, vitality, passion, healing, (male) vigor, agressiveness, power, force and leadership, dignity, courage, creativity, knowledge, self hood, life-source, re-birth, reincarnation, immortality.
  • The sun face protects from evil powers and influences.
  • The combination of the sun and the moon stands for the sexual and spiritual union of a male and a female.
Still I wonder if the people who hang these on their garden sheds and near their doorbells realize this consciously. My private pet theory is:
  • Our modern culture has banished all elements it considers irrational or primitive, especially: magic, superstition, religion and symbolism.
  • Our modern architecture has banished all ornamental elements and details. It is functional and bland.
  • But somehow we cannot live without irrationality and ornamentation. So the banished elements crop up in unexpected places.
Modern garden-variety examples (literally):
Hoek van Holland
Hoek van Holland
And a few examples from 1600 - 1700:

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous03 June, 2012

    A Myth
    A monoculture