Saturday, September 18, 2010

Photos of St. Fris in Bassoues


Recent Puelles research got me to thinking about another obscure saint called St. Fris, about whom I wrote back in July 2007.

First time I saw St. Fris I had no camera. Second time I went to Bassoues (Gers) I was able to take several good shots of the St. Fris Basilica and a smaller chapel dedicated to him, as well as the hill where he allegedly met his death. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law deleted these shots before I'd transferred them to the computer!

Fortunately a Flickr user (users?) called pjc&co has posted some beautiful shots of the Basilica of Saint Fris taken at the end of August 2010. You'll find that the nave and vaults are painted with a refinement and delicacy rare for such an obscure village church.

Please visit the Bassoues album here. You'll find they quoted the LoS post for some context. Makes me wish I'd done a better job of writing it in the first place!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bietan jarrai


Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom) is a Basque nationalist group which up until now has advocated independence by any means necessary. Apparently, they've recently announced an indefinite ceasefire and promised to try their hand at democratic participation in order to respect the opinions of the majority of Basques. This wouldn't be the first time. The last such ceasefire ended after a few months with a bombing that killed two hapless Ecuadorians.

But we're not here to go into that. We're more concerned with the image above. There's a comical aspect beside the ominous tone; it's almost a parody of political terrorist gestures. It's also just so darn occult-y.

What caught our eye, given our obsession recently with the serpent and rod symbolism, is their logo with serpent and axe. The motto
Bietan jarrai means "Keep up on both" and refers to the symbols; the snake represents politics and the axe, armed struggle. As in "bury the hatchet...in your head!"

There is also something potent in the image of three men, killers ostensibly, echoing the three hoboes from the grassy knoll or the ruffians who killed Hiram Abiff....not to mention those "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys....

Seriously though, we're willing to bet there is some kind of more esoteric meaning to this symbol and we're hereby soliciting theories....

For Moses, the serpent on a Tau cross led to victory over illness; for Christians, the serpent on the Cross represents Christ's victory over Original Sin and thus, the Devil.

Maybe it's this simple: The snake on the axe represents victory. Maybe not.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Who stole the sole?

Another human foot has washed up on shore on the Washington/Canada border, adding fuel to the speculative fire as to exactly what the hell is going on up there.

It's a right foot, either a woman or juvenile and, unlike other feet, was not found floating in a shoe. This is the eighth foot since 2007 and officials estimate that it had been in the water less than 2 months. This kills the theory that all these feet are coming from the same accident, but it doesn't preclude that these are all unrelated incidents....Officials are in the process of gathering forensic info from neighboring jurisdictions.

Whidbey Island, where the foot was found, does have an interesting story to tell about dismemebered bodies:

"In 1850, Colonel Isaac N. Ebey became the first permanent settler on Whidbey Island, claiming a square mile (2.6 km²) of prairie with a southern shoreline on Admiralty Inlet. Even though he was farming potatoes and wheat on his land, he was also the postmaster for Port Townsend, Washington and rowed a boat daily across the inlet in order to work at the post office there. On August 11, 1857, Colonel Ebey was murdered and beheaded by Haida Indians who traveled from the Queen Charlotte Islands. Ebey was 39 years old. Ebey was slain in retaliation for the killing of a Haida chief at Port Gamble."

The fort named in his memory was installed just north of a place called "Coupeville". "Coupe" meaning "Cut" in French. (Named after Captain Thomas Coupe). Or it may be a variant of Coop:

1. English: metonymic occupational name for a cooper, from Middle English coupe ‘tub’, ‘container’ (see Cooper). In some cases the surname may have been derived from a pub or house sign.

2. Dutch: from koop ‘purchase’, ‘bargain’, hence a nickname for a haggler or a metonymic occupational name for a merchant.

Not that any of these things has to do with another. But the question remains. What's with all the feet? Why here and not elsewhere?