April 17th, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Mars, Wounded Pride


                                           

Above is a painting of Mars, the great god of war. It not a glorious an victorious Mars, not even a defeated Mars. It is an ashamed Mars, naked, brooding, without armour. What strikes me the most is that his face is in the dark, which accentuates his dark, brooding, disappointed face, and makes his now useless, pale muscles come forward even better. The painting is by Diego Velazquez. He shows Mars after he is being laughed at. Mars had fallen in love with Venus and when her husband Vulcan heard about it, he forged a net, and threw it over the lovers while they were sleeping. He then asked all the gods of the Olympus to come, to see and laugh at them.

What has brought this painting to my blog? It is the second painting in a book about art I want to use to inspire readings, I bought it in a second-hand bookshop this summer. I’ve done one reading inspired by the first painting in the book, that was “Las Meninas” by the same artist. Mars is the second painting in the book. I want to read them one by one, without searching for a ‘good one,’ because that takes time, and will keeps me on a well-known trodden road. That is how Mars comes in my blog.

Mars is shown while his pride is wounded, hurt. My question is: When is my pride hurt/wounded? I have used the Tarot of the Secret Forest and I have pulled Nine of Cups. 

                                       

Pictured on the card is a pond with many big fish, so many that they hinder each other. My pride gets hurt when I feel that I cannot state my opinion, while I think I know better (think!), but do not get through, or do not get the chance to say something. And sometimes it is just not my place to say something. All that makes me angry and aggressive. I do not show it, but I am brooding, just as Mars is doing on that picture, which gives me a headache. I can even feel that right now by just looking at the card! Would Mars have a headache? As he is the god of war, he is not used to keep silent.

Sister Wendy Becket, Sister Wendy's Grand Tour, BBC Books, 1994.