02-03 Gemini/Virgo/Sagittarius/Pisces cross

  • Gemini: The Garden Of The Tuileries.
  • Virgo: Two Angels Bringing Protection.
  • Sagittarius: Two Men Playing Chess.

  • Pisces: A Petrified Forest.

At first glance the cross appears to have halves - a garden and a forest on the one side, and two angels protecting or two men strategising against each other on another side.  The two-ness is pointing to the partnership involved in the activity. 

Have you ever been to the Tuileries Garden?  It is not a lush, abundant insect-attracting garden, being highly manicured and formally laid out.  It was designed to have a central axis from the western Tuileries Palace facade and extended further west with an emphasis on order and long perspectives.  

The Tuileries garden (Gemini) has survived the French revolution and world wars since the time of Catherine De Medici circa 1564 (the palace though, had been attacked and rebuilt).  The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, USA, has a desert to semi-desert landscape with large deposits of petrified wood - wood turned to stone due to millions of years of minerals replacing the organic material.  The forest and the garden are similar in that they were preserved for such a long time and are available to the public for sightseeing.

These aspects of similarity are represented by the Virgo angels that bring protection/preservation to the sites, for the benefit of the public to enjoy such as the Sagittarian chess-players.

The Sagittarian symbol adds the political layer to the cross, where the two men strategise to win, as chess is the analogy of war between two opposing royal families.  This ties in nicely to the political upheavals the Garden of the Tuileries witnessed, and the chessboard resonates with the  highly ordered formal layout of the garden, that kings and queens did indeed move around on. The Pisces forest demonstrates that the more things change, the more they stay the same (the structure of the wood is the same but the composition is different) politically.

Overall, the cross is a journey from a pleasant, living and highly formal garden (Gemini) that was like neutral territory and protected (Virgo angels) despite political events (Sagittarius) in history that did not affect the dominant structure (Pisces petrification) of ruling elite who would have watched the Gardens (Gemini) from the Tuileries Palace.

What is lovely about both the garden and the forest is that both contain monuments to history for the public to enjoy.  Therefore, the Sagittarian chess players accept that while trying to dominate the board, the board is protected by both players, otherwise there is no game to play.  In a sense, the ruling elite agrees to caretake the inherited gardens for the next ruling elite (or public), aligning with the idea of Virgo preservation. 

The general theme of the cross is that of valuing something enough to want to dominate it (ordered, controlled garden; winning chess), while understanding the responsibility of caretaking that thing you want to dominate (protection, certain values that make the next incarnation similar to the previous e.g. petrification and chess rules as an analogy for successive elites). 

There is a small sense of stagnation in the Pisces petrification however, as the landscape has little life in it - the shadow of this cross is that over-controlling and highly structured systems, while beautiful and monuments to history, leave little room for growth.  The overall feel of the cross, however, is that of pleasant enjoyment of something worth preserving.

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