Cirlot on towers
Type of Spiritual Experience
This is an important observation as it shows how cones can get mixed with towers. What he is describing here is a cone not a Tower
A description of the experience
A Dictionary of Symbols – J E Cirlot
In the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs, the tower is a determinative sign denoting height or the act of rising above the common level in life or society. Basically, then, the tower is symbolic of ascent.
During the Middle ages, towers and belfrics held the significance of watch towers, but also, by the simple application of the symbolism of level – whereby material height implies spiritual elevation – they expressed the same symbolism as the ladder linking heaven and earth.
Since the idea of elevation or ascent implicit in the tower, connotes transformation and evolution, the athanor (the alchemists’s furnace) was given the shape of a tower to signify inversely that the metamorphosis of matter implied a process of ascension. ….
It is possible to discover a dual tendency in the symbolism of the tower. Its upward impulse may be accompanied by a deepening movement; the greater the height, the deeper the foundations. Nietzsche talked of descent during ascent. Nerval in Aurelia refers to the symbolism of the tower and says ‘I found myself in a tower, whose foundations were sunk so deep into the earth and whose top was so lofty reaching up like a spire into the sky, that my whole existence already seemed bound to be consumed in climbing up and down.
The source of the experienceCirlot, J E
Concepts, symbols and science items
Levels and layers
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsBeauty, art and music