The Figure of a Woman, anticipating 2017

St. Hildegard’s Vision of the Five Beasts includes another vision, that which she refers to as, “The Figure of a Woman”. This is the strange figure in the woodcut below:

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From Vision Eleven, Scivias, The Figure of a Woman.

 

And I saw again the figure of a woman whom I had previously seen in front of the altar that stands before the Eyes of God; she stood in the same place, but now I saw her from the waist down. And from her waist to the place that denotes the female, she had various scaly blemishes; and in that latter place was a black and monstrous head. It had fiery eyes and ears like an ass’ and its nostrils and mouth were like a lion’s; it opened wide its jowls and terribly clashed its horrible iron-colored teeth. And from its head down to her knees, the figure was white and red, as if bruised by many beatings; and from her knees to her tendons where they joined her heels, which appeared white, she was covered with blood.

And behold! That monstrous head moved from its place with such a great shock that the figure of the woman was shaken through all her limbs. And a great mass of excrement adhered to the head; and it raised itself up upon a mountain and tried to ascend the height of Heaven. And behold, there came suddenly a thunderbolt, which struck that head with such great force that it fell from the mountain and yielded up its spirit in death. And a reeking cloud enveloped the whole mountain, which wrapped the head in such filth that the people who stood by were thrown into the greatest terror. And that cloud remained around the mountain for a while longer.

The people who stood there, perceiving this, were shaken with great fear, and said to one another: “Alas, alas! What is this? What do you think this was? Alas, wretches that we are! Who will help us, and who will deliver us? For we know not how we were deceived. O Almighty God, have mercy on us! Let us return; let us hasten to the covenant of Christ’s Gospel; for ah, ah, ah! We have been bitterly deceived! And lo, the feet of the figure of the woman glowed white, shining with a splendor greater than the sun’s.

Continue reading “The Figure of a Woman, anticipating 2017”

The Figure of a Woman

St. Hildegard’s Vision of the Five Beasts includes another vision, that which she refers to as, “The Figure of a Woman”. This is the strange figure in the woodcut below.

From Vision Eleven, Scivias, The Figure of a Woman.
From Vision Eleven, Scivias, The Figure of a Woman.

And I saw again the figure of a woman whom I had previously seen in front of the altar that stands before the Eyes of God; she stood in the same place, but now I saw her from the waist down. And from her waist to the place that denotes the female, she had various scaly blemishes; and in that latter place was a black and monstrous head. It had fiery eyes and ears like an ass’ and its nostrils and mouth were like a lion’s; it opened wide its jowls and terribly clashed its horrible iron-colored teeth. And from its head down to her knees, the figure was white and red, as if bruised by many beatings; and from her knees to her tendons where they joined her heels, which appeared white, she was covered with blood.

And behold! That monstrous head moved from its place with such a great shock that the figure of the woman was shaken through all her limbs. And a great mass of excrement adhered to the head; and it raised itself up upon a mountain and tried to ascend the height of Heaven. And behold, there came suddenly a thunderbolt, which struck that head with such great force that it fell from the mountain and yielded up its spirit in death. And a reeking cloud enveloped the whole mountain, which wrapped the head in such filth that the people who stood by were thrown into the greatest terror. And that cloud remained around the mountain for a while longer.

The people who stood there, perceiving this, were shaken with great fear, and said to one another: “Alas, alas! What is this? What do you think this was? Alas, wretches that we are! Who will help us, and who will deliver us? For we know not how we were deceived. O Almighty God, have mercy on us! Let us return; let us hasten to the covenant of Christ’s Gospel; for ah, ah, ah! We have been bitterly deceived!” And lo, the feet of the figure of the woman glowed white, shining with a splendor greater than the sun’s.

Continue reading “The Figure of a Woman”