Cordelia

 


Nothing.


Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
 

How fearful
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, — dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice, and yond tall anchoring bark
Diminished to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'ed idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high.

 
 

Crib Notes

Name: The Star - Cordelia

Dramatis Personae: Cordelia, youngest daughter to King Lear of Britain; Edgar, son to the Earl of Gloucester.

Astrology: Aquarius, Venus

Hebrew Letter: PEH

 

 Text & Context: Peh is the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet; its mispar or standard number assignation is 80. Literally, peh means "mouth", and by extension "word", "language", "breath". The ayin or "eye" which precedes it gives sight, while peh or "mouth" gives expression, insight. The letter peh has two forms - one bent in humility, signifying a closed mouth and silence, the other is open and upright, emboldened by the divinity of truth. The medial or soft form of peh becomes fey, friendly cognate of fey - doomed to die, disordered of mind, displaying unearthly qualities. At age 80, misrash states Moses was given a new mouth to teach his people, and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Lear is "four score and upward".

 

 Within the letter peh is hidden the letter beth. Peh, as the word of God which created the universe, surrounds and protects the breath of God housed in the soul of man; the macrocosm within microcosm within the macrocosm. In like kind, what is spoken in the home is likewise spoken outside, while what we speak outside comes back home. Lear's self-aggrandizing display devised to divide his house and the subsequent division of his heart and soul may be seen in this light.

 The name Cordelia is made up of Latin's cor, meaning "heart", and Delia, the Greek name for the moon goddess Diana. Lear, in his blindness and solipsism, expels Cordelia from the orbit of his court into the darkness of England's traditional enemy. Similarly, Edgar is pitched into the shadowy margins of sanity. Both the fathers Lear and Gloucester, declarative but blind, push their children into the tenebrous margins of twilight. Cordelia, then, becomes as the maiden Kore, a Proserpina figure, seen also in the daughters Perdita and Miranda, a third buried in the underworld. The sporran she sports alludes to the Latin spora, "seed", variant of sper-, "to sow". 

 

 In Proserpina can be seen the Serpent of the Tree of Knowledge. Tantricly, Cordelia is the heart chakra, without whom Lear is doomed through the prison of his head as Proserpina was imprisoned in Hades. Lear incinerates in the headlong downward spiral of samsāra in the outer world, consumed by the black hole which he's opened up within. Without the love aspect of the Kundalini, the life bond is rent, truth goes to ground. In the blackout, as day begins at nightfall, Lear awakes to the vision of Cordelia - the evening star and the morning star. As Lear is undone, his vision super-novas - "look there, look there!" The fallen king carries Cordelia to a place in the heavens, the mourning star, as Zeus put Ganymede in the constellation Aquarius.

 Mythologically, Zeus incarcerated Ganymede as his cup bearer. The name Ganymede roughly translates as "pleasure in the head". Cup and head are rough cognates, as in OE copp and MHGerman kopf. Lear, rejecting love and truth, becomes trapped in the encapsulated hubris of male wrong-thinking. The proper emissary between mortals and the Divine is Hermes; his twined-snake caduceus represents the life-flow of the Kundalini and the human DNA. Aquarius is exalted in this mercurial flow, its detriment is the Sun and the Saturn that devours his children. Through Hera, Ganymede was made the constellation Aquarius by Zeus, associated with the eagle Aquila.

 

 At the end of his life, Lear raises Cordelia from the dead, placing her in the heavens. Cordelia is clad in the red and white of Proserpina's lillies and violets of Tyrian purple, the Tudor Rose, blood and semen, heart and soul, the poppy and honey-water Dido speaks of to bring on celestial sleep. Here in The Star card, as Lear devolves into a child and his child becomes his mother, Thoth's sacred ibis becomes Henet, the pelican, spiritual psychopomp and symbol of self-sacrifice. Along with the Phoenix, Queen Elizabeth I was likened to the pelican, who wounded her own white breast when no other food was available to feed her offspring with the milk of her blood. Edgar, the son who remained true, reflecting the love personified by Cordelia, outshines the fathers of The Sun card. Covered in eyes, he discovers himself in hiding; in hindsight is given second-sight. A peer come pauper, he inherits the eagle of state, pointing to the stellar beacon which illumines the British crown.

Subtext: In the 1595 translation of Ovid's Narcissus by Thomas Edwards, is an envoy or poetic postscript identifying major poets by their verse - Spenser by Collyn Clout, Marlowe by Leander, Daniel by Rosamond, and Shakespeare by Adon. This "star", best of all the poets, tilting under friaries [Blackfriars], in purple robes disdained, is both William Shakespeare and Edward de Vere.  

Adon deafly masking through

Stately troupes rich conceited,

Showed he well deserved to,

Love’s delight on him to gaze,

And had not love herself entreated,

Other nymphs had sent him bays.

 

Eke in purple robes distained,

Amidst the Center of this clime,

I have heard say doth remain

One whose power floweth far,

That should have been of our rhyme

The only object and the star.

Well could his bewitching pen

Done the Muses’ objects to us;

Although he differs much from men

Tilting under Friaries,

Yet his golden art might woo us

To have honored him with bays.

The de Vere family coat of arms features, in the first quarter of its shield, an unpierced mullet or star. This star is derived from the French molette, meaning "spur-rowel", a rowel being a rota or wheel. Spur derives from the Proto-Indo-European root spere-, while spur in Scottish means "sparrow". 

Intertext: Staffs 5 EdgarSwords 5 EdmundThe Sun XIX King Lear.

 

The Star XVII Cordelia