Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them —
Name: The World - The Globe
Dramatis Personae: Ariel.
Astrology: Saturn, Capricorn, Aquarius, Earth
Hebrew Letter: SHIN
Text & Context: The Hebrew letter shin means "tooth", "fork". Its number is 21, which hides within it the number 3 [2+1=3]. It corresponds to chokmah, the son of the Trinity, Adonai, the Immolated Lamb and the zero dimension. The anthropos figure of The World card is the Nataraja, Shiva's Dance of Life in the center of the cosmic fire. Shin's shape is both a crown and a trident; Shiva wields the three-pronged spear, as the devil does the pitch fork. Two tridents together form a menorah - the 4 matriarchs of the 3 patriarchs - whose names each, male and female, are 13, making together 26 - the number of God. God exists as a trinity - Kether, Chokmah, Binah; Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Brahma, Vishnu, Siva. Here, the three elements - air, fire, water - gather together to constitute and crown the fourth: earth.
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three,
Until the goose came out the door
And stay'd the odds by adding four.
As The Globe is the Theater of the World, derived from the measure of man, so matter is God's envoy. Sensibly then, from head to toe, man's will, like Costard, runs out, that was safely within, falling over the threshold and breaking his shin.
The festival in honor of Saturn, the Saturnalia, correlates to Christmas and the birth of Christ, the Son of Man. It was a celebration of liberty and dissolution, in which the masters served their slaves. Saturn ruled over a Golden Age of innocence on earth, along with his consort Io, goddess of harvest and wealth. The Temple of Saturn housed the state's gold. It is said Saturn's Greek equivalent, Cronus, created the longest continually inhabited city in the world, Byblos - origin of the Greek word biblion, hence book & bible - as well as its Phoenician neighbor Tyre, birthplace of European language. As he had castrated his father, Cronus was overthrown by his son Zeus with the aid of a stone and imprisoned on Tartarus, the underworld beneath the underworld. The stone was placed at the foot of Mount Parnassus, that the vulgar might admire vulgar things.
It was foretold Astraea, with her caduceus lent by Mercury and her cob of corn, would return earth to Saturn's Golden Age. As separately the Sun and Moon cards spell excess and destruction, so the Astraea High Priestess card of Elizabeth I together with the Hierophant card of William Shakespeare potentiate, creating a third way, greater than the sum of their parts. The result is a rebirth of Troy and Rome's sacred Palladium in the British Empire and English as the vehicular language of the world, exemplified by the poet whose will shakes spears.
On the World card, each element is made up of its constituent aspects. As words make up a work and works make up an oeuvre, the four elements of the Minor Arcana work together as one. The microcosm exists outside the macrocosm as the universe exists within the heart. In the first card, Prospero breathed life into the Major Arcana. Ariel, the spirit freed from the sorrow of the pine tree, now crowns the Tarot and signifies the liberated soul. Similarly, Ariel signifies William Shakespeare's muse, freed from books and the confines of the wooden Globe. This Globe represents the final stage, and all the stages that are the World. The Globe is circular, like the wheel of the tarot, like a never writer to an ever reader, like nothing made whole.
Subtext: Theater was the artistic high water mark of the Elizabethan renaissance, but the English public theaters which sprung up during Elizabeth's reign were not autochthonous. The Globe theater was constructed out of the timbers of the first permanent successful playhouse in England, the Theater. Built by the actor Richard Burbage's father James, the Theater was the first of a series of playhouses built in Elizabethan England based on the classical architecture of Vitruvius. During the Italian Renaissance, the ideas of Vituvius were elaborated and espoused by the highly influential architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio designed Portia's Belmont, "La Malcontenta", and introduced the concept of setting a building's central structure upon an elevated podium, a design which disseminated throughout the world in the villas and plantations of the British colonies. The magus and polymath John Dee openly championed the ideas of Vitruvius in his 1570 preface to the English translation of Euclid. Six years later, weeks after the Earl of Oxford's return from Italy, the Theater was built on land owned by his childhood companion, the Earl of Rutland. The Theater, built just outside London under the jurisdiction of the crown, was based on Vitruvius' plan of four equilateral triangulations within a circle generating the 12 points of the zodiac known as "The Theater of the World". This circular theater was a temple, a pattern of the universe, the Palladium in the Palladio, the Macrocosm in which the Microcosm played out. In the words of Thomas Heywood,
The world's a theatre, the earth a stage,
Which God and nature doth with actors fill...
When we are born, and to the world first enter,
And all find exits when their parts are done.
If then the world a theatre present,
As by the roundness it appears most fit,
Built with star-galleries of high ascent,
In which Jehove doth as spectator sit,
And chief determiner to applaud the best,
And their endeavours crown with more than merit;
But by their evil actions dooms the rest
To end disgraced, whilst others praise inherit;
He that denies then theatres should be,
He may as well deny a world to me.
The World XXI The Globe