Kavad 4.8 – wrong efforts lead to right insight

Kavad 4.8 — 1st Decan of Libra

Not every picture is going to come out the way I want it to, the first time. It’s not possible that they could come out that way, after all. I imagine that people have drawn these images thousands of times, but they’re not color-by-number charts. I can’t simply point to this square or that loop, and say “paint this blue.”. There’s a process of composition, of outlining and finally of colorizing. Not every effort is going to work out right.

Take this image — the first decan is a man with scales, weighing goods in the market, and he wants to buy and sell. But it could also be a man with a pipe and a book. (I think the lance and the bird dangling by its feet is from the next image, and I misplaced it in the text). In other words, it’s pretty specific, but the composition of the image is complicated. My man is nervous; he’s interested in the scales, but the money aspect of it is less so.

I could reorient the image, though. If the point of observation shifts back about ten feet, the scales will be separate from the man. We might see the merchant’s stall, the pipe, the open book, and the scales. Instead of being staid and focused only on the scales, our merchant might be engaged in the commerce – the buying and selling – instead of just the scales.

The more I think about it, the more I think I should include elements of several versions of the Decans in each image. The Zodiac signs are very static in their representations, and the Mansions of the Moon are, with a few exceptions, mostly solitary figures. But these decans — especially when multiple image descriptions are combined, often reveal scenes from complex stories. The merchant is never just focused on the scale — he’s interested in customer relationships, in his (or her) book keeping, and his pleasures (the pipe) as well as his money. Making those symbols present in the image is probably wise.

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