Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Eight-Pointed Star, Melchizedek, and Divine Light

Cefal├╣ Cathedral, Sicily, Italy, ca. 12th century - Melchizedek1

The "concept of Divine Light," according to Constantin Marinescu Marin, "...reveals the way the human being had been experiencing luminosity as an attribute that was shared "by all things considered divin[e] and holy.""2   According to Marin, in the ancient world there were two types of "stellar symbols," connected with divine light, including the "star with eight points expressing the concept of a supernatural radiance emanating from a deity as per se, disregarding the being of the deity.  This type of star is unfailing in Christian art and it is called along this work, the Star of Nativity."  The second symbol is the "eight-pointed star, formed by two squares overlapped diagonally, [and] is another type which expresses a dual meaning, the being of the deity and his energy."3  Both were eight-pointed stars, but fashioned differently.  The star that Marin refers to as the "star with eight points," or the Nativity Star, is depicted in the following 12th century late-Byzantine style mosaic in Palermo, Italy: