Liber divinorum operum - First vision
by Mark Vornhusen
The representation of this vision derives a bit from that one given in the text. But here the similarity to halos is even more significant. The upper arcs are equal to the Parry arc. The wings below are equal to the upper tangent arc. The figure is formed by the upper and the lower sun pillar. The lamb in his hands is the sun and the snake beneath her feet is the 22°-halo together with the lower tangent arc.
“And I saw a beautiful picture in the secret of God in the southern air. It had the shape of a human being. His face was so beautiful and clear that it would have been easier for me to look into the sun than into this face. A wide ring of gold surrounded his head. In this ring, a second face appeared above the head looking like the face of an elderly man. His chin and beard touched the top of the first head. From his neck a wing extended to each of both sides. The wings curved up over the ring I mentioned earlier and merged above it. At the uppermost point of the curvature of the right wing appeared the head of an eagle. Its eyes were like fire and inside them the glory of the angels shone like in a mirror. On the uppermost part of the curvature of the left wing there was the head of a human, shining like the glittering of the stars. Both faces looked to the east. From the shoulders of this figure a wing extended down to its knees. It wore a dress that shone like the sun. In its hands it carried a lamb which shone like a day bright with light. With its feet, the figure trampled down a terribly looking monster, poisonous and black, and a snake. This had clenched its teeth on the right ear of the monster. Its body had wound around the head of the monster, on the left side its tail reached down to the feet.”
The figure Hildegard sees in the south is a combination of an upper and a lower sun pillar. The wide ring of gold is a part of the 22°-halo. The wings are formed by the upper tangent arc which arises over the 22 -halo and begins at its upper rim. In her hands the figure carries a lamb which shines like a day clear with light. Probably the lamb was the sun itself because Hildegard does not say that the figure had its hands reached out. Seen from her point of view, the figure looks straight ahead and carries the lamb in front of her belly with both hands. If the figure was formed by the upper and the lower sun pillar, the sun is there were Hildegard saw the lamb.
The monster beneath the feet (lower sun pillar) of the figure is the lower tangent arc to the 22 -halo and the snake is the lower part of the 22°—halo. The sun elevation was at about 20°. At this sun elevation the lower tangent arc is still below the horizon, so Hildegard must have seen that halo display in freezing fog. The second face above the head is the bright area between the Parry arc and the upper tangent arc. The wing that extends down to the knee is a part of the 22 -halo. The eagle and the human head on the left respectively on the right wing might have been parts of the Parry arc. But it is also possible that they were fragments of the supralateral arc, which, however, are not situated directly at the uppermost part of the curvature of the wings.
© AKM e.V.