Noblet detail, eagle from IIII The Emperor


The Caterpillar Noblet detail, eagle from IIII The Emperor

A rite from the "old religion"

Christ en mandorle du portail central, Chartres

At Chartres a “caterpillar” trance was practiced on the day of the summer solstice: “At dawn the cathedral doors were opened and one by one the population filed in, stamping their feet in unison, imitating the swinging pace of a caterpillar. Boom with the left, boom to the right, their heavy steps brought them slowly to the labyrinth. Passing through it and out again, they continued their tranquil stamping pace as they gathered under the arches. All day long they entered, the continued stamping boom, boom, growing ever louder. Once evening had arrived, the doors were closed to bring the cathedral into maximum vibration. Then, at a sign from the bishop, drums rolled the signal and these thousands of persons stopped stamping and in the magic fraction of a second, in extraordinary silence, the whole assembly went into a trance and merged with the divine.” A collective “we” could now be formed. All were bound together in sharing these instants of heightened awareness. The last collective trance took place in about 1320.

Chartres, the Labyrinthe

Tarot de Jean Noblet, table du Bateleur
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