As Above So Below

With regard to my own speculation and the concept of as above so below, I am reminded of a conversation I once heard; a small child reading a comic, while waiting for a haircut. He turned to his mother and asked….

Does Superman take drugs like Dad does?

An effort to understand and come to terms with what was beyond his control.



As I am speculating on the nature of an invisible force/ power. Throw some other objects of speculation into the ring, keep it simple and easy to remember

Macrocosm/ microcosm

Large/ small

body/ circulatory system

As Above so Below

Do we have a relationship between blood and the four seasons i.e. both are cyclical by nature?

As above so below captures the relationship between the planets and allows for the idea of astrology.

What about the world beneath our feet, what forces operate here?

Do we have some vital and essential force operating within the large and the small/ above and below, within these images?

First attempt at looking at the big picture, bound to be error but it is a start.


So Far

Urine Is A Harlot

I have no specific historical context I can place it within so had to use one I made earlier from something quite different.

I get

a visual quality of potentially deceptive appearance, associated with an absorbed or altered state.

It seems to infer the existence of some force or power that cannot be determined visually.

Determination is to be made by analogy and abstraction.

Not sure to what degree my speculation leaves the plant earth but in regard to eighteenth century chemistry I can at least reach a valid generalization at the end and have some fun along the way.

I have a train to catch. I am somewhat late!

Not the best moment to have a large jumble of random junk firing in my mind.

Limed (the funny moment of it all)

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

STAUL, v., n. [stɑl]

I. v. To squint, to be cross-eyed (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 181; Mry., Bnff. 1925; Mry. 1971).

II. n. A squint, in the eyes (Ib.).

[Orig. doubtful.? from Eng. stall, to become stuck, be at a standstill, sc. fixed in the head.]

Note: Drama/ Altered State/ Altered Perception
Some speculation and further contextual leaps of doubtful origin.
Meeting a cross-eyed person in Scotland is generally to considered to be an evil omen. It has further associations with witchcraft, fairies, the evil eye and second sight.
How does the creature of evil omen know how to be in the right place at the right time? What form of vision has drawn them to this space and this moment?
What happens in the moment when we catch sight of such a creature?

What Does It Sound Like?

“Mine eyes are stauls and my hands lime twigs”

First basic question I ask, what does it sound like, or more specifically what sensations are involved in producing the sound to project it on a stage.

Largely mechanical and habitual, trained to do this. No heavy emotional quality to be contained within the words but I get a distinct sense of the quality that has to be associated with the sound.

To get that sense requires stillness and the atmosphere created in the room.

Line is a straight forward description in which the tools of the trade are revealed, the lure (her eyes) the trap (the birdlime)

Tone seems to be one of depressed fatalism. No escape here, she is locked into a cycle of behavior from which there is no escape. It is not her intended victim who is trapped and constrained here.

Her thoughts would appear to be deceptive, as a more general question seems to be is such a creature capable of reform?

The traditional answer would appear to be that redemption is always possible but never certain.

Subject to the proper male authority she may have every chance of escape and the opportunity to become a ‘good- wife’

Escape is always certain, the idea of freedom however is still an ongoing debate


In terms of how you lure a mark in, I seem to be suggesting here its not dependent on simple what is heard when the words are spoken, its stillness that holds the room and creates the required perception.

Not sure what that is or how it works, I do know that it does, it holds all within the room, no escape and no chance of resistance.





Mine eyes are stauls and my hands lime twigs


Urine is a Harlot

A. Joseph Wright’s, An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump, I associated it with B. as it shares a relationship with birdlime, a glue like substance used to ensnare or capture small animals. It was widely used to capture songbirds, as the snare leaves the pray uninjured.

Robert Boyle had an issue with his early experiments with Birds and air pumps as the birds his servants captured were injured with shot. Boyle was unable to determine if what befell the birds was due to the processes of capture and injury.

Birdlime proved to be the preferred method of capture used for such experiments. Its use in metaphor, a limed soul struggling to be free.

B.   Mine eyes are stauls and my hands lime twigs. A description of an early modern harlot. Her eyes lures, she has the sticky fingers of a thief i.e. smeared in birdlime. Her target, someone visiting the city unused to its ways.

Her goal theft and deception.

C. Urine is a Harlot

I get from here by way of B. B. is about the only thing I know in detail about early modern harlots.

What I would take from B. here is the deceptive quality of a gaze or glance. Gaze here contains the power or property of attraction but things are not what they seem.

Line to me seems to suggest something about visual perception but my context here is rather distinct.

Joseph’s Wrights painting presents a similar issue. I think it’s safe to assume that people would be familiar with knowing that birds captured for the pet trade or experiment were captured using birdlime. The trade in such commodities was a common form of income for village children.

It seems impossible to say that the audience of the picture would then make the leap to its metaphorical usage ‘as a limed soul struggling to be free.

Birdlime also has association with altering perceptions of time, (birdlime, doing time, to do bird= jail time).

Widen out Joseph Wrights picture. What’s in the relationship between the bird and the small child in terms of time and visual perception?

Seems to be a potential shared quality between the harlot and her mark, the child and the bird. One thing becomes the other.

Who is lost, absorbed and unable to break free?

Theft: Grand Larceny, 10th of December 1712

Sarah Gideon and Anne Wood of the Parish of St. Mary Woolchurch , were indicted for stealing Eight Shillings and Six Pence from James Marriot on the 27th of November last, Mr. Marriot depos’d, that the Prisoners came into his Shop to buy Two Half-pounds of Rice; and while Wood was buying; Gideon fish’d the Money out of the Till with a piece of Whalebone and Birdlime; which he perceiving something of seiz’d her in the Fact the Money and Whalebone Being found upon her, and both clammy with the Birdlime. She had nothing to say in her Defence, but deny’d she knew Wood, as Wood did also that she knew her, and said she only went to buy the Rice; whereupon she was acquitted , and Gideon found Guilty of Felony.


Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0, 28 June 2018), December 1712, trial of Sarah Gideon Anne Wood (t17121210-10).

Note: From the Cyclical Nature of Blood To Birdlime

Pressed for time, but thinking about context and the four seasons. The issue with the prints is that in large part we have no context in which to place them.

Its speculated that a large part of the audience for these prints were illiterate, context here is vital to understanding particularly if we are dealing with concepts found within an oral culture.

I wonder if its a better question to ask what items like these prints may say about the development of literacy?

Did they convey any skill sets needed for an urban population involved in mercantile activity? i.e if you are handling good do you need the skills to read what it says on the tin?

Anyway context. Mine is quite specific, not sure if it exists outside of my own imagination.

I can at least see to some extent how I draw a picture and generalize out.