Lower right portion of Arlington Tempera
Only four males are encountered in the Arlington Tempera. The first was the sleeping charioteer; the second was the partner in the couple outside of the cave commented on in the last post. This section of the image contains no males. Raine sees the work of Los going on the flames which are visible in a few spots of this portion; but we see only females engaging in the activities here portrayed. The female when separated from the male becomes the projected or outer world to the interior world of form represented by the divided male. The import of the picture in its entirety is the Cycle of Life, or as I have entitled it in my series of posts: The Soul's Journey.
Represented in this section is the Soul's being born to Death, and her dying to to Life Eternal. The womb of the cave has become a tomb because the entry into this new life ends the Soul's consciousness of life Eternal. Death is the metaphor for man's journey through experience to regain awareness of the Eternal.
Blake represents this birth/death in the metaphor of receiving a garment or body which clothes the soul in this world of mortality. The females in this section are in the process of descending or ascending; weaving a garment or receiving a woven garment; carrying their water or spilling their water; winding or unwinding the 'golden string'. Entering the world of generation is a blessing and a curse, a mercy and a trial; both aspects are suggested here.
Look for the spindles being held aloft by three joyful maidens with a loom; the thread which connects the girl with the thread wound on her hands to the woman behind the tree with the ball in her right hand; the girl on the right who is being woven into a net; the figure who holds the fabric which is being dragged into the water; the woman climbing the stair with her bucket and reaching upward; the sleeping girl whose container is being emptied into the stream.
Jerusalem, Plate 1, (E 144)
"There is a Void, outside of Existence, which if enterd into
Englobes itself & becomes a Womb, such was Albions Couch in the world of mortality
A pleasant Shadow of Repose calld Albions lovely Land
His Sublime & Pathos become Two Rocks fixd in the Earth
His Reason his Spectrous Power, covers them above
Jerusalem his Emanation is a Stone laying beneath
O behold the Vision of Albion
Half Friendship is the bitterest Enmity said Los
As he enterd the Door of Death for Albions sake Inspired
The long sufferings of God are not for ever there is a Judgment
Every Thing has its Vermin O Spectre of the Sleeping Dead!"
Jerusalem, PLATE 67, (E 220)
"And the Twelve Daughters of Albion united in Rahab & Tirzah
A Double Female: and they drew out from the Rocky Stones
Fibres of Life to Weave[,] for every Female is a Golden Loom
The Rocks are opake hardnesses covering all Vegetated things
And as they Wove & Cut from the Looms in various divisions
Stretching over Europe & Asia from Ireland to Japan
They divided into many lovely Daughters to be counterparts
To those they Wove, for when they Wove a Male, they divided
Into a Female to the Woven Male. in opake hardness
They cut the Fibres from the Rocks groaning in pain they Weave;
Calling the Rocks Atomic Origins of Existence; denying Eternity
By the Atheistical Epicurean Philosophy of Albions Tree
Such are the Feminine & Masculine when separated from Man
They call the Rocks Parents of Men, & adore the frowning Chaos
Dancing around in howling pain clothed in the bloody Veil."