The Beasts and the Symbolism of the Ropes

The Five Beasts

If you look at the image I used for the header at the top of the page you will notice that it comes from the cover to my book. The image was divided into three parts that change randomly as you go to different pages on the blog. If you click around you will see all five beasts. These are illuminations that adorned the Rupertsberg manuscript of Hildegard’s Scivias, the book which contains the vision of the beasts, and are assumed to have been either painted by Hildegard herself or artistically directed by her..

Each beast represents a brief historical period (see here for the background). You will notice that there is something coming out of each of the beast’s mouth. Hildegard describes these as ropes that are attached to the top of a mountain. The mountain, she tells us is meant to symbolize a specific social evil that is characteristic…

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