Saturday, May 10, 2008

Malta

Visiting this country, I was overwhelmed by its beauty and rich history. With some sites 7000 years old, with all Mediterranean folks transiting over the area, with Knights Hospitallers shaping it for 300 years, and later British ruling and protecting, - this small archipelago is truly unique.

In some places it looks like Venice

in others like Greece or Israel

or some Caribbean resort

[this is why one of numerious Monte-Christo films was shot here]

The St James Cavalier, which was a knight bastion, now hosts an art gallery

But the main treasures of the country can be found in the churches

that are so rich and exquisite

full of amazing artistic compositions

unusual in every detail

And all this beauty is just poor remains of the riches which were captured and brought to France by Napoleon…

I spent three days, a hard-working tourist waking up at 9am and coming back at sunset with heavy feet (Valletta is hilly!), but I couldn’t succeed to see everything in this compact town. Amazing place!

On the last evening I just rushed though the Grandmaster Palace

and had half an hour in the St John Cathedral

But that was too short time, given audio-guide for an hour or so, and the hall with Caravaggio’s paintings (he worked in Malta until expelled for brawls - Mars on Regulus!)

Although the extensive history of Malta encounters multiple cultural influences, the most impressive are those made in less than 300 years by Knights Hospitallers. The Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta exists for more than 900 years, and from 1530 to 1799 it resided in Malta. This brought to the place wealth, protection, and made this Mediterranean trade junction a jewel of the European culture.

When I was reading about the Order and Grandmasters, I recalled Cardano’s aphorism related to priesthood, which says that for this kind of vocation, one should have strong influence of Saturn and weak Venus. All 79 Grandmasters from 1099 until present are known, but, unfortunately, only for six of them the birthdates are available – yet they are consistent with the aphorism, having strong influence of Saturn and afflicted Venus:

Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc (18.4.1725): square Saturn-Sun, Venus in detriment.

Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim (9.11.1744): sextile Sun-Saturn, Moon in Capricorn, square Venus-Mars.

Galeazzo von Thun und Hohenstein (24.9.1849): opposition Sun-Saturn, Moon in Capricorn, Venus with Rahu.

Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (10.07.1866): trine Saturn-Sun, Venus in square with Mars.

Andrew Bertie (15.5.1929): trine Saturn-Moon, Venus in detriment.

Matthew Festing (30.11.1949): square Sun-Saturn, Venus in Capricorn (Mars' exaltation sign, see another Cardano's aphorism)

Certainly, not all people of such type become monks or priests (just get Jupiter in 7th and see if it would be possible to keep celibacy). However, this type is the prerequisite.

Usually I am not interested in visiting the same place twice, but…

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