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Triskelion; Triskele

Triskelion of armored legs (Period)

Triskelion of armored legs (Period)

Triskelion arrondi, or triskele (Accepted)

Triskelion arrondi, or triskele (Accepted)

A triskelion is a design first used in classical Greek art, with three embowed limbs conjoined in pall.  The name derives from the Greek tri, skelos, “three legs”; the classical form does indeed use three bent legs, conjoined at the thighs.  However, mundane armory doesn’t tend to use this term in blazon; most instances of triskelions are blazoned as “three arms” or “three legs” conjoined, and listed as such in mundane ordinaries.  (The illustration shows the legs in armor, as in the arms of the Kings of the Isle of Man, c.1275 [ANA2 478].)

In Society heraldry, the most common form of triskelion is the “triskelion arrondi” or “triskele”:  three pointed limbs, smoothly curved, and embowed.  (The embowment is part of the definition of a triskelion; without it, the design would simply be three charges conjoined in pall.)

Triskelion pommetty (Accepted); triskelion gammadion in annulo (Disallowed)

Triskelion pommetty (Accepted); triskelion gammadion in annulo (Disallowed)

Some of the Society’s triskelions are based on certain crosses.  Thus we have the “triskelion pommetty” and the “triskelion gammadion in annulo”.  (The latter form, having been adopted by certain white supremacist groups, is no longer registerable.)  Presumably, one could have a “triskelion fleury” as well, or some other triskelion based on a variant of cross.

Triskelions may also be made up of other charges, so long as they are bent or embowed.  Thus there might be a “triskelion of dragon’s heads”, a “triskelion of three scarves”, or a “triskelion of chevrons”.  One example of this type, the “triskelion of spirals”, has been deemed a step from period practice, but still permitted.

Similar to the triskelion is the “pentaskelion” which, as its name implies, has five limbs instead of three.

Triskelions may turn either clockwise or counter-clockwise; the fact is not blazoned.  The most famous mundane triskelion, in the arms of the Isle of Man, has been depicted in period art going either direction; and the same is true of triskeles in Society heraldry.  It is left to the artist’s license, and no difference is counted for it.  For related charges, see arm, cross, leg, pall.

The King of Trimaris bears:  Argent, on a fess wavy between two triskeles azure a crown of five points, each point tipped with a mullet argent, between overall a laurel wreath counterchanged.

Finngall McKetterick bears:  Or, a triskelion of armored human legs vert.

Douglas Longshanks bears:  Sable, a pentaskelion of armored legs argent.

Terryl of Talavera bears:  Argent, a triskelion arrondi azure, between in pale two torteaux.

Sorcha ar Menez bears:  Vert, a triskelion of spirals argent between in cross four mullets pierced Or.

Colm the Defrocked bears:  Vert, a triskelion of demi-birds argent.

Goraidh Ailean na Gordanaich bears:  Purpure, a triskelion pommetty pallwise Or.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Thyrsus

Thyrsus (Accepted)

Thyrsus (Accepted)

A thyrsus is a staff entwined with leafy vines, and topped with a pine cone; in classical Greek art, it was the token of the god Dionysos.  No examples of its use have been found in period armory.  In Society armory, the thyrsus is palewise by default; its “proper” tincture is brown, with green vines.  See also caduceus.

Kathern Thomas Gyelle Spence bears:  Sable, a unicorn’s head erased and on a gore argent a thyrsus bendwise proper.

Daria Fuentes bears:  Ermine, a thyrsus proper.

Malyna Perceval bears:  Vert, a thyrsus Or between flaunches argent.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt (Period)

Thunderbolt (Period)

A thunderbolt is a winged, swirling pillar of flame, thrown from the hand of God or the gods.  It may be shown with lightning bolts behind it, crossed in saltire; the pillar is palewise by default.  Described in de Bara’s Blason des Armoiries, 1581 [128], and Guillim’s Display of Heraldrie, 1610 [99], the thunderbolt is accepted for Society use… but Your Author knows of no actual examples of the thunderbolt in period armory.

Caris Maniske bears:  Per fess argent and purpure, a thunderbolt counterchanged.

Huldah von Jal bears:  Per bend sinister sable and gules, a thunderbolt Or.

Marcus Marius Leontius Britannicus bears:  Gules, a thunderbolt and a chief embattled Or.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Fleece

Fleece (Period)

Fleece (Period)

A fleece is a sheepskin, hung by a band around its waist.  It was a period charge:  a fleece Or was, unsurprisingly, the badge of Burgundy’s Order of the Golden Fleece, c.1430 [Guide 170].  For related charges, see pelt, sheep.

Robert Longshanks of Canterbury bears:  Gules, three fleeces argent.

Gwendolyn Anne the Obscure bears:  Erminois, a fleece sable.

Gillian de Chyviot bears:  Argent, a fleece purpure and a chief rayonny sable.

This entry was posted on January 28, 2014, in .

Fasces

Fasces (Period)

Fasces (Period)

A fasces is an axe bound in a bundle of sticks (called a fascine in Latin).  The fasces was the symbol of civil justice, dating from Roman times; it’s found in the arms of Cardinal Mazarin, 1601 [Parker 250].  Its association with 20th Century Fascists does not bar the fasces from Society use, though care should be taken.  Its default orientation is palewise, as with the axe.

Charles of the Jacs bears:  Sable, a broken fasces Or.

Gaius Cornelius Ursus bears:  Quarterly vert and argent, two fasces vert.

Eóin mac Raghnaill bears:  Or, on a bend sinister sable between two falcons striking to sinister and to dexter gules, an arrow inverted bound in a fascine Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Cornucopia

Cornucopia (Period)

Cornucopia (Period)

A cornucopia is a goat’s horn or ram’s horn, with an abundance of fruits tumbling from its mouth.  It’s a symbol from Greek myth, and is also called a “horn of plenty”.  The cornucopia is a period heraldic charge, though rare, found in the arms of Cardinal Berdardus Divitius, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 267:489].  Its default posture is upright, as in the illustration; in the Society, it’s also frequently shown “effluent”, the horn tipped fesswise and its contents spilling to dexter.  When “proper”, the horn is brown and the fruits of divers tinctures, according to their kind.

Yeke Delger bears:  Per bend sable and argent, a cornucopia Or effluent proper.

Roxanne Brewer of Bath bears:  Gules, a cornucopia effluent and in chief three cups Or.

Thyri skjaldmær bears as a badge:  Two cornucopiae in saltire Or.

This entry was posted on January 3, 2014, in .

Caduceus

Caduceus (Period)

Caduceus (Period)

A caduceus is a winged rod, with two serpents entwined about it; it was the token of the Greek god Hermes (or Mercury, to the Romans).  In period it was considered a merchant’s symbol; in modern America, it has become the symbol of the physician.  The caduceus is a period charge, found in the allusive arms of Mercurio or Mercurius, c.1555 [BSB Cod.Icon 267:781].

Rod of Aesculapius (Accepted)

Rod of Aesculapius (Accepted)

A similar charge is the “rod of Aesculapius”, also called “Aaron’s rod”:  this is a stick or staff, entwined with a single serpent.  It, not the caduceus, is more correctly a symbol of the medical profession.  When blazoned “proper” in Society armory, the staff is brown and the serpent green.

At one time, Society armory reserved both the caduceus and the rod of Aesculapius to medical professionals.  Currently, there are no restrictions on either charge.  For related charges, see staff, thyrsus.

Carlina Vincenzi bears:  Azure, three caducei Or.

Merfyn Gareth ap Mouric bears:  Sable, an Aaron’s rod argent.

Mary Teresa Hathaway bears:  Azure, a rod of Aesculapius and in chief three roses slipped and leaved fesswise argent.

This entry was posted on December 11, 2013, in .