The Museum of Cartography By Tom Holmes Medieval Cartographer’s Prayer I have seen the bright patterns that transmit a message without a tongue. It shouts no words. The pattern says, “Deliver me. Return me home.” May everyone understand the mystery of these lines. Drought Season (Eurus Winds) When the sun rises seven mornings in a row, the eighth will deliver hot winds and empty night skies. Newborns will wheeze through puffed, ruddy cheeks and swollen eyes. Mothers will have to milk the land. You’ll need white limning. Early Islamic Stellar Cartography: Advanced Mediation To sit upon an astrolabe and wait for God to intervene or for the Devil to ascend from below and enter into one’s nether lands is the way of ventriloquists, for us, it is to transcribe the sky on parchment or a napkin. The Climate of Hell Winter arrives from the north, an immigrant wind with devil wings. It freezes our hair, burns our faces, delivers us contradictions – we are coldest when we’re closest to the sun. Dante’s Map Like most maps from the Middle Ages, The Inferno’s a speculative map – sketched hope and allegory. It forsakes the accurate. It won’t even help in forgiving our sins.