A sequence of alchemical drawings, inspired by Franz Hartmann’s In the Temple of the Pronaos of Wisdom. His little book describes over 150 signs and symbols from the heart of the Celestial Mother (collected in 1741), the divine Child, and Hermetic axioms. I planned to draw them one by one as Emblems, and make them into a book of meditations. So far, only a dozen have been done, as they triggered other creative work. Here they are now – beginning with a first-person “prelude”:
A root image – together with the Sri Chakra Yantra – for the contents of this blog as a whole.
This Reveals the Way/Road 10.5.01
The first Emblem – PRAENESIS: A Ship on the open sea, with a floating anchor, and a star shining overhead, with the inscription: Hac Monstrante Viam – “This Reveals the Way/Road”
A ship of souls. A pilgrimage. All my lifetimes and yours are passengers and crew. The anchor trawls the ocean Current: the contact. The star is a Hermetic Cross.
On and on upon the deep, the Quest seeks centre point. The tug of anchor and of star is Self correcting, like the winds.
The drifting is an alert surrender.
By all, through All 13.5.01
EMBLEM ONE: An open Book, with the name MARIA, and a heart transfixed by a sword, with the inscription: Omnibus in Omnibus – “By all, through all”
The Sword is pure light from heaven, piercing the earth of leaves (the pages) which is open like a flying dove at rest.
As above, so below: heaven penetrates earth. Fishes are ripples in the sands.
It is the same light, by all, through all. All worlds meet; sand, salt and sea; sky in the open rock.
The birds are Akasha, or space; trinity mysterium. Everything is written in Akasha, but cannot be seen by earth-sense eyes.
Receive the incoming sea. The heart of the book has countless pages opening along its spine.
The earth of leaves is an alchemical term for the prima materia – the garden we are given to work in, drenched and fertile with nitrates and the seasons’ humous.
Maria is the sea – il mare – and prima materia, Mother Earth.
In Thy Valorous Strength 5.6.01
EMBLEM TWO: A seven-headed Monster threatened with a club. Inscription: In Virtute Tua – “In Thy Virtue or Valorous Strength”
Act from the heart, by whatever means. The demons of despond and panic cannot be beaten by proxy – only from my Real centre of gravity, with commitment.
The weapon is gripped from the heart, from within, as itself. Where it strikes, it is armed by the great Exorcist, JHShVH, Yeshua.
In Thy valorous strength, not mine. Mine is not the Strength.
“May God be resurrected and his foes perish- As wax melts before fire, as smoke is driven by wind – So may all who hate the Lord flee his sight – And the just rejoice!
The monster with seven heads is personal egotism or inflation. Strike at its root or tail, with Self-enquiry. Defend the sanctum, create a shield. Use both hands.
What is not Lost … 10.6.01
EMBLEM THREE: A closed and sealed Door with an Angel attempting to open it. Inscription: Signatur ne Perdatur – “What is not Lost”
The door is a membrane, like the inner ear. The Angel has tools, but does not force the door. The keyhole is the extent of vision the sleeper has, peeping through the Tree of Life.
Buried treasure. Three knots in the wood suggest three worlds, or levels of entry: ways of perception.The angel sees through all our matter and mass and concerns, being the space of atoms.
The door frame is the fourth Hebrew Letter, DALETh; the Above is rooted in Below. The grain of the wood flows like water, a river, Yetzirah the World of Formation; the psyche.
The Angel of Beriah (World of Creation) wears the Atef Crown of Light.
On the Tree, the Sefira Daat is where the Angel’s dimension steps through into our consciousness, projecting shadows onto space and time. It marks also the capillary interchange by prana into the physical blood cells and body, as Consciousness embodies. This happens in the womb, and in every moment of life. Daat is emphasized in the little Tree of Life sketch which seems to grow out of the back of the sleeper’s neck. By the door frame near the top, is an owl creature or demon – a projected shadow from the Light of Angels’ feathers, onto the world.
The Angel’s wings are great waves of galactic ripple, through planetary systems.
After I drew this, I dreamed my front door was irreparably broken in, during the night, right round the frame; it had been replaced without support, and just hung there. I took out some loose bricks. I was afraid, but I found some lost things – a pair of child’s shoes. Then I saw my demon, a black, lame, prehistoric creature; the Shadow limped away over the fields, sticky, prickly and woebegone. Compassion for it.
Life being cracked open. Time comes. The heart shape is lying asleep in the ground, in the Earth of Leaves, like an embryo in the womb.
As Dawn Breaks through Tears 12.6.01
EMBLEM FOUR: A Landscape representing an Island. The sun rises and the stars shine. Inscription – Aurora ab Lacrymis: “Dawn breaks through Tears.”
The rising sun strikes his dark material from sleep, like a spark on flint.
It seems that coal rises. Carboniferous life is the ancient island, dark against the light, the ancient residue of trees, melting to gold, to fire, like the young volcano off Iceland: ice and flame.
The sea is Consciousness. The island is a heartbreak.
Tifareth is a ray striking the rock. It might be a precious gem: our Stone, or Self.
There are birds of liberated energy or emanation: the ions which are aeons – the current of static electricity.
There is a ship of souls: a movement, journey or quest. There is a lighthouse: a soul on the rock.
The water in the foreground, is rippled like deep sand. When we clear the view, like rubbing the sleep from our eyes, or polishing silver, the Sun and Galaxy (stars) are seen together. All is One Mater, materia.
Bitter Sweet 29.12.01 (Ramana-birthday)
EMBLEM FIVE: An Orange-tree bearing Fruits, of which the inner part is sweet while the rind is bitter. Inscription – Dulce Amarum: “Bitter Sweet.”
Nostoc – the alchemists’ dew which is gathered at dawn.
The “pith practice” of alchemy is called the Fountain, and in the east it is Kundalini yoga.
The Orange is a mercurial tonal vibration from the Sun. It transmits warmth and energy. On the Queen Scale Tree of Life, Hod (reverberation, the Glory) is orange. The Zodiac has twelve juicy segments.
Citrus fruit is tart at the root and in the pith. Taste and flavour: Malkuth, our ground.
Amor = Love. Amar = Bitter. These are working opposites.
Tifareth is a seed in the very centre of the tree, right in the white pith or core, at the dawn skyline. The Heart of the Tree is where all its branches open. Yesod is where the roots form together a base, and clasp the ground … like a child in utero. Plant your treasure.
The year’s ending is the seed of Light; in deepest Yin, sages are born: the darkest hour has the deepest light.
The sky has ripples of light, like sand crescents: the vesica pisces – fish of Pisces.
The roots are Karmic strands and lifetimes drawn together into the lens which is this Tree. Where they form one stem, a Yesod or personality grows, at ground level.
“Let us form a vessel to catch the dew of heaven” – to focus an individual, a group or a School. The parents are implied, in full.
Deeper in the sub-soil is the Kingdom, Malkuth, the host of our interconnected bodies of Light.
The mist above the roots of sunrise – Twelfth House – is the aura. Tifareth is where the aura interfaces/becomes the Malkuth of the Beriah tree – the branches of heaven.
It is universally, a capillary process, both ways.
The citrus orange in earth looks like a ring, like a serpent eating its tail: the DNA.
This was the first new Emblem in the series – after a long gap – having done some Grail study, and “fountain practice”. There are thoughts of the One – the Tzaddek wherever on earth – who holds the Axis of Consciousness for this age.
Sweet Savour: Cube of Solomon 2/3.1.02
EMBLEM SIX: An altar with a fire upon it, in which a heart is burning, sending out a sweet odour. Inscription: In Odorum Suavitatis – “Sweet Savour”.
Here the notes are pictures, rather than words
And here is the Second part of “Twelve Rosicrucean Emblems”:
The Beyond within Appearance 4.1.02
EMBLEM SIX (2): An altar with a fire upon it, in which a heart is burning, sending out a sweet odour. “The Beyond within Appearance”
The rose and the star
Lily of the Field 10/12.1.02
EMBLEM SEVEN: A pure white lily in a flowerpot, standing in a garden. Inscription: Virginei laus prima pudoris – “Purity is the fruit of modesty”
Studies of the Tattvas – five senses and seven interior stars
Solomon’s Lily in Earth 12.1.02
EMBLEM SEVEN (2): A pure white lily in a flowerpot, standing in a garden.
The roots, bulbs and rhizomes are all our interconnected lives and stories.
Companions of the Light around the Table in the Flower 13.1.02
EMBLEM EIGHT: An Angel separating wheat from chaff by means of a Sieve. Inscription: Dimittit Inanes – “Renounce the chaos of irrelevant inanities” (NB I do not have latin, and am guessing from the dictionary – help with this and Emblem Seven and the next three titles, would be appreciated!)
The sieve is a Ring of Time, an orbit, a zero. Through its mesh, the bread of life is sieved. The watchful Angel is planted in the landscape of all our lives; the sieve is a lens, or medium within which forms a crucial awareness of our destiny, and how and where to act and what not to do.
The landscape integrates cosmos, fields, pebbles, flowers and watery ocean patterns: those are all types of soul. Birds fly into infinity. Horizontal and vertical planes intersect and flow.
EMBLEM NINE: A Ring with a jewel, exhibited upon a table. Inscription: Honori Invincem. Perhaps “Honour is Invincible” literally. This and the next emblem were drawn at a much later date, some years apart.
The seal of Solomon containing the Cube of Space, rests on the rivering grain of the wood, the seas, shells and sky. The jewel is extracted from nature, from the natural state, and developed, undergoing hardships along the way, like humanity. We are talking of a process of centuries, millennia; yet alchemy is a quickening, an acceleration of our themes of loss and rediscovery, throwing our life’s activity into high relief.
The jewel and the rivering table, are two views of Time, juxtaposed.
EMBLEM TEN: A Globe illuminated by the full moon. Inscription: Plena sibi et aliis.
My journal of that day says: “Creative insight applies to life. (a struggle). My task is to draw it. Drawings help. Drawings embody the light. The Emblem Ten drawing – earth globe, moon, moon’s etheric aura around the planet – is Earth bound – the World.
“In this illustration, Atlas (muscle man) holds the world on his shoulders. He is the trunk of the world tree. Strange eye-rose spirals emerge near him. They are Time and samskaras – births of the mind. The cloudscape is as seen from a higher plane; the full moon and the composition do not suggest a linear mode, but a sphere – the Yin Yang interplay, the near and distant points (which are circles) of light and darkness.
“All is illumined. The full Moon has a crescent umbra. The Earth has wrinkled continents – Indian ocean faces – note the burden of the mountain range watershed, which wrinkles its Himalayan nature through Arabia, Turkey, Caucasus, Greece, Alps … our problem of civilization perhaps; the itch, the Mediterranean rift of cultural activity … an impression of weights.
“What is suggested here, is a global consciousness beginning to replace a local “tribal” consciousness.
“Atlas is the philosopher, Gaia is his brain, a whole planet is on his shoulders! Actually he is headless. The face is the front of the brain.
“My latin dictionary is NO help for the inscription, Pleni Sibi et Aliis.
“Nothing as yet on polar alignment … but managed to draw an alignment/core of approx thirty degrees through North Pole, Finland, Istanbul, Nile, Zimbabwe and East South Africa to Antarctica, taking in the longitude curve.
“Mediterranean is like a hot centre or whirl-spout mandala. This drawing developed the way it has, with no fixed plan, except to draw my globe without the Americas for a change … it didn’t take long.”
IMPRESSION today of Atlas:
I chose this image to draw, which combines a potentially peaceful scene, with utmost stress and weight bearing. 2008 happened to be a somewhat trying year for me – between a rock and a hard place!
If Atlas agrees to be an ornament, he might relax inside his pillar. If he looks carefully, he might find his ears are wider apart than he can ever stretch his hands. His head is space for the world and all the universe, to Happen in: a universal axis. All he need do, is remove his head gently.
How can anything “work”, until I find myself out? What is the way Home?
Reflect on … how time was once a local village, rising and setting in a linear way. Now time is a community of the dawn, around the globe, at all times this moment, a sphere.
As Douglas Harding would say, look carefully at WHAT this hand is pointing to … what is seen? why, the emblem of Emblems: empty for the whole wide world, to happen in!
The emblem of Emblems: “Look for yourself”.
My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.
This blog is a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.
I write, illustrate, design and print my books. Watch this space.