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30.000 x 40.000 x 0.250 inches
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Alchemical Transmutation Of The Cosmic Self
Mixed Media - Metallic Gel Pen/acrylic Paint Marker On Black Foam Board
This large 30"x40" piece is 100% linework and 100% symbolism. It includes symbolism from every major religion and theology on Earth. This piece is 100% symbolism and tells an extremely long story that requires several pages of explanation for anyone who has not studied comparative religions or esoteric philosophies. Basically, this piece symbolizes what every religion and theology in history has in common: promoting love and peace, practicing meditation/prayer, visiting the kingdom of the Gods, that we are all God’s children, that God is within us, and that all vital spiritual Knowledge is veiled in allegory and symbolism. You will find symbolism in this piece from pretty much every religion and theology including: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism, Shamanism, Egyptian theology, Native American theology, Mayan theology, Alchemy, Astrology, and the New Age philosophy. If you'd like to see closer, more clear views of the top and bottoms halves, here is a link to the my FB art page: http://www.facebook.com/TravisAitchsIllustrations ...Now to start explaining it all...
First we’ll start with the person in a meditative state (notice he/she is actually levitating off the ground). Most people ask “is that a guy or a girl?” Well, it’s both. But no, it’s not exactly a hermaphrodite, either. If you focus on the left side of the face, it appears to be a feminine being, and when you focus on the right side, it appears to be a male. It’s an illusion and symbolizes uniting the masculine and feminine (conscious and subconscious—or--analytic and intuitive) during meditation in order to achieve astral projection. When you astral project, you have to first balance these two aspects of consciousness. You have to be in a dream-like state (feminine), but also be conscious and aware enough to control the projection and know what is actually happening (masculine). The fact that it’s drawn all in line-work represents the transformation to the non-physical realm, as well as that blissful vibratory feeling you get as you leave your physical body when the astral projection begins.
Everything on the left side of the drawing deals with feminine symbolism (aside from the astrology symbols in between the locks of hair, which is explained later). The “feminine” in alchemy and many other theologies encoded with symbology is represented by the moon and deals with the subconscious, intuition and creativity. On the right side is the masculine symbolism, which deals with conscious, logical and analytical aspects and is represented by the sun. You are probably familiar with this type of symbolism. Solar is masculine, lunar is feminine.
Now for the insects. The left side has moths and the right side has butterflies. All of which contain hidden medieval alchemical symbols for the planets and elements (you need to look at the close-up version in order to see it). Alchemy actually began in Ancient Egypt (“alchemy” derives from “al kemet” which means “from Egypt” or “from the land of the blacks”) and originally was a metaphysical study--NOT physical, or with metals, minerals or anything like that. It focused on the relationships between thoughts, emotions and different aspects of consciousness and the Self and how they intertwine with each other. Turning negativity into positivity. Moths are known to spend their entire lives chasing the light, which is metaphorical for spiritual growth as we chase the Light as well, while butterflies represent metamorphosis, as in transforming from a primitive or savage beast to a spiritual human being. Moths are feminine because they are nocturnal by nature, butterflies are masculine because they help pollinate, or “impregnate”, our beautiful planet with more plant life, plus you only see them out during the day.
On the body you will notice scarab beetles in different colors. These symbolize the 7 chakras of the human body, and the scarab beetle is an ancient Egyptian symbol as well. They symbolize rebirth and resurrection because of how they are seemingly born from the ground as full-grown adults. This is because the scarab beetle lays its eggs in balls of dung (gross yeah), then they bury the dung, where the young beetles grow and eat/burrow their way out of the dung-ball and up from the ground as adults a year later. In my artwork, the beetles are crawling UP the body towards the head, and this represents the energy that travels UP through the spine/chakras during transcendental meditation until it gets to the Crown Chakra where your third eye is activated and you are able to see the realm of the Gods.
The mushrooms represent how humanity mentally evolved by accidentally eating psychedelic substances in nature and consequently expanding their consciousness, opening their eyes to a much bigger reality and allowing them to begin asking themselves the necessary questions needed to evolve spiritually and mentally, such as questioning their own perception of reality. The DNA from these psychedelics contains wisdom that we somehow receive when ingesting them. Shamans and monks do this ritually and this is how they are able to be so spiritual and wise. Anyone who asks a tribal shaman how he was able to figure out which plants are for healing and which are dangerous will tell you that he learned it from a spiritual experience he received from what we call a “trip”.
The plant on the right side symbolizes the Knowledge we get by eating vital nutrients and keeping our brains healthy and allowing them to evolve. Many may notice that it is in fact a marijuana plant. This is because when you are under the influence of cannabis, you think a lot more and your creativity and focus is increased. The plant also represents how shamans and monks smoke, drink or eat certain plants in order to put themselves in a peaceful meditative state easier which allows them to gain a greater Knowledge of themselves, life, God, the universe and nature in general.
The reason the DNA from the mushrooms and marijuana turns into dragons is because serpents and dragons have always represented one of two things throughout history in almost every culture around the world: either the energy that travels up the spine during meditation; or the double helix of DNA. In either case, it fits nicely for this particular symbolism. The “Knowledge” dragon combines with the “Wisdom” dragon to create “Understanding”, which is a religious reference from Islam and Supreme Mathematics, (look closely at the scales, the lighting in this photo kind of distorts it, but the right dragon has the word “Knowledge” hidden in it, and the left one has “Wisdom”). In Supreme Mathematics of Islam, Knowledge + Wisdom = Understanding. Even Christ was quite persistent on encouraging people to use their minds and gain as much knowledge as possible. As an example, in one scriptural verse (Hosea 4:6) he says “my people are destroyed for their lack of knowledge”. Knowledge is masculine because it requires conscious, analytical thinking to acquire. Wisdom is feminine because it gets impregnated by Knowledge to birth Understanding, and is also something that is triggered largely by the subconscious.
The symbol above the head is a Hindi symbol for “Om”. Om is believed to be the sound of the universe. As we now know, the universe and all matter within it is held together by frequencies. The universe is literally a symphony of sound keeping atoms and particles together and allowing them to move. During meditation, the “Om” sound is chanted because it has a perfect harmonic resonance with the human body and universe, allowing your vibrations—or frequency--to attune to the proper levels needed to attain enlightenment, bliss, or astral projection. The symbol also represents the four states of human consciousness, one state for each section of the symbol: 1) ordinary waking consciousness 2) deep sleep 3) the dream realm, and 4) an absolute conscience state of enlightenment. This is not my own symbolism for it, this is the actual reason the symbol exists and it is traced back to one of the most ancient cultures we’re currently aware of.
Behind the person you will see the silhouettes of an owl on the left and a hawk on the right. In many theologies the owl represents Wisdom, which is feminine, along with the fact that its nocturnal which also symbolizes the feminine aspect of consciousness. The hawk or falcon represents the Knowledge or masculine because of its predatory dominance, implying that it is a much more conscious or “aware” bird, thus allowing it to be at the top of the food chain for birds. If you know anything about Egyptian theology, you may also recall that the Sun Gods, Horus and Ra, are both depicted as either a hawk- or falcon-headed male human. This bird symbolism was also popular amongst Native American theologies.
The astrological symbols represent the 12 aspects of the Self, which aligns with many other things in religious teachings such as Jesus’ 12 disciples. Astrology is an ancient science that involves a lot more than simple or vague daily horoscopes and deals with alchemy and the old adage “as above, so below”. Note also that the symbols form the shape of a heart if you trace them together. This is because the heart is the epicenter of our true selves, not our brains. The heart is the first organ to form in the womb, it sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to it, and it emits a much more powerful electromagnetic field than the brain. The heart is where love and any other emotion stems from. Love is important because it is a high frequency emotion and can be proven with scientific instruments. High frequency is how you feel when you begin to leave your body, and I know from experience it is one of the most blissful feelings ever, and you can literally feel the vibrations in your body as you leave it. If you do not enter this stage with love, it will end up being a "bad trip". If you have fear, hate, anger, or any other type of negativity in your heart as you enter the astral realm, it is a metaphorical Hell. Which quite possibly could be the same metaphorical Hell spoke of in the allegorical books of the Bible.
The large symbol at the bottom of the drawing is the medieval symbol for Alchemy wrapped with the fire and water duality symbolism which is a reference to Taoism, the Yin and the Yang.
Finally, there is the Earth sitting in the lap of the meditator. This implies that as human beings, we are in control of this planet. We are “made in God’s image”, which is metaphorical-speak for “we have the power to control our own reality as well as the reality of every living creature on the planet. We are responsible for all of its unnatural detriments and we are also fully capable of restoring it or taking care of it in the proper way.” Notice also how it is split directly in the middle for what we perceive to be the Eastern and Western cultures. The Eastern side is the side that has the Sun on it as well, implying that the Sun is rising, which is yet another ancient metaphor for obtaining Knowledge. You can think of learning something new to be a “mental sunrise”.
I hope that this piece of symbolic artwork opened some minds to how important and deep metaphors, allegory and symbolism is. I also hope that it helps people realize that we are all One and there is no possible way to explain it otherwise if every culture from every time period used the same symbolism and had the same ideas. Ideas and knowledge are already within our brains. To “educate” derives from Greek etymology meaning “pull out of”. This means when we educate ourselves, we are pulling knowledge out of the universe and remembering what we already knew. Think about the word “research” as well. How can you “re-search” something if it’s supposedly your first time learning it?
May 4th, 2013
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