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Cancer - Artemis, Layers of Reflection

18 March 2017, pencils and photo work

The visible Moon is just the physical body containing the Moon principle. Moon is the Lord of Cancer and it is related to our mind. Like the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, our mind reflects the solar light of the internal Sun principle, the soul. Moon also reflects the light of the higher Moon called Soma in the Eastern scriptures. Soma, the divine musician, presides over the cosmic mind; his rays are received by the Moon via Neptune. Moon stands for the female principle, the mother. It stimulates the fertilisation and the birth and growth of the fauna and flora on earth. Cats attract the magnetism of the Moon; therefore the Egyptians considered them as sacred. Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and of the Moon, can be understood as a symbol of the mind and quick thoughts.

To depict these spiritual dimensions, I worked on the image of a bust of Diana/Artemis with a contemplative countenance. The face is surrounded on one side by a cat and on the other by orchids dotted with starry reflections. On the top you see moon light from beyond reflecting on the bluish globe of Neptune and coming down to the sphere of the Moon. The Moon again fuses with the head of Artemis.


Cancer – Descent and Growth of the Soul in Matter

06 March 2016, pencils and photo work

Cancer represents the descent of the soul into matter and the relation of mother and child. At birth the soul 'falls' from the spiritual world into matter, imprisoned in the dense sheath of physical incarnation. The mother nourishes the child and gives her affection. Mother Nature protects the child until it awakens to the soul and consciously ascends from matter back to the spirit.

Meditating on the symbolism of Cancer I caught a glimpse of a converging spiral. In the spiral I perceived the different steps of the descent of the soul into matter, and this linked to the mother protecting the growing child. Their interaction reminded me of the glyph of Cancer, ♋.

However, it took some time of searching until I found access to the actual composition of the painting. As a point of departure, I chose a Shalagrama stone, an ammonite, whose spirals are regarded in the East as a symbol of the universal principle or God. I transformed light reflections from butter-lamps in an Indian temple to represent the stages of the descent of the soul, superimposing them on the spiral in different colour shades. For the mother and child I used elements of two Italian Renaissance painters: the mother from a painting of Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1469) and the child from a painting of Fra Angelico (1395-1455). The spiral ends and also begins in the heart of the child, being near the heart of the mother – Cancer rules over the heart centre. The looks of Mother Nature come out of a veil of light; the face of the child radiates strength and purity. The surrounding greenish blue hints at the higher ruler of Cancer, Neptune.


Cancer – Narada’s Neptunian Music

26 March 2015, pencils and photo work

Sublime music can raise the consciousness beyond the mental to the level of the soul. This quality is related to Cancer. When music is properly used, it can open the awareness to cosmic planes of consciousness. Such experiences of oceanic consciousness are governed by Neptune. The cosmic teacher working through the power of divine music is called Narada. He is the cosmic musician whose thought, word and deed are musical. He bestows the word of the Lord with the sounds of his musical instrument, the Veena.

Pondering on Neptune, an image came to my mind which I had seen some decades ago, a round stone with a face. I finally found it googling – it was the famous “Mouth of Truth”, a stone face from an ancient Roman fountain probably representing Oceanus. I used it as the starting point, reworked it and merged it with a photo of Neptune. I surrounded it with a huge greenish wave in the vastness of the star-strewn space.

In the foreground you see Narada carrying his celestial Veena, a seven-stringed musical instrument representing the seven planes of creation or the seven tissues of the body. It is said to sing by itself and elevate people to the state of pure experience. I extracted the form of Narada from a vintage print and fused it with the surrounding waters of space.


Cancer – Cosmic Musicians and the Moon Principle

02 March 2014, pencils and photo work

Pure, sublime music is associated with the Divine. The soul naturally responds to high quality music, and we get absorbed into its enchanting vibrations. At the beginning of creation, when space begins to awaken, there is a first group of cosmic devas. The scriptures call them the Gandharvas, the musicians, because they are the intelligences who produce periodicities and durations. They are the blissful devas, the musical waves beyond creation. The musical hierarchy is presided over by Soma, the cosmic lunar principle, which exists on all planes. In astrology, his energy is presented through Neptune; on the planetary plane it is Venus; on the plane of our earth it is the satellite Moon.

In the centre of the picture you see three spheres representing the moon principle, composed from photos of the moon and a Chinese ivory carving. I placed a picture of the constellation of Cancer in the background. The outer, bluish sphere is touching a lower sphere representing the reflective principle or the transmission of the lunar energies to the Earth.

In the upper part of the picture you see three angels with flageolets, taken from the works of the English Pre-Raffaelite painter Edward Burne Jones (1833-1899). I worked them over to represent the Devas of the musical hierarchy. The musical vibrations penetrating the cosmos are visualised by the rays descending from the cosmos.


Cancer - The Descent of the Solar Angel into the Body

28 February 2013, pencils, crayons and photo work

Cancer is the sign of the return of the soul into a physical body and thus it is related to the process of reincarnation. The Moon is also the symbol of the generative life which gives birth to forms.

In the upper part of the image you see the Moon and behind it the glow of the Sun. Two angelic figures, solar angels, observe the descent of a soul into the embryo in the womb of the mother. You see the embryo head downwards behind the descending soul. Another name for the soul, the I AM, is the Solar Angel. It is the eternal part in man which in the cycle of evolution goes through series of incarnations. The body is also called the Lunar Angel; it serves as a vehicle for the incarnation of the Solar Angel. For the left angel I chose an extract from a painting of Franz Dvorak, and for the one on the right side an extract from a painting of Edward Robert Hughes; a drawing of William Hunter for the embryo in the uterus. For the illustration of the descending solar angel, I took an image of Ilmatar, the virgin spirit of the air, by Robert Wilhelm Ekman.


Cancer – The Mother and the Birth of the Soul into the Body

09 April 2012, pencils, crayons and photo work

In the upper part of the picture you see a semicircular bowl opening to the starry sky. From the stars energies are radiating down to the moon, who, receiving, is lying in the middle of the bowl. The moon is the reflective principle receiving the light from higher spheres. From there The lunar light flows to the Pitris, the builders of the forms, who also create our bodies. At the bottom of the picture lies the mother; the embryo (on the right) floats in the waters of the womb, surrounded by the waters of earth. Above the earth you see the sun. The surrounding circles indicate that he has, like a human being, a body and a soul and is an expression of the spiritual sun. From its centre the soul is coming down to enter into the body of the child.


Cancer – The Crab, the Tortoise and the Beetle

Cancer – The Crab, the Tortoise and the Beetle

08 May 2011, pencils, crayons and photo work

Master EK explains that when the earth begins to tilt back from the highest point of the summer solstice, the Sun appears to travel sidewise from North to South. Hence Sun is described as a crab while passing through this sign. A branch of symbolism represents it as the beetle which can transform a worm into a butterfly. This marks the transformation of matter into mind, the passage to spirit. The picture illustrates these aspects of the symbolism of the sign.

I took a photo of a crab running on a beach, between water and land, i.e., the physical and emotional plane; another of a turtle swimming in the waters. The turtle is a symbol of the man who has learnt to withdraw from the outer to the inner and to come out again when needed. The swimming turtle is elegantly floating through the waters, for it has mastered the emotional plane. And above you see three ladybird beetles flying. They represent the stage where the soul has liberated itself from the dense matter of the three lower planes and is ascending into the vast worlds of the spirit.

In the centre you see the moon shedding its light on the surface of the water. Moon is the ruler of Cancer, and the reflective light stands for the illusions created when you see only the reflection and not the original. There is a movement of reddish veils around the moon for which I used a picture of a rose, representing the heart governed by Cancer. The rose also stands for the intuitive and mystic nature of the sign. In the left upper corner, you also see the symbol of Neptune, the higher ruler of Cancer, and the glyph of the sign in the right upper corner.


Cancer – Mother and Child

24 May 2010, pencils, crayons and photo work

Cancer represents the mother and child relation. The sign stands for the birth of the soul into matter, when at summer solstice the sun takes its southern course and the days start getting shorter again in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a movement of ascent and descent in the year, which is depicted here with the descent of the waters on the left side of the picture, representing the lunar energies, and the ascent of the solar energies on the right side.

At the top you see the face of the Mother, taken from a picture by Michelangelo, surrounded by the rays of the sun. At the bottom you see an embryo in the arch of the moon. They are separated by the waters where the glyph of Cancer is floating. Above you see the symbols of Neptune and Uranus, the energies of which are reflected by the ruler of Cancer, the Moon, to Earth.