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Leo – Hercules Conquering the Inner Lion

20 April 2017, pencils and photo work

The story of Hercules is the symbolic journey of inner transformation and initiation. Hercules represents the aspirant becoming a disciple and realising himself as a soul. Later on, he further ascends to realise the Universal Soul. The Labours of Hercules are a journey through the zodiac and the fifth labour corresponds to Leo.

Hercules is asked to kill the Nemean lion. The lion represents our lower nature, the personality. Killing the lion means, overcoming our ego and realising our identity as a soul. The cave of the lion is the heart. We go inside and listen to the sound of respiration which is compared to the roar of the lion. By observing the pulsation we slowly get to the subtle pulsation; this is called "entering the cave within the cave". In a deep meditative state, when the respiration ceases, we meet the Higher Self. Only the original thought "I AM" exists; no other thought remains. When there is no more identification with the personality, the "lion is killed". However, the Teacher tells Hercules that the lion needs to be overcome again and again; otherwise it will return.

For Hercules fighting in the cave with the lion, I worked on a photo (Wikimedia: Sailko) of a Renaissance brooch. In the background there is the transformed initiate who has realised himself as a part of the Universal Soul. For this, I used a photo (Wikimedia: Wouter Engler) of a bronze statue of Hercules of the 2nd century CE excavated in Pompeii (Vatican Museums). The golden colour of the statue symbolises the etheric body of the initiate, where the divine light reflects from above.


Leo – The Path to the Super Soul

15 April 2016, pencils and photo work

The soul is an image of God. It is a replica of the super soul and it expresses itself through the mind, the senses and the body. If we want to come in touch with the divine radiation of the super soul, we have to release our association with the outer form and orient within. This way the inner man is formed and we can relate more to the super soul, the source of our existence.

As a symbol of this orientation upwards I used the photo of a friend standing on a sand dune in Tibet in front of a lake with mountains behind and a vast sky above. To depict the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space surrounding the personality I created spheres of different colours and the shape of the aspiring individual with his hands lifted up.

Light pours down through three globes – super soul, soul and personality - and is received into the individual. It is anchored in the head, the heart and the base centre. The light detaches the man from the impact of the surrounding spheres. He is oriented upwards to remain in touch with the source of Light.


Leo – The Tree of the Universe and the Cosmic Teaching Principle

17 April 2015, pencils and photo work

Leo is related to the heart centre; it is the heart of Spiritual Hierarchy. In the Vedic symbolism Leo is called the dog, meaning the Dog Star, Sirius. Our planetary Hierarchy is a replica of the Great White Brotherhood on Sirius whose Lord is Dattatreya. He is the teaching principle in the universe.

The Eastern Puranas compare the space globes of the universe with the fruits of a banyan tree and the suns with the seeds inside the fruit. Many trees line the roads to the garden of God. This reminds me of the astronomical concept of superclusters of galaxies called Laniakea (Hawaiian ‘immeasurable heaven’) which look like flows or branches of huge trees.

In the background of the painting I put a clustered photo of the known universe and super-imposed on it the structure of a tree. I made a photo of the statue of Dattatreya on my meditation altar, depicted as a being with one body and three heads, symbolizing the divine trinity coming out of unity. He is always depicted with a cow, symbolizing the universe. In his six hands he holds various symbols representing cosmic dimensions. In the branches of the tree you see two galaxies and in the centre a star nebula also called the “eye of God”. I placed a picture of Sirius into its centre.

In the foreground you see the symbol of the cosmic teaching principle, the triangle within a circle and the central point, which is placed at the heart centre of Dattatreya. The circle is surrounded by 12 stars, representing the twelve aspects of the zodiac or of the one original light, Aditi.


Leo – The Sun Centre in the Heart

09 April 2014, pencils and photo work

According to spiritual astrology, the heart centre is the seat of the soul and is ruled by Leo. Leo is the expression of the I AM, the sun of our being. The lion is the symbol of the personality which is to be transformed by the soul. The highest point of illumination in us is the head centre, and via this centre a yogi establishes contact with the sun centre of our planet, Shamballa. On a still higher plane there is a relation to the polar star.

The painting took some inner preparation before I began the outer work. To start with, I did a print-out of a colour spectrum wheel with 7 layers per colour shade. I photographed an icosahedron cut in a rock crystal and used the form of this Platonic solid of 20 triangles as an expression of rounded-up matter, or the “diamond body” of the spiritual matter which an initiate carries. For the meditator inside the crystal, I chose a picture of a statue of an Eastern goddess in a blessing posture which I took some years ago in the home of friends. I placed her face into the centre of the triangle pointing upwards and placed the picture of a lion with its head in the middle of the downward triangle. I put the colour wheel into the background with its centre at the heart centre of the meditator, symbolising the spectrum of the one light manifesting in 7 layers of creation. The colour of Leo is gold, and so the lion radiates a hue of golden light.

Behind the colour wheel I included a photo of the Dhaulagiri (meaning “White Mountain”) of the Himalayas as a symbol of intense aspiration towards greatest heights. On the front of the meditator, I placed the symbol of the sun. I shaped the headpiece exceeding the pyramid as an etheric representation of Shamballa which the meditator contacts via the head centre. Atop of it you see a star symbolising the polar star forming a triangle with two other stars.


Leo - The Entrance

17 March 2013, pencils and photo work

In symbolism Leo is connected with the transformation process in the inner cave of the heart. With the help of respiration you enter into the “cave of the lion”, the Heart Centre, where you can encounter the higher self, when the lower self is well adjusted. The cave also symbolises the inner ashram, of which an outer ashram is the externalisation. The image illustrates this entering into the ashram.

The painting shows a circle of 12 stars, symbolising the 12 signs of the zodiac. A woman is climbing a stair, entering through the circle of the “gate of stars”. The point in the centre is represented by a door leading to the Sanctum Sanctorum, and so the entry is a path from the circumference to the centre. At the threshold before the centre there is a white figure representing the Master in the Heart, the Divine Self. Above the centre you see the figure of an angel, the guardian of the ashram and the link to the cosmic spheres. The ashram is represented as a crystal cave. The crystals on the sides symbolise the purified, transparent matter, which can receive the Light. At the bottom on the left, outside the starry circle, there is a group of people waiting for their turn to enter.


Leo – the Three Planes of the Sun

22 April 2012, pencils, crayons and photo work

As already explained, the sun, like the human being, has a triple nature with a body, a soul and a spirit aspect. In the painting I have visualised their unity in a sacral space, which is hinted at by the church window in the background. The light at the centre (top) with the petals expanding into the space stands for the spiritual sun. In the centre of the picture there is the heart of the sun, represented as a huge flower with a pulsating heart at its centre. I visualised the sphere of the physical sun as a lion resting in a lotus and surrounded by an aura of light. It is a symbol of the pulsating life principle, which has its seat in our heart.

The picture with its fiery golden yellow illustrates the power of the love energy, which permeates the various spheres.


Leo – The Mother with the Lion

11 June 2011, pencils, crayons and photo work

In eastern wisdom it says that one of the forms of the Divine Mother is the shape of Saila Putri. She is regarded as a form of Parvathi and is also called the Daughter of the Mountain, the personification of the Himalayas. She is said to exist even today and to live in the form of an 18 years old woman accompanied by a white lion. From time to time she gives her presence to the initiates in the Himalayas through the roar of the lion which accompanies her.

For this picture I didn’t want to use an Indian-looking woman. I searched for a lady with royal posture and I found a figure of Elisabeth of Thuringia, queen of Hungary. It is said that once when she was threatened by her husband, a transformation of bread into roses happened to protect her. I gave her a huge rose as the symbol of the Heart. In the background I fused the pictures of a sunrise above Mount Everest and a panorama of Mount Kanchenjunga. And the white lion lies in his fiery cave, which is the symbol of the Heart Centre.


Leo – The Mother on the Lion

27 June 2010, pencils, crayons and photo work

Leo is ruled by the Sun. Here you see the glyph of the Sun in the upper centre showering streams of light downward. The full moon of Leo is the future festival of Hierarchy, and many masters of wisdom are born in this sign. In the centre you see the three great Masters, Kuthumi, Maitreya and Morya.

The cave of the Heart is said to be the cave of the lion, and the pulsation is called its roar. You see the glyph of Leo as the cave of the Lion. The Mother sitting on the Lion with Ganesha on her arms is a symbolic presentation of the majestic energy of Leo.