Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sorting through images I’ve taken past and present. I just finished reading Manly P Hall’s Lectures on Ancient Philosophy and am working on converting his text to illustrations, something I’ve had in mind since I started this difficult book about two months ago. This week I had the pleasure of working in some of these illustrations from some of my collected photography.
This picture above was taken with the kind help of Mr. Norbert Vance, professor of the Physics & Astronomy Department at Eastern Michigan University. He generously let me hook up my camera to large telescopes on campus to get this photograph when we were lucky enough to have a clear night early this February. This shot was taken from two separate telescopes and composited together to form something more visually engaging.
The moon has been an extremely important tool for the cadence of lunar time. It’s been a symbol for enchantment, emotion, and wonder. It’s been a tool for agricultural cycles and effects the tides of our oceans alike. The moon presides over conception, pregnancy, and birth. It’s often associated with fertility and many of the most well-known mythologies feature female lunar deities, such as the Greek goddesses Phoebe, Artemis, Selene, and Hecate as well as the Chinese goddess Chang’e. The number of Gods and Godesses represented by the moon is vast and entire books have been written on this subject, as it’s the easiest and largest observable solar being observable next to the sun.
Here is a timelapse video of the moon, taken with two cameras at two focal lengths on a moody cloudy night. This scene was shot to be “timeless” and capture the more emotional state of what the full moon is often associated with, which is why trees in the winter seemed so fitting.
This picture shares the same starry night sky as the first image, but in the context of the triune universe. The hint of a ladder is present here, which has been a frequent symbol I’ve been using more and more ever since reading about the Platonic idea of the inferior (material) universe, the intermediate (intellectual) sphere, and the causal (spiritual) universe. Hall writes about this in his chapter “The Doctrine of Redemption Through Grace” in Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, and I’ve explained this in more detail in my Journal No 12.
This image represents the same idea as “Chandelier and the Heavens” above, but with emphasis on natural formations over manmade ones as the inferior universe. This too is a composite of multiple images and illustrates the Platonic idea of the inferior universe, the intermediate sphere, and the causal universe.
This is a revised version of the 3rd image in my ongoing series, “States of Being,” I’ve had in previous posts. I revised many of the colors and hard edges in the rocks and changed out the background on the upper-right portion of this image to be more universal, with one single house present on the shore.
Similar idea here about the three separate universes, with reflections in a pool. For this picture I removed the ceiling and replaced it with a bright cloudy sky, for obvious symbolic reasons for what the sky represents and stands for.
This image illustrates reflections as well as cycles, as shown by the seasonal change and eclipse. For this picture I used three separate images, a graphic overlay, and digital painting techniques. This is probably one of my favorite works I’ve completed so far because it seems to incorporate multiple threads of convergence towards some of the points illustrated in this post.
Working with symbols, I’m finding the need to use an actual symbol overlayed to illustrate what I want to discuss. The evergreen trees in this picture have served as the ancient symbol for everlasting life because of their evergreen color. This is why the Christmas tree is an evergreen tree. However, it wasn’t until about the nineteenth century that Christianity absorbed the bright, cheery symbolism of the Christmas tree. The triangle / pyramid / trinity symbol here is overlayed because of it’s recent association with this tree.
More images in an ongoing series will adapt this style.