The Cross Rose in the Garden of Venus

The Cross Rose in the Garden of Venus (oil on canvas, 2016) was started in Scorpio 2015, when I was becoming intimate with the Death and Devil cards of the Tarot, ruminating on time, Saturn/Cronos, mortality/immortality, death/resurrection, limitations, collective primal fears, and the earth element. The Death card (XIII), pictured by a dancing skeleton with a scythe (Thoth deck), relates directly to Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars in its lowest expression. Both the sign and the card contain the idea of death and resurrection. In Scorpio lies the greatest potential for transformation, and its lessons run deep. It manifests in three forms, beginning as the scorpion with its poisonous sting and self-destructive nature (learning to transmute the venom), becoming the serpent (deepening knowledge of the true self through the process of life and death), and in its highest realization, taking flight as the eagle or phoenix (overcoming the lesser self, or resurrection). In alchemy, Scorpio correlates to the process of separation, or the filtering out of contaminants that hinder spiritual evolution. Scorpio invites us into the depths so we can isolate the pure from the impure, allowing for consciousness to germinate. Similarly, some schools of alchemical thought associate Scorpio with the process of putrefaction, in which chemical reactions occur that lead to new life. As a fixed water sign, Scorpio can be envisioned as ice, or melting ice when transformation is taking place. I wondered what it takes to melt that ice, and what is it within myself that needs to be separated out?...

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Removing the Veil: John Trudell, Power, and Vital Energy

When I was a kid, I had this feeling that people weren't talking about something that was vitally important, but I couldn't put it into words. As I grew up my interests led me in the direction to investigate what it was that this feeling came from. I read everything I could get my hands on that talked about different ways to perceive reality, because I just didn't buy that what you see is what you get... Castaneda, Yogananda, McKenna, Krishnamurti...I learned and practiced shamanism, meditation, yoga, crystal healing, laying on of hands, lucid dreaming, tarot, polarity therapy, reiki, magic, alchemy, psychology, nutrition, psychedelics...I learned how to feel energy and to know that it is more real than anything else we believe to be "real." It is the foundation of everything that exists and it is from this field of energy that the material world manifests itself...

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