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Includes a metal float frame that hangs the print 1/2” off the wall
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Ultimum Conjunction: Jupiter and the Royal Eagles of Projection
“No thing that is heavy can be made light without the help of the light thing. And the light things cannot be pressed down without the presence of the heavy thing. The ‘Turba’ speaks thus: Make the body spiritual and what is fixed make volatile.” - Aurora Consurgens
Ultimum Conjunction was completed in the sign of Pisces, a dreamy watery sign ruled by the gaseous giant Jupiter, ruler of the heavens and wielder of the lightning bolt, the creative spark of life. To dream is to create, but most of us do this unconsciously until we are somehow awakened to understand that the creative spark lies within us as the formative cause of our everyday experience. It’s like becoming lucid in a dream. You know that you’re dreaming and this gives you a certain level of control over the outcome of the dream. This is what projection on a psycho-spiritual alchemical path is about—projecting the inner contents of your mind into the world of form. This realization—that everything you see is you; not the you of your lesser personality and ego, but the you of your transpersonal Soul—is something we are all stepping into together.
To master the Art of Projection one must first master the balance of opposing principles within the self, both vertically and horizontally, doing the work of circulating and distilling the mind to reach higher and higher levels of purity. With impurities thus removed, the elixir of life flows freely from the above to the below and back, lubricating and flushing out the vision chamber within the brain. The sexual union between the above and below is realized in the effectiveness of the alchemist's, or the magician's, projection of their dream, which is not different than the dream of the Creator.
The eagle is the sacred bird of Zeus (the Greek Jupiter), Aetos Dios (Αετος Διος, Greek), a giant golden eagle that served as the god’s messenger and companion. Jupiter, the sky father, the Lord of Air, is also called the “cloud gatherer,” the one who helps us to expand the limits of our awareness and step into our role as Creator. Jupiter helps us to organize our thoughts, bringing order to the heavens. Clouds are easily understood to be aspects of the air element and the principle of mind, wherein the lightning flashes of Jupiter work like electrical signals to transmit information through the body, from the periphery back to the source, and vice versa.
In this painting the winged and wingless eagles, symbolic of the volatile and fixed states of matter, respectively, are uniting together in the coniunctio oppositorum (union of the opposites). The task of fixing the volatile and volatilizing the fixed is the quintessential aim of both inner and outer alchemy, as “this is the machination or device of Universal Nature, always to raise heavy things by light, & to depress light one by heavy” (1). The coniunctio takes many different forms in alchemical imagery, including the image of an eagle chained to a toad, where the spiritus is inseparably linked to the corpus or body represented by the toad (2).
The two eagles in Ultimum Conjunction are symbols of the alchemical conjunction, a cloud-gathering engine of transformation where the vertical forces of the above and below and the horizontal forces of the opposites come together in a powerful union. In Atalanta Fugiens, Michael Maier describes this union of “two Eagles, one with Wings, the other without; the first of which, endeavoring to fly, is restrained by the second,” so that “the one holds the other’s Tail by its beak, that they cannot easily be separated” (3). This conjunction resolves the conflict between the active and passive states of consciousness, represented by fighting animals like the two birds, lions, or dogs of Lambspring. It’s not that the polarities no longer exist within us; on the contrary we are even more compelled to pay heed to the “electric” and “magnetic” forces of the opposites, as Franz Bardon calls them (4), or the impulse to expand and contract. We begin to breathe in rhythm with the universe, knowing when to act and when to rest, moving with a conscious, intuitive, knowing liquidity, like wax, able to take solid form but easily softened and malleable, at the whim of the creative impulse within.
“Two Eagles come together: One from the East, and the other from the West.” - Atalanta Fugiens
(1) Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens, (Old Book Publishing, 2015), p. 31.
(2) Johannes Fabricius, Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemists and Their Royal Art, (London: Diamond Books, 1994), p. 55.
(3) Maier, pp. 30-31.
(4) Franz Bardon, Initiation into Hermetics, (Salt Lake City, UT: Merker, 2009), pp. 27-28.
This is extracted from a longer article written by Marlene Seven Bremner. If you’d like to read the rest and learn more about Jupiter and the art of Projection, please subscribe to the Patreon blog for as little as $1/month.