I love my studio time, I relish in it and truly absorb myself in the creative process. Its a journey that goes ‘nowhere physically’, well apart from the odd visit to the café around the corner. It starts within and appears without.
All journeys and personal quests, through any creative act, are about uncovering the original self. Peter London in his book No More Second-hand Art, Awakening the Artist Within, expresses this point in relation to drawing and painting. He writes:
“To create art drawn from within is to access our internal power of our own and also to uncover an all but forgotten original primal self.”
To create from within is like drawing upon a source of wisdom that no one else could possibly have, it is our uniqueness and ours alone. We have to be the only ones who can explore this territory and then return to tell the tale. The more we exercise our uniqueness through creative imagination, the more openings and alternative doorways we encounter along our journey. In other words when we allow our hearts to open and our minds to roam freely, the less likely it will be for us to pitch our tent and close our mind to other possibilities. Once we start to ‘create’ from a wider perspective then we begin to realise what every traveller on the road to self-discovery has realised, that life is really a journey towards a deeper understanding of who and what we are. If anyone was to do this type of journey today they would be doing what every visionary or shaman has done for thousands of years, alternatively, are we not those ancient visionaries anyway?
The idea of a web provides us with the fundamental link between all life; this link in its simplest form is energy. Each part of the web of life has its own energy that vibrates at its own particular frequency. The energy encompassed by an entity, be it a tree, a stone or a human being, is an extension of the web of spirit and the extent to which we can affect and be affected by spirit, depends on how receptive our personal webs are. To become more aware of our weblike connections with spirit, we have to become more aware of energy on an instinctive level. We quite naturally use our instincts to sense various atmospheres, be they a room after an argument or more subtle atmospheres that come from being in nature. Through our personal connection to the web of life we are sensing energy that can be extended to feel higher vibrational parts of creation.
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. If we cannot be alone then how can we allow ourselves to journey past the doors of ordinary thinking and seeing? I’ve taken it to new levels at times. Balance is important. I believe we have to be alone in many ways though, so as to discover what resides at the centre of our personal webs. Remember it takes only ‘one spider’ to weave ‘one web’, just like we are born as an individual and then pass away as that individual soul. This does not mean that in order to create we have to live in solitude, on the contrary, nothing on Earth lives in solitude. We, like all life on this planet, need companionship, communion and dialogue. We need a continuous assembly of sunshine, interaction, landscape, with a ‘cornucopia of things to see’, touch, smell, taste and hear. Mmm, the slow cooker smells good… All of nature, which we feel through the so called five liberal arts, our senses, plus ‘how we imagine’, ‘remember and dream’ – all provide the thread for our personal webs. The most important is the Imagination, from where all ideas are born.
My Studio time connects me to that ‘web-like’ spirit and allows me to feel myself into that ‘timeless zone’, one that centres us if we allow it to. Day dreaming (when I get the chance) also comes naturally in the ‘studio time’. Many friends and admirers of my art have graced their own studios, living spaces and homes over the years, and by doing so thay have taken that energy into their own energy field. I am always in awe and truly grateful to those that choose to have a little piece of my studio time and creative imagination in their homes. Our hearts connect through art!
“I rest not from the great task… To open the immortal eyes of man inwards…”
IN TODAY’s society we are encouraged to believe that art must imitate material appearances. Yet for the shaman artist, painting dreams and visions was a way of opening the portals within the imagination. Our intuition, apparitions and the experiences which are not always of this ‘ordinary reality’, were considered by the ancients to carry substance that could be made visible through art. My work over the past twelve years has taken me into areas that few artists today want to venture into. My interest in the metaphysical aspect of art and the need for conceptual illustration to become the protagonist of the ‘new age of image making’, is what drives my work.
The role of the visionary throughout history has been to unveil the hidden realms of the imagination. To appreciate alternative ways of ‘seeing’ we need to stop speaking of reality as if it were necessarily ordinary. We need to de-automate consciousness in order to cleanse our perceptions, especially in terms of how we see art and life. In my books Through Ancient Eyes and Journeys in the Dreamtime I go into greater depth regarding the multidimensional aspect of reality and the esoteric symbolism that speaks of the different dimensions that constitute ‘reality’. From my own experience of making paintings, a natural ability to ‘see through’ the appearance of everyday reality occurs, when we re-focus the mind’s eye and become aware of our ‘multi-dimensional’ persona. Much of my art and narrative illustration is about ‘seeing’ and depicting forms that unlock the imagination through symbols, archetypes and concepts that go beyond the mundane. They represent an alternative vision of the world, one that finds parity with philosophies expounded through indigenous myths, quantum physics and pockets of the so-called New Age today. I feel at home painting scientific concepts, just as much as I do illustrating themes found in Science Fiction. Reality and fiction are often entwined in my artwork and can carry concepts that relate to alchemy, the occult and ancient civilisations.
Accessing the worlds occupied by microbes, invertebrates and other natural phenomenon, as captured by visionaries since ancient times, comes from an ability to ‘see through’ the façade of this virtual-three-dimensional-world we call reality. I call this type of seeing, accessing our ‘ancient eyes’, or seeing the next layer of the illusion. Much of my art has been focused on the esoteric concepts behind the nature of reality. Seeing in this way has been symbolic of putting my head above the mundane surface reality and noticing that there are many worlds teaming with life forms, shapes and characteristics, which seem alien to consensus reality. Much of the work in this exhibition is dedicated to expanding the mind beyond the immediate five senses – the matrix world. The mission behind visionary art, for me, is to unlock the imagination, ignite our soul’s purpose and move us into worlds that are unique to whom we are as individual co-creators, operating in an infinite universe. More so, the illustrations encapsulate my personal vision for a changing world.
In my vision the power of ‘true human creativity’ and the ‘truth vibrations’ are symbolised as a great celestial tree that stands firmly connected to the Earth. In truth, it is also a symbol of the Earth with its branches or arms reaching into the in- finite Universe. The ‘sacred tree’ offers both shelter and protection to all life, it is a ‘harbinger’ of ‘otherworlds’. The tree is also symbolic of the ‘brain’ and the multiple inner worlds of human perception. The ‘trunk’ (in my image) is the spinal column, that sits below the ‘earth-brain’ (the tree) converging at the seat of our ‘true sight’. The two halves of the brain are a symbol of both the Earth ‘maze’ and ‘labyrinth’ as shown on my cover painting for the book by David Icke: Remember Who You Are. The left side of the brain is the maze of logical confusion, a projection (a holographic matrix) that is anchored by the Moon. It ‘coverts’ our ‘third eye’ and is symbolic of the world we live in – a world of ‘Moonopoly’. The Labyrinth is a similar construct that offers a way into the underworld or the inner- worlds of the mind. The right side of the brain is the part of the tree that connects us to ‘infinite worlds of possibility’. It is the place of ‘intuition’ and ‘imagination’ fired by the Sun and the ‘solar plasma’ energies that create the Universe. The placing of the crystal stone, that carries the ‘truth vibration’, begins the process of ‘remembering’ and ‘seeing’ the world for what it truly is! In my vision, the ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling’ of our truth, brings about the ‘end’ of the false reality (the matrix projection), which is merely a vibrationary prison that is imposed on the ‘many’ by the ‘few’. We are all ‘earth stars’ with jail break in our hearts – freedom calls!
I was reflecting on a wonderful educational project from January 2012, when I was contacted by a school in Alberta Canada (Allendale School) with a view to supporting art curricular project work, where the students would focus on my paintings of Lions. Over many weeks a ‘huge body of art’ would come from Grade 8 classes. Having watched the students’ work progress over a period of weeks (from afar) I was in awe of the ‘vitality and energy’ captured by the school kids at Allendale. Such amazing art work – all of it! In this blog I merely wanted to share some of the amazing imagery that came out of the project set by a superb art teacher called Wendy Salter.
A whole series of paintings (in the gallery above) ensued inspired by the Lion paintings i made and of course the book by David Icke – Human Race Get off Your Knees – The Lion Sleeps No More. Of course fueled by the imagination of the young artists some inspiring work unfolded. The Christ Lion and Earth Lion Consciousness images (below) became the starting point for the Art 8 Group at Allendale School and with guidance from Ms Salter, whose brilliant idea this was, along with the ‘enthusiasm’ of all those students that took part – the whole project was ‘truly inspirational and motivational’ to see. Of course I wasn’t able to visit the school physically, but thanks to Ms Wendy Salter I was able to see the imagery unfold via photographs above. I have a few of the post card size pieces of art that the teacher sent me and always keep these in my creative space. Beautiful work!
“The imagination is that which is the least human in man. It wrenches him away from himself and plunges him into ecstacy; It puts him into secret communion with the powers of nature. Who speaks to me, with my own voice? From himself comes a marvellous stranger called Art.”
THE VISIONARY capacity of artists is so famous that it is often considered by western standards to be a bit bizarre – even mad. This is understandable given the lack of vision in a society that has become obsessed with mediocre imagery, and the mainstream media. In many ways the society we have inherited today is based on over logical and rational political-scientific-religious structures of the mind. These mind-sets are purely masculine on the surface and allow little room for the balanced female/male to bring out the artist within us all. When we stifle the artist within we also leave little room for the visionary to appear and offer new direction in life. In my opinion a civilisation that is based totally on the dominance of masculine power structures, with an obsession for suppressive technologies, relates to the immense destruction of our environment. All torture, war, famine and imposition are an expression of the destructive macho mindset, which is found in all sexes. The heart, on the other hand, is the creative, nurturing and artistic aspect of humanity. It is a place that can move us beyond ‘thinking’, duality and the material-world. The heart and mind have been separated in our modern world, so much so that people ‘think’ too much and feel (through the heart) even less. The head has dominated the heart for too long and any civilisation based on mechanical, programmed lifestyles needs the creative spirit within to open the heart. Visionary art can help us to find that balance and open our heart to the mysteries of the Universe.
True Vision Does Not Separate Life into Categories
Science and art have also been separated through the dominance of over logical power structures, especially since the time of the Renaissance. It was at this time that the spiritual became further separated from science and dogma replaced the philosophy and teachings of the ancients. However, despite the separation of science and spirituality, the visionary can be seen at work through artists and scientists from the Renaissance period onwards. Before this period in history the visionary was a shaman or a pohagunt who would communicate with ‘unseen levels’ of creation. Today, we are beginning to remember that both science (esoterics) and spirituality (not religious doctrine) stem from the same knowledge. The discovery of dark luminous matter, which according to physicists constitutes 95% of the mass of our universe, is the home of the creative non-physical aspects of our Universe. The other 5% are what we see as ‘physical mass’. Turn off the lights and we see nothing, but what we sense, imagine and intuit with our finer senses dwell in that darkness too. The higher percentage is the ‘invisible’ universe and the source of our emotions, feelings, higher senses, much of which comes through our art and creativity. The imagination is the catalyst for these ‘invisible’ worlds and it is the power of the imagination that can aid us in seeing our own unique connection to the many dimensions that interpenetrate our reality. Subjects found in Science Fiction are also revealing the ancient and modern connections underpinned by ‘real science’. As I have been saying in my lectures over the past few years, ‘Science Fiction’ is a cover story, to prevent people from realising the truth regarding the eternal nature of reality and how humanity is part of an infinite stream of consciousness that cannot die. The truth is stranger than science fiction and our consciousness, in the form of archetypes, extraterrestrials and non-physical realities, exists above and beyond the physical world we dare to call ‘reality’.
Transformation as a Source of Imagery
Through the eyes of native people past and present, everything on the planet was ‘alive’, something modern science has only recently come to realise through the ‘Gaia hypothesis’, spurred on by modern ecological physics. Native cultures were impelled by their primeval imagination. Spirits of animals and archetypal gods were made tangible, using art as a form of ceremonial initiation. To the shamans of Palaeolithic cave art, their artwork was believed to be active or illuminating their present reality. In some ways much shamanistic art could have being created as a form of celebration, depicting a successful hunt, before it actually began. If so, then the images became agents of transformation, or the power to change reality through the imagination of the artist. Today this process is recognised in art therapy as ‘Image Dialogue’, or what Carl Jung described as ‘Active Imagination’. To the native artist all images contained sequential ‘fantasies’ that want to become conscious, and by deliberately concentrating on those particular images through meditation or trance, all art in the shamanic sense became a tool for transforming realities. In other words the artist in this sense expresses and learns things by turning into them. This idea was summed up perfectly by W. B Yeats, when he said: “Who can tell the dancer from the dance?”
From a much wider perspective art is so important to the process of transformation, from visualising a world of limitation and seeing it change into a world of abundance, through exercising our creativity. Every art form in the native sense came through the notion of bringing abundance into everyday reality. Therefore all native art was intended to communicate and manifest many truths, which were hidden to the five senses; and to focus and direct ‘supernatural’ powers that would facilitate that abundance. These powers are still part of our life energy, a force that is never static or regressive in its natural state. I would say the artist, as an instrument of the natural forces in nature is very capable of nurturing this expansion of energy to forge new channels of expression and experience. In fact you could say it is the primary purpose of the human imagination to expand the life energy that encircles us. Therefore, our imagination is our innate gift, which can be called upon to help visualise a very different physical existence. By imagining and realising our visions in any creative form, we are creating realities that will eventually manifest themselves in our world. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “We have to become the changes in our world”. Our vision, through our creativity is important to this process.
Art as a Psychic Tool
All art in its native sense is concerned with stirring our spirits, our soul and stimulating our extra-sensory perception. As always it is the art of storytelling, whether oral or pictorial, that is the real sign of creative vitality in any culture or society. Creating, or re-creating our own personal myths helps to eradicate negative feelings generated by dogma, which in the end can only cause disempowerment. All myths and legends inspire and fuel our imagination and, from a creative point of view, help us dig deeper toward understanding our unique relationship with the universe. Creativity, when viewed from an indigenous perspective, was not just a physical process, but a necessary ongoing spiritual journey. It was something that was practiced and woven into the very fabric of our native ancestors’ lives. Whether we consider the natives of Easter Island creating enormous effigies and stone heads in honour of their spiritual ancestors or the European aristocracy placing hippogriths and dragons on their clans ‘spiritual’ coat of arms, the use of art to reveal the mysteries of the Universe was paramount.
Today there is a lack of a spiritual principle in art, especially schools of fine art, which concern themselves mainly with intellectualising and rationalising creativity. There is more to creativity than the physical processes, or art for art’s sake. The most important aspect of being creative is not the product created but what it reveals to the one who has created it. What is unveiled through our art and creativity often relates directly to what we feel, how we think, see and how we move through the world on different levels. Humanity often gets caught up in a world of illusion, when it fails to see beyond the physical limitations and into other dimensions. Therefore art as a vehicle for our psychic abilities can provide us with the necessary insight for discovering the mystery of our being. In other words visionary art is a vehicle for expressing the true nature of our world.
Today’s artist will always find him/herself stifled against controlling forces that do not understand the need for the visionary at this time. Rest assured an unfulfilled society can only verge on the mechanical and apathetic outwardly, if internally we are unawakened to our creative calling. And this is one of the reasons why the mechanistic view of life is prevalent in our world today.
When we consider ancient civilisations and how we have evolved, one cannot help but notice how our ancestors married the physical with the ‘spiritual’. Temples, halls, even homes were adorned with original art, which constantly reflected back at society their needs and understandings of the creative spirit in life. William Blake echoed this point at the beginning of his poem ‘Jerusalem’, when he wrote:
“Nations are destroyed, and flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting and music are destroyed or flourish. The primeval state of man was, wisdom, art and science.”(1)
I believe much modern art (especially the Sensationalsim Movement) reflects back at us, as a Western civilisation, the current state of our soul loss. If we go back to the 1930’s, for example, the Surrealists and the Dadaist art movements in Paris were responding to this soul loss through attempting to shock the public through their art. Surrealism was a natural response to the destruction and mechanisation of the human spirit through war and growing industrialisation. Much modern art today doesn’t go far enough, in my view, when it comes to reflecting both the spiritual and political truths of our time. Much urban art is mediocre therefore what we need desperately today is the return of the visionary so to open up new channels of revealing the mysteries. Art in all its forms, if we dig deep enough to the depths of our soul, is a device by which we can inform and cleanse our current civilisation. The use of ancient archetypes and symbols in art can ignite this process of lifting the veil so to bring back to humanity the true wonder of life. Visionary art is the little boy who dares to shout out that the emperor is naked, when the rest of the world has been conditioned to believe he is wearing ‘new clothes’.
Spirit of the Artist
Art in the native sense was much more than going to art school and making pictures. Art for our ancestors was about creating abundance, expressing individuality and manifesting beauty in the world around them. At the same time much of the ‘art’ of the ancient Amerindians for example, was more of a careful representation of iconography or symbols given to a person during a Vision Quest(2). The images they placed on shields, drums, homes and such, were perceived as alive and coming from the world of spirit. Therefore native art was more of an apparition that came from not what they were, but from their experiences in perpetual exchange with nature and the cosmos.
From Ancient Egypt to the Miracle Plays of Medieval Europe, people maintained a personal connection to the spirit of the artist, through their crafts, rituals, dances and festivals. Making raw art or imagery that stems from the inner most part of ourselves also helps us to ‘feel’ the sacred in life. You might say we have to get to know the creator within or what I describe as the ‘Spider Inside’ in my book Through Ancient Eyes. Doing this can help us realise what ecological science has discovered in recent years, that we are part of a pulsating amazing web of life, and therefore we hold a special place as co-creators in the world.
Journeys in the Dreamtime
In today’s society we are encouraged to believe that art must imitate material appearances. Yet to the artist of many primal peoples, dreaming and visionary art was a device that could open the portals within the imagination. Our intuition, apparitions and the experiences that are not always of this ‘ordinary reality’, were considered by the ancients to have substance that could be made visible through art. To the native (primal) mind, just because something is concealed it does not mean that it does not exist. To understand this way of seeing we need to stop speaking of reality as if it were necessarily ordinary. We need to de-automate consciousness in order to cleanse our perceptions, especially in terms of how we see art and life. Our reality is everything that we experience both in the dream and the awakened world. How do we know which is the real world anyway? Are we so sure of everything that exists within the realms of the imagination? As the Chinese Sage Chuang Tzu (369 -286 bc) once wrote:
“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”(3)
In my book Journeys in the Dreamtime I go into greater depth regarding the multidimensional aspect of humanity and the esoteric symbolism that speaks of the different dimensions that have been constantly tapped into by visionary artists. From my own experience of making pictures, a natural ability to ‘see through’ the appearance of everyday reality, occurs, when I re-focus the mind’s eye. Much of my art is about seeing and depicting forms that unlock the imagination. In my world people can look like animals, clouds can take the shape of everyday objects and rocks can seem to carry personas. See the photograph of the sleeping rock person and tree person below.
Accessing the worlds occupied by microbes, plants (like the blue corn stem pictured above) and other natural phenomenon, as captured by visionaries since ancient times; comes form our own ability to see through the façade of this virtual three-dimensional reality. I call this type of seeing, accessing our ‘ancient eyes’, or seeing the next layer of the illusion we call the physical world. Seeing in this way is symbolic of putting your head above water and noticing that there is another world teaming with life, shapes, colour and sounds, while below the surface one image of the sea is presented to the immediate five senses. The mission behind visionary art, for me, is to unlock the imagination, ignite our soul and move us into worlds’ that are unique to whom we are as individual co-creators in an infinite universe.
1) Blake, William. Jerusalem, The Emanation of the Giant Albion. Plate 4
2) A Vision Quest is a rite of passage practiced by many indigenous peoples. It was done in the form of a
“The ancients knew something which we seem to have forgotten.”
ROCK ART from the upper Palaeolithic period through to the Bronze Age, depict numerous symbols associated with the stars, the Sun, sexuality and the emanations of a vital magical power in nature. Other symbols speak of duality and the forces that have shaped our. It’s as if the artists that created the images on rocks, in caves and along the canyons of the ancient world were trying to explore, through their art, a newly found aspect of their own inner being. Alchemical illustrations produced by artists/alchemists from the Middle Ages also depict the same deities and archetypes as did the earlier temple art of Egypt, Greece and further a field. What seems obvious is that a priesthood of alchemists or shamans were recording and illustrating the sequence of events, mainly through symbols and allegory, which explain the connection between the ‘divine’ and the human senses. It is my view that drawing and art is a form of communication that was considered near to the higher consciousness, for our ancestors and this is why the shaman used symbols and imagery, so to communicate deeper and more profound levels of understanding.
According to the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung, the collective unconscious contains Archetypes which are universal primordial images and ideas. At Jung’s time the archetypes were accepted mostly as cultural phenomenon or as something originating in the inherited structure of the brain. However, scientists since, have begun to look for a physical mediator between the brains of the people, still assuming that the archetypes, which control our minds, are originating and containing in the structure of the brain. The mass extinction’s of species were actually mass replacements of species with more advanced brain capacity, while having the capability to hold memories of previous evolutionary phases within the very cell structure of our bodies. From this perspective the brain can be compared to a computer and the mind to the software that facilitates the evolution of our Universe. Not only has the hardware (brain) been altered through evolution, but the software (the mind) too has been written or programmed to project set realities or paradigms. Humanity has within its genome structure the memories of past evolutionary phases and the ability to call on the time commonly described as the ‘fall’. In the Twelve-Century the artist, visionary and abbess Saint Hildergard of Bingen also said of the time before the ‘Fall’:
“Art is a half effaced recollection of a higher state from which we have fallen since the time of Eden”.
This statement along with much research into cave art, by historians and nuerobiologists hints at the possibility that the human consciousness, our prehistoric ancestors, went through immense neurological and biological changes around 40,000 years ago. You could say that our human ancestors brains were upgraded, (as if by magic), to facilitate what some scientists refer to as a ‘higher-order consciousness’. In mythology and oral traditions spanning the globe this ‘new found ability’ of a ‘new earth race’ was described as the ‘gods’ giving knowledge to the first humans. Legends associated with Prometheus and the ‘light bearers’ recorded in ancient myth are part of this story. However, the more one researches into the subjects of alien visitation symbolism and relevant mythological accounts, it seems that one strand of our original ancestors, the Neanderthals, disappeared abruptly, while their ‘replacement’ Homo sapiens seemed to flourish. It is the latter species that we in our modern physical form are said to have originated from. The course of this book would be insufficient to cover this particular strain of the subject in great detail and I am not a scientist (obviously). But I feel it is worth investigating further the so-called sudden fall of the Neanderthal in line with the discovery of Earth’s oldest art works.
Atlantis & the Artist Apes
It seems from an overwhelming amount of historical and modern day evidence that a highly evolved civilisation once existed on the planet. This civilisation has been referred to as Atlantis, Antilla, Aztlan, Shangri-la, and Hyperborea, to just mention a few. According to many ancient texts, this global colony was one of several continents now submerged under the sea in the area now called the Atlantic. Its is also said that its sister continent was another ancient landmass called Lumeria, located in a place now where the Pacific Ocean formed. Many battles between the gods recorded in ancient myth, are really stories that tell of the earth wars and the technological ‘star wars’ between these two continents. My own reading of the subject leads me to believe that what was called Atlantis was actually a state of mind and the manifestation of that level of evolution could be seen in a very different topology on the Earth. It may also be feasible to suggest that what has become a collective amnesia point in history called Atlantis (Lumeria), may well have been a place or state of mind that exists beyond the physical world. Therefore Atlantis the movie (part one) became Atlantis the fall and much art and myth, especially in the ancient world, seems to capture themes that relate to these two Earth ‘states’ of existance.
When Our Ancestors Became Aware of the Inner Eye!
As human we are naturally gifted with an ability to see, feel and imagine and it is often referred to as our charisma, magnetism or our aura. The origins of the human soul, or spirit and the imagination are all aspects of the source that creates all life. As creators in our own right, we have the ability to draw in and express this vital energy, especially when we are in a heightened state of awareness. You could say that it is this magic and power emanating from a person that makes them seem super-human and charismatic to others. In some cases this energy can be turned on and tuned into by forces that exist outside of this three dimensional reality, so that the individual concerned, seems ‘god-like’. Some of these thought forms (energies) can be of a lower frequency range; others are of a higher level of love and wisdom. What we align ourselves with through our thoughts and actions will attract the same states of mind to us. As always it is the intention behind the thought that creates reality. In this way angels can also be demons, depending on our state of mind and how open our hearts are. In more modern terms it could be said that what we eat, watch and think, we become.
It could be said that all life exists because of the creative impulse that ignites the ideas, which become solid forms in our world. Everything from a mountain to a teaspoon only exists, because of an energy that formulates particles of matter, which solidify or slow down to become physical objects. Whether it is the mind of the Earth (Gaia) shaping the landscape of her body to accommodate changes brought on by how we as a species relate to her; Or an idea in the mind of an individual, which then becomes a painting, book or film in the physical world. All physical forms exist because of the influence of unseen forces and how they aid us in delivering our personal magic to the world.
The eye, the cosmic and philosophical egg and the matrix are common subjects found in visionary art. They have also found there way into science fiction films, not least the film The Matrix, which I will consider in great depth in a later chapter. The Egyptians used eye symbolism to symbolise the fact that we see with the brain and not the eyes. In scholastic tradition there are three chambers of the brain, which work on a co-operative basis and this concept can also be found in the aboriginal stories relating to the dreamtime. These chambers are the imagination, knowledge and memory.
Alchemical studies also show the macrocosmic concepts in relation to the eye and the egg and how we perceive the world around us, using our imagination, knowledge and memory. The astronomer and mathematician John Dee (1527 -1608), who was close to the Tudor Blue Bloods, used the egg as a glyph for the ethereal heavens, simply because the orbit of planets within it forms an oval. For the 15th century doctor and philosopher, Paracelsus, “the Sky is a shell which separates the world of God’s heaven from one another, as does the shell of the egg”. “The yolk represents the lower sphere, the white the upper; the yolk: earth and water, the white: air and fire”. The 17th Century alchemist and artist Robert Fludd also said of the eye and the chambers of the brain:
” … in relation to the five senses of man: earth: touch, water: taste, air: smell, ether: hearing, fire: seeing. This “sensitive world” is “imagined” in the first brain chamber, by the transforming power of the soul, into shadowy duplicate, and then transcended in the next chamber of capacity for judgement and knowledge: through the keenness of the spirit the soul penetrates to the divine “world of the intellect” [heart]. The last chamber is the centre of memory and movement.”
Alchemists and visionaries throughout history connect images of the egg and the eye, and both relate to macrocosmic understanding of how we see the world. Large parts of William Blake’s poetry are concerned with a detailed engagement with Isaac Newton’s materialist view of the world. Isaac Newton as we have seen was a high ranking member of the Rosicrucian Order and connected to the creation of the ‘this-world-is-all-there-is science. For Blake the physical are was dull and dim “like a black pebble in a churning sea”, and the optic nerve, to which Newton pays homage, “builds stone bulwarks against a raging sea.” Blake instead turned to the work of Jacob Böhme, a 15th Century philosopher and alchemist, to develop his own optics of the visionary. In fact every level of Blake’s poem Milton is based on an optical model within the form of a cosmic egg. The egg shell for Blake, as seen in the illustration of the Four Zoas, signifies mankind’s limited field of vision, “an immense/hardened shadow of all things upon our vegetated Earth, / enlarged into dimension and deformed into indefinite space.” The egg represents what is often called the ‘freeze vibration’ and is also a symbol for the conditioned ‘enclaved’ aspect of the human soul. The four intersecting circles are inscribed with the names of the four Zoas, the apocalyptic creatures that represent the elemental forces of the Universe (for more on this see Through Ancient Eyes). The egg-shape for Blake also represented the world of Los, a mythical figure for the eternal imagination, which forms the illusory three-dimensional space defined by the two boundaries of opacity (Satan) and the material condensation (Adam). Stripping away the religious terminology, the eye (egg) obstructs man’s free vision of things as they really are.
The scientific journal, Scientific American Mind ran a special edition in 2004, which covered similar themes relating to seeing and the illusions, conjured up by the interaction of eye and brain. Science can show that the brain’s assumption that light shines from above the head is preserved even when we rotate our field of vision 180 degrees. Viewing shaded spheres like the ones here (illustration), at 0 degrees and 180 degrees, we find that a visual switch occurs as if the sun is stuck to our heads and shining upward from the floor. Signals from our body’s centre of balance the vestibular system -guided by the positions of little stones in our ears called otoliths, travel to our visual centres to correct our picture of the world (so that the world continues to look upright) but do not correct the location of the sun. Interestingly rock art, made by shamans dating back to a window between 13,000 and 5,000 BC also depict the sun as though it is ‘stuck’ to the head of the figure in their imagery. Imagery of this kind, along with the huge amount of prehistoric art depicting wave forms, may well suggest that our artist ancestors were fascinated by the illusion of light opposing dark and the invisible forces that structure how we ‘see’ the world – or don’t see?
 Paragranum 1530.
 R Fludd, Ustriusque cosmic, Vol II, Oppenheim, 1619.
 Blake, Milton 1804.
 Blake, William, The Gates of Paradise, 1793.
 The Scientific American Volume 14, Number 1 2004, p. 100.
Many artists from the Renaissance period onwards have been massively involved in the secret society networks, especially those connected to the state, church and guilds. Some artists not only worked with dignitaries, ambassadors at high levels of society, but they also had access to an underground stream of knowledge, which may well explain why their art reflected tribal mythology and tribal lore.
Hieronymous Bosch, who spearheaded the Flemish Renaissance movement was a member of The Brotherhood of Our Lady, which was connected the Royal House of Holland and Queen Beatrix, which still today is connected to the Order of the Garter. His work was about the inner-worlds within worlds, he opened up some sort of Pandora’s Box. The famous triptych of The Garden of Earthy Delights is a wonderful example – if you look at the section that is meant to be ‘paradise’, there are flying objects and other renditions relating to bird-people and other creatures. He was somehow getting access and information that was very much linked to African primeval stories of creation… this coming through a Flemish painter in 15th Century Belgium?! Bosch was obviously tapping into hidden knowledge. Many Images of St Jerome (above right) show him depectid with the skull, crucifix and garbed in red, all of which are symbols that speak of the order – the brotherhood. More on the skull later.
Alchemical illustrators and artists, such as Robert Fludd, Jakob Böhme and Henry Cornelius Agrippa, were also serious secret society members. Paracelsus, the alchemist, physician, and botanist was also very much part of this breed of alchemists emerging at the time who inspired many artists by saying, “The great truth of the Universe lies within the human imagination; it is the source, the sun and those who understand its powers are the lords of all created things.”
Symbols within Symbols
Scientifically, I’m not sure how you could explain it, but I’ve got an intuitive feeling that our sun is the ‘projector’ for this reality – much like when you go to the movies and the film is being projected behind you through a little hole in the wall. I think that the alchemists knew it, and Blake and along with several other visionary artists were tapping into this understanding. I think that’s why these priesthoods throughout history have worshipped the sun, the flame and the eye. The connection to such symbols along with the skull, the cross (crucifix) also tell of an ancient orders’ obsession with the ‘lord of time’ – Saturn. William Blake’s image titled The Ancient of Days (below) is one very telling image that suggests this understanding that the Sun (or a Sun) could be a projector, or a manifester, a creator of ‘worlds’. The symbolism runs much deeper than we realise.
Emmanuel Swedenborg was an alchemist who inspired a huge movement within 18th century Britain. He also inspired many artists, including William Blake who used to visit the church of Swedenborg in London (which was the size of a small town surrounded by fields back then). Swedenborg and Blake said a lot of similar things although they came from very different backgrounds. In The Everlasting Gospel Blake wrote,
‘The life dim windows of the soul distorts the heavens from pole to pole and leads you to believe a lie when you see with and not through the eye’.
Swedenborg said a similar thing when he wrote, ‘The eye so crude that it cannot see the small elements of nature except through a lens as everyone knows, so it is less able to see the things that are above the realm of nature like the things of the spiritual world’. One was a scientist, one was an artist, yet they were both coming from the same viewpoint and both shared similar principles in that period of British history. Eventually, Swedenborg was ostracized and marginalized, but he was also a freemason… as far as I know, Blake wasn’t; although he did believe in the coming of the ‘New Jerusalem’ which is something that I’ve looked at and touched upon in my own work. Blake’s image for Jerusalem below, hints at the Masonic influence over our world, and the worship of the Sun and Moon (time and space) in ancient times.
In my view, his New Jerusalem is not the New World Order – it isn’t a physical location either… it’s about people ‘becoming’ the New Jerusalem within their hearts. Although many artists generated imagery relating to religious symbolism and inner-worlds, Blake was trying to elevate Christianity to a higher level through the ‘true teachings’ that he felt were more important than the Church itself – he revered the teachings of Jesus and shunned the orthodox hierarchy within the Christian religion. He said that,
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, man would see everything as it is… infinite”.
In contrast, a lot of painters from the Renaissance period onwards were involved in what we call the ‘death cults’ – an obsession with the inevitable slow walk towards death… the fact that the body dies and everything has its time, which was basically an obsession with the three dimensional world that we engage in through the five senses, or the part of the world that decays. Many years ago, there was a documentary and book made by the British painter David Hockney called Hidden Knowledge. He revealed that, more often than not, many of the Renaissance paintings were created using lenses and cameras to get a prefect rendition of an image that was then reflected by a mirror onto a canvas or a wall, which was then re-painted (traced) to look beautifully photographic. The Italian Renaissance was almost a discovery of the self and of the world within 3D form through the understanding of linear perspective. The movement was spearheaded by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci who was said to have been a grand master of the Priory of the Sun (Sion-Zion) in recent years. Others such as Titan were the brotherhood. In fact the Medici family provided Italy and the Renaissance with popes and artist/alchemists alike, see Cosimo the father.
Skulls and Crosses
There are so many paintings containing crosses and skulls. One painting called The Ambassadors (above) by Hans Holbein, who was a painter for the aristocracy of Europe in the 16th century. He was very connected to the Order of the Garter and the Order of St Michael along with the Royal bloodlines of the Holy Roman Empire and the Jesuits. Within this painting, there are all kinds of instruments relating to astrology and freemasonry, but the interesting factor in this painting is the distorted skull (above), which suggests that it could have been made through the use of lenses/camera obscuras. If you go and stand in front of it in the National Gallery in London, you’ll notice that you have to stand at a certain angle to be able to see it out of its amorphous state. If you stand and look at it from the front it’s distorted, but when you view the painting from a certain angle at the right hand side, you see the image for what it truly is. It’s distortion, quite possibly was due to the use of a mirror or a lens. The other interesting thing about that painting is that in the top left-hand corner there’s a very small crucifix hidden behind the curtain. These symbols are hallmarks of the cults that venerated the gods of ‘life and death’ and I find it interesting that the same symbolism can be found in Bronze Age petroglyphs made by the Hopi, which also depict the dual god of ‘death’ (Masu‘wu) and god of ‘life’ (Kokopelli) in one image. Often in rock art Masu‘wu rises out of the head of Kokopelli, just as Seth in Egypt is often depicted with Horus – connected at the head. The head/mind (the skull) is the location where the ‘battle for the mind’ takes place. Of course the image of the ‘crucified Jesus’ takes place on Golgotha – the place of the skull and in Norse myth, Odin also hangs form a tree (one eyed) flanked by two ravens, Huggin and Muggin (memory and thought), these are the two thieves supposedly crucified alongside Christ at the place of the Skull.
Other symbols in Holbein’s painting here relate to the 3 degrees of lower freemasonry, the two ambassadors are also symbols of the two towers, pillars known as the atrium, which can be seen in other ‘brotherhood’ architecture, not least the image of Solomon’s temple. On the left is Jean de Dinteville, aged 29, French ambassador to England in 1533. To the right stands his friend, Georges de Selve, aged 25, bishop of Lavaur, who acted on several occasions as ambassador to the Emperor, the Venetian Republic and the Holy See. The left pillar represents banking, wealth and commerce and the right hand pillar is that of the religious control – the Church of Rome. The objects on the upper shelf include a celestial globe, a portable sundial and various other instruments used for understanding the heavens and measuring ‘time’. All of which hint at the mystery schools ad their knowledge being ahead of the populace in every era. Among the objects on the lower shelf is a lute, a case of flutes, a hymn book, a book of arithmetic and a terrestrial globe. On the original the lute has a broken string symbolic of ‘discord’. Some researchers say that behind the distorted skull is a ‘star of David’, and the men were said to be standing on the floor of Greenwich Palace, near to the place where ‘time’ or GMT is marked.
Death Cults in Art
In Rennes-le-Château in France, you can also see the same iconography of the skull and the cross over the entrance to the church – it crops up all over the place. These brotherhoods knew that the truth about Rennes-le-Château is the true symbolism behind the Christian religion, well… all religion, really. The artists rendering those symbols knew the true meaning behind the ‘cult of the dead’ and its opposite, ‘the god of Life’. The imagery associated with the skull (including the Halloween pumpkin-head) is another symbol for the death cults that are still using archetypal imagery in many festivals, music, art forms and cinema to this day.
Even though many contemporary artists haven’t recognised the fact that they’re tapping into the ‘bigger picture’, what’s interesting is that the ‘Sensational art’ movement over the past twenty years also has an obsession with death cults. You can see it in a whole range of artist’s work, for example; Damien Hirst recently encrusted a skull with thousands of diamonds, entitled For the Love of God(below). He made diamonds look worthless, which they are, really. In recent years, the brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman were tapping-into subconscious worlds with their miniature sculptures showing hell and the underworld, but that’s no different to a paintings in monasteries all over medieval Europe (along with the Mexican art of the Aztecs) all depicting the Danse Macabre (Dance of the Dead). The Japanese portable art below is also an indicator of the hidden knowledge in Asia, and of course similar themes can be found on every continent. Gabriel Orozco’s ‘very masonic looking skull’ called Black Kites is an obvious use of ‘death symbolism’ within contemporary art. So there’s a correlation of archetypes going on, but it’s not necessarily recognised by the academic world.
I have spent many years making art and studying art, not least contemporary art. In London at the Frieze Art Fair recently I saw many examples of modern art from all over the world, that clearly offer a hint into the subconscious mind (minds’) of the ‘vibration’ we call this ‘reality’. Amongst the huge talent, skill and visionary abilities of these artists, I was seldom lifted above the base vibration (exactly as planned), instead I was immersed in neon porn signs, plastic dummies, toilet seats, corpses, Masonic symbolism (good on em), Sado-Doll’s houses and much more besides! I like giving my own titles to such pieces, and Scary Goat Boy feels a little Horse (below). Others are plainly hinting at the death cult symbolism, whether intentional or not.
The inner, hidden history of art, for me, is like a river that runs underneath the surface, like an underground stream full of symbols and codes and information that taps into the higher levels of human divine consciousness. As the artist and poet Cecil Collins wrote in his book The Vision of the Fool:
‘Images derive from the Fountain-head of human life, the heart, the solar center, ancient memories in the blood and the polarity of the fire of the spirit’.
The art of the visionary, or the art inspired by the ‘truth’ will always attempt to move us beyond the veil and lift our spirits to higher levels of knowledge and wisdom. Sadly much contemporary art has ‘fallen’ down the frequencies, into the realms of desolation and darkness, but then again this is the ‘image’, or the ‘projection’ that the orders of antiquity (exposed by the likes of David Icke in his books), want for the world. More death and debauchery. Imagery that speak of the ‘truth vibrations’ want to take us home and that’s the art I have always been interested in.