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Ideas, thoughts, art and experiences exploring the Ancient Kemetic world today

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Happy Kemetic New Year!

As far as I can make out Sopdet indeed has risen over Melbourne, and today I celebrate Wep Ronpet.

It is an auspicious time for many reasons right now, and I pause to reflect on how magickal and powerful it must have been in Ancient Kemet when the Nile still flooded and Netjer was still very much a part of that great place.

I offer you an image of the candle stairs in my home - the place where I have created all of the paintings many of you enjoy - as a symbolic climbing / ascending to Sopdet herself. May She bless you with Her holy rays!

I also offer the song I co-wrote with my band partner in Elektrum, and hope that it forms part of the specialness of your Wep Ronpet wherever you may be! Click here for "Sirius" by Elektrum.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Ark Of Millions



My latest work is The Ark Of Millions. It has taken the longest to complete of all my paintings to date (almost 8 months). It is the most detailed of my work so far and features the greatest number of Netjeru I have featured in a piece to date: 15 to be exact.

The painting centres around four of the creator deities from some of the principal creation myths of Ancient Kemet: Ra, Ptah, Atum and Amon. They ride upon the golden boat that both supports, moves and contains the creation secrets of All That Is.


The boat features a box which is protected by the Netjeru of the winds and direction: Hutchaiui, Qebui, Shehbui, and Henkisesui, echoing the protective stance of goddesses seen on the corners of sarcophagi of 18th dynasty pharaohs and nobles. This part of the painting suggests ties to another famous ark that also possessed incredible power.

The Ark is heralded by two Netjeru in colossal form: Heru and Set. These deities appear in  in the painting as they have played a large part in my own understandings of being and becoming.

The royal goddesses of Ancient Kemet - Nekhbet and Wadjet - herald all the deities from the bottom corners of the piece.

The winged disk - Heru Behudety - crowns the entire work in a similar way to "the two ladies" at the bottom. The template that I used for this is from the Temple Of Seti I at Abydos, and I like to think that it therefore imbues the work with an echo of that great place.



The backdrop itself is a Netjer - Nun - and the hieroglyph "N" that forms His name is featured emerging from a darker primordial abyss. The color that I have used as the main background in the piece is the same base with white added for body and consistency, and in the case of the lighter colour, a lighter shade. The color is smalt hue, and a similar blue grey can be found in famous tombs of pharaohs Horemheb and Ramesses I from the 18th and 19th dynasties.  I can not explain why, but I have long associated this colour with the Duat. It is remarkably similar to the color of my childhood home.


The 3 large hieroglyphs under the Ark are sky, Duat and earth, their placement under the boat signalling the Netjer's dominion over and creation of these realms. The words emerge from the Nun Himself, as the myths say all creation did.


The neon lit hieroglyphs down the sides of the painting declare the title of the work, "The Ark Of Millions". Another creation Netjer is featured in these words: the god Heh, another one of the eight primordials: Amon was originally part of this ogdoad also.





Sunday, 15 June 2014

Zap delivers!

One of the artists I really admire that I have met through the internet has created a new work that I really want to show readers of my blog; it is called "The Rebel King".



Here is what Zap has written about the work: 


The ancient Egyptian god, Set, "The Rebel King" (Khemitic Tchar Sheshti).

This working was begun on the full moon of Friday the 13th and completed on the 15th in homage to the original archetype and progenitor of non-conformity. 

Here, the arch-rebel is depicted in His exalted manifestation as User Maat Re Merinebtawi (mighty is the justice of Re, beloved lord of the two lands) astride His fearsome engine of victory with His revered consort, Nephthys.

I certainly anticipate you folks out there will dig it!
This working is thus dedicated to Setken Artist and Jeremy Ivy.

It was certainly an honor to find that I am one of the people he has dedicated the work to. I consider the piece (and Zap's other work too - see my piece on him from last year) to be very much a part of a Kemetic renaissance  / resurgence happening in the world now.

The piece was created on 65lb paper with a Bic ballpoint Round Stic and Crayola colored pencil. 

Zap's Facebook page is here.

His website is here.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Nipples Of Netjer

Unfinished detail: Heru's nipple / The Ark Of Millions
I have completed this morning the final coloring on the canvas for the Ark Of Millions. What was to be colored is now colored; what is to remain white remains white.

Painting the nipples of these deities provoked profound feelings. The nipples of people are such an intimate part of the body, let alone deities. I remembered the last time I was so immersed in other human being that even the nipples seemed divine to me (it was in San Francisco in 2009; I sent an sms to him this morning, recalling that time . . .)

Many thoughts were awash as the last brushes of color were applied to Set’s toenail. It made me recall the very last moments of completion of Winged Set, which was actually also Set’s toenail. I had not planned this, although I knew for sometime that both Set and Heru’s nipples and toenails on this piece were the last parts to be colored.


And so, as the last tracks from an album* I enjoyed in my adolescence belted out (thank you Spotify for letting me access my long lost record collection in this new era!) I painted the toenails of Set, and revelled in the wonder of His and Heru’s nipples.

Unfinished detail: Set's nipple / The Ark Of Millions

*Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper

Shot from the beginning of Summer last year: early rendering of The Ark Of Millions

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Aztecs



Melbourne Museum turned out another fine exhibition this season with "Aztecs". The journal below is my take on the event, focusing on objects I found most fascinating, and including facts that hitherto I had not understood or known.

One of the cool representations of Aztec art on display at the exhibit

A map revealed how vast the Aztec empire had become, and the exhibition revealed how total the annihilation of the empire and culture was at the hands of the Catholic-frenzy-driven Spaniards. The empire was only 200 years old when this extermination occurred. There is an appalling sense of devastation and annihilation by Christianity that the exhibition thankfully does not attempt to hide.

The Aztec empire began around 1300AD - another fact I was unaware of, although the nation we know as the Aztec empire proper formally began as a unification of 3 nations closer to 1400AD. They were fascinated by other previous meso American races that they believed they sprang from.

I was struck by the complexity of the art and glyphs we were presented with. There is a denseness of skull and death imagery that to modern eyes can only be viewed as macabre, try as I might otherwise. In trying to understand the blood lust that featured quite heavily in the exhibit, much pondering took place. We try to see how the sense of sacrifice and blood letting being a giving back to the gods that suffered when they created the world as a reason for such acts, but can this truly be understood with the head alone?

These Aztec whistles were used in war. The sound of one - played on the audio tour - is one of the most chilling sounds I have ever heard. I want one.

There was a sense of death in many of the pieces featured. I only had the feeling that one statue was "occupied": that of Quetzlcoatl. The exhibition featured a lot on Quetzlcoatl as well as Xochipili (god of spring flowers, gay men and male prostitutes); Tezcatlipoca (god of war and destiny) and the other two main gods were Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli.

Xoxhipili was one of two of these deities that got my attention. An interactive page featuring a statuette of Him including fascinating references to the Aztecs use of number for divination as well as plants for rituals (read entheogenic trance) is here.

Xochipli - most likely one of my patron deities if I lived in Aztec times
The other was Tezcatlipoca. From Wikipedia:

"He is associated with a wide range of concepts, including the night sky, the night winds, hurricanes, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, rulership, divination, temptation, jaguars, sorcery, beauty, war and strife. His name in the Nahuatl language is often translated as "Smoking Mirror" and alludes to his connection to obsidian, the material from which mirrors were made in Mesoamerica and which was used for shamanic rituals".

Tezcatlipoca - most likely the other main deity for me if I lived in Aztec times (source: Wikipedia - Borgia Codex)

The Aztec god of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli

The word Mexico comes from the name that the Aztecs called themselves.

Aztec eagle warrior

Mexico became independent of the Spanish 300 years after the conquest led by Cortes.



Although I am very disturbed by the extermination displayed by the "conquering" Spaniards that this exhibition highlighted, the sentiment of the piece above that was projected on the wall at the end of the exhibit journey was an evocative touch: the Aztec wheel slowly rose up over the church like a sun

Monday, 12 May 2014

Sokar Revisited

I sold my painting of Lord Sokar and the new owner has kindly supplied me with professional quality images of the piece.

The photos reveal subtleties of the work that my cell phone images do not, like the dark blue background and the sharpness of the lines.



The original post from August 2013 when the work was completed is here.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Shadow Portents As The New Year Begins

Silence. The stillness in which I find my centre, and the equilibrium of my being.

After a long drive back from my hometown to Melbourne I finally find myself in my Shrine Room. This has become my touchstone, my dome of the rock, and not being able to come here has thrown me off centre.

The trip was not an easy one, fraught with the Mars energy tension that I have sensed and felt so strongly since mid December last year . . . .  Places where I once could alight – a bird with weary wings seeking familiar refuge and the comfort of a well worn branch – are found no more . . . .  

Until I awoke after my Shrine visit nap, I had felt a strange disconnection from the Netjeru. That disconnect was me looking deeply at my shadow self and facing away from the sun . . . My beautiful new work sitting on my easel awaiting to manifest as one of my best barely got a glance from me as I unpacked the car . . .


My holiday reading: I got to read but didn't get quite the holiday I was hoping for
The Ogdoad had been on my mind owing to reading about them in the Ford Necroninom Book, as had Nut and Heru Wer and Set thanks to reading the Webb book about Crowley’s Book Of The Law.

I answered a question for myself from a blogpost of August2012! The Ogdoad are serpent and frog headed as these are symbols of transformation and ancient genesis. As these deities are related to the formation of matter, it stands to reason that amphibian and reptilian symbols speak Their essences. It also occurs to me that both frog and snake are potent symbols of the magickian.


The Hermopolitan Ogdoad from the Temple Of Hethert in Dendera

Jupiter peeped through the crack in my blinds as I awoke from my post Shrine slumber, and I knew it to be a message from Netjer. It was Heru – perhaps Heru Wer in His aspect of Heru but Heru nonetheless.

Jupiter and Mars is Heru and Set in Shamanic Egyptian astrology. Set the Sacred Warrior and exposer of the shadow, and Heru the young king, impatient with His expanding and settling into His new role as monarch.

I love this book, and consider it to be a worthy addition to the collections of those that are interested in interpretations of how Netjer manifests today, or perceptions of how They might
“The Ark Of Millions” awaits me on my easel. Partly outlined, partly sketched, still far from ready for colour . . . . yet the form is there. The potential and promise is there.


This column of Ramesses The Second sits in a corner of the SA Museum with no plaque, recognition, or honoring of the precious artifact that it is. A robotic dinosaur sits alongside it that parents can let their out of control brats feed with coin to make it move. I believe the dinosaur comes with a complete description.