Thursday, 25 December 2014

West

Many years ago I had a vision of a remote city that turned out to be Perth. This is one of the most isolated cities in the world and sits on the western edge of Australia. Australia is the country of my birth and like most of this country’s population I live on the east coast.

Going west has significance for me. There is the vision from earlier in my life aforementioned that suggested something significant awaited me there, yes, but there is also the symbolism of the sun setting in the west, the Ancient Kemetic meaning of the west as a place of regeneration (you may also read “death” - I read transmutation) and perhaps the end of a phase . . .  

I am travelling as a party of 5. A young family with two small children, a lady that I regard as highly intelligent and altruistic (a cut above the average person I find) and her partner who has been my band partner in the past and is a very talented musician. (Also their dog accompanies us).

I fly directly over the city of my birth which is in South Australia. Normally this is where I head for this time of year but not this time.

I sit on aeroplane seats that have a hexagonal pattern (I am trying to decipher the significance of six sided objects and wonder if they form a fabric to our unseen reality that is also the key to entering that reality; this is one reason why my painting Winged Set has hexagonals in the background).

On the back of the taxi van that takes us to the airport is a wild bull logo and stern bull’s head on the black leather – in the early hours of this morning I completed my final painting for 2014, Mer Wer.

What will I discover west? I am not sure, but it feels like entering an initiation. Certainly the last part of this year has been trying, and in fact the year as a whole was not easy for many reasons.

I have just read a wonderful article in New Dawn Magazine (coincidentally issuing a special release on magical Egypt for my holiday reading!!!) about symbolist Egypt – an area I have great interest in. I am very interested in the works of RA Schwaller de Lubicz but find his work so dense to read that I have come and gone to it many times over the years. This article was so succinct and illuminating it inspired me to write of all the symbols I find on my journey to the west.

My sketch pad and pencils are in the suitcase – I can feel new paintings waiting to emerge. I plan to spend time on the beach and enjoy a real summer (Melbourne summers are great when you get them but are very hit and miss) and my reading matter includes “Temple Of Set Vol. 1”, “Shamanic wisdom of the pyramid texts” and Molly Meldrum’s autobiography, which was given me as a gift. (As most of my readers are not Australian, I explain that Molly Meldrum is an iconic Australian music industry mogul who has a very strong predilection for Ancient Egyptian antiquities!)

All of this as we enjoy our first days of the new solstice (days will start getting shorter here now). Ra moves away to illuminate less here and more elsewhere.

 
The view of the Indian Ocean from atop the residence I am enjoying over the 2014 Festive Season break
The host of my holiday residence has this on his boat; the symbols just keep coming readers!

Close up of the rather wonderful Eye Of  Heru on the prow of my hosts boat



Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Mer Wer



Hail the Ka of Atum!

My last painting for 2014 is of the divine bull deity Mer Wer, known in classical times as Mnevis. The painting is titled "Mer Wer" and is acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24".

Mer Wer (also Mn Wer, Khem Wer, Mer Ti) was  a Netjer in His own right, but like the other bull deities, He is considered an avatar (perhaps a projection, manifestation) of Atum (and more specifically Atum Ra)

There were three principal bull cults in Ancient Kemet, perhaps the most famous being that of Hap (Apis). This is most likely because of the spectacular burial vault we call the serapeum. The other bull cult was that of Ba Akh (Buchis).  Hap was an avatar of Ptah and later Ausar, and Ba Akh was the avatar of Montu.

I found this passage from the TourEgypt  website interesting:
When Akhenaten (originally Amenhotep IV) raised the cult of the sun to new heights, he . . . .  swore he would bury Mnevis bulls in this new city, but thus far archaeologists have not found any bull burials there. However, two Mnevis burials were found in Heliopolis, both belonging to the Ramesses dynasty. The bulls were found in individual tombs that were cut into the ground and sealed with a granite slab.
Getting the skin coloring for Mer Wer in this painting was probably my most successful feat of the whole piece - it looks black from a distance but is a blue black viewed close. Also, the medallions that form part of the background and read "beautiful Bull god / beautiful Ka, the life of Ra" turned out particularly well. As the photos presented here are from my phone they can not do the piece justice (as is always the case I find when trying to convey my work electronically).

The glyphs down the side read: Mer Wer, Hail the Ka of Atum.


The processes that brought about this painting are interesting, and will be the subject of a future writing project.


The painting has inspired an intended further 3 bull Netjer paintings. I have mentioned Hap and Ba Akh. Can anyone guess the third?



Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Remember

Joan Lansberry has written another poem that is both wonderful and timely.

I feature it here on my blog with her permission:


Remember
My hands are small,
small and weak.
My shoulders may be bent.
Is my voice hesitant?
Am I short of breath?
Short-sighted?
Uncertain?
Certainly, I get confused.
What firm ground is there?
Did I remember to breathe deeply?
Am I remembering to breathe deeply?
Do I remember the Source of my strength?
I remember.
Hot voice on a cool night,
telling me, "Remember."
"Remember, you aren't alone,
You won't bear this alone.
Remember the Source of your Becoming.
Remember, it isn't just of frail earth that you're made.
It isn't just of achy, weak and tired flesh.
Your soul, your Ba, is formed of light-Essence,
Your Ba is Pure and knows her Maker.
Your Ba knows the God-Force that called her into Being,
knows His many names.
and can sing to you the pulsing song of His own Becoming.
Let that rhythm soothe you on a despairing night.
So many oceans, so many waves...
Remember the Source of your Becoming,
and you will remember the Source of your Strength.”

 Joan Ann Lansberry, 11-30-14

Joan says of the poem:

"The "hot voice in the cool night" is Set. There are three speakers in this poem. First, mundane "Joan Lansberry", Set with "Remember!" and then my Higher Self / Ba".


I first connected with Joan after coming across another of her poems and featured it on my site here back in 2011.

Joan's website is here.


Australian artist Robbie Porritt "Love Machine #2"

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Unbecoming



Sometimes the process of becoming requires an undoing, a stripping back, in order for the pupa of the godling to rightly manifest.

It has occurred to me that to emerge properly into my next "phase" I need to unbecome for a while.

The last 3 months have been chaotic and disorderly. I went from a period of stability to sitting in the eye of a cyclone. Whilst the cyclone is still spinning, it has dissipated a tiny bit, and I am still trying to manage it.

And it is unsettling.

An interruption to my living space and a change of workplace has ruffled my feathers, but I am curious as to what this shake up has engendered in me.

I have had brought into sharp focus the question of "what do I want?"

I have answered as best I can by making decisions to reflect the attention to this (one being a trip to the US early next year) but feel like the depth of the question is unfathomable.

I feel so caught up in the heavy lead of time and the slow process of living that it seems difficult - to say the least - to even contemplate, let alone focus on this notion. That said a visit from Hehu has helped manage the vast sensing of time that I have been feeling right now. (Expect to see Hehu in a couple of paintings next year). (Not the first time I have mused about Time in this blog either).

Unbecoming is a word but not the process to "unbecome". I have been told at various stages of my life that my conduct was "unbecoming". Unbecoming of what? The notion of what the observing party expects me to be . . . . .

I remember reading a book in my early metaphysical days where the author quite clearly said that you find out who you are by finding out who you are not. Perhaps it is about learning to undo the layers I coated myself in in order to survive, thus finding the true entity hidden away beneath  . . . .

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Netjeru In America

A work in progress has inspired a trip to the US.

I will be in New York from February 1st for a week and then on the west coast (primarily California) for another week where I intend to work on a project I am calling "The Netjeru In America".

It is about the re-manifestation of Netjer in modern times specifically in the United States. I want to meet everyone I can that is involved with the re-manifestation of Kemeticism, Netjer, or Ancient Egyptian religion on a scale larger than "alone". In other words, if it is a personal practice, it is manifesting outside that personal practice into the world at large somehow.

I intend meeting with religious leaders, artists and authors.

There is a painting already planned - the trip to NY will supply the city-scape imagery I need to bring this to life. But the rest of the project may take place as interviews or informal meetings where I sketch or write notes or take video. I assume some parts will end up as blog posts, although my main focus is in building more inspiration for my paintings.

Readers of my blog or followers of my Facebook page that live in California or New York that are interested to participate or curious to know more can contact me and I will see if I can schedule a connection when I get over there.


"The Netjeru In America"
Acrylic on canvas
10cm x 15cm

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.