oil on canvas 18″ x 24″
began February 2016 – completed August 2016
This painting is representing a relationship I think and feel exists between the major systems of house division used in astrology. The border is comprised of colours I think best represent each of the twelve houses.
A greater explanation into some of the symbolism in this painting is below
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The bottom half of the painting is representing a quadrant house system, where each of the twelve divided sections are not necessarily each 30 degrees (such as Placidus, Porphyry, or Regiomontanus). This is the root of our being, the night, the feminine, how we absorb, receive, take up nutrients, take in experiences, a point of entry, it is deep within us, and is our deep connection to ourselves, an origin, a potential, a seed, a starting point, what we have sown, what we have been given, an intimate source, and perhaps what could be seen as a bit out of our own control—fate.
The top half of the painting is representing a house system where each of the twelve houses are divided equally into 30 degree sections (such as Equal or Whole Sign house systems). This is the fruit of our being, the day, the masculine, how we exhale, give, release, share experiences, a point of exit, it is seen, our connection to life on this Earth, how we use our potential, how and what we create, what we reap, what we share, public, and perhaps what could be seen as a bit more in our own control—destiny.
Something we as humans strive for is balance, but balance itself is not necessarily something that remains in a fixed and unmoveable state. I think of the lungs, there must be a constant cycle of expansion and contraction, inhale and exhale in order for our bodies to sustain life. Sometimes our breathing is automatic, sometimes we control it, sometimes the cycle quickens, and sometimes it slows, but no matter the manner in which it happens, it must continue as a cycle of in and out. Which is one of my reasons for entwining the two halves, they are separate yet inseparable.
I tend to use snakes a great deal in my art, there are many reasons for this and the colours I use are also significant. In this painting, I chose a white snake. This snake is reinforcing the connection between these two halves. The tree is a physical connection but the snake is meant to represent a nonphysical or spiritual connection.
For the border, I have chosen to represent the twelve houses. Each colour is a colour I think and feel best represents the interpretation of each particular house.
The six border colours (houses) on the bottom half of the painting are the ‘personal’ houses and are more inward focused, while the six border colours (houses) on the top half of the painting are the ‘social’ houses and are more outward focused. I won’t go into detail on the house meanings and each specific colour choice, but the first house is the bright red rectangle and the second the green and continuing in an anticlockwise direction.
I will quickly point out the corner colours though as these are significant. In many of my paintings to represent the Earth, I show a circle or sphere divided into four sections and each section a different colour. (these four colours were inspired by the Native American medicine wheel, but my choice of colours and associations are not directly related to any particular tribe or belief, I have altered it to fit my own beliefs)
This painting actually changed the way I thought about the colours I had been using, which were red, yellow, black, and white. When I noticed a connection between the corners of this painting, the astrological connections, and the four sections of my previous Earth representations, it became clear to me that green was a better choice to replace the red.
These four corners of the painting are representing the four ‘corners’ of the Earth—each a different element and cardinal direction.
The colours and directions I think and feel best reflect the connections between the Earth and astrology are:
Green is earth and east
Yellow/gold is fire and south
Black is water and west
White is air and north