Monday, January 11, 2010

Ascension/ An Image of Initiation/ Visionary Art

     The Passion of Ascension
     by Eric Whollem
     mixed media digital art
     Copyright by the artist.

The Ascension

Like Persephone, rising from the abode of Charon,
she ascends like a butterfly.

Like a fairy entralled with her first flight she enters
the path of illumination.

As Persephone was released by the dual hierophants,
Apollo and Eros, our initiate coalesces with the light.


Orpheus is attributed with importing Egyptian ideas of temple initiation into ancient
Greece. The famous Eleusinian Mysteries of Delphi grew in part from Egyptian
concepts. The idea of the "portal" of intiation may stem from Egypt. In the
initiation manual, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, the initiate is described as 
passing a series of pylons, or pillar doorways, which mark different stages of the
initiatory processs.

The Hierophant of the Mysteries is the Great Initiator. The Rod of Initiation was
the trident, a three-pronged spear that symbolized the Triple Goddess. Apollo
was the primary initiator of the Greek rites. Apollo, son of Aphrodite, was called
the Sun Fish. Eros, depicted as a cherub-like infant, usually astride dolphin
back, was the second initiator.

In the legend of Persephone, she was styled as a failed Initiate. As penance
for her failure, she was sent to the abode of Charon, god of the underworld.
She was allowed only to rise up from the underworld each spring. Persephone
manifested as the narcissus, the first flower of spring. The story of her failure is
a type of parable or moral lesson. Actually it was forbidden to reveal to the
world at large the results of initiation, so the story of a failed initiation was all
that was allowed by the temple. One might suppose that this was a form of
advertisement for the mysteries, one that did not disturb sacred secrets.

The dark-leaved plants that appear in my art in this post symbolize the
vegetation of the underworld, seeking rebirth in the world of springtime.


Rudolf Steiner gives an excellent account of the concept of the Guardian
of the Threshold in his writings. In the process of initiation the neophyte
is presented with a major blockage in his progress. Overcoming fear of
the guardian is paramount in advance in spirituality. The guardian represents
all the initiate's past karma. Steiner's Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and
It's Attainment gives a good account of the subject of initiation.


Edouard Shure in his series, The Great Initiates, written in the 19th century
gives one of the better interpretions of the Eleusinian Mysteries.


See my posts on DELPHI:

Saving our pollinators. Saving the bees. Saving the butterflies. Clean water for the planet.


1 comment:

  1. Hello Eric,
    love you're work.


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