VISIONARY REVUE


THE ZODIAC SERIES


      After completing The Vision of Hermes Trismegistos (1972, 1985) and The Unio Mystica (1973), Johfra embarked on the Zodiac Series (1974). Within the span of a year he had completed all twelve paintings.
      According to Johfra, the twelve images are designed as a series of graduated meditations, moving the contemplative through all the signs of the Zodiac. In a sense, it is another kind of ‘Soul’s Journey’. At the end of his introduction to his book on Astrology, Johfra says,
      “I took the spiritual development running through the cycle of the twelve stars as my starting point. They are twelve phases in the growth of consciousness along a path on which all the latent powers shut away in the being can successively be made real and active.”(p.11)
      One issue arising from the Hermetic view of Astrology is the role of the planetary governors in determining our fate. As Johfra observes,
      “One might object that this view of the world is fatalistic, as fatalistic as one can get. Man hanges in the cosmic web of his fate and is manipulated like a puppet through the course of the stars... There is, however, more. We do also have the ability to choose. As we mature through repeated experience and gain insight into ourselves, we can place ourselves in a different relationship towards new events...”(p.7)
      And he goes on to say that
      “This process is like a journey. Astrologically speaking, it is the evolution of the being through the course of the twelve signs of the Zodiac...”(p.7)
      The purpose of meditating on the successive signs of the Zodiac is to become aware of the different forms that may govern our fate. It was mentioned above in ‘the Soul’s Journey’ that once he



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


Astrology Book cover


JOHFRA:
ASTROLOGY

Translated by Jan Michael
V.O.C. Amsterdam, 1981

(Unfortunately, I have no
information as to where to
find thid book.
Try used bookshops or
search the internet.)


“...is stripped of the effects of the cosmic framework, the human enters the region of the ogdoad (the eighth realm of fixed stars, where) he has his own proper power...” The belt of the Zodiac lies in the eighth realm of the fixed stars and, after the seven planets, it constitutes a final ‘doorway’ which the soul must pass through.
      Each of the Zodiac’s figures exists in us in potentiality. The planets in their various configurations activate a certain number of them. And, at the time of our birth, the sun in a certain sign offers the clearest image of the qualities we are apt to actualize in life. But all these images are latent in us. Being familiar with all signs of the Zodiac is therfore essential for self-knowledge. The word Zodiac, it must be remembered, comes from the Greek zôé, life, zôidion, small figure, and kyklos, circle or wheel, giving us zodiakos - ‘the wheel of life’.
      Johfra’s paintings aid us in exactly this endevour. And his book on Astrology labours hard to elucidate each image as ‘the evolution of being through the course of the Zodiac.’ For us, it would be pointless to repeat that task. Instead, we will approach the Gemini painting as one example for the type of meditation that may be practised on all of these images. Each sign in the Zodiac is but a twelfth part of the whole. The aim is to enter through the image to the greater Unity that unifies them all.




 
 
 


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