VISIONARY REVUE



GEMINI
1975


 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


THE GEMINI


            In The Gemini, Johfra combines many symbols from different esoteric traditions into a single contemplative image. As our eye wanders over the composition, certain details capture our attention, inspiring a free play of thought. The original Twins of the Zodiac, for example, send us back to ancient Babylonian astrology - back to the Mastabbagalgal or ‘Great Twins’ whose figures were inscribed in the Babylonian nightsky, which they called Shitir Shame, ‘the Book of Heaven’. Yet the twin’s stance, holding between them Mercury’s caduceus, recalls an image from alchemy: the Mysterium Coniunctionis, in which the male and female principles shall, like the entwining serpents, be combined.
      But, with the serpents between them, the twins also evoke the Hebrew image of Adam and Eve – the fall they wrought upon themselves, and the long-awaited hope to rise again. Adam’s gesture of pointing heavenward and Eve’s of pointing earthward invokes not only this myth, but also recalls the alchemical expression ‘As above so below’. And indeed, Johra explains their gestures in light of this expression, which is to be found in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes: “What is above is like what is below. What is below is like what is above... Everything is formed from the contemplation of unity, and all things come from unity.”
      Below them sits the God Thoth in his baboon form (the cynoscephalus), which is the Egyptian equivalent of Hermes. (The Corpus Hermeticum was said to be written by Thoth - carved on stelae in Egyptian hieroglyphs - and then translated into the Greek treatises by Hermes Trismegistos.)




 
 
 


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