VISIONARY REVUE






HERMES TRISMEGISTOS
THE VISION OF HERMES TRISMEGISTOS II (1985)

(Click to enlarge)


 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

THE VISION OF
HERMES TRISMEGISTOS

      Johfra completed the first version of The Vision of Hermes Trismegistos in 1972. He re-worked it two years later, and then in 1985 created a second version (left) which was more colourful and classical. The painting prefigures the Zodiac Series of 1973, not only stylistically but thematically. For many Astrological themes are implicit in its Hermetic imagery. It becomes, in this way, an introduction to the Zodiac Series as a whole.
      In contrast to the Early Esoteric works, this painting presents a powerful central figure with pronounced symmetry. Like Ernst Fuchs’ Transfiguration of the Resurrected and Alex Grey’s Sacred Mirrors, the painting is designed for meditation. The viewer is invited to gaze upon the figure and centre himself in it. Sinking deeper, he must identify himself with it, until the canvas becomes a kind of mirror. Not a mundane mirror reflecting his day-to-day self, but a symbolic mirror offering an image of his eternal Self.
      Comparing symbols to a mirror, Johfra wrote:
      “A symbol is like a mirror that, while remaining itself, will alway reflect a different image, depending on who is looking at it.” (Astrology p. 2)
      To situate ourselves in the sacred mirror, we begin by scanning the main figure with our eyes, becoming familiar with its many shapes and symbols. We note a man surmounted by a light-filled being that winds seven times around him. This Being is crowned and has the pentagram on his chest. Two serpents full of light form a kind of caduceus behind him; they turn five times and have lionine faces like the sun. The central figure appears to be androgynous, which is emphasized by its placement between the patriarch crowned with the sun and the matriarch crowned with the moon.


 
 
 


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