VISIONARY REVUE


THE PRIMORDIAL MOTHER
THE PRIMORDIAL MOTHER II (1985)

ELUCIDATING JOHFRA’S
HERMES TRISMEGISTOS

      When viewed in light of the Poimandres, the images in Johfra’s painting gradually become transparent. The central figure, we may now see, is the Anthropos, the model of man. Or, to be more precise, it is each of us, since we in our body and minds are descended from the Anthropos.


            (Click on any image to enlarge)

 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

HERMES TRISMEGISTOS
HERMES
TRISMEGISTOS

With one hand he points upward, indicating his origin in the upper aeons, and the hope that he will rise up through them to the One. But, with the other hand he points downward, indicating that his body still belongs to the Earth. This is the fundamental dualism of Hermeticism.

      The woman below him is Nature, who holds both her hands downward to the Earth. As well, her green mantle merges with the grassy Earth at her feet, which is shadowy and in darkness. To the right of her are the vegetalia (two trees) and animalia (two leopards playing) which she brought forth (first as androgynes, but eventually as male and female).
      We shall meet with this image of Nature again in the article The Pantheist Johfra, where the painting The Primordial Mother II re-appears.
      The objects to the left are also part of Nature’s progeny: the crystals and minerals that she brought forth. Like metals tempered by fire, the fundamental nature of all such mineralia may be understood through the art of Alchemy.
      Less obvious are the three geometrical shapes. In the Timaeus (55d), Plato expounds upon these geometrical figures, describing them as ‘the elementary forms’ manifest in the four elements, so that the earth is like a cube, fire like a pyramid, and so on. The fundamental Pythagorean doctrine, shared by Hermeticism, is that all things emerge from these basic geometrical shapes as well as the four elements.
      At Nature’s feet is the earth. Meanwhile, at the feet of the matriarch and patriarch to the left and right, we find fire and water. The fourth element of air is manifest above their heads, as the ether and darkened clouds. Hence, Johfra also offers for our meditations the four elements which form all things.



 
 
 


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