VISIONARY REVUE

ARACHNE
1979

MAGDALENE
1979

WICCA AND THE WITCHES’ PORTRAITS

      In 1979, Johfra began a series of Witches’ Portraits, which included Arachne, Mary Magdalene and one called The Cry. Each of these women are dark, mysterious, and perhaps even deranged. He has chosen the genre of the portrait so that we, the viewer, may penetrate deeper into the personalities of these women, and attempt to elevate their underlying mystery.
      These are the wise women of old, whose legends preserve their fame. Arachne was born in ancient Greece, a simple woman, yet proud, and highly skilled in the art of weaving. The designs she wove were so perfect that not even Athene could outdo her. In anger, the goddess tore up all her tapestries and Arachne, in sorrow, hung herself. Regretting her jealousy, Athene changed Arachne into a spider and her noose into a thread. To this day, Arachne the spider weaves her webs and tapestries in Nature.
      In the Christian tradition, Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of Chemists and Apothecaries. This hints at the wise women’s more traditional recipes which released the natural healing properties from Nature. Magdalene was also a prostitute, which means she may have followed the more ancient ways of the hierodules or ‘sacred prostitutes’, for whom sex was a sacrament. When performed as a ritual, the sex act celebrated the fertile forces in Nature. At that



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

THE CRY
1979


moment, the Goddess’s procreative power flowed through the celebrants, blessing them with ecstasy.
      The painting of The Cry reminds us that many of the women accused of witchcraft were, by today’s standards, psychologically disturbed. Lost in the labyrinth of their hallucinations, some borderline delusional, others insane, these poor women were tried by the inquisition, condemned, and burned. A painting such as this reminds us of the atrocities that were committed during ‘the burning times’




 
 
 


<--LAST PAGE

 


NEXT PAGE -->

 
 


HOME

 


EDITORIAL

 


JOHFRA:
THE LIFE

 


JOHFRA:
THE WORKS

 


HERMETIC
JOHFRA

 


PANTHEIST
JOHFRA


 
 


DIANA
VANDENBERG


 


ELLEN
LORIEN


 


JOHFRA
GALLERY


 


VANDENBERG
GALLERY


 


LORIEN
GALLERY


 


LINKS