Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Visual arts, music, poetry and other forms of art.
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Heith
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby Heith » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:16 pm

How weird, I just logged on the forum because I wanted to post the painting that is in the previous post. Good that it's already here. Beautiful work!
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby obnoxion » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:54 am

I have found a depiction of Satan from somewhat unlikely painting – Botticelli’s ”Primavera”. We are used to think that the characters on the right side of the painting are Zephyr and the nymph Chloris. But there seem to be simultaneous levels to this most Neoplatonic painting, as it was the spirit of Renaissance Neoplatonism to make correspondences between Christian and pagan art. So the scene of Primavera can also be seen as the scene from Dante’s Purgatorio, Canto 29. Now, this theory is from Kathryn Lindskoog’s book “Surprised by C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald and Dante – An Array of Original Discoveries” (Mercer University Press, 2001; pages 53 – 55):

The three women dancing in the middle of the painting are the Three Theological Virtues (which happens to be my favorite illustration by Dore from the Divine Comedy – I have it on my wall, actually). The two clothed females to the right are Beatrice and Matilda. The Zephyr – supposedly the West Wind that in the painting blows from the Orient – is Satan, who is driving Eve – nude with a sprig in her mouth – towards Adam. The pre-fall Adam is depicted on the left side of the painting in the guise of Mars. The Roman Mars, recognized by his sword and his wingless helmet, was originally a god of agriculture, just as Adam was the care-taker of the Garden. The lower branches of some of the trees near the sword are trimmed. This must be a reference to Micah (4:3 – 4), as the sword of war is changed into gardening tool. (I would add to Lindskoog’s brilliant observations that both Adam and Mars are strongly connected to the color red).

The Cupid floating above Beatrice at the top center of the painting the central theme of Dante’s Divine Comedy – that humans are born to love God and move ever closer to the Divinity, but they go astray when they are enamored by the lesser delights.

For me, this depiction of Satan as the East wind entwined amid the trees is a very powerful image, for I have most often thought of Azazel-Satan as the wind in the branches. But there is more. Two or three years ago, I was traveling by train from a Brotherhood –related meeting in Helsinki back to Western Finland, and for some reason this painting came to my mind. My way of contemplation is sort of visionary, and I kind of have one eye awake and the other one dreaming. So the whole way back I sort of saw this blue wind blowing beside the train, and at the same time a sort of inspiration took hold of me, and on that two hour journey I had formulated a complete and quite detailed idea for a novel. For many years I have thought of this wind as the Zephyr, even though both the wind in the painting and my train were traveling from East to West.

It was only yesterday that I read this theory by Kathryn Lindskoog, but it really shook my little world. I haven’t found that many depictions of Satan in Art that I can relate to much. But this one, even though not knowing for few years whence my inspiration came from, vivified my imagination almost like nothing before. And its effect was exactly the sort of thing that I mean by the word “magical”.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Heith
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby Heith » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the above, obnoxion. Very interesting and thought-provoking, as always. I shall treasure this new knowledge.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby obnoxion » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:01 pm

Heith wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 pm
Thank you so much for sharing the above, obnoxion. Very interesting and thought-provoking, as always. I shall treasure this new knowledge.
I would like to continue, then, on the dynamics of the painting, for I believe they add to our understanding of some vital spiritual concepts.

It is said that the two interpretative models of the painting aid us in grasping the simultanity of the double nature of Christ as both human and divine. I would compare this phenomenon of conceptual bistability to the perceptive bistability of, say, Paul Gauguin's cloissonist painting "Above tha Abyss" (1888), in which the difference between the positive and the negative spaces is unstable, and which incorporates multiple points of perception.

This multileveled bistability creates a dynamic, sending us to oscillate. And oscillation is a central concept in Shaivism. The universe oscillates, and its tendency to dissapeare and emerge is a vibrational presence both macro- and microcosmic. And to the experience of this fundamental dynamic, present in both Shaiva and Christian thought, the art of both Botticelli and Gauguin can guide us.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby obnoxion » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:38 am

In our reading group of Per Faxneld's book "Satanic Feminism", there was some talk about how rare it is to see Devil depicted as a female. I think it would be interesting to share examples of Devil as female. Also hermaphrodite devils, like in many Tarot decks, would be interesting.

A very prominent example of a female Devil is in The Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grunewald. In the top right hand corner of the St. Anthony panel there is a female devil, identified as she-devil by her magnificently flaccid breasts. She is breaking the church window with a stone in her right hand, and a rude club made of a sturdy branch in her left hand. She sports three or four horns on her head, and she has a bird-like peak through which something noxious is breathed or spoken out.

I am looking this detail from a marvellous close-up reproduction in Michael Schubert's "The Isenheim Altrapiece: History - Interpretation - Backround" (SteinerBooks, 2017 Second Edition, page 39).
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby Smaragd » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:57 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:38 am
In our reading group of Per Faxneld's book "Satanic Feminism", there was some talk about how rare it is to see Devil depicted as a female. I think it would be interesting to share examples of Devil as female. Also hermaphrodite devils, like in many Tarot decks, would be interesting.

A very prominent example of a female Devil is in The Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grunewald. In the top right hand corner of the St. Anthony panel there is a female devil, identified as she-devil by her magnificently flaccid breasts. She is breaking the church window with a stone in her right hand, and a rude club made of a sturdy branch in her left hand. She sports three or four horns on her head, and she has a bird-like peak through which something noxious is breathed or spoken out.

I am looking this detail from a marvellous close-up reproduction in Michael Schubert's "The Isenheim Altrapiece: History - Interpretation - Backround" (SteinerBooks, 2017 Second Edition, page 39).
Some weeks ago I noticed this image of a devil exhaling a noxious or poisonous breath inside the temple lurking in to my language. Powerful image although it's such a minor detail I couldn't find a good image of it from the internet, despite a fairly large photograph can be found.

I happened to be on a lecture by Faxneld where he talked about The Ninth Gate movie and the book and a kind of a side theme was the rare occasions of female devils, which atleast the movie version brings forth according to Faxneld. I haven't read the book and I don't remember much of the lecture anymore. In the movie Corso, a book detective, is being helped by an enigmatic female character, who has glimmering green eyes and is sort of a spectator to Corsos actions although she also directs him and helps in morally ambiguous ways. Faxneld specifically pointed her ability to fly or glide in the air. In an investigation scene of the movie she is introduced for us as the Whore of Babylon, which might be taken as an obvious female devil depiction. In the Book of Revelation 17 we can find one of the seven angels pointing at her direction.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby obnoxion » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:44 am

I don't always agree with Clement Greenberg, but the art the pioneer of abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956), is indeed "volcanic". And I think this pertains especially to the work done in drip technique, which are obviously his most famous works.

"Lucifer" (1947) is a horizontal work, and I've understood it is complimentary to the vertical "Cathedral". These paintings were exhibited alongside each other in 1948 at the Parsons Gallery. This sort of thematic pairing is something very familiar for anyone familiar with the SoA's core literature.

I've read that Pollock saw in the fall of Lucifer a prallel to the birth of abstract expressionism. This is in a way fiting; Lucifer was the most beautiful of angel that was disfigured unrecognizable by his fall. To realize the original beauty of Lucifer from the deconstructed aesthetics of abstract expressionist work would be for the viewer an inner experience of Lucifer restored.

The drips, spots, pools and other colour/texture units of the painting are done by driping paint from above. But the ten or so green whiplashes are apparently done with the painting upright, so they are the stressedly vertical aspects of this otherwise abyssicly horizontal composition. These seem to be the final touches of the painting.

I suppose there are people who wish to view the painting without pre-imposed projections, so I think I should do a spoiler alert here. I see in the upper right corner a crouching black figure with outstretched hands and a skull for a head. It seems like a puppet master, holding strings in its long black hands. This forms a counter dynamic to the stormig movement I see striking from the upper left corner. (I just realized, the top right hand corner is also the exact compositional location of the female devil in the Isenheim Altarpiece discussed above...)

I know Jakson Pollock went through a lengthy Jungian therapy to treat his alcoholism, so this could give some legitimacy for a Jungian interpretation. But obviously this kind of painting goes far beyond words. Certainly we must agree that it is a magnificently unique take on the myth of Lucifer, and even more so if we consider the scale of the art historical prominance of the painting.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby Krepusculum » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:25 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:44 am

I suppose there are people who wish to view the painting without pre-imposed projections, so I think I should do a spoiler alert here. I see in the upper right corner a crouching black figure with outstretched hands and a skull for a head. It seems like a puppet master, holding strings in its long black hands. This forms a counter dynamic to the stormig movement I see striking from the upper left corner. (I just realized, the top right hand corner is also the exact compositional location of the female devil in the Isenheim Altarpiece discussed above...)

I know Jakson Pollock went through a lengthy Jungian therapy to treat his alcoholism, so this could give some legitimacy for a Jungian interpretation. But obviously this kind of painting goes far beyond words. Certainly we must agree that it is a magnificently unique take on the myth of Lucifer, and even more so if we consider the scale of the art historical prominance of the painting.
There is probaly more contemporary art directly related to the adversarial deities and powers then it might seem. It differs that in many of these artistic works I believe the artists are probably not always aware they are directly influenced or guided by those type of beings. We could take as an example for a more conscious approach the surrealistic work of H R Giger and maybe a more subconscious approach like the works of Arnulf Rainer. Rainer has a rather intense expressive character, as if he tries to show the presence of certain sinister forces that influence or torment the individual even coming close to possession at times. In some works he blends photography with paint and crayon, the individuals suggestively portray types of states and indulgence to forces that disconect oneself from the ego. I saw an exhibition by him once and part of it was also his collection of outsider art. Work made by psychiatric patients that went from utter maddening chaotic impulsive excrescence to some of the most beautiful sensitive and precise works I have ever seen. Some of the works displayed were made with such precise skill that it was jaw dropping.

I love symbolism and medieval religious art but in our own time I find the expression of the adversarial light more interesting in the personal expressions instead of anthrpomorphic symbolism (or at least a combination of the two). I believe it actually comes closer to describing those powers better as it deals more with textures atmosphere and dynamics. Also Brutalist architecture has something I would even dare to describe as Satanic. Cold, rigid and calculated as if it creates a void. Paradoxically I find great beauty in it as architecture allows a more direct experience of the afformentioned when dwelling in its constructions.
The interpretations you made on Pollocks work although personal, are very descriptive and could benefit the interpretations of art not only in a conceptual and philosophical manner but more importantly it can open the direct relationships to the soul and therefore valid as a spiritual and possibly religious insight.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby obnoxion » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:41 pm

Krepusculum wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:25 pm
Arnulf Rainer...has a rather intense expressive character, as if he tries to show the presence of certain sinister forces that influence or torment the individual even coming close to possession at times. In some works he blends photography with paint and crayon, the individuals suggestively portray types of states and indulgence to forces that disconect oneself from the ego.
When an adult mixes crayon with any media, it usually ends up looking more or less sinister. Arnulf Rainer is for me a new and stimulating find, so thank you very much frater! I looked through some of his images, and immediately liked "Mana Contemporary", as crucifixion is one of my favourite subjects for art. I love how each generation of artists gives it a go. It is hard to remain shallow with a crucifix, so it really is a magical subject. It is almost like a vessel that instantly transports.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Artistic representations of Satan & other LHP deities

Postby Krepusculum » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:10 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:41 pm
Krepusculum wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:25 pm
Arnulf Rainer...has a rather intense expressive character, as if he tries to show the presence of certain sinister forces that influence or torment the individual even coming close to possession at times. In some works he blends photography with paint and crayon, the individuals suggestively portray types of states and indulgence to forces that disconect oneself from the ego.
When an adult mixes crayon with any media, it usually ends up looking more or less sinister. Arnulf Rainer is for me a new and stimulating find, so thank you very much frater! I looked through some of his images, and immediately liked "Mana Contemporary", as crucifixion is one of my favourite subjects for art. I love how each generation of artists gives it a go. It is hard to remain shallow with a crucifix, so it really is a magical subject. It is almost like a vessel that instantly transports.
Glad you liked it :) Crucifixion remains without doubt a fascinating subject on many levels. I'm quite mystified how the act at Golgotha echoes through our times and still affects us, even those adverse to it.

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