Thursday, May 13, 2010


Well, at least I think I am done with her. I worked and worked on her, and changed elements on it over and over. I think I am fairly happy with how she turned out, but my self critic was out in full force with this one towards the end.

I wanted to go into some of the symbolism and my reasoning on this one. Tiamat is usually drawn as a three headed dragon, but I wanted to do this with my own impressions on the myth, and not rely on what I could read in Wikipedia. In the Sumerian myth the generation of creator gods that Tiamat is a part of is referred to as the "Ancient Ones". I believe that these Ancient Ones might have been another race, maybe like the Elven or an Elder race. A less fanciful idea is that they were a matriarchal people that were overtaken by a more warrior-like Patriarchal people. Again the passage that inspired the piece:
"Know that Tiamat seeks ever to rise to the stars, and when the upper is united with the lower, then a New Age will come to the Earth, and the Serpent shall be made whole again, and the waters will be as One."
I believe that this passage is talking a lot about humans having the ability to walk in both worlds, or uniting the spiritual and the material parts of ourselves. This is what we are all asked to do right now. I personally find it a very hard task. I seem to swing from one world to the next, and can not remain in both at once very often.
The stars represent the spiritual, and the lower world is our lower selves, or material selves. Tiamat seeks to rise to the stars, but is held down because the serpent is not one. I represent the serpent in this painting with a coral snake in an ouroboros style. The ouroboros is a well known symbol of the goddess energy. It's mouth represents it's positive active energy, and it's tail represents it's passive negative energy. When it bites it's own tail it is neutralized, it becomes the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I used a coral snake here because they are venomous. When it reaches it's tail it will be one, and neutralized. The masculine aggressive energy neutralized by the feminine.
There are many myths all over the world of an ancient race of wise people known as Serpents or Dragons. I believe this is why Tiamat was called a Dragon, she was part of these ancient wise people that possibly disappeared when the Patriarchal societies took over. Also, the ley lines that run under the earth are often referred to as Dragons. We must be able to converse with these Dragons under the ground and with the stars above to bring on the New Age. Many of those myths that talk about the ancient wise serpent people talk about them retreating underground, like in the myths of the Tuatha de Danann. So maybe they are or were physical beings that went "underground", or maybe they are the Dragon energy that runs through the arteries of our great Gaia. It is something I ponder a lot.
In the painting behind Tiamat's masculine side is a pair of ducks. Ducks represent an energy that lives in water, on land, and in the sky. They are showing us how to walk in both worlds. On her feminine side there is lost of plants and Earth energy. It is the energy of the Earth that helps us connect to the Feminine energy needed to neutralize our abundance of material energy.
Tiamat has three eyes instead of three heads here I suppose. The third eye of course is an Eastern symbol for obtaining inner vision and wisdom. The mist surrounding her represents the veil that surrounds us all and keeps us from seeing beyond the physical world. She is also rising up out of the ocean, or the unconscious. This is what the goddess has been doing for sometime now, rising out of the depths of our unconscious. Tiamat is one of the most ancient goddesses known. When she has fully risen out of our collective unconscious, a New Age will truly be upon us.


DoAn said...

The way you are working with goddess energy is the same way I approach the deities in my own paintings. I read some old texts while meditating on the goddess, then, when it comes time to paint, I put all the texts down and work just with the goddess energy. The mythology then ceases to be other people's words, but a live transmission from the energy itself. Sometimes my work veers away from the traditional texts, other times elements appear that relate to the old texts, but I had no idea about until after I finished. This, I believe, is how myth should be approached. It is not old stories told by extinct cultures. Myth is a living tradition and in order for it to be living it needs to evolve and grow. You are contributing to the life of myth with your painting process.

MoonSpiral said...

Thankyou Doan. I remember Joseph Campbell saying in the Power of Myth that it is the artist who creates the myth of today. That stuck with me and I think about that today. The artist must translate and transmute the myth, not just regurgitate it. I am always blown away by your mythical translations. You are a great inspiration to me!

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