Oil on Canvas

Guardian of the Golden Mystery

After I got married in 2010, I spent almost 3 years traveling without a home.  In February 2011, I had an amazing experience in a desert oasis hot spring in the southwest.  I spent an entire day immersed in a big pool of warm water that was just above body temperature.  In those healing waters, my lifelong back pain disappeared and I felt more flexibility and fluidity in my spine than I could ever remember.  As I lay floating in the pool, gazing at the star-filled sky, I was struck by how mysterious it all is.. life, our bodies, this planet, the universe.. the infinite possibilities available in this existence and how little we really understand.  I had the vision for this painting and I initiated it in Colorado shortly afterward, during the Vernal Equinox.


Given my nomadic proclivities, this canvas was stretched, un-stretched, rolled, unrolled and re-stretched multiple times throughout my years of travel.  It’s journeyed from its beginning in Colorado, to California, to France in 2011.. then to Spain, Connecticut and Washington in 2012, finally landing back in Colorado to be finished, 5 years from whence it began, on the Vernal Equinox 2016.  I didn’t plan it this way, and I didn’t know it when I started this painting, but Pagan holidays (particularly the equinoxes and solstices) would play a mysterious role in both the creation of the piece as well as the subject matter.

In the farmhouse in Germenay, France
Winter Solstice (Yule) 2011
In Barcelona, Spain (with a bottle of Alquimia!)
Imbolc 2012
In the heat of the California summer
Lughnasadh 2012
 In my home studio in Loveland, Colorado
Vernal Equinox (Ostara) 2016

I was already fascinated with phi and the golden ratio, so this particular canvas was created with the proportions of a golden rectangle (Fibonacci numbers, in inches – 34 x 55).  Sometime in late 2011, I saw a film called The Revelation of the Pyramids, which fascinated me.  As the parallels between the film and my painting were uncannily synchronous, I became somewhat obsessed and began to incorporate more information and inspiration from the film into the painting. Here are a couple pages of my sketchbook from the early days of planning this painting…

Here you can see how the subject matter of the painting is arranged using the geometric charpent (armature).  These invisible lines within the composition guide the viewer’s gaze and impart significance on a subconscious level.  They also serve to create a feeling of harmony within the piece. The relationships of the geometries hint at a number of hidden meanings.  Beginning with the Triangle (the least number of points required to form a unique plane or two-dimensional Euclidean space), and progressing incrementally to the Square, Pentagon, Hexagon, Heptagon, and finally, the Octagon.. If you add the number of sides of all of these, you arrive at the mystical number 33.  Here are a few interesting facts about the esoteric symbolism of the number 33:

  • The human spine has 33 vertebrae (when the bones that form the coccyx are counted individually).
  • A significant number in modern numerology, 33 is considered a master number (along with 11 and 22).
  • 33 is the highest degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and is also a numerical representation of the Star of David.

I also wrote a poem about the painting, which was published, along with an image of the painting (still in progress), in a book called Divining the Dream, by Liba Waring Stambollion.  I proofed and edited the book, along with David Heskin and Delvin Solkinson.

Page from Divining the Dream, 2012 (with Daniel Mirante’s art, left)

This rhyming piece of writing also uses prosody and poetic meter to reveal yet another layer of meaning, illustrating the relationship between the number 8 (the octagon/octagram, tesseract or 4-dimensional cube) and 33…

Fast-forward to August 2015… The Synchromystery deepens…

I’ve just flown from Paris to Tallin for the wedding of a French magi and an Estonian polymath (yes, this is my real life).  Seated next to me at the reception was an alchemist from Paris..  We struck up a conversation and he revealed that he worked on the film, The Revelation of the Pyramids, along with a great deal of additional information not included in the film.  We met up again later in Paris and became fast friends.  I discovered things about this planet’s past that I could only have imagined…
Purchase archival reproductions of Guardian of the Golden Mystery