Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre

The Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre - St. Victor Diaries

Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre

“The Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre” tells the story behind the story of Lucifer. I’m amazed at how many people have absolutely no idea what the word Lucifer means, much less how it was originally used contextually. Most everyone I know blindly assumes it’s the name of a fallen angel who is unceremoniously morphed into the devil by a jealous and vengeful Yahweh. That particular story doesn’t surface until around the 6th century in a non-canonical text called 2 Enoch, written nearly 100 years after the word Lucifer is first used, and for an entirely different purpose.

In the late 4th century Jerome is commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church to translate the greek Hebrew Scriptures (Septuagent) and the new Christian canon (New Testament) from greek into Latin – this translation is called The Vulgate. Three passages refer to The Morning Star, the Prince of Dawn, the Bringer of Light – in the book of Isaiah where Isaiah is chastising the King of Babylon, and in 2 Peter and Revelation where it refers to Jesus. We have to remember that in ancient times, people had no concept of cosmology – the Morning Star referred to the planet Venus, which people thought was a literal anthropomorphic entity which lead the sun on its journey across the sky – hence the terms the Prince of Dawn and the Bringer of Light. The Morning Star was then used to denote great people and leaders who brought light upon the land and their people. Today we would use the term “celebrity” which comes from celestial and is why we still call people stars, ie rock stars, movie stars, etc. The term Jerome used to translate was the Light Bringer which in latin translates as Lux/Luxe (light) and Ferre (to bring, where we get the word ferry) – together this word is Lucifer in latin. In 2 Peter, Jesus is referred to as Lucifer

So how did we get the story of Lucifer as the proudful angel who fell from heaven to eternal damnation for the sin of pride? The story belongs to the non-canonical text of The Book of 2 Enoch chapter 29, which dates from 6th century as an attack against the Gnostic sects of Christianity who taught in direct opposition to the Catholic Church.

During this period the Catholic Church now had control of the Constantinian armies and was gaining control of land, money and power. Their primary tool was that of behavioral control which established The Church as God’s chosen mediator between Himself and His wretched, fallen creation deserving of hell fire. Through penance and absolution the Church began it’s rapid rise. The Gnostics, on the other hand taught that mankind is of the Divine Spark of God, made with “God Matter” and therefore needed no mediation but could commune directly with its Creator. This posed a direct threat to the economic structure the church had fought to create for itself. The story in 2 Enoch emerged telling of a beautiful Angel Lucifer (Celebrity) who commits the ultimate sin – that of thinking himself like God. He is therefore cast from Heaven into eternal darkness and damnation along with one third of the angels. This became known as The Sin of Satan and was connected with the Gnostic belief of humanity containing a Divine Spark of God. The story gave reason and justification to the Church’s accusation that the Gnostics where not only guilty of the ultimate heresy, but were in fact those angels cast out with Lucifer and systematically slaughtered. With no one left to challenge its authenticity – this story of Lucifer became the origin story that so many today still take literally.

In this painting, “The Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre”, we see in the valance above the curtains, the faces of many of the pagan minor deities who became demonized once incorporated into the pantheon of patron saints.

The curtains represent the symbolic image of hell, hand painted by tradition as opposed to actual flames – symbolizing hell as a human-creation. We see Lucifer, the Light Bringer starting to push back the drape which reveals a glimpse of not heaven, but enlightenment from which the many spirits of wisdom or Lucifers burst forth, representing the light bringers of the many spiritual traditions of the world. The dove nearest represents Namaste – Hindu for “May the God of your heart be with you.” Her hairnet represents the covering up of the Light – as we’ve seen in numerous mythologies such as Heracles and Samson where the long flowing hair emanated the power giving rays of the sun. Her red hair is symbolic of the demonizing of those who were left handed and red haired as being filled with the devil and burned at the stake during these dark ages. The small, real flame wings on her back represent the original concept of hell from the Persian Zoroastrian religion which greatly influenced the Hebrews upon their release from Babylonian and Assyrian captivity. It was the Zoroastrian religion that gave the Hebrews the concept of duality – forces of good versus forces of evil, as well as heaven and hell. However, for the Zoroastrians hell was not a pit of eternal damnation but rather a place of purification and transmutation. Punishment was for three days in hell, upon completion you were then cleansed and ascended to sit at the right hand of Ahura Mazda (God). In her flowing dress we find the many sparks of the divine of which the Gnostics taught and have been covered up for millennia now starting to shine anew. Looking down, she is still aware of the fact that her name is chained to the concept of eternal damnation. However, we see in the broken link awareness beginning the process of breaking the chain and releasing the understanding of our divinity.

The Roch

The Roch - St. Victor Diaries

The Roch

Roch was a French noble who early developed a sympathy for the poor and sick. While on pilgrimage Roch encountered an area afflicted with plague. He stayed to minister to the sick, and affected several miraculous cures, but contracted the plague himself. He walked into a forest to die, but was befriended by a dog. The dog fed him with food stolen from his master’s table, and Roch eventually recovered. Saint Roch’s compassion and loyalty for others regardless of the consequences is exemplified in the very nature of mankind’s truest friend — the dog.

The Last Mermaid

The Last Mermaid - St. Victor Diaries

The Last Mermaid

The idea for the painting originally was to invoke an emotion, which springs from the loss of beauty or innocence — a final end to an epic image that spurred countless ages worth of fantasies and mythologies. However, it took on a more literal life as my dear friend Lisa, went through the stages of breast cancer. But beauty is eternal and her battle has made her stronger and more passionate about life and helped me see the enduring truth of mythology and that it can be kept alive and flourish no matter what may come.

Adventures of Betty Bump

The Adventures of Betty Bump - St. Victor Diaries

Adventures of Betty Bump

Here we examine the bumpy road of life. No matter how prepared we feel we are to challenge every knock and pothole (the bumper car) we are never really sure of what the journey will bring — signified by the training wheels. The castle represents our goals — we know where we want to end up even though the road isn’t clear how to get there. The butterfly represents the joy and sadness along the path simultaneously rising up and getting flattened and the bouquet stands for the blossoming of spirit — all we have to do is reach for it.

 

 

Order

Order - St. Victor Diaries

Order

Order . . . it sounds so simple, almost self-defining. It’s neat, without complexity, hierarchical, a system for success and balance. At least that’s what comes to mind on initial impression. However, upon deeper review, Order is much more complex than imagined because Order is not an isolated state unto itself – it is a part of a universal duality. It is alternately a stepping-stone and a resting spot from which to assess stages of evolution from the macro universe to the micro organism. It is part of a cosmic tango with its twin force – chaos.

On a human level, Order helps us to regroup and clarify where we are sociologically, emotionally and spiritually as a collective. This forms our clan, tribal and global morals and identities. Those in the position of comfort and favor fight to hold on to the new established order, while those still subjugated by it fight to further the journey toward balance – this is chaos.

The goal of Order is to work hand in hand with chaos to continually break itself down so that it can re-establish itself on a more evolved plane. This is similar with working out. The work out is difficult and painful, but with rest and recovery the results are manifest in a physical evolution. The sooner we understand the process, the greater our ability to target problem areas and bring on the pain in a planned and targeted program for positive change.

In the painting, Order is represented by the hierarchical state of Order in the Catholic schoolgirl uniform. This is accented with the fake halo and leg tattoo (my logo) to show that there is another side to Order, something different than what may be assumed. She is standing very close to the edge of a sheer drop showing that Order is always treading near the edge of falling, which is a function of chaos. The buildings around her represent tight structure associated with Order, but up out of the abyss of chaos rises something that on the surface may not look like much initially, but houses the seeds for future generations to grow from represented by the blossoming plant above, and the characatured family drawn into the cardboard house. Someday, I believe that will be each of us in a new Order, in a new body with the same but evolved consciousness of today.

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary Quite Contrary - St. Victor Diaries

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

The adage that states, “a picture paints a thousand words -” was clearly speaking of Mary Mary Quite Contrary. This provocative painting explores the relationship between Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary: Lover and Mother, Prostitute and Perpetual Virgin as signified by the early fathers of the Catholic Church.

Interestingly enough, this relationship mirrors the much older Gnostic dictate that describes the “Decent of Sophia” which reflects on the soul journey from perfect being, descending to the earthly plane where an awareness of false self sets in. Temptation through the vehicle of free will is the cause of her fall into the depths of human struggle where she is shown as a prostitute – living on the dark side. Yet it is this dark side that brings the brightness and beauty of her true self to light and she ascends back into the cosmos to be forever joined with her perfection. The ascension of Mary and the restoration of her virginity became dogma in 1950.

Symbolically, the tree represents the motif from the Garden of Eden that led to self-awareness and free will with the snake seen as temptation. The two Marys are adrift floating toward a rebirth as seen in the butterfly. The donkey represents the stubborn weight of dogma, which resists new wisdom and change as it weighs down the spiritual evolution of mankind. Depending on your personal view of this image – the donkey can be seen either as a background image standing onshore that the spirit journey is now bypassing or firmly planted in the center of the boat depicting a literal reading of this dogma as actual fact. The bloody handprints across the habit gown of the virgin, remind us of the millions of souls persecuted and slaughtered in the advancement of religious dogma.

Clipped Wings

Clipped Wings - St. Victor Diaries

Clipped Wings

I have always been a fan of the vampire. Not the typical blood sucking Dracula, but the life force caught in an evolutionary cycle above the limits of natural forces that currently limit human physicality and below the enlightened state of at-one-ment.

In this state, the lines of morality and ethics blur as they merge with the power of being post human and the heart wrenching state of perpetual alienation.

I don’t view the vampire as a demon or the damned. I view them as a higher branch on the evolutionary tree trying to deal with the circumstances all creation deals with – the challenge of staying alive while finding purpose.

Forget Dracula, Lestat is the ultimate vampire. I try to portray, in this painting, the beauty of the character as well as the danger lurking within the most apt seduction.

Deeper Thoughts

Deeper Thoughts - St. Victor Diaries

Deeper Thoughts

Deeper Thoughts represents a new level of consciousness. In the city background we find the mundane plane, the material world full of its Newtonian concepts of life in separation.

But with the blooming of the flower on her hat we see the emergence of a whole new vantage point, one that carries us to the top of the mountain and changes our view forever. We see the dramatic inter-connectivity that pulls everything from the mountains, valleys, deserts, oceans, busy cities and desperate slums into the body of our own soul. This is the awakening.

We have traditionally viewed an awakening as experiencing a measure of heaven, however, we now know that it also contains a measure of hell as we feel the suffering of those who have been previously excluded in our mindset of separateness. This is shown in the dress that she wears which is a symbol of all the little lights of souls that help make up all that is – thus part of the building block of all that we are.

Heaven and hell together illuminate all that can be and all that needs to be done.

They are the measure of evolution.

Joe Sorrens Bar and Girl

Joe Sorrens Bar and Grill - St. Victor Diaries

Joe Sorrens Bar and Girl

It’s about looking for love in all the right places. The problem is that our view seems to be always focused away from it. Closing ourselves off, painting on the happy face – for what and for whom? Love is inside all that we paint over. Inside ourselves, inside others, inside all of nature. No matter where we are, we’re always in the right place for finding love – we just keep staring out the window.

St. Rita

St Rita - St. Victor Diaries

St. Rita

Quantum physicists call the world that we see before us the classical world. The basic needs of which are met with warmth, shelter, food, and light. However, the real world, that which lies within matter, but beyond its limits is the quantum world – reflected in the mirror. It is the world where information fused energy is the only thing that truly exists. Thought is energy. Thought creates a reality in the quatum world that manifests itself within the classical world. Mind into matter – not only is this not impossible, it’s the key to all that is possible.