Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Keepers of the Flame

Oh yeah, you have to remember to push the publish button when you've finished the post!  These older brains are something else - one would think I had never blogged before.  Apparently, the procedure was in the short term memory and we can see how good that is...

This image, "Keepers of the Flame" is part of the mythology series from Ancient Celtic Mythology.  In doing my research I found many references to the Pashcal Candle of Christianity, and how the symbol was carried on from pagan religions. In the time of the Druids and before, when religions were matriarchal, the interpretation of the candle's light was an honored symbol of Juno, or the local goddess of the moon, stars and sun.  It was believed that she gave newborns their gift of sight.  Personally, I think the candles were all scented and, hygiene being what it was back then, the more candles you could keep burning the better the smell.  My "Keepers of the Flame" represent all those feminine mystics from long ago who, like Motel 6, kept the candle in the window burning.

Keepers of the Flame
7.5 x 8.5
Solarplate™ intaglio
Akua intaglio ink, a la poupeé
chine collé

The long burning candle was also from ceremonial rekindling and encouraging of the new sun at the Winter Solstice.  If the candle extinguished before the specified time it was a sign of bad luck for the coming year.  Roman, Greek and Christians did away with any possibility of that happening by inducting the custom into organized religion and putting someone in charge of keeping that thing burning. The Romans left it up to the temple of Juno and the Christians to the church. Many of the old pagan festivals involving bonfires, torches, candles and other lights were originally dedicated to the Goddess-as-sun, or to the Goddess as controller of the sun and its cycles.  Well, thank goodness we got over that - I would hate to think women were saddled forever with the responsibility of the sun coming up every day.

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