Latest Articles

Leonardo da Vinci – The Last Supper, with Angela Voss £10

Leonardo da Vinci – The Last Supper, with Angela Voss £10

72 minute downloadable lecture. In this lecture, I focus on the possibility of a hidden meaning within the fresco The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted between 1495 and 1498. I want to ask whether he intended to hide a cosmic dimension behind or within this portrayal of a pivotal episode in Christian history, and if so, why.

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Testimonial and Art by Lisa Hawkins

Testimonial and Art by Lisa Hawkins

Testimonial and Art by Lisa Hawkins MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred student 2014-2017 I have always been interested in the spiritual, the intangible element of life. I remember as a child asking questions of materiality, did it really exist – or was it just in my...

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Star Music : The ancient idea of cosmic music as a philosophical paradox – Eduard Heyning

Star Music : The ancient idea of cosmic music as a philosophical paradox – Eduard Heyning

This thesis regards the ancient Pythagorean-Platonic idea of heavenly harmony as a philosophical paradox: stars are silent, music is not. The idea of ‘star music’ contains several potential opposites, including imagination and sense perception, the temporal and the eternal, transcendence and theophany, and others. The idea of ‘star music’ as a paradox can become a gateway to a different understanding of the universe, and a vehicle for a shift to a new – and yet very ancient – form of consciousness.

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Septimana – Eduard Heyning

Septimana – Eduard Heyning

Septimana is a suite of seven musical sketches contemplating the seven planetary weekdays, expressing the characteristics of numbers and divine eponyms using seven keys, rhythms, scales, melodies, sound collages and some improvisations.

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How to Look at Art – Mary Attwood

How to Look at Art – Mary Attwood

via Surrey Adult Learning, starting Monday 21st Sept- 19th Oct, 10am- 1pm – ZOOM class.

This five week course is an extension of the one off classes I have taught on the same topic before. With our museums and galleries full of wonderful works of art, the average visitor still spends only an average of fifteen seconds in front of a work of art. How do we look at art for longer, how do we find a way in and what do we look for?

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From Renaissance Magic to Baroque Nostalgia with Angela Voss (4 Sessions)

Renaissance Music and Magic with Angela Voss – £10

Downloadable Podcast. In this session on Renaissance Music and Magic Angela Voss discusses her love of playing and studying the music of 15th-17th centuries, and talks about how the newly-discovered esoteric philosophy of hermeticism and Neoplatonism influenced 15th century practices of musical and astral magic.

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The Law of Nature and the Law of Drama with Dr Joseph Milne – 19 September 2021 – 3pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15

The Law of Nature and the Law of Drama with Dr Joseph Milne – 19 September 2021 – 3pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15

In Shakespeare’s England there continued a consciousness of a correspondence between the order of Nature and the human order, inherited from the Middle Ages. Human events and a universal unfolding of time were connected. This understanding is reflected in the heated debates over Church and state at that time, and in the jurisprudence debates over written and unwritten law.

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Art and Consciousness – Mary Attwood

Art and Consciousness – Mary Attwood

For millennia, images and form in art and architecture have carried meaning, inspired people to accomplish enormous feats and been the medium through which hidden realities could be realised.

Today it may seem an odd concept to move beyond just looking at art to perceiving it as a means with which we can wake up, transform consciousness and be informed with a sense of purpose.

Works of art often only scratch the surface of our thoughts as we fit past them in galleries and museums.

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Leonardo Da Vinci – His Life and Work – Mary Attwood

Leonardo Da Vinci – His Life and Work – Mary Attwood

Two week course via Surrey Adult Learning, Wednesday 4th November and Wednesday 11th November, 7- 9pm – ZOOM classes.

Often heralded as the archetypal Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci was truly one of the great polymaths of his time and arguably unrivalled since. Scientist, mathematician, inventor, painter, sculptor and writer, Leonardo had an insatiable yearning to discover what might lie behind the world of natural phenomena.

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The Hidden Secrets of Masterpieces – Mary Attwood

The Hidden Secrets of Masterpieces – Mary Attwood

Five Week Course via Buckinghamshire, Tuesday 3rd November – 1st December, 7.00- 8.30 pm,  ONLINE classes. This five week course will be a visual feast of great works of art but when it comes to looking at art, there is so much more than meets the eye. These sessions will introduce you to a few known ‘masterpieces’ and reveal some little known facts about them.

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Carravaggio – Master of Light and Dark – Mary Attwood

Carravaggio – Master of Light and Dark – Mary Attwood

Surrey Adult Learning, Friday 9th October, 10am- 1pm – ZOOM class

This session will focus in detail on some of Caravaggio’s most famous works of art as well as those lesser known. These works are full of drama, movement and emotion, often concealing deeper meaning, and ask the viewer to be an engaged participant in the images he presents before us.

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The Invisible Reality of the Muses with Joe Safdie – 12th October 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

The Invisible Reality of the Muses with Joe Safdie – 12th October 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

Where do you get your inspiration? Today we might “breathe in” any number of influences, but the people of ancient Greece had only one source: the Muses. The Muses were the Greek goddesses of poetic inspiration, and were deities of song, dance, and memory. That last item might come as a surprise, because we usually think of something new when we hear the word “creation.” But the mother of the Muses was the Greek goddess Mnemosyne, or Memory, and their music – sometimes divine, sometimes silent – enabled a few lucky people to have visions of the past: as mysterious as insight into the future, and only partially dependent on one’s own powers. This 90-minute session with discussion introduces the Greek poet Hesiod and his Theogony, the best and most detailed explanation of who the Muses were and where they might best be encountered today.

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Mythologising Monteverdi: The Marriage of Venus and Mercury by Angela Voss

Mythologising Monteverdi: The Marriage of Venus and Mercury by Angela Voss

I will begin on a personal note. Monteverdi’s music has been a catalyst in my life, awakening me to a ‘spiritual eros’, as the Platonists would describe the intimation of, and yearning for, an experience of union with an ineffable, and undefinable, ‘other’.I have also been an astrologer for nearly forty years, and a central focus of my academic life has been the challenge of addressing the revelatory function of the symbolic in a world which no longer values poetic metaphor as a primary mode of knowledge. Instead, such knowing is assumed to be ‘merely subjective’, incompatible with the sharp scalpel of the rational mind.

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Introduction to Marsilio Ficino by Angela Voss

Introduction to Marsilio Ficino by Angela Voss

The importance of the work of Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433-1499) in the awakening, transmission and dissemination of esoteric knowledge in the West cannot be overestimated. By ‘esoteric’, we mean a tradition of religious philosophy which embodies an initiatic mode of teaching – a promise of access to hidden meanings deep within the fabric of the world which will eventually lead the searcher to a condition of gnosis or unity with the source of all being.

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Marsilio Ficino, the Second Orpheus by Angela Voss

Marsilio Ficino, the Second Orpheus by Angela Voss

Through his revival of Platonic thought, the Florentine philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) stands at the forefront of the great spiritual and cultural rebirth we call the Renaissance. Priest, theologian, astrologer, physician, musician and magician, his life was dedicated to the reconciliation of faith and reason in the quest for self-knowledge, and knowledge of God.

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From Renaissance Magic to Baroque Nostalgia with Angela Voss (4 Sessions)

Father Time and Orpheus by Angela Voss

In September 1462, aged almost twenty-nine, Marsilio Ficino wrote to Cosimo de’ Medici in gratitude for his generous patronage:

A few days ago I was celebrating [the hymn to the Cosmos] in an Orphic ritual, when my father brought me some letters, in which the wise Cosimo de’ Medici, most health-giving doctor of my life, said he would reflect on my studies, kindly provide for me, generously favour me, and hospitably and piously welcome me into his sacred dwelling. So it happened that not only your magnificence, but also the ancient prophecy of Orpheus evoked in me the most immense wonder. For he seemed to be directing to you the hymn that he consecrated to the Cosmos,..

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Life between Lives Therapy: A Mystery Ritual for Modern Times by Angela Voss

Life between Lives Therapy: A Mystery Ritual for Modern Times by Angela Voss

The theme of this chapter arose through a strange coincidence and a dream, which I shall briefly relate. Some time ago a friend introduced me to the work of Michael Newton, and I spent a session with my MA students discussing the question of regression therapy and spiritual encounter in relation to Hermetic texts and the mundus imaginalis of Henry Corbin. Shortly after this, I received an email, quite out of the blue, from Michael Newton himself. He was looking for a university department where he could develop his client work into a doctoral thesis, and this initiated a flow of personal communication on the subject of life between lives (LBL) therapy.

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A Matter of Spirit: An Imaginal Perspective on the Paranormal by Angela Voss

A Matter of Spirit: An Imaginal Perspective on the Paranormal by Angela Voss

It is encouraging to see the current academic interest in therapeutic properties and usages of psychedelics and psycho-active plants. Sociological methods of quantitative data analysis and scientific investigation into the physiology of altered states of consciousness (ASC) are challenging negative and prohibitive attitudes and contributing to a general re-evaluation of legal constraints regarding their use.

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Scrying by Angela Voss

Scrying by Angela Voss

Scrying has been variously defined as “the faculty of seeing visions in a smooth surface or clear deep, or both”;“an occult method for obtaining oracular visions in water, glass or crystal;” and “the deliberate act of perceiving events that lie beyond the range of the physical senses by using the agents of the unconscious mind”

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Prophecy by Angela Voss

Prophecy by Angela Voss

Prophecy (from the Greek prophemi meaning “to say beforehand, foretell”) can be defined as the ability to foretell future events or conditions through an innate supernatural or paranormal ability to speak from a viewpoint of divine authority. Prophecy is therefore similar to mediumship or channeling in its purported ability to receive emanations from a divine being or higher intelligence, and convey these revelations to others.

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Music and Magic by Angela Voss

Music and Magic by Angela Voss

To write about music of any era as an operative magical power in the world poses an epistemological challenge, since it requires the use of discursive and descriptive language to convey intentions and experiences which, in their immediacy, are far removed from any attempts to theorise, categorise or observe from a distance.

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Ficino and Astrology by Angela Voss

Ficino and Astrology by Angela Voss

I propose to approach the astrological viewpoint of Marsilio Ficino in the light og this “human music”. Certainly, by a close examination of his own astrological make-up and an understanding of how the planetary energies worked in his own personal experience, Ficino was able to arrive at an understanding of astrology which can only be termed “psychological”.

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The Natural Magic of Marsilio Ficino by Angela Voss

The Natural Magic of Marsilio Ficino by Angela Voss

Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433–99) is chiefly remembered for his role as the head of the Platonic Academy, a cultural centre where the foremost artists and humanists of the day gathered to promote a new Renaissance attitude towards philosophy, religion and the arts.

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On the Knowledge of Divine Things: Ficino’s concept of notio by Angela Voss

On the Knowledge of Divine Things: Ficino’s concept of notio by Angela Voss

in his Disputatio contra iudicium astrologorum of 1477, Ficino appears to proclaim his firm opposition to astrological practices. It is as if, adopting an Aristotelian model of rational argument and writing in clear, exegetical prose, he wishes to sweep away all the deadwood of fatalism with a common-sense critique of rigid and arbitrary astrological systems.

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How to Look at Art – Mary Attwood

The Music of the Spheres: Marsilio Ficino and Renaissance Harmonia by Angela Voss

Most people are familiar with the exquisite painting by Botticelli known as the Primavera. But perhaps it is not so widely known that the programme of its enigmatic symbolism was inspired by the neoplatonic notion of the harmony of creation, reflected in the correspondences of the mythological characters to both the eight planetary spheres and the eight tones of the musical octave.

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Eros by Angela Voss

Eros by Angela Voss

How do we interpret the word ‘erotic’ in our contemporary society? It usually conveys a sexual allure, a physical attraction, a suggestion of passion and exoticisim. But do we connect it with spirituality, or a sense of divinity? Not usually. In our secular world the sacred is not accessible through sex. We have separated human sexuality from religious experience, yet surely everyone can testify to the tremendous emotional power of the “longing for the beloved” and probably most have sensed what feels like an
immeasurable distance between the ideal of love, the perfect beauty, and the person sitting next to them at breakfast.

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A Methodology of the Imagination by Angela Voss

A Methodology of the Imagination by Angela Voss

In his work on Sufi mystics, Henry Corbin uses the term mundus imaginalis to designate the psychic space in which the “super-sensible”reality of dreams, theophanies and spiritual beings are manifested, in a visionary sense, to the individual. T

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God or the Daemon: Platonic Astrology in a Christian Cosmos

God or the Daemon: Platonic Astrology in a Christian Cosmos

The Renaissance has been described as a time when the sleeping beauty of Platonic philosophy was awakened in the West after her thousand-year slumber; this rebirth of pagan wisdom, particularly in its magical aspects, posed a great intellectual challenge to the prevailing Christian orthodoxy.

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Review by Angela Voss: The Real Astrology by John Frawley

Review by Angela Voss: The Real Astrology by John Frawley

John Frawley is a practitioner of what he terms ‘traditional’ astrology. Although never precisely defined in his book, we understand this tradition to be that established more or less definitively by the Roman astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in his Tetrabiblos,

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Earth Lights, Earth Angel by Simon Wilson

Earth Lights, Earth Angel by Simon Wilson

This chapter argues that… a multidimensional transformation is evoked and enacted in Paul Devereux’s writing on what he calls Earth Lights. Drawing on the work of other researchers Devereux developed a hypothesis which was intended to account primarily for UFOs, but also illuminated the origins of many other anomalous phenomena, such as ghosts, fairies, Marian apparitions, etc. (depending on the cultural milieu of the witness).

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Dr Bernardo Kastrup on Myth, Allegory and Symbol – Saturday 23rd October 2021 – 3.00pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15

Dr Bernardo Kastrup on Myth, Allegory and Symbol – Saturday 23rd October 2021 – 3.00pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15

We are delighted to welcome the scientist and philosopher Dr Bernardo Kastrup to discuss the power of mythic and symbolic understanding for our age. We will talk with Bernardo about his book ‘More than Allegory’ and the relationship of intellect, emotion and belief in religious and mythic narratives and their importance today, followed by a discussion and Q&A with participants.

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Chakra Therapy and the Imaginal

Franceska Brown First, I’d like to walk you through the chakra system as I learned it to give you some background for the session demonstration you’ll see later. The chakra system dates back about 3,000 years to India and China and relates to the essential life force...

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Petite Pandora An Archetypal Adventure – Jodie Miller

Petite Pandora An Archetypal Adventure – Jodie Miller

Petite Pandora - An Archetypal AdventureI wrote and illustrated a children’s story based on the ‘Fool’s Journey’ of the tarot cards, which sees the main character Pandora embark on a quest for self-realisation by facing the archetypal forces of the psyche and...

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Orpheus redivivus: The Musical Magic of Marsilio Ficino

Orpheus redivivus: The Musical Magic of Marsilio Ficino

In a letter to Paul of Middelburg, written when he was nearly sixty, Ficino looks back over the great achievements of the Florentine Renaissance: “This age, like a golden age, has brought back to light those liberal disciplines that were practically extinguished: grammar, poetry, oratory, painting, sculpture, architecture, music and the ancient singing of songs to the Orphic Lyre”. He is of course referring to both his own and his friends’ well-attested skill at improvising or composing musical settings for the Hymns of Orpheus, which he himself had translated from the Greek, and whose ritual use in the practice of natural magic lay at the very heart of Ficino’s work with the Platonic Academy.

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Why astrology and medicine are not enemies – Angela Voss

Why astrology and medicine are not enemies – Angela Voss

Human beings have two quite distinct ways of knowing, and always have had – except that during the last four hundred years or so, one particular way has become super-dominant, exercising an authority (especially in the West) which has come to determine our assumptions about how everything happens.

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Imaginal References

Imaginal References

Imaginal Quotation References Here are the references for the quotations on the imaginal on the home page: Corbin, H.  Mundus Imaginalils at http://www.bahaistudies. net/asma/mundus_imaginalis.pdf Hillman, J. (1991) A Blue Fire - Selected Writings by James Hillman....

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What are religious research values? – Angela Voss

What are religious research values? – Angela Voss

At the beginning of CCCU’s ‘Strategic Plan for Research and Enterprise 2018-2-23’, it is claimed that the mission of the University is inspired by its Church of England foundation, “to pursue excellence in higher education: transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future.” 

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Platonic Myths: Likely Stories with Dr Angela Voss – 4 week course starting 31st October – 11am-12.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £60 full course/£15 per session

Platonic Myths: Likely Stories with Dr Angela Voss – 4 week course starting 31st October – 11am-12.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £60 full course/£15 per session

We will think about why and how Plato uses myths in his Dialogues, and what kind of ‘truth’ he is wanting to tell us using the language of the ‘likely story’. We will follow the themes of the creation, the nature of knowledge, erotic love as a spiritual path, and finally the experience of the afterlife, and consider the importance of these stories for us now.

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Imaginary Gardens and Real Toads with Victoria Field – 2nd November 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

Imaginary Gardens and Real Toads with Victoria Field – 2nd November 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

In this interactive talk, Victoria Field will explore some of the ways in which the poetic can enhance our lives and expand our sense of connection with ourselves, the world and the transcendent. Mindful reading of poems and writing in response can offer solace, pleasure, new insights and even awakening experiences. We will look specifically at how metaphor, form and rich ambiguity work in poems. No previous experience or knowledge is required. Please bring a notebook and something to write with.

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Re-Imagining the heart as an organ of knowledge to inspire community engagement in sustainability issues – Louise Livingstone

Re-Imagining the heart as an organ of knowledge to inspire community engagement in sustainability issues – Louise Livingstone

ESDGC is concerned with educating young people to recognise that they are part of a wider whole that encompasses a myriad  of issues including the environment, societal values and the economy (Welsh Assembly Government, 2008, p. 4). Specifically, the ESDGS makes clear that its main theme is about “values…attitudes, understanding and skills” (Welsh Assembly Government, 2008, p. 4).

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If You Don’t Love Trees, you don’t love God with Simon Wilson – 16th November 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

If You Don’t Love Trees, you don’t love God with Simon Wilson – 16th November 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10

The theme of this talk is beauty, love and ecstasy, and how they may save us and the cosmos. In particular I will talk about love as a response to the theophanic beauty of the world and human persons. This ecstatic movement of eros is a personal call which lifts me out of my ego-centred self, abandoning myself to realise the divine presence and dignity of the other (whether human or non-human) as an icon of God. It is however a slow process and indeed it will never end, continuing, deepening, expanding for ever. This is an ecological vision which includes the afterlife, as it should.

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Becoming an Angel: the mundis imaginalis of Henry Corbin and the Platonic path of self-knowledge – Angela Voss

Becoming an Angel: the mundis imaginalis of Henry Corbin and the Platonic path of self-knowledge – Angela Voss

The profoundly alchemical implications of Corbin’s imaginal hermeneutics, in a spiritual sense, are illustrated by his interest in the hieratic art of statue animation, which he describes as:

neither a simple dramaturgy of the unconscious or psychological allegory, nor a simple manipulation of materials practiced in the manner of a mere chemist or pharmacist (droguiste). It is an operation at once material and spiritual, the juncture between the two aspects remaining the hidden secret underneath the symbols of the “Philosophers” (as the alchemists designate themselves).

Alchemy for Corbin is essentially the inner, spiritual work of attaining union between the human soul and its heavenly counterpart

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iRewild in Motion – Reconnect to the Natural World – 6 week course starting 2nd February 2022 – 7pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £40 full course with certification

iRewild in Motion – Reconnect to the Natural World – 6 week course starting 2nd February 2022 – 7pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £40 full course with certification

An exciting collaboration between the Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred and iRewild. This course aims to support and improve your health and wellbeing in deep connection with nature, while at the same time increasing your love for learning about nature as you freely walk, explore, and reconnect with the natural world.

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Sacred Journeys from the Centre – Viki Hall

Sacred Journeys from the Centre – Viki Hall

The inspiration for my creative project came when Angela Voss introduced Ficino’s ‘Book of Life’ and the idea of creating an image of the cosmos to contemplate in your home. I had a powerful reaction and decided to create my own version:

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Giving Shape to Dreams – Simão Cortês

Giving Shape to Dreams – Simão Cortês

Dreams are strange things. Whether we regard them as prophetic, psychoanalytic or merely as the reorganization of cognitive material during sleep, the truth is that they affect us. We wake up drenched in cold sweat, laughing, panting or crying because of dreams. Once I was so scared during a dream that I woke up to the sound of my own voice praying a Hail Mary.

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Vesica Piscis – Janice Emmott

Vesica Piscis – Janice Emmott

The vesica piscis is an ancient symbol with many meanings in cultures all over the world. It often symbolises a portal or bridge between between earthly and transcendent realms. I decided to explore this symbol for my creative project, and made a painted, printed and sewn cloth with vesical designs for contemplation and meditating on. I also some other art works – they were quite different from anything I’ve done before. This was truly a journey of creative discovery and ’embodied spirituality’ for me, which was very healing.

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