Edward Steichen – To Catch an Instant

"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. [It is] a major force in explaining man to man." Steichen Quoted in Time Magazine, "To Catch the Instant" 7 April 1961 Edward Jean Steichen … Continue reading Edward Steichen – To Catch an Instant

We are bees of the invisible… Rilke from a letter to Halewicz

"We are bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the invisible, to store it in the great golden hives of the invisible." Rilke often refers to the invisible, especially in his Duino Elegies, which he wrote during a particularly mystical period of his life. In a letter to his Polish translator Witold … Continue reading We are bees of the invisible… Rilke from a letter to Halewicz

The Romantic Symbolism of Trees

Caspar David Friedrich, “Abbey among Oak Trees” (1809-10) The Romantic Symbolism of Trees by Allison Meier "As with the Victorian language of flowers, specific trees have their own symbolism. Reverend William Gilpin, an artist and cleric, stated it “is no exaggerated praise to call a tree the grandest, and most beautiful of all products of the earth.” In … Continue reading The Romantic Symbolism of Trees

The Turning Sky | Lapham’s Quarterly

"The god Horus is a falcon (the word for which in hieroglyphs is qhr, the falcon’s cry). In the third surviving column of text, remarkably, the falcon is marked with a triangle, the hieroglyphic designation for the star Sirius. As if it were a mathematical proof unfolding before my eyes, I saw that if the … Continue reading The Turning Sky | Lapham’s Quarterly

Dorothea Tanning’s “foray into imaginative botany,”

Dorothea Tanning's “foray into imaginative botany," "In the months before beginning this series, at the age of 86, the artist thought she had finished painting in her New York studio but then remembered a set of stretched Lefebvre-Foinet canvases, which she had purchased years earlier while living in Paris, and was compelled to use one. … Continue reading Dorothea Tanning’s “foray into imaginative botany,”

Ralph Waldo Emerson | The Book of Life

"This leaves open a vital question: what is your nature once you have rid yourself of history, tradition and religion? What can be said is that it is not self-indulgence, it is not hedonism, it is not narcissism – rather it is the surrender to that force which Emerson recognised back in the Jardin des … Continue reading Ralph Waldo Emerson | The Book of Life

Introduction to Boehme’s Threefold Life of Man. By George W. Allen

Introduction to Boehme's Threefold Life of Man. By George W. Allen "There is a way, a wisdom, an operation which, taken, searched out and attempted, will lead him, teach him and form him so that he will not only reach the eternal (which all must do), but reach it to find himself in rightful relation … Continue reading Introduction to Boehme’s Threefold Life of Man. By George W. Allen

The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, inventor, engineer and scientist, but he also found time to write little fables for himself. In the margins of his notes he would pen short tales of how pride and envy would bring down a moth, tree or even a stone. The Wolf and the Eagle Ever since Aesop’s … Continue reading The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci

August Strindberg: Playwright, Artist, Author – and his “Celestographs” (Alchemical Shots of the Night Sky)

Johan August Strindberg (January 1849 – 14 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. In the 1890s, he photographed the night sky without a camera or even a lens. These “Celestographs,” as he called them, were both a folly and an innovative work of experimental art. The National Library of Sweden has … Continue reading August Strindberg: Playwright, Artist, Author – and his “Celestographs” (Alchemical Shots of the Night Sky)

The Vessels of Hermes – an Alchemical Album (ca.1700)

The contents of Box 14 from the Manly Palmer Hall Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, a huge collection of esoteric works amassed by Manly Palmer Hall, a Canadian-born author and mystic, perhaps most famous for his The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928). Most of the material in the collection was acquired from Sotheby’s auctioneers on … Continue reading The Vessels of Hermes – an Alchemical Album (ca.1700)