Sunday, December 10, 2017

Thoughts on the Picatrix Decan Art Project

Now that I have finished the Picatrix Decan Art Project I'd like to share some insights.

The first big thing that struck me as I made this series was that several of the Decans, as I meditated on them and explored them more in depth, seemed to reference figures in Greek mythology. I was able to distinguish Silenus, Chiron the centaur, Persephone, and Apollo, among others. I strongly suspect that the Faces I didn't recognize are mythological figures with whose attribute I am less familiar. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out they may be Hindu or Babylonian. I used the descriptions from Book 2, Chapter 11 of the Latin Picatrix for this project. The first line of the first description says "the first face of Aries is Mars..." This always bugged me grammatically and I wondered why the translators wrote it this way but I now think it is a clue that points to each Face representing a familiar character.

The second thing notable to me that wouldn't mean much to anyone else was that I really didn't feel influenced or even pay attention to the astrological weather at the time of the making of each piece. I didn't make the pieces in order nor did I take my queues on which one to work on depending on what was happening in the sky. It was all intuitive from the very beginning and I went with it. My solipsism would suggest that this means the Decans are somewhat separate from the minutia of astrological conditions but perhaps this is reaching too far.

After compiling these pieces I am now under the impression that the colors for each Decan described in Book 3, Chapter 3 of the Latin Picatrix have a deeper meaning than a simple attribution of color. What that is I have yet to divine.

Besides the Latin Picatrix itself I made extensive use of Austin Coppock's 36 Faces. His insights into the Decans are inspired and there were many times I tried to incorporate his ideas into my art. There were times when Master Coppock's ideas seemed to go counter to what I perceived to be the Picatrix's and in such cases I stuck to Picatrix but more often than not there was the opportunity for his writing to supplement and add depth to my work.

For those of you wanting to get copies of these images for yourself I am currently selling them as fine art prints. Currently the images are being printed on Hahnemuhle paper at 8x10", 16x20", and 32x40". Contact me at to learn more about sizes and pricing. If you are a curator I am especially keen on exhibiting these images in your gallery. I am also in communication with a publisher who would be familiar to most of the readers of this blog about getting this series printed as a chapbook. There is nothing definite yet so I can't say too much more on that. One way or another I will make affordable published sets of this project available for sale either as an inexpensive book, cards, or both. If you are interested in purchasing one let me know.

To see the entire set of The Picatrix Decan Art Project check out the album on my page:

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