By preschool age, most people know the days of the week pretty well. It is amazing that despite that fact, most people have no idea how the days of the week got their names and what those names actually mean.
Have you ever wondered why we have seven days of the week? It turns out, it is the same reason people consider seven to be a lucky or holy number (depending on the belief of the individual). The roots are ancient and rather simple once we are made aware of the answer. We can observe seven celestial spheres in the sky with the naked eye. The observable solar system is how the days of the week got their names. The most obvious ones are pretty easy to figure out based on this knowledge. Let’s have a look at each day and it’s meaning in order. For good measure, I will also give a little more information about the days’ the pagan connections and zodiac correspondences.
How the days of the week got their names
Sunday is the day named after and said to be ruled by the sun. This one is a bit obvious because it is literally “Sun-Day”. This is why so many solar based religions engage their religious ceremonies on the day of the sun. Sunday has historically been the day for solar deities such as Apollo, Horus, Ra, Surya, Jesus and many more. The zodiac sign associated with Sunday is Leo.
Monday is named after the moon (Moon-day). Monday is a day that has been historically associated with lunar deities such as Artemis, Sin, Kuhu, Diana, and many more. The zodiac sign associated with Monday is Cancer.
Tuesday is names after Mars. The origin is Norse for their ancient war god was named Tyre. Tuesday is derivative of the name “Tyre’s Day” (incidentally this is also where the word “tyranny” comes from). This evolved through languages and time into the familiar name we use today. Mars is, of course, the name for the Roman war god but the planet has carried many other names throughout cultures and history. Some such names include Nergal, Mangala, Ares, and Hur Deshur. The zodiac signs associated with Tuesday are Aries and Scorpio.
Wednesday is named after Mercury. The name is another that was derived from the Norse god Woden associated with the planet. The original name, like Tyre’s Day, was evolved from Woden’s Day into the common name in use today. Some of the many names for Mercury from around the world include Hermes, Budha, Thoth, and Kokhav. The zodiac signs associated with Wednesday are Gemini and Virgo.
Thursday is named after Jupiter. It turns out that those old Norse gods dominate all of the middle of the week. Thursday is really “Thor’s Day” and evolved as the other names have. Jupiter has also been called many names including Zeus, Enlil, and Marduk. The zodiac signs associated with Thursday are Pisces and Sagitarius.
Friday is named after Venus. The norse god Freya is associated with the planet Venus and the current name use developed from “Freya’s Day”. Venus has been associated with love throughout cultures (Friday I’m in Love) and carries many names such as Ishtar, Aphrodite, and Ba’ah. The zodiac signs associated with Friday are Taurus and Libra.
Saturday is named after the planet Saturn. This one is another fairly obvious one since it sounds like “Saturn’s Day” when you say it. Saturn is considered by many cultures to be the ruler of time, darkness, evil, agriculture and karma. Some of the other names attributed to Saturn are Kronos, Shabtay (origin of the word “Sabbath”), Ninurta, and Sani. The zodiac signs associated with Saturday are Capricorn and Aquarius.
By looking beyond the mundane meanings that we take for granted, we can connect to the history that we are involved in. I find it truly fascinating to dig in to language and find out what hidden meanings might be right in front of us but beyond our attention. Our ancient ancestors put a great deal of reverence in creating the languages we speak. The pantheon of our solar system across cultures explains just how the days of the week got their names.
Days of the week septagram
A Seven pointed star can be created to represent the sacred week. The symbol is constructed with the sun at the top. Each of the other spheres are simply placed at the end of the line followed from the previous. Here is the version of the star that I have designed:
I have made this diagram into an awesome screen printed t shirt which you can get from my Etsy shop by clicking the images below. I screen print the shirts by hand on some of the best cotton shirts around!
I need more drawing in my life. I found that the best way to accomplish this is to draw more. That sounds so easy but when you have a house full of kids and screen printing orders backing up, it can prove to be quite challenging to find time for such things. I feel that putting a resulting image onto a t shirt will prove a good enough excuse to make some new work. It did. Here we go… This is a basic overview of the creation of my “Solve et Coagula” modern alchemical illustration t shirt design.
I have often looked at old alchemical illustrations and wondered “what is it trying to tell me?” It wasn’t until I was aware of a bigger purpose that I realized that the creation of alchemical artwork is part of the transmutation process. By creating intricate illustrations, the coded alchemical process becomes embedded into the psyche of the artist to bring about the philosopher’s stone. Transmutation is therefore carried out, in part, by the process of communication about transmutation.
Drawing an alchemical illustration
This new perspective has inspired me to participate in an old practice and create a basic alchemical diagram. My intention is to create a t shirt design with the finished image. I want that image to reflect the ancient alchemical diagrams while still feeling like it is my own true artwork. The one thing I cannot escape when dipping in to such a project is time. There is no substitute for the time and patience it takes to make intricate images. What I will create is not very intricate but will still push my patience (not my strong point). If you had to pick one over the other, I would say patience is more important in making this sort of art than talent is.
Solve et Coagula
“Solve et Coagula” refers to the universal on-going process of breaking things apart and bringing them back together. It is this natural process in distillation that brings about the purification of a substance. The physical story of alchemy tells us that the elixir is distilled over long periods of time where it becomes vapor and then condenses into liquid once again.
I thought I would share the stages of progress of my most recently completed original magical grackle ink drawing. I called this piece “Looking Beyond”. Grackles are abundant in my area and I have been fascinated with these birds for a long time. The males sport flashy black feathers that shine in iridescent colors of blue and green around their heads. They have appeared to me in dreams a number of times and I always have seen them as a messenger from beyond and a sort of spirit animal. Let’s take a look at this magical drawing in progress.
This is a detail of the completed artwork:
I began with a pencil drawing which is my typical approach.
I recently purchased a new calligraphy pen for drawing. It will never look this clean again…
I commence the work by following along the original drawing for the most part but add a lot of detail as I see fit. I like the way the trees are coming a long at this stage. This new pen pleases me.
Once the pen work is done, I add in the tones with a watercolor brush.
Here is a detail of the eye at the bottom.
Here is the final magical grackle ink drawing scanned and made pretty:
Two random side notes about my experiences with grackles:
I once observed a small group of these clever guys ripping into packets of sweetener and gobbling up the powdery content at an outdoor coffee shop. The method was quite clever; nap packet from table and take it to the grass, stab beak into paper packet then open beak to make a nice sized hole, then feast on contents. On a side note, these were the worst looking grackles I had ever seen. Their shabby appliance reminded me of Gollum (artificial sweeteners turned them in to the bird equivalent of tweekers).
When I worked at ASU, I used to walk from a neighborhood across the street to avoid paying for parking on campus. The road I walked down on campus had some very large trees along the sidewalk in which grackles would nest. As I walked along that sidewalk during the spring when there were hatchlings in the nests, the males would dive bomb my head making a strange clicking sound. The first time scared the hell out of me as I did not see them coming. After a couple of times, I learned it was a better idea to walk on the opposite side of the street 🙂
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Walpurgisnacht is known as witch’s night. It is the time of year when the veil between this world and the spirit world is thinnest – opposite of the year wheel from the Samhain holiday. Traditional celebrations typically involve a bon fire, a may pole, and various other things celebrating fertility and abundance. The Walpurgisnacht celebration is held on April 30th preceding Beltane or May Day. Thusly, the preceding moth that follows is considered to be a time in which more spiritual energy is accessible than other times of the year until November when the door opens again.
There is a lot of disinformation about Walpurgisnacht and Beltane. I have seen people refer to it as a Satanic holiday. To clear things up, the veil is thin between the worlds. That’s just that way it is. It is not evil or demonic any more so than the dawn or twilight. There are indeed evil people who take advantage of the accessibility to the available spiritual energy. The truth is that anyone can. It is the intention of those very evil people to make everyone else believe that these times are evil so that they can own a monopoly on that sort of power. After all, they would not want too much positive energy mixed into the ether to dilute their ambitions.
Taking part in the seasonal cycle is a beautiful ancient practice. It is like understanding how the seasons work with the harvest. By understanding the ebb and flow of unseen energies, we can take the reigns of our lives and direct ourselves to meet our true potential. Don’t we grow food better when we have an understanding of the way that the seasons effect the growth and fruiting patterns in plants. Imagine where we would be without that knowledge. Understanding how spiritual energies work can provide the same sort of growth in our spiritual lives.
While participation is a festival is a fantastic way to celebrate, a simpler and more personal approach can also be employed. Participation can be as simple as taking the time to actually give thanks for the good things in your life. A \”ritual” is simply an action with meaning. Any sort of action will create a result if the meaning is focussed on clearly while it is enacted. Whether the belief in external spiritual beings are real or imagined, by giving offerings the act embeds into our subconscious minds the attitude of gratitude. Being thankful always brings about more positive results in our lives. When we are thankful, we are happy which undeniably brings about better results than when we harbor negativity and unhappiness. This time of year is the perfect time to plant those seeds and begin generating the positivity that can collectively turn our cultural journey towards a bright future.
May all of you enjoy the blessings of the season of growth and abundance! Much love from our family to yours.
Yesterday our magickal trio headed out adventuring around some of the off the beaten path areas of Southern Arizona. Travels provided us with sights including an abandoned freemason temple in Cooldige, a strange graveyard just outside of Florence, and a very bumpy road out into the Box Canyon.
I would guess that not many people go to Coolidge, AZ. Those that do are likely to be there to visit the Casa Grande Ruins which are the remains of an ancient mysterious structure built by inhabitants of this area thousands of years ago. We will be visiting and writing about the site in the near future. That site is on the outer edge of town which results in most outsiders remaining outside of Coolidge. Its a strange place apparently half empty and forgotten since who knows when but full of interesting treasures. My personal favorite was the abandoned Masonic Temple.
The front door has the Compass and Square painted on. The elements are working their magic on this place now.
It turns out that Coolidge has some haunted buildings as well…
Heading out of Coolidge to Florence, we took a back road and happened upon an old graveyard. When we stopped to check it out, we discovered the tombstones of Freemasons (surprise, surprise!). Most of he headstones were from the early 1900’s.
No southwestern photo exploration is complete without some buzzard reminding us of the harsh environment surrounding us waiting to consume our flesh…
We ended our day with a drive down a very bumpy dirt road towards the Box Canyon which lies about 30 minutes east of Florence. This is not a road for low clearance vehicles but our mighty steed (a 1997 Nissan pickup) handled the road like a champ.
The Saguaro cactus is unique to the Sonoran Desert. This one resembles a mother cradling two babies in her lower arm. Did you know it takes 75 years before a saguaro grows its first arm?
There are a lot of farms along the way to the Box Canyon…
Thank you for accompanying me on this brief exploration. If there is any place in Arizona you may be curious about, let me know and we will see if we can check it out 🙂
I have a pretty nifty sketchbook that I purchased while a student in Florence, Italy in 2003. I could not bring myself to draw in it for the longest time. I broke out of that a couple of years ago and now it is my go-to sketchbook where I hash out most of my ideas and studies. Here are some of the magick drawings I have been working on lately….
This is a basic experiment with in sacred geometry originally drawn with a compass and pencil. Other elements from hermetic and alchemical illustrations are added with my own personal twist of course.
I have long admired the ouroborossymbol for its deep meaning and overall aesthetic appeal. Do not be surprised to see a new design featuring the twin snakes consuming themselves in my shop in the near future.
Hand of Mysteries
This magick drawing a sort of self portrait with the hand of mysteries or philosopher’s hand but I think I lost my likeness when I inked the drawing. I expect a larger version would be more successful in capturing facial features…
Thank you for checking out my sketchbook and magick drawings! If you enjoy this sort of content, leave a comment and share this on your social media.
Since the earliest times of human consciousness, people have been exploring the spirit world, the inner world, and the physical world through visionary practices. Often, this has been done by intaking specific chemicals derived from plant medicines. The pathways opened by the intake of these substances provide a number of effects which can include expansion of perception, self awareness, mental and physical healing, and occasionally cause people to lose their minds. The following is meant to explore the nature of the reaction when people intake plant medicines and what to the pathways into the psychedelic experience.
To better understand the nature of a visionary experiences, it is helpful to first understand that all species have a shared consciousness. People have long referred to the connection between humans and the collective unconscious. This is something that all species share. There are many overlaps within the network, as the same energy makes up everything. Think of this like an old dial tune radio. Each species is tuned in to a unique channel but the frequencies cross over one another often as there are margins of overlap, like when you turn the dial on an old radio and can hear more than one broadcast simultaneously. It is unknown to what extent different species are aware of their common signal, but we can make the general judgement based on our current evolutionary state, that humans are fairly unaware of their common frequency at all.
There are many scientifically unexplained animal behaviors in animals that provide evidence of their conscious network connection. Monarch butterflies, for example, follow a migration route from Canada to Mexico. This journey takes much longer than the life span of an individual butterfly but they reproduce and their young will continue the journey which their parents had begun. If we look at this behavior from the point of view that this “instinct” is driven by the collective knowledge of the species of Monarchs, it seems to reinforce the idea that they share a thought network.
Supposedly, we do not understand the so-called psychic phenomenon experienced by the butterflies or any other migratory animal who follow the knowledge of their ancestors. Biologists simply shrug off many animal behaviors as “instinct” without ever explaining what “instinct” actually means. The reason is that they don’t know what causes instinct and wish to make the claim that there is some physical mapping in the brain from an evolutionary mutation. This is because science stubbornly refuses to delve into the fact that there is more to the universe than the easily observable physical aspects. This is a limited outlook and dismisses the true understanding of the universe, which our ancient ancestors understood quite well. The fact is that there is a greater aspect to the universe that resides in an energy system and we would commonly refer to it as the spirit world.
How plant spirits communicate
By now you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with plants? Plants, lacking the physical data storage unit of a brain, have a different way of holding the knowledge of their ancestry and self awareness. There is much evidence of plant consciousness that has been studied through their slow movements of their behaviors. For a general understanding of the study of plant behaviors, I recommend viewing the documentary “What Plants Talk About” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLmM1N754vU). There is solid proof that plants have developed ways to communicate with each other so they can make appropriate behavioral decisions which will best benefit their network. The best way to observe this communication is through the plants very own chemical makeup.
Here is where it gets really interesting. Some plants have developed special chemicals that allow them to communicate with not only each other, but also animals. It is only when we intake these chemicals ourselves. that we are able to begin to understand what the plant networks are really all about. These plant chemicals are popularly referred to as “psychoactive substances.” The intake of these chemicals change our brain frequency to resonate with the plant’s frequency. The result is that we connect to that plant and begin to perceive ourselves as the plant does, we have now tuned into their network. A psychedelic experience is brought about by entering another realm occupied by the plant’s consciousness.
How people connect to plants/energies during a psychedelic experience
The result of intaking psychoactive substances varies from plant to plant. For example, when someone consumes the THC created by a cannabis plant, they begin to alter their perceptions to be more like those of that plant. The plant’s consciousness is shared by the user and creates an altered state in which the person feels more like what it is like to be a cannabis plant. The variety of plant shows its personality through the effect it has on the consumer. This is why different strains of marihuana make people feel differently.
MAPS Magazine 2001
The same sort of effect happens when a person has a psychedelic experience with psylocybe mushrooms. The psilocybin changes the brain waves of a person so that they connect on what could be best described as a “psychic” network in which the mushroom organism as a whole communicates with itself. This is why people will experience a loss of self or ego during a mushroom trip, resulting in a change of perception. Within the experience, the user can communicate with their host; a conscious collective of the mushroom organism that has a vast network throughout the universe.
All plant based psychedelic experiences have a host which is the collective of all plants of that type. The psychoactive chemicals have evolved in the plants as a way for the organism of the plant type as a whole to remain cohesive. Ayahuasca users report encounters with spirits in the form of many jungle animals. This is one way that the plant essence shows itself to the user and communicates. The more powerful the chemical, the more a person has a loss of self and enters the world of the plant host. Since ayahuasca is a DMT experience, the experience is so powerful that the person will entirely retune from their normal human frequency and perceive the world as the plants do.
When a chemical normally created by a plant is then synthesized in a lab (which is still mostly derived from plants), the plant spirit is diminished greatly and the chemical itself is left to create an experience based on the frequency of the substance. Most of the time, the result is more harmful to the user than good. The only chemical synthesized in a lab that do not seem to have an extremely negative effect on the user are DMT, LSD, and MDMA. Others made through heavy processing, such as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, and pharmaceuticals created for western medicine, have a huge range of addictive and toxic results. For evidence of this, simply look at the drugs that produce huge social, personal, and physiological problems with the users. Where the psychedelic chemicals can have problematic results for cultural power structure, and occasionally a person’s ability to cope with what they learn through their experience, none of them have shown any evidence of physical addiction or dangerous overdose potential.
Effects, benefits, and warnings
Each plant spirit is, in a sense, a teacher. By taking us outside of our own limited perspective, we can learn things we did not previously know. This is how the shamans use plants for divination to find prey, lost objects, or to see into the future. In the Sioux legend of how Peyote was discovered, a woman was shown where to find food and medicine by the spirit guide of the Peyote cactus. By venturing out of our own consciousness and into the of the plant “mind” we can also look at ourselves objectively which is sometimes quite difficult for people. When we are constantly reacting to hang ups that we are creating through our habits, such as thought of fear, the plants can show us those problems. Facing our fears often causes what people refer to as a “bad trip.” While these experiences can seem traumatic, when viewed properly, they reveal to us something we need to work on to make ourselves better.
“DMT” by Alex Grey
Another important fact to note is that the plant spirits, like people, can be of different nature. Some are light while others are dark. It seems that the direction of a trip on DMT, for example, is close to the polar opposite in direction to that of salvia divinorum. While DMT is like an elevator ride upwards into a place of light, salvia takes you down like being flushed into and swallowed by the earth. While there is something to be learned from either experience, the salvia one can be much tougher to handle. Datura is one plant teacher that I would be very cautious of as some people are lead by the spirit of the plant down a very dark path and a few don’t return.
It is my belief that all organisms have an underlying connection which constitutes a collective “whole.” Each human, for example, is an individual part of a larger human animal that is its own conscious entity. This is why ideas simultaneously become popular all over the world and why people can sense things about each other. Some of the plants have evolved ways in which they can break down their barrier of individuality and connect as a whole. When they share this state with people, the result is a greater sense of connectedness and loss of ego. While we all live our lives as individuals, the plants can teach us to function as a whole in which we better understand the symbiosis of the natural design and how we can function through mutual growth rather than by selfishly using resources without regard to consequence.
With all psychedelic experiences, I recommend taking it very seriously as many of our ancestors have. By entering the world of the plant spirits, you venture into a sacred realm that can provide life changing benefits. It’s a good idea to study the traditional use of plant medicines as well as to read up on people’s experiences on sites like the DMT Nexus and Erowid. With the right perspective and preparation, you can benefit from the psychedelic experience and gain an understanding of the lessons learned from them.
Please enjoy this “behind the scenes” look at the process involved in the creation of my hand drawn Ganesh T Shirt design.
Somewhere along the line in my drawing career (if you can call it that), I have become impatient. I noticed this unsettling fact a few years ago but kept on doing things in my normal, fast way. I found that I was no longer satisfied with the work I was creating in my old way. As a response, I have been challenging my patience with projects involving higher demand on my concentration and loads more time than I used to. I find that taking a new approach by incorporating a greater amount of detail has refreshed my interest in drawing. Taking on the challenge of creating a Ganesh shirt design proved to be just the challenge I was looking for.
This drawing of Ganesh was intended to increase my mindfulness and push my patience. Here, you can see the progress from beginning to end. Follow the process as I worked from drawing to screen printed t shirt design.
The Drawing Process
As with any drawing project, I began with a pencil drawing. Since this is going to have a lot of detail, I want to get most of it down before spending the time inking. As a sort of creature of habit, I always draw with one of the same two .5 mechanical pencils I have used for years. My favorite is the Sakura which is very comfortable to draw with. Also, I always keep a white plastic eraser around as they are the only ones that actually work.
Once the graphite part is generally established, I went at it with a black 05 Micron pen
I really enjoyed drawing the hands and feet since they are kind of like a baby’s…
This is the final inked drawing which I scanned for screen printing:
Screen printing the Ganesh T shirt
I make stencil from a film positive version of my drawing by burning it to a screen. This is the screen ready to print a Ganesh Shirt.
Traditionally, Ganesh is depicted seated on a throne so I added this background element to the t shirt design:
The final printed Ganesh T Shirt still hot on the press
You can find this Ganesh T Shirt available in styles for Men and Women in the Closet of Mysteries shop.
One of the more popular prints from the Closet of Mysteries is the hand drawn Deer Shaman T Shirt. Here is the story of how I developed this design.
The Back Story
Before moving to northern Arizona, I spent a lot of time venturing into the area for recreation. On one adventure, I noticed a metal sculpture of a deer headed man at a gas station in Flagstaff. After that, the image seemed to jump out at me every time I came to the area.
Since moving northward from Phoenix, I have seen this fellow quite a lot. Finally, while visiting a gem shop in Cottonwood, Cristina inquired about one of the metal sculptures of the deer headed man with the shop owners. They explained that he is a shaman and that is why you will always see him with a medicine bag around his neck.
After doing some research, I found that this particular motif of shamanism has been common around the world since ancient times; mostly occurring within tribes of people who, not surprisingly, sustain themselves by deer hunting. This is yet another example of the curious connection between cultures with supposedly no contact and separated by oceans yet doing the same things…
I decided to create my own hand drawn version of this character for a deer shaman t shirt design. Here is a sneak peek at the finished product:
Below are the various stages of the creative process through completion…
I like to work with a .5 mechanical pencil for most all of my drawings before inking.
I begin with the deer head since it is the main focus of the piece.
As I began to work on the body, I decided to give him a staff to aid him in his magical endeavors…
You can see that I started out giving him two of them but thought better of it.
I then added more detail with the fire resulting from his conjuring, the essential medicine bag, and lots of folds in his rough robe.
Once satisfied with my pencil sketch, it was time to do the inking. I use a waterproof acrylic ink and calligraphy pen to get the line quality and contrast I will need in order to get a good screen print image.
The Final Deer Shaman T Shirt Design
The final stage was done by scanning the drawing at a high resolution and adding some cool tribal elements to create a background to make my shaman stand out. At this stage, I am ready to turn this design into a screen printed deer shaman t shirt!
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