Today, while the Moon was at the Midheaven and in the 28th Mansion, I completed the write-up and the image-making of the “Belly of the Fish,” and in the process learned a bunch of things about copying art, and making art.
First things first. This image is a rough parallel of the work of Nigel Jackson, as seen in the book Mansions of the Moon by Christopher Warnock, esq.. It’s hardly an exact copy — Nigel has much more skillful line and dot work than I have, and he presumably had a much larger canvas on which to work, which I don’t have. I did borrow the rough outline of his work — dhow in the middle, rocks on either side, fish below the boat, stars above. And some of my figures were done with reference to his. I don’t think I could have drawn the smaller fish around my big fish without reference to his image, for example.
But one of the things I’ve said before about this work, of course, is that doing it once has a tendency to connect you artistically and energetically to the picture and to the forces it represents. I feel fairly confident that I’ll be drawing this one again sometime, and that I’ll have an increased sensitivity to the image, and that, gradually, I’ll be able to compose the image on my own. It’s really the nature of the path of this kind of magical/artistic work — first you copy the masters, then you improve the quality of your Seeing, and then you improve the quality of your Working. The Copying is a preliminary to the Seeing, the Seeing is a preliminary to the Working, and all three are preliminary to the Mastery of the Work. One cannot produce the masterpiece before one has served the apprenticeship.
Completed the 28th mansion of the moon today. This marks sixteen completed images, which means I have twelve to go, to complete all of them.
Amnixiel is the angel of the 28th mansion. He’s for completion, for harvests, for increase of merchandise, for peace between spouses, for besieging cities, to travel safely by road (but to bring evil to sailors), or to hide or destroy treasure.
I took the dhow and some of the design for the stars from Nigel Jackson’s version of the image, and the arrangement of the rocks, and the rough shape of the fish. However, I used more of my own work in the process of laying out the water around the fish.