This is the story of love sacrificed and honored told by the extraordinary interdimensional artist and Guardian of Place who has shaped the many forms found in a scenic canyon at Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest, Illinois. Below the mural is an explanation of its parts.
Love Story in StoneThis love story told in stone – drawn by the nature spirits – depicts a young woman dreaming of her lost love – a handsome lad with a magnificent physique who eventually left her to pursue the spiritual life (seen in the image of the cobra rising from his head – a Far East icon signifying the conquering of the kundalini). You see her full face as a young woman and side face as a crone who now holds her cat in her heart. This saga resides inside a glen with other parts to the story. The mural is carved by the nature spirits of liesegang bands (sandstone and iron) and resides in the Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Park, Illinois.
Diagram of Love Story TableauDiagram of the parts of the the Love Story
A Guardian of Place is a being who oversees the well-being of an area of nature.
Each Guardian has his/her own personality and ways of managing the energy. They are real beings with real life stories that are taking place in a parallel dimension that shares earth with humans. Sometimes, as here, their handiwork is so grounded into the core physicality of earth that it is also visible to humans.
This is a series of blogs about the art works of this Guardian of Place. I began it yesterday, with an exploration of this site looking out into the Canyon and valley beyond, called Mountain Spirits at Garden of the Gods.
In this blog, we are studying the mural itself. It is a commemorative study and honoring of the woman loved, then rejected as a conscious act because the youth chose to focus instead on the acquiring of spiritual knowledge. The woman stayed faithful to him all her life and in this mural, he is honoring her steadfast love.
Heads of the Two LoversClose up of the heads of the two lovers You see the boy's face, rosy-cheeked and smiling with a tuft of curly hair peeking out of a cap that has a star on it (representing his aspirations). Above him you see a dream-cloud indicating his choice - the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. This symbol is a spread cobra head, a standard iconographic symbol seen in many Asian Indian images showing the mastery of spirit by beings like Buddha and Vishnu.
Below him is the woman he loved. She is now bent over, as an old crone. But her face is the dual perspective seen in Picasso-style studies. Here one view is as a crone and another as a young woman (when she and the boy were lovers). Beneath her, in her heart section, is the head of her companion in old age, her cat. Above her you see a cartoon funnel up to her remembered dream of her true love. From her hand another cartoon funnel heads right to her remembered dream of the youth, his bare legs, buttocks and broad shoulders on display. Sophisticated Perspective ChangesDiagram of two views of the woman here - young and old -
This mural also explains why the youth left. His need to pursue spiritual goals outweighed that other course his life could have taken. The mural gives a personal dimension to the achievements the Guardian eventually grew into, and which I'll describe in future blogs.
You can see the story in a short video I made of the mural, called A Love Story Told in Stone.
I want to emphasize that if you went to this location, you could walk through it and see none of this. If you are hiking through, grounded in the normal perceptual range of our human dimension, you might simply feel happy and inspired by the scenery.
These are images I coaxed forward and photographed, taken over some fifteen years and several visits. This is an energetic merging of dimensions that I have practiced achieving, asking the energies, if they wish, to please come forward more strongly, and working with my trusty Nikon camera to capture what exists in this realm. Sometimes the camera captures the presence of life forms I may not see, because of current limitations of my own consciousness. When I do see them, in post-processing, it enables me to readily see it myself on my next visit to the site.
On each visit, my ability to see and photograph has grown and I am able to explore more aspects of this extraordinary living energy stone art gallery and the artist who created this work.
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