Kavad 4.8 - Completed Mansions of the Moon on Flickr.
Well, after months of fussing and learning, I’ve finally put the pictures of the Mansions of the Moon on the kavad. And I’ve learned a bunch of things from doing so.
1) some pictures are fairly easy to draw, while others are hard;
2) some pictures are fairly easy to imagine and others are hard;
3) the easy pictures, like the head of the lion, are associated with forces of good will and great fortune;
4) the hard pictures, like the snake, are associated with inauspicious forces;
5) the images are almost chosen with the positive and negative forces in mind — it’s easier to do good with these images than it is to do evil.
6) maintaining a single artistic style as a learning artist all te way through the images is incredibly difficult: kudos to Nigel Jackson for his work and his success at this.
7) figuring out how to depict people cross-legged, or on horseback, or seated on chairs, or fighting … Hard!
I reaffirm that all these images are a program to teach drawing or illumination skills, and secondarily to teach a kind of Palace of Memory technique for holding all this information in memory. I think my skills as an artist have improved from all this copying and drawing, but… I now have two challenges.
First, I’ve run out of magical lists to illustrate. Sure, there are plenty of seals and sigils I could add to the kavad. But frankly I don’t know of any more lists of images to be added to the box. And like it or not, theres still quite a bit of real estate inside. I could add the Goetics, but it feels like a bit much to add to a box covered in angels.
Second — and perhaps this seems like the bigger challenge — I’m left with two major areas to work in. These are the central shrine, which is effectively the Throne (or at least the Footstool) of God, since this kavad is in essence a shrine. What do you put at the heart of a shrine to an unseen and unseeable God? The other piece of real estate is big — the insides of the outer walls — but if I divide it up for the seventy-two goes, there’s not enough room. If I divide it up for the tribes of Israel, or the prophets, or icons of great magicians… Then who? What? How many? Hmmm.
Things to consider moving forward.