The Alchemy of Love: Hieros Gamos
Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Curator
January 20 – January 25, 2008
Performances: January 20, 22 & 23
The Lab Gallery
Roger Smith Hotel
New York, NY
The father of modern physics, Wolfgang Pauli, believed the hexagram, known as the Seal of Solomon, to be the configuration for the icon of the 21st century arising from under the collapsed quantum wave.
On January 23, 1997 there appeared a six-pointed hexagram in the heavens under an extraordinary Jupiter/Uranus/Neptune alignment in Aquarius. Astrologers and metaphysicians declared this configuration as the gateway to the Age of Aquarius (www.gaiamind.com). Predating the Jewish religion, the hexagram, known as the Seal of Solomon, symbolizes the Conuinctio, or divine marriage of opposites.
Critic/Curator Lisa Paul Streitfeld identified this configuration in her January 23, 1997 solar return. Three weeks later, she attended a historic San Francisco conference that brought astrologers and scientists together for the first time. The Cycles & Symbols conference was organized by Richard Tarnas (Passion of the Western Mind; Cosmos & Psyche), who declared the Hieros Gamos as the icon of the 21st century in a 1994 interview. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1997 Streitfeld publicly confronted James Hillman, the father of archetypal psychology, during his Venus workshop to demand why he referred to Venus as the Greek goddess, Aphrodite. In doing so, she revived the archetype of the Sumerian goddess, Inanna, the self-declared Queen of Heaven & Earth, unearthed in the 20th century as the ancient icon of the Hieros Gamos.
After this breakthrough, Streitfeld gives birth to two books: The Yod and the Archetypes of Aquarius and Icon of the 21st Century. Entering a new career as a professional newspaper art critic, she launched a seven year journey to investigate, interpret and publish the new forms of the Hieros Gamos. This journey culminated in a new art theory demonstrated in a succession of exhibition/performances presenting astrology the vehicle to fix consciousness in time and space:
January 23, 2005: TRAJECTORY OF THE SPOKEN WORD
Streitfeld launches a series of “actions reciproques” to access the power of the emerging archetype. She hosts a dinner at the Lab Gallery with a dinner/poetry performance of three outstanding New York poets: Valery Oisteanu, Max Blagg and Edwin Torres. The avant-garde critic Richard Kostelanetz is in attendance. Through spontaneous performance, the three poets narrate the trajectory of 20th century Spoken Word to create a new language for the Hieros Gamos.
January 23, 2006: ICONS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
On January 20, an exhibition of 23 artists investigating the iconography of the Hieros Gamos opens with a window performance of Laurel Jay Carpenter’s RED WOMAN revealing Eros as fundamental to the emerging archetype, as postulated by Pauli.
On January 23, Streitfeld and Lab Gallery director Matt Semler host a dinner celebrating ICONS OF THE 21st CENTURY. Streitfeld reveals a page from the appendix of Atom & Archetype stating Pauli’s dream of January 23 1938. She writes the dream diagrams on the gallery window: a rectangle and circle located above a double wave (the glyph of Aquarius). After the dinner, she reads the dream contents as stated by Pauli:
In the dream I drew an oscillation process beneath the window – actually two oscillations, one beneath the other. By turning to the right from the curves, I try to see the time on the clock. But the clock is too high, so that doesn’t work. Then the dream continues. The ‘dark unknown woman’ appears. She is crying because she wants to write a book but cannot find a publisher for it. In this book there is apparently a great deal of material on time symbolism – e.g., how a period of time is constituted when certain symbols appear in it. And at the end of one page of the book, there are the following words, read aloud by the ‘voice.’ ‘The definite hours have to be paid for with the definite life, the indefinite hours have to be paid for with the indefinite life.’”
January 23, 2007: THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE: FIRE
In search of an immediate multimedia literary form that will enable her to publish as she writes, Streitfeld launches a five-chapter reality blogel (blog-novel) installation/performance:
The alchemical experiment is initiated with a ritual ceremony performed under the Moon/Venus conjunction in Aquarius at 12:18 PM, January 20. A priestess establishes a sacred space to give birth to the Aquarian Age icon (see video at http://www.rogersmithnews.com/flash/aloflove.htm).
January 23 is the second day of the installation/performance. The blogel entry FLAME: PAGE SIX presents the emerging icon of the Hieros Gamos in the context of the celebrity obsessed media dominated culture as the starting point for the alchemical journey.
THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE: FIRE
….is followed by:
WATER (SOLUTIO) MAY 7 – 11
EARTH (COAGULATIO) JUNE 18 – 22
AIR (SUBLIMATIO), SEPT 24-28.
January 23, 2008: THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE: HIEROS GAMOS
The Coniunctio is the culmination of the alchemist’s opus, with both extroverted and introverted aspects. In Latin, jungere means to join, and jugum, to yoke together, from the Greek, Zygon and Sanskrit, juga. This final stage of the Great Work is represented by SOL & LUNA entering the mercurial fountain representing the dissolving of gold and silver in mercury.
There are two phases, the Lesser and Greater Coniunctio. The Lesser is the union or fusion of substances not yet thoroughly separated or discriminated. It is always followed by death or mortificiato. The product is a contaminated mixture that must be subjected to further procedures. In alchemical symbolism, the product is pictured as killed, maimed, or fragmented. In the Greater Coniunctio — the Opus — the goal is the creation of the miraculous “Philosopher’s Stone,” produced by the final union of the purified opposites, which mitigates and rectifies all “one-sidedness.” The Stone has the power to give life, to purify all corrupt, to soften the hard, and to harden the soft. [Edinger]
Eleven years after the initiation of the cosmology by the hexagram among planets in the sky, there is a full moon marking the eleven-year anniversary of the January 23, 1997 Hieros Gamos configuration in the heavens.
JANUARY 20: The last chapter of ALCHEMY OF LOVE opens on Sunday. The initiation into the Third Wave of the Age of Aquarius begins with a mandala painting of the astrology chart of the 1997 initiation and 2008 culmination in a Coniunctio surrounding the Uroboros. The combination mandala integrates January 23, 1997 and January 23, 2008 as the conception and birth of the Hieros Gamos. The integration for a two-year cycle of eclipses in Aquarius/Leo that will deliver the Hieros Gamos into the global culture through a multimedia project WAKE UP AND DREAM, launching on Lamas, February 2, 2008.
DAY TWO: January 22, the Full Moon, Streitfeld reads the astrology chart for an androgynous being born under the sign of Libra in 1987, the second (New Age) wave into the Age of Aquarius.
DAY THREE, January 23, is commemorated with the final stage of birth through a collaborative live painting under a Full Moon in Leo making a direct opposition to the Neptune/Mercury conjunction in Aquarius, stimulating the conjunctio of the Aquarius/Leo eclipse cycles in 2008-2009 in which the personal meets the collective.
Live Action Painters: Tatyana Stepanova (Russia) and Michael Manning (U.S.), opposite sexes from opposite ends of the world, will paint the greater Coniunctio on the gallery walls. Stepanova will initiate the performance by painting the sun and moon. Manning will fill in the space between and around the luminaries with his symbolic language. During the collaboration, both painters’ personal/universal narrative of death and resurrection will be projected in video from opposite ends of the space, meeting in the central Waterfall installed over the astrological mandala.
Sound Artist: Placed in the astrological mandala, musician(s) will interpret the sound of the Hieros Gamos in which the vibrations of the luminaries merge with the rhythms of the earth.
World Dancer: The final card of the Tarot major arcana, THE WORLD, comes to life with a dance responding to the live action painting and music improvisation of the earth under the influence of a lunar eclipse in Aquarius, occurring one month hence. The goal is to integrate mechanical and organic (definite/indefinite, as in Pauli’s dream) time as a response to the visual and sound impressions in their bodies.
Streitfeld will respond to the collaboration with automatic writing in her blogel. Video and still photography will be disseminated over the Internet through the blogel (www.thealchemyoflove.blogspot.com) and websites: www.alchemyalive.com; www.thehierosgamosproject.com; rogersmithnews.com