Posted by: daaavid | November 7, 2008

Saturn, the Dark Lord, God of Death

Saturn Devouring His Son
Francisco Goya
1819-923
Oil mural transferred to canvas

Saturn, more commonly known as the sixth planet of the sun, is known to the people of some secret societies, and some not-so-secret as the soul embodiment of the God of Death. An antithesis, or an anti-matter answer of sorts to the Goddess embodied as Mother Earth, being both an opposite in nature and an equal in supremely elemental powers of wrath and justification. As described by the power of Death, the spirit of Saturn is sometimes known as a ghastly apparition of dark mist, wielding an all too familiar scythe, symbolizing the reaping of life. Being the The Dark Lord acts as the counter-balance to life… for every action there is an equal reaction… for where there is light, first, there must be darkness. Death acts as the equalization of life in our solar system, where, in order to bring equal balance, there must be a means to an end. Depicted here, here we have a monstrous embodiment of Saturn, quite literally devouring his Son. It acts as an all-symbol to inevitable death, the end of life, ableit quite morbid and grotesque. The original painting depicted by Peter Paul Reubens has a much more naturalistic, and less polytheistic nature about it, which is a more conventional approach both formally and symbolically. What I find fascinating about Goya’s take some two-hundred years later is that it originated as an a painting scrawled on the wall’s of his very home, and the version seen above is a transference of the original painting to canvas. It was reported to have been created in Goya’s later years, a marked period in his artistic life known as The Black Paintings that carried many dark, haunting themes to his work, which were never intended to be reproduced anywhere else outside his own personal dining and living rooms – given no titles, and for no other reason than extracting the images from his mind. To that degree, the more focused gestural scrawling of the clouded right-hemisphere of the human brain is what fascinates me the most… the edge of madness could be reached in that dark, nearly-primitive state of man.

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