Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae


a post inspired by my new found interest in the imagery associated with sacred geometry, alchemy and the symbolism of early modernity

"the great art of light and darkness" by Father Athanasius Kircher, 1646.

Kircher was a true renaissance man. jesuit. mathematician. astronomer. curator. teacher. cartographer. egyptologist. inventor. artist. shipwreck survivor.

the speculum planum

the process of the lunation. 28 phases of the moon for the northern hemisphere

maritime deathray. based on work by Archimedes

quadrans horarum

astral labium

props to: peacay's photostream on flickr


  1. The impulse to superimpose an orderly framework is amazingly powerful.

  2. I love how the phases of the moon almost look like shell. Pretty cool stuff. I love how the mind worked and saw things BEFORE we had the technology to see beyond.

  3. gnme: what a great comment. so true. yet some element of spirituality is present here - in the transcendental sense i mean. i think the artistic presentation makes it so. the models now are computerized and too slick.

    boxer: me too. i still marvel at how modern art from centuries ago looked. isnt it beautiful how the words are integrated into the composition? it makes me see the slackassness of todays design. i think every thing is about expediency and not beauty, yet beauty is our finest instructor.

  4. i'd
    thought that
    being a renaissance man
    would be my calling, but alas, just too few opportunities to be a 'shipwreck survivor' here on the prairies...


    ¤ ¤ ¤


  5. I'm also nutty about latin.

  6. They're surprisingly ornate. I love the little unfurled banners, and the symbols everywhere. I always feel like I'm looking at some alien civilization's maps, because they don't look terribly earthly to me. Also, looking at these, I realize I am a mathematical idiot. LOL! :)

  7. oh, i've always loved these too, buttercup ..
    i can loose myself in the details ..

  8. cool beans here.

    great art of light and illumination - check out St. Peter's Basicilia for that.

    Wanted to check in on Trout - how is Trout?


  9. I remember on the PoS forum the topic of sacred geometry coming up for quite a long spell. One guy found it in so many places, and detailed the mathematical findings to the extent that you just wound up believing what Gnomeself Be True has just stated so succinctly.

  10. These are so beautifully drawn,fascinating... they hold a magical quality like old maps, manuscripts and the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
    Latin is such a romantic language and the root of so many of the other romance languages like French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and many others. ♡

  11. /t: patience my son. theres hope in global warming. grherhaha

    boxer: nutae latinus megamus

    yoborobo: you know what? i like that idea. if i were going to make a movie with an alien road map or instruction sheet - i might well crib these sheets. but of course, there is the notion that the aliens in fact did impart this knowledge. ;-)

    foamy: i know! i plan to rip some of this off remix it in my own work somehow. (as if!)

    bird: the basilica! ive loved your travel photos. one might mistake this for a traditional pilgrimage based on your choices. what a magical place steeped in layers of culture. wish i was there. enjoy it - i know you are.

    xdell: what is the PoS forum? i cant figure out how to draw some of these diagrams even with tools. so i'll just collage them in.

    dianne: latin is beautiful. i had committed to learn a prayer in latin but like so many other intentions i faded.....grerhahahaa

  12. Comforts in soltice
    With Skeletons wings
    Bird at corners center
    Signifying divine things?
    Dimensions drawn do parallel
    Earth's Divine order well

  13. Well, heh, an early era Gesuiti? of course it' nifty.

  14. I think that top one, at the top, has the logo for Nine Inch Nails? Ha. This is a subject I wish I knew more about. Good for you for delving deeper. I love how the art is trying to tell the story of a complicated subject ... mostly without words.

  15. Each time I come back to look at the pictures, I see another piece that I didn't see before. Very cool!

  16. fishy: how wonderful! youve written the perfect copy for this post. thank you.

    aunty: word to ya Mother (clothed in the sun and stars)

    pam: lol. i think that spells yahweh. it is complicated and illustrating such concepts is impressive. i watched some videos on sacred geometry and my head is hurtin'. welcome!

    dani: me too. id love to have this super large poster sized.


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