In the Hands of Alchemy
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Sacred Marriage  (15 of 19)

The Story:
I found a large 4 X 8 foot cedar sign at the recycle center here on Whidbey Island. Deeply carved in the face of the sign were the words, "Animal Clinic." With the sign lying face down I drew three six-foot figures, arranging them in the most efficient way to get the most use out of the large slab of cedar. I had cut out 2 of the figures and was cutting the third when the phone rang. It was my first love from 30 years ago! She had discovered and read my book and saw the Parabola documentary made about my art and life and decided to look me up after all of these years. I was amazed that she called and we had a lovely conversation. After I hung up the phone I finished cutting out the last figure and turned it over. Situated perfectly, the full length of the figure was the word "ANIMA." For anyone who doesn't know the meaning of anima, it is a Jungian term. It represents the projection by a man of his inner feminine onto a woman -- I had just spoken on the phone with my first projected anima! I created an entire art piece out of this small poetic event, incorporating the ANIMA figure and another of the cedar figures I cut out that day.

The Piece:
Sacred Marriage has 3 layers. The anima figure is on the first, outer layer. It is 6 feet tall and opens like a door. This figure is that of a woman with her eyes closed and her focus is inward. There is a carved snake that faces upwards on the lower part of her body. On the back side of this figure, carved deeply into the wood, is the word ANIMA. You can see the large, carved word when the door/figure is swung open.

The next layer of the piece is a 6-foot animus figure and it is set deep inside the box. This figure has its eyes open and the snake on the lower part of his body faces downward. The animus figure also has a smaller, carved figure set into a brass oval in the mid-section of its body. The smaller figure has bones, sculls and other symbolic items hanging from its neck and represents something more wild and untamed.

The head of the larger figure is hinged just below the neck and folds down to reveal the third layer of the piece. This layer is a life size painting I call The Union of Opposites. It represents the place where the Anima and Animus come together to form Sacred Marriage.
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