Analysis of The Lamen
I am going to talk a little about The Light Is One Clerk House Lamen, what inspired me as I created it and what its symbolism means to me. For a more thorough analysis on the symbolism of the seven-pointed star itself please refer to my essay on the Heptagram/Septagram located in the Writings section of this site.
The lamen has a large golden seven pointed star with a yellow, gold and white petaled iris flower in the center (iris or fleur de lis) that resembles an up-right pentagram. Iris is the Greek word for rainbow. The Greek Goddess Iris was a messenger of the Gods, the feminine of Hermes/Mercury. She acted as a link between heaven and earth. The iris flower represents faith, hope and wisdom. The color gold is for Tipareth.
In the center is a golden circle with a cross in the middle. It's a representation of the Rose Cross. The rose is one of the oldest flowers known to man and still popular today. It is the Germanic equivalent to the lotus flower. The lotus blooms in the murky water and the rose in her thorny castle. They both open to bring beauty and their unique fragrance to the world. More than that, the rose is symbolic for all ancient non-tropical cultures, from east to west. In the teachings of ancient Persia to Sumeria to Hindu beliefs in Sanskrit, the rose always plays a symbolic role in the creation of the world, of human kind and even of the Gods. It is traditionally a feminine symbol, as are most flowers, and known widely as a symbol of love. Vishnu mythically formed his bride, Lakshmi, from 108 large and 1,008 small rose petals. The Rose is a common symbol of many Goddesses including the Thelemic Goddess Babalon. For thousands of years the Bahkti method of adoring a variety of Goddesses, from various traditions, has included offerings of sacred roses. The rose is also seen as a magical weapon or tool of the Priestess and can be used as a wand. It represents the active chalice rather than the passive womb and can be used to asperse and anoint with. Its thorns can be used for blood-letting and magical scourges can be made from bunches of roses with the thorns left on. Roses also thrive on blood when it is added to their soil. Rose water is used in purification and rose essential oil supports the heart and feelings of love. As you can see, there is an infinite well spring of symbolism, imagery and tales tied to the rose and I have just barley grazed the surface here.
The Rose Cross itself has much symbolism. It is most well known as a symbol of The Rosicrucian Order and of The Golden Dawn. The Rose Cross is a representation of the female (rose) and male (cross) exemplifying the reproduction process. When elevated to the spiritual level, it represents the union of opposites. Unity and regeneration are key to spiritual existence. It is further a symbol of the Philosopher's Stone, the ultimate product of the alchemist. From a cosmological context within the Thelemic system, the rose is Nuit, the infinitely expanded goddess of the night sky. The cross is Hadit, the ultimately contracted atomic point. The student identifies with the appropriate symbol so to experience the mystical conjunction of opposites, which leads to attainment. This makes the rose cross a grand symbol of the Great Work and is further symbolic of the grade of Adeptus Minor in the A∴A∴, the Qabalistic sphere of Tipareth on the Tree of Life, the magical formula INRI, and the concepts of Light (LVX) and Life.
"So we need not be surprised if the Unity of Subject and Object in Consciousness which is samadhi, the uniting of the Bride and the Lamb which is Heaven, the uniting of the Magus and the god which is Evocation, the uniting of the Man and his Holy Guardian Angel which is the seal upon the work of the Adeptus Minor, is symbolized by the geometrical unity of the circle and the square, the arithmetical unity of the 5 and the 6, and (for more universality of comprehension) the uniting of the Lingam and the Yoni, the Cross and the Rose. For as in earth-life the sexual ecstasy is the loss of self in the Beloved, the creation of a third consciousness transcending its parents, which is again reflected into matter as a child; so, immeasurably higher, upon the Plane of Spirit, Subject and Object join to disappear, leaving a transcendent unity. This third is ecstasy and death; as below, so above."
In the center of the rose cross is another seven-pointed star with no lines, just a plain white field (though if you look closely you will see that it does contain the pollen from the iris flower) and in the center of that white field is a tiny yellow sun.
The image itself has a funneling effect of graduating shapes all zooming in to the center point, like a mandala. The larger star on the outside and the tiny one as the focus. A representation of the macrocosm and the microcosm. The light, directed and concentrated, in the center; unto infinity.
Around the outside of the larger, golden seven-pointed star is a colorful watercolor of lines and shapes or strands of brilliant color, the fractured light, the Tree of Life in its every possible manifestation, people, the earth, everything... Many tiny brilliant strands of consciousness, all separate and glorious yet combining together to create designs and melting into one another in the fluidity of the water color medium.
-Aleister Crowley, The Equinox I, 4 "The Big Stick"
"Though the light is one, the colors are many."
- Liber LXV