First written in 1999. Updated between 2000 and 2015
Copyright © Gary Osborn 1999 - 2015. All Rights Reserved.
An event that will always remain forever etched in my mind is the Total Solar Eclipse that was witnessed by thousands, including me, over the South-West of England on the 11th August 1999. A few months later, I visited Glastonbury and decided to take a stroll through the town.
There are many new-age bookshops dotted along the high street, and it was in one of these that I picked up an informative and well-researched book on eclipses, The Book of the Eclipse, by David Ovason (1999) – the only book of its kind that covers the eclipse phenomenon in the way I have now come to understand it.
Through reading Ovason’s book, I discovered that the adept ancient astrologer, as well as the astrologers of the Classical and Renaissance periods, were well aware that the eclipses of both the Sun and the Moon, reflect and influence the lives of everyone and everything on this planet, and that in the event of an eclipse, a person’s life will be seen to change drastically – even foreshadowing the death of an individual. I also learned that not everyone is affected by an eclipse – only those persons whose horoscopes are overshadowed by an eclipse – as by the position and degree of the eclipse falling on a significant placing in their natal horoscope.
As regards the study of Astrology, which constitutes the background context for his own investigation into the deeper meaning of eclipses, Ovason tells us that it has always been taken for granted, and without question, that cosmic phenomena will cause certain events to unfold on Earth through the lives of all individuals. Relying on the vast knowledge that he has researched from many esoteric sources, Ovason was careful to point out that the eclipse – and for that matter all the movements and positions of the planets in relation to each other – do not cause events to happen, they merely reflect these events.
Now this supports my own theories, that the two worlds of the macrocosm, as regards the celestial activity of the planets in our solar system, and the microcosm, as regards the multi-levelled processes on Earth that conclude as experiential events, do indeed parallel each other, and they do so through the consciousness of every individual who acts as the interface between both the macrocosm and the microcosm.
We know that the Moon, which governs the tides, influences all water and liquids on Earth. Ovason tells us that the German scientist, Frau L. Kolisko actually showed that eclipses also influence liquids and to a remarkable degree. If true, then this shows that there is much more to the eclipse than we realize. In his book, Ovason examples the astrological horoscopes of over 60 famous individuals – mostly artists, writers and poets – so as to show how the dramatic events in their lives were overshadowed or mirrored by certain eclipses that happened around about the same time.
‘ . . . this book will make abundantly clear, eclipses do seem to work most dramatically and thoroughly through the lives of the great and famous – through the aspirations of the talented and those blessed or cursed with genius’.
Ovason’s research also reveals that many artists and painters have been influenced by eclipses and that eclipses are sometimes featured in their work. He cites artists like William Blake (member of the Illuminati), Vincent Van Gogh, Max Ernst, Jacopo Guarana, and the 19th Century English artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Figure 2: "Of This Men Shall Know Nothing", by Max Ernst. (1923), The Tate Gallery, London.
Note the obvious sexual union imagery between the male and female.
Ovason informs us that these artists and more besides have all composed works which feature an eclipse, adding that most of these works remain obscure to those not familiar with the symbolism of eclipses.
One of Max Ernst’s most surrealistic and enigmatic paintings – and the only painting known to incorporate both Solar and Lunar eclipse diagrams – is appropriately named “Of This Men Shall Know Nothing” 1923. The painting was dedicated to the French poet-philosopher-surrealist, André Breton “and painted with the stated intent of defining the myth of our time.”
Figure 1: "Plate 70’ from Jerusalem: The Emanation of The Giant Albion by William Blake (created 1804–1820),
showing an Eclipse through one of the trilithon (“gateway”) stones of Stonehenge.
American authors Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges cite this painting in their book, The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye: Alchemy and the End of Time (2003). They write that the painting “eerily echoes the symbolism of the Hendaye cross,” which had remained virtually unknown to the general public until it appeared in an added chapter to the second edition of the book, Le Mystère des cathédrals, published in 1957, supposedly and originally written by the equally mysterious alchemist Fulcanelli in 1926.
“This chapter, called “The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye,” discusses a simple yet mysterious monument located in southwestern France that Fulcanelli dates to the middle of the seventeenth century. The monument’s few inelegant symbols reveal that not only was it built by a “master mason,” but that its creator possessed a surprising amount of arcane knowledge. It also proved, and Fulcanelli echoes this, that there was, and possibly still is, a group of people, a secret society, if you will, that knows the very secret of time and light, which secret is the basis of all true alchemy.”
The secret society mentioned in the above quote from Weidner and Bridges’ book could only be the Gnostic/Pythagorean Illuminati, whose true origins go back thousands of years and who introduced the ‘Great Work’ of Alchemy to the West and also claim to have created the following movements in the course of history: Ancient Egyptian and Greek Mystery religions, Druidism, Mithraism, several versions of Gnosticism, Alchemy, Catharism (Albigensianism), the Knights Templar, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.6 It is therefore possible that the charismatic Fulcanelli was an Illuminatus like Roger Bacon, Paracelsus, Dr. John Dee, Giordano Bruno, and William Blake before him.
Another artist who painted black, void-like spheres or disks, and which could easily be interpreted as ‘eclipses,’ is the late UFO and “alien abduction” researcher, Budd Hopkins. Just before he first began investigating so-called, “abduction” cases, and just after he sighted a UFO himself, Hopkins went through a period when all his paintings featured a black circle or blackhole in the center of the canvas as if referencing the Void. Hopkin’s first painting of this kind was titled ‘Sun Black’ . . .
Why is it that artists will have a compulsion to paint and draw eclipses – both Solar and Lunar, as well as so-called ‘Black Suns’, Black holes or Voids?
The answer must lie in the fact that like all artists of one kind or another – i.e., poets, musicians, writers and actors – they are creative people. And so, when these people feel inspired, or have a compulsion to paint an eclipse, what they are doing is actually illustrating and bringing to our attention the actual source of their creativity and the source of their energy; their inspiration; their unique perceptions and their intelligence – and even in some cases their genius. We find that many of these artists used eclipses as their theme because eclipses so dramatically influenced their lives.
Before coming across Ovason’s book, I had already noted works by other artists that feature an eclipse. Of this genre, I would consider one of the most remarkable and mysterious works of art to be La Crucifixion by the famous French poet, novelist, playwright, sculptor, painter, designer and occultist, Jean Cocteau (1889–1963).
Figure 3: La Crucifixion by Jean Cocteau. The mural was completed in November 1959, but signed 1960.
Notre Dame de France, London. (Photo taken before the mural was vandalized and then restored. See here).
Note the “Black Sun” – the Solar Eclipse. Also, Cocteau has painted himself in the foreground looking away from the Cross. The Hawk or Falcon (Horus) on the shield looks as though it is perched on Cocteau’s right shoulder. Note also the large letter “M” on the altar in front of the mural, which is really a veiled reference to the ancient Egyptian Akhet symbolism and all that it implies, and the ‘Three Marys’ to the right of the Cross, also forming an ‘M’.
The Akhet with the sun rising between the twin peaks, is symbolic of the bent and open legs of the Shamanic 'World Mother' giving birth to the Sun god Horus, so here we can see that the the way Cocteau has depicted the Jesus Christ figure on the cross, positioned at the centre and between the "V" of the 'M' symbolically illustrates the belief that Jesus Christ is really Horus.
La Crucifixion is a strange and highly symbolic mural that covers the whole wall behind the altar of a quaint little church close to London’s Leicester Square called Notre Dame de France. The mural depicts the Crucifixion of Christ. Behind the cross we see what appears to be an eight-rayed, blacked-out Sun – often interpreted to be the Solar Eclipse that was said to have accompanied the Crucifixion event. Others have interpreted it to symbolize the black Sun of the pagan ‘Underworld.’ The mural is chock-full of symbolism and because of this it stands as an enigmatic work of art – its secrets known only to occult initiates, so it is said. Cocteau, considered to be a leading member of the Surrealist movement, and also the mysterious Angelic Society, was commissioned to paint the mural in 1959. It has been said that Cocteau was a Grand Master of the Prieuré De Sion (Priory of Sion) – considered a key “secret society” that is now no longer a secret due to the success of books like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1983) and The Sion Revelation (2006).
Based on what I had come to understand through my own experiences and the subsequent research into the Kuṇḍalinī phenomenon, it seems that Jean Cocteau, like many other esoteric initiates, understood the same processes in consciousness which allows insight into the Alpha-Omega in terms of cyclic phenomena. By including the dramatic image of a Solar Eclipse in his mural of the Crucifixion, Cocteau is bringing attention to the alpha-omega (end-beginning point) in all cycles. Cocteau is merely following a tradition. He knew that the ‘Christ event’ as told in the four gospels and in the Gnostic gospels, had been loaded with metaphorical meaning and symbolism to communicate certain metaphysical principles associated with cyclic phenomena to the initiated, and how these cycles relate to the same processes in human consciousness. It is the same understanding that inspired the poet T. S. Eliot to write:
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present
At the still point of the turning world
At the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement
And do not call it fixity
Where past and future are gathered.
And the end of all our exploring will be
To arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
Through the unknown, remembered gate
Or say that the end precedes the beginning
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now.
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning
At the source of the longest river.
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea . . .
Extracts from Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot.
Again, what is being alluded to here in terms of the source-center of consciousness – something so profound that it is not easily conveyed through mere words – can only really be understood when we examine the nature of cyclic phenomena and discover the dynamic driving force within all cycles – the way the ancients understood it.
1. I was informed by author Robert Bauval in May 2015, that the name David Ovason was a pseudonym for Fred Gettings who committed suicide during January 2013. It was reported that he was found hanged in the home of his wife, after straying away from a mental hospital.
3. The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye: Alchemy and the End of Time by Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges, (Destiny Books, 2003).
6. The Illuminati by Adam Weishaupt (pseudonym), Hyperreality Books, 2011.