01 Sep Episode 31: The Hermetic Marriage of Art and Alchemy w/ Marlene Seven Bremner
The visionary artist and esoteric scholar, Marlene Seven Bremner has returned to discuss her second book: The Hermetic Marriage of Art and Alchemy: Imagination, Creativity, and the Great Work.
Note: if you didn’t catch the first interview, you can listen here.
In my opinion, this book is even more amazing than her first. It’s a devotional text for artists, an inspiration to heal and evolve through your own creative process. But any student of art history or esoteric philosophy will be greatly enriched by the journey that Seven takes you on.
The Hermetic Marriage is an exploration of imagination through magic and art, uncovering how the ancient alchemical symbols of planets and metals reveal the nature of the creative process.
Reading The Hermetic Marriage is a pleasure, led by the light of eternal beauty and a taste for poetic genius. Seven’s rich imagination avoids any academic dryness or inaccessibility because her history is alive, tapping into the immortal spirit of the artists that have left an indelible mark upon the world. And her research is densely woven, going deep enough into the heart of the subject matter to satisfy any scholar.
Illuminated by her breathtaking paintings, Seven travels through time in search of the eternal spark that artists have always sought to capture in their words, images, and songs. She demonstrates how artists are alchemists: great explorers of the invisible realms and scientists of spirit.
Alchemy fell into disrepute at the dawn of the Enlightenment in the late 17th century. This began a very dark age, starved for mystery and devoid of spirit and soul. Alchemy was reduced to chemistry. And nature itself was reduced to a world of dead matter. Beneath the shadow of the Enlightenment, artists began taking corrective actions, guided by the light of imagination to restore the knowledge of spirit and soul.
Beginning with Romanticism and concluding with Surrealism, Seven explores the greater alchemical process that was at work in the evolution of these artistic movements. And these centuries old discoveries of imagination continue to inspire the greater alchemical process that’s healing the spiritual maladies in the 21st Century.
In this interview, Seven and I discuss:
- What is imagination?
- Why is it so important to work with the planets?
- How the alchemical process reunites spirit and soul
- The difference between astrology and therapy
- How the evolution of Romanticism, Symbolism, Dada and Surrealism represent the four stages of a cultural alchemical process.
- How the Romantics rediscovered the wilderness of imagination
- How accepting melancholy as part of the artistic temperament helped Seven to overcome her feelings of alienation
- Understanding alchemy as a series of processes, not a linear progression
- How the modern condition of ennui goes back to the industrial era
- How the Great Work leads to self realization and gnosis
Save the Date!
Seven Bremner will be giving a talk and signing books on September 16th, 2023
@Mortlake & Company
121 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle, Washington 98104
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