Is it a car engine? A vortex? A piece of constructivist engineering? Perhaps a modernist painting done in thick oils? When I first saw this week’s Piece of the Week, “Pro Mou Iggue” by Talonbraxas, I felt an overwhelming sense of vertigo. Confusion can be great, and the sense of eyebrow-furrowing works in the artist Talonbraxas’ favor.
What we’re actually looking at is part of The Star Ruby, which I thought would be a star way up in the sky, but once I began to dig a little deeper and find out more about The Star Ruby, things got more interesting.
The Star Ruby is actually a chapter from a Pagan book, “The Book of Lie”s from 1913 by occultist Aleister Crowley. This book contains the entire symbolism of Freemasonry as well as the symbolism of other cultures and spiritual systems. Crowley showcases an unbelievable mix of poetry and an exemplary knowledge of symbols in the occult.
The Star Ruby was originally written as a banishing ritual against evil spirits by Crowley. Some Thelemites historically have suggested that the passage of text from The Star Ruby was written as a joke by Crowley on his students, which would explain why the ritual has faded out of fashion and was surpassed by the Lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, a cornerstone to modern day occultism. It’s also supposed to be conducted in Greek, a language few modern Ceremonial Magickians have mastered.
Talonbrax has created this artwork that is a symbol of a symbol, you have to know these interesting little pieces of knowledge to really understand what we’re looking at. It’s design that works in intricate and subtle ways, like the subtle turns of a combination lock. I learnt all of this from Talonbraxa’s visual representation of a banishing ritual.
Have you seen any other works on Redbubble that have an intricate and extensive backstory? Do you know even more about The Star Ruby and “Pro Mou Iugges”? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below as we take a look at some seriously interesting designs with backstories.