K. M. Ehrenfeldt

Divine Rain

Ophiuchun Image


An Ophiuchun Night

56" x 14" x 2"

Weathered slate, oil on canvas, gold & silver leaf, hematite, rhinestone, acrylics.

An Ophiuchun Night is part of the Pamela Roussos collection.

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Statement for An Ophiuchun Night

Occasionally there is a dark night, one that lasts too long for comfort, so long, it makes you doubt the dawn even exists. In this space of transition, from twilight through endless night, such passages are given strength by belief, or at the very least, a recognition of the evolving aspect of spirit and willingness to make the journey.

The space of this journey is populated with assistance for the weary traveler. Ancient archetypes and their stories still hover in the night sky, perceived subconsciously, offering orientation to searching souls in the midst of change. In the early winter sky, the constellation Ophiuchus burns brightly, resonate of such struggle.

It was told that Ophiuchus was such an accomplished physician, so devoted to the well being of mankind, that he could even raise the dead back to life. With amazement at his accomplishment, regard for his great skill, but with awareness that mankind simply could not become immortal, Ophiuchus was taken from Earth by the gods of old in order to retain the balance of heaven and earth.

To honor his great spirit, Ophiuchus was placed in the heavens for all time amidst the constellation Serpens, for in fact his name means “he who holds the serpents.” For it was seen that serpents, as elemental totems of transformation and power were the wild energy of life and death, whose poisons could cure or kill, and whoever could control these energies would be a great healer indeed.

The Sun itself passes through Ophiuchus each year during the first few weeks of December, a time of death and rebirth. Further reinforcing to the significance of the story, the constellation itself is equally divided by the celestial equator, for even in the heavens, the healer is balanced between two realms.

Unlike many constellations identified by the ancient Greeks, Ophiuchus was not a legendary person, but is supposed a representation of Asclepius, the great physician of old. It was told that Asclepius, ancestor of Hippocrates, was born of Apollo, the god of medicine. His father wanted him educated as a physician, and so Asclepius was sent to Chiron, the wisest of centaurs.

Chiron spent many years passing his entire knowledge over to Asclepius, who learned well. When ready, Asclepius entered the world professionally, practicing the healing arts and science, opening schools to teach others, and was renown as a significant physician. Ruins of his schools contain pits where snakes were kept, though their specific practice remains a mystery lost to time.

These ancient beings, mythical and actual, gave rise to the symbol of the caduceus; two serpents entwined around a orb-capped staff with wings, a symbol signifying the Tree of Life, that healing and well being are a result of balancing tensions and proper channeling of the life force.

Having transcended time, the caduceus is still in use by all manner of physicians, and also incorporates some of Mercury’s skill in communication represented by the outstretched wings. For without the breath of life, the communication within and without, no healing can take place.

In a night that seemingly never ends, there is transformation to be gained within the cocoon of internal suffering. Shifts occur, movement and stirring of restless spirit take past wounds, turning scars of experience into black pearls. In a Chiron rain, pearls of unknown potential descend through a pattern of centaur stars.

Sagittarius, in the heavens near Ophiuchus, draws back his bow, readying his aim, knowing the true path of the soul’s progress. The rain descends to earth as a trio of drops, for the spirit, mind, and body. Mirrored, as above – so below, the secret held within the pearls expands tangibly, corresponding heaven and earth, enabling emergence.

In this pre-dawn moment, another symbol of transformation solidifies in appearance. The Mourning Cloak butterfly is the vision of a belief in the new dawn, symbolizing a reality in new forms taking place. What was old is new again. Slate roof tiles worn with age, carved with symbols, now house stars and rain and beauty. They no longer protect as shelter, but reveal the vision of nights witnessed in silence through generations of time.