“Domani il mio amore potrebbe arrivare
Lo so, il sole e la luna non s’incontrano mai”
Songwriter: Rosalino Cellamare
The sun and the moon here, and in Alchemy (one of my favourite subjects), represent man and woman: opposing, conflicting, contrasting, complementing, conjunction. In Alchemical terms, they can also symbolise light and dark; conscious and unconscious; assertive and receptive; hot and cold; positive and negative, and, gold and silver. The union of the sun and the moon is often called the Chemical Wedding. This union or “conjunction” of body and spirit was more recently philosophised in the Double-Aspect Theory by psychologists W. Pauli and C.G. Jung (another of my favourites) and which stands as proof to me that everything is connected.
A curtain of latin calligraphy, echoing the beautiful paragraphs of ancient monastic manuscripts, separates us from these celestial bodies. Whether it is to prevent us from attaining this perfect knowledge, or to protect us from it, I made it deliberately unclear. The texts, which explain the importance of the sun and the moon, are taken from 2 plates of the “Chymica Vannus” of 1666 attributed to Joannes de Monte-Snyders, a celebrated Dutch alchemist.
However, in the moment symbolised by this painting and in the lyrics of the song sung by Italian artist Ron, the sun and the moon never meet. They are close, so there is the hope that their union of love might arrive soon, maybe even tomorrow. But captured in this moment, they are separated by a central void, otherwise a normal space separating paragraphs in manuscripts, yet a definite divide between them. Here it symbolises the space between people but also the space between divine knowledge and us. It is a sad but hopeful message.