Peace by Carol Spicuzza

Sometimes at the beginning of the journey we are shown an intuitive anticipation of our goal, which is what my painting Peace seems to represent.

When I first came upon the scene depicted in this painting, I was hiking in the woods and thinking about what I would like my life to be. As I looked at the scene, the inner voice made a comment on it. It said "earth above, heaven below". I knew this to be a reference to the I Ching, which is an ancient Chinese book that describes archetypal situations in kinds of poems called hexagrams. Specifically, earth above and heaven below is a reference to the hexagram Peace. Peace stands for a period when a time of unobstructed, complete union brings about a time of flowering. This union is the union of heaven and earth. The hexagram described the state I was trying to achieve and, mysteriously, the scene that lay before me in the woods.

In China the archetypes of heaven and earth are represented by the color blue for heaven and green for earth and we see that the luminous, green area of the painting is above and the luminous, blue area is below. The movement of heaven is upward and the movement of earth is downward. In the painting we see the union of heaven and earth beginning as the blue area of water seems to rise and the green area appears to move downward. This union occurs on the path of Tao. The Chinese call the path of Tao the "shining valley spirit", likening it to a river that flows through the valley of the opposites. It is a sort of path that unites the opposites and the painting seems to reflect that idea.

The union of heaven and earth is a favorite alchemical image for the attainment of wholeness. And in ancient Greece the celebration of the marriage of heaven and earth was a preparation for initiation into the mysteries. You could say the painting seems to symbolize the beginning of the journey together with the goal.