Eye of Night by Carol Spicuzza

The willingness to suffer portrayed in Jewel World leads here, to submission. The figure appears to inhabit a frozen world reminiscent of the Grail realm. Jung tells us that the Grail represents a further development of our spirituality, one where even matter and instinct have a divine spirit. The redemption of the Grail realm from its frozen condition would mean understanding and living this. The Grail would also be an individual relation to the spirit as opposed to a relationship through an organized religion.

The Grail was sometimes portrayed as a meteorite because in antiquity meteorites were considered to be stones with a soul. The meteorite is the diamond of the previous paintings, so wholeness has become associated with the Grail. In the upper left of the painting, shapes within the ice cave form a kicking stag (see detail). I fantasize that the appearance of the meteorite is synchronous with the kick of the stag and that it is headed for the heart of the woman. Through the dynamism of the instinct the heart of the individual becomes the Grail, the container of the sacred substance. Jung says this means that the image of wholeness is practically nonexistent unless it is realized in the human heart. We are the interface by which God experiences the world. The Grail as heart shows our renewal through contact with and transformation of the instincts. It is a more conscious Eros or relatedness that understands what is good for me may not be good for you.

Her relationship to the stag allows the process to proceed. The stag is an ancient symbol for renewal because it sheds and regrows its antlers every year. From the stag, the world of instincts, a new spiritual attitude arises. Jung tells us that our animal nature must be the starting place for these things because then our whole nature is involved not just the will. But it is as if the instincts fear the clutches of consciousness and can live only when the person to some extent voluntarily surrenders her will and feeling of superiority over the instincts so she can offer a possibility of life to that more archaic part of herself. You must submit with humility then you will not be injured. It is not a matter of willpower but an act of submission. She humbly submits to this spirit of the Earth.