Subtle Wind by Carol Spicuzza

Secret Fire introduced the idea of the treasure-house and gave expression to the element of fire. Here the unconscious seems to continue the construction of the treasure-house of the four elements with a portrayal of wind (air). Jung says that the elements can be associated with the four functions of consciousness where fire=feeling, water=intuition, air=thinking and earth=sensation. The functions can also be symbolized by four colors: red=feeling, yellow=intuition, blue=thinking and green=sensation.

I do not feel I understand the symbology of this painting very well yet. But after I made it I found out that the slot canyon it shows is sacred to the Navajo and individual rocks within it have stories associated with them. I have yet to learn if these specific rocks have a Navajo story but they have a story in my imagination. In the rocks on the left I have slightly modified their natural shape to reinforce their appearance as the figure of a pregnant woman. She seems to be holding a sort of egg in her outstretched arms and in this egg she is collecting differently colored stars that are rising from a galaxy that we glimpse through a hole in the ground (see detail). She emerges from a negative space that has the shape of an urn, a kind of Grail vessel.

I began to read more about the Navajo and learned of two sacred figures that seem to be represented in the painting. One is Changing Woman, who is a personification of the Earth and embodies Earth's powers of rejuvenation and renewal. She represents dynamic order or order continuously recreated through time, cf. acausal orderedness, synchronicity. She is the source of life and the giver of destiny to all beings. The other is Spider Woman who lives in a circular hole in the ground in a subterranean chamber. She is an old woman and she gives instruction on how to navigate one's fate. These two figures seem to have the same characteristics as and functions of Sophia.

I think of the pregnant figure as Changing Woman, continuously bringing forth one new "egg" after another from the egg-shape that is her womb in a process where she gives life but is never diminished. The egg was thought to symbolize the soul and it is as if she is gathering the pattern or constellation (stars) of the fate of each individual within its own soul/egg. This pattern of stars is coming from Spider Woman (symbolized as a galaxy, which reveals her identification with the Self) who has configured each constellation of stars as an inborn blueprint of instructions on how to navigate one's fate. These stars float up on a current of air (the subtle wind), perhaps symbolizing a kind of thinking that can accommodate the mysterious idea that you are born with the knowledge of who you are meant to be and that there is a guiding function within you that would lead you to this destiny. The four stars reflect the construction of the psyche, its fourfold nature.