Recently Tamara Santibañez, an artist and person I admire, asked me to create artwork for a prayer candle available through Discipline Press (please read their interviews and articles and really look at the work they're doing!) the proceeds of which would be donated to a organization of my choosing. The proceeds from my candle go to United We Dream and the proceeds from the other candle, made by Marilyn Rondon go to the Standing Rock Legal Defense Fund
Here's my original artwork for my candle:
As usual, I thought long and hard about what I was making to the point of driving myself insane, because I see prayer candles as being a hopeful wish for the future and all I could think of was a warning. But warnings give strength same as hope. The quote is a paraphrasing (for the sake of space) of a warning by the Pythia at Delphi (which I previously hid in encrypted form in another painting). The full quote is "Beware the serpent, earthborn in craftiness, coming behind thee" and it was a warning given to Lysander who was supposedly killed from behind by a warrior with a serpent painted on his shield. It's a typical twist of fate that shows the danger in misinterpreting a warning, or not seeing it in it's complexity, of not being able to see all the forms your destruction might take.
I started thinking about oracles and warnings post election when my friend Katie made that connection and posted this quote from Aeschylus' Agamemnon which is also used in the opening of Watership Down: