Sowlio - The Serpent and The Sun

Sowlio - The Serpent and The Sun


“Sowlio - The Serpent and the Sun”

Medium - Acrylic, oil, and aerosol on latex primed canvas.

123cm x 186xm (48”x73.5”)



UK - The Underdog London

“Curving back within myself I create again and again.” 

The Bhagavad Gita

Opposing figures orbit together in synchronized harmony around the golden Oroborous serpent, and are connected to one another by their line of sight. Tracing a line through the figures and their connective path reveals the hidden rune called “Sowilo” (ᛋ)

Sowilo is the ancient Germanic/ Norse rune of the Sun. Its earliest appearances are found deep in the primordial past of Indo-European history, appearing several different forms such as the solar wheel and other symbols.

On a primary level, Sowlio symbolizes the Solar principles of vital energy and success. It is a light in dark places, and the lightning bolt symbol of the indomitable spirit - a flash of fiery power across the heavens reminding us that the sun rises, and we too will rise.

The rune and its esoteric concepts are presented here as radiating outward from the Oroborous – the serpent swallowing its tail - and spinning in the solar wheel configuration around its gravitational field. As with the runes, the Oroborous is incredibly ancient. Appearing in a multitude of cultures, its history echoes back into the stygian darkness of prehistory. It is related to the sun rune.

The Oroborous represents ideas which underlay the foundational structure of reality itself. Its primary concept is the understanding that everything is cyclical. Life and death. Inhale and exhale. The movement of waves. Night into day and back around again. The passage of the seasons caused by the orbit of the earth around the Sun, down to the orbit of electrons around their nucleus. Even the rise and fall of civilizations is bound to this timeless truth. Everything is cyclical.

The Oroborous reminds us that infinity is not a matter of sustaining one state of being forever - it is a cycle of life, death and rebirth. Plated in this painting along with the Sun rune, the image indicates the need to honor the different stages of our lives and daily motions, and to embrace transformation by setting our will against the mystery of the unknown horizon. It’s about learning to surf, instead of fighting the waves.

Beyond the concepts of Cosmology and Cosmogony, my intent is that this painting function not only as a work of fine art, but as a meditative device. The viewer is encouraged to look past the image, and imagine a sun or wheel of lighting spinning outward ad infinitum from a golden halo at its center. Use this image to honor both the up cycles of your life – where you feel unstoppable, and the downward phases – wherein you need to rest, recover and go inwards to find new strength. Everything comes back around – act accordingly, and be courageous.

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