Books, Illustration

Axis Mundi

Janice Duke shares her thoughts on ‘Axis Mundi’, art she created for Chemical Serpents.

Janice Duke Illustration

The sixth chapter of Chemical Serpents is titled “The World Dragon Tree”. The image of the tree as symbolic of the cosmos is a ubiquitous one, with Yggdrasil and the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah providing enduring examples. Traditionally the tree has come to represent a bridge between the underworld and the heavens, with mankind somewhere in the middle or at the base. Dark entities lurk in the depths, while winged ones soar from high branches, and forbidden fruits grow that may enlighten and destroy.

Axis Mundi Axis Mundi © 2012 Janice Duke

Axis Mundi means “cosmic axis”, “world pillar”, “centre of the world” or “world tree”. To me trees are a symbol of the evolution of consciousness, that to embrace our highest heights requires we also embrace our darkest depths. The beasts that lurk in the underworld lurk within our own psyches, and to reject or fear them is to…

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