The Cosmic Comics of Rick Griffin

Here’s an intriguing excerpt from this week’s installment of occult author Erik Davis’ Burning Shore newsletter.

“The Kabbalistic tree, whose classic visual form also crystalizes in the early modern era, depicts an emanationist view of the cosmos. Sacred forces are “stepped down” through spheres and dimensions known as sephirot, which are usually ten in number and linked through various paths that have their own esoteric implications. Above and beyond the Tree lie three layers of the unmanifest — here accurately tagged as Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur — which in turn give birth to Kether, the supernal Godhead, or “highest crown.” Griffin illustrates this sephirot with a heavily abstracted mask based on Hopi Kachina figures. (You can think of this as appropriation or appreciation; like many ‘60s heads, Griffin had great respect for Native American cosmology and the peyote religion.) The Kachina Godhead then “speaks” a primal pair of forces: Binah and Chockmah, dark and light, here rendered as O and X, code letters that recur throughout Griffin’s work (including his term Aoxomoxoa). This yin-yang tension then creates the material, elemental world, where light spills down from the sun but can also, following the holy dove, be traveled upstream, back to the source.”

Read the whole deep dive:

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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