Dealbate Latonam et rumpite libros - EN

This phrase belongs to the alchemical emblem in the title picture and is in latin. The emblem was created by Michael Maier (but the engravings were made by Matthaus Merian), physician, alchemist and advisor to Rudolf II. The translation of the phrase is: "Make Latona white and tear the books." 

The Discourse:" There are such great differences amongst authors that such persons as search after Truth despair of finding any end of this Art. For Allegorical discourses being in themselves hard to understand are the Cause of many Errors, especially as the same words are applied to different thinges and different words to the same thinges. Whoever would free himself from these difficultyes must either have a divine Genius to perceive Truth through much darknesse, or he must have inexhaustible wealth and patience to find through experiment what is True and what is not."

Latona is the Latin transliteration of the name of the Greek fertility goddess Leto, who was the mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis. Maier writes of her: "For Latona was one of the twelve Hieroglyphicall Gods of the Egyptians by whom these and other Allegoryes were propagated among other Nations. Very few even of their Egyptian Priests knew the true sense and meaning of them, the remainder of the People applying them to other Subjects that were not in the Nature of thinges, namely Gods, Goddesses and the like.." *

Strange, huh? Just like alchemy. Do you know how much lucid dreaming and alchemy have in common? A lot and maybe even more.

So what can we say upon closer examination of the picture? The woman is asleep (she holds the Moon on both hands) and yet awake (she has open eyes and turns to the Sun). Her temporal part of the forehead is washed by the water of the lake (the sea or lake is a symbol of the unconscious), and books are destroyed before her. We can translate the text again by the emblem: "Make a bright dreams Latona and tear the books ."

But it could also mean: "Awaken to the dream (start lucid dreaming) Latona and forget what you know from the books."

I colored the male characters the same color because I think they are both expressions of a single entity - the Animus. Animus (and Anima - to the male counterpart) is mentioned by Jung in many of his books. I hope that my favorite and admired psychologist will not turn in his grave when I say that the Animus is actually my (hidden in the unconscious) twin, which, among other things, lobbies for me in the unconscious. The Animus also reflects the unconscious side of our nature (the darkness, the evil that we carry in our souls, such a contradiction of our visible qualities that can come to the surface, for example, in affect). But I am convinced that every Animus loves his female part and always tries to help her (within his "unconscious" possibilities), which is why I say that he is such a lobbyist in the land of the unconscious.

Oh, and those torn books, what can I say? When you wake up to a dream everything is different. And if you experience lucid dreaming at full blast, the world will never be the same again.

* Maier is probably referring to the hieroglyph " Eye of Horus", because according to Herodotos, Latona was adored as Wadjet in Lower Egypt.

© Markéta Jurištová 2022