I collect visionary narratives, as some of you know. These are written, or channeled, or compiled by and from people who have seen Heaven, Hell, or other regions of the endless Inner Worlds. One of the most famous and amusing of these visionaries was Ruth Norman, who founded the "Unarius" UFO contact group in California along with her husband Earnest. They have both "Transitioned into the Spiritual Worlds of Light," but they left behind a fantastic legacy of visionary texts. I also have older texts from the 19th and early 20th century. People have been visiting the Inner World since the dawn of human time, so there's a vast amount of vision for me to appreciate and illustrate.
This picture, "The Diamond Throne," is inspired not only by Ruth Norman's visions but by the more psychedelic passages of the Bible and other revealed literature. God sits on a diamond throne, so bright he cannot be seen by ordinary eyes, under a crystal canopy with a prismatic halo. Unfortunately my art skills were not up to depicting this but I gave it a try nevertheless. At that time, in 1989, I was very much into occult mythology and ritual.
These magical apocalyptic visions are out of fashion nowadays, except for the usual eccentrics and modern shaman types. But in their day these visions energized whole cultures, from the Jews of Jesus' time to the Sufi mystics of Islam to the Theosophists of the late 19th century. Nowadays fantasy illustration is full of buxom winged angel and devil women with no religious content whatsoever. As for me, I follow some of the more radical ideas about the other worlds and speculate that Heaven and Hell are the same place, that you can be tortured in Heaven and happy in Hell.
"The Diamond Throne" is watercolor on illustration board, 9" x 13", June 1989.