This painting and collage depicts a figure from Theosophical mythology, one of the "Dhyan Chohans" ("Lords of Meditation") which correspond to the seven Archangels of Western esotericism. There are seven colored Rays in the spectrum, and a Chohan for each Ray. This is from the First, or the Red ray. The Chohan is a dark East Indian figure dressed in red skirts with jewels all over his body and a gleaming copper-foil turban. Red light streams from his body and he holds a red flame in his left hand. I had to re-create the red foil flame in Photoshop, as with the others in this series, because the foil reflected only as black and didn't show the red shiny texture.
I was originally going to do all seven Dhyan Chohans but I lost interest in the project, as well as not having enough time to do it. Eventually I did do a series of the Lords of the Spectrum, as the Persian Amesha Spentas, which I featured on this Weblog last year.
1987 and 1988 were probably the high point years of my esoteric interest. Not only did I work in a New Age bookstore, but I attended esoteric conventions and met with many professing occultists. I moved to the Washington, DC area in the fall of 1988 and continued somewhat with esotericism, until 1993 when I found a more "orthodox" spiritual path among Eastern Catholics and eventually, Zoroastrians.
The "Dhyan Chohan of the First Ray" is painted and collaged onto airbrushed illustration board. 7" x 10", January 1987.