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A Journey Through the Gates of “Sinful Delights”

Self portrait and Gate 6: Third Eye progress shot.

The Beginning

In 2020 I began an artistic journey of self reflection and dove into the effects of sugar consumption on my body and the spiritual beliefs that have me rooted within myself and connected to the earth. My belief is that the marking of a new year begins with the Spring Equinox. And this coming new year lands on March 20th bringing with it a reminder of new beginnings and that the cycle of life is divine. Life is capable of rejuvenating itself and, in modern American culture, it is consumed with sinful desires. Should you follow along this journey expect to be taken through images pieced together through spiritual and scholarly researched studies focusing on the link between Eroticism, Sugar Consumption and Esotericism in relation to the mind, body and soul.

The journey may begin here for you but for me it really began when I was a little girl growing up in an American Hispanic family household during the 1980s. As my parents came together to raise my brother and I, they made New Jersey our home and instilled upon us their Christian beliefs. I didn’t grow up with the crucifix above my bed, our household was not that far fetched, but I did have a picture of a Virgin Mary on the wall that overlooked the foot of my bed. Mary watched me with eyes that followed me anywhere in the room. I had always felt creeped out by this and no where near feeling blessed or safe. My room was supposed to be my safe space with all my belongings, my bed, my toys and all my dreams. This was not the only religious staple I questioned around my family’s christian beliefs.

Before reaching a ripe age of puberty, I had already developed an awareness for hypocrisy in the Catholic churches and schools I attended along with that of my family’s beliefs. Not to say that the religion was not useful, I only felt that it was not for me. I have taken some positive aspects from my religious upbringing. Meditation is what stuck with me the most and has proven effective many times. The other main take away is that of my journey for spiritual discovery. Had I not been subjected to that questionable faith I may not have been curious about the christian origins and hidden secrets within religious art history.

Thirteen (13) Paintings

The series will take you on an erotic journey of delightful sin through 13 paintings representing 13 esoteric realms, 13 blocked chakras and 13 sweet gates of hell. Can you recognize the popular sweets? Are you familiar with the spiritual symbols and religious cults? Can you identify the chakras? Can you relate to any sin depicted? Do you know any of the hidden messages?

The main popular chakras count up to seven but there are over a hundred referenced within Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language. Chakras are circular centers of energy that is aligned along the spine and corresponds to various physical, emotional and spiritual functions. For my purposes, I chose to focus on chakras one through twelve. Twelve? Yes, I chose to split the twelfth concept into two paintings to represent “As Above, So Below” of which makes a total of 13 paintings.

My inspiration behind the series came from reading The History of Hell by Alice K. Turner and Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism by Wouter J. Hanegraaff and Jeffrey J. Kripaland along with having some health & family issues related to sugar consumption. I chose to focus on specifically 13 paintings because of the superstitions deeming that number unlucky. It turns out that it's associated with death, of which I can understand why it is seen as a bad number. However, the number is also representative of the amount of lunar cycles in a year. And, in esoteric meaning it resembles new beginnings, transformation, and, the best yet, unity and completeness. This is where my belief that knowledge is power and the unspoken knowledge is most revered. It is the most truest form of wisdom that cannot be spoken (not even silently). So with this series I journey on transformative new beginnings along with its progress. I hope that you will check back and follow along this journey for more erotic and pop art.

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