Archive for mirrors

Something finer than wit or beauty…

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by Mj Rains

She rises from bed and goes into the bathroom….In the bathroom, she washes her face. She does not look directly into the oval mirror that hangs above the basin. She is aware of her reflected movements in the glass but does not permit herself to look.  The mirror is dangerous; it sometimes shows her the dark manifestation of air that matches her body, takes her form, but stands behind, watching her, with porcine eyes and wet, hushed breathing.  She washes her face and does not look, certainly not this morning, not when the work is waiting for her and she is anxious to join it the way she might join a party that had already started downstairs, a party full of wit and beauty certainly but full, too, of something finer than wit or beauty;  something mysterious and golden; a spark of profound celebration, of life itself, as silks rustle across polished floors and secrets are whispered under the music.     –The Hours, by Michael Cunningham

Currently reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham. This part is from a section in the narrative about Virgina Woolf, a fictional account of her life. Or a part thereof….The entire book  is a fascinating read.

Photo: Mirror by In The Cold Breeze


Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Mj Rains

Never quite understood the whole meaning of the doppelganger thing…so here’s a cool and creepy definition from The Book of Myths and Secrets:

Doppelganger is the German word for one’s “double,” corresponding to the Egyptian ka, or a reflection-soul.  Sometimes the afterbirth was said to be an unformed twin of the newborn baby; by magic it might assume the living twin’s shape and follow him through life.  Sometimes this was thought to be the Doppelganger seen in one’s reflection.

Photography: Doppelganger  by Feinga87

Of Mirrors and myth…

Posted in Esoteric, The Deep with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by Mj Rains

“The ancients attributed mystic powers to any reflective surface, solid or liquid, because the reflection was considered part of the soul.”  It was taboo to disturb waters on which a person’s reflection was present.  Shattering their image was considered damaging to the soul.  Thus, our breaking a mirror equals seven years of bad luck, a creepy notion I believed in as a child but since have put aside.

Narcissus, the fabled self-love obsessed nymph, has been misinterpreted to be a dude who could not get enough of his own reflection, and so pined away and died (or did he fall in and drown?).  Echo was the Goddess of death-by-water, who lay in wait to seize one’s reflection-soul, a belief among the Africans and Melanesians.

It is also believed that a soul can become trapped in a mirror.  The tale of Dionysus repeated by gypsy legend tells the story of how he became trapped in a mirror by a witch named Mara, the same as the Hindu death-spirit Mara.  Among the Slavic gypsies, Mara or Mora was a destroying Fate-Goddess who rode the night winds and “drank the blood of men.”

Which leads us to vampirism.  “Mirrors were connected with death in many Christian superstitions.  Demons, werewolves, vampires, and such “soulless” creatures show no reflection in a mirror.  Many people still turn mirrors to the wall after a death in the house, in the belief that mirrors trap the souls of the living or detain the souls of the dead on their journey.  Some say one who looks in a mirror in a house of death will see not his own face but the face of the deceased.  Pope John xxII had an inordinate fear of mirrors; he claimed wizards sent devils to attack him through mirrors.”

The esoteric meaning of the mirror was explained long ago by Plotinus:  “Matter serves as a mirror upon which the Universal Soul projects the images or reflections of its creations, and thus gives rise to the phenomena of the sensible universe.”

Buddist aphorism:  “All existence is like a reflection in a mirror, without substance, only a phantom of the mind. When the finite mind acts, then all kinds of things cease.”   (In other words:  the world exists for only those who live and perceive it.)

Mmmmm….does that mean that if no intelligent beings perceived it, the universe would not exist at all?

I may have to reflect on this for a while…


Text source: Book of Myths and Mystery

Laboratory of the Soul

Posted in The Deep with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by Mj Rains




          “Enter this laboratory of the soul where every feeling will be X-rayed…to expose the blocks, the twists, the deformations, the scars which interfere with the flow of life.  Enter this laboratory of the soul where incidents are refracted into a diary, dissected to prove that everyone of us carries a deforming mirror where he sees himself too small or too large, too fat or too thin, even….[he] who believes himself so free, blithe, and unscarred.  Enter here where one discovers that destiny can be directed, that one does not need to remain in bondage to the first wax imprint made on childhood sensibilities.  One need not be branded by the first pattern.  Once the deforming mirror is smashed, there is a possibility of wholeness; there is a possibility of joy.”

From: The Diary of Anais Nin, entry [May 25, 1932]

Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by Mj Rains



Would you hang this mirror in your living-room?

Writing for Environmental Graffiti, Thomas Davie shows the work of interactive artist Danny Rozen who created a mirror out of 830 wood blocks.  The clever concept:  a tiny camera gathers image info, sends it through a computer which then shifts the hundreds of tiny blocks into the image in front of the device. 

“The result is a sort of ghostly image, imprinted upon the wooden pixels like a haunted trace and just like a real mirror the image moves in real time – although the effect is more like some kind of spirit mimicking its subject than your average mirror.”

Sounds spooky…and looks a bit spooky too.  Imagining the sounds the tiny haunted blocks make when when you move past it……..    

Link: Thomas Davie for Environmental Graffiti

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