Projectio: The Phoenix

I have started making a small deck of cards – one for each of the (more or less – depending on the source) twelve stages of the alchemical process.  I started at the finish for some reason – with the last stage: Projectio.  Projection is the moment when the base metal, after the long and careful process of the first eleven steps of the work are completed,  is finally turned to gold. One of the symbols of the Projectio is the phoenix, the fiery sun-like bird, rising from the flames.

I made this small card (height = 2.75 inches) and this small deck to fit into a small copper and brass box I found at my favorite local antique store.  The image is painted on Strathmore 500 bristol board using acrylic inks, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils, and gold acrylic paint.  More cards to follow.


  1. Thanks for your comment and kind words. Most of the inspiration for the alchemy inspired artwork comes from reading Jung’s writing on the significance of alchemical symbolism (Psychology and Alchemy, and others). Marie-Louise von Franz also has a great introduction, titled Alchemy, that is a little more accessible than Jung. Thanks!

  2. I would love to chat with you sometime on your veiws about alchemy and the mysticism behind it, and would like to use your site as a reference for one of my term papers. i also found you from flickr! love your work. its fantastic! and beautiful!

  3. Hi Crysti –

    Thanks for following through to the blog from Flickr.

    The ‘language’ I use in my artwork is actually a cipher – I encrypt the words as a way to say things more indirectly. I like the idea of there being something written without the viewer immediately knowing what it says. I think it opens up the possibility that people will more easily project their own narrative onto the work. It also adds a playful aspect for those who see it as a challenge to try to decrypt the message.

    My interest in alchemy comes from my combined interest in science and Jungian psychology. Jung felt more or less that the stages of the alchemical process parallel the psychological processes of personal growth and individuation. I am also drawn to alchemy because it is the product of a time where science and mystery were still closely joined. The result is a visually rich source of archetypal imagery to use as the basis of exploring my own creative process.

    I hope this helps with your questions, thanks for your interest.

  4. Hi there!
    I ran into your site via Flickr and I am amazed………

    I’m curious to know what prompted your venture into this subject and your need to chronicle it in such a hugely artistic way? I looked in your ‘About’ page and in your older posts.

    I’m also wondering what kind of language you are writing in? Elvish? Gaelic? I am a complete neophyte at such things like linguistics.

    Your art is gorgeous but like I said, I am left with the question of ‘why?’ and would like to hear about how you came to explore the realms of alchemy and other great works.

    crysti (dot) reyes (at) gmail (dot) com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.