Michael Bennett

Merkabah Yantra


This just popped up on Mr. Michael E. Bennett’s blog; a fusion of the Merkabah and a Yantra. It’s so beautifully rendered. I can only hope (and by that, I mean nag him until he does it) that Michael turns this into a print.

The symbolism is worth researching if you’re not familiar:

Merkabah
Ezekiel’s Wheel- the Chariot of God.
From Wiki: According to the verses in Ezekiel and its attendant commentaries, his vision consists of a chariot made of many heavenly beings driven by the “Likeness of a Man.” Four beings form the basic structure of the chariot. These beings are called the “living creatures” (Hebrew חיות khayyot). The bodies of the creatures are “like that of a human being”, but each of them has four faces, corresponding to the four directions the chariot can go (north, east south and west). The faces are that of a man, a lion, an ox (later changed to a cherub in Ezekiel 10:14) and an eagle. Since there are four angels and each has four faces, there are a total of sixteen faces. Each Chayot angel also has four wings. Two of these wings spread across the length of the chariot and connected with the wings of the angel on the other side. This created a sort of ‘box’ of wings that formed the perimeter of the chariot. With the remaining two wings, each angel covered its own body. Below, but not attached to the feet of the “Chayot” angels are other angels that are shaped like wheels. These wheel angels, which are described as “a wheel inside of a wheel”, are called “Ophanim” אופנים (lit. wheels, cycles or ways). These wheels are not directly under the chariot, but are nearby and along its perimeter. The angel with the face of the man is always on the east side and looks up at the “Likeness of a Man” that drives the chariot. The “Likeness of a Man” sits on a throne made of sapphire.

Yantra
The Sanskrit word for instrument or machine.
From Wiki: One usage popular in the west is as symbols or geometric figures. Traditionally such symbols are used in Eastern mysticism to balance the mind or focus it on spiritual concepts. The act of wearing, depicting, enacting and/or concentrating on a yantra is held to have spiritual or astrological or magical benefits in the Tantric traditions of the Indian religions.

For more of Michael’s work- click here.

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What’s happening, Hot Stuff?

I did it again;
I had sworn off watching any more episodes of Spike TV’s INK MASTER after wannabe reality-show badboy Al Fliction had to ‘close shop’ and go home. I had thought there was no more to see. But I relapsed. Episode 4 came and went but I couldn’t resist episode 5; Traditional American.

Bold line. Heavy black shading. Limited color palette. A timeless tattoo you could read from 20 feet away.

The episode ended poorly.
The artists by and large put on good tattoos, but they missed the point entirely.

You can’t say the same about this lil devil from Michael Bennett of Faith Tattoo in Santa Rosa. He’s put a fun spin on it, but bold lines? Heavy black shading and tightly packed solid color? I’d ask why guys like Michael aren’t on Ink Master, but I think that it’s pretty obvious.

You can find out more about Michael at his blog.

Erzulie

My first exposure to Voodoo and it’s Loa came from a relatively odd source; as a subplot in the 1986 William Gibson novel ‘Count Zero’. I tracked down a VHS copy of Maya Deren’s ‘Divine Horsemen’ shortly after. The familiarity and closeness Voodoo have with their Gods/Loa fascinated me, with each Loa having their own sigil or Vévé to identify them.

This one, a super clean tattoo by Mr. Michael Bennett, is for Erzulie. She comes in many aspects- Maîtresse Mambo Erzulie Fréda Dahomey, Erzulie Dantor and a host of others, all different incarnations based on the needs of her followers.

You can find out more about Erzulie here: Wiki.
You can find more work from Mr. Bennett here: Child the Peacemaker.

And finally, you can watch ten minutes of Deren’s film here: