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The Occult Meaning of Symbiosis
T h e   O c c u l t   M e a n i n g   o f   S y m b i o s i s
 
T w e l v e   P o r t r a i t s  ::  T w e l v e   C o n c e p t s
 
A Magical Journey Through Sacred Geometry, Universal Laws, Ancient Wisdom, Forgotten Knowledge, and Secret Revelations
The Symbiosis project is based on using digital retouching to make portraits of artists that capture more than just their physical appearance. It’s an experiment using photo-composition to portray their deeper ideas, philosophies, life principles, personal beliefs and enigmatic messages; to represent their higher selves, integrating their physical features with their metaphysical world.

This selection contains 12 artists portraits that represent the 12 concepts included in the diagram. They appear in individual circles connected by sacred geometry, and are organized in clockwise order starting from the top (Magic of Creation). The connecting geometry is based on the Sacred Hexagram Star, a geometrical figure that has been used by different religious systems and philosophies throughout Human History. 

In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is known as Anahata, and it is used to represent the Heart Chakra which is related to balance and love. In Judaism and Catholicism, it is known as the Star of David, and in the Islamic tradition, it is called the Seal of Solomon. All religions have knowledge and truth, they are like pieces of a giant puzzle that reveals the great mystery of existence and the true meaning of life. When a figure of sacred geometry is used in many different creeds and philosophies, we can be sure it is an important piece of the puzzle.

This Sacred Hexagram actually represents something older than human religions: the Second Universal Law, the Law of Correspondence: As above, so below; as below, so above. Two equilateral triangles, one pointing up and one pointing down, are used to represent this law using the universal language of geometry. If you want to know the universe, know yourself. If you want to change the world, change yourself. Everything is connected, all is one.

The highest triangle edge is connected to the first concept, The Magic of Creation, which is based on the first Universal Law, the Law of Mentalism: all starts in the mind, creation starts with a thought, the mental realm defines the physical realm.

The lowest triangle edge is connected to the seventh concept, Constant Change, which is based on the third Universal Law, the Law of Vibration: Nothing rests, everything moves, we are in constant change.

The diagram contains the first three universal laws (the immutable ones) in a vertical line from top to bottom: Magic of Creation (all starts in the mind) > Sacred Hexagram (as above, so below) > Constant Change (everything vibrates).​​​​​​​

Welcome to this magical journey, let's start with the first portrait representing the first concept:
M r   T h o m s
M a g i c   o f   C r e a t i o n
  
All comes from the mind


Mr Thoms is an Italian designer and street artist who lives in a very small village called Valmontone, not too far from Rome. He spends most of the time in his magic attic, smoking magical cigars, drinking bluish wines, recording stop-motion movies, and playing with his friends and his dog, Kijo. All this is possible thanks to a fantastic discovery he made on a very special day: while he was mixing different pigments of blue and green trying to find a deep shade of aquamarine, he accidentally discovered a magical paint that allowed him to bring his characters to life. With the help of this magic discovery, he could play and talk with his paintings, dolls and toys. Since that day, he never felt bored or lonely again, as he could create his own imaginary worlds and stories and interact with them. Stories of astronomers who looked at the stars from inside their heads, cardboard dolls who magically gained consciousness using a spray can, or blue round beings from another dimension who enjoyed observing the 3D world.

When any stranger goes up to the attic from the ground floor using the narrow wooden stairs, Mr Thoms and all his magical friends can hear the wood squeaking, and they stand very very still, as if they were captured in a picture, pretending they are just paintings, dolls and toys, so that no one discovers Mr Thoms’ little secret. Some of them hide behind exotic plants. Even Kijo stays very quiet to go unnoticed. But the mess they leave around, some still-smoking cigars, and the magical light that fills the whole room make those who have a keen eye for observation realize that very special things happen in this attic of a small Italian town when nobody's looking.

Some people believe all of this can’t be true, they will tell you magic is not real. Never listen to those who say magic does not exist. I can assure you that magic truly exists, I have seen Mr Thoms doing magic on multiple occasions. But there’s a little trick about magic you must know, only those who believe it exists can see it. That's why those who believe in it strongly defend its existence while those who don't categorically deny it. So it is actually a decision, a subtle change in the way your brain works, that is all you need to start seeing magic. When Mr Thoms paints a big mural outdoors, he is actually doing magic. Think about it, he is creating something that will generate an emotion in those who see it. If someone walks by the wall a month later, a year later, ten years later, or even after Mr Thoms is gone, the mural will make them feel something; maybe it will make them smile, feel happiness or sadness, joy or melancholy. He is able to communicate an emotion to someone he never met. That is magic, undeniably. This emotion originated in the artist's brain, as an idea, a thought that then became something physical, a piece of art.

This magical process of creating something material that originated in the mind is exactly the same creative process of the universe, the spark of creation that generates physical matter is based exactly on the same principle: the First Universal Law, the Law of Mentalism. All that exists in the physical world has been generated by thought. All the great inventions of humanity, every book you have read, all the movies you have seen, and the stories you have heard started in someone's mind. Consciousness creates the mind, then mind creates matter.
M a r i a   E l e n a   S t e l l a t o
F e m a l e   e n e r g y

The power of holding life

Elena is a feminist activist artist from Naples, the most beautiful city in Southern Italy. I stayed at her house when I spent some time there to show my portraits at a self-managed space called l’Asilo. She lived in an antique palace in the old quarter of town that had been transformed into a set of large apartments, she shared one of them with other girls.

Elena and her friends used to stay up late in the shared kitchen when the day was over drinking coffee and talking about their projects, ideas, plans, and thoughts. During my stay at her place, I joined these nightly meetings every single day. One night, we were talking about how humanity has changed drastically in the last 2000 years as a result of the rise and dominance of monotheistic religions that spread from Europe. Before this happened, people used to believe there were many gods... and goddesses.

Ancient civilizations worshipped some male gods, like the god of the Sun, but they also had deities that represented female virtues, like Earth. Cultures that were very distant in space and time and never had any contact, belief systems from different continents and centuries, considered the Sun a male god, that fertilized Earth with its warm rays making life possible, and Earth a female goddess, with the capacity of sustaining life and giving us all we need to survive without asking for anything in return. The Incas called her Pachamama, the Greeks, Gaia, the Romans, Terra and the Hindus, Bhūmi. All these ancient cultures believed that life on Earth can exist because of the combination of the male and female energies, which actually makes a lot of sense at all levels of existence. The Sun was considered the father, and the Earth, the mother.

When Catholicism arrived, they forced everyone to believe there was only one god, the Father who watches us from the sky; setting aside the relevance of the female energy and its primordial role in life preservation, which became practically invisible for centuries. They started hunting "witches" and destroying the "pagan" wisdom. This absolutist belief is the origin of the patriarchal system, which not only gave rise to a sexist society, but also a way of living that lacks any form of respect to all things associated with femininity in a broader sense. This has generated a destructive relationship with our planet. By eliminating the concept of sacredness, we started considering it as an object with resources we can consume. We forgot our planet is a living organism formed by millions of microorganisms which are interconnected and interdependent. We don’t see the fragility of humanity and our dependence on the rest of life on the planet. We can breathe because trees and diatoms create oxygen, we can eat because nature provides all the food we need. We are alive because millions of years of evolution have created the conditions for humanity to be able to exist.

Luckily,  humans don’t have the capacity of destroying Earth, this planet has survived solar storms, ice ages and giant meteor collisions. It has existed for millions of years. For Earth, our existence started five minutes ago. What we are putting under risk by overexploiting resources and continuing to use obsolete fossil-fuel systems is our own chance of living on a healthy clean planet. We should reconsider our consumer habits, stop generating so much unnecessary waste, design products taking into account durability instead of programming obsolescence to make people buy new stuff constantly, and understand that our destiny as a species is linked to our ways on this planet. We must learn to respect our environment and show some gratitude for all that Earth gives us. Gratitude is a very important feeling, it connects us with the best part of ourselves, and humanity needs to learn a big lesson about it.

Male and female energy are not exclusively linked to men and women. All men can develop their female energy and all women, their male energy. Actually, this is something necessary in our evolution, when you realize this you find out what it means to be complete.

After this incredibly revealing conversation, I asked Elena to make a portrait of her using one of her African women sculptures for the symbiosis to represent and reclaim the power of femininity. She thought it was a fantastic idea. The red and green tones of the skin represent the land, the red sands of the African desert and the green lands of the tropical forest. The blue tones of the clothes and background represent sea water. Her face and posture transmit the frustration of being forgotten and disrespected for so many centuries. We must recover the ancient knowledge of our ancestors we have lost along the way: the Earth is alive and it does not belong to us, we belong to it. We knew this thousands of years ago, the time has come to remember the whole history of humanity, not just bits and pieces.
S h e p a r d   F a i r e y
P e r s o n a l   G r o w t h

Choosing your own way

Shepard Fairey is an American street artist also known as Obey. This is the only portrait I have made that doesn’t look like a photo, I traced the whole picture to make it look like one of his illustrations. I wanted to use the same communist propaganda style Shepard uses in his work. I asked him to look at the sky thinking “The world is pretty messed up but we can still fix this,” and he pulled exactly the face I was looking for, he definitely knew what I was talking about.

This portrait represents self-growth and personal evolution. That’s why there is a rising sun on the background, a small rose bud on the bottom corner and a rose in full bloom on the top. There is a moment in your life when you need to move away from your education and preconceptions to start walking your own way and find out who you truly are. But how do we find out who we are? The first step is finding out who we are not. And this takes us to the next portrait.
F e l i p e   P a n t o n e
T h e   I l l u s i o n   o f   A p p e a r a n c e

You are more than what you look like

Pantone is an artist born in Argentina but living in Spain. He is one of those street artists who never shows his face, so censorship was important for his portrait. The Symbiosis project started as a way of protecting the artists’ anonymity without censoring their faces with pixelization. But in this case I made an exception because what we used to censor his face are not actually pixels, but color swatches of the Pantone color scheme. When I placed these color swatches on a layer on top of his skin and changed the blending mode in Photoshop, they modified his skin tone, as little square filters that make us see the same person in different colors. The concept of this portrait is based on this idea, the person behind this layer is always the same, but the color filters create an illusion of different appearance. It is important to realize we apply these filters to others, but others also see us through their filters. For example, someone might see me as a “Spanish guy with tattoos” and I might see him as an “American guy in a suit” or “a cop wearing a uniform”. These filters based on our appearance make communication difficult because we establish some preconceptions about the other based on external factors.

Many times we use this appearance to judge others, and this is a terrible mistake. You must never judge anyone for their appearance, because what defines people is not how they look like, but their actions. Your actions are what define you as a human being. By judging others for their appearance, we can miss the opportunity of knowing some great people from which we could learn something if we allowed ourselves to truly know them. This is not only related with people’s skin, but also age, gender, nationality or religion. If you think that you have nothing to learn from an old lady from India, you will definitely not learn anything from her, but that’s not because she has nothing to teach you, but because you are judging her just for her appearance and assuming there is nothing you can learn from her. Learning is an active process that takes place in your brain, you will never learn anything from someone from whom you think you have nothing to learn.

Races, countries and religions are inventions of humans. There is only one race, the human race, we share the same planet, and all religions are related to the same questions: Who we are? Where do we come from? What is the purpose of this life? The illusion of separation and our self-limitations divide us by constructing an image of ourselves based on external factors which have nothing to do with who we truly are. You are a lot more than your appearance, but to realize this you must start looking at what is inside you, rather than what is outside. You will never know yourself if you look for the answer in others, if you base your perception of the self in what others think or see in you. The only way of finding yourself is by looking inside of you, not outside.

And when we start looking inside, we realize something quite hard to see at first sight: We see others using your own filters, and others see us using their filters, but what is harder to see is we also apply filters to ourselves, and we end up believing we are defined by those filters. We act according to what we have been told we should do based on our education. For example, if you are a man, you should not express your emotions or cry, you must be strong. This self-limitations are constantly constraining us. Apart from the fact that not expressing your emotions has nothing to do with being strong, it has to do with being afraid. We create different characters we use to interact with friends, family or workmates. We may develop a strong character because we are afraid of expressing our emotions, a fun character because we want people to like us, or a shy character because we are afraid of people not liking us. And we end up believing we actually are this character, like an actor interpreting a role for so long he forgot he is an actor. It's like censorship, we censor our true self by creating an external character, and we censor others by seeing them through our filters. When you start observing yourself from your silent consciousness, you start seeing these patterns of behaviour, these characters you created, and you realize you are not them, because in many cases there is more than one. Your true self must be unique. Characters change, emotions come and go, consciousness stays.

And finally, you understand the separation between the characters created by your ego and your true self, your real consciousness, who is there just watching the play silently. This realization is the first step to move away from these characters and start remembering who you truly are, start deconstructing these roles you have been using for so long and start being yourself.
S m i t h e
T h e   E m p t i n e s s   o f   M a t t e r

You are not just physical

Smithe is a Mexican street artist who can control matter with his bare hands. He wasn’t born with this gift, he developed it the day he realized that matter is empty, it is in fact condensed energy. 90% of an atom is actually empty space, the reason why we can’t go through objects is because the electrons on the surface of our body generate an electromagnetic field of negative energy that repels other energy fields. Objects never really touch each other, they are fields of energy that repel each other.

In the same way electrons, neutrons and protons are the particles that form the matter of our physical world, planets and stars are the particles of the galactical world. Humans are microorganisms that inhabit one of these particles. The Big Bang was the moment in which this pure energy sparked into a new reality. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed, the material world is a construction of mental energy, and mental energy is created by consciousness. All the things that exist in the physical world started as an idea in someone’s mind. Mind becomes matter, physical things don’t just pop into existence, they are created in the brain. We live in a world inside a world created by another world. You can think of it as a dream, when your brain starts dreaming, a whole new reality comes into existence, a Big Bang inside your mind, a whole world generated in real-time by your brain. And it does such a great job that you cannot even distinguish it from the physical world, when you are dreaming, that world is real for you. Have you ever asked yourself which reality is the real one? The dream world generated by your mind or the empty world created by matter? One thing is for sure, if matter is actually empty, if it's created by condensed atoms flowing in space, then we must be something more than just physical matter...

When Smithe realized all this, his eyes came out of their sockets and his brain expanded out of his head, reaching a level of enlightenment out of reach for most human beings. 

Besides controlling matter telekinetically, Smithe also paints dope murals with the same hands he uses to move atoms.
P i n c h o
I n t r o s p e c t i o n

Finding your inner self

Pincho is a Spanish illustrator and street artist who loves science fiction. When I asked him what he would like to do for his symbiosis, he told me he wanted to be a replicant going through maintenance. So that is exactly what we did.

This portrait represents the necessary introspection you should do to truly know yourself. At some point you should allow yourself a moment to totally turn off the external environment and devote some time to your inner world, to deconstruct the artificial image of the self you have constructed over the years. To unlearn the limitations others, or you, imposed on yourself. You are not your appearance, you are not just physical. Only through these moments of meditation you will be able to really understand and change your habits and thoughts.

On the bottom left corner of the portrait there are two illustrations by Pincho with the text “Left is new right”, “War is new peace”. They represent the capacity of really changing your perception of the world when you stop defining your reality by what others tell you and start thinking for yourself, when you find the strength to break the preconceptions installed in your mind through education and mass media. When you start questioning things like if the supposedly left-wing politicians you have always voted for are actually working for the greater good or just following the plans of the 1% to defend the status quo. When you finally see the illusion of change they have created to make us think we can change the world by putting a piece of paper inside a ballot box every four years. All change starts within you. If you want to change the world, change yourself.
J o a q u í n   J a r a
C o n s t a n t   C h a n g e

The impermanence of matter

Joaquín Jara is a Spanish sculptor who installs his works in natural spaces and documents the process of integration in the environment taking photos of them over time. He believes a portrait is just a moment in time, a frozen image of a person that doesn’t change, and this doesn’t reflect reality, as we are constantly changing. The experiences we live shape our character. So, in order to represent the true nature of reality, he creates ephemeral sculptures that are merged with nature over time.

This symbiosis represents the constant change that defines the physical world, the Third Universal Law. Nothing rests, everything vibrates, nothing is truly solid or constant, matter is formed by wave-like particles that are constantly flowing. Nothing is created or destroyed, only transformed. The plant that is magically growing out of his heart represents his soul coming out of his body at the end of life. There is life after life, what we call death is just a change of dimension, a disruption of time. We are used to perceiving time as a linear continuum, so used that it is hard for us to imagine it in any other way, because linear time is what defines our reality. But there is another reality outside of this time. When we die here, all we do is go back outside linear time, to the place we came from. We exist inside time and outside time.

But how can we exist in two different places, doesn't this defy the laws of physics? Well, not the quantum ones...
V a n e s a   M u ñ o z
T h e   Q u a n t u m   E n i g m a

You exist in multiple dimensions

Vanesa Muñoz is a quite unique abstract sculptress from Barcelona, her works are representations of mathematical equations, cosmic events, physical laws, and geometrical figures. One of her favorite books is The Quantum Enigma, she likes to read it before sleeping to leave all those crazy concepts floating in her mind when the world of dreams arrives. Ideas like the fact that atoms act like waves instead of solids and can be in two or more places at the same time.

One day she was having a nap after reading it and playing the musical saw for a while, when she had this fantastic dream in which she could float around her house with six arms working on her sculptures and painting them with amazing dexterity while drinking wine at the same time! At one point, she realized this couldn’t be true, as it defied the laws of the physical world. So she thought she must be dreaming. Normally, once you realize you are dreaming you immediately wake up, but the exotic plants she had by the window had been struck by a blow of wind, releasing a sedative pollen that allowed her to continue dreaming while knowing she was in a dream. When she reached this state of oneiric lucidity, she had a moment of enlightenment that allowed her to finally solve the quantum enigma. She realized she could be sleeping on the sofa and at the same time floating around her house because she was in two different dimensions of the same reality. That is why a body or object can be in two places at the same time, because they are two planes of existence. As we normally can only perceive the physical plane of reality, we have reached the conclusion that it is the only reality that exists, but it is not. The limits of our perception make us think this way. Never underestimate the power of dreams to solve the deepest mysteries of our world.
I v a n a   R a y   S i n g h   &   L e o n   K a
D u a l i t y   v s   N o n - d u a l i t y

All is good

Ivana Ray is a post-industrial DJ and white witch from the school of Chaos Magic, and Leon Ka is a philosopher and tattoo artist specialized in ritual imagery. This portrait was taken at the Konvent Zero where they collaborated in a performance during the Creença festival. The performance was about answering any question the audience could have by using two opposite systems: magic and logic. Ivana was reading the Tarot cards and Leon was answering questions from a philosophical perspective. They were wearing the appropriate robes and makeup for the ritual.

The location where this took place, Konvent Zero, is an abandoned industrial complex that has been converted into an artistic creation space near the Pyrenees. I was amongst the audience of their performance. Of course, I couldn’t miss the chance of portraying these two unique artists in those fantastic outfits at this surreal location. So, as soon as the performance was over, I approached them with my proposal. They gladly accepted and we created this couple portrait representing duality vs non-duality. Naturally, as Leon was incarnating logical thinking, he represents duality, and Ivana, the intuitive tarot reader, represents non-duality. That’s why Leon is holding two magical floating sigils, representing division, and Ivana only one, representing unity. These geometrical symbols have been created by themselves to represent them.

Our brain analyzes reality logically using a dualistic approach and classifies everything as either good or bad. It categorizes all experiences and emotions as either positive or negative, using this system to take decisions based on two possible outcomes. Logical thinking is intrinsically dualistic, constantly contemplating two possibilities to reach a conclusion: light or darkness, true or false, life or death, heaven or hell, winning or losing, doing this is good, doing that is bad. We can experience duality and use this logical reasoning to choose between good and bad. But this way of thinking based on separation generates a personal truth that comes from our ego as opposed to the outer world: "This is my reality, this is the way things are for me." This makes us think that we are right while people who think differently are wrong. It creates a feeling of separation from our environment, disconnection from the world. So we are constantly confronting the external reality and arguing with those who have a different opinion without practicing empathy or understanding. We prioritize our logical reasoning instead of feelings. We all have our reality and our truths based on previous experiences, to see someone else's truth you must be able to put yourself in their position. Not all things are good or bad.

On top of this, classifying all emotions as good or bad makes us addicted to some feelings that we consider good or happy, while we try to avoid or deny those that we consider bad or sad. Forgetting that we can learn from all experiences, painful situations can help us grow stronger, overcome difficulties, and find solutions. If we just escape from those feelings without accepting and solving them we are creating unsolved traumas that stay in our subconscious mind affecting us in the future. Happy and sad experiences constantly come and go in our lives, and we can learn from both if we learn how to deal with them and accept them as part of our process and evolution...

Ivana represents this approach: the feeling of accepting both sides of life. Trusting that all experiences are a way of learning and growing, even the ones that are not easy. All is good. Resistance generates suffering. When we accept things as they are, suffering does not disappear, but it becomes easier to deal with it. As we understand that our happiness doesn't come from changing the outside world, but from accepting it. Happiness comes from within, from your mind. You can see this in her expression of calm and serenity, you can see it in her eyes. That’s why her sigil is floating around cosmic light instead of combustion ashes. She understands the unity of the universe, that we are one with it. All matter is formed by the same particles and our personal perception of reality is just one of the multiple realities we can perceive. When we observe reality, we define its nature, the observer completely influences that which is observed. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. If there was only one true reality, we would all always agree on everything. But each one of us sees things in a different way.  Even the same person can see things differently depending on the moment, according to their mood.

This distancing from egocentric reasoning helps us understand we are not disconnected from the world, so we can overcome feelings of loneliness and fear. Especially the biggest fear humanity has ever had: fear of death. The non-dualistic approach helps us understand that we are not either dead or alive, that these two states do not exclude or follow each other. We tend to imagine the world in a dualistic way, we think that while we are here we are not there, that while we are alive we are not dead, but the truth is we exist here and there all the time, our timeless self travels with us for the whole journey, it never leaves us, it is always with us, we just need to learn how to listen to it. We are not here OR there, we are here AND there.
e l D i m i t r y
O p e n i n g   y o u r   H e a r t

Start using your soul

So if we should stop thinking so much in a dual way with our brain, what can we use to analyze things and take decisions? Is there any other organ in our body with neurons capable of understanding things in a non-dual way to give us a vision of unity? Yes, our heart!

When we talk about opening your heart we are talking about the act of accepting and expressing all your feelings. This is what the Asian religions call the Anahata, or the heart chakra. This portrait of the Spanish artist and DJ elDimitry represents the balance and sense of detachment from contradictions we reach when we open this chakra. That is why it combines male and female features to create a feeling of balanced energy. It’s a futuristic version of the sacred heart of Jesus, flaming with divine light.

Science has discovered that our heart contains its own brain with 40,000 neurons called sensory neurites, it deals with feelings and sends information to the “head-brain”. It has a different type of intelligence, not based on dualistic analysis but emotional consideration. This is something we kind of have always known intuitively, as we have always used expressions like “speaking from the heart”.

Any situation can be analyzed with our brain or our heart, giving us different approaches and conclusions. The heart will always give us a more empathic and compassionate view of everything, based on unity instead of duality. Take the demonstrations for the assassination of George Floyd, for instance. If we analyze them with our brain, the dualistic approach will automatically make us see two factions and choose one side. My political views would make me instantly choose the side of the demonstrators, and see cops and Trump as the enemy, feeling some sense of victory when I see in the news that Trump is hiding in the bunker while people are demonstrating around the White House. Some other people would see the riots and looting and will position themselves on the other side. Believing that more force should be used to restore normality. These are the two results of the dual approach created by our brain.

When we start using our heart, we will see things we didn’t pay attention to before, like police officers kneeling in front of demonstrators, cops marching with people, a group of black guys protecting a white cop that has been left behind from his squad. When we start noticing these things, we will feel a deep emotion, something we never felt when using our heads. We will start seeing things in a different way, not based on opposing sides, confrontation or conflict, but understanding, love and empathy. Duality creates emotions like separation and fear, while unity creates feelings like oneness and solidarity. This is what happens when you open your heart, and it is a fantastic transformation, because the decisions you take with your brain can be right or wrong, but the decisions you take with your heart are always right.
P e c a
S i x t h   S e n s e

Start seeing the unseen

Now that you have opened your heart, the time has come to start using your sixth sense. We use this expression very often but what do we  mean? Your sixth sense is that intuition, that feeling you get sometimes that tells you if something will go right or wrong, if you can trust someone or not. It’s something that doesn’t come from your logical thinking, but somewhere deeper. It’s something that appears to be always there but you never listen to it, because you have been taught to ignore it, to listen only to your brain. Our education system is totally based on rational thinking, so it promotes and rewards the proper use of logic while ignoring emotional intelligence or any kind of intuitive or instinct-based feelings. There is a time to learn and a time to unlearn. At some point in your life, you realize some of the things you have learned are wrong, and you must change them. Suppressing your intuition and your emotional intelligence is one of those things.

We live in a world that only considers the rational and physical side of things as if the rest didn’t exist. But now even science is telling us that what we can actually perceive is a very small percentage of reality. Deep inside we have always known that there is more to life than this. That’s why this mystical journey feels like reconnecting with a part of you that has been sleeping. It has this familiar feeling, like going back to an ancient place where you know you have been before, but you had totally forgotten about it, about its existence. You start using your heart again, but you know it has always been there. We have forgotten who we truly are, this physical world has fooled us into thinking we are just a person, but we are so much more than that, we are the conscience experiencing reality and emotions through that person.

One way of reconnecting with this forgotten inner wisdom is to start looking for signs. This portrait of Peca represents the intuitive capacity we all have of seeing those signs, seeing the unseen. Peca is an Argentinian pop-surreal artist based in Barcelona. She’s vegetarian and has a terrace with a little garden where she plants peppers, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. Her cosmic style and her magical world full of spiritual animals, shooting stars and beings of light takes us on a journey to a world of dreams more real than the real world, where the borders between reality and fantasy are blurred out. A space between dimensions where we receive visits of beings from far far away who can bring messages and wisdom. They can come through dreams or even signs while we are awake. You just have to realize the message is there for you.

What happens in our life are not just random events, everything is connected, there is synchronicity. If we think everything that happens are just random separated events, life just happens to us; when we discover the existence of synchronicity, we start taking control of our lives, we start creating our own future. When you are thinking about something or are about to do something and you suddenly hear or read some words somewhere, it happens for a reason. It can be anything that calls your attention, a writing on a wall saying “today will be a beautiful day” that captures your awareness while you are walking in the morning, a slogan on a billboard that says "just go for it!" that you read while considering a new project, a piece of a conversation you hear on the street or on the radio. The "external" world is not separated from your mind, the inner world and the outer world are actually intertwined, we just have the illusion they are separated. All is full of messages for you. You just have to start paying attention.

It’s like seeing the Moon in broad daylight. Do you know how often the Moon is visible during the day? Nearly every day! But how often do we see it? Maybe once a month? Why? Just because we are not looking for it, we are not expecting to see it, that’s why we don’t. What about shooting stars? How often can they be seen? Every ten minutes! You just have to open your eyes and you will start seeing all these things, and even more. Because when you pay attention using your six senses, you will start seeing things that didn’t appear to be there at first sight, and your life will start changing, you will start seeing the world with different eyes. Remember the second universal law, the law of correspondence? As above so below. If you want to change the world, change yourself. By changing your vision of the world, the world changes, never forget the importance of the observer. You will start seeing things you didn’t see before in stories, movies, books... everywhere. You will start noticing those subtle messages you didn’t notice before, and you will realize many people actually know the secret of life, the secret of magic, only those who believe in it can see it.
D a d a r a
U s i n g   Y o u r   P o w e r

Start acting with wisdom

Finally, after realizing you are not just your appearance, you are not just physical, taking some time to know yourself, realizing you are constantly changing, calming your brain, opening your heart and starting using your intuition, here comes the last step of the process: using your power. So we know that changing the world starts by changing yourself, but how can we apply all these changes to our everyday life? All the things we do affect us and others. Even those things we do without putting much thought into them. This is something I learned from Dadara.

Dadara is an artist who created some really extravagant projects, like starting his own bank, a quite strange move for someone who comes from an anticapitalist background. But, one day, Dadara realized that the problem is not money itself, but the way we use it. Money is just a system of exchange used to get products. So he designed his own currency with different values to (ex)change the world, like nOne, Zero, One Dream, One Hour of Infinity, One Like…

I met him in his studio in Amsterdam to capture his portrait. Before I start taking pictures, I always have a conversation with the artist. I use digital photo-composition to capture more than just the appearance of the artist, I try to portray their deepest ideas, their messages, their philosophies of life, their personal beliefs. That’s why it’s important to talk to them before we start shooting, to know the person beyond the appearance and be able to capture that. I’m not interested in taking photos of the way they look, but who they truly are. I don’t try to capture their physical appearance, but their metaphysical essence.

I have learned things from all the artists I have photographed, and Dadara taught me something really important I had never realized: we normally use money without love, we give our money happily to big evil corporations without even thinking about it, instead of supporting the little projects we love. We think the only power we have to change the world is to put a paper inside a ballot box every four years, but we don’t realize the change we could make using money with love. Big corporations really care about money, it’s actually the only thing they care about, so the only way of making them change their behaviour is to stop buying their products. Remember when CocaCola said they had no plans of stopping using plastic bottles? Imagine their global sales went down by 50% after making that statement, that would have made a difference.

Start thinking where your money goes, start getting your coffee at the little local coffee shop from the corner run by a really nice Italian woman instead of going to Starbucks. After opening your heart, you can start using it for all your decisions, even the ones you would least expect, even your daily routine. That’s acting with wisdom, using what you have learned for all your actions. Start using money with love, that will make a bigger change than just voting every four years to elect someone who actually works for the 1%. Vote with your dolla, stop drinking CocaCola!

So after learning this important life lesson from Dadara, I decided to portray him as a futuristic shaman from another dimension with his third eye open to represent his clear vision, and holding a unique magic sceptre of pure love energy that makes money float around it. Of course, he has a spare one in the back, just in case. : )
The Occult Meaning of Symbiosis
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The Occult Meaning of Symbiosis

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