From the illustration description in Son of Prometheus:
The Sphinx is at once a fierce guardian and judge, a mystagogue, and the embodiment of human potential. She also encapsulates the dark side of femininity, that which has power over life and death, and that which, echoing Péladan, has direct, unmediated access to gnosis of the divine. Replacing the spiral of the Ionic column base, repressed, contorted female figures and in the centre, the Medusa Gorgo whose colossal relief is found on the oldest and largest Doric temple ever found; the Temple of Artemis in Corfu, Greece. She is also hinted at in the pediment of Temple of Beauty. Here she takes her role as a classic apotropaic figure, embodying the raw power of nature even more viscerally than the Sphinx.
The snakes too, are guardians. Sometimes treacherous, they point the way, but ultimately the higher faculties represented by the Sphinx must prevail if the initiate is to exit the trap of mundane society and return to the spiral (in the background) of evolution. The ruined wall along with the many foes surrounding the as yet dormant (repressed) women bound in the Ionic column, are the walls of Plato’s cave. This reflects Péladan’s observations of the repression and social entrapment of women in his time, making it immensely difficult for them to regain an understanding of their primeval, divine nature without it becoming hopelessly corrupted. This image is closely connected to that assigned to Chapter 8, and both will reveal further depth when viewed after reading Chapters 7 and 8.
Available in 4 highly limited Editions:
1 Original pen and ink freehand illustration in black and white (SOLD) by Sasha Chaitow on Saunders Waterford rough Watercolour paper, 31×41 cm as reprinted in Son of Prometheus: The Life and Work of Joséphin Péladan; Sigilized by the artist.
Only 1 print fully hand-colored in antique, drawing, and calligraphy inks by Sasha Chaitow on smooth watercolour paper, c.30×42 cm. Signed, numbered*, dated by the artist.
Only 1 print dichromatically hand-colored (red + gold) in antique, drawing, and calligraphy inks by Sasha Chaitow on smooth watercolour paper, c.30×42 cm. Signed, numbered*, dated by the artist.
3 black and white prints on smooth watercolour paper, c.30×42 cm. Signed, numbered*, dated by the artist.
* numbered as part of one of seven print sets, i.e. 3/7, 4/7, 5/7 (black and white), 6/7 (diachromatic) or 7/7 (fully colored). Print sets 1 and 2 are privately owned and currently not for sale.