The 47th Gate by Epiphanio Alexander. 36″x 48″ Oil impasto on Board with UV Gloss Varnish.

Transmutation is change, absolute change. In Biology, it is the change of one species into another; in Physics, it is the change of one element into another. Here, I’m referring to Spiritual Transmutation, Spiritual Alchemy. E-Motion is Energy in Motion —the movement of energy through the body and the consequence of our interactions with life. We use emotions to create, supply and maintain reality but they can also be used to destroy. And how do we experience our emotions? Do we use them to guide us as compass? To feel and enjoy the surge of life as we go about our day? To process what we may need as we let them pass through and cleanse us, like with mourning? …Or do we become a slave to their whims by denying them passage and holding them hostage? …And what about impersonal emotions? Is there such a thing? The day I took some time to contemplate the 47th Gene Key I had been working on a painting with different hues of rose and purple and a faint silhouette of turquoise as foreground, and as usual I had no idea what was going to happen… The 47th Gene Key is called “Transmuting The Past”, it comes from the 47th hexagram of the I-Ching which in Chinese is named: K’UN (Oppression)… —much of my work includes the transmission of the Gene Keys but before I continue, here’s a bit of context so you can get an idea of what I’m taking about:

The Gene Keys is the work of British philosopher and poet Richard Rudd. It’s a philosophical treatise based on the Tao and the I-Ching but also integrating the Kabbalah, Tarot, Astrology, Shamanism, Alchemy and a system called Human Design. I found it around the same time that I had my life saving breakthrough with painting (read: How Creativity Saved My Life).

The Gene Keys is not a teaching. It is a transmission. A vast and immersive system for accessing knowledge through personal contemplation. Richard Rudd shares his own realizations through his work but he also states that what he shares is not truth, and it may not even be relevant to another person. This is what attracted me to his work —the fact that it wasn’t someone else’s way for me to follow, but a map that can only be accessed through my own intuition. An intuition that I’m also exploring through painting.

The 64 Gene Keys are based on the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching. Each Gene Key containing 3 parts: Shadow, Gift and Siddhi. Each Shadow is one of the 64 faces of fear —which are to be embraced and integrated with mindfulness. When the Shadow is successfully integrated; it reveals its Path to one of the 64 faces of love, which are called the 64 Gifts. The 3rd and final piece is the Siddhi and can’t be realized, it realizes itself at its own accord but you can still contemplate its beautiful transmission.

The 47th Gene Key is one of these Paths to Love. It’s the Path and the Gift of Transmutation. It moves from Oppression to Transfiguration and the dilemma of its Shadow is Ownership. It’s about how we face adversity and has to do with karma, not personal karma but genetic, ancestral karma, the karma of the human species as one whole evolving organism. So as I laid down on the couch to contemplate the 47th Gene Key, I had a very powerful experience… I was being bombarded with the bass from the music of the tattoo shop underneath my studio —which a few days later got raided by the police for selling heroin and got kicked out of the building …but that’s another story, lol! ;) …Anyway, as my body was absorbing the bass frequency blasts, which now I think was a perfect ingredient to catalyze what was going to happen; I suddenly tapped into the collective unconscious as Jung would call it —I tapped into the ancestral reservoir of all the collective human suffering! Yeah!, right, I know! …It was freakin’ horrible! To begin with, it brought a bizarre weight to my body. I felt like I was made of molten iron rock. I began to bawl and shiver and soon I was sweating, but the most interesting part was that all of it had no hook. There was no reason whatsoever for the overwhelming anguish that I was experiencing. I couldn’t link it to anything. It was just pure pain without a connection to anything or anyone. My contemplation was on how the 47th Path faces adversity with an open heart, owning the adversity rather than denying it or deflecting it. It’s about being willing to “Own” the adversity, which in turn, enables one to find the hidden message in it …the Gift. So as I was “melting” into the couch, I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit from which I would never be able to escape, but suddenly I felt a surge from within… it commanded: “Get up and paint!” As tears and snot streamed down my neck, I thought, “…but I have no empty surface ready …I don’t think I can prepare one, not how I feel now…”, then I saw in my mind the rose and purple painting that I hadn’t been able to nail down and was still fresh on the easel …and I heard the command again: “Get up now! Do it!” It took all my will to get up but as I did, the weird impersonal pain transformed into pure anger. I picked up a large spatula the size and shape of a big knife and out of nowhere I began to beat the crap out of the painting as I growled and yelled like a madman. Paint flying all over ended up on the ceiling, the furniture, walls, it splattered everywhere (…and it was a nightmare to clean up afterwards!) …at some point I felt woozy and nauseous and had to stop as I almost fainted. I took a few breaths as I backed off from the painting and to my surprise, a wave of relief took over me as I looked at what I had done. It was weird but I felt awesome. I suddenly just loved this… thing, I had done. I was energized, I was feeling love!

This is when I realized I had just experienced an Emotional Transmutation. I had transmuted pain into anger and anger into raw energy and I used this energy to destroy and to create anew and at the end I had found love …and this Gift is now embedded in the painting forever.

The 47th Gate is the portrait of a battle. One I won by owning the pain which wasn’t even mine to begin with, but regardless, it was me who was experiencing it… The painting is a tricky one, how I feel about it depends on where I am within myself at any given time. Sometimes I look at it and it scares me, it’s daunting. Other times I despise it, I think: “How could I think that this was worth painting, look at it! …it’s hideous!”, but then as I keep staring into it, I see that it’s really a mirror of my own self-judgement and my self-acceptance. As I allow my self to feel love, the Gate summons me to venture beyond the nasty webs of emotional past and I soften up. This is when it turns three-dimensional and soon after I find it elegant and exotic, mystical, enchanting …and gorgeous! Next thing, I feel it’s the best thing I’ve painted! …then I go on about my day and when I come back and look at it, I can’t figure out what was all the fuss about it anyway… lol! This is the 47th Gate. This painting is an artifact, a tool to be used for transmuting whatever you’re dealing with at any given moment. It’s made for one who is willing to look into the Magic Mirror of self and love whatever happens to show up …it would also look quite handsome in a fancy Japanese restaurant or a lounge bar ;) In the video below you can see how much the colors change with different types of light and how prominent and reflective is the thick gloss varnish. The 47th Gate also jump-starts my new Series “The 64 Gates”. This year I’ll be working simultaneously on several distinct Series with no particular order of release …and other goodies such as “Observe the Intangible”, so stay tuned! :)


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The 47th Gate, 2017 by Epiphanio Alexander. 36″x 48″ Oil impasto on Gessobord with UV Gloss Varnish. Price: $4,000

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