Daughter of Fortitude [Thunder, Perfect Mind]
Modeled in hard carver's wax and cast in 20/80 electrum and fine silver; with bezel-set red glass over abalone shell, and a 1.25 carat ruby. The piece was created over a period of months; casting the components and working within the Chaldean planetary hours of Venus and Mars while in their respective domiciles. Neither suffumigations nor petitions were made.
The image of a haloed woman, wearing a hooded cloak and armor. She grasps a bade with her gauntlets, holding the hilt of her sword to her breast; partially obscuring her face. Above her, leading two the chain, are bezeled red glass over abalone shell, and medieval stylized roses, indicating something of her nature which is secret (she is sub-rosa). When the sword is removed and hung to the side, the cuirass is unlocked and free to move on a hinge. Lowering the armor reveals her unclothed, her face unobscured, and she is shown to be in possession of a grail.
The piece was inspired by two works, namely "The Daughter of Fortitude", recorded by John Dee with the assistance of Edward Kelly; being received during an operation on the the 23rd of May 1587 - and of "The Thunder, Perfect Mind" a poem of the gnostic Nag Hammadi manuscripts. The subject of both works is Mystery, wherein she describes herself in a number of paradoxical descriptions:
"For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored and the scorned,
I am the harlot and the holy one.
I am the wife and the Virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter."
[Thunder Perfect Mind]
"For I am shadowed with the circle of the sun,
and covored with the morning clouds.."
"I am defloured, and yet a virgin;
I sanctify, and am not sanctified."
[The Daughter of Fortitude]
She has been associated with many names: Sophia, Nuit, Isis, the Grail/cup bearer; though today she is most commonly identified as the anticipation of Babalon, the "Scarlet Woman".
The Daughter of Fortitude arrives in a red with gold foil leatherette triptych necklace box, which can be opened and stood upright to display the piece.