where’s the microcosm?

This website used to be a blog titled “The Microcosm.” If you’re curious, read on!

Yeah, what on earth is a microcosm?
Let’s check in with the Oxford English Dictionary first:
a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.

The way I see it, we should be looking at everything as a microcosm. It’s difficult to accept that everything is connected, but once you do, you might profit from finding a little of everything in, well, everything. The effects that people, places, and things have on each other are disproportionate, of course; that fact is at the heart of all conflict and inequality. But to look at anything as anything but the product of the entire universe that made it is not really looking at all.

Below is “The Polarities in the Macrocosm and the Microcosm,” an engraving commissioned by German alchemist and lute-composer J.D. Mylius, for his Opus medico-chymicum (1618). The macrocosm refers to that which the microcosm reflects–the entire universe, known and unknown.

Kerry Martin Microcosm

Click here for a piece-by-piece analysis of this image in the soothing Irish accent of alchemy symbology expert Adam McLean. Otherwise, proceed with your day.