you & me

The Labyrinth: A Series of Art. {Part Four: Crimson Rose}

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}


Following Divine Masculine, we now take our fourth step into the labyrinth by touching base on what we’ve encountered so far from the beginning.

Every woman is sacred, and if she should choose to embrace that she is, she becomes a kind of bridge between what is physical and what is spiritual, the queen of the spiritual realm (first matter1). As her counterpart, every man is sacred. And if he should choose to embrace it along with her as his equal, he becomes a king in his own right. This is put into context with the hieros gamos or sacred marriage:

“The king cannot rule or otherwise express his kingship until the queen has fused her power with his.” ~ Claire Nahmad & Margaret Bailey

Both these expressions operate in microcosm within each one of us, male or female, and can move and change like the tides on a daily basis. These are also expressed on the material plane as men and women taking shape as male or female expressions of these two deeper, core energies. If we can all operate from a space of being fully-realized human beings, we fully bloom into these two fused expressions

This leads into the current installment of my art series.

Ah, the rose! One of my favorite things of all time. It is symbolic of two energies fused and operating as one. The ancient alchemists speak of the rose as the mystical marriage of opposites.

To them, it represented a regeneration of purified essence and the resurrection of this essence into a new body. It stands for the mystic center of a person, the sacred core. Complete surrender and transmutation into what I feel is the fully realized human being, experiencing this physical life wholly2 as we were meant to experience it, in truth. That is, becoming fused and unified in our polarities. Holy2.

In this regard, the rose is symbolic of matter perfected, operating from its source which is Spirit. Its perfect spiral form seems to emulate that of the galaxies and the rotational patterns of planets and cells, illustrating matter and physicality and form.

The rose’s perfection and beauty are unprecedented. Punctuated by thorns, it is humbled by its ominous stem which connects it to sustenance and the ground from which it grows. We cannot experience the exquisite essence of this flower without contending with its snaring neck, so perfect and so lethal. Making it a powerful icon for the path of life and the reclamation of our spirit self.

If we are conscious and aware enough of our journey, that is to say, brave enough to strip ourselves of our programming and tyrannical, greed-riddled mindsets, to whittle down to what the alchemists sought to do with the fusion of mercury and sulfur (two opposing elements, the first wet, the latter dry), we will be met with the result of something powerful and perfected but within the scope of imperfection — as the fusing of varying concentrations of mercury and sulfur, that when in balanced combination make gold, in what the alchemists knew to be the purest essence.

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

This rose is a paradoxical symbol of purity and passion as in a sacred marriage of opposites, leading back and upward into the hieros gamos, and also a union of matter and spirit, fusing in balanced concentration to make a human life-form (mercury + sulfur = gold).

Therefore I have chosen to have the rose reside here in this mystic center of the labyrinth as being one of the main components that makes up the core — our core.

So why crimson? After all, roses come in many colors and varieties. But the color red in general is indicative of so much: Passion. Obsession. Violence. Blood. Warning. Similar to what a female black widow spider will display to you: Seduction. Eroticism. Sex. And ultimately, love.

Blood is associated very much with the body, that is to say, matter, and also women. For once upon a time, once a month, we’d retreat to the Red Tent and bask in our femininity together as a means to communicate, intimate, introspect, and relate in a shedding and a cleansing of our bodies and our abilities to hold and sustain the seed of life!

Our monthly bleeding, like the monthly cycle of the moon, is in and of itself a representation of life, death, life, in the microcosmic expression of creation.

Another intriguing note about crimson is, it is also tied to the Sacred Prostitute. It’s been known and discussed that Magdalene had red hair and wore red veils like her temple sisters.

In some Renaissance art, you will see Mary Magdalene depicted in a veil or cloak of red, she who is the feminine component of Christ consciousness, just as Jesus, the masculine component, bled on the cross (matter/body) for the cleansing of our sins (so that our ignorance might eventually be brought to the light by way of his sacrifice and her uprising).

I feel that in its rawest, purest essence, crimson is the color associated with our true nature, just as blood is the source of our body’s essence, keeping it healthy, nurtured and strong. Crimson represents both body and spirit, like the rose. I wrote more poetically on this topic, a few years back, in what I call my song/homage to the Sacred Wild She.

The lovely Sera Beak, author of Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story, has also called her experience of the feminine essence of God, Red. Hidden away in the shadows and lies of patriarchal powers, this feminine essence of God has been patiently awaiting Her resurrection and simply recognition.

I, like Sera Beak, and many other women I know personally and also look up to, have had profound encounters with all things crimson throughout our lives.

Crimson on the rose is a powerful symbology of uniting two under one source in humble compassion, learning to re-love ourselves, which will enable us to re-love one another wholly/holy2. As the Sacred Prostitute has taught me: How can we give pleasure unless we know pleasure?

For starters, we can take responsibility for tossing away all the shame that has surrounded us, beaten us, and kept us enslaved (our personal patriarchal oppression). An archetypal shedding of our proverbial uterine walls as they become fertile again for the seed of creation.

“Red is a color and energy and feeling that’s haunted me my entire life. A label for a quality of organic life and love. Red is the best way to describe the true love that was experienced and expressed between Jesus and Mary Magdalene — the essence of my soul. It’s a color that embodies and joins the Divine Masculine, Divine Feminine, and Divine Soul.” ~ Sera Beak

Could that be the true Holy Trinity? Body, mind, and spirit?

Regarding my labyrinth, these four in combination — Hieros Gamos, Sacred Feminine, Sacred Masculine, Crimson Rose — fuel one another in perpetuity. These four make up the center of the labyrinth, that is to say, the Sacred center which is at one with Source connected by a Divine umbilical cord, like the stem of the rose reaching from the ground to the fragrant, spiraled, crimson petals at the top.

When these things are synchronized within each of us, it only perpetuates our centered oneness with the world at large. Entertain the following idea for a moment.

If all of us participated as fully-realized, free from dogma, judgment, greed, and programming, as 100% our purest self, it might visually look like the sacred Flower of Life symbol, ripples overlapping, making bigger wholes — all of us united, and synchronizing as one giant, beautiful, integrated tapestry of harmonic resonance that forms an infinity mirror out and into the Universal body.

I represent this here as the Crimson Rose. Now that you can see the four pieces all together, note the path beginning to open at the bottom between Sacred Masculine and Crimson Rose. The center of the labyrinth is called The Rose.

The path is beginning to open.

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

This is an ongoing series by Kristi Stout.
Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Labyrinth’.


  1. “…why the Sacred Feminine is known as ‘first thought’ or ‘first matter’, because it creates the first pure and exalted body or ‘bridal gown’ for the spark or seed of spirit as it incarnates.” from The Secret Teachings of Mary Magdalene by Claire Nahmad & Margaret Bailey.
  2. “wholly” is the masculine expression, “holy” is the feminine expression, of the same idea.


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Kristi Stout

Kristi Stout

Kristi L. Stout is an artist, mother, and lover. She considers herself a Renaissance woman, in service of Love in its many forms. It is her belief that inside each of us is our own sacred, Wild nature -- a hidden instinct that is not forgotten as much as it is dormant, like leafless trees in winter. It is the part of us that is connected to all things. A knowing without knowing. The part deep inside that understands darkness is necessary for the moon to simmer silver, and recognizes that even if you’re lost in the middle of nowhere you can always find a sacred somewhere -- like an internal compass pointing true north to your heart center. Her passion project, work in progress, is She Is Wild. You can find more of Kristi’s work here or connect with her on Facebook.
Kristi Stout