The Paintings of William Arthur Mills

“The Gift”/ Acrylic on unbleached linen/ 62”x 44”/ 2005                                  

Detail from “The Gift”/ acrylic on unbleached linen/ 44” x 62”/ 2005

Detail from “The Gift”/ acrylic on unbleached linen / 44” x 62”/ 2005

Ardhanarishwara: The Sacred Hermaphrodite Enthroned in the Universe

Acrylic on canvas/ 72” x 46”/ 2005

The Great Hermaphrodite

The subject for this painting grew out of a long held obsession with an iconographical portrayal of Ardhanarishwara, the Sacred Hermaphrodite, magnificently enthroned in His/Her nebulous cosmic chamber; where pure consciousness, Shiva, and His very own energy and transformative power, Shakti, are united as one single entity. The archetype of the union of Shiva and Shakti, symbolized as our Cosmic Parents ecstatically merged as One, is the working model for all of creation.

The Self Luminous Hands of the Hermaphrodite. Like a dazzling current of endless diamonds, planets, and stars... the endless currents of the ecstatic cosmic play of maya ushers forth through It’s exquisite fingertips... Displaying the mudra (hand gesture) which grants spiritual wisdom, Ardhanarishwara invites us to sit before It’s magnificent throne to receive the delicate sweetness of It’s blissful instruction.

“The Dance of Shiva-Shakti 1”/acrylic on unbleached linen/ 18” x 24”/ 1997

“Arc of Golden Light”/acrylic on canvas/ 52” x 72”/ 2004

Detail from “Arc of Golden Light”/ 2004

“Empress of Duality”/ acrylic on canvas/ 30” x 24”/ 1996

“Listen”, says the Sovereign Goddess of All Worlds, “The infinite consciousness  known as the Self, and the infinite space, are all one substance, all pervaded by the same infinite consciousness”.

“Excavation in the Garden of Sensual Delights”/acrylic on canvas/48”X 60”/ 1993

Detail from “Excavation in the Garden of Sensual Delights”

Alleghania”/ Acrylic on canvas/ 39.5” x 46”/ 1994

“Enroute to Tucson”/ acrylic on wood/ 12’ x 12”/ 1998

“Excavation in the Celestial Reefs”/ acrylic on canvas/  32” x 44”/ 1994

“The Dance of Shiva-Shakti 2”/acrylic on unbleached linen/ 36” x 30”/ 1997


       “Baby Galaxy Crawling (no less than 700 million youngster years)

                            acrylic on wood/ 12.5” x 15”/ 1995

“At the Gate of the Mother of Compassion” / acrylic on canvas/ 52” x 52”

(To Bhavabhayaharini, “She Who Removes the Fear of Earthly Existence”)/ 1996

“Hidden Mother” /acrylic on wood/ 9” x 37.5”/ 2002

“The tireless cacophony resounding in the ever expanding centrifugal tendency”

Acrylic on paper / 19” x 24”/ 1998

Top right detail: The lila of our Cosmic Parents. Ardhanarishwara’s throne merging with the great simultaneous manifest.

“Shaivite Sadhu (Postcard from Arthur Hyatt Scott)”

Acrylic and paper postcard and mantra on wood/ 24.5 x 17”/ 2003

Detail from “Manifest and Available” / Acrylic on wood mounted on wood/ 16” x 46”/ 1996

See also “Illumined Words” Page

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“Love’s Messengers”/ Acrylic on wood/ 15” x 34”/ 1995

In the “Illumined Words” Page of this website I wrote about the influence of the great 16th century German painter and engraver, Albrecht Durer, in my artistic development. Beginning in my early teen years, it was Durer’s extraordinary sense of formal, well ordered composition, contrasted with an often harsh and organically raw temperament, that influenced much of my drawing and painting. In particular, a linear sensibility that began with early pen and ink drawings inspired by Durer’s engravings, still continues to surface throughout much of my work up to the present.

The inspiration behind these two paintings (above and below) was taken from the incomparably blissful writing of the 13th century Indian mystic, Jnaneshwar Maharaj. Deeply transported upon reading his “The Nectar of Self-Awareness”, I moved into the studio and swiftly began to paint the profound sense of rapture I felt upon absorbing these ecstatic words.

The exquisite opening line in the “Nectar” reads: “Now I pay my respects to the God and Goddess who are the limitless primal parents of the universe...” To read an excerpt from Jnaneshwar Maharaj’s magnificent, “The Nectar of Self Awareness”, please visit the  “Shiva-Shakti” Page.

At present I am working on a wall shrine/painting of the Divine Mother as Chandravadana, the “Moon Faced Goddess”, a form of Maha Lakshmi that represents the receptive, spiritual surrender of the energy of the moon. She is the omnipresent be-ing-ness reigning over all relative and transcendent existence.

Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle.  And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity.  Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not.                                                                                                                                                                           


                                                                                               -A Course In Miracles T-21.I.

Detail: The golden foot of The Hermaphrodite. Pictured here is the left foot of Ardhanarishwari, the cosmic feminine half of the Hermaphrodite, as it weaves itself into the cellular fabric of the three worlds. The feet of a deity, a spiritual delicacy, represent release from worldliness, the repressive maya of ego.

  From MOTHER: She Who Is Ceaselessly Pregnant With the Universe

by William Arthur Mills

The Great Mother is the supreme maya of this world of name and form, eternally emerging from Her ecstatic dance with the vast, formless, non-differential consciousness beyond. She is the primal universal energy which manifests all form- animate and inanimate. The Divine Mother is the life pulse of the universe, all of which is a dazzling display of Her magnificent cosmic power.

The more we surrender to Her will, our true nature, the closer we get to knowing our real selves. I once read that in order to know the god within, we must first become the Goddess. In this sense, she is everything we see, touch, smell, taste, eat, feel, intuit... She has assumed all forms, including who and what we perceive ourselves to be; as well as how we perceive the world around us.

Occasionally we are offered a peek behind the vast maya of phenomenal forms that Mother’s consciousness assumes. Even more occasionally we are  treated to a glimpse of Her wisdom, which prevails far beyond all words- and worlds. mother is- and is also beyond, all perception. She is beyond all ideas, all concepts, and all concepts that concepts could ever possibly reveal.

The awareness of our true blissful nature is the spiritual bridge to the Divine Feminine Within. The Goddess is the endless cosmic spectacle; an infinite parade of dazzling and enchanting forms that nature takes on... dancing throughout every aspect of existence. In this knowledge, we see that everything is part of Her ecstatic play. We recognize that all of ‘creation’ are just mere instruments in Her timeless play. In this way, we experience the very essence of the Divine Mother’s Living Passion!

As an artist, Mahamaya Ma is particularly fascinating aspect of the Goddess. She is “the Mother of the Vast Illusion” who ceaselessly lures me toward the outward experience with Her many fascinating names and forms. In this depiction of the Supreme Maya, Mother becomes the glorious deification of the universe. She is the unification of all opposites.

As the Supreme Mahamaya, the Divine Mother impeccably represents the exquisite contradiction of this vast, temporal, sublime duality we happen to call life. She is every form of energy coursing through the perceivable universe- and beyond. She makes visible, however temporarily, the union of Consciousness and Energy. The Divine Mother is the all pervasive, eternal ‘Self’; the mysterious force in the universe that animates all.

As mentioned earlier, the Great Mother assumes all forms. In fact, She is all forms. Mother also encompasses each of the increasingly subtler realms, including thought forms. Her light-fine seeds are in perpetual germination, enabling willing consciousness to assume physical awareness. Everything perceived by the mind and senses sprang from Her Immutable Cosmic Garden.

The Hermaphrodite depicts sacred androgyny, or, specifically, the union of Shiva and Shakti. Ardhanarishwara. “The God Who Is Half Woman” is a profoundly powerful archetype symbolizing the nature of consciousness, bliss, and creativity on all levels. This union of pure consciousness, Shiva, and pure energy, Shakti, is the Divine Spark from which the entire universe unfolds. To better serve the metaphysical complexity of this subject, I decided to give the Sacred Hermaphrodite it’s own page. Please read more about Ardhanarishwara on the  “Divine Hermaphrodite” Page. 

“The lover himself, out of boundless love, becomes the beloved, and the beloved becomes the lover. Each taking the place of the other, they reside on the same charming spot. They are made of the same substance and share the same food.

They are so averse to separation that not even their child, the universe, can disturb their union.

Seated on the same ground, wearing the same garment of light, they dwell together in eternal bliss.”

-An excerpt from The Nectar of Self-Awareness An excerpt from The Nectar of Self-Awareness by Jnaneshwar Maharaji (a translation by George Franklin).

The Divine Mother is the One Great Doer behind all manner of manifested consciousness. BEing the Supreme Power of God’s Will, the Goddess is, in Her Maha Vidya form, known as “She Who IS Pure Cosmic Consciousness”. Mother is the All Conscious Self which we all share. She is all the possible forms that the universe may take. All the world is Her offering to us, as we are a perpetual offering to Her, as well. Mother compassionately guides each and every one of us through Her one, magnificent, insoluble life.

Shiva is pure consciousness; Parvati is the auspicious power, and agent, of His consciousness at play in all the worlds. Together, they reign supreme, as the God and Goddess of the Universe- our Cosmic Parents. Shiva, encompassing the still, timeless silence, and Parvati (Shakti), the ever-changing multiplicities of nature, have, together, become everything. In their sacred union, They are the changeless luminosity- the Supreme Light of Truth- beyond each and every face of duality.

The universe is a very big place! But it is the Divine Mother’s power alone which animates it- there is no nothing, nowhere, where She is not. She is the miracle of a flower as it bursts into supernatural bloom. She is Photosynthesister, the Goddess of Trees, Plants, and Flowers. She is Parashakti Ma, the vibrant life force within and without the flower... She is the luscious fragrance of the flower itself... and She is even the shadow of the flower on the garden gate. She is the light and warmth of the sun; She is the water from the big black rain cloud.

There is only consciousness here; this universe is nothing but consciousness; you are consciousness; I am consciousness; all the worlds are consciousness - that is the conclusion. That which exists and that which shines (i.e., is known to exist) are all the (ONE) Self.


  -Yoga Vasistha