The Circle and the Wheel and the Sundoor


[aras-image:5Df.011,,10,,,Figure 41 Christ as Pantocrater.]
[aras-image:5Df.002,,10,,,Figure 42 Christ the Judge or Pantocrator.]

The mosaics of Christ as Pantocrater in the monastery at Daphne, is a Byzantine image of the creator and ruler of the world. Christ looks out from the heavenly realm, through the sun to watch over this plane of existence. The image of Christ or of Maria Theotokas in the dome of a Byzantine church looks down on the congregation, always from above the congregation, viewing us through the golden light from the heavenly perspective. "No man cometh to the Father but by Me." These mosaics seen under candlelight must have been awesome to experience. Entrance into the church prefigures entrance into heaven for "The way through the nave is horizontal until one reaches the altar, the navel of the earth, and thereafter it is vertical through the dome." Maria Theotokas, the Mother of God, in the gold dome of Byzantine churches, refers back to the Great Mother in a way that the more human Mary as the Virgin never does. The Mother of God is the mother of the future ages to come and this Byzantine icon relates Mary more to an archetypal image of the Self, the Self as feminine, than to the Great Mother of which Erich Neumann speaks.