The Circle and the Wheel and the Sundoor


[aras-image:5Jx.045,,11,,,Figure 12 Michael binding Satan.]
[aras-image:7Ap.013,,10,,,Figure 13 Krishna controlling Kaliya.]

William Blake's painting of "Michael Binding Satan" shows the same formal characteristics of the Tai Chi symbol in a personified relationship of light and dark. Blake was explicit that his representation of Michael wrestling Satan was, on this plane of existence, a continuing struggle. The painting, for him, did not represent a triumph of light over dark, but a continuing relationship between two contending forces which, like the Yin and Yang symbol for the Chinese, found one force in ascendance to be followed by a swing in the opposite direction. A similar relationship is expressed in the Indian figures of Krishna controlling Kaliya, the snake of materiality, by dancing on his head with a "step as light as a cloud."9