“Albion beheld thy beauty”. Vala, Jerusalem and Blake’s Holistic Approach to the Cosmos

by Martina Zamparo

Moving from the current relevance of Blakean studies and focusing on the
two female characters of Vala and Jerusalem, this essay discusses the author’s
still debated approach towards nature and femininity. Vala’s role as a terrifying
goddess of Nature can be reassessed if read in the light of the symbolism
of the Egyptian deity Isis, in its turn associated with the topos of the veil and
with the weaving imagery. Also considering the figures of Thel and Lyca, this
study is an attempt to demonstrate that Blake’s revolutionary use of the written
and visual media celebrates the necessity of an empathic identification
between the Human, the Natural, and the Divine: on the model of ancient
Mysteries, this relationship of inter-in-dependence between microcosm and
macrocosm can be comprehended only through initiatory revelation.