"Phi" Mystic Altar Oil Lamp
Deep Inner Meaning Guaranteed!
(Genie not included.)
I love candlelight for how it mirrors the mind. Like us, a candle flame has its its lifespan, its moods, it is an ongoing act of revelation, a revolution against darkness. I think this is why people instinctively gather around campfires. Moreover, they seem to signal "home" straight to our brains limbic systems. And they are very like the dancing light of personality that makes for a good time among family and friends. A hearth begins a home, and a home is at its best when shared with a happy family and a welcome guest.
Also, I've spent a lot of time spent backpacking, which leads me to appreciate the convenience and economy of refillable liquid fuel stoves and lamps versus solid fuels like wax.
So when I discovered vegetable oil burns like candle wax back in 1995, it was a seminal moment. I've used candles since high school - they are to me sort of a cross between a campfire and a very low-maintenance pet. I wondered why I couldn't find a modern consumer-grade vegetable oil-burning oil lamp, even while Kerosene lamps are sold widely (and smell foully).
Oddly, it turns out that most of the oil lamps since long before our history began burned liquid fat, both vegetable and animal, like Aladdin's lamp. Yet our industries produce almost none, and none at all I would use daily, especially from the safety standpoint. Even Aladdin's lamp has an exposed flame just begging for a chance to misbehave disastrously. And they spill, though this is at least easier to clean up than wax candle crusts in the tablecloth.
So I set out to make and sell my own oil candles and oil lamps. I thought it would take two years at the outside. Hah! "To make the gods laugh, make plans."
I wanted to make this, my first lamp design empowered by 3D printing, a novel yet classic design replete with meaning. Meditation yielded this shape, a form from the heart of Life.
This is a working sculpture I call "Phi".
Phi is the Greek name for the Golden Ratio. The Pharaohs knew it as "the prime scision" and held it sacred long before. Phi is the geometric expression of the Hermetic maxim "as above, so below". It is a proportion used by artists to make things beautiful.
"Phi" is a working oil lamp, like Aladdin's lamp. Such lamps adorn the sacred history of many cultures. This one offers some slight modifications for safety and convenience. But though I’ve rubbed and rubbed, no genie yet. I’m still hoping for Barbara Eden.
"Phi" burns vegetable oil, the kind in your pantry. It is a prototype consumer product, a cordless desktop appliance. When I get it right, it will be "a safer home in the home for candlelight". I have used "Phi" for thousands of hours, and find it extremely useful and user-friendly not to mention beautiful and deeply meaningful.
"Phi" is a very good fragrance diffuser. A few drops of perfumed oil on the golden metal ring at the base of the flame quickly scents the room nicely.
I use it to humidify my space in winter. It keeps my coffee steaming hot in the morning and heats my hot sake at night. It has the safety of a jar candle, but you can change the scent any time. You can safely and conveniently refill it while it burns. It is like a miniature potbelly stove for the desktop.
About the Deep Inner Meaning:
- Please compare this symbol to the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill. Consider that the eye is a vortex that takes in light. A flame is a vortex that gives light.
- The Great Pyramid was originally covered in white limestone, ancient and solid. The common chicken egg is also white, though fresh and fragile. Both are made of calcium carbonate, the stuff of coral, seashells and bones. Both are geometric expressions of the Golden Ratio.
"Phi" is at last my friend for life. Now you may make it yours.
You may view a video of the “Phi” lamp in action at
Customization Service Available
Second Part Necessary
The lamp requires a second part, the gold wick holder, to be seen at:
[Mystic Oil Lamp "Phi"-160716-10]