One People, One Planet, HON!


1971, poster, pen and ink, 21¾” x 16½”

Bob Hieronimus’s relationship with the powerful Maryland politician William Donald Schaefer is a long and healthy one. After Hieronimus designed one of the most unusual political posters of all time for Schaefer’s bid for Mayor in 1971, Schaefer then went to bat for Hieronimus to change the blueprints for a condominium community in Coldspring that would have demolished Savitria, Hieronimus’s peaceful living commune, and the AUM esoteric study center. Almost immediately afterward, Schaefer found himself at the head of a controversial proposal to build an 8-lane expressway through the last wilderness area in any city in the country, Leakin Park. Despite his kinship with the new Mayor, Hieronimus was appalled, and when approached by the Volunteers Opposing Leakin Park Expressway (VOLPE) and the Sierra Club Foundation to create a poster whose sale would back their effort, he quickly agreed.

Knowing that winning this protest was dubious, Hieronimus says he put as much “magic” as he could into creating a work that invoked the powers of symbols and archetypes. He knew Baltimore would become a leader in the new ecology movement if it could be roused to save the wilderness area unique to this city. Much to the surprise of the establishment in support of this endeavor, the VOLPE groups raised public awareness to such an extent that the highway was stopped and remains a stub bordering the park to this day.

The central image in this design is a lollipop-shaped archetypal tree, standing for the tree of life of the mystical kabbalah. Inside the branches are growing the 10 spheres, or sephiroth, reflecting the attributes of the creator, creation, and the created beings. The serpent weaving itself around the spheres is the energy that connects and regenerates them into a unity. Above the tree to the right is our old friend Aquarius pouring its altruistic vibrations upon the tree.

The trunk of the tree was used to summarize the mission of VOLPE: to save the only wilderness area in any city of the USA from the 8-lane expressway poised at its border.

The tree is growing from another sphere, the Earth, and the three roots of the tree connect several landmasses. The central root is feeding energy to the North American continent, that has a pyramid temple on its East Coast as a reference to the possible lost civilization of Atlantis whose initiates may have lived there. The root on the right side is feeding Atlantis itself, as an island in the Atlantic. Some believe Atlantis may have included segments of America’s East Coast before its destruction. The third root on the left side flows through Alaska and Canada and down the West Coast ending at the tail of a serpent found in the Pacific Ocean.

In the sky above are the various constellations that can be lined up with the continents in a system known as Uranology that links the stars with the characteristics and destinies of the nations below them. Over North America we find Lyra the harp, Aquila the eagle, and Cygnus the swan. Scorpio the scorpion is located in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands. Sagittarius the archer is covering Central America, and Capricorn the goat-fish is over the South American continent. Rising above the Earth on the left is Pegasus the winged horse, symbolizing the heightening power of the natural forces, spiritual transformation, inspiration, and creativity. Cygnus the swan rises above the Atlantic Ocean and Atlantis. The Swan was a well-known alchemical symbol related to “philosophical Mercury,” or the mystic center and the union of opposites.

Clockwise from top left, the other heavenly bodies depicted are a spiral galaxy (symbol for a path to the Cosmic Consciousness); Jupiter (expansion of the mind and spirit); the moon (home to previous life forms, and symbolic of the Divine Feminine); Mars (the necessity to protect the harvest provided by the Divine Feminine, and also home to previous life forms); and Saturn (karma or getting what one deserves from previous actions).

Despite the friction his protest caused with his old friend the Mayor, Hieronimus was proud to know that this poster was among the many contributing factors that stopped the expressway and saved the park.