I intended this piece to be a part of the 'SPIEL - the Game of Knowledge' series but think it has earned its independence.
The term 'Know thyself' is illustrated with me being inspired ancient spiritual alchemy.
In spiritual alchemy, Nigredo was the breaking down of the body, leaving behind the soul and the spirit. Albedo is the purefying of the soul and the spirit. Rubedo is the re-melding of mind and spirit, and the re-introduction of the body so as to create a fully human transcendence. Usually, the melding of the mind and body can be done easily enough, but in this case, it is the spirit, the "blood", that creates a full liveness.
The Philosopher's Stone itself is pretty much the symbol of Rubedo,... these are the symbols most associated with Rubedo: the Chemical Wedding, the Pelican, the Phoenix, and the Ouroboros. ... In Ancient Egypt, the pelican is the bird of death and afterlife, and often a symbol for both. In the Wet Way of the Magnum Opus.
This active working with the soul forces is perfectly pictured in the Pelican. The Pelican is shown stabbing its breast with its beak and nourishing its young with its own blood. The alchemist must enter into a kind of sacrificial relationship with his inner being. He must nourish with his own soul forces, the developing spiritual embryo within.
Hence the figure on the image is plucking flowers from his back.
(click on image to enlarge)