Tuesday, August 04, 2009


swan sings shine mandalaSwan Sings Shine Mandala (Messenger Mandala Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image - swan feather

And we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun - John Lennon

swan featherI have been asking people to send me feathers, because I love using them for mandala making. My friend Doreen of Mandala's Message was gracious enough to send me some swan feathers from her buddies who swim on Silver Lake in upstate New York. Working with a white feather was challenging, and Im pleased with the results.

My intuition guided me to use nine rays for this mandala, though the apparent divisions are more subtle than usual in this piece. I used three mandalas of three layered one upon each other with varying degrees of opacity and rotated at different angles. Just now as I reached for one of my books about symbolism, I opened right to the page about the meaning of nine. Nine expresses mysterious realities of human existence. We are creatures of different levels. We are physical beings who think and have souls. Nine in our mandalas may suggest...that we live a more complete existence when we integrate all three. (Susanne Fincher, Creating Mandalas, p. 107)

Swans are a symbol of grace and they are also very powerful. swansThey have the ability to break a man's arm with the beat of their wings. When I began reading about swan totem medicine, I realized they were not only a lovely symbol of transformation (the ugly duckling becomes the beautiful swan), but that they also taught us about recognizing our own inner beauty and power. In his book Animal Speak Ted Andrews speaks about the swan's graceful neck.
The neck is a bridge area between the head (higher realms) and the body (lower worlds)...as you begin to realize your own true beauty, you unfold the ability to bridge to new realms and new powers. This ability to awaken to the inner beauty and bridge it to the outer world is part of what swan medicine can teach. It can show how to see the inner beauty in ourselves and others, regardless of outer appearances. (p.195)
When I asked the mandala what its message was, it sang back to me "Shine"

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Swan Sings Shine



CVMandalas♥ said...

Beautiful thing and very interesting.
the swan is a bird worth admiring its beauty and its subtle movements so particular.
I leave you my fraternal greetings from Argentina.
If you want to visit my blog: http://cvmandalas.blogspot.com/.

Miriam said...

I really like this swan feather one...very intriguing to use white. I am also curious (from a business stand point) as to how exactly you go about adding all three of those little buttons on the end of your posts now. The "Buy Now" option (which must include the little drop down menu for size choice?", and the "retweet" button. I've just joined twitter and don't understand a thing about it. But I will now go and retweet this for you! ;) I would love to be able to add buttons like this on my own blog as well. Hope your day is beautiful! Miriam

healingmagichands said...

This really does shine. It made me gasp when it loaded onto my screen. And the repetitions were so subtle I though it was a six symmetry at first. This mandala is subtle.

Another thing about Nine is it is the integer that expresses the largest number while still being a single digit, and in that respect some cultures view it as symbolic of unity.

Sue, I have many feathers. I would love to share some of them with you. Do I have your physical address?

healingmagichands said...

I do have an address that was on the invoice for the mandala I purchased. Will that get an envelope to you?

tammy vitale said...

Sue - lovely! (as always - each is a brand new creation and I love that!).

Am ready to start this Saturday if you are - what do I have to do?


Gabi Greve said...

Whow, this is something to brighten my dreary rainy morning in Japan!

derick said...

Absolutely amazing synchronicitous creation.
Hope you are well

The Artful Eye said...

I love this white feather messenger mandala. What a beautiful pure white feather. It's hard to find them so nearly perfect like the one shown here.

I never new swans were that powerful.

I think of you often and hope you're doing well.

John said...

this one is just great - lots of words too

are those wild swans?