Wednesday, November 26, 2008


ancestors mandala
Ancestors' Mandala- (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image- decorative grasses

A patch of ornamental grasses blowing gently in the wind and shimmering in the light caught my eye a couple of weeks ago when I was out shopping for groceries. I circled round the parking lot and pulled out my trusty companion Canon for a quick photoshoot. I lovd the lacey delicacy of the grasses gone to seed.

During one of my recent investigations of the meaning of the word mandala, I discovered another interpretation that I really like ... containing essence. How much more essential could anything be than a plant at the end of its growing cycle, yet producing seeds to insure its continued growth? The alpha and omega, beginning and end, never ceasing....

When I decide to create a mandala, it seems the image tells me how it wants to be created; I have no preconceived idea what the final image will look like. It is fun for me to later look at books on symbolism to search for meanings of the imagery contained within the circle.

Seven (for the seven rays of this mandala) is a holy and mystical number ... seven days, seven planets, seven colors in the rainbow, seven directions (north, south, east, west, up, down and center), seven phases in the alchemical process of turning base material into gold. According to Jung, seven stands for the highest stage of illumination, a passing from base ignorance to golden enlightment. Seven, seven, I'm in heaven!

Because I create in such an abstract manner, I'm never really certain what Im going to create until it has created itself. Reading about the number seven as a number of ancient symbolism, I have decided to designate this mandala as the image for the ancestors' prompt in the Mandalas for Peace Project.

As peaceful as the falling snow...

This will more than likely be my last posting for AEDM as well, since I am going out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope all of you have a blessed four day weekend. Be safe and happy whatever you do in these days to come.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas


Cate Rose said...

That's really beautiful, Sue, and SO 3-dimensional. Takes you right into the center.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

This looks nothing like Nelson Mandala. Very nice, nun the less.

Not my lesson, just my mon.key, btw.

Another anon posater, my dear.

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend.

shayndel said...

This mandala is so majestic.
The delicate inner 'star' is magical.
And so much a part of nature. I was cutting a beautiful thin radish tonight and admired the cross section before putting it in a salad, it was much like the center of your creation.

I love what you wrote about essence. And about your process. So interesting, I can relate to so much of what you write, and follow an amazingly similar process, and even stopped to admire a similar kind of dried grass. Its as if we all follow those 'steps' in order to find what our essence is, and that is what becomes expressed. All our essences together are 'one' whole, and thats why they are each so unique.

Your essence is radiant!

Happy Holidays.

healingmagichands said...

Seven chakras in balance!

Each mandala you create seems more beautiful than the last.

The plant death / seed is just one of the numerous cycles and circles to share. Your words describing this essence are peaceful, healing, thought provoking.

Anonymous said...

hi sue, your ancestors mandala sure is right up there.its great to see your work, and as usual i enjoy all your words........take care, love from the land down

Anonymous said...

I love this mandala Sue!! It's truly very special! Happy to hear you enjoyed AEDM, me too!! :o)

Kate Jobe said...

Magnificent...(as is the music playing on your blog this morning)..this mandala appears to me as though it has been knitted or crocheted...from ancestral fibers...creating a web...a powerful visual of how all things are interconnected....thanks so much for the inspiration!