Saturday, November 28, 2009

Luminous Light Mandala - AEDM 28

luminous light mandalaLuminous Light Mandala (Circles of Awareness Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: leek roots

...for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. ~ Yoda (Star Wars)


Consider the function of vegetable roots and how they carry nutrients from the soil into the flesh of the plant and then we eat that flesh and it nourishes us. We are so connected to everything and the connection is, like Yoda reminds us here, the Force.

Part of why I love creating this mandala art is so I can transform the crude matter into luminous light. It's as simple yet as profound as that.

Bright blessings to you on your path!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

This mandala is dedicated to Laura Hegfield, who shines a light divine.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Harvest Jewel Mandala - AEDM 27

Harvest Jewel MandalaHarvest Jewel Mandala (Autumn Circle series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: Indian corn kernels

"What is the body? That shadow of a shadow of your love, that somehow contains the entire universe." Rumi

When I look at this mandala, I think of all the individual kernels of corn that make up the whole of the image. It's like how we are, full of ideas and creativity, love and passion,experience and wisdom, and we are just so darned colorful and filled with light. Sometimes these qualities take time to mature; but when everything ripens, we are juicy and savory and delish.

Enjoy your life and be your best self. That's what I've got to say about that!

Bright blessings on your path!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Melissa Mandala - AEDM #24

Melissa MandalaMelissa Mandala (Circle of Awareness Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: honeycomb

His labor is a chant, His idleness a tune; Oh, for a bee's experience Of clovers and of noon! ~Emily Dickinson

Today I am expressing gratitude to the bee and the golden syrup it produces. Thank you for tirelessly going from flower to flower, keeping things pollinated, keeping life alive. This mandala is named for the nymph Melissa, who fed honey to Zeus as an infant when he was being hidden from his father. When she was discovered, she was turned into an insect. Zeus turned her into a bee so she could make honey for eternity. Sweet! Did you know honey is the only food that doesn't spoil?

When I was sick earlier this fall, honey and lemon juice in warm water was the only thing that really helped. How boring my breakfast oatmeal would be without this lovely sweetener on it.

I'm busy as a bee myself today, but I'll try to buzz around to other AEDM-ers later.

Blessed bee!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, November 22, 2009


ring of love mandala
Ring of Love Mandala - (Circles of Beauty and Light Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: lavendar straw flower

Yesterday I went to the local farmers' market to take in the sights and smells, interact with folks and take some photos. It was an amazing harvest display.straw flowers A box of straw flowers caught my eye, and I imagined creating a mandala in fall colors when I shot the photo. It was the lavendar flower that begged for my attention when I brought the photo into Photoshop this morning. I never really know how things are going to turn out, and today was one of those days.

And I'm glad it was.

A couple of weeks ago I created a set of brushes, one of which I used for the texture in the surrounding area of today's mandala. I have a dream of using only brushes that I create in my artwork, and right now I would say Im about half way there. This isn't going to mean much to non Photoshop users. Brushes aren't hard to make, but they are a little tricky to make so they are usable.

wood chip brush samples wood chip brushes

This is what the four brushes look like. They were created in Photoshop CS3 on a PC. They are high res, CS-CS4 compatable, and I believe they can be used on a Mac. You can download the files by clicking on the above link. Feel free to use them for either commercial or personal use. Have fun.

I'll do this again, I'm sure.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, November 21, 2009


ancient one mandalaAncient One Mandala (Earth Mystery Mandalas) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: beach rock face

I become a waterwheel, turning and tasting you, as long as water moves ~ Rumi

I took the day off from posting anything for AEDM, opting instead to give my eyes periodic breaks from the computer. This has been a busy couple of months for me pursuing my dreams one step at a time. Participating in AEDM this year has once again introduced me to an extraordinary community of artists. Having the opportunity to go around and visit their blogs and Facebook pages has been extraordinarily renewing for me, and receiving new visitors here has been refreshing and helped relieve the periodic bouts of isolation that sometimes bother me about solitary creating. I would say that most parts of my life feel pretty good right now except for that derned isolation. I want to make community and relationship building more of a priority in 2010. To those of you new to my art, thanks so much for stopping by.

I took this photograph a month ago on a sunny day at the beach. It is the face of a rock formation common on our shores. I love all the texture. Isn't it amazing what water can do to rock over time?

If I gaze at this mandala long enough, it almost seems to be spinning through space and time, and I am reminded of how ancient rock is. Wouldn't it be fun to hear the stories it might share with us?

Spirit guided me to use the thirteen point formation for this mandala. Thirteen is a number unto itself that reminds us of what is ending and what is opening into the new picture. Do you have old business to finish before you can begin anything new? For myself, I have limiting patterns of thinking and being;I am envisioning an abundant, prosperous, loving life.

Now might be a good time to consider what to release from your thought patterns as we approach the beginning of another year.

Be blessed, everyone!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas
(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Ancient One Mandala


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Honoring Autumn MandalaHonoring Autumn Mandala (Autumn Circle Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: pear tree branches

God is the experience of looking at a tree & saying, "Ah!" ~Joseph Campbell

I took this photo of an elder pear tree covered in lichen a couple of weeks ago during that yummy golden hour when the world is filled in magical light.

I love the way the textures and light was captured in this mandala. I've never created a mandala with nine points before either. How perfect for Art Every Day Month.

Susanne Fincher writes about the significance of the number nine in one of my favorite books, Creating Mandalas:

Symbolism associated with the number 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 the fact that we live a more complete existence when we integrate all three: the physical, the mental, and the spiritual.The number nine symbolized truth in mystic Hebrew tradition. Perhaps it appears in our mandalas to remind us of our own true nature. (p. 107)

Last night when this mandala was finished, I sat for a long time and soaked in the mandala's energy. It was just what I needed after a frustrating day. I hope you enjoy the glow of autumn light that's celebrated here. Do you feel the uplifting exciting energy of nine? I'd love to know what you see and feel in this mandala.

Thank you, Venerable Pear Tree, for sharing your gifts with us.

(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Honoring Autumn Mandala


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Heart Path MandalaHeart Path Mandala (Circles of Awareness Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: red valerian in autumn

In every heart there is the power to do it ~ Marianne Williamson

Today I want to say hi to my new Google followers and thank those of you visiting my site red valerian in autumnfrom Art Every Day Month. My mandala art is created from my own photographs of nature (usually flowers, but recently I have begun working with feathers and stones/crystals). I take my images into Photoshop where I "mandalize" them, intuitively isolating a sliver of the photograph which I duplicate and flip into a mirror image, repeating this process until I have a complete circle.
Then I wait and listen and feel into the mandala, asking what it wants to share. My intent is to take my ego out of the process as much as possible and ask my spiritual guidance to assist me in art making.

I'm pretty sure this is a photograph of red valerian in its autumn coat.

I love the hot pink/salmon/peachy/coral colors that emerged in this mandala. These colors are a blending of pink, orange, yellow, and red - 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st chakra colors. When we are rooted/secure (1st), fully feeling our feelings (2nd), are in touch with our will and God's will (3rd), the heart opens wide to give and receive love (4th). These are the paths of the heart.

Brightest blessings to you on your path!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Gate of Courage MandalaGate of Courage Mandala (Earth Mystery Mandalas) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image:local stone

I was attracted to the patterning on this stone and wondered what stories it might reveal. I don't remember where I found this stone, and after I created the mandala I wondered if I had been disrespectful in some way by not asking for permission to use its image. I had recently taken classes in shamanic journeying with
the intention of using these skills to enhance my art and my
creative process, and along the way I also developed a new level
of consciousness and awareness of my subject material I use in my mandalas. As a sentient being, perhaps this stone would actually prefer not to be studied.

In a journey, I connected with the stone’s spirit. The stone told me a story of being an ancient one and having come from far away. It told me to use the name Gate of Courage for the mandala. I asked this stone if it wanted to be returned outside, and it asked to be placed in my garden. And that is all I know.

Perhaps by spending time with the mandala, you will come to hear the story that is being

I am thankful for Stone’s gift to humanity.

Brightest blessings on your path!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas
(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Gate of Courage Mandala


Thursday, November 12, 2009

11:11 MANDALA - AEDM 12

11:11 mandala11:11 Mandala (Power Shield series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: red shouldered hawk feather

Creating this mandala yesterday was a story of synchronicity. My guidance tells me that the feather I used was from a red shouldered hawk. These birds are prevalent on the coast of California, and I often see them sitting on wires and highway signs, waiting to spot prey.

My guidance suggested using 11 points for the mandala; when I began creating the image, I noticed that it was 11:11 am, pst: 11 points at 11:11 on 11/11.

Numerologically, 11 is a master number. It represents illumination, a channel to the subconscious, insight, sensitivity, nervous energy and shyness. It is the psychic's number. (from Hawk medicine offers us protection, vision and messages from Spirit.

Much has been written about the phenomenon of 11:11. If you are interested in reading further, Solaris has dedicated much time and energy into this subject. This mandala is a gift for humanity, channeled through me, for the 11:11 energies.

Lighter we become.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

(red shouldered hawk image courtesy of google images/

(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

11:11 Mandala


Monday, November 09, 2009


source image: chicken feather

We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels 'cross the floor...(from A Whiter Shade of Pale)

It started with a chicken feather and my Wacom tablet. A little doodling, playing with orange, rust and gold with a splash of lavendar for an electric effect. I just wanted to have fun playing with color color color.

A fandango is lively Spanish dance. It can also mean a big fuss or brilliant exploit. I hear castanets and see swirly skirts. Ole!

Day 9 fun for Art Every Day Month.

Friday, November 06, 2009


zen dream mandalaZen Dream Mandala (Exploring the Mystery) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: fall grass

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream ~ Edgar Allan Poe

fall grassI love the dream world and associate it with November, when the nights get colder and the veil between ordinary and non-ordinary reality is thin.
This is Samhain, el Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Celtic New Year time. Spirits, our ancestors and loved ones come and visit. It's a moving powerful time of year.

I love these simple field grasses that show up in autumn; I wish I knew their names. Spirit directed me to use the 3 configuration, which is probably my least favorite , but I love the resulting simple yet powerful painterly quality.

As I was finishing this mandala, I felt my mother's presence behind me, telling me how much she liked it. Red, black and white was her favorite color combination. She left this world ten years ago, and it's been a while since I have noticed her energy around me. It felt good.

I quietly slipped into the Art Every Day Month challenge this year and missed the first few days.
This year I am focusing on things I want to play with and to practice being easy on myself. Sometimes that is the biggest challenge of all!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas
(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Zen Dream Mandala


Wednesday, November 04, 2009


infinite life mandalaInfinite Life Mandala (Circles of Awareness series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: Himalaya berries

And the seasons, they go round and round ~ Joni Mitchell
Himalaya berries
Himalaya berries grow in disarray along the North Coast of California, and their branches make a better barrier than barbed wire. I love sampling these plump, juicy, seedy gifts from heaven throughout the summer, testing them for ripeness, marveling at their succulence when they are just right and warm from the sun at high noon. It's not hard to imagine our ancestors conceiving of pie during those moments.

I took the photograph in early autumn, before the rains washed away berry sweetness. I love the beauty of the different stages of their ripeness against the backdrop of lush green leaves.

This mandala has eight rays, a number that symbolizes harmony, balance, and infinity. This configuration is also known as The Great Wheel, and it speaks of life's transitions.

The center of a mandala represents the self, and the center here is juicy ripe, dark and inviting. Be that center.

Thank you, Himalaya berries, for showing us your gift.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Infinite Life Mandala


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Circled in Warmth Mandala

Circled in Warmth MandalaCircled in Warmth Mandala (Power Shield Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: pheasant feather

Let us learn the secret language of light again. Also the letters of the dark. Learn the flight patterns of birds, the syllables of wolf howl and bird song, the moving pantomime of branch and leaf, valleys and peaks of whale calls, the long sentences of ants moving in unison, the combinations and recombinations of clouds, the codices of stars. Let us, thus, reconstitute the world, sign by sign and melody by melody ~Deena Metzger

I love living on the North Coast of California, but there are a few things I miss seeing that were part of my childhood growing up in Minnesota. Pheasants are one of them. I was blessed to grow up in a somewhat undeveloped area of Minneapolis with plenty of wildlife, and so my love of nature developed early in life. With their beautiful iridescent rust and teal green colors, I associate pheasants with the earthy autumn palette. Did you know that pheasants and peacocks are related? (pheasant image courtesy of Google).

Creating mandalas from feathers is always a learning experience for me, not only in the creation but also in the learning about different spiritual qualities and lessons that birds are here to offer us. Pheasants are associated with family matters and sexuality, and they show how to set a romantic mood through the warmth of their colors (Ted Andrews Animal Speak).

Pheasant aids in bringing healing to family matters with a renewed sense of closeness. Perceptions of old wounds have a chance to be reconciled as pheasant will show the way to verbalize forgiveness and compassion. Pheasant also teaches the art of concealment and the power of perseverance and confidence. (from Star Stuffs)

The seven pointed star configuration of this power shield mandala speaks of the mystical and introspective qualities of the Self. Seven is also associated with the seven directions (N,S,E,W, Above, Below and Center) called out in the creation of sacred space in Native American tradition.

Thank you, Pheasant, for all you have to teach us and for showing us how much there is to learn.

Bright blessings on your path!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

(Mandala prices include shipping and handling)

Circled in Warmth Mandala


Monday, November 02, 2009


"A human being is essentially a spirit-eye. Whatever you really see, you are that." ~Rumi

The 2010 Sacred Circle Mandala Calendar is now available for purchase. This year I chose quotes from Rumi to accompany each mandala image. Choosing just the right quote to go with each mandala was a true act of love, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I have been a Rumi fan for about 10 years. It is fascinating that a 13th century Persian mystic poet is finding such popularity in the 21st century. I like what Shamran Shiva, one of Rumi's translators, has to say about this phenomenon:
Rumi is able to verbalize the highly personal and often confusing world of personal/spiritual growth and mysticism in a very forward and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone. The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi, nor the world of a Hindu, nor a Jew, nor a Christian; it is the highest state of a human being--a fully evolved human. A complete human is not bound by cultural limitations; he touches every one of us. Today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene.
Rumi's quotes perfectly enhance these sacred circles, which are themselves a symbol of completion. This calendar would make a thoughtful and loving gift for anyone on your holiday list.
This year you have two ways to order your calendar:

I am offering you this option because I can save you a little bit in shipping costs, and these days, every little bit sure helps! In order to make sure your calendars are delivered in time for the holidays, I will need to have payment via PayPal, check or money order by November 30th. Email me and I will send you an invoice for your order.
Here's the details:
U.S. Customers
Each calendar is $24.95 plus $4.95 shipping Priority Mail.
More than 3 calendars ship $10.35 Priority Mail.
5 calendars or more are eligible for a quantity discount. Email me for details.
California residents will be charged 8.25% sales tax.
(I like to use Flat Rate Priority Mail, especially during the Holidays, because delivery is guaranteed within 2-3 days.)
Canadian/Mexican Customers
Each calendar is $24.95 USD plus $10.95 shipping Priority Mail.
More than 3 calendars ship $25.95 Priority Mail. All other details listed above apply to you as well.
Email me with the number of calendars you wish to purchase, payment method (Paypal, check or money order) and your shipping address, and I will send you an invoice.
Gifting someone? Want me to mail directly to your giftee? Not a problem. Just send that information in your email.

I would recommend those of you who live outside of North America to order directly from the publisher,, a print on demand company. I want you to receive your calendar on time, and I cannot guarantee that if you order from me. Those of you who would rather receive your calendar before mid-December might want to order directly from Lulu. com as well.
Here is the link for ordering your calendar directly from
Their ordering procedure is pretty self explanatory, and I'm sure you won't have any trouble ordering from the site.

Brightest blessings to you always on your path!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas