I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you
Goddess Alight explores the concept of the divine feminine and includes a number of symbols from various cultures, theologies, and eras, so I thought to provide some context through these classic interpretations. Here are a few clues to the symbols in the painting to get you started on the road to reflection. Just hover over the images to read about the meaning.
For further food for thought, here are a list of the colors used in the painting and their meanings:
Black- the color of power, mystery, hidden aspects of the life cycle. It relates to the secretive, the unknown, and times of waiting and preparedness.
Blue-the color of peace and spiritual power. It connects to the throat chakra and verbal expression.
Green-The color of growth, fertility and harmony. Connected with the heart chakra and the element of air, green is connected with love and nature, and believed to bring wholeness into our lives.
Gold- Represents wisdom, higher ideals, enlightenment
Orange/ Apricot- The color of creativity, sexuality, energy, balance and warmth. It is associated with the sacral chakra and the element of water.
Pink-the color of caring, compassion, love. Pink is aligned with Venus (love) and the moon (feminine power.) It has both fire and air elements.
White-the color of peace, innocence, birth, marriage. Pure and powerful, it symbolizes oneness with the universe.
Yellow- The color of hope, imagination, joy. It connects to the solar plexus chakra and the sense of sight.
Just in case you’re interested, here’s a super quick art history lesson:
(You can take the girl out the classroom, but.....)
Symbols, both figurative and geometric, have been integrated into works of art for a long, long time. In fact, signs and symbols can be found in nearly every Paleolithic site in Western Europe. You can read more about that here.
Moving on the twelfth century. Symbols were commonly embedded in Gothic, Byzantine and Renaissance art. As few people were literate during that time, paintings acted the storybooks of the day. Colors and symbols and the placement of both in a painting were part of a rich and consistent visual language. For example, Mary was always dressed in blue; St. Nicholas in red. To make doubly sure that St. Nick was properly identified, he held three golden orbs. As well, each type of flower and fruit in a painting held a particular meaning and message for its viewers. Placement was important, too: keys in a man’s hand represented St. Peter and the keys to the kingdom, but keys laying near a cup or a bowl of fruit represented corruption. People of the time were adept picture readers and easily translated the symbols of the day into their intended meanings. You can learn more about that here.
Fast forward to today, where the thought's the thing. Infographics, iconography, emoticons and other symbols mix with and replace traditional text to spread ideas quickly and across language barriers. You can read more about that here.
I’d like to be able to say that I don’t have to have a ton of bricks drop on my head in order to make me to sit up and pay attention. Regrettably, this is not always true.
The suggestion to visit Sedona, Arizona kept popping into my life—an online advertisement for a cooking class, an unsolicited Trip Advisor review, an email about a wellness retreat located in Sedona, an art class offered at the Sedona Art Center. With my characteristic brand of single mindedness, I managed to ignore them all. Then, in mid August, I had the world’s shortest dream. Three words: Go to Sedona. Having unsuccessfully tried the subtle approach, the universe got right to the point. And it worked. I booked the trip the very next day.
I made my very first trip to Sedona in November. When I told friends about my plans, those who had been before became both very enthusiastic and uncharacteristically inarticulate. “Oh. Sedona,” they would nod sagely. “It’s just..the red rock…so spiritual..you turn the corner and then..it’s... you’re going to love it.”
Well, I did love it. Having now been there, I understand that it does, to some degree, defy description. I can use words like majestic, magical, magnetic, ever changing, encompassing, enfolding, renewing and timeless, but what does that really tell you? Like many exceptional places and moments, Sedona is something that you simply have to experience for yourself.
One of the things that I learned from my time as a museum curator is that, sometimes, there simply is no substitute for the real thing. You can talk about it, sing about it, paint it, photograph it, write about it, pontificate, et al. Nonetheless, in order to really understand a place, to absorb it in your heart and in your bones, you have to experience it for yourself. I felt that way in the Sistine Chapel, atop the Arc de Triomphe, at the top of the world in the Atlas Mountains and in the coral canyons of Hawaii. And I experienced the same sensation in Sedona.
I’m still thinking about and processing my time in that golden place, and I expect I’ll continue to do so for a while. Is it showing up in my artwork? Definitely. While dwelling happily in the land of palm trees and dolphins, I find my paintbrush turning to Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek Canyon. Will I go back again? I can’t wait.
What places call to you and inspire you? And what have you learned there that you choose to carry with you and make a part of your life?