Christian art: the sun and the moon

The synoptic gospels tell us that, at the moment Christ died, darkness swept over the land for three hours (Mark 15:33, Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44-45). In manuscripts and painted works of art that depicted this event, color was frequently exploited to illustrate darkness and to create a dramatic setting. The celestial bodies of the sunContinue reading “Christian art: the sun and the moon”

Praying through our senses

Some creative prayer ideas from 1/ Rock of salvation Hold stones or glass beads to symbolise a hard problem; place it near a cross. 2/ Light of the World Scented tea lights placed in front of a newspaper (to pray for those in the news) 3/ Fruit of the Spirit Drink fruit juices whichContinue reading “Praying through our senses”

Understanding Buddhist Symbols

The following is an excerpt from Sangharakshita “Vision and Transformation” where he expounds on The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. This is his explanation of the first of the eight steps on the path. I found it interesting because here he communicates it through a series of images rather than concepts. So what is this Perfect Vision? OneContinue reading “Understanding Buddhist Symbols”

A guide to Buddhist hand gestures

Buddhist art frequently depicts Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other deities with their hands forming a number of different ritualised and stylised gestures (Mudras). They may be holding different objects as well within these gestures. Each by itself and in combination with others have specific meanings. Some of the more common ones are depicted below. One ofContinue reading “A guide to Buddhist hand gestures”

A visual guide to Shiva symbolism

Shiva is one of the most widely known and revered Hindu gods. In the Hindu mythology, Shiva is the Destroyer, working in concert with Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Protector. Shiva has always fascinated his followers by his unique appearance: he has not two but three eyes, has ash smeared all over his body,Continue reading “A visual guide to Shiva symbolism”

Decoding the symbolism of the cosmic dancer

Nataraja is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture. It depicts the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer and the Sanskrit word actually translates as Lord of Dancers. His dance is called Tandavam or Nadanta, depending on the context and the pose and artwork isContinue reading “Decoding the symbolism of the cosmic dancer”

A spotters guide to alchemical symbols

These are some of the most common symbols in Alchemy and consequently the ones you’ll most likely encounter, if you keep your eyes open. In my experience they come up, not only in explicitly magickal contexts, but also in movies, gaming, music videos, and other expressions of pop culture. It is worth noting that theContinue reading “A spotters guide to alchemical symbols”

A spotters guide to Aboriginal symbols

These are some symbols you will commonly come across in Australian Aboriginal art. An important point to note is that the perspective is generally that of looking down on the land from above, as is common for maps. Because that’s what Aboriginal artworks actually are. Now try testing your new skills on this painting. CanContinue reading “A spotters guide to Aboriginal symbols”