Mandala Aces – The Four Elements

 


I created these mandala paintings to represent the four elements in the Tarot, Earth for Pentacles, Air for Swords, Fire for Wands and Water for Cups.

While I was painting them, I was aware that they were becoming so much more than just the representations of the different suits in the cards. As always, while I am painting I feel messages coming through as I am led to create a piece of art that holds a special significance.

The Water Mandala is named The Fountain of Love.  It is the chalice from which comes unconditional love, the Christ Light.

The dove of peace perches on the chalice, its beak touches and gently breaks the circle which is the spiritual host.  She awaits her twin flame, the divine masculine, to reunite with her to bring unification and wholeness to the world.  Everything in the painting, the lotus flowers, the water, the fish and the rays of the sun are brimming with this new 5th dimensional energy that lights up our lives. The movement of the water in the painting is flowing lovingly in and around the flowers as they move in rhythm to a new song, a new way of being, a new way of living.  The water element gently pulls us into this flow of love and life as we become one with our own sacred selves.

The Eternal Flame Mandala originally had its conception in the Ace of Wands Mandala. 

That first little ‘doodle’ I did for a tarot project many moons ago.  It was stolen off my blog post and used all over the world.  Just my luck that one of my images went viral and my name wasn’t on it!! (Universe….do you hear me?) It all came from my imagination –  out of the blue.  One thing lead to another.  First the wand, then the tree connecting the wand to its roots and the sky.  The Kundalini energy rises through the trunk. Then emerged the butterfly with two pieces of the same heart on each of its wings.  The two halves of the heart are in constant motion as the butterfly moves her wings; first together, then apart, in the dance of life. My intuition brought forth the most incredible paradox; that we must split apart (as unique souls) or separate (as twin flames) in order to  journey back together again and become united.

The fire of life, the eternal flame of our spirit, is held in the grace of the holy spirit as we strive to become whole through our endings and beginnings.  Don’t ask me why we are here on earth school to do this and to learn this.  Our loves, our lives and our relationships are in constant motion, creating and re-creating our ever growing consciousness.  This is the story of life.  The process of creativity which is kept alive by the eternal flame, the original spark, that light in the dark.

As Carolyn Myss says, “We’re not here to get it.  We’re here to DO it!”

The Ace of Swords Mandala  is still being developed. The Swords suit in the Tarot carry the energy of Air; communication, dialogue and truth.  They also denote some of the most painful situations in our lives that are directly linked with physical and mental suffering.  If you have ever experienced heart-ache or the dark night of the soul you will know exactly what I am talking about.  The swords however are  two-edged objects.  They can be used to kill as well as defend. Herein lies the dichotomy of the swords suit. My original card was a sword pointing downwards.  A friend pointed out that this is a tricky position for the sword to be in.  One the one hand we are claiming our truth.  On the other hand, the energy is directed inwardly and remains trapped.  Our lessons in life are mostly cutting and sad.  (Have you ever met anyone who has had a swords-free existence?  Me neither.)

Yet. This is exactly what we must learn with this swords energy.  The need to turn our troubles around and direct our energy outwards and upwards to OVERCOMING our obstacles.

We do this by LEARNING from our mistakes.  (Learning is directly linked with the Mercurial energy of the mind and communication, hence AIR, the substance of this suit. Directing the swords energy outwards does not mean passing on your shitty day to someone else or dumping on them (as we humans are wont to do!).  It means we must learn to rise above the trouble.  See it from a distance.  Gain perspective.  Look at the situation from a worldly point of view.  In this way we raise our vibrations to the next level.  Swords give us perspective, clarity, truth.  Sure we can stay in our misery, fears and anxiety.  But learning this will help us to overcome one of the most base instincts we’ve been put on this earth to overcome.  That of our small selves.

I will be developing the Swords Mandala in the coming weeks and will post here when it is ready.

The Secret Garden Mandala represents the suit of Pentacles and Earth.

We can relate so easily to the earth element as we are made of this stuff.  The Pentacles denote our physical selves and physical lives.  It is very down to earth.  They represent our connection to the earth, nature, our day to day lives and working for a living.  Their energy is slow moving and is linked to earth time.  Earth time reminds us to ‘take our time’, ‘slow down’, ‘smell the roses’.  The five pointed star in the Pentacle represents our human body (1 head, 2 arms and 2 legs).  It also represents our 5 senses.  It is through connecting with the earth in a simple straightforward way that we can reach the heights of ecstasy.  Remember…how do you feel when you smell a rose (heavenly?).  What do you remark when you see a sunset (Breathtaking?).  It is in the small detail of the day to day routine of slow, sometimes boring, life that we are given the key to the universe.  You don’t believe me?  Try it.  Stop.  Slow down.  Meditate.  Become one with your body, your self, your heart and your breath.  When you do you will become one with all of life and know the answers to everything. It works.  Today say out loud…

“I am grateful for my life and all that is in it.  I am happy in my body.  I am happy being me.  I am here.  All is here.  I am the beginning and end of creation”.

Still don’t believe me?  Ask yourself.  How was I born.  A woman and a man came together to create you.  A human woman gave birth to you. The mystery of YOU came into being….. isn’t that God’s job?  Yes.  We are all Gods and Godessess.  Human Life is Sacred. In The Secret Garden the woman sits alone with nature, and through going within, becomes one with all.  She connects to her eternal cycles and the eternity of her being.

The Fountain of Love Mandala and other cards can be purchased as a giclee print or greetings card on my website katebedell.com.

 

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Pisces XII

Pisces watermark and (c)

I’m starting with Pisces and will be working backwards through the signs for individual Zodiac images.  This one is 12 x 12″ and is done in Watercolour and collage. A giclee print  will be available for sale on Fine Art America (or a signed copy directly from me).  The original has been sold to a lovely lady from New Jersey.  She was just out for a stroll along Merrion Square with her husband during a tour of Ireland and became mesmerized by the beautiful blues and greens of this image.

The Evolution of an Idea

Ace of Wands Mandala
Ace of Wands Mandala

I painted this piece as part of a project on the Tarot. The theme was the Ace of Wands and I started with the basic Mandala format. This encourages all that is in my unconscious to come to the fore. The idea behind the Ace of Wands is that it is made up of Fire energy which promotes creativity, both with self and our relationship to others and the rest of the world. It often appears in a Tarot spread when a new creative venture is about to burst forth or indeed it can also be translated into the fiery passion we feel when we fall in love.

The basic “Wand” shape appears in gold. The Wands in the Tarot are traditionally made from wood, and are seen as sticks or wands (perhaps a magic wand). In the painting I have done the wand as still part of the tree of life (which is also featured in another painting I have done – a suitable image for the Lovers Card). The magical tree is rooted deep in the earth where the fire energy comes from, and through a process of meandering growth (new growth seen sprouting from the trunk) emerges into the light of the rainbowed sky.

The Butterfly image is a metaphor for transformation, her wings bearing the symbols of a heart in two pieces. This puts forth the question, do we become whole through the breaking of our hearts, or in the coming together of our hearts with another through relationship?

I believe the answer lies in the movement of her wings. When she flies, the two halves come together making the heart whole again. To grow, each of us needs both separation and togetherness. Life and Love exist through eternal movement.

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