Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sacred Arts Studio

Sacred Arts Studio

      Archangel Michael: according tot he Talmud, the name Michael means 'like unto God'; the  title

Archangel means 'highest messenger'.  Traditionally, Michael is known as the most powerful of
all the Archangels, as defender of humanity against satanic forces, the great warrior of God.
     Legend speaks of Michael as the teacher of Moses and the protector of the Israelites in the 
Bible.  In the Christian tradition he is known as the patron saint of police officers and soldiers.
     According to esoteric sources he dwells on the sun and is represented by the element of fire.  In
mystic traditions he is the  acknowledged guardian of humanity and  serves to clear interior space
to allow us to become more whole.
     Call on Archangel Michael when you are in need of of intense intervention and help with detaching
from people or things that are harmful to you.  Visualize his flaming sword cutting you free of fears,
doubts and ties that mind and restrict your true spirit.

Archangel Michael
This is an original icon based on a Russian image from the 16th c.  It is painted in the traditional
Byzantine egg tempera technique on a 91/2" x 12 1/2" poplar board and is available for purchase.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday reflections

On Palm Sunday I attended a concert at the fabulous St. Josaphat Basilica in Milwaukee. While reading through the program I came across this little essay by a gentleman named Harvey Taylor. It was too lovely not to share. Here it is: I spoke with my friend,Maria, long ago, a conversation during a potluck, about her work as a midwife. She told me that a Cherokee medicine person she's apprenticed with taught her that in times of planetary peril, with chronic warfare and the destruction of Nature, highly-evolved beings stream into the world, like firefighters to an inferno, cosmic first-responders. I keep encountering people who remind me of what Maria said, vigorous elders, wise adults, radiant children ... and when I meet babies, I tell them, telepathically, Welcome, Friend...make yourself at home - we need all the help we can get.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Love Affair with the Buddha

Iconography is an artisitic endeavor, but even more it is a spiritual exercise. Each icon is a spiritual text illustrating spiritual principles and teachings, as sacred as the most revered holy works of the world's great religious. While writing this icon I was privileged to be immersed in the radiant presence of The Buddha. One of the great perks of iconography! Whenever I felt a shiver of insecurity or a wave of self-doubt regarding my ability to carry out this undertaking I felt a profound sense of calm washing over me, slaying the inner dragons that were roaring at the door. Into the ground pigments and semi-precious stones I added fragrant incense from Tibetan lamas, kindly donated by my Buddha-buddy Rich and mixed water blessed by the water crystals of Masaru Emoto into the pigment mixtures. Overtone chanting nourished the process and helped to hold the spiritual energy as the image took shape.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Studio Gallery - Current Selections

From the elemental cosmic landscape of Earth, Air, Water and Space, the Medicine Buddha manifests on a multi-colored lotus throne. Deep lapis blue in color, like a brilliantly clear jewel, the Buddha holds a myrobalan herb in his right hand and offers its healing benefits to ease the sufferings of humanity. His left hand rests in a meditation position, holding a begging bowl with medicinal plants. Tradition tells that merely reciting the name of The Medicine Buddha will bring spiritual benefit. Meditation upon his image brings healing of body and soul.

Archangel Michael
According to the Talmud, the name Michael means ‘like unto god’; the title Archangel means ‘highest messenger’.
Traditionally, Michael is known as the most powerful of all the Archangels, as defender of humanity against satanic forces, the great warrior of God. Legend speaks of Michael as the teacher of Moses and the protector of the Israelites in the Old Testament. In the Christian tradition he is known as the patron saint of police officers and soldiers. According to esoteric sources he dwells on the sun and is represented by the element of fire. In mystic traditions he is the acknowledged guardian of humanity and serves to clear interior space so that we can become more whole.
Call on Archangel Michael when you are in need of intense intervention, visualizing his flaming sword cutting you free of fears, doubts and ties that are binding and restrictive.

St. Brigid of Kildare One of three traditional saints of Ireland, St. Brigid was born to a pagan king and a Christian mother. Legends about St. Brigid abound, but one favorite tells of a young Brigid transmuting water into beer as an act of hospitality for visiting friars. Traditionally, she is also known for a mystic fire that burned in her convent for centuries from an unknown source. Named for a Celtic goddess, yet following a Christian path, Brigid is truly an alchemical figure. For those who bring Brigid into their lives she brings the archetypal energy of holding the tension of the opposites – the gift of true wisdom.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Transparency and the Transparent

I don't know about you, but transparency has become the new buzz word in my world. I hear it in the media, it comes up in consultations in our clinic and my clients tend to weave it into the threads of their stories in therapy sessions. I like word etymologies, finding that going back to the root of words can often bring fresh insight into the true meaning of a word. The definition of the word transparent is: capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material. The Latin root translates: to be seen through. Anyway you look at it, the word transparency speaks of no hidden agendas, guilelessness, clarity and singularity of intention. In reflecting on transparency I rediscovered this piece by Mother Theresa, which addresses transparency and a whole lot more: People are unreasonable, illogical & self-centered * Love them anyway * If you do good people may accuse you of selfish motives * Do good anyway * If you are successful you may win false friends and true enemies * Succeed anyway* The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow* Do good anyway* Honesty & transparency make you vulnerable* Be honest & transparent anyway* What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight* Build anyway* People who really want help may attack you if you help them* Help them anyway* Give the world the best you have & you may get hurt* Give the world your best anyway* Mother Theresa from Meditations from a Simple Path

Art & Soul Stimulus Proposal

Ok, so I can't personally do anything to stimulate the macro-economy, but perhaps I can generate some soulful inspiration and help support belief in the intervention of higher powers. And, boy, do we ever need that now!
Please join me and my spirit-filled soul siblings for an afternoon of icons, archetypes and downloads from higher sources.
WHAT: Icons by the hand of Andrea Bowes
WHERE: Leehouts Art Gallery at the Unitarian Universalist Church 1342 N. Astor St. Milwaukee
WHEN: Sunday, April 26th 1 - 3:00pm
Hope to see you there!
Icons will be on exhibit until June 2nd and can be viewed week day hours, as well.
(click on image for a larger view)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shanti & The Patron Saint of Music

My oldest daughter Shanti is a singer of songs. Shanti means peace in Sanskrit, her name my attempt to bring some calm to the little being whose presence in my womb I could already feel was dynamic and intense. From the time Shanti was a wee little girl she could be found singing her heart out – as she played with her dolls, or built sand kingdoms in the sand box and as she went about her Shanti-day. I have a vivid memory of her in the bathtub at the tender age of three chanting in all her God-given nakedness: “ Holy Father, Holy Father,…. can you hear me,… can you hear me?” her cherubic voice resonating the little tile- walled cathedral. All peace aside, Shanti was and is a force of nature. A fierce believer in all things fair and beautiful Shanti would start small insurrections in the school lunchroom and then wrap herself in silken scarves and dance around the kitchen like the fairy princess she was. As she grew, music remained her most loyal companion - the piano a source of comfort and healing; her voice a growing crescendo of self-expression. Today, the power of her voice can shatter glass and the words of her songs can shatter your heart. As a child Shanti would sing herself to sleep and now as a beautiful young woman she sings the world awake. And so, after completing my first two icons ( by orthodox tradition you are obliged to paint first the Archangels Michael & Gabriel) I purposed to paint an icon of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music, for my lovely Shanti. As is my custom, I began to research the saint and found, that despite the many paintings and depictions of Cecilia, she in fact did not play an instrument or sing as a profession! Cecilia was born into a patrician family in 2nd century Rome and into a culture of fierce paganism. A devout Christian, Cecilia was beheaded for her beliefs. According to the legend she did not die for three days, but remained in a state of ecstasy singing until she finally succumbed. Her immense determination and fierce adherence to her beliefs is a wonderful reminder of the energy and resolve required to remain true to your artistic vision. And for Shanti, my force of-nature-singer-of- songs child an appropriate saint!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Three Gatekeepers

I sometimes come across a teaching that resonates so strongly with me that I want to share it with others. This is one such piece of wisdom. It is a Buddhist teaching that I came across years ago which has become a part of my internal process when deciding whether or not to tell someone something which may be hard to hear. According to traditional Buddhist teaching these are three gatekeepers your words must pass through before they leave your mouth: the words must first be true, they must secondly be kind and lastly, they must be necessary. True, kind and necessary. If words are true, but not kind or necessary you abuse the receiving person, bludgeoning them with the truth: It's true, therefore I have the right to say it. A lot of hurtful words and power dynamics get delivered in the wrapping of The Truth. If words are true and kind but not necessary, they are self-serving and manipulative. If words are necessary and true but not kind they will be met with resistance and defensive maneuvers and so will not accomplish their intended purpose. True in this sense does not mean absolute, carved in granite Truth, but represents your highest knowing, your feeling in the moment, what you genuinely perceive to be true. Kind does not mean that the words are empty platitudes or artificially nice, but that they are the most loving words you can say, even if they are painful. Necessary means that the words you say should serve a higher purpose, bring about a higher good or foster deeper understanding. If your words pass through all three gates, being true, kind and necessary, they will bring no harm to the other person and will pave the way for deeper understanding and closer shared intimacy.
Golden Medicine Buddha thangka courtesy of Mark Taylor, Round River Retreat Center, Genoa, WI. Thangka painted by Tashi Dhondub.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Art of the Byzantine Icon

These images are faithful reproductions of icons that have been painted in the ancient 15th century Byzantine tradition. It is a tradition that has been guarded and handed down from master to student for centuries. Traditionally, the painting process is considered to be a spiritual exercise and the images are believed to be windows to the divine beings they represent. While painting, the icon writer uses chant, incense and prayer to sanctify the undertaking and to infuse the image with a sacramental tincture. The icons are painted on specially prepared poplar boards. Egg tempera pigments are created from semi-precious stones and minerals that have been crushed to a fine powder. the image is created with successive layers of paint; with each new layer there is an ever-increasing integration of the colors and a deepening of the spiritual presence. Once complete, the image is chrismated with warm linseed oil and then blessed into service. The writing of these icons has truly been a labor of love and is the expression of a spiritual vocation. It is my hope that these sacred images will awaken the viewer to Divine Presence and bring archetypal energy and healing into the lives of those who embrace them.