"Sacred Thread Mandala" 
by Cynthia Ré Robbins

                       
          

           The Sacred Thread Mandala is a representation of my personal spiritual iconography which is mainly a combination of the Old Religion of the Celts and Native American beliefs. Both are earth based, placing a high importance on being in tune with and respectful of nature. Both include female deities along with male gods. Both recognize a One Source, a Universal Spirit that is the energy behind everything.
          The upper left corner is Father Sky. He is spreading a rainbow over all of life, signifying the vision that Black Elk experienced, that the Native American ways would be revived by peoples of all colors someday, and that this would restore our planet to balance and health.
          The upper right corner is the Weaver. She is the Creatrix, weaving the fabric of Life. The thread connects all of life. This shows how we all need each other. Everything we do has an effect upon the world. There is no Beginning and no End.
          The lower right corner is the Lord of the Forest. He is the protector of animals. He is the also the Sun King and the cycle of the seasons is symbolized by his rebirth, growth, mating with the Goddess, and death never ending. It was my choice to portray him as a Buddhist monk.
          The lower left corner shows the Lady of the Lake. She is also Earth Mother, Gaia, and the Moon Goddess. In the Old Religion, she was the high priestess who was believed to be the incarnation of the Goddess. The Goddess spoke through her, and she guided the people and made prophesies.
          The center of my painting is a spiral light that represents the One Light. This Great Spirit has many names in the worldís religions, and it is the same by whatever name.
          Around the Light are the faces of the Goddess - the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. We have again a metaphor for the phases of life, the ongoing cycle. Each has its beauty and its power. The energy of the phases of the moon corresponds to each face of the Goddess. The New Moon is the Maiden. The Full Moon is the Mother. The Waning Moon is the Crone.
          Each of the 4 directions has its corresponding color, season, time of day, moon phase, power animals, and many other aspects. The colors are different for the Celts and the Native Americans. I have used the Celtic colors. These directions are called upon when there is a spiritual ritual to raise power and receive protection and guidance.
          It is not considered a sacrilege to ìdivideî the spiritual world in this way, because the core belief is that All is One. We know that the Source is the One Light, what Christians refer to as God. Every Goddess, power animal, deity, crystal, star, moon, sun, is but an expression of the Divine. Everything has its purpose and can help us in its special way. We use all of the Creatorís gifts to grow and heal.

Cynthia Ré Robbins