I thought I’d share the symbolism around my logo and the inspiration behind it as it directly reflects the intention for my work, my spiritual journey, and the vision that I hold for the world during this transformative time in our history. I painted this icon when I returned from a pilgrimage to Peru in 2006. Dear friends from Canada—Terence, Carol, and Jim, who are also spiritual teachers for me—lead small groups to Peru in order that we may experience this sacred landscape and learn from the indigenous peoples the ancient spiritual teachings of the Andes. The intention for our pilgrimage was inspired in part by The Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. There is a lot on the web around the prophecy but in brief:
The prophecy story relates that in the beginning all the earth’s people were one, but long ago they divided into two groups, and each one followed a different path to development. The people of the Eagle became highly scientific and intellectual, indicative of a masculine energy. This would represent those of us living in the industrialized West. Whereas, the people of the Condor became highly attuned to nature and the intuitive realm, or what might be the feminine energy. This refers to the indigenous peoples—or the people of the heart.
It was foretold in the ancient prophecy that during this period of time, or what is referred to as the Fifth Pachacuti (world turned upside down), civilization would be on the brink of collapse which we are now seeing in the extensive ecological degradation of the planet as well as the recent breakdown of our economic structures. The prophecy says that at this time in the earth’s history, the Eagle people and the Condor people will rejoin. Remembering that they are one people, they will reconnect, remember their common origin, share their knowledge and wisdom, and save each other. The eagle and condor will fly together in the same sky, wing to wing, and the world will come into balance after a point of near extinction. Neither the eagles nor the condors will survive without this collaboration, and from this rejoining of the two peoples, a new alloy consciousness will emerge that honors the Eagle people for their remarkable accomplishments of the mind, and honors the Condor people for the deep wisdom of the heart. Together—and only together—the crisis will be resolved and a sustainable future will emerge for all.
As a small community, or allyu, we visited the holy sites of Machu Picchu, Tipon, Ollantaytambo, and Pisaq where we spent time in ceremony and learning from a native community—dear friends/family of our leaders—who are bringing back the ancient ways under the tutelage of the Q’ero shamans. This wonderful community of men, women, and children opened their hearts to us, invited us into their world, and shared their great wisdom (and music!) with us. I felt a profound connection to all the people of Peru as well as to the Earth, or Pachamama as she is known in South America. This truly was a sacred encounter between the eagle and the condor. What a gift to undertake this journey as so many others who are now being called to this holy land. Our allyu was additionally blessed to encounter His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Cusco while he was there making a visit to meet with the Q’eros people, who continue to live high in the Andes and live in reciprocity, or ayni, with Pachamama.
When I returned I was inspired to begin a series of artworks around this journey and am continuing the project at this time. I also felt called to create an icon or logo that would integrate the wisdom of these teachings to represent the long term vision for my work in the world and the studio. The result is a synthesis of the Inka Cross and the mandala (see Shri Yantra Mandala post for more information on mandalas). The Inka Cross (or Chakana) traditionally has wider sections in the north, east, south, and west quadrants, but I felt inspired to emphasize the symmetry throughout the piece to symbolize the balance between the masculine and feminine—as represented by the sun/moon and the yin/yang symbols. The spiral in the North represents the deepening spiritual journey that is needed for all beings to bring about the new emerging consciousness that the prophecy speaks to. The three-stepped quadrants in each of the four directions symbolize: the places we meet or the three realms (upper, middle, lower), the spirit helpers for each realm (condor, puma, serpent), what we bring to community (mind, body, heart) and the three ways we come together in community (labor for all, connection, reciprocity). The Inka cross essentially represents a spiritual and ethical framework for living in harmony with each other and the Earth. And at the center my icon is the heart of the world—love—which is my vision for a world at peace and one that honors the Earth and all life upon her. May it be so. Aho.