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--==Sacred Circle==--

Sacred Circle Painting

Completed: 1.13.2001
Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas
Dimensions: 24" x 12"

The prompt for this piece required the involvement of some cultural aspects, including a border influenced by our chosen culture. After the success of A New Dawn (and my continued interest in the culture), I chose the Sioux again, and, after doing some research on their cultural beliefs and traditional spirituality, I came up with this. This piece is pretty cool in that it has a lot of meaning tied up in it. Presented in the center is the medicine wheel of the Sioux, with each color representing one of the Four Directions (or the Four Winds). I've associated each panel with its respective color, and given some sort of clue as to its meaning. The wheel starts with the north in the upper right (the red quarter), and moves clockwise to east, south, and then west, just like a compass. The North Wind is the bringer of winter, as well as cold, hardship, and spiritual cleansing. The east wind is the bringer of the dawn, and it represents sun, good lives, and wisdom. The South Wind is the bringer of Summer, and it represents warmth, growth, and Heaven. Finally, the West Wind is the bringer of darkness, sunsets, and rains, and it also represents water in general. The border itself is taken from different symbols used on the Sioux's ethnic pottery, and each symbol has its own individual meaning--represented here are the four directions (a diamond with a cross), paths crossing (I think it's the upper right corner), storms (look for two lightning bolts), the rains (look for a drippy line), courage (the eagle, upper left), horse tracks (aka journey, look for four squares missing one side), and then one extra symbol (lower left) that I can't remember. This was a whole lot of fun to do (as you can probably tell :) ), and I really am proud of the result.