Thursday, 28 February 2008


"Our Lady, Theotokos, of the Universe (and of the Sign)".

This is my most recent icon. I started it on Tuesday of this week and reached the first draft stage today!

This is the wonderful thing that can happen when an idea really catches hold of your imagination.

For me this happened when two pieces of information came together at the right time and in the right way.

First, I had been looking quite a bit lately at a particular type of icon of our Blessed Mother known as "The Sign".

Here is a modern example.

It is usually called "Theotokos" which means "Mother of God" in Greek. Actually, it means even more than that but that is sufficient for now.

The Christ Child you see in the circle represents Jesus in her womb.

This image is supposed to have appeared miraculously at different times during different conflicts as a "Sign" that Our Lady was interceding for those in distress and that she obviously had the ear of her Son since she is His very Mother!

As I said, I had been considering drawing my version of this icon, but just couldn't seem to get myself sufficiently motivated.

Then, I happened to get a book from the library entitled GREEN SISTERS : A Spiritual Ecology by Sarah McFarland Taylor.

Green sisters are environmentally active Catholic nuns who are working to heal the earth as they cultivate new forms of religious culture.

One of these Green Sisters by the name of Bernadette Bostwick has "written" an icon called "Mary of the Cosmos" which you see here in black and white.

I found a small photo on the web of this icon in colour, but you can see the detail better, I think, in the black and white.

At any rate, the concept of this icon combined with the traditional "Sign" icon seemed to inspire me to create my own version of Mother of God/Mother of the Universe.

If you glance back at my icon at the beginning of this post, you will see that while I included the kingly child in the womb of Mary, I also included a background made up of a star chart from our part of the universe.

For whatever reasons, I find myself deeply moved by this icon. If you have any reactions -- good or bad -- or any suggestions for improvement, please feel free to contact me at my email address.

Oh, yes, for anyone who may be interested, my Clivia is just about to bloom again and it looks like there might be as many as 12 blossoms!

Peace and blessings to you all.

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