We are a team of people with shops on Etsy.com who walk similar alternative spiritual paths, focusing our beliefs in the world of Nature. Our team membership encompasses different Goddess-based traditions, as well as Taoism, Buddhism and similar paths. Our shops are as diverse as our membership. We are not limited to selling only items representing our spiritual path, but also create to make your everyday world a better and more interesting place.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mandalas: circles of the soul

Mandalas are symbols that often feature in East team members' work, as in Cobaltquilter's design above, called 'Yoni the Sacred Feminine'. The word mandala comes from Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) and loosely means 'circle'. It can be seen as a representation of 'one-ness' or wholeness. The intricate and colourful Tibetan sand mandalas are representations of the whole cosmos and the act of creating one is undertaken by monks as a meditative process. The mandalas are full of symbolic meaning and once complete they are destroyed as a demonstration of the impermanence of all things. Mandalas can be complex and intricate, like Indigoluna's 'Autumn Earth Mandala Quilt, or simple as in Spiritmama's 'Om T-shirt', below.

Mandalas have long been used as a meditative tool. Some of the earliest are the Yantras - precise geometrical patterns that have their origins in Indian Vedic traditions. The meditator sits and gazes upon the Yantra, studying its pattern, which forms a bridge to higher realms of consciousness. This idea is expressed in one of Ideasign's many beautiful mandala's, 'Somewhere Between Body and Soul', shown below.

But as well as helping us to reach higher levels of consciousness, mandalas can also help us to go inwards. By drawing our own mandalas, we can begin a healing dialogue with our inner selves.
Perhaps the first to fully explore this idea was psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who used mandalas in his analysis. Jung was always interested in symbolism within various cultures and he saw mandalas as the "path to the centre, to individuation" (which was the core of his work). He began drawing his own mandalas daily, reflecting on the insights they gave. And he used them with his patients, allowing the patients to discuss the images they created and what they represented.

It really is very simple to reap the benefits of mandalas. Give yourself an hour or so of undisturbed time. Play some contemplative music, and let your mind relax. First draw a large circle on a piece of paper. This will be the basis of your mandala. Now think upon a theme, or go on a guided visualisation (such as to meet your Wise Being, inner sanctuary, inspirational place) where you will allow your inner eye to visualise your own mandala. Holding this image, now create it on your page. Don't worry - this is not a competition - you don't have to be able to 'draw' like an artist, just have fun and create. Your mandala may be intricate and geometrical - so get out the ruler and protractor; it may be figurative or perhaps it is a mass of colours. There are no rules! Anything goes - just get it down. Pastels or chalks are great as they help you to sketch out the image quickly.

When you have finished your mandala, have a good look at it. Is it trying to tell you something? If drawing a mandala is really not your thing – just keep your eyes open. Mother Nature loves to create mandalas and if you look, you'll see that they are all around us:

Shown above are celticgoddessjewellery's Black Nautilus Earrings and Greenfinger's Pentacle Wreath.

This article was compiled by Healingstones and was extracted from an article on her blog. For more articles about crystals and such, visit Stoneweaver.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Symbolism of the Sacred - The Pentagram Star

Exploring the sacred meaning of symbols and imagery with beautiful and inspiring examples from members of the EarthPath Artisans Street Team.

The Pentagram Star:
The pentagram or pentacle is a five pointed star which fits perfectly into a pentagon and often appears within a circle. It is associated with the number five and all expressions of fiveness including five fingers, five senses, five Platonic volumes and five elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. This fifth element of spirit is also known as quintessence, the source of the word quintessential which speaks to us of heart and soul. Slice open an apple or a pear and see the five pointed star in the arrangement of the seeds. The flower of almost every edible fruit has five petals.
Over a period of 8 years the planet Venus traces a pentacle in the sky. This was known by many early civilizations including the Mayans, Egyptians and Greeks. It is no wonder that this five pointed star is associated with the Goddess, mystery and magic.
Through it's mathematical connection to the Fibonacci spiral and the Golden ratio it has qualities of regeneration, harmony and beauty. From ancient times this star has been used to ward off evil and can be used in the home, in rituals or worn as protection.

This beautiful print by magickmermaid titled 'Goddess Heart in Circle" perfectly expresses the relationship between the five pointed star, the Goddess, the circle of life and the essence of the heart. The yellow trefoil knot is a symbol of unity and harmony. This would be perfect as a meditation or altar piece, or simply as a decoration in your home.

I love the subtle quality of this knotted pentacle pendant by knottysheep. Based on a Chinese knot called wufu, which literally means "five fortunes, this pendant is a beautiful and profound weaving of East and West. It could be worn as protection or for good luck and prosperity.

For more beautiful pentagram inspired creations search using the words' east team' and then 'star', 'pentacle' or' pentagram' on Etsy.com.

This feature has been prepared for you by Morgen of Inkyspider Textile Designs and Kootsac re-usable bulk food bags.

Friday, October 3, 2008

October Giveaway - Divapixie of Fools and Jewels (an EASTIE!)

Show your support for your fellow Eastie! Divapixie of Fools and Jewels has donated THREE yes 3, Halloween pendants! There will be THREE winners! Two bottle cap pendants with a Halloween theme and also a resin Halloween pendant! Each one comes ready to wear with a chain!

October Giveaway! Divapixie has generously donated THREE, yes THREE items to giveaway! We will have a first place, second place and third place winners, randomly generated by random.org.

Contest Rules:
Please post your comments on my blog at http://www.buyindie.blogspot.com, each post counts as one entry, then leave me a bit of information about one of her products from her etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5052896, don't forget to leave your email address in the comment so I can notify you if you are the winner! (or leave me some way to contact you)

Earn some extra entries for this contest! Blog about this contest on your own blog or website and post a link in your comment! Be sure to enter and tell all your friends! If you refer a friend and post their screen name in your post, you win another entry!

***This contest ends October 22nd!***

What Diva Pixie says about herself:

"Hello, my name is Cindy. I'm a native Minnesotan who now resides in Dodge City Kansas. I saw a set of jewelry pliers in a clearance bin at Ben Franklin's one Christmas and thought they looked interesting... the results are here in my etsy shop. I am currently taking a Metalsmithing class at the local college as well to hone in my skills. I do take custom orders with 50% upfront for cost of materials and 50% upon completion. Any questions, comments or even if you just want to chat convo me. Have a sparkly day!!!"

What her customers are saying about her:

"Thank you so much for making this custom piece for me, it is fantastic! This was such a smooth transaction and you took the time to figure out exactly what I was looking for. I highly recommend this etsian!"

"Wonderful Etsy User! Divapixie makes the most beautiful jewelry! This shop is a must to check out for original, gorgeous and reasonably priced handcrafted jewelry!!"

"I LOVE this necklace! It feels mine, like I have owned it all my life and worn it almost every day. It feels a part of me like my wedding ring. What can I say? Divapixie has outdone herself creating this peice for me. It is perfect. Thank you so much!"