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Dreamer ~ A Tree of Life

"Dreamer,” is a Wildlife Illuminated Mandala featuring 12 of the most endangered birds of California. I exhibited at the Sawdust Arts Festival in the summer of 2014.I knew all my art friends loved my endangered illuminated manuscript work and I knew I potentially was on to something. I worked on “Dreamer,” at my booth at the Sawdust Arts Festival and completed it as part of the artist art demonstration process. I loved when all the avid bird watchers would come into my booth, point to each one, and call them by their name. Sometime little children would ask me to name them and ask, “What does that one do?” It became a classroom of sorts with eager students. The Wildlife Illuminated Mandala I created entitled “Dreamer,” that represents the spiritual symbol of the “Tree of Life.” It was the initial starting point for the concept. The Tree of Life has long been a symbol of the creation Earth. It is rooted in our spiritual connections with our very existence.

The Egyptians believed the tree stood on the threshold of life and death, connecting to two worlds, and referring to it as the "tree in which life and death are enclosed.” A Buddhist monk is prohibited from cutting down a tree or having a tree cut down.They are taught to be watchful not only because a tree is beautiful but because it could also be the home of a god with powerful magic. The Celtic tree symbolizes the nourishing powers of nature, with a connection to spirits of its ancestors and the journey of spiritual growth. In Celtic lore a Celtic Knot Tree of Life has its branches reach into the sky and roots that dig into the earth’s natural energy, with a never-ending circle that leads a path back to Mother Earth.

More formal religions like Christianity sees the “Tree of Life,” representing man’s innocence free from original sin and free of an eternal life in the Garden of Eden. In Judaism, one of my favorite quotes from the Kabbalah is ”The Tree of Life, its path is ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.” I just love that.It reminds me of my father.

The Tree of life is considered to be a roadmap of the universe and the psyche for the order of creation for the cosmos, with a path to spiritual illumination. That is why I chose it as a centerpiece for, “Dreamer.” In the center of the tree is a dreamcatcher with the Laguna Beach’s own natural landscape of Main Beach. An all-seeing eye of Mother Nature is in the center of the dreamcatcher is hoping for the Earth’s precious bird species to be safe at last. Please enjoy the Wildlife Illuminated Mandala “Dreamer" by Artist Judith Haron.

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