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Life Arts

Art & Astrology: Leo, Deer Skull, and the Cycles of Life

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Anne Nordhaus-Bike       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Through this multi-layered symbolism, Deer Skull suggests the mysterious cycles of life, death, and regeneration. In the presence of the Sun and life, represented by the lively orange background, we still face decay and death, represented by the skull.

The Sun, in fact, gives us the age old symbol of a sole divinity with three "faces" or phases: creator, sustainer, and destroyer. After sparking a seed to sprout, sunlight sustains the developing plant until it yields its gifts of flowers or fruits or seeds, yet ultimately the Sun destroys it when its life cycle has concluded. Then, from decay and death, the Sun brings forth new life according to an ancient and dependable rhythm, an endlessly repeating cycle.

Contemplating a painting such as Deer Skull can remind us of nature's cycles and our place within creation. It also can assist our spiritual lives by suggesting the process of inner evolution. Just as the Sun reveals truth by shining light on our physical existence, so our consciousness expands by opening to inner sight and spiritual light. Like the Sun, which purifies through heat and light, we can refine ourselves by bringing light to our inner darkness and using the heat of spiritual desire to purify our thoughts and burn off our imperfections. These actions destroy our old selves, just as the Sun destroys old and outworn forms, yet on the ashes of such destruction rises new life of the New Self.

Deer Skull, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

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In a larger spiritual sense, we continually die in order to be reborn. At the close of a lifetime, the physical body perishes, but the essence, the soul, the "inner Sun" continues and returns.

May Deer Skull inspire you with the beauty of all life's phases, and may it assist your inner reflections and spiritual seeking.

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Anne Nordhaus-Bike is president of ANB Communications. The author of the award-winning Living in Harmony astrology column for the Gazette newspaper in Chicago, she has won several journalism awards and in 1997 was added to the "Wall of Fame" of the (more...)

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