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Embroidering Chakra Images - Energy for Heart ... - Wiehler Gobelin

Embroidering Chakra Images - Energy for Heart ... - Wiehler Gobelin

The word “icon” goes

The word “icon” goes back to the Greek word “eikon” which means “image or counterpart”. In order to that, the word already refers to the counterpart of God in mankind, which is an essential content in the Christian message of salvation. This counterpart image has its practical expression in the double commandment of love: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ”, because in your neighbour and in yourself God himself confronts you. God in his endless mercy reveals himself in mankind itself. Through Jesus Christ, his son, the people on earth what it means, when the divine word merges with the state of human being. As St. John says: “And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (St. John 1, 14) It is this deep inner combination of Holy Spirit and human being that is disclosed in the “image” of the icon. Madonna with Child Article No. 3560-9 The making of an icon is a divine service. It is deepest truth, the manifestation of one’s inner self and a sensual experience of God. It is communion brought into colour and shape. Therein lies the actual reason for the fixed place the icon has been given in Christian-Orthodox liturgy. For that reason there is no requirement for exceptional artistic skill in making an icon, but the willingness to admit to a spiritual path. The preparation of prayer, fasting and meditation helps to clear the mind, in order to give space to the divine impulse that leads to being expressed in the icon image. Through the composition of the icon the artist comes into contact with the Divine in himself. All icons are fed from the one universal source – that healing power that was manifested in Jesus Christ. Therefore all icons refer in effect to Jesus Christ – even the pictures of the Virgin Mary. Just as Jesus Christ became manifested in divine energy, this energy is materialised in each icon that is produced in inner attentiveness. With this the picture becomes a vessel of divine mercy that takes its special healing power from the transcendental space that was entered during its making, as well as from the subsequent consecration and worship. St. Basil the Great (archbishop of Caesars in Cappadonia, died 379 B.C.) already said that the “glory” of the icon that it takes from “worship” reflected the prefiguration. In composition and worship of the icon, man steps into interaction with the Divine that dwells in himself; this is made visually comprehensible to him by the icon. This explains the treating of the icon as a “Sacred Object” in Or- thodox church law. For the Orthodox Christian the “divine liturgy”, the heart of which is the Eucharist celebration, is the most important form of service. The Eucharist celebration, the “Lord’s Supper”, is all about that event of transubstantiation of material that also takes place while making an icon. In the Lord’s Supper we partake of divine energy that has become flesh. The energy from the life-giving bread and wine as an expression of the incarnated presence of Jesus Christ totally penetrates man and offers him the experience of “belonging”. Therein lies the forgiveness of the “sin”, the “detachment”. In the festive ritual of the Holy Communion man in his entire imperfection, puts himself into close contact with that divinity that is present within him and is waiting to be developed. For this development a recurring deep apprehension of the great truth is needed, that surrounds all people, but is not always perceptible in everyday life on earth. That apprehension is the reward for self-reflection that can find its expression in the composition of an icon. The inner experience allows a look into another world that is otherwise usually closed to us. It is for this reason that icons are also known as “windows to eternity”. WIEHLER MAGAZIN – December 2007 PAGe

What is a symbol? Also from today’s point of view the word “symbol” indicates an initially fragmentary image of a whole that always bear in it a longing for reunifi cation. Th e original meaning of the word “symbol” as the “something joined together” was derived in a pleasant way from the old ritual whereby a guest bade his host farewell with a piece of a broken earthenware tablet or a ring. Th e guest retained the other half. In case of a possible reciprocal visit – perhaps also from friends or relatives of the former host – the individual parts were pieced together again. Only if the entirety of the broken piece was restored, could one be sure that the present visitor was in the house on the recommendation of the former host. Th e picture of the reinstated piece therefore conveyed more than a thousand words of possible explanation, thus reliable clarity about the nature of the visit. It meant that the guest had come with friendly intent and was made welcome; so sociability, together with all its virtues such as joy, warmth, sympathy, being there for others and many more positive characteristics, had been recreated. Also from today’s point of view the word “symbol” indicates an initially fragmentary image of a whole that always bear in it a longing for reunifi cation. Th is longing demands that we remind ourselves of the entirety via the encounter with the symbol. Hugo von St.Viktor describes this task of the symbol in wonderful words: All visible o� e� s are pr� ented to us in order to d� cribe and � plain invisible things and th� teach us via the � e in a � mbolic, i. e. pi� orial, manner. B� ause the beauty li� in the form � visible things the beauty � visible things is a pi� ure � the beauty � the invisible. Hugo von St.Viktor Th e longing for the beauty of the invisible touches the soul and incites unconscious powers to become visible once again.Th e invisible powers can also be understood as parts of a personality that – each with his fragment of the earthenware tablet in his hand – in the course of life have been strewn in all directions. As this occurrence describes a universal truth for everyone we fi nd the representation of the “inner person” in the archetypes of the legends, religions and teachings of wisdom in the world: King Arthur and the twelve Knights of the Round Table, the twelve signs of the zodiac, the wild perchtas who rampage around the house in the 12 Holy nights between Christmas and the Epiphany, but also the twelve Apostles who fl ocked around Jesus Christ as a symbol of the Holy Unity. If these powers are allowed to meet up again, a new entirety is formed in the human being. It emerges again in its full beauty for which mankind has longed. Th e person can now consciously handle those pieces that had long been forgotten. In a particular way artistic work is suitable for deeply uniting oneself with the power conveyed by the symbol. Artistic work demands not only intellect but also and in particular sensuousness. In this the slow, meditative art of embroidery has always played a great role. In embroidery in convents it used to serve as a methodof “ora et labora”, i.e. of immersing oneself through this activity in meditation. In meditation the contemplative eye of the human being opens and links him with that invisible level from which the symbol gains its power. To embroider symbols therefore means more than the simple handicraft itself. Embroidering symbols means concentrating in the peace and slowness of the fi ne work on something we wish to remember and allowing it to develop its benefi cial eff ect on life once again as in days of old. WIEHLER MAGAZIN – December 2007 PAGe 7

Wiehler MAGAZIN - Wiehler Gobelin
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