One of the delights of being on Twitter over the last two years, and more recently on Facebook is the genuinely talented, real and sincerely spiritual people I have met.

Sue O’Kieffe is one of these wonderful souls. We’ve stayed in touch consistently online since meeting a year ago, and it’s my great pleasure to introduce her visionary mandala art to you in this interview. When I first saw Sue’s work, I was immediately struck by its beauty. Every piece spoke to me and transported me to a magical world. You’ll get a chance to see for yourself in a sample slideshow below, but make sure you visit her blog and delve into these images. You can find her at Sacred Circle Mandalas.

Sue’s mandala’s are nature-based. She creates her layered artwork from photographs she mostly takes herself. She then listens for the plant’s spiritual story. The end result is richly textured work that draws you into its fine detail and keeps you engaged with a variety of interlocking images that have depth and resonance.

Spiritualizing the causal layer of existence is the most significant world healing work of our time. I wrote briefly about this after the quake in Haiti, and will revisit the subject. And mandalas do just that: Transform at the causal level.

Without further ado, here is my interview with Sue O’Kieffe:

There are many ways to create mandalas. What draws you to Nature as the basis of your mandala art?

I have created hand drawn mandala art, as well as mandala collages, but creating from nature speaks most directly to my spirit. Nature has always been my primal mother. I receive nurture and sustenance from her and have since I was a child. I love the detail of nature, and how much love I feel when I interact with her. My intention with my nature inspired mandalas is to show that love, so that others will feel that love and know how much love is always available to them.

Is Nature a big part of your spirituality?

Yes, of course.

What do you think is the cost of humanity’s departure from Nature and how can we re-engage her?

Nature gives so much and a big portion of humanity just wants to use her. When we figure out that everything is connected, that we do NOT have dominion over the earth, that God speaks to us through nature and is in nature, and that God is part of us, then maybe we will stop destroying a part of ourselves when we destroy the world around us.

What is the relationship between art and spirituality? Is art for art’s sake enough, or do these times demand art with purpose?

Well, I know I could not create art just art’s sake. It’s unfathomable to me. Whether or not people have a spiritual base or acknowledge it in their art making is their path and their choice. I think people are attracted to spiritually based art because their souls cry out for it. We need to be surrounded by visions of something greater than ourselves.

If you’re reading this in email, you may need to click back to the original post to see the slideshow.

Do you personally work with your mandalas after they are completed, or is any spiritual/healing/creative benefit only part of the art-making process?

I benefit on so many levels from art-making; it is a birthing process and an act of healing. Up until this point, I have pretty much created mandalas for those who are attracted to the energy and love that they offer, but I have not personally spent much time working with them after they are done. Recently I completed a mandala that is a representation of my True Self. The story around this mandala is a whole other interview! My intention is to work with my True Self Mandala as soon as it is framed sometime this month, to see what it has to share with me.

I know how much creating mandala art has opened me up to something greater. It is not like I say to myself “I create mandalas so that my consciousness will be expanded.” I create mandala art because it is my calling. A few years ago I realized that I was part of a larger tribe of mandala makers; we are all here to spread light and love and healing. It is such a honor to be part of this greater whole.

What effect do your mandalas have on other people? What feedback have you received?

The consistent feedback that I receive about my mandalas is how good they feel looking at them. They feel love and connection. They are in awe. They feel uplifted and inspired. I have received comments such as “When I’m feeling discouraged, I go look at your mandalas on your blog,” or “I purchased this mandala because it spoke to my connection with my father,” or “I’m recovering for by-pass surgery and I want this mandala near me to remind me to take care of my heart.” I also hear a lot of “wows.”

Do you have any final words about the times we’re living in?

When you get stuck, take a deep breath. Then another. Dance, drum, find something to raise your energy levels. Forgive. Love yourself. Love one another. Express gratitude. Feel joy. Expect magic. Find what brings you meaning. Live with purpose. Serve others. Be happy.

Thank you Sue!


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Mandala Art: Changes Causal Layer