Thursday, July 9, 2009

7-9-09 Wheel of Life


I spent the entire day today looking at and learning about this particular piece of artwork and how it was used to teach the illiterate masses in Medieval times about life. It was absolutely fascinating!!! "The Wheel of Life ~ A Medieval Meditation of Modern Life" was presented at the Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat in Iowa. Which figure in the picture do you identify with? Why?

4 comments:

  1. Hmmmm I guess right off the top - the one turning the wheel..I am the one that keps the wheel turning in the family through out the year..so I guess that would be my choice!!

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  2. Well...I immediately thought the one on the right wearing the pink dress. I am not sure I understand why though. I looked closely at her pose, and it is the same as the others. I thought about her being upside down, but that doesn't distinguish her from the others as they will revolve to the same position. It is interesting - I just went back to look at the picture and once again, it is the girl in pink that I identify with. I think that it is because of her position, and perhaps I relate because my world turned upside down when I received my diagnosis.

    Good, good post Becky!

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  3. Interesting!

    The lady behind the wheel and turning it (always clockwise) is Lady Fortuna (in secular writings of the Medieval times) or Sophia (Divine Wisdom in religious writings).

    The figure(s) on the outside rim of the wheel, beginning at the top (12 o'clock), is "HAPPINESS" (who is sitting on top of the world, queen of her world, carefree, has a full belly, hands are free and waving, life is good)... You're going along just fine and dandy, and then the phone rings... and your doc says..."I have good news and bad news."

    The second figure (at 3 o'clock) is named "CHANGE/LOSS" (as every change, good or bad, involves loss). The rug is pulled out from under you, and your world is turned upside down! You receive a bad diagnosis... your husband wants a divorce... your child has been injured or killed in a car accident... etc.

    Following "LOSS" comes "SUFFERING", the third figure (at 6 o'clock) who is hanging on for dear life, naked (a symbol for being vulnerable, none of your usual coping mechanisms are working any more), pale (in despair, in depression, you feel like you are dying!).

    Eventually, if you keep hanging on for dear life, one finally arrives as the fourth figure named "HOPE" (at 9 o'clock) whose eyes are once again turned upward toward "HAPPINESS." "HOPE" is not only clothed, but FULLY clothed, with an extra blue tunic over the red robe, AND shoes (symbolizing that the person who comes through suffering is even stronger, renewed, even more protected and ready for the next spin on the wheel).

    Lady Fortune/Sopia is blindfolded. She does not care if you are black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight, fat or skinny, male or female. She simply turns the wheel.

    The lesson is that "THIS TOO SHALL PASS" ... HAPPINESS is fleeting, but so is LOSS and SUFFERING and HOPE. They come and go. EVERYONE experiences ALL of them, so don't take it personally and think God is punishing you... it is just the nature of life! (Like the Buddha says, "Life is Suffering!") Just hang on for the ride!!!

    The wheel is centered over Sophia's heart & womb chakra. The Hebrew word for "womb" has the same root as the word "compassionate love" and if we move to the center of the wheel, we don't have to hang on quite as tightly (remember the merry-go-rounds on the playground?), and don't get quite as sick as we do out on the edge of the merry-go-round, because there is a stillness, calm, and peace in the center where we find the Comapssionate Love of the Divine Wisdom.

    The Wheel of Life... so true!!!

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  4. Wow how cool is that!!! Thank you hon!!!

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