Radical Joy Revealed
August 5, 2015
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

The Wheel of the Four Winds
The Wheel of the Four Winds, painting by Amy Livingstone

Amy Livingstone's paintings emanate from her love of the earth and what she calls "the mystic soul". Of The Wheel of the Four Winds she writes:

 

The vision for my work is founded on the belief that the ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. That those of us in the developed West have become so far removed from our innate interconnectedness in the web of life that we are destroying the land base on which all life is dependent.

 

This way of being has evolved over the millennia beginning, in part, with the rise of monotheistic religious traditions that worship a transcendent God, while rejecting the sacred within all creation out of fear of being associated with paganism adding to the terror of eternal life in a future hell versus a paradisal heaven.

 

We are also seeing a resurgence of Native American and indigenous ways of knowing that remind us that the earth is holy and worthy of our reverence. Through my work, I offer a synthesis of these two narratives-an "interspirituality" that is both transcendent and immanent.

 

The Wheel of the Four Winds is inspired by Rabbi Gershon Winkler's book Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism.

 

The medicine wheel, or merkava, represents the four directions (or four winds), the four elements, and the four spirit guides that together symbolize our journey through the life cycles towards higher consciousness. Panther and bear are our guides to the upper and lower realms and the Hebrew, tifaret, translates as beauty resting at the center in the Tree of Life.

At the heart of all my work is a deep love for the earth and profound grief for all that we are losing with the escalating ecological crisis including climate change.

 

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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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