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The Illuminating Power of a Centering Sky

Over the past twenty-four hours, we have be blessed with a series of celestial displays here: a brilliantly clear sunset followed by the rise of a full golden moon; a dawn filtered through shimmering clouds that parted to make way for cornflower skies; and now, the slow buildup of monsoonal thunderheads among white wisps that chase each other across a lapis expanse.

It’s daunting, in the way the elemental powers inspire awe in mere mortals. It’s easy to get lost in its vastness, especially in times such as these, when the rest of the world is lost in bleakness and violence.

But being lost is a luxury, and one the whole world can ill afford.

If ever there were a time we need to focus, it is now.

Our cultures vary widely with regard to gender roles: In some, they are clearly defined and closely circumscribed; in others, there are, save for the average physical differences between most men and women where such factors are determinative, few constraints on women’s activities. But women have always understood the need for focus; for most of us, the roles we must play and responsibilities we must assume concentrate the mind as well as the heart.

And sometimes, that means that we must warrior up, as well.

In our cultures, to be a warrior means many things, but it is always very different from colonial, imperialist notions of war. A warrior protects and defends; s/he may seek respect, honor, even glory, but not through the theft and occupation of others’ lands and selves. Throughout our recent history, meaning the last half-millennium, our women have had numerous occasions to stand and fight alongside the men, but those ancestors fought in other ways, too: to protect the land itself, to protect the children, to protect generations yet unborn.

It’s a tall order, even today — indeed, perhaps especially today. These latter battles are fights with no end in sight; not skirmishes, but protracted wars in which strategy is at least as important as strength. These are fights that have been handed down to us in other forms, and which we in turn will hand off to future generations of warriors.

Yes, we need to be focused. Grounded. Centered.

Today’s featured work, one created to honor the bravery of women, summons the centering spirit that we require now. From its description in the Pins Gallery here on the site:

A Centering Sky Warrior Woman Pin

The strongest warriors know their place in this world, feet planted firmly on earth beneath a centering sky. With the latest entry in his signature Warrior Woman series, created in memory of his mother and to honor the strength and power of women, Wings pays tribute to those traits that mark women as warriors: an essential focus and dedication that keep her properly grounded even as her intelligence and vision compel her to reach for the sky on behalf of her people. Cut freehand of sterling silver, she wears regalia adorned with the signs of the Four Sacred Directions, each converging around a visionary Eye of Spirit. Her great spirit manifests in the repoussé heart overlaid upon her chest, while a serpent formed of delicately patterned sterling silver wire winds around her right shoulder, representing good fortune and abundance, In here right hand she holds the moon itself, accented with symbols of sun and sky and the Sacred Directions alternating with flowering sings of growth; in her, right, she holds a tiny round cabochon of lapis lazuli, the color of the sky at dusk and dawn and in the center of the storm. Pin stands 2/75″ high by 2″ across at the widest point; cabochon is 3/16″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; lapis lazuli
$325 +shipping, handling, and insurance

There have been, in recent years, so very many, many days when I feel lost: not merely unfocused, but unable to recognize my place in the world, much less the task before me. When that happens, I go outside: I look down at the earth, look to the four directions, look up at the sky — the same sky beneath which our ancestors stood — and I remember where I am, who I am, why I am.

Beneath the illuminating power of a centering sky, we find clarity, inspiration, courage, strength.

We warrior up. We find the way forward, and we go back to work.

~ Aji








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