The Art of David Rankine          MANDALA



The Celtic Cross and the Sefirot

 diagram 1. a Celtic Cross with equal arms

Long viewed a symbol of Celtic Spirituality  the Celtic Cross is a symbol that transcends Christian or Pagan connotations. It is an example of Sacred Art and manifested Sacred Geometry. It is a mandala.  The cross emanates from a central point - the God source or what the Hindu tradition would call the bindu.

 The Sefirot

The Sefirot  comes from the Kabbalah - a mystical Jewish tradition that arose in the Middle Ages. Often reffered to as the "Tree of Life". It is simply a diagram that helps us understand how  all aspects of the Divine (the All That Is) are manifested in various layers. - a hierarchy that includes the physical realm of human perception and moving through emotions and feelings etc.


This Sefirot represents the ten emanations of the Divine
The one at very bottom is called: Malchut (Hebrew:  Kingship)- a centre essentially female in nature( representing the Feminine Divine Presence - a cosmic womb within which the will of the Divine is manifested in the lower (earthly)  levels
 The Sefirot Cross

In this diagram four Sefirah share the same Malchut centre, thus forming a cross, unified by a circle band representing the unity of Creation -the  manifestation of the Divine will. Reality -or the manifestation of the Divine emanates outward from the Cosmic Womb. As you will see in diagram 1. The Keter centre at the very top is contained within an Ark. while the Keter centre at the ends of the arm are left off- and merely implied.

 We can see the essential layout of the well known Celtic Cross - a cross with equal arms (or long stem) with a circle behind the transept. Sometimes this circle is replaced by a square. This indicates that the famous Celtic High Crosses (carved from stone) may have actually been models of cosmic reality , rather than symbols of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

A Celtic Cross ( latin configuration) constructed out of series of equal sized circles, intersecting through their centre points. - all the information is there in the matrix of circles

same cross with the ten centres of  the Sefirot displayed - also illustrating how the circle matrix informs the positioning of the centres in the Sefirot.

Circles intersecting through their centre points create the matrix for hexagrams see page one


 Many of these crosses had (on one side) scenes from the life of Jesus Christ carved into them. These illustrated panels may represent the Divine will manifested within our plane of perception. The other side of the stone crosses often had panels of knot, key and spiral patterns carved into them, representing the manifested world of energy and the woven substructure of reality.

 The central boss of the Celtic Cross - containing within it the Divine Womb is the Bindu- the All Point from which All radiates outward. It is both male and female, action and potential.

 It isi quite possible that the Sefirot, the Celtic Cross, the Sri Yantra and other pieces of Sacred Art are are all attempts to explain the same principle - the Cosmic blueprint. In the South Asian, Hebrew and Egyptian traditions there are also musical notes and hand/finger gestures related to each aspect of the Divine  reality. I propose that the same could be said of the Celtic Cross