Celtic Tree of Life. In Egypt the Acacia tree of Saosis was considered the "tree of life", referring to it as the "tree in which life and death are enclosed". References to The Tree of Life can be found in ancient Assyria, China, as well as in Germanic paganism and Norse mythology, Judaism, Kabbalah, Christianity, Vedic texts of India, sources from Urartu and Mesoamerica.
In Norse mythology it is also known as Yggdrasil, an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology. It was said to be the world tree around which the nine worlds existed. Its name is generally considered to mean "Ygg's (Odin's) horse". Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to hold their courts. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm (dragon) Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór.
Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai - Shoki Riding Shishi Lion also known as Samurai Riding a Lion on Red.
Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎), October 31, 1760 (exact date questionable) – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.
Hokusai created the "Thirty-Six Views" both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, "Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai's name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series...". While Hokusai's work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition.
Ukiyo-e, or ukiyo-ye (浮世絵; "pictures of the floating world"), is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Aimed at the prosperous merchant class in the urbanizing Edo period (1603–1867), depictions of beautiful women; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna were amongst the popular themes.
Golden Chinese Dragon Fucanglong (伏藏龙) with Magic Pearl on Rice Paper.
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian countries. The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries. The English word "dragon" derives from Greek δράκων (drákōn), "dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake".
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and Chinese folklore. The dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles, fish, and imaginary creatures, but they are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. In yin and yang terminology, a dragon is yang and complements a yin fenghuang ("Chinese phoenix").
Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it. With this, the Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength.
In Chinese daily language, excellent and outstanding people are compared to a dragon, while incapable people with no achievements are compared with other, disesteemed creatures, such as a worm. A number of Chinese proverbs and idioms feature references to a dragon, for example: "Hoping one's son will become a dragon" (望子成龍, i.e. be as a dragon). In Chinese mythology the Fucanglong (simplified Chinese: 伏藏龙; traditional Chinese: 伏藏龍; pinyin: Fúcánglóng) or Fu-ts'ang-Lung (Wade-Giles) is the Chinese underworld dragon which guard buried treasures, both natural and man-made. Volcanoes are said to be created when they burst out of the ground to report to heaven. Futs-lung possesses a magic pearl which is his most treasured possession.
Tibetan Double Dorje Mandala - Double Vajra. Vajra (Devanagari: वज्र; Bengali: বজ্র bojro, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ། dorje; Dzongkha: dorji; Indonesian wajra; Chinese: 金剛 jīngāng; Korean: 금강저 geumgangjeo; Japanese: 金剛杵 kongōsho; Mongolian: Очир ochir or Базар Bazar) is a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond. It is also a common male name in Tibet and Bhutan. Additionally, it is a weapon which is used as a ritual object to symbolize both the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). The vajra is essentially a type of club or mace with a ribbed spherical head. The ribs may meet in a ball-shaped top, or they may be separate and end in sharp points with which to stab. The ritual vajra is a much smaller hand-held object with two heads, one on each end of the handle. The vajra is used symbolically by the dharma traditions of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, often to represent firmness of spirit and spiritual power. The use of the vajra as a symbolic and ritual tool spread from India along with Indian religion and culture to other parts of East and Southeast Asia...
Sacred Silver Griffin. The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin was an ancient misconception derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops found in gold mines in the Altai mountains of Scythia, in present day southeastern Kazakhstan, or in Mongolia. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. Some have suggested that the word griffin is cognate with Cherub.
Celtic Treasures - Three Dogs. The Celts or Kelts were an ethnolinguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture, although the relationship between the ethnic, linguistic and cultural elements remains uncertain and controversial.
The earliest archaeological culture that may justifiably be considered Proto-Celtic is the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. Their fully Celtic descendants in central Europe were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture (c. 800–450 BC) named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. By the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC up to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture had expanded by diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and The Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golaseccans and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians). By the mid 1st millennium AD, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and the Great Migrations (Migration Period) of Germanic peoples, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious, and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.
Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern "Celtic identity" was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain, Ireland, and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, and Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival.
Icelandic Dragon – one of the four great guardians who are known as the four landvættir.
The Old Norse kings' sagas, more specifically Heimskringla, tell the story of a seafarer who sailed to Iceland in ancient times. When he reached Vopnafjörður, he saw an enormous dragon who guarded the bay, and drove everybody away with fire. The dragon was followed by a great number of lizards and insects.
This dragon was one of the four mythical landvættir, guardians of Iceland. The dragon has become the icon of Vopnafjörður, and is pictured on the Coat of arms of Iceland.
I have chosen FineArt America to offer my digitally-signed and dated open edition (OE) fine art giclée prints of highest archival quality. Many of these pieces are exclusive to FAA. The hand-signed special collector's AP editions are also available (please, contact me for details). Commissions are welcome (as time permits). FineArt America has extensive selection of Celtic Art, Chinese art, Japanese art, Tibetan art, Icelandic art, and multitude of other sacred symbols art for you to choose from. Please, feel free to drop me a line should you have any questions or comments.