45th Entry - 'The Sigil Series of 2014'

Our world is full of things not yet defined by conventional science, not yet understood by our limited comprehension of  mathematics. Even agnostic, and atheist can agree that there is in fact allot more about all things that we do not understand than those things we do.

However there were those before us, whose cultures and societies that reached greatness, that believed in their way the intangible. The inspiration behind this series came from those of totem animals, a belief system in the accordance of nature and the Native American Indians but shared by other cultures through time and all over the world.

These people, believed in spirit guides taking the form of animals. Known as spirit animals, or totem animals, tradition provides that each individual is connected with nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides. Different animal guides come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.




Native beliefs further explain that a spirit animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.


With this one animal a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.

This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they "communicate” with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that you actually pet or spend time with this animal, more that you are open to learning its lessons.


For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is. The matter is also traditionally solved easily in a rather common sense manner. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem is:
  • Have you ever felt drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be animal, including birds and insects.
  • Does a certain kind of animal consistently appear in your life? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be represented in other ways such as receiving card and letters with the same animal pictured over and over, unexplained dreams of a particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show up.
  • When you go to the zoo, a park, wildlife area, or forest, what are you most interested in seeing?
  • Are there any animals that you find to be extremely frightening or intriguing?
  • Is there a particular animal that you see frequently when you’re out in nature?
  • Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?
  • Have you ever had a recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood that you have never been able to forget?
  • Are you drawn to figurines or paintings of a specific animal?
    Each of these hold different meanings, the sight of them believed to carry the sacred weight of symbolic definition its viewer already carries and identifies with, needed or would experience, a sigil or totem.  And with this idea in mind, I waited until a light rain and went to work.
Painting in a light rain using powdered pigments a process i call 'rain painting' where the drops of water saturate the colors creating natural striations and variations in tone, the pigment is dried herbs, minerals, and spices some hand done by me others shipped in from asia and all natural  the pieces are turned by hand and rotated as the rain water hits them using gravity to create form and depth. 

I had to do the background for each with the completed image in mind because during this season the rains come and stop erratically. I had to work while the skies provided for them and did so happily. By each painting in the series is the animal, and its meaning. All of which in this series have touched me personally (as an interesting side, I view 'One' as a bit of a self portrait actually the black capped chickadees here even sit on my head as Im painting or changing bird feeders).

"One", the Black Capped Chickadee: meaning loyal, grateful, hard working, planners, engaging, visionary, unassuming, embodiment of hope and joy, involvement and inspiration. 
"It would be a breach of good manners, an inexcusable ingratitude, to write of ever so briefly of the New England winter without noting the chickadee, the most engaging and characteristic enlivener of our winter woods; who revels in snow and ice, and is never lacking in abundant measures of faith and cheerfulness, enough not only for himself, but for any chance wayfarer of our own kind."
-Bradford Torrey -
(The Rambler'sLease, 1889)

"Two" the Pieris rapae or better known 'Cabbage White Butterflies': meaning  purity and prosperity , metamorphosis, transformation, balance with grace, ability to accept change, being true to one's own self. 

These are some of the most ancient symbols, in ancient Greece their name also meant 'soul' . In Japan they are perceived as the personification of a person's soul, if you see them a beloved family member or loved one is coming to tell you you are loved. 

"We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis." - LeeAnn Taylor



"Three" the Fresh Water Sunfish, meaning: Clever, quick to start, open mindedness, creativity, humility, temperance, intuitive, competition, love of beauty, and awareness. The symbolic values of fish are wide spread through out the world and time. But these 'Sunnies' as they're locally known are so abundant in this area you can hardly visit a lake without noticing their nests close to the shoreline. 


I love them personally and when the babies are older they still stay close to the shoreline to avoid the larger predators, I wade in and let them check me out even feed them (heres a video of me doing just that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgVAX0o_CJU&list=UUYq3LBw1q8EnG0l0iIjXfSA )
"Four" the Frog Spirit/Toad Totem: meaning transition due to personal growth, energy, positive change, committing to self, controlling ones own emotions, self control, understanding, empathetic, patience, wisdom through experience, sensitivity, positive patience through self standards. 

These are also known as the symbols for family, and family togetherness. Its believed to be good luck to have one at the family house to ensure a long lasting joyous connection filled with harmony. Which brings us to the final piece in this five painting series . .
"Five" the humming bird: meaning, those who have the humming bird as a spirit animal are invited to enjoy the sweetness of existing and life. They lift others where ever they may go by simply being there and inspire, they are leaders, motivators, inspirational, and/or creative forces. The also mean the ability to find miracles within the every day and seemingly ordinary, hard working, and hope. 


And this my friends, family, fans, collectors, critics and followers is my '2014 Sigil Series' I hope you enjoyed reading about its motivation and inspiration as much as I do in sharing it with you. Thanks for taking the time to read and if you'd like to see the rest of my body of work simply google: Patrick Gorman Pettis, or visit here http://bit.ly/1dfPUhs Thank you for the love






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