A friend once took me to watch whirling dervishes at a summer festival in Tripoli, Lebanon, and then teasingly suggested I should make an icon set inspired by the performers. Challenge accepted.

These were drawn from memory after the event; they are not necessarily in order and it’s only much later I gleaned some understanding of what the different gestures might mean. As far as I understand (subject to correction), they are, starting at the top and moving clockwise:

  1. Union with God;
  2. Separating the mind from the heart and preparing for the journey;
  3. Filling the soul with cosmic power and the heart with the light of God;
  4. The right hand is raised to heaven to receive goodness and love while the left is turned to the ground to share what one has received;
  5. Praying for forgiveness, love and mercy;
  6. Freeing oneself and shedding all sins in preparation for repentance;
  7. Repentance;
  8. Being filled with the beauty of Creation;
  9. Promising God to repent and to begin the work of love and goodness;
  10. Transmitting the journey to Creation as one returns from heaven to earth.

A penny for your thoughts!