Q&A Sunday: Symbology of the Six Pointed Star

I came across your site and it is beautiful. Really like the idea of incorporating feng shui and zen in your living space. I was searching the mandala site and saw the Ketu yantra, which got my attention. I noticed the center looks like a Jewish star. I wonder if that's your intention that it is actually a Jewish star - which I absolutely find appealing, as my husband is Jewish and I am Chinese. 

Emily B., Encino, CA

Hi Emily,

Thanks for your email, and I’m so glad you like the website and the Ketu yantra. A lot of people are drawn to this one. It’s very healing. It’s actually related to my Vedic destiny number, so it’s one of my mandalas that’s very personal to me.

Many of the yantras (like Ketu) have the six pointed star in the center, which is the same symbol as the Jewish Star of David. In Vedic symbology, this symbol is the combination two equilateral triangles. One is triangle is upward pointing (male, yang, fire), the other downward pointing (female, yin, water), and the overlap of the two create balance of these opposite energies, like the yin and yang symbol

I hope you find the use of these shapes as interesting as I do! Since I love sacred geometry and symbols, I really loved responding to this question. On a final note, my yantra teacher Mavis Gewant, describes geometric symbols in an interview I did with her

A yantra is a geometric pattern of energy specific to deities and planets. It has been said that they are the physical form of a deity, where mantra is the sound form. Yantras give a structure or pattern to energy. They are composed of geometric forms like squares and circles. Since all cultures have these kinds of shapes, they resonate in our DNA when we see them. Yantras are archetypal and universal.
— Mavis Gewant

PS: I am Korean (also Asian), and my husband is also Jewish! 

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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My Favorite Things: 6 Sacred Art Must-Haves

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

Last month we talked with my Tibetan Buddhist art teacher, Carmen Mensink, on the podcast. Carmen shared her experience with sacred art and how we can use it to enhance our holistic spaces, so this month, I wanted to share my favorite ways to do just that! Whether you're an experienced artist, a beginner or just a fan of pretty pieces, these six items will help make your house into a holistic home filled with intention and inspiration


Tibetan Buddhist Art

As we shared last month on the podcast, Carmen Mensink is a talented artist with many beautiful pieces of Tibetan Buddhist art, including painted thangkas like this one. 

Each thangka contains deep symbolism and is an original piece of art by Carmen. This one is the Medicine Buddha, the embodiment of the buddha's healing qualities, both physically and mentally.

I encourage you to take a look through Carmen's work to find a thangka that embodies what you need most in your life and space!

Available at: Tibetan Buddhist Art


Planet Mandala Coloring Book

This coloring book is the work of one of my other teachers, Mavis Gewant. Mavis is a highly trained sacred arts teacher with whom I practice the art of yantra painting. 

Yantra mandalas are my favorite form of meditation, and this coloring books makes them easy for those with any artistic skill level! Mavis even includes color guides for each mandala as well as a duplicate so you can try out the colors of your intuition. 

Among all the trendy coloring books on the market for adults, this is one of my favorites and is a great way to engage in sacred art and meditation to find inspiration and peace. 

Available at: Amazon


Buddhist Art Coloring Book

Another beautiful option for adult coloring books, these Buddhist art coloring books by Robert Beer put each of us in Carmen's seat...sort of. 

Though we may not all be talent and well-practiced like Carmen, we can each indulge in the sacred Tibetan Buddhist art form through this unique coloring book! 

Not only does the book provide an accessible route to sacred art meditation, it's a great way to produce some art to display in your holistic space, even if you can't draw a stick figure! 

Available at: Amazon


Prismacolor Blenders

I love Prismacolor pencils. They're absolutely wonderful for use in coloring books and other sacred art.

Maybe the best invention ever for coloring is the blender pencil, and these Prismacolors are my favorite. 

Blender pencils blend separate colors together so well, giving work a beautiful look. The only thing better than sacred art is stunning sacred art!

Available at: Amazon


Tibetan Calligraphy Book

Another of my favorite ways to meditate is through calligraphy. This book is a great way to practice Tibetan calligraphy, even if you're not skilled in the art or even familiar with the Tibetan language. 

Sacred calligraphy is a great way to learn to let go, and you can even pair this guide with a Buddha board to keep your practice neat and add the water element to your space!

Available at: Amazon


Sacred Mandalas

Like the sacred Tibetan thangkas in Carmen's portfolio, mandalas are also a fantastic, symbolic way to add meaningful art to your space. 

Our shop has many varieties of sacred mandalas to match whatever area might be lacking in your life. This Jupiter yantra brings expansion and illumination and is wonderful as a feng shui adjustment to a holistic space. 

Try out our Mandala Matchmaker to find the best sacred mandala for you and your space!

Available at: Holistic Spaces



How to Harness the Wisdom of the Planets with Vedic Art

Most of you know that I have been studying Vedic yantra and mandala painting since 2008 and I just got back from a retreat at ananda ashram with my teachers, Mavis Gewant and Pieter Weltevrede. You can see some of my newest work here.

Over the years I’ve painted dozens of planet yantras, but it’s only this year that I started incorporating the wisdom of the planets in my everyday life. Did you know that each day of the week is named after one of the planets?

The names for each day of the week have slightly different meaning, depending on the culture, but the names we use in America are derived from the Roman culture. In selecting names for the days of the week, or the time it takes for the moon to move between phases, the Romans chose the names of our sun, moon and, at the time, the five known planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn). As a note, these planets were already named after Roman deities (in Latin, of course), so not only are the days of the week named after planets, they're name after Roman deities as well!

Sunday SUN radiant and bright orange

Monday MOON light feminine blue

Tuesday MARS fiery red

Wednesday MERCURY emerald green

Thursday JUPITER expansive yellow

Friday VENUS soft whites & pastels

Saturday SATURN introspective dark blue & black

I started wearing a piece of clothing or jewelry for each planet on their day of the week. For instance, today is Wednesday, so I often wear this green jade mala that I made with Satya Scainetti.  

This is from the vedic tradition, but I also connect the colors and planets with feng shui principles. For example Mars and red can relate to the Fame and Recognition area of the feng shui bagua map. I find that it helps me to understand the feng shui colors on a deeper level to connect the planet and god/goddess associations.

Wearing the color of the day can help you invoke the power of that planet to give you a little more support on that particular day. Or if you want more of a particular energy, you can wear that color. For instance you can wear orange for more radiance. It’s interesting to see how people will start to respond to this. For instance, my ascendent is the sun, and when I wear orange on Sunday, I just get so much attention!

Try it out yourself and see what happens!

by Anjie Cho


Feature: Mavis Gewant and Yantras

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Based in High Falls, NY, Mavis Gewant is celebrated as a sacred artist, mother, educator and doula.  Mavis studied the ancient techniques of yantra and silk deity painting with the late Tantric Master Shri Harish Johari, serving as his personal assistant for over twenty years. Mavis is one of the few persons in the U.S. with over two decades training in this Sacred Art who was requested to teach this knowledge by her teacher.

Having a deep commitment to supporting women during the most sacred time of their lives, becoming a mother, Mavis is a childbirth educator and doula and founder of Gentle Care Doula Service. Believing that pregnancy, birth and motherhood are a holy experience, she helps women to connect to their divine energy through sacred art and knowledge.

I had the honor of meeting Mavis during a yantra workshop a few years ago.  Yantra practice is my absolute favorite and most meaningful form of meditation.  Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Mavis about her work, specifically with yantras.  

AC:  How would you describe a yantra to someone who wasn’t previously familiar with them?

MG:  A yantra is a geometric pattern of energy specific to deities and planets. It has been said that they are physical form of a deity, where mantra is the sound form. Yantras give a structure or pattern to energy. They are composed of geometric forms like squares and circles.  Since all cultures have these kinds of shapes, they resonate in our DNA when we see them.  Yantras are archetypal and universal.

“I think yantras are a personal prescription for healing. Whether with a deity or a planet, it is an energetic entity you are working with to heal.“

I understand yantras are prescribed, and that the proportions, colors, and symbols are important.

Yes, absolutely.  Gold is connected to the sun and representative of knowledge. Silver is related to the moon and life-giving energy. Green is cool and about balance and knowledge. Red is hot, fire and magnetic and stimulating the adrenals. Orange is magnetic, cheering, and warm. Yellow is hot, positive magnetic, and stimulating nerves and knowledge. Blue is cold, anesthetic.  Sky blue is calming to the nerves. 

Goddess yantras typically have pink or red petals. Many of the colors have to do with the color of the associated deity such as with Ganesha yantra.  For Ganesha, there's a light orange upward pointing triangle, which is related to his skin color.  The colors correlation is more obvious with planet deities.  The sun yantra colors are vibrant yellows and oranges.

What's the difference between a mandala and yantra?

Yantra is a form of mandala. Both are created within circles, and circles are about creation. When you start a yantra, you have first draw a circle. To make the square, you must again, first make a circle.

Is it better if you make your own yantra, can someone make one for you?  Or can you use a printed yantra?

It's always best if you draw your own yantra. Then you have that connection with the art and the associated deity or planet.  You have spent the time, and when you're away from it you can still invoke it within yourself.  It's also good if someone makes it for you, if they had the intention of creating it for your use. When I make them I really focus on the people I'm making them for.  It is also good to give yantras away and not always best to hold onto them. I did 40 Sri yantras, then went to India and released them into the Ganges River.  

by Anjie Cho

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Mavis’ next workshop will take place June 22 at Sivananda in New York City. She teaches Sacred Painting Workshops worldwide, including a yearly retreat in Haridwar, India. It is her humble desire to help others through this transformational art form and she makes her painting a spiritual practice. Her artwork can be seen on her website:www.sacredmotherarts.com