Birds in the Sun, by Roya Azal

Esoteric Quarterly & Art Work for Hoger Institut, Belgium

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” ~
Dschalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī

Autumn (2017) – I feel honored to be the featured artist for Esoteric Quarterly, an independent, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the trans-disciplinary investigation of the esoteric spiritual tradition.Continue reading

Islamic Garden, Emma Clark

Emma Clark: The Art of the Islamic Garden, Book Review

“Books are the gardens of scholars.” ~ Ali ibn Talib (as)

It is Autumn, 2017. This past summer I exhibited some art work in a garden in Berlin as part of an art festival and studied the culture and history of the Islamic garden. The Berlin garden was pretty yet somewhat chaotic (so Berlin!) and I longed for the calm composition, clarity and artistic refinement of the real thing. Continue reading

Art to Go, Art for your Street

The Daughter of the Moment ~ Bint al-Waqt, لوقت‎

“(S)he is the (wo)man who, having found Allah’s Self-disclosure in each and every indivisible moment, worships and surrenders to the One Who IS the moment.” ~ Sufi Wisdom, after Ali El-Senossi

“Neen, which by coincidence in old Greek means “exactly now, not a second later” was a controversial name (in a moment in art history, it was invented in 2002). Only a few people, felt that it was proper to call themselves Neenstars and what they do Neen, and this was because most of us, myself included, we are doing still a lot of TELIC. Our times, are Telic. But we want to see more Neen happening. Lets define Telic: (…) Telic is our relationship with the tools which help us design the World and see things in a perspective. (…) Neen however is miracles. ~ Miltos Manetas on Telic & Neen

To sum it up, Neen means “exactly now, not a second later”  and describes the ad-hoc and flux ways of creative expression and production the internet brought onto us. Telic however means one does things in a static, complex, academic, planned and methodical manner.Continue reading

The Celestial Garden, Berlin, 2017

Sacred Dwellings: Celestial Gardens and Garden Artistry in Islam

“O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames.” ~Ibn Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq

“We are unaware of our own manifestation in this garden, the narcissus does not see it’s own spring with it’s own eyes.” ~ Mir Dard

When do we really see and take in the delicate beauty of a flower, the majesty and care of trees, the ever changing colors, forms and appearances of a bloom?Continue reading

Christrose

The Christmas Rose: Cancer-Treatments & Antidote Medicine in Islamic Healing

“The word “Toxin” (…) has a Persian Shamanic root (“taxsa” means “poisoned arrow”). The art and science of “the anti-dote against the poison” has a highly honored, special place in the Islamic healing arts.

The Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger, Black hellebore or Snow Flower, in Asia: Helleborus orientalis) is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that blooms in winter. It is considered a special plant with high mystical powers. According to European folk tales, the Christmas rose protects love, and is a symbol for a long and happy live. It was used as an aid against various illnesses since antiquity in Europe. It was also used since then as a repellent against malice and envy, and planted before door steps and stables. Like many protective talismanic plants it is very poisonous and highly ambigious. Continue reading

Crocus Carpet

The Infinite, Algorithms and The Disorderly Arabesque

“The Arabesque (…) transfigures the object of nature it decorates (…) into a weightless, transparent, floating pattern extending infinitely in all directions (…) the object of nature has become under the Arabesque treatment a window onto the infinite.”

During my work on this blog, while researching, reading and writing about Islamic philosophy and arts I have come of course very early unto the Arabesque. The Arabesque pattern – sometimes foliate but commonly geometrically structured patterns of different shapes and coloring, known from Islamic decorative arts but also from music – has captured my interest.Continue reading

Two Blue Peonies, Art by Roya Azal

The Peonie: Queen of Islamic Floral Art

“During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird.”

The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it – via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders – originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.Continue reading

Peonie in Arabesque by Roya Azal

From Radical Atom, to Dancing Atom

“O God of all gods, come to the aid of the people of Light, give the victory to the people of Light, and guide the light unto the Light!” ~ Shihābuddīn Yaḥyā Sohravardī (a.s)

After a short illness Armin Medosch, an Austrian net artist and activist has died on the 23rd of February 2017. I first met Armin in Munich and later I met him again in London, when I myself was working in media and the arts and went through all the madness and light-heartedness that was the early digital age. In Germany he was a collegue of mine at the Munich media lab and worked as editor at the German online magazin telepolis, the first of it’s kind, at an age when Online Magazins were entirely unheard of (the mid to late 90s).Continue reading

Opaque Flower

God’s Greatest Name ~ Ism Allah Al-A’zam

“The symbol you see in the logo of this blog is the graphic symbol of the Greatest Name of God  (ism allah al-a’zam), also known as the Seal of Solomon (khitam sulayman): a symbol which from quite early on plays a major part in the history of Islamic esotericism, especially in magic and the occult (…) It derives from a poem attributed to the first Shi’ite Imam ‘Ali (as). * “

Continue reading

Forest with Arabeske

Learning from Khidr and Trees – My Life in the Forests

“You think you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe” – Ali ibn Talib (as)

“It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone. He brings out the living from the dead, and the dead from the living.” ~ Quran, Surat 6:100

One of the great blessings in my life are my encounters with Al-Khidr, the green spirit (Khiḍr resembles the word “green” in Arabic, though others give other etymologies for the name). One afternoon in England – in a park with a small forest – I encounterd a bright green light (that’s Clorophyl) in the moss and ever since I follow this light and began a conversation with trees and everything that grows. With time I learned more about the vast interconnected natural networks that surround us and I began to venture deeper into communicating and seeking to learn from them.

Continue reading