Spiritual Punx is an art project I created with the intention to bring light to the darkness and to celebrate people that stood up for love even when it wasn't the popular opinion. THE MISSION: To Inspire People To Be More Loving & Accepting to ALL. Spiritual Punx is all about energizing the light instead of the darkness. Any amount of darkness is always equal to the amount of light that can be revealed.
Much of my work in this project centers around the swastika. The inspiration for the swastika really began when I discovered the late Canadian artist known as ManWoman. The swastika's ancient history is vast and it is rooted in all major world cultures. A waterfall of inspiration poured onto me and all I could think about was swazis for months and months. My question to myself was "What would happen if I put all the love and care I could into something so shunned and dark?" It was challenging to share my 'taboo' artwork but I knew that if I never did then the regret of not creating the art and sharing it would be immense.
The word 'Swastika' is actually an ancient sanskrit word meaning 'Good To Be'. It is found in virtually every human culture since the dawn of time. The meanings have always been positive (except for it's mis-appropriation in Nazi Germany in the first half of the 20th century and it's subsequent uses as a hate symbol). It's most common meanings are infinity, auspiciousness, eternity, good luck, and it symbolizes the spiral movement at the center of all levels of reality - from atoms, to earth spinning, to galaxies - it all spins in spirals!
For me it's not about a symbol, people are more important than any symbol or shape, and there are many things more important than restoring the swastika. However, I believe learning about it and CHOOSING to energize it's positive side is a powerful act of love and I think we grow when we can find light in something that that has so much darkness around it.
I choose love because I want to see more love in the world. I understand, not everyone will agree with this but what we need in the world right now is for people to support each other and seek understanding even though they may have differing views.
We must do our best to push against ignorance, especially our own - I know the more that I learn, the dumber I realize I am! :D If we don’t push against our own comfort zone of what we know then we might be blind to other perspectives that are different than our own. To solve the world’s most challenging problems we need innovative minds that are inspired in the presence of uncertainty and I think the positive swastika use stimulates the creation of new cognitive networks in our brain that make us smarter, more understanding and compassionate. Think of it like a workout for your brain! It's an evolution stimulator. It may feel taboo at first (it did for me), but, after a bit you'll start to see see what the ancient craze is about with it.
I encourage you to draw swazis, play with them, take them out for walks, if you see one spraypainted - don't cover it up! paint rainbows around it instead. Share, educate, it can even be as simple as putting a swazi in a place you find sacred.
May being a friend to swazis bring you lots of good fortune and happiness!
Why are people getting swastika tattoos?
Manwoman Memorial Day is a worldwide event on the second anniversary of ManWoman’s passing – the 13th of November 2014 – to spread knowledge and appreciation of the Gentle Swastika.
Open shops and give away tattoos, scars and/or branding of Swastikas for free and use this opportunity to educate people about the origins and true meaning of the Swastika.
“Learn to love the Swastika” is a group compiled of regular people, artists, tattooists, body modifiers, designers, writers and Swastika educators. There is absolutely no religion or worship involved – only cultural awareness.The event will celebrate the memory of ManWoman whose life work was to reclaim the symbol of positivity. Some say he is the 'Godfather' of the movement to return the swastika to it's original meaning. He had spent his life educating and writing about the ancient history and widespread usage of the 'Gentle' Swastika.
Martin Luther King Jr. said “We must work together as brothers or perish as fools.” I’m concerned we are acting a fool. This week I brought the rainbow swazi to University of Utah for a Ben Shapiro speaking event.
I’m actually not on either side, but I want to inspire everyone to:
* Think for yourself
* Question everything
* Don’t believe everything you read or hear, especially if it’s from a side you agree with
* Inoculate yourself from ideologies
* Think of innovative ways we can work together while celebrating our differences. It seems to me a wiser investment of our thinking power than proving who is right and wrong
Why do I use the swastika? In my experience, it's an effective tool for exercising the brain to see new perspectives. It's not a universal hate symbol. To many, it means good wishes and represents the spiral energy at all levels of the universe (atoms, planets, stars, and galaxies - they all spin). Virtually all human cultures throughout recorded history have used it in some form and it's also a sweet looking 20-sided polygon. Love those angles, looking good babe ;)
If a perceived hate symbol can have another side, perhaps other divisive subjects can as well. Mahatma Gandhi touched on this when he wisely said “Every story has 7 sides.”
Some say for any belief one holds, one should be able to argue the opposite side even better than their opponent. If you think people shouldn’t take a knee during the national anthem, then you should be able to convince someone why they should. Only then, when you can argue better against your view than others, have you done the work to hold an opinion.
Great thinkers, like Darwin, did the work necessary to hold an opinion. When Darwin encountered opinions or information that ran contrary to his ideas, he gave his best to not only listen but not to rest until he could either argue better than his challengers or understand how the fact was true.
Love Bernie? read Trump’s book
Love Trump? read Bernie’s book
Love capitalism? Convince someone that socialism is best
Love socialism? Convince someone that capitalism is best
If you just felt a twinge of ‘Hell no!’ with these suggestions, you might have just experienced something called Naive Realism. Your views are right and correct, so why waste time with the other ‘stupid’ side? ;)
Naive realism is the human tendency for us to believe our views of the world are objective, and we see things as they truly are. If other’s don’t agree, they must be uninformed, irrational or biased. We all have this in some form with varying degrees regarding different subjects. It's suggested this is likely the #1 reason we don’t have more world harmony.
*Side note: I suggest the next presidential debate should have a section where each candidate has to argue the other person’s side. The winner is the one who does it most convincingly. This would show a thorough understanding of the issues.
Telling the other side they are wrong and you are right doesn’t address the bigger challenge which is … How do we work together despite our disagreements about objective reality?
I want to be clear, it's important to call out lies, myths, etc. This is a vital role we need people to fill. However, it would also be great to see all sides brainstorming ways of working together despite their differences.
My research and intuition tells me we need to evolve innovative solutions. Hopefully my art stimulates people to push the boundaries of their thinking.
Look in places you haven’t thought of yet. Ask yourself, “What could I be wrong about?” Doubt is a powerful sharpener of ideas.
Embrace paradox. We do and do not know what is going on. Neils Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, was discussing the wave-particle duality when he famously remarked: "How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have hope of making progress."
Instead of a video with the subject "How to beat right-wingers and win", perhaps a better one is "How to beat naive realism so we all win".
With all that said, don't totally believe anything I'm telling you. I'm learning every day and my beliefs are evolving as I journey through this meat suit adventure. Perhaps, put my words in the "Might Be True" category until you get more information and test all this for yourself. The worst that happens is you learn something new.
I really believe in humans. At our best we are deeply compassionate, infinitely creative, wildly hilarious, and beautiful beyond words. Let's not let our stone age minds guide us in these space age times.
It was a couple months ago and my awesome parents bought me a telescope for my birthday. I was beyond stoked. My dad actually MADE A HUGE TELESCOPE BY HAND when we were kids. I remember him rubbing the 2 pieces of glass together day after day until one day it became a sleek mirror powerful enough to break open the heavens. My parents came out here to LA to visit and take out the new scope. A word of warning - a full moon is like a zillion times more bright when seen through a telescope.
We were looking through a star gazing book he'd had for years. On the very 2nd page was a diagram of the Big Dipper as it moved through the seasons. It was incredibly obvious - IT WAS A SWAZI We were incredibly excited about this 'discovery'. We wondered - did anyone else know? Asking Google about it only turned up a couple random forum comments and the like. I'm creating this today to give it it's proper diligence. I think there might not be any information out there about this because people don't want to even bring up the word 'swastika'.
The origins of the swastika are beyond time. Even the earliest uses of it fail to signify what it meant to the people at the time. The earliest recordings of meaning are as a sign of good fortune or a sun sign. But those recordings are thousands of years after the oldest swastikas. So where did it come from? Perhaps we could take a tip from the ancients and look to the stars for an answer. The Big Dipper is very important as it's actually the only constellation we can see all year around in the night sky (from the Northern Hemisphere). It infinitely dances around the North Star in a playful circle.
Since the swazi is so old perhaps it's birthplace was in the stars? The ancients used the stars to tell seasons and direction, there's no doubt the ol' dancing dipper held a signifance. The turning of the seasons was vastly more important if you lived in nature. Perhaps they used the swazi to show another person the 'symbol of the seasons'. They could've used it as a type of calendar to keep track of the seasons. It's for these reasons I suggest that the Big Dipper was the inspiration for the fist carvings of swastikas.
Or hey, maybe it was Ancient Aliens from another planet far far away? ;D Reza Assasi, an astronemer makes a strong case that the swastika was an ancient constellation from Iranian-Romian cult of Mithriasm based on the ancient Roman God Mithra. His findings are really interesting, I highly suggest taking a look. We may never know, but may we hope that it's soon placed back in the high esteem it's always held with humankind.
When looking back on the focus of much of my art while on this planet I can see a consistent theme. Whether it was screen printing T-shirt’s with colorful pentagrams with 🍦 ice cream cones on top or painting rainbow swastikas 🌈 my art seems to say “dive deeper”. Many times that’s how you get the biggest upgrades ✨My hope is that what I create genuinely improves your life in some way. Perhaps it makes you see beyond the surface and reveals new possibilities, or raises more questions, or makes you google something (checkout the vast sacred history of the spinning Swazi) or inspires you to be weird in your own way 🌻
For Manwoman Memorial Day 2014 Tim from Yoni Tattoo gave me a swazi of branding and scarification. I never have planned to do anything like this but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The super hot blue flam heats up the piece of metal than is was pressed 8 times onto my leg to make the arms. Then a dermal punch was used to pullout skin for the dots.
THANK YOU to all who brought their shining inner lights and positive vibes to the swazi donut launch at Haus of Love. The mission of the event was to release the donut swazi design and inspire people to be more loving and accepting to ALL. WE ARE ALL ONE, ONE MIND, ONE CONSCIOUSNESS, ONE LOVE. EVERYTHING IS LOVE
PEACE & BLESSINGS ☮❤️卐
I made a GIANT rainbow swazi out of construction paper and put it on my wall. It became a PORTAL. That pyramid is made of copper and I slept in it each night
While traveling in Sapa, Vietnam I spent a couple nights with the indigenous locals known as the Hmong. The women do embroidery by hand in beautiful intricate detail. Checkout the sick swazi pattern they did for me on the straps!
This is actually the FIRST rainbow swastika shirt I ever wore in public and it was at the 2013 Coachella music festival in Indio, CA. The stars aligned on the days of the festival as it was the end of a 6-month journey doing “The Artist’s Way” – a creative journey with my own inner artist. This was my ‘final project’ and I think I passed with flying colors! It’s a custom shirt painted with neon 3D fabric paints, sewn on front and back-piece, studs and disco-ball dots. Just Be Yourself is emblazoned on the back and hopefully it inspires one to do just that.
I’m so stoked to finally have some pics of my freshly finished patched punx jacket! It’s a tribute to the swazi and finding a way to stylize it in a fresh way that energizes it’s long held positive meanings. It includes 3D Printed swastika designs – 2 on the front and 1 inside the center back patch. The inside lining and sleeve trim is from a Japanese kimono that I found on swazi scavenger hunt in San Francisco’s Chinatown district. The pattern is called Sayagata and is one of the most popular swazi patterns you’ll see allover the place when you look for them. There is a flower of life chest detail and patch as well as some crop circle patches.
The back is actually a sauwastika which is a left facing swastika. It is the most common one used in Buddhism. The left facing sauwastika is found on the chest, feet and palms of the Buddha and is actually the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on Buddha’s footprints. In Hinduism the left-facing one is associated with esoteric tantric practices and stands for the Goddess Kali. Wearing this feels like wearing an epic bass drop on my favorite funky tune!
Love and light,