Retablo Box

Here is my retablo, in box form, so I can close it up to keep it safe from the world.   It is a three-dimensional map of my interior world wherein each element is representative of some aspect of my psyche.   The retablo and its contents have no power in themselves.  The power resides in me alone.  This is just a representation of what already is.

Merely opening the box does not lead to immediate knowledge.  Like the human psyche, there are many containers within containers that must be opened and explored before moving on.   In my retablo box, there is a bag that hides and protects the other elements.

The interior of the box shows a mandala I made several years ago.  I call the image “The Tree of Life.”  I am not going to explain the meaning behind the elements in the retablo. Each element is important to me and has a meaning.  Make of them what you will, but I will encourage you to create your own psychic container and fill it with those elements that are meaningful to you.

Here are the contents of the bag.  Starting at the top and moving clockwise:  a black stone with a hand and a spiral, a heart-shaped carved piece of labradorite, a piece of abalone shell, an aqua aura quartz, a rainbow-colored fresh-water pearl, a dowsing pendulum of rutilated crystal, a scroll tied with red silk thread from my grandmother’s sewing chest.

About the scroll:  it contains some words written to me over twenty-five years ago from a highly intuitive woman.  I consider it a  prophecy but it is one of those prophecies that is, in essence, self-fulfilling.   The prophecy will come true if I allow it.  What does it say?  Just like the human psyche, not everything should be revealed to the world.  There are some things that are buried deep within.  This little scroll is like that.   It is a mystery and will remain as such.


L. Gloyd (c) 2009

14 responses

  1. Excellent! I love your retablos box, Lori. The mandala must have been a joyful endeavour. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Wonderful colours in your bag–The navy background is perfect. Fran

  3. Beautiful work. It looks profoundly mystical and a wonderful keeping place for things that symbolise your interior world.

  4. Your interior world is interesting. I think I see the shapes but then I’m not sure what I’m looking at. (Boy! Does that sound like my interior world!)
    Your mandella is exquisite…truly…The contents of your bag are very symbolic and balanced. Combined, truly unique. Thank you for sharing and showing what is possible.

    1. Sorry, I don’t have a microlens for up close shots of the contents. I guess they do sort of look like blobs but then they are rocks and shells.

  5. oh wow. i am stunned. i don’t have words right now. ok, yes i do. i love the way you distinguish between the representation that the retablo holds vs. the real inside you. very important and powerful.

  6. This is magnificently executed Lori and the description is perfect. Your work really is an inspiration and will have others making special retablos of their own.

  7. what a wonderful retablo. Did you make the actual box? I am very interested in the lid, it looks as it was part of an old wooden panel.

    1. Thank you, Carol.

      No, I did not make the box. Another artist gave it to me so I don’t know where she got it. The decorative panel on the lid is some sort of plaster (or perhaps acrylic that looks like plaster). The pattern is actually swimming fish. I painted the panel with copper colored acrylic. The box itself is wooden and I painted it silver.

  8. what a beautiful box lid – mysterious looking with its swirls and interweaving design and yet draws one to look inside only to find further mysteries for the casual viewer. Only the one who selected and put together the components would know the full power of it all.

    1. Thank you, Thalia. It’s hard to see in the photo but the lid of the box is actual a plaster (or plaster-like acrylic) panel with a pattern of swimming goldfish.

  9. What a wonderful retablo – the contents offer such intrigue and such insight .

  10. Sarah Joyce Bryant | Reply

    You have inspired me to find things of importance to me and collect them in a special, safe place. I like how you mention that those things alone do not have the power, but that the power is within each one of us. It is easy to believe our power resides with something/someone else, but in truth, it always remains inside.

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