The designs for these windows came about during a series of meetings that
I had with Anne and John
In many ways the chapel and the windows themselves are a celebration for the life of Rachael,
their eldest daughter who passed away after a long illness in ????
The windows were to be figurative and spiritual rather than religious in any particular sense.
Due to the number of windows, I needed to find several themes to create this work.
These themes developed out of these discussions and also from a series of questions I sent to
Rachael’s sister Naomi.
Once I had gathered enough background information, I began constructing the design elements.
As is usual with my way of designing, the first phase is creating drawings to enable further
discussions with the clients.
The first design was for the window on the End Elevation of the building.
The windows were to be spiritual, but not religious.
Creative, Ethereal ,not of this world, Relationships are important,
Ambivalent to life on earth, Troubled soul, unhappy, Spiritual person Very intuitive,
Not materialistic, Beautiful but never traded on it, An innocent.
The Rainbow Window
There are two main themes running through this pair of lancet panels. The main theme
is based on the Three of Cups in the Tarot where there is an image of three women
dancing together, cups raised. There are two women in one lancet with the third
in the second lancet and they are also separated by the rainbow. The rainbow
is a reference to the other main theme in this pair of lancets and is taken from
the lyrics of one of Rachael’s favourite songs, “Somewhere over the rainbow”, (text below).
The other reference here is to the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow. This was one
of Rachael’s favourite songs, especially the version by Eva Cassidy who also died too young.
References taken from this lyric are the rainbow, the stars, the lemon tree, birds,
the skies are blue.
The rainbow has many symbols including a symbol of peace and hope, but also as a gateway
or portal or a celestial bridge between the realms of heaven and earth.
The Three of Cups in the Tarot is in many ways the dominant motif. The reference #
for the Three of Cups comes from the shield of the founder of the Priory Richard Argentein,
who was the cup bearer to King Henry III and the shield of his armorial arms held three cups.
The location of the chapel is on what used to be called the Moon Field on which there was originally
an orchard. Hence the symbol of the full moon and the trees.
As can be seen below, the three of Cups in the Tarot has three women dancing, cups raised
in celebration as part of the dance.
This became the dominant motif of this pair of lancets.
The three figures separated by the rainbow, the three women of the family of Rachael,
separated in this life, but still bound together.
At the base of the lancets there is a basket filled with fruits, symbolic of joy, and Rachael’s
This was the first design I worked through, so the remaining figurative windows were
constructed in a similar way.
The Three of Cups Tarot Card
The Lord of Abundance is a warm and joyous card, which indicates a rare and precious type
of love - a love which, once experienced, reminds us of the richness of shared emotion and
It is also a card which refers to the wellspring of fertility, whether spiritual or material.
Here we see the first seeds sown of a bright and bountiful harvest. Accordingly, the card will
sometimes come up to indicate high days of celebration - like weddings or other intimate
celebrations of love.
The emotional quality represented by this card is deep and unusual - indicating the love felt
not only by lovers, but also the love between close friends, or family. These relationships
are gifts, which need to be cared for with great respect and gratitude.
The Lord of Abundance offers one word of warning - this type of love cannot be created,
nor engineered. When it occurs in our lives we are lucky and blessed. Some people spend
a lifetime looking for such depth of emotion. And sometimes, people try to pretend it exists
where it does not. So when you raise this card in a reading be aware that you are fortunate
Jan Shepherd (PMIAC, BSc, BA, CHF(Grad), MGA)
Dominant colours in the Tarot
Pink, flesh and all things human.
Blue, nocturnal passive and lunar colour, the colour of secrecy,
emotion the anima, and above all female emotions
Red is the male colour of inner strength, potential energy and the manifestation
of the animus, blood and the spirit.
Yellow, despite its ambivalence, is simultaneously the colour of earth and the sun,
of the richness of Honey and the Harvest, and of mental enlightenment, in all the purity
of incorruptible gold.
Somewhere over the Rainbow
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?
Writer(s): Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, E. Harburg
The Knight Window.
This is a representation of the Founder of the Priory, returning from the crusades and the presence of the monks. On his shield is his armorial arms, the three cups, he was the Cupbearer to the King. He carries the banner of the Crusaders.
To acknowledge the history of the site as the Priory. This illustrates the Knight returning from the crusades. was founded by Richard de Argentein, (fn. 3) the lord of the manor, apparently at the beginning of the reign of Henry III,
“Richard was notable among the Argenteins as a founder of a priory and a hospital, and the builder of a chapel at Melbourn, and as a Crusader…”
• Between 1216 and 1218, he founded the priory of Little Wymondley, and endowed it with property in the Wymondleys and elsewhere, including the church of Little Wymondley.
11. WYMONDLEY PRIORY
The hospital (fn. 1) or priory of Austin canons at Little Wymondley, dedicated to the honour of St. Mary, (fn. 2) was founded by Richard de Argentein, (fn. 3) the lord of the manor, apparently at the beginning of the reign of Henry III, but of the endowment nothing is known except that it included land in Wymondley (fn. 4) and the church of Little Wymondley, of which the master of the hospital was put in possession in 1218 on the resignation of the parson and vicar. (fn. 5) The patron's rights did not include a voice in the selection of the head of the house, for although Giles de Argentein, Richard's son and successor opposed the election of a canon of Dunstable as Prior of Wymondley in 1247, he was unsuccessful. (fn. 6)
Rachael had a serene and Madonna like quality. We wanted to have a window which shows the relationship between Rachael and her beloved daughter Claudia.
The island of Gozo, a small island belonging to Malta, therefore Mediterranean and a good backdrop to a “Madonna and Child” scene. We wanted that the image of Claudia be older therefore not a baby
Other motifs included in this window were selected because Rachael liked them and they were important to her or for their symbolic value.
Yellow roses, forget me nots,
Rosemary –symbolism, remembrance, constancy and devotion to memory
Meaning of the name Rachael. Rachael as a girl's name is a variant of Rachel (Hebrew), and the meaning of Rachael is "ewe, female sheep".
Therefore the young lamb in her lap as a symbol of innocence and purity. Gentleness, tenderness.
The anchor, symbol of hope.
Olive branches, the Mediterranean location, but also liked to rainbow as a symbol of peace.
In keeping with the Madonna theme, this seemed a suitable motif to accompany this panel.
“Unicorns have long been a representation of the Moon, a clear indication of female energy; this yin side is evident in the mysterious, intuitive, magick found within the unicorn. This embodiment of purity and natural truth is found threaded throughout most of the major cultures of the world and is thought valid to be an archetypal image. Archetypes are universal, reflecting a primal energy pattern. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, symbols and images reflect an archetypal energy at play within out lives. When we work with archetypes, we are lead back to our own primal source. The journey becomes part of the sacred quest, in which we find our true core. Archetypes can be seen as spiritual symbols, and the magick and power they hold is only as great as the significance we attach to it.”
“The unicorn is part of the world of nature and part of the world of dreams--and completely of the heart. In many ways, it is a symbol of our longing for the mysterious and the unattainable”
To kill a Unicorn is to destroy a Divine Incarnation of purity, perfection, and wonder. It is a deed which burdens the individual who commits the Act with an enormous Karmic debt.
White is the color of innocence, purity and perfection. White, which is Symbolically similar to silver, represents the Iunar, feminine aspects of receptivity, instinct, intuition and virginity. Virginity in its truest metaphysical and alchemical aspect represents the unadulterated (untainted) mind and spirit; it is the prima materia (pure matter) and the prisca sapientia (pristine knowledge, or Wisdom). It is for this reason that to have a Unicorn appear to us is both a great honor and Divine Gift. For, as stated before, only the pure of heart and virtuous of deed are deserving to have a Unicorn appear to them.
The reference to the lady and the unicorn motifs from the middle ages. The symbol of the unicorn being a symbol of innocence.
he Lion is a well established solar symbol in astrology. The Unicorn is not quite as widely accepted as a symbol for the moon. However, the association has been there and was commonly accepted by the time of England's James I.
he Lion-sun flies from the rising
Unicorn-moon and hides behind the
Tree or Grove of the Underworld;
the Moon pursues, and, sinking in
her turn, is sun slain.
— Robert Brown, the Unicorn: A Mythological Investigation (1881)
ymbolically, the Lion represents the urge to impose one's idea of order upon the world, while the Unicorn exemplifies the drive to bring harmony through insight and understanding. Their effects are often identical, but their different approaches tend to promote strife. However, when the Lion and the Unicorn work in harmony towards the same goal, no other creature can withstand them because they represent a union of opposites.
Rock formation on the island of Gozo
The Cheeky Angels
These two panels are simply a recognition of the several “lost babies” that Rachael had to endure, 5 girls and one boy.
These babies were seen as having been part of the family over the years, and therefore in these windows it represents them as the “Cheeky Angels” as though they have grown and developed in the other realm.
This work conveys the idea that the dead are always close by and that the veil between this world and the next is very thin, like a sheet of glass.
The idea of these lost children developing and growing and having fun in an alternative space, but nearby. The idea that they exist at a slight distance.
The Karen Woo Windows
Karen was killed in Afghanistan while working as a doctor on a humanitarian mission. Her ashes are also scattered at this site and it was felt that a tribute to her life would also be appropriate in this chapel.
The figure representing Karen is seen standing in a field of wheat holding a lighted taper the wheat symbolizing life.
The lighted candle, Light is everywhere the symbol of joy and of life-giving power, as darkness is of death and destruction.
The two locations, England and Afghanistan. These are represented by the backgrounds of each panel.
The use of a symbol of the peacock in the second lancet in these two windows is in keeping with the figure of the Unicorn in the “Madonna” window
The tiger in the background was suggested as the song “Eye of the Tiger” was played at her memorial service.
The dominant motif in the England window is the white peacock in the branches of a silver birch. There are primroses at the base of the tree,
The poppies, symbol of remembrance and a symbol of the location in Afghanistan.
The silver birch and the white peacock.
Birch, growth, renewal, stability, initiation adaptability.
Highest self Illumination Spiritual Nobility, Renewal Rebirth Alchemy, Spellbinding Beauty and Attraction
White Peacock represents the most beautiful time of your life, when you reach the point in your life of embracing who you really are.., a spiritual being having a life experience, the awareness awakens that you are a beautiful and unique aspect of the Divine and all it encompasses.
The Peacock loses and renews its’ beautiful feathers every year, symbolizing Letting go of the past...
letting go of at[ that no longer serves you.., in beautiful ceremonies celebrating your spiritual awakening, you are moving forward with grace as your inner beauty shines through.
White Peacock symbolism speaks of a sense of spiritual nobility, and guidance... A connection to the Divine and a relationship with the mystery and mysticism of the Universe.
To look into the eyes of the Peacock one sees truth shining right back at you, truth of an awareness of self, an awareness of purpose, and an awareness of something for which there are no words.
Peacock is a witness, the all seeing eyes of the feathers represent the Akashic Records where at[ thoughts and deeds are witnessed and recorded.
In Asian spirituality, peacock is associated with Kwan-yin. Kwan-yin represents qualities like Compassion, watchfulness, love, compassion and goodwill.
Christian: Immortality; resurrection; the glorified soul, since it renewed its plumage and its flesh was believed to be incorruptible. The 'hundred eyes' are the all-seeing Church. It also symbolized the saints since its tail was like a nimbus.
In Europe the primrose typifies purity; youth; pertness; it is a Celtic fairy flower.
Animal Symbolism of Culture
In China, the tiger is considered the most powerful of all beasts (not the lion) and represents powerful energy.
Generosity Illumination Unpredictability
Tigers are considered a vana enerav, and are also a solar animal which associates them with symbolisms of the sun, summer and fire.
The tiger symbol is associated with power, passion, ferocity and sensuality.
The “I Ching” Windows
We decided that a more abstract approach would be better for these windows. They are based on two readings taken from the i ching. I asked John and Anne to cast three coins six times and to send me the results.
From these results I created these two related abstract images.
63. Chi Chi / After Completion
above K'AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
below LI THE CLINGING, FIRE
This hexagram is the evolution of T'ai PEACE (11). The transition from
confusion to order is completed, and everything is in its proper place even in
particulars. The strong lines are in the strong places, the weak lines in the
weak places. This is a very favorable outlook, yet it gives reason for thought.
For it is just when perfect equilibrium has been reached that any movement
may cause order to revert to disorder. The one strong line that has moved to
the top, thus effecting complete order in details, is followed by the other lines.
Each moving according to its nature, and thus suddenly there arises again the
hexagram P'i, STANDSTILL (12).
Hence the present hexagram indicates the conditions of a time of climax,
which necessitate the utmost caution.
AFTER COMPLETION. Success in small matters.
At the beginning good fortune.
At the end disorder.
The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In
principle, everything stands systematized, and it si only in regard to details
that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be
careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own
accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let thing take their
course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil.
Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule
indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law.
He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting
perseverance and caution.
Water over fire: the image of the condition
In AFTER COMPLETION.
Thus the superior man
Takes thought of misfortune
And arms himself against it in advance.
When water in a kettle hangs over fire, the two elements stand in relation
and thus generate energy (cf. the production of steam). But the resulting
tension demands caution. If the water boils over, the fire is extinguished an
its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air.
These elements here brought in to relation and thus generating energy are by
nature hostile to each other. Only the most extreme caution can prevent
damage. In life too there are junctures when all forces are in balance and
work in harmony, so that everything seems to be in the best of order. In such
times only the sage recognizes the moments that bode danger and knows how
to banish it by means of timely precautions.
Nine in the third place means:
The Illustrious Ancestor
Disciplines the Devil's Country.
After three years he conquers it.
Inferior people must not be employed.
"Illustrious Ancestor" is the dynastic title of the Emperor Wu Ting of the Yin
dynasty. After putting his realm in order with a strong hand, he waged long
colonial wars for the subjection of the Huns who occupied the northern
borderland with constant threat of incursions.
The situation described is as follows. After times of completion, when a
new power has arisen and everything within the country has been set in
order, a period of colonial expansion almost inevitably follows. Then as a
rule long-drawn-out struggles must be reckoned with. For this reason, a
correct colonial policy is especially important. The territory won at such bitter
cost must not be regarded as an almshouse for people who in one way or
another have hade themselves impossible at home, but who are thought to
be quite good enough for the colonies. Such a policy ruins at the outset any
chance of success. This holds true in small as well as large matters, because it
is not only rising states that carry on a colonial policy; the urge to expand,
with its accompanying dangers, is part and parcel of every ambitious
Six in the fourth place means:
The finest clothes turn to rags.
Be careful all day long.
In a time of flowering culture, an occasional convulsion is bound to occur,
uncovering a hidden evil within society and at first causing a great sensation.
But since the situation is favorable on the whole, such evils can easily be
glossed over and concealed from the public. Then everything is forgotten and
peace apparently reigns complacently once more. However, to the thoughtful
man, such occurrences are grave omens that he does not neglect. This is the
only way of averting evil consequences.
Nine in the fifth place means:
The neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox
Does not attain as much real happiness
As the neighbor in the west
With his small offering.
Religious attitudes are likewise influenced by the spiritual atmosphere
prevailing in times after completion. In divine worship the simple old forms
are replaced by an ever more elaborate ritual and an ever greater outward
display. But inner seriousness is lacking in this show of magnificence;
human caprice takes the place of conscientious obedience to the divine will.
However, while man sees what is before his eyes, God looks into the heart.
Therefore a simple sacrifice offered with real piety holds a greater blessing
than an impressive service without warmth.
51. Chên / The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)
above CHêN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
below CHêN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
The hexagram Chên represents the eldest son, who seizes rule with energy
and power. A yang line develops below two yin lines and presses upward
forcibly. This movement is so violent that it arouses terror. It is symbolized
by thunder, which bursts forth from the earth and by its shock causes fear and
SHOCK brings success.
Shock comes-oh, oh!
Laughing words -ha, ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.
The shock that comes from the manifestation of God within the depths of the
earth makes man afraid, but this fear of God is good, for joy and merriment
can follow upon it.
When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean,
he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the
thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: he remains so
composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted.
This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers of men-a profound
inner seriousness from which all terrors glance off harmlessly.
Thunder repeated: the image of SHOCK.
Thus in fear and trembling
The superior man sets his life in order
And examines himself.
The shock of continuing thunder brings fear and trembling. The superior
man is always filled with reverence at the manifestation of God; he sets his
life in order and searches his heart, lest it harbor any secret opposition to the
will of God. Thus reverence is the foundation of true culture.