Lady of the Forest with Entourage

© Atala Dorothy Toy

Lady of the Forest with Entourage

This lady lives at once was a convent and now is a forest preserve. She has features of both a bird (perhaps a cardinal – see her crown tuft and beak-like face) – and also of a nun (is she wearing a nun’s cowl?) Surrounding her are a variety of life forms who she protects.


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This Lady has a bird feather crown (like a cardinal), a face with a pronounced bird beak. She is wearing a long cloak and is standing on a collection of nature spirits, including a very handsome masked elf (below her, shown in profile facing left), a nature spirit crone, and various other faces that are parts of each other. This artistic symbolism reminds me of images of Kuan Yin standing on clouds, ocean or dragon; it is the same concept: the mother spirit descending to protect beings of the earth.

This tree lives on what was once a long-time convent retirement community and is now the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles, IL.  Like many of the images at the preserve, there is the energy of a contemplative, nature-loving nun about her. She looks like she could as easily be wearing a nun’s cowl and ornate breast covering as a bird’s fancy head and breast feathers.

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