The Unity Tile Project and the Symbol of Fire

deep necessity

Day 8 of 100 Days of Symbolism: Fire

“You are the holder of the light,” said my friend Tina during an intuitive reading she did for me where my soul gifts were to be revealed.

Certified Zentangle Teacher, Zentangle inspired art, czt, unity tile, flame, symbolism

“What does that mean,” I asked. I honestly don’t remember the answer now, that was close to a decade ago. But those words have never left me. As I think about my work in the world, I’ve been blessed to hold the light to support others to find their way in business and in their creative lives.

Certified Zentangle Teacher, Zentangle inspired art, czt, unity tile, flame, symbolism fire

That phrase came back to me today as I was sitting in sisterhood with a group of women sharing where we are and what we are creating or not creating right now. While on the call I drew this picture of flames and then this cartoon image with the reminder that I am holding the light.

And I was reminded that it takes air to fuel the fire and breath! Fire is such a powerful metaphor for the passion I feel inside me to make a difference and be of service. Breathing in and breathing out keep me centered and focused as I hold that flame close, nurture it and share it.

The Light of Unity

Yesterday I had the privilege to lead 32 women in a wonderful creative project called The Unity Tile. As a Certified ZentangleĀ® Teacher, I am part of a wonderful global community of artists and creatives who teach, share and tangle up a storm. Two of our amazing colleagues, Julie Allison and Romi Borax Marks, co-created this wonderful project.

Then they taught a group of CZTs and I was fortunate to participate and learn from Holly Atwater. Which led me to my class yesterday where I got to be the holder of the flame for a moment and spread this beautiful project. I know many of the participants will also go on to teach their students and friends and family and the flame will grow. Here are two of the student’s tiles. Aren’t they lovely?

unity, candle light, symbolism, fire


I love the symbolism of the flame of a candle as a sign of unity and community. Just like holding candles at a vigil or lighting up your lighter at a concert, these flames bring us together. Yesterday that flame spread from me across the U.S., Canada and all the way to the UK. Wow!

Certified Zentangle Teacher, Zentangle inspired art, czt, unity tile, flame, symbolism

The Many Faces of Fire

And fire has been on my mind for other reasons, too. I participated in a wonderful guided visualization where we allowed the flames in our heart to burn away our own and the suffering of others. I was reminded that this flame isn’t mine alone to feed and fuel but that I am in turn fueled by my connection to earth and to Spirit.

Fire is a powerful cleanser, a healer, a killer, a savior at times and destroyer at others.

My house burnt down when I was in the 7th grade. I live in a place in California where I have watched the destroyer rage across mountain tops like the fires of Mordor. Just Sunday morning I watched fireman on the beach putting out a bonfire someone had left burning overnight. Many stories that could cause me to live in fear of fire. I don’t. I have a healthy respect for fire, both real and imaginary. The fire in this world and the fire of Spirit that connects each of us.

It is beautiful and terrible. But there is no doubt that it builds community with its warmth and light.

Today I honor the fire, the flames and the light of the candles that bring us together globally and will someday bring us together again around the fireplace and the campfires.

Do you have a fond memory of time spent around a fire?

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  1. Alice Gerard on April 14, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Those tiles are so colorful and delightful. Looks like a really interesting and fun and inspiring project to try. Thank you for all of that color!

  2. Cindy Winsel on April 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    You sure have supported me with your wealth of knowledge and grace. I too, lost my home in 2009, 2 days before Christmas. I believe out of the ashes beauty arises.

  3. Dawn Davidson on May 25, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Minette! I just followed a link for Unity Tile and arrived here at your blog. What synchronicity! I met you through Thrive when I was active in 2015 or so. I just completed my CZT training last week, having discovered Zentangle early in 2021. So fun to find this crossing of paths! I am really curious about this Unity Tile art, and wondering how the words are transferred. Or are they special tiles? I absolutely love the art form, with the combination of found poetry and the beautiful colors along with the Zentangle Method. Would love to learn more if you are free to share it! šŸ™‚

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