The Omer period in the Jewish calendar are the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. During this time, we have the opportunity to rectify deficiencies by focusing on balancing various attributes within ourselves. According to Kabbalah, each of the weeks we count represent one of the lower seven sefirot/Divine emanations. Each day of the week also represents one of the seven sefirot, thereby creating 49 different combinations of attributes. In addition, each sefirah has associated with it archetypes, colors, names for The Mystery, etc.
Traditionally, we count the Omer by reciting the prayer each evening and then announcing which day we are entering. In addition to doing this, I keep track of the days by using a special Omer Counter created by Marion Hamermesh. And, it has been my custom for the past 20 years or so, to dress according to the colors of the Omer. For example, according to the color scheme I use, the color for Chesed is purple, so I make an effort to wear something purple all week (not hard given my wardrobe!). Yesterday was the third day of the Omer, Tiferet sheh b’Chesed. The color for Tiferet is green, so yesterday I wore some green with my purple. I find this practice is an effective way for me to remember where I am in the calendar and which particular attributes I want to be focusing on for that day.
The Omer Sefirot Color Chart (according to Rabbi Yonassan Gershom’s system):
- Chesed (Lovingkindness) – purple;
- Gevurah (Strength, Temperance) – blue;
- Tiferet (Beauty, Balance) – green;
- Netzach (Endurance, Victory) – yellow;
- Hod (Splendor, Surrender) – orange;
- Yisod (Foundation, Connection) – red;
- Malchut/Shechinah (Sovereignty, Divine Presence) – white.
Be sure to check out the Omer Mandalas Gallery to see some beautiful versions of the mandalas below that folks have sent in. It is thrilling to see the outlined pieces come alive in your artwork!
Mandalas for the Omer 2021/5781
The first week of the Omer is the week of Chesed/Lovingkindness. It is all about love, love, and more love as the basis for goodness in the world. We are loved by Unending Grace- available to us at all times. May we be washed by this Loving-Connection and may it shine through us in our own living and loving.
Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for chesed -in Hebrew חסד- to pour forth. Here is the result:
The second week of the Omer is the week of Gevurah/Limits, Discernment, Strength. Gevurah creates the form through which chesed flows with intention. Loving discipline infuses the energy of this week, through which we consider what to hold on to and what to discard- all in service to our spiritual refinement.
Before creating the mandalas below, I set an intention for gevurah -in Hebrew גבורה- to come through. Here are the results:
The third week of the Omer is the week of Tiferet/Balance, Beauty, Love, and Compassion. It is in this sefirah where the endless chesed and boundaried gevurah meet in perfect harmony. Tiferet softens our hearts into expansive spaciousness and peace.
Before creating the mandalas below, I set an intention for tiferet – in Hebrew תפארת – to flow through. Here are the results:
The fourth week of the Omer is the week of Netzach/ Victory, Perseverance, Endurance, and Eternity. We listen into the Voice that lets us know we can do whatever it is that we want to accomplish. Netzach corresponds with our right leg which directs us from intention toward action.
Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for Netzach – in Hebrew נצח – to flow through. Here is the result:
If you would like to download this image, and color it on your own, please feel free to do so.
This fifth week of the Omer is the week of Hod/Beauty, Splendor and Variations. Hod is the reverberation of Divine Presence in all things. We acknowledge with humility and gratitude the order and gifts of The One, those easily recognized along with those that are hidden.
Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for Hod – in Hebrew הוד – to flow through. Here is the result:
This sixth week of the Omer is the week of Yisod/Connection, Intimacy. The invitation of Yisod is to feel the ground beneath us-Earth, relationships, ancestors-and how all the various elements sustain us. Yisod aligns us as the foundation for all that has come before, the platform toward which all the previous sefirot flow.
Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for Yisod – in Hebrew יסוד – to flow through. Here is the result:
Mandalas from 2020/5780
The second week of the Omer is the week of Gevurah/Strength in Temperance. Gevurah gives us the focus and direction and channel for our lovingkindness. Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for Gevurah -in Hebrew, גבורה – to pour forth. Here is the result:
The third week of the Omer is Tiferet/Balance and Compassion. Tiferet is found at the very center of the Tree of Life in Kabbalah, and in it we find the balance of the overflowing love of Chesed with the containment of Gevurah. Before creating the mandala below, I set an intention for open-hearted, balanced compassion, Tiferet-in Hebrew תּפארת– to pour forth. Here is the result:
The fourth week of the Omer is aligned with the sefirah of Netzach/Endurance and Perseverance. The literal meanings associated with netzach are “victory” and “eternity”. Without determination, none of our plans or intentions can manifest. During this week, we try to temper tenacity and grit with patience as we encounter obstacles that serve to strengthen our endurance. While creating this mandala for Netzach – in Hebrew, נצח – I felt strongly the push to move outward and to keep going and going! Here is the result:
The fifth week of the Omer is the week of Hod. The attribute of gratitude features strongly in this sefirah, as we recognize and acknowledge that all flows from The Divine. The resulting humility helps remind us that everything we are and have are unearned gifts. The splendor and beauty of Hod lead us beyond ourselves, to humbly fulfill a higher purpose. While creating this mandala for Hod– in Hebrew, הוד – I found myself repeatedly bowing toward the page as an embodiment of humility. Here is the result:
The sefirah for the sixth week of the Omer is Yesod. On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Yesod is the connecting channel through which all of the Divine attributes of the previous sefirot are filtered and ultimately delivered into Malchut. The connection between the “giver” of Divine qualities-Yesod- and the “receiver”-Malchut/Shechinah is likened to human procreation, and holds within it the potential of all future generations. While creating this mandala for Yesod-in Hebrew, יסוד- I found myself filled with images of connections and the words “Yesod Everlasting” were running through my consciousness. Here is the result:
Malchut/Shechinah is the seventh and last week of the Omer period. This sefira is both the repository of all the filtered essences from the upper sefirot, as well as the source of Light for those sefirot. Malchut/Shechinah does not receive any direct Light, and nonetheless shines brighter than all the other sefirot. Two separate mandalas flowed through me for this sefira. As I was drawing the first one, I felt pulled by the receiving through giving that Malchut/Shechinah –in Hebrew, מלכות/שכינה –represents. The second mandala came through in one sitting, with no conscious focus, simply by feeling awash in the attributes of this sefirah. Here are the results: