Monday, January 5, 2015


Prayer flags originated in Tibet with the Bon religion (the original Tibetan religion based on animistic and shamanistic beliefs before Buddhism was introduced in the 7th century AD).  Prayer flags are made and printed with special prayers, then hung outside for the wind to take the prayers far and wide.

Tibetan prayer flags are usually in sets of 5 and come in these colors with these meanings to represent the 5 elements:

Earth = Gold/Yellow
Water = Green
Fire = Red
Air/Cloud = White
Sky/Space = Blue

The prayer flags usually have various pictures of Buddhist religious items on the flags, or they can just have Tibetan words/prayers on them.  If you do a search of Tibetan Prayer Flags, you will find many images of thousands of prayer flags stretching out over mountaintops, some so ragged, they are barely cloth anymore - just think of how many years those prayers have been winding their way around Tibet! 

That doesn't mean that any group or religion cannot incorporate prayer flags.  I've seen them (online) being done in children's art groups or women's healing groups.  I wouldn't do them just as an art project without the prayerful intent behind them being shared, but they could be a powerful art project for people needing healing or strength or help for the usual human fears we have.

Here is a link to a site that tells more about this and how you can use prayer flags, creating them for yourself or others...


hw (hallie) farber said...

Thank you, Rhonda. I've never liked the colorful flags (with fish, or boats, or teams) but I like the thought behind these flags.

RH Carpenter said...

Glad you enjoyed the information, Hallie. Hope you are feeling well and that 2015 brings you health and happiness.