This month’s featured art is a Saguaro cactus from the inside out, a beautiful representation of the Spiritual Warrior.

Saguaro by Elizabeth Bryan-Jacobs

Watercolor on paper
15 x 20 inches

Standing tall in the Sonoran Desert with outstretched arms, these ancient cacti communicate a sense of courage, wisdom and strength. When I behold a Saguaro, I no longer “see” a cactus; I see rivers of bark, never-ending folds, and incredible ribs that channel water from the ground up. As I paint, figures, femurs, bones, and various body parts all make their way into my art.

Saguaros are known as foundation cacti, because their outer layers are often drilled away by birds creating nests inside of them. The Saguaro responds by secreting a resinous sap that, over time, hardens into a bark-like shell that does two incredible things: it prevents itself from losing fluid, also protecting the nest hole by making it waterproof.

Some Saguaros live up to 200 years, through blazing heat and freezing cold, all the while being a home to birds. They could never survive any of this without their intricate system of ribs that continually draws water up from the earth, and the thorns that protect them from desert animals.

In learning to truly stand up for yourself, I invite you to mirror the Saguaro: Stand tall in your truth with strong, courageous arms with the knowledge that your outer “bark” protects you while still allowing you to help others. Surround yourself only with people who support the journey of your soul. Implement practices that support you in doing the things that help you survive and thrive in an ongoing way with absolute trust.

Most of all, have patience and compassion with yourself: this is the path of the Spiritual Warrior.


Elizabeth Bryan-Jacobs