Sphinx star mandala

February 7, 2024  |  Colorado
sphinx moth star mandala
Sacred Pause


Find inner peace appreciating a Sphinx moth mandala.


"Nature is always lavish of her gifts even to the most insignificant forms. The butterflies and moths are richly dowered in this respect."

--Annie Besant

Forget the downward dog pose.

Try practicing resting-moth-face for inner peace.

I created this star mandala from a photo of a Sphinx moth napping. Here he was, in restful repose, massive wings folded back like an origami master and chilling out. Perhaps his thoughts were floating, dreaming of flowers and nectar, as only a Sphinx moth can do.

sphinx-moth-close-up-photo
Resting Sphinx Moth

I've waited so long. Finally, another Sphinx moth sighting!

I’d wanted to see another sphinx moth for years since the first and only time I’d seen one. Sphinx moths hover over flowers with long tongues, confusing you into thinking you are watching a hummingbird. That’s quite a sophisticated way to stay camouflaged from predators, wouldn’t you say? I certainly did a double take that first time. It seems like a lot of work for nature to put into making a moth, but then nature creates some amazing details we don’t typically notice.

And now, here he was, hidden in plain sight, disguised as something mundane. It just took a moment to see and appreciate its otherworldly beauty.


Things you may or may not know about the Sphinx moth.

But you are about to find out!

The sphinx moth is named from the way its caterpillar body is positioned at rest. As he hangs out, he extends his head and neck up and away from the body, much like the great Sphinx monument in Egypt. After transitioning into a moth, they can achieve flight speeds of just over 30 mph. And as I said, in the brilliance of evolution, they mimic hummingbirds and hover when they feed on flower nectar. Birds eat moths, but not many go after a hummingbird. That’s a lot of acrobatic flying to get such a tiny snack. What a brilliant idea for protecting oneself in broad daylight.

Speaking of daylight, I had lived under the simple assumption I’d read years ago about the difference between a butterfly and a moth. Butterflies explore in the light of day, and moths come out at night. But the Sphinx moth and other large-winged moths do come out in the light of dawn and dusk. So, another rule in life is bent. Sphinx moths aren’t just nocturnal flutters around the porch light.

But don't take my word for how amazing this moth is. Check this video out. You'll see why I got enamored.

"Mysteries of the Sphinx Moths" from Missouri Department of Conservation) by Peg Craft, from Discover Nature Notes, mdc.mo.gov


How I ended up creating abstract art from this Sphinx moth photo.

And I mean a lot of art. Just take a look.

sphinx-moth-pattern-collage
Don't you think that all creatures deserve their own mood board?



repetitive abstract patterns of sphinx moth
Maybe even more than one mood board?


I was enjoying the experience of this moth encounter, but never thought I’d create art from this fellow. Then, I fell down the proverbial rabbit hole after looking at his close-up details. I turned the image of this moth into a repetitive pattern. From the first set of abstracts created above, I loved how the earth tones of creams, rusty browns, and dark reds add an organic note to compliment an interior with natural elements like wood, clay, fibers, and leather. And these simple tan and white colors let the intricacies of the Sphinx moth stand out.

Lose yourself in these meaningful layers of discovery.

As I worked with the moth photo, a star appeared: an ancient symbol of knowledge, wisdom, and wholeness. The geometry of two triangles combined to show upward and downward motion, male-to-female balance, and water-to-fire symbolisms. And, of course, I looked up star mandalas and discovered that they signify independent nature, confidence, and the strength to stand alone.

The Sphinx moth symbolically represents faith, change, transformation, and growth. The repetitive pattern reminds me of moth wings pumping continuously. The circular nature of the design symbolizes that life is never-ending and everything is connected. We are part of the cosmos, and each of us must find our place within it. And explore!

With nature as the muse, this mandala offers the energy of the unexpected, the playful, and the awareness of discovery. Just as the sphinx moth took time to rest, slowing down to this “Sacred Pause” offers a moment to appreciate the extraordinary in the mundane. A disguise to magic that hums around us, waiting to be discovered. Let this abstract art print inspire, transport, and remind you of the wonders waiting to be explored. A little dose of the unusual can be the most inspiring medicine for your soul.

A star mandala of the sphinx moth
Sacred Pause: because we all deserve one. Take a closer look, just touch the photo. This moth won't fly away.