I've been working mainly with freestyle ikebana lately, so it's been a while since I practiced the more traditional styles with fixed rules. When I do, it's almost always like the arrangement wants to show me a new side of the philosophy behind the rules. Going back to basics is always refreshing.
Variation nr.2 slanting moribana.
Fern and roses with Cow Parsley
The idea behind the triangular form with three main branches representing heaven, man and earth, is that mankind stands between and has the ability to balance the energies of heaven and earth. I like to think of this as the possibility of being visionary and grounded at the same time, and therefor in balance.
In Sogetsu ikebana there is a series of variations on the basic styles, that each reflects an aspect of mankind and nature. Working with ikebana is an invitation to connect with what is growing and what surounds us.
Variation nr.4 hanging nageire.
Redcurrant and roses.
The slanting and the hanging style reminds us that the spiritual world is not only about reaching up to the heavens. Heaven is also in the wind that surounds us blowing softly between the low sweeping branches.
In variation nr.2, shown in the first picture, the "man"-branch is positioned lower than both heaven and earth. The arrangement represents the humble and surprised human being, contemplating creation and the universe.
Variation nr.4, in the last picture, has only two of the three main branches. The "man"-branch has been left out. This is a peaceful assurance that
it's not all about me; n
ature, heaven and earth, will still be there when I am no longer.