Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Tip 1: Eyes

The first place to look in an icon is at the eyes. As you sit down with a particular icon, ask yourself questions:

 

  • Where is the icon’s gaze drawing me?
  • What’s the focus of the eyes in the icon?
  • Are the eyes looking straight out at you?  What do they ask you to consider?
  • Are they looking beyond you?  Might there be something outside of you or in your past that you need to consider through the eyes of the figure in the icon?
  • What is the expression within them?
  • What emotion does the gaze raise in you?

In some icons, you’re invited simply to share a gaze with the icon just as two lovers would: Each looks at the other.  Gazing and being gazed at in return can be an experience of being loved.

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