The Third Lunation: Contraction and Energy Healing

We are now in the midst of the third lunation of 2018. In preparation for our last Full Moon meditation circle, I drew a tarot card for guidance on what medicine to bring to the meditation. This exercise was a reminder of the many levels of meaning in the tarot, and of how important context is.

I had been thinking a lot about energy - both our personal energies and universal energies, and how these interact and flow. Energy flows in the same way as water, following the path of least resistance. It carves out familiar paths, and keeps flowing along these paths unless we redirect it. We also lose energy on a regular basis, and unless we become aware of where we are losing energy and protect ourselves, we will continue pouring it out no matter how much energy we take in. 

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The traditional meaning of the Star card is one of hope - the renewed, calm hope that follows the foundational shifts of the Tower. The traditional reversal means hopelessness, perhaps even despair.

But there is so much more beyond this surface reading. The Star card shows a nude figure kneeling in front of a body of water, pouring jugs of water both on the ground and into the body of water. Above her are seven stars, with a larger shining star in the middle. She has one foot in the water, and one knee on the ground. I came into this reading already thinking of the flows of energy, and looking for medicine for the current lunation. The Star reversed showed me that this lunation is indeed the time for energy medicine - more specifically, for tending to our personal energy and identifying where we are losing energy. 

The seven stars in the card represent our seven chakras, which are the centers of energy in our bodies. The larger star in the middle reminds us to balance and cleanse our chakras. The figure in this card is pouring out energy in the form of water. She is nourishing the land, but as she does this, she is giving of herself. This is not inherently bad, but we need to know when to turn inwards and nourish ourselves. 

The month of March is a time for contractions, of harnessing energy in preparation for the thaw. There is so much significance in the imagery of tarot cards, and I often find it beneficial to look beyond textbook meanings and study the images. When the Star card is reversed, we now see a reversal in the flow of water. The water is now pouring into her containers, filling them. She is no longer pouring out her energy, she is replenishing herself. This is the medicine of our current lunation: to heal and balance our chakras, to learn where we are losing energy and heal those losses. 

PS - If you want to catch me in person, take a look at my upcoming workshop schedule

 

 

Ostara, the Cosmic Egg, and the Fool

Today is the vernal equinox, welcoming the beginning of spring. The mythology surrounding Ostara and the goddess Eostre involve rabbits and eggs, elements which were absorbed into Easter. The Hare is considered a totem animal for Eostre, and a symbol for the moon. The earth is starting to awaken from winter's slumber, and the possibility of new life is peeking out. 

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Today I find myself thinking about the eggs, or more specifically, the Cosmic or World Egg. The egg is a symbol of fertility and new life. It is sometimes seen as a symbol for the entire universe. The Cosmic Egg is seen in many mythologies, and the distilled concept is the same: The egg as a container for all potential, that which brings forth the new. 

As I deepen my connection to the tarot, the connection between The Fool card and the Cosmic Egg resonates more and more. The Fool is pure, innocent, creative energy. It's the beginning, the very first step in any journey, brimming with potential. In the Rider Waite deck, we see a carefree character, joyfully about to step off a cliff. Rather than a warning, perhaps this is a metaphor for the leap of faith - the willingness to jump into the unknown. Without this leap of faith, many things would never spring forth. 

In the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck, which is an oracle deck rather than a tarot deck, the egg motif features heavily. It even includes three cards that are lone eggs unto themselves: the Golden Egg, the Black Egg, and of course, the Cosmic Egg. The Golden Egg is the message of one's Core, a heart message. The Black Egg is one's essential truth and true voice. The Cosmic Egg connection with the cosmic consciousness, perhaps an opening of the Crown Chakra. 

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In the Nomad Tarot, I see a merging of the traditional Rider-Waite Fool with the Cosmic Egg. The character is no longer upright, wandering off the edge of a cliff. We now see the character laying down, arms and legs tucked in close, surrounded by budding greenergy. If we were to trace a shape around this figure, it would be an egg. This character is restful, potential energy waiting to awaken. They have become the Cosmic Egg. 

There is so much that could be said about this Fool-Egg connection, but I am going to refocus on the energy of Ostara and how to bring these ideas into honoring the Equinox. Today, I will be, shall we say, tending my eggs. This is a time to look at the projects we've been percolating during the winter months, the seeds we have been planting. Now is the time to nurture them and push them out into the world, to move beyond potential energy to kinetic energy. Happy Ostara!

Mending Stories

When I met Orly in Portland, I but a little bug in her ear - to finally come to the East Coast for a workshop. Months later, she reached out to take me up on her offer, and what a wonderful experience it was. I had the pleasure of meeting Kathy, one of the owners of Unity Farm, where we hosted the workshop. If you missed out, come join us when Orly returns in 2018!

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The Visual Journal as Sanctuary

I traveled to Portland, Oregon last month to take a workshop with Orly Avineri. I've been increasingly interested in visual journaling and was super excited and thrilled for the opportunity to take her workshop, The Visual Journal as Sanctuary

Orly talked about honesty, and her passion for a process of minimal intervention and with loss of control. Being someone who is naturally obsessive and strives for control, it was a truly refreshing approach to the creative process and one I hope to keep bringing into my work.

A Parting of Ways

This journal spread is about the parting of ways. Saying good-bye. Recognizing when you and someone else don't belong in each other's lives anymore. 

Ritual

Rit-u-al: marked by ceremony. always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time. ceremony consisting of a series of actions. type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone. 

The act of using repetitiveness to induce an altered state of mind.

Art is, among other things, a way of coming to terms. It is the tool I've used my whole life, and is an integral part of the process of understanding and coming to terms with myself. There is a good amount of obsessiveness and ritual in the way my mind works, and this comes out over and over in my mark making. 

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Early Stages

One of my current in-progress pieces. Part of the fun is not knowing where something is going to end up, which is always a bit countered by the fear of completely messing it up. 


Alchemy

The journal pages seem to be pouring out. Art, alchemy, and ritual are inextricable to me. These themes seem to come up over and over. 

A combination of drawing and painting, done in acrylic paint. 

Totems

Journaling. The crow is my recurring totem, and the fox fellow was for Nate. 

Starting Over

I started this blog somewhat on a whim, and sort of as a way to keep myself accountable. After many stops and starts over the years, I've found myself in a place where I want/need to dedicate myself to my art, so here we are. I slacked on this whole website thing after setting it up last fall, and am giving myself a bit of a kick in the butt. 

Last year, I created my first altered book project and it was part of Bibliophilia, an exhibit at the Nave Gallery Annex. Since then, my passion for altered books and art journals has only grown. This year, I am committing to putting more of my work out there. 

Depth

Working with black gesso on wood panel to experiment with depth. 

Intuitive

Working with more layers. Inspired by Flora Bowley, I am pushing myself to focus on process rather than product, and to break away from a more rigid process. 

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