creative practice & process

Prompt: do this throughout the lunation

The Sixth Chakra relates to vision/perceptual prowess.

this includes in equal measure:

what we see and how we perceive it

and

what we project of our internalized visions

.

since we're bombarded by visually based information and its counterpart

and tend to feel at least partially 'helpless'

(or perhaps giving up too much personal agency and its attendant power)

in the face of all we've witnessed of the whirling world

by the end of any given day and evening

we're going to SLOW DOWN

even more

because now we're in a sratosphere of deep space

there is no linear time

or absolute gravity

this. is.  Mind.

let's treat it with the respect and awe

it needs to reclaim

.

Every day, take a picture that relates to your visual perception within that day.

keep it separate from all the other pictures

you take for similar or disparate reasons.

this is a project.

give it a file or an album or some other storage category that means when you take/or look at your daily pictures that is ALL you are perceiving.

this is how we'll figure out (I'll be doing this too)

what we are perceiving at a blink level.

by the end of the month you'll see

what's 'really' going on with your blink-time perceptual energy.

**

pick one of the following, or since it's all so slow, go for both if you've got the space and time.

Tape together two sheets of letter sized paper.  Make sure they're the same weight if not exact duplicates

(i'll be using copier paper and taping them together with dark purple washi tape)

Every day - glue-down JUST ONE thing.

follow the same loose-eyed/no-brain approach

described above in relation to picture taking.

TAKE EACH DAY AS IT COMES

do not plan a picture

or an abstract idea

or what you currently believe to be important

or necessary.

At the end of the month you'll have a collage

that speaks your own secret language

about what's really going on

perceptually

at a slow and trusting level.

Pro-Tip:  take just a small swipe of a glue stick to adhere your pieces if that's feasible.  That way you have flexibility as the matter of placement begins to reveal it's own unique narrative as your tuck and tear and explore afresh with each new addition.

**

AND/OR:

(i want to do this one, too, but I also want to get my garden planted

and continue immersing as much as possible

in the mindblowing (and extremely visionary)

class I'm still taking.  so we'll SEE.

**

Find an indigo or very deep purple ground cloth within your fabric stash.

If you usually iron everything

before you work

don't do it this time

and conversely:

if you usually don't

find a way to create a steam dewrinkling system over a boiling pot of water or take your cloth into the shower with you and let it dry on a perfectly flat surface, with a few smooth-outs along the way.

or, y'know.   locate your iron - wherever it is - and press the fabric.

here's why:

we're going to give our existing over-extended mind-perceptions a bit of a break.  Whatever you usually/habitually/feel you absolutely MUST do in order to begin stitching speaks to the brain-hemisphere we most rely upon and, hence, tend to ignore in terms of letting it rest and have a break.

this month:  Whatever feels most NECESSARY to your mind may benefit in the long run from having a few questions asked on its behalf.  Find out if your mind is happy.  Not in the top dead center sense of happiness but more specifically:  Is your mind happy with the way you treat it?  Ask your mind to give you a one word answer to the question:  How do you feel right now?

see how honest

your mind is capable of being to its least receptive audience:

Y-O-U

.

Mind is very quick and easily engaged with something new.  Especially when the newsness fits into something

we habitually do in a different [habitual] way.

stitching is extremely tactile and connects us to our heart center via its energy pouring through the so-called lesser chakras in our palms into our work with cloth, needle, and thread.  There's a third component, of course, within the miracle-magic of hand EYE coordination.

For this particular ongoing prompt

you are adding HEART to Mind.

this can get confusing for people.

The will attempt to 'replace' their mind with the perceptions

that bloom in Heart's ether.

conversely

Mind enjoys replacing Heart.

we're told to do as much

practically from birth

and everybody likes to succeed.

**

Every day select something from your stash that speaks of your internalized perceptual visioning in the moment of selection.

**

Once you've decided where to place your fabric on any given day, stitch it JUST ONCE into position.

the reason should be visually obvious within the half cycle/full moon point.

Mind is greatly enhanced with an ongoing maximum of flexibility.

the story of tactile heart's eye-hand coordination

will require as much shifting overlaps and redefined edges

as your mind will make

in the process

of discovering itself

in this way.

[am coming up with slow month long project oriented prompts straight out da gate because this center's both my wheelhouse and the place I found consistent solace and peace throughout my challenging childhood and coming of age.  It's why ... the story of my life ... is JUST a story.

BUT

having overtaxed and thus thoroughly misunderstood, both the purpose of Mind as well as the ongoing mechanics of authentic 'survival'

I know this month is going to take me places, as the saying goes.

at the moment I'm preparing

by adding the metaphorical equivalent of a surfing leash

to my lower-case mind

.

shaka


Prompt: hear existing Blue afresh

Bluewhirled1
Find something Blue that you created in another time and head/heart/world space.

Sit quietly with your creation.

hear what it might be telling you

in a new way or through a different frame of reference.

Bluewhirled2The pics in this post come from a healing&holding cloth I made about 15 years ago.  Originally it was a personal healing meditation I began after I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease.  Then it led an unexpected traveling offering of love kinda life to be incorporated in a total of 89 different therapeutic situations involving people such as myself, who were thrust into the world of human trafficking by their mother.

there are scary numbers of us.

that person in our life should never

and yet too often do

so i have innumerable sisters and brothers from that same Other kind of mother.

It's a particular kind of primal wounding that cuts very deep

and nearly everyone (especially women) who hears about it

reflexively judges the survivor - or otherwise tries to immediately silence us - for having the temerity to speak such an uncomfortably ugly truth straight out loud without qualm or a sense of personal shame.

so I am proud

as well as humbled

to stand for something else

about being female

and quite thoroughly broken into little pieces

from which I've reassembled something

relatively functional & loving.

Bluewhirled3just reunited with this cloth after a two month time frame of going our own way.  For once I won't have to re-attach anything due to subconscious/anxious twisting when the memories got more congruent and started fusing together.  In the most recent iteration of Blue Whirled's healing life - it spent some time with each of the four Dive participants who will visiting my field as & when throughout this growing season in order to participate in a  'waaaaaaay socially distanced flower essence apprenticeship of sorts. 

an amazing development

and so they have been pondering all the red - that originally was placed as a counterbalance to the 'waaaaaaaaay too much Blue energy that Graves tends to embody at the pragmatic & symptomatic levels - as seeds of a Root chakra nature.  They have been actively rooting their sown seeds of hope that Blue might embrace them in all the ways I know it will.

And we have zoomed a time or five

and I have learned what they see

and what rises up to be healed

and what blue means

to a half-step generation

I didn't know very well

if at all.

before this thing began

and magic was swift to follow

**

truest blue truth ever:

I'm so glad my tangled and carelessly scattered roots leave me open

and fully aware

of how many different things

the word Family

can mean.

love travels, as i always used to say.

I personally dream of a world where it travels a lot more freely

and without quite so many certainties

and mandates

about who is entitled to it

from us, specifically

and who is instead somebody else's

'situation'

to be dealt with

somehow

.

until that better world arises

from the ashes of this one

we will just have to keep on

rockin' it

.


Prompt: change your blue

very simple and yet not:

switch-up the precise blue that's your normal go-to blue for the sake of blueness.  Work with it for at least a few days.  Longer if it starts to grow on you.

Commit to getting to know a new layer of BLUE for the rest of the month in this kind of way.   Maybe you stay with the original switch-up blue or maybe you just wander around with a larger scope and less automatic favoritism where blue is concerned.

also:

Start looking for and at forms of BLUE you usually overlook.

think about why.

Blue is the color of truth.

how do you decide what you will or will not look at/consider/work with, and why?

look around among your supplies and wish lists.  Make sure you're hearing yourself within your choice-making.

Whatever form of Blue you choose -

balance as best you can

between projection/voice

and reception/hearing

 

**namaste**


prompt: flip or enhance your script

Heartspread

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday and I mention it every year on my creativity blog. 

If you're with me on that - ignore the prompt-within-the-prompt of the way this one begins and just amp up the experience to some kind of an idealized EVERYBODY loves heart day kind of level.  And note the closest thing the font color options hew towards emerald green below. We are all the way out of the primary zone so I bolded and all-capped for heart-emphasis only.

WITHOUT LINGERING OVER ALL THE REASONS WHY YOU MAY ABSOLUTELY HAAAAAAAATE (or merely ignore/'don't play into' VALENTINES DAY

what would a Day of Heart-Space that met your specific necessary criteria for being a "good" holy-day look like?

bonus question just because I'm curious this way:  How elite is the holy-ness of your personally sanctioned Day of Heart-Space? 

for example - could people with a fondness for Awful Cartoon Shaped Hearts get in

????

what if they were glittery?  and that may or may not be a trick question.  You decide.

asking for a friend, as they say ...

(obviously - Coyote Spirit's still here in ways sacred rules say we're permitted to talk about openly, should we dare.  Winter's not over yet and it was believed that meant the larger medicine spirit was sleeping.  None of the literal dawgs here are sleeping during this particular winter.  They've been up in here howling and running off the foxes throughout the night for a few weeks now.  The foxes  are now over-running the old overgrown orchards where they usually spend their summers. 

WHAT DO THE COYOTES KNOW THAT WE DON'T?

besides everything, i mean ...)

Coyoteexcellence


the blessing of space & sanctuary

SunnystudioplantsToday this space is sunlit and elevated for the shift that's coming with the Aquarian new moon.  Am thinking about what metaphorical seeds I want to plant then.  Also note the background glimpse of an area in the room that I think of as collage fodder purgatory.  Haven't looked at anything there for four years or so.  Thinking this may change sooner than later but we'll see.

OrangeyellowquestionThroughout the past ten days or so, I've been looking at this page from an orange-yellow-gold color collection journal all the time.  I have it open for ongoing viewing on my desk.   Although I wasn't thinking on any kind of subtextual level, or considering layering meaning as well as color application, in this moment of time it seems inspired to remind myself that all sacral questions seek the resolution of volitionary action.

Leomagicsome days ago I called an official time out on my main blog.  It doesn't work to post there when I'm immersed in something as deep as it is personal.  My internalized/frail ego/vulnerability level in such times can't sustain the entire premise and purpose of that particular sharing space. But this blog doesn't aim (or need) to set either the same standard or tone.   After the time out set root of a productive nature, somebody I mentor came around to that blog's comments section and invoked all kindsa yellow/solar/leo energy he knows to be the crux of my earthly soul's resilience factor.

i thought it was - at best - aspirational on his part.

but it worked.  That's the main thing.

Griefpage1the deeper purpose of recent soul growth-work is making more than adequate space for itself.  Within that space I've begun to articulate the overwhelming season of loss I experienced - beginning around this point in the years calendar - that was due in large part to Covid.

Griefricksomething simple, imperfectly elegant, inadvertently messed-up/air bubbles and contextually Everything for the unCovid mic drop of my incomparable friend, rick.

DowhatsrightnotNear the beginning of solar month I discovered the resin smudged note while tidying up.  It's from years ago.  In the process of awaiting something 'worthy' I turned some kind of intentional corner so that I simply wanted to find it a comfortable home.

Grieftwostoriesa story of deep grief transcending itself.

SunstampYesterday evening I found a piece of fabric stamped many times with a representation of sun magic & medicine.

InthosedaysOne of the stampings was placed to headline a snippet of narrative.  I held this cloth in my hand and read the words in my handwriting seven or eight times.  I have no idea wtf this refers to.  Not just what but whom.  My twenty first year was quixotic and relatively untethered.  It spanned (this sounds way more glamorous and noteworthy in its episodic qualities than it actually was, by far ...) 3 continents  and 7 countries within the first five calendar months.  I knew - in the walking around sense - any number of men who routinely betrayed themselves.  After squeezing my mind on the subject, I can think of three who semi-routinely fell on their sword for me.  The four of us were yoked to a highly disorganized, recreationally unpleasant, and insufferably narcissistic boss.  Nuff sed.

Samplerwhole am both baffled and intriqued by the personal mystery factory.  have resolved to steam refresh, then press smooth.  Hand sew stay stitching at the edges.  Hoop it up and backstitch my words into place.  Keep going from there. 

i like the idea of this showing up somewhere that won't matter to me with somebody i won't know saying 'i wonder what THIS was all about.' 

and.

i would not be able to tell them even if I could magically be there to speak in human language once more.

 cartersfacingthedoorspeaking of words - this is what two-pass working draft quality now looks like as I wend my way through the previously procrastinated,  emotionally and mechanically difficult corridors of my novel-writing project.  Think it's obvious I keep doing this Thing on a primarily daily basis.  In the past while there have been a few days in a row when I didn't write.  The self-mother in me would not allow it.  In that time the sun didn't shine in the literal sense.  I sat on the couch and let myself be held in the love of friends as well as my personal faith in the larger universe of healing and happenstance.  This one's going to take awhile to situate and explore with the necessary level of fearlessness.  Otherwise there's no point.  I'm not a healing-lite kind of person.

note:  the two children in this snippet are 4 and half years old.  Cici is unwanted by her family (although deeply treasured and loved by Carter's people) and is thus passed around from relative to relative.  Dominic's her oldest cousin, who was similarly treated in his youth, and has thus risen to the considerable personal challenge (he and Jessie have a past that I cried for three days straight back in Sacral month to draft-out...shhhhh...) of coming back into town in order to be the steady guardian influence she needs. 

DominicrealizesasmuchIn the same eight days of keeping my own counsel, there was a three or four day window in which I didn't have a working power cord for my laptop.  J was kind (and kind of INSISTENT) enough to let me have his personal machine during his working hours.  The first day I managed to record (as opposed to write) three and a half paragraphs.  That's how much I struggled to get back in synch with a mouse and also the fact that the keyboard doesn't work very well and J thus has a second keyboard he uses precariously balanced against the first.  The second day I did better.  The third day I pretty much typed at will/ability level given the over-arching life circumstances.  My sense of accomplishment was calibrated against the fact I was aware, even as I was writing, that I wasn't actually working so much as taking myself along a compulsive jug handle of irrelevant happenstance and dialogue serving neither expository nor inter-layering purpose.  I guess it was a comfort to me.  To know most of these characters so well that I could spend a day doing that and thus coming closer to mooring myself in ways that support coming both farther and closer, perceptually, in a further "way" of some sort that's pragmatically as well as creatively driven.  And in direct relation to knowing what is true for and about me.

Whatportrait

A 2 hours old selfie.  In the present tense I'm squinting with a bowed head  because the strong sunlight's shining right in my eyes.  It feels great.

Also:  huge upgrade in the pragmatic sense.  During yesterday's snowstorm J. installed a second hand railing in the studio stairwell.  I can now walk up and down holding on with both hands.  This is a HUGE blessing given ongoing neuro-unreliability that's largely weather driven in terms of severity and duration.

Kneescaband my knee is almost healed ...


YELLOW = picking up wherever you stopped

Justpickup[Have been yellow/manifesting energy in clearing-out the studio a little - which so far has primarily meant making up some collage fodder stash supplements for a few folks who asked and otherwise looking through art journals and sketchbooks in both complete and in-progress forms.]

eta:  today I brought back a post called from chaos to cosmos just because the title was on point.

I have a particular DIY sketchbook that I sometimes carry around like a studio-to-house/home life transitional object.  Four or five times now it's gone MIA for a couple months at a time because it gets stacked in with other books either up here or somewhere in the dining room wall of book shelves. I posted about a spread I filled shortly after the last time I reconnected with it.

NumberfivecoverI really love everything about this book from the large size to the feel of the recycled cloth-bound covers of an old Time-Life book (Elves & Fairies).  And the paper I selected - Stillman & Birn in various weights and finishes also intermingling bright white and ivory colored folios.  And I'm also enjoying the face About a quarter of the pages have flaps or partial gatefolds.

***

Prior to insurrection I'd begun clearing-out more pragmatically here in the studio.  This is a standard January activity that never happened last year because I preferred to lead the collage challenge while also challenging myself with the daily prompts.  Then the pandemic insured I didn't have to concern myself with what visitors 'might think' if the sink looked like it was part of a creative omnivore's laboratory

So far this hasn't meant much of note beyond unclogging the sink drain and finishing up with anti-bac everything afterwards.  Otherwise I'm 'clearing-up' more in the memory and psychic sense of infusing more/fresh yellow vitality into dark crevices.  Also taking a wander through sketchbooks in both complete and in-progress forms.  Plus Moleskine based art journals.  I mention them right at this particular juncture because at least four people who now read here regularly as part of the Dive have a Moly hoard they don't think they are talented - or otherwise know - enough - to actually use.  but you should!  Then they'd look like the stack below rather than an unused testament to hesitancy!! 

Molysinsunlight***

  The level of ongoing reliable focus I need to pick up exactly where I left off before the siege has not yet returned. This isn't about shifted or disconnecting motivation but more about examining what's whole and stable enough to be built-upon in a more mindfully sustainable way.  I've also found I need more time outside - bundled up and dreaming of the next growing season, providence willing.

My sense of mental-mind is still somewhat jumbled and amorphous so I'm going to go with the inspiration of emergent solar/yellow energy currents.  Today there's no actual sunlight.  The pics were taken yesterday.  Below is a show of the 7:35 a.m. light in the room.  It falls on my work desk.  By close of studio business day the desk will be clear and ready for various creative impulses I feel brewing.  Since I work in many books at once it's ideal to have the desk clear enough to leave a variety of projects to dry overnight.  This makes a great next-morning review space especially with the natural light falling over the pages.

DeskthisamThe other day as I was watching the live feed of the mob swarming inside the only response I seemed able to have relates to making many multiple copies of the woman walking past an open arch way.  I don't know why.  But I'll be ready once I do.

BettercolorofbackingchoiceHave found my choice of a commercial backing for Primary Nest.  I learned the hard way that this series of Holding Cloths are best served to have very plain tightly woven backings.  I've been stitching each day - sometimes more than others.  It's an intentional piece of work so if I feel my heart shutting down or aching in response to my thoughts I set it aside and do something that more directly addresses my emotions of the moment.

Even though I've woken up two mornings in a row thinking of troubleshoots and inroads related to fictionland - once I'm actually up here in the studio I'm inclined to put most of my creative energy to focus on more tactile and visual aspects of creative capability.  I need a visually immediate sense of personal accomplishment rather than two well-pruned paragraphs to show for a whole lot of time thinking and staring into space.  But as the dust in my soul begins to settle from last week's [not unexpected.  and somehow all the more horrifying to bear remote witness to how it was as it happened] melee - I find my need for joy-inducing creativity to be heat/solar seeking at an instinct level.  So I'm picking up where I left off within a study of largely paint based color relationship/pattern deconstruction exploration. 

5innercoverI altered the original faux marble inner covers with collaged image-grid page out of Amy Butler's fabulous Bloom compendium.  If you've ever purchased or been gifted a collage packet from me you've had at least a few page sections included.  For this endeavor - and knowing in advance how I planned to work in the book - I focused on colors and images that held very strong appeal for me.   Personalized with paint swatches and the impulse to trace a magnolia bloom to keep the lotus bud company.

MagnoliatracingTo get going I riffed on some of the colors and imagery that made my eye the happiest while also sticking to the theme.  Everything is pretty paint driven with colored pencil and pitt pen additions - with the exception of the smeared oil pastels making up the petal colors in the riffed flower vase.  Ink brush pen over the smears.  Now I know that works ...

Vaseriff

Almondbranchriff

JudeinspiredOnce I 'broke the silence' I moved to an inner section of the book to work on pattern deconstruction on a page spread that included a flap.  The limited color palette was an enjoyable/soothing mix for me visually.  Also of note is that the batik fragment serving as inspiration was originally from a long panel jude sent - wow.  Right after T came home from college for the first summer 'away' from home or his Italian parents' homes.  Putting another part of the globe at 17 into comparative balance, it's pretty hard to consider the Valley to be legit away-away but, yeah. 

Once he was back for the summer I immediately turned the panel into a pair of curtains for his western facing bedroom windows.  They were exactly long enough with the addition of an unobtrusive commercial batik used to form the curtain rod casings.  When the sun began to lower his entire bedroom was illuminated by the batik's colors as well as the setting sun's light.  He kept a sphere-shaped prism given to him at his birth by my mother positioned just off center to catch the maximum amount of sun-time.  The curtains were kept just open enough to maximize the prismatic addition to the visual display.

Here in this house the retrofitted curtains hung in an eastern window - with rod casements running in the other/short direction of the two panels - in the upstairs bathroom.  They caught each sunny morning's light for the better part of seven years until the gifted fabric shredded free of the tight commercial weave.  The paper thin remnants are relics used for very special purposes most usually involving because used as auspicious gift-wrapping in the ultimate spirit of jude-ness.

Pinkandyellowopenflapjust all different mark making tools and spontaneous life-tracking memorabilia inclusion by way of sparkly pink mesh flowers cut from a stashed-up bouquet finishing wrap.  This final inclusion worked out quite well with a layer of pre-applied soft gel medium. I collaged the flower separately and put them under a book with a layer of wax paper to blot-up some of the extra gel.  Any additional gel ooze I buffed-off with a soft threadbare pillow-case remnant. 

Yellowpink3Right now I'm yellow-pushing myself to complete a spread in this same book I stopped working on when I made an unfortunate smear that "ruined' the perfect color and element spacing.  Something always ruins the perfect whatever but sometimes I practice longer avoidance in getting to the fix than is warranted.  It's more than a little ridiculous but since I juggle so many idea-catching volumes at once I usually solve other problems while something else is incubating.  

In this case I deconstructed the color palette and design elements of a chocolate bar wrapper.  When the unfinished page spread has been 'healed' of that condition I'll share where I was - an unflinching close up of the offending unmindful smear - and where-ever I wind up. 

Cottonfabricbackingaudition


Yellow as glimpsed in or from the studio

Wewillsurvivesisterhood[above and below:  pages in an altered book project - the first I began and will probably be my last to finish or leave behind in progress. I took my hardback copy of Dreaming the Dark and turned it into a personal rumination on The Sisterhood as I've experienced it throughout my adult life.]
Sisterhood7n9discs

YellowspotscaterpillarEnjoyed finding a whole series of this busily defoliating caterpillar while tracking down yellow flower images yesterday.  Am planning a painting spread in my sketchbook based on the images.  jude had a great post years ago based on this 'un's patterns and coloration...

Whatdowedountonfound in a homemade knockabout/everyday sketchbook

Pornographysilencedefinitely one of my writing/philosophy mothers ...

Yellowcalendulabloomspickedthat time there were so many calendula flowers I was giving friends pint jars of tincture-in-progress as Harvest gifts ...
Yellowdandelionquiltcenter of a small art quilt celebrating the dandelion medicine spirit made on request by J.

YellowsilkhankieSilk throwers waste

Yelloworangebuddhalucky capture in my home during a different winter season

Sacredyangsourcethe archetype i use to access my inner yang/sacred male nature.  I spose for times when St. Francis is not enough ...

SehkmetSekhmet - Egyptian Goddess of the sun.

Yellowinsightart journal from 2015 or early 2016

Yellowbeesandsunflowerfrom SL2 on Lammas '05

Solarflares o l a r    f l a r e

TinlittlefindhornYellow daisy-like flowers traded as pot-luck bare rootstock.  And friend ...

YellowartjournalsafeYellow is my personal safety color.  there is a story there ...


orangeness in art journals plus thoughts

This is actually a fairly yellow post in terms of how the words are put together as well as what they express.  [and then heart - uh - muscled into the middle of everything, too.] The journal pages hold orange-ness and distinctly orange qualities of expression.

***Please note.  i spent part of yesterday afternoon bringing back all the collage challenge posts including the numerous prep-posts I published during last December. ***

OrangejustshowupThe centerfold of my first attempt to cut and layer page edges in this kind of way.  I was working with a book that offered a full year's self-guided relatively deep dive into art journaling.  I won't mention the book title because I know this particular process - specifically it's lack of addressing mental health/emotional backup support context - is legit upsetting to a few of my friends who are art therapists. I also know how I felt myself when somebody approached the exercises here in a way that caused disruption to the mainframe for about a minute and a half's worth of teachable-ness that one hopes will be effective - or at least of some marginal use for two people just starting out on the life path of reaching out from a soulful place laced with vision clarity and then seeing what happens. 

subtext:  I'm the seasoned one, here.  so I guess my first line of business each and every month is to figure out what that means as the days unfold.

OrangeLustTulipmania
[another page in my informal botanical art journal.  first I used watercolor ground without reading about it or watching any videoes.  I just put a ton on all around the pasted down tulips.  A strand of hair got caught in it and I just cut off the part beyond the page, etc. Only in retrospect do I realize I could/should have sanded the rippling over-abundance of grounding material and at some point pressed flat[ter] under books.  At the time I wrecked a pitt pen and moved on.  We'd seen the movie Tulip Mania the night before and had a long discussion about the general historical event afterwards.  J was surprised I knew some stuff and delivered info with such enthusiastic verve.  I said to him, 'it's about flowers, isn't it ???']

One thing I learned very beautifully from last year's spontaneously decided-upon collage challenge is that amazing things can happen when someone is willing and ready to trust someone else enough to come into a place of much deeper trust with themselves.  I learned that from the group, from the amount of challenges and lessons I juggled behind the scenes, and here on the verge of the House of Self/solar center, I will also say I learned a tremendous amount from my previously established inner resources.  The most important thing I learned was that what I'd already established at an internal level was far less disparate and meager than I imagined in my conscious mind's skew of who I was. 

suicide prevention/risk assessment work needs to have a strong heart connection but the heart center itself must be protected simply to keep it beating and beaming strongly in the rest of life.  That means what I knew of myself as a leader comes from the sacral belly and Ajna territory.  I did not have the luxury (and this is exactly the most organic way to put it) of leading from my heart within my larger work.  It would have been trampled to shreds within - knowing myself as I do - less than a month.

So I found out about the specific creative/healing magic that comes from a purely heart-centered place when I started prepping for the collage challenge in December.  Part of that was various energetic/intentional magic kind of work here in the studio.  I opened a channel.  And because I came from a heart centered place - and purely a heart place - everything that came back to me was from the heart as well. 

the biggest learning:  when you aren't focused on the most broken and abandoned parts of the population, and you offer something that is purely enjoyable and fun within a built-in but intimately sized community - 95% of the heart you will be shown flowing back to you is likely to be WOW so heart-full and loving. 

this is what we all have within us at all times - the Power of Heart.  That's one of the two secondary things the collage challenge taught me.  The subtext, of course, is that combined heart energy is immeasurably powerful.  It can connect disembodied space into a bona fide community.  This is an invaluable thing to start thinking about more tangibly as another season of lockdown living gets underway.

Orangehorsesass[This is from a dedicated art journal I kept during my second Saturn return.  I was really irritated with my husband that day - who was returning right along with me.]

I think it all boils down to what's patently obvious from the onset.  People need to be able trust themselves as well as the leader.  If they can't do both they must at least have one of the trust factors firmly grounded.  After grounding comes focus.  Being willing to give that to yourself and how you're feeling/reacting before it becomes a part of the mainframe's focus.

I've always felt able to trust myself in relation to personal growth/creative exploration work.  I learned to trust my leadership abilities when a person who, by any measure, was a world class leader-oriented teacher told me I had excellent instincts and unique skills worth developing. 

Orangeravens Right now I feel that way very very strongly about the two young gentlemen doing all the heavy lifting so absolutely all I have to do is show up and maintain faith the magic will make itself for and with whoever shows up with me.

I want both R and M to move forward in learning what that means to them.  So in the coming YELLOW House of Self month I'll combine art journal pages with stuff I've learned about leadership, healing energy, and what I've learned that applies to me not quite as specifically as I've chosen to imagine in the past.  My intention is inspire an inner look at your own solar expression because we all need our inner sun's light to shine on and on and on right now.

because we are ALL leaders - if only of ourselves and what directional course we set at any given point of our day/night.

 


eviction work completed

Sacralgridcomplete

Early morning solstice medicine making here in the studio.

The first two layers of sentences really warped the card stock substrateI put it under a pile of books until this morning.,  I painted the diagonal layers quickly because I woke knowing exactly what words to use.  I didn't realize that until I was up here in the studio and started moving all over the space in the cosmic guidance system lane. 

PaintuseupAbove is how and where I worked. Used up leftover paint on the palette to scrape a base coat onto one of the four remaining unfilled page spreads in my informal botanical art journal.  For the most part it's been an overcast solstice morning so far.  But every once in awhile the sun peaks through the grey scrim.  It's about 25 degrees warmer than it was yesterday.   Life's good for those reasons and a good many others. 

Assembledgridframe

One of the things I really like about this particular ghost writing technique is the way the finished results strongly suggest you were working with some kind of monoprint rather than toxic soul-brain runoff.  The visual transformation, coupled with the eye-hand-heart coordination of doing the release work as well as more left-brain process steps such as tearing and arranging the strips, will ground and resound throughout the sacral center.  Breathe deeply from that place.  If it's hard to get a sense of the energetics make a two inch space between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand.  Center that space about two inches below your naval.  Push your sense of breath-capacity to that specific space through a combination of your fingers touching your skin and your inner mind's eye sense of your spine and the energetic column that runs along it.

***

breathe deeply.  When you exhale feel the space your release work has created.  Imagine water in one of its most gentle and nourishing forms:  a fine warm mist. Visualize the mist hydrating and re-energizing your sacral center.  Hold yourself dear for what you've accomplished and cannot yet imagine as a result.  Bless yourself for all the corners of your life and its ongoing landscape that you've created with your hands and imaginative impulse.  Promise yourself you'll build a stronger more sustainable home for your inner muse.  Keep your word.

***
Orangeninepatch
Used acrylic ink for the orange and a metallic craft paint for the dark coral.  By then I knew I was going to fill the squares with light attractants.

Used this one for five squares and something gold/violet with star sequins for the inner crosspoints.  The stickles gel stuff is pretty outtasight if you like this kind of thing but it takes forever to dry by air.  Conversely it dries up rather quickly once you break the initial bottle seal.  Plan to work big and use it up all at once or soon thereafter.

MoondustAm devoting the fourth week of my personal chakra exploration work to synchroncity and its impact on co-creative and collaborative sacral energy exchange. 

J and I plan to continue drawing night past this month's chakra work.  We also plan to make more of our meals as a collaborative venture.   Plus J got the permanent job offer right on schedule and has accepted. This is lighting up all the points on our combined energy column but most especially the root.  It's allowing emotional waters to settle as well.  Just as I'm writing these last setnences the sun emerged more concretely.    We have shake rattle and roll plans for the lunch hour ...


Mid-Point Flow

CitrinsaluteRealized I needed a Dive check-in post so my personal life/work/review will have to wait.   Earlier today I reconnected with the hand-worked citrine point above.  It used to be double-pointed but at some correlating life-point it shattered and I don't remember how.   Have spent the past two days immersed in rediscovering how my creative flow patterns might be reconfigured following so much emotional release.   This has involved not just my studio time but developing greater flow in the house as well.  Smudging and rearranging things.  Clearing space and raising the octave levels with the coming solstice in mind.

SacralpagelitTook all these pics in the room's last fifteen minutes of direct sunlight.  One thing I noticed during the turbulent shadow phase of this experience is how much grounding value I gained from mixing up my creative approach to any given project on my work desk. 

have been greatly and great/fully influenced by grace's fabric collages.  today I made the first tentative step to go the other way - to do something I've forbidden myself time and again.  I will easily put fabric to paper but NEVER paper to fabric.  I don't know why I simply know it's forbidden. 

so today:

Paperonclothit is glued down and the fabric square is further glued down and since then there has been more paper glued around and so forth.  I will show more in the pretty soon range.  Am giving myself time every day just to stand there at the work deck and fiddle with different arrangements in this particular art journal.  The fact that I'd previously stenciled-in page spreads for the chakras seemed perfectly dovetailed towards getting myself re-involved with this particular project.  It's largely collaged based but not exclusively.

In this dwindling 'short' eclipse portal window I've been flowing in many ways beyond the studio but I notice this is where I made my basic daily choices and set my intentions in alignment with how things might well move forward.

LetitgopageMuch of an emotional/sacral backlog nature was released during the first 7-9 days of this month's process.  Several people noticed it and reached out for confirmation and affirmation in the loveliest ways.  I've felt both those things from myself - somehow managing to reconfigure a few pieces of personal mystery here and there. 

Asungoddessthe more uncomfortable the cosmic birth canal became the more I felt myself willing energy to and from the third/solar chakra.  Sometime I had to time-out myself just to get a handle of the ingrained instinct and impulse combined.   Otherwise I just wanted to ground from the lunacy about & beyond, hit my various week-end goals and then move into this new week focused on the principles of flow and intuition.  The latter feels pretty worn out from various ways it wove itself through the first two weeks.   So I've been picking up where I left off very many years ago in the practice  of daily stone work of a sacred nature.

OrangestoneshellAnd to that end I went around earlier today and looked for orange-ish stones.  Looking in mixed micro-collections in tea-cups and many different glass or ceramic bowls and larger shells, mostly abalone.  Here in the studio and through the house.  Some are quite old friends.  I thought I'd lost the Thompsonite with its mesmerizing orange eyes.  Also have been yearning for the shell and rough chip of carnelian as well as the polished oval.  Two red jasper chips - a shamanic mentor felt this to be essential for creating sheltered landing strips when actively journeying or meditating on a collective scale.

this stuff comes back to me - so much of it set aside as an excess of accumulating far more intellectualized experience and sense of self when I felt best served to pursue the opposite.  So my stones are scattered everywhere around and part of the ongoing connection to maintaining and rebuilding my red tap root/life force is to retrieve them for contemplating and beyond one energy center at a time.

WorkingtableI broke down my fictionland querent/tarot reading into different groupings of how I felt the cards' energies had been showing themselves in the rest of my life.  At the solstice I usually switch over to reading with The Greenwood Tarot.   It's a very different vibe but one that matches well with my need to connect more at a ground/roots/ancient level than something that's cosmic and future-tense driven.  That's what I need from my solar return forward.  The deck itself will undoubtedly enjoy the rest.

also I don't need any more readings for fictionland.  maybe ever at least for this book.  I've broken the full arc of the storyline down in several formats now - thanks in part to what I gained from doing the readings as intently as I have up to this point.  What this means energetically is that I'll relocate where I do the readings and can thus expand my renewed interest in stone/crystal based energy work up here in the studio.

***

Orangepensfind something orange to write with.

banish as much sacral toxicity as you can one sentence at a time.

it's amazing how the scope and context of stuff that floats loose on its own or we seek to round up because it's time to do no less shifts once the details emerge in such an inherently mood-elevating cheerful color.  Shred the results so there's nothing left but random symbols in the uplifting color.   Glue the strips down in a grid shape.   Now even your discarded emotional detritus finds a useful purpose within forming a containment system.  Fill the resulting sections with images you'd like to hold in this energy center as well as that which you know it already contains of a positive and illuminated nature.  Or just cut shapes from orange-based scraps on hand and glue them into an organized focal re-vision. Give yourself a chance to admire how different this personal check-in looks than however it would have appeared if we'd done this exercise on day two or three.

What creative/primal cave-like wisdom exists for you that didn't exist in the opening bars of this exploration?  How can you expand upon what you're learning about yourself and your own unique conduit of flow with creative inspiration?

Think about the most beautiful orange flower that you know - the one that holds the most light and vibrant orange-ray energy in your experiences and also within your heart and soul.  Make something that speaks of their magic & meaning to you.

Today I'm bringing back a post called Sympathetic Evolution.

Californiapoppieshillside