ORANGE

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 ...


shibori girl yellow, etc.

YellowglennisunopenedYesterday I went through a box in which I pre-sorted a lot of yellow treasures years ago.  I virtually never look in it because I know what's there except, by now, I really don't   since I never look.  Had forgotten the above treasure and find it a perfect meditative visual aid as I continue to vacillate between, as Pam Gregory puts it, clarity and silt.  Gotta say this fantabulous grey is the most gorgeous silt I've ever contemplated!
Yellowshiborigirlopenhuh.  as usual I was scattershot and doing a few things at once.  I thought surely the words on the other side of the white paper background wouldn't show up in these pictures even though I could clearly see them with my eyes.  Also you can see I was digging in pots and plant roots today...

YellowtreasuresFirst thing this morning (3 degrees.  snowing.)  I livened up my consciousness by steam pressing a lot of the treasures I re-connected with from the unexamined box.  More Glennis beauties and a lot of stuff I messed around with on my own, plus some Artemis ribbons, a sheet of wool felt, and a piece of linen it looks like I painted with watered down yellow ochre acrylic paint.  I perceive a lot of destinies but have got to stop thinking like a 30 year old.  A lot of the things I reconnected have the feel of what I had in mind for my braid.

interest was expressed concerning the example braid so here's what that was about:

Rolledscrollin the mid aughts I was part of an international collaborative fiber arts journal project.  A modest group of us worked on Anthologies in which we each picked our own theme and then everyone in the group made a page to fit.   This particular page was for an anthology entitled Blue.  I figured somebody else would riff on Joni Mitchell so I thought about how Blue is everywhere in my home environment because J is blue to the bone and it's soothing up to a point from a mental health point of view.  But am not myself an all-blue person.  Fortunately I happened upon a Van Gogh quote that solved my dilemma:

Thereisnoblue

The unrolled scroll reveals my inspiration.   Part of the request was that we hide a quote in a secret pocket.

ScrollpocketI created a lined pocket partway across the page so it was a little less obvious of a hide.

Blueandorangefrontwoven and embroidered front of page with light beading.  Each person chose the page dimensions.  I added a cloth 'gutter' (orange strip to right) to facilitate a variety of attachment/binding options. 

Backofscrollback of scroll designed as a nod towards Van Gogh's Night Sky Over The Rhone
Secretpocketused water soluble crayons to color the indigo batik.
Orangeandyellowback


something i forgot

Primaryholdingcloth010221Last week I  focused in part on the sacral grace of synchronicity. Right on the first day I suddenly came across this not quite finished piece of heavily encrusted contemporary embroidery. I remembered it once I saw it and with something of a shock to have forgotten it.

The piece in progress is called Primary Nest.  It's a meditation on the three primary chakras and an intended part of a small series.  In the aughts I made some different elaborately embroidered and embellished Holding Cloths intended for healing and meditation purposes.  Not sure how it's possible but I totally forgot about this one.   Have stitched two afternoons in a row.  Hoping to get it finished - meaning all the way backed and the layers made secure together etc - by my birthday.  Super generous time frame.  In the personal best part of my brain I'm hoping to have things there by the end of Heart Chakra month. 

Orangebutterflycorner

PrimaryredThe cloth substrate is pieced dupioni silk:  the red shot with black, the orange shot with magenta, and the yellow shot with white. I don't even know how to guess how many different threads and beads I included.  I do know I bought an expensive silk hydrangea bloom so I could defoliate parts of it for inclusion in the orange and yellow regions of the piece.

Primarybutterflies

Yellowprimary1Finding this work - just as I was heading downstairs and back to the house for the evening  - and then lingering to smooth it down in a pivotal focal point I couldn't miss the next morning - all of that seemed like a personally auspicious way to begin welcoming new energy and fresh perspectives.  There are all sorts of personal secrets buried in the layers of stitching and silk.  For instance the inner red square was fortified early on by a scrim of red fishnet stocking.  I had no idea what I was doing one improvisation to the next - I simply knew I was following a color-centric muse.

OrangebutterflycornerAm hopeful I can get the yellow frame stitched and then cogitate about a cloth to cover the back.  I know if Liz catches this post she'll be glad to know I also plan to show "what the back looks like".

Orangeencrustration1I love working this way although my fingers aren't as nimble as they once were.  So much time at the keyboard has loosened them up enough to enjoy the stitching time.  I am not as precise but I think I can get this finished in a way where the shift in my stitch size, etc. isn't going to be/appear as glaring as it feels to me. 

Much yellow/ego work involved on being authentically willing to show up just as I am rather than as I was 30 years ago.  Or even 16 years ago when I first began building this piece. As I've been stitching in the later afternoon I've been amazed to encounter something I made - something that's over the top in its sole impractical loveliness even for me -  that I'd utterly forgotten.  Two thirds of the way through the Primary Three - it rises to the top of all manner of cloths and raw material.

I am amazed.

amazement is a good yellow attribute ...

joyous amazement.

today I'm bringing back a post entitled bring me the fripperies.  Same general style of excessiveness. 

FlowercornerI don't know why this image is so washed out  The piece's truest colors are visible in the lede image.


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 ...


examples of shadow eviction

DecemberdevilsDecember is my trigger month.  Simply enumerating the individual 'bad' anniversaries in this concentrated block of time in which 'everyone else' is frenetically doing all the zippy happy things they absolutely always do every single year of their lives can be an exhausting experience for me and whoever [legitimately] asked to hear it.  The piece above is from my Bead Journal Project (BJP) series of 7 inch squares.  It's called, obviously enough, The Devil You Know & The Devil You Don't.  I usually try to photograph it so there's a clear image of my normalcy range/daily life visible within the abnormalcy I've articulated. 

Although it comes from a dark place and I'm sure most if not all the people who usually read here aren't thrilled I posted it yet again as I so often do during this month - this is one of my favorite pieces of work.  Because it DID work both in its resolution and as a very potent form of sacral exorcism.  Resolution-wise there's room to question which devil got vaporized as well as what each devil represents.  Everyone participates as they draw close enough to catch their own face in the two mirrored lenses. Creatively I'm aware I slayed both the devils as I personally named them and a whole bunch of nasty-assed dragons as well.  Most originated at the root level but the blasted oak level of emotional and psychic damage occurred in the second chakra/womb. 

This is true, by the way, for far greater numbers of people than most other people like to contemplate or actively embrace as collective reality.  It's another one of those we're all soaking in it cultural/geo-political experiences.

which is why I continue to post it more Decembers than not.  Because I did - somebody out there is gonna pick up a few creative tools and make something they really need to make in order to understand more about the power they hold and can build upon incrementally and continuously - specifically because of rather than in spite of - the person they've become as a result of the power that was taken from them.

You are out there and you're hell yeah ready to do this.

and that's really all I care about as I write these words and publish the post.

we are not 'the few' but we are certainly the brave.

***

Goodbyeuassholes

Spelling doesn't count in this kind of creative work.  Two people asked if I might illustrate the written prompt about writing things down and then getting the various sentences to the point of breaking down their meanings by breaking down their structure.  My process is underway but what I've done so far should be enough to start your own engine and then keep going.

CrosstalkI wrote the original sentences in a water soluble art crayon and then smeared the orange color around with a wet brush.  Wrote two opposite direction lines of cross talk in a stabilo marker.  Next I'm going in on the diagonal.  First with a metallic orange bronze acrylic paint and once that dries on the opposite direction with some type of pastel orange/salmon craft paint.

not hard at all in terms of execution. 

 And the more honest and forthright you are with yourself the more toxicity you'll release.

see about doing this before the solstice.  Get as far as the eviction.  If you can't manage it before, maybe plan to do the actual tearing into strips on the solstice.

Either option will give you a lot more room to hold a LOT more light ...

Manyfacesmanyphases

Many Faces Many Phases

by Cathy Weaver Taylor

This lunar cycle's artwork for the lunation's 13th cycle of the year.

Namaste


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


reeling in and gentling down

WhitewatershrineWhite Water Shrine.  Created during the first year of the International Bead Journaling Project.  What a time that was!

Back in the aughts I participated in the first year of a very exciting project.  It was one of those things where you grow so much creatively that you really do feel forever changed.  In my case I also felt in much closer synch with who I was and what I wanted to say with my needleworking skills and shiny-stuff Corvid tendencies.

Can't remember what month this was but I do recall it was a doozy in the emotional upheaval department.  Being of Water and Fire - my emotions either expend themselves in their natural element or evaporate in their own heat.  It's the first expending part of the equation that's difficult.  On like - day two of the second chakra - I'd had enough of myself emotionally.  But it's ultimately good.  Everything that's expended leaves clear space.

***

Last night J and I had our second drawing night. 

Contourdrawings

He who can actually draw is working exclusively with Celtic border and medallion designs.  It's something he's always wanted to do and a thing he told me about on our very first date.  I'm working in a very informal botanical art journal.  At the very end of the first drawing night I realized I wanted to make tiny sepia colored ditsy flowers around the blind contour drawings of trisomic stocks and euphorbia  flowers.  There are also ill-placed patches of leftover gilding flakes that 'had to go SOMEwhere' before the adhesive dried and they wound up wasted.  The upside is that they're pretty in a holographic kind of way especially in natural light. 

CompassionbloompagesI used up leftover paint making this desert in bloom quit a while ago.  During the first drawing night I outlined stuff with a fine tip india ink art pen.  I will say more about this book because interest has already been expressed.  There are people participating who can't draw but would like to record their botanical experiences in a visual way.  Am somewhat confident and twice as hopeful that I'll be able to inspire you.

SweetfernAlso worked further on this spread.  Had the We'moon datebook calendar cut-out and a special friend's handwriting sample in place - added the drippy stencils a couple days ago just to get some orange on the board.  Added everything blue last night.

***

This week  - my spontaneous/whether i like it or not sacral clearing-out process has been beyond intense.  Partway through the weekend I decided I couldn't continue with my novel because the strategy of saving emotionally challenging material as I have was kicking my ass too brutally to continue.  I ran this all by J who (I'm presuming ...) knew/hoped I'd go through a few evolutions of emo-excess and then settle down.  It was a really uncomfortable day and a half.  

Then I recalled a solid quarter of my draft that's been cooling its heels for two months.  Opened the files and started reading.  A couple days in I felt solid enough that told I J it didn't seem as impossible as it had when I was crying all the time. 

and i understand the section header i felt so inclined not to have somebody steal.  that's probably the book's actual title, is why.    all progress and validation of a sort...

RedsquareworkA sympathetic working in progress on my coffee table altar space.  My interest in using the red corduroy relates to the black tracings of negative infiltration.  This was a big improvement over my sense of bullet-riddled/swiss cheese non-existence of the energy center.  Through the few weeks I've been doing this, I've also been meditating with visualizations of adding Light-fueld red energy to infuse the points that feel missing. 

next I'll post the orange/turquoise attachment weaving sampler in detail.

AttachCU


working the energy

Sacralrocks

Today there's also a new orange post at Sparkling Lotus Ink.

First of all I'd like to encourage everyone who's participating in this colorific look at who we are to take a visit to Mo's blog.  She posted a one of a kind/deep-healing response to a comment I made to her.  Mo's a very original and intensely gifted artist who puts profound sensitivity in all her creations.  I visit her blog knowing I'll be nourished as well as inspired.  But this one  - well, it blew me out of the water and deep into aquamarine territory.

AquarmarinecorlitAquamarine is sort of a no-brainer as a balancing stone for this chakra.  It's got a very limitless oceanic feeling to it that's strongly connected to long-distance communication through vibration.  I'm aware many energetically-minded people use this stone as a way of communicating with their pets (especially cats - or maybe it's just cat-people who are most inclined to do this?) in a long-distance way that involves vibrational channels below the oceanic floor.  I thought the first person who told me was relaying a strictly individualized experience.  But then it kept recurring so I became intriqued at a more collective level.

When my beloved kitty companion Celeste got too old and tired to follow me around absolutely everywhere I carried a small polished chip in my pocket to help her flow with the shift in our togetherness.  Had thought she was kind of on her last legs when I started doing this but she determinedly soldiered on for another year and a half.  When my family buried her ashes a few months back, within the center of a little memorial plot in the field garden, I included that chip.

SacralhummingbirdI have a set of chakra stencils.  In my various art journals I often work with shifting energy via the stencils.  In this case I revisited a page that didn't contain much beyond the basic orange stencil design.  I added the heart-chakra looking hummingbird (it's from Avena Botanicals packaging so I very much doubt that's a coincidence) when I realized I was consciously and willingly losing far too much mental health real estate to a particular atrocity of the past four years:

kids in cages

I just can't

And by the time I thought to modulate the level of energy I was putting into this matter I was pretty uncomfortable internally.   Which means I was vibing in a largely silent seething manner that was making others uncomfortable as well.   When it comes to social justice matters I generally don't particularly care about that kind of thing.  But in this case I did.  Everyone I knew felt some level of the same things I was (and continue to be) feeling.  They also didn't necessarily have the you're-soaking-in-it deep bone fluency with emotional overwhelm that water signs have no choice but to develop because if not the results put a whole new frame on the phrase sink or swim.

This is an exercise that can work more generally for those feeling LOTS of feelings equally or it could represent something particular. For those who just can't get close to themselves in this way it could instead represent a desire to promote healing emotionally at a collective level.

StencilnpapersTwo days ago, when I first thought of this exercise, it was more mechanical than energetic.  That's because I've been sick.  It began right as we shifted from red and orange and for the first 8 hours or so I thought it was covid.  If we weren't doing this thing I would have written that I feared it was covid.  As it was I just waited for my body to clarify what was going on one way or the other.  Going through all the uncomfortable and energy-draining aspects of a 'regular' seasonal virus isn't  anywhere close to feeling like the pain in the ass it usually seems.  I'm grateful.  Maybe twice-over because I'm actively feeling that gratitude. 

SacralcutoutsWe need to make more space within our minds, hearts, and various forms of a body.  We also need to want to do that.  But it's very difficult to do when our emotional field is either going haywire on far too regular a basis or we have ourselves so buttoned down that there's nowhere for the "good" emotions to grow themselves. 

I chose to use my stencil because I'm still sick although thankfully today my fever has broken.  I cut out the pieces two days ago when I was still needing five hours naps around the clock.  If you have access to a printer the easiest option is to find a second chakra line drawing you like here online and then print it out.  The physical size of your choice will determine whether you go back online to find something larger/smaller to your liking or simply use the print-out to color the symbol's components in some fashion.  You could also embroider orange on blue if you're trying to dry up emotional excess.

But what if you've already shut down because you aren't elementally related to water and thus can more easily detach from whatever you feel in order to get on with your life as you wish to lead it.  This often involves pursuing "happiness" by way of distraction from UNhappiness.   Even water signs need to shut it down from time to time but that speaks more the next chakra than this one.

If you feel out of touch with your emotions either because you're over-compartmentalized, actively intellectualizing your emotions, or simply aren't an emotional person by nature  you might be better suited to making the background/calling field orange rather than blue and the symbol's elements orange.

If you don't have a printer you can simply draw and cut out the two elements you need - a crescent moon and a single lotus petal sized so six will fit around the circle.

Pro-tip:  You may find, as I did, that it's a bit fiddly to get the lotus petals placed.  I used the fiddliness as a metaphor for getting my emotions aligned with my intention to balance and illuminate this chakra center.

Threeoranges[orange stuff on the coffee table yesterday.]

This is my third experience with some kind of group-oriented chakra work.  And the first in which people aren't congregating in the 3-d sense.  The difference has caught me offguard although I'm beginning to understand it a bit.  I think it's because I'm responding to everything as an individual rather than responding to individuals as the person in charge of keeping everything together for everyone else.  I just have to do my part and expand outward into the energy of everyone participating.  Making an orange watery flow together.

I like this life.  I think I'll keep it.


this is all VERY watery ...

Orangebutterfly

Organizing your workspace can help you organize your emotions. It will also allow you to unplug from your regularly scheduled mental programming if you put on some music your really love.  In other words - let this productivity be easy and relaxed. Listen to the calmest music that still works if your mind must have distraction in order to concentrate. 

Pro-Tip:  You need your mind to sit still and be quiet so that your loud and unruly emotions can be examined before the inner judgements of should/shouldn't descend.  Pay special attention to thought-based certainties that give you a sense of control.  What are you doing with that control factor?  And why?  If this seems too deep too fast try thinking about control rather than emotion.  How important is control to you?  How important is emotion?  Do you "grade" your emotions as you're having them and then sanitize your self-awareness level?   Does 'control' raise rebellious red flags?   Pay special attention to resentment, fear, or a quickly slammed NO of a door.  Such reactions are telling you something important about yourself and it doesn't just relate to your comfort zone's boundaries and how rigorously you contain them.  It also relates to taking risks.

Emotions are risky.  So is making art.  And, quite obviously, truly trusting your intuition as it stands without validation from other humans or confirmation from some form of divination aid.  Developing more fluid and intuitive work habits - rather than simply doing what you always do because you always do it - will deepen the scope of your art as well as what you do with it.  Find out how flexible or stiff your improvisational muscles are and then figure out how to condition yourself in a style that's compatible with your motivations and methods of working.

  KlAUSATWORK This is Klaus Voorman - a prolific artist, musician and music producer.   Graphically he's more than likely best known to people reading here for creating the cover of the Beatle's Revolver album.  I cannot find a photo credit for this image.  A lot of his art has such a hallucinogenic edge to it that I was tempted to save him for the sixth chakra.  But then he just felt right for today's post.  Calmly sitting there working with care. 

***

The sacral center is not a mental environment.  Nor is it easily controlled in any sort of organic and [ultimately] functional way.  Consequently sacral center dysfunction - either through excessive energetic leakage or an 'underfed'/emotionally anorectic center of imbalance - is rampant in our culture.  The latter is often a deliberate and ongoing act of self-sabotage for those who are most estranged from their emotional body or simply more comfortable with Mind.

Second chakra energy tends to be untidy. This causes many people to recoil and remove themselves from the mess.  Which in turn seems to evoke a lot of thoughts/sentences that begin with the phrase "I don't know what's the matter with me but ..." 

People not associated with any kind of chakra exploration have called me this week to ask me if I think they need therapy because they've begun to shed spontaneous tears.  This worries them - oftentimes quite a lot.  I say the biggest truth I offer these days:  It's far more worrisome if you can't cry at a collective moment such as this.   I keep deleting very plainly worded definitive sentences related to those who merely refuse to cry.  That's ... maybe?  More of third chakra thing.  And more than likely attached to a little bit of what many energy workers call bully belly.

[eta to add this note: self-bullying 'counts' as negative energy.  Most of us (especially the females ...) are steeping in it whether we consciously allow awareness of that fact to take root in our self/consciousness or not.] 

***

Snakeandegg

Three or four weeks ago I noticed I was spending a lot of my writing time crying.  The tears generally started because of something personal about my life that I'd mined in order to get enough depth of field in the various sentences.  Each time this happened I'd hit a certain point where I'd stop writing, shut my laptop, and simply cry as a focused activity.  I began to make a practice out of thinking or speaking to myself as I cried:  This has moved beyond your imagination borrowing from your life.  You're crying because of what's in life and how 'life' doesn't mean what it used to.

I decided week before last I was going to take pictures of myself while crying.  It's been a very grounding decision because in order to take the pictures I have to be focused beyond the emotional overwhelm of the moment.   I also decided I wanted to work with my shadow energy. 

Specifically I want to work on my ingrained tendencies to externalize the messier aspects of human behavior which I in no way, shape, or form wish to embody. I blame attending a Lutheran day school for feeling like I'm supposed to externalize such things - if only to then commend myself for being superior to The Poor Sinners Who Shall Not Be Saved.

This might be touching on shadow territory as well -- but it feels more like reverse-shadow terrain.  Unlike nearly everyone else I know who went through some sort of organized trafficking/abuse that had a church based/religion affiliation I did not turn against divinity, its light, or seek to tar everyone of faith with the same brush.  I didn't want to give up my own connection to divine energy because it was authentically important to me and has become one of the primary cornerstones of my life.

***

Pick an emotion you feel drawn to express creatively.  Try to pick something that's internalized and private.   Figure out what you want to do by making a list, some sketches, or pick a color palette and make some mixing swatches.   While your choice needn't be the most unruly/difficult emotion, it shouldn't be something super safe or a thematic go-to, either.

You want to feel just a bit uncontained since the element of water is inherently uncontainable.  This may boil down to picking the 'safest' of your difficult emotions.  If you simply can't or won't engage with this type of exercise please give yourself the kindness of figuring out why before moving on to complete avoidance. And I don't say that as a diss.  It's ... what we humans do unless we have the impetus to move our personal best beyond automatically picking The Easiest Thing.  which a lot of of us don't.  See as example:  the state of the planet and our species in particular.

This week I'm going to take ten to fifteen minutes of my journaling time to riff on the prompt "What's so easy about easiness?"  Since I'm a deep plunger a lot of my shadow stuff winds up closer to the surface.  Meaning it's stuff I don't notice but everyone else does because it's right there on top just waiting to be seen.

***
Trevordoesn'tsleep
Here's past-tense Klaus looking a great deal like one of my fictional characters.  I noticed the resemblance while J and i were watching Scorcese's two part George Harrison documentary a few weeks ago.  The image used in that context was a very-popular-on-pinterest ultra pretty boy headshot in which he's (a) too pretty and (b) too young to use as a reference for the character in question. This is the right age bracket.  Plus I wanted to incorporate a Klaus quote.  He was talking about Stu Sutcliffe but I think it's an awesome group of words that evokes shadow energy in the ways I most often experience it on my own terms and turf:

”You have this feeling of having dark angels in front of you.  Harbinger angels….angels of death…charismatic people, people from another world.”

It's important to remember that shadows can't exist in darkness.
Light They're a  by-product of light.

Forgot to include the link to the bring-back post of the day. Luckily somebody else's jogged memory pinged mine as well.  Something about wavelengths ...