Drawing From the Heart

This is a field of lacrosse players, looking a lot like Star Wars Storm Troopers to me (my younger son is one amongst them). I draw people in action, on location because there is a fluidity of feeling that is akin to the feeling of flying (or what it feels like to fly in dreams) when I draw people. If I allow myself to trust my eyes to cause my hand to move across the paper, my heart and mind capture the movement and the attitude of feeling surrounding the person I am drawing. This is a free-fall sort of feeling, to trust in that way. After all, we’ve been judged harshly for marks we make (think of school days and how you equate making marks with showing your intelligence through penmanship or how in art class you might have been told your work was not good).  To allow ourselves to make marks and not fear the outcome is a freeing and beautiful experience. To regard people, to observe with empathy, as they live, and to capture their gestures is pure bliss for me.

The Wind is Talking

I like to listen to the wind. From my days of growing up on the Texas plains, where the wind whipped and howled, wailed and whispered, I came to respect the wind as not just a force of nature but as a strange and mysterious messenger. Yesterday the wind was not silent, it had a lot of personality. It was moody, it was raging at times. Today there is nothing being said so far, I’m sure that when it’s silent, that there is something being said in the silence as well.

Orb Drawings

Yesterday when I woke up I saw the familiar orb (I say familiar because it is often that I see one, but no two are alike). I watched it closely because it had a drawing in it, a child’s drawing of two figures. This captivated me. I sat up and watched the orb, about a foot and a half from my face, as it glided over toward the lamp. The energy around it was like seeing a heat haze, a shimmer of clear energy (not unlike the way auras appear around people). The child’s drawing became animated. For the next few minutes I watched as that animated drawing turned into pencil-sketch animations of dogs running, people going by and all kinds of other activity. A dreamy, technicolor field lined with trees in the distance made the background for this active orb animation. It was exciting and soothing to watch because the graphite look of the action was juxtaposed to the dreamy, memory-provoking colors of the background trees.  I watched wide-eyed until the orb glided just slightly in front of the lamp, and then it was an exertion to keep watching (it is way easier to perceive the contents of an orb when it is in front of a blank wall or ceiling).

Orbs are a strange and delightful thing. I am not sure why I was seeing what I saw, but the feeling it gave me was one of creating, creating for children, appreciating what children experience and what they create. It sounds crazy to say you see orbs, but I do. And not on my own terms, I see them when I see them but cannot force them to appear. They’re a gift and still mysterious to me.

Animal Medicine: Listening Squirrel

During these earth changes, you might find yourself feeling bewildered, tense, in a panic. The world seems like it’s slipping upside down. Change is afoot and it is strange. Pay attention to your inner world, your inner voice. Nature and connecting to nature is a way to connect with your inner source of energy, the “you” which is authentic, pure and made of love. The human condition this inner you must endure is often complicated and dense and makes this inner you suffer a little (or a lot, depending on circumstances). I find that nature at this time literally feels healing and soothing, and attuning to nature or just being outside, surrounded by trees, is calming and informative. It is informative in that the animals and the trees and clouds talk to us. They mirror our inner source energy, because they thrive as pure manifestations of natural energy. We feel that, even if we’re not conscious of it.

The other day, I was outside talking with my neighbor and suddenly realized just over her shoulder, a few feet away, a squirrel was listening to us, all stretched out on a limb, staring directly at me. This squirrel was relaxed, legs and arms hanging down, and eyes alert. It’s complete focus was on us, though, eye-to-eye. We laughed, it was more like a cartoon squirrel than a regular real squirrel. Squirrel in Native American animal medicine is about being prepared. Being organized for what comes, being ready to accept and move along well with the future. I feel like that squirrel made his message clear, and if I had not noticed, I’d have missed something delightful, and helpful. Makes me want to really pay attention when I go outside, and see what other messages might come my way.

Archetype Painting: Sing to Move Energy

This is my painting from a series called, “Archetypes”. I am not sure if the Opera Lady seen above can be an official archetype, but she’s a diva (and that’s official) and she’s activating her voice power. In this scene, the cowboy is all tied up into her drama, and the spy tries to escape it all but tumbles down in the wake of her vocal mobility. Or, is it he just imagines that is what will happen to himself? In any situation, the archetypal players within converse, interplay and clash. An inner cowboy (rough and ready, independent and stoic) gets entangled, the spy (the one who detects what is being hidden) begins to imagine a descent into darkness if he’s not careful, then an inner opera diva belts it out, expressing emotion and thought with ease. And on her dress (heart chakra area) are all the players who get her heart beating in life.

Apparition Rain Petals

In my dream, I was talking with a few people and to our right we saw a column of rain water fall in one single area. The rain had pink rose petals mixed in with it. We all looked on with delight, and awe, expecting an apparition to appear right where the column of rain and rose petals fell. We wondered, was it a sign from Mary?

The Hurricane Witch!

Cards for Autumn, original art  (pack of 3 with envelopes for $33.00. Visit Illuminara Store to purchase).

Leaves turning gold and crimson crunch under foot as a mysterious hint of September magic stirs the air. Autumn is so full of anticipation. Summer is over and yet the hurricane season is not over. One year in September, we were in Maine and a hurricane came up the east coast. This was in 1999 or 2000. On the night the hurricane blew in, we slept inside the small beach cabin at the end of a quiet and secluded country lane, hearing the wind howl and lash away.  At one point, in my semi-sleep, I heard the most witchy cackle I have ever heard. And I saw in my mind’s eye a witch walking in the lane outside, in front of this cabin we were in. She was deliriously happy (somehow I knew) because she had had a curse put on her, this witch (probably she was over 200 years old!) and could only come out during a hurricane. Hurricanes are unusual in the North East all the way up as far as Maine, so it had been a long time since she had been set free. And, once the hurricane passed, she’d be locked away again, this I also knew. Will she ever be free, and can the spell cast upon her be lifted?!

Dancing Warrior Dream

I dreamed there were two Native American warriors. They did very fast, fancy foot work as they practiced their war skills. They were up against technology, but they successfully triumphed. The technology was an American fighting machine, but as each of these warriors (dressed in contemporary casual clothes) one tall and one short, danced and fought, they succeeded against the machine. Afterwards, they stood tall and silent. I was struck by their dignity, and forbearance. The tall one especially held in his facial features a worn and rugged humility that proved he had endured great pain in life, yet was not knocked down by it.

When I woke up, I considered that for me this dream is about how American culture has reduced the Native American Warrior into dancers for entertainment. Our culture demolished the Native American Chief and Warrior, yet these two men in my dream were living proof that, even if we’ve marginalized a people, taken everything from them, we cannot destroy their innate dignity.  The dominate culture that landed on these shores long ago,  suppressed their warring skills (unless it aided us in winning wars), but we do allow them to show us (at a Pow Wow, for instance) their full headdress dances. The dream made me feel that all the while, that fancy foot work has in it more power and more dignity than any of the technologically advanced machinery in our world.  This dream made me realize that the Native American Warriors are not quelled or gone, they are in fact more effective than we’ll ever know. They’re “dancing” is quietly putting a powerful, energetic blessing on the entire world, unbeknownst to the progressive dominant culture, and we have no idea how much power is in that. The role of the Native American Warrior is not over, it is not over.

SQUARING THE CIRCLE: Henry Reed’s Mandalas

DR. HENRY REED, PhD. is a Jungian analyst, and I am so pleased to have him as a guest on Illuminara.com. He earned a PhD. from U.C.L.A., was Assistant Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, and Professor of Transpersonal Studies at Atlantic University. He is an author of several important books, and is known as “The Father of the Dreamwork Movement”. (When I read about his Dreamwork Movement a few months ago, I wondered why I hadn’t found out about him during my late teens when I was starting my own Sketchbook Dream Journals, and experimenting with my own dream-life. Here he was doing the exact thing I cared about most!). I loved Edgar Cayce, and was heavily influenced by him, so I should have known about Henry Reed, and I am so glad I know about him now.

A Daily Mandala by Henry Reed

THE MANDALAS–“Expressing that blend of the unique and the universal.” Henry Reed

Henry Reed sends out Daily Mandalas via email, which I look forward to every day. When I see them, every time, I feel transfixed, secure, and enveloped in energy and light. I feel as well as “see” parts of my past, seasons and experiences I forgot about. I feel a thrill that you get when you open a present, because the mandalas make you want to jump whole-heartedly into your future. They are irresistible, and feel sacred.

In Henry Reed’s Intuitive-Connections website www.intuitive-connections.net, he teaches us about the mandala.”Mandala means ‘circle’,” he writes, “the circle refers to the symbol for ‘All that is,’ especially, all that can be, or Creation’s complete and full potential, the unmanifest. Carl Jung brought mandalas to our attention and noted that they often appeared in conjunction with the square motif.” He further explains, “Jung noted that the square, a four-sided figure, seemed to be a universal (archetypal) theme about life on earth, as in “the four directions” or the ‘four corners of the earth.’ What is the significance, then, of the circle and square together?”

Dr. Reed teaches that the mystical geometers of ancient Egypt discovered that “for a given circle, it was not possible to create a square that contained exactly the same area within it as the circle”. The ancient mystics interpreted this fact to mean that no person could ever “give complete expression (manifestation within the four corners of the earth) of the full potential the creator had implanted within each soul”.

“Squaring the Circle”, then, is a term which “came to mean the imperfect expression in the earth of the perfection of the underlying creation.”  The goal of a lifetime, says Reed, is what both Edgar Cayce and Jung were getting at when they used the terms “individuality” (Cayce) and “individuation” (Jung). “What both meant by these similar terms,” Reed writes, “was that we each grow to become individual, unique, incomplete and imperfect expressions of the universal creative principle that underlies all life.”

For me as an artist, it means creating and creating, with the sublime urge to get as close to that feeling of creative potential, coming fully alive with the spirit-energy that created me, and is all around me, in everyone and everything. I want to feel that feeling, to “square the circle” every time I draw or paint or write.

To see and read more about Henry Reed’s Daily Mandalas, and to order Henry Reed’s brilliant books, and to learn about his classes, workshops, Creative Spirit Revival (Henry and Janis Reed) and more, go to: www.henryreed.com To subscribe to Daily Mandala, send an email to STARBUCK@LS.NET