Free Sacred Arts Journal
How to enter the Medicine Women Lodge …
So you may be wondering, where do I start? How do I enter into this new journey? Well if a Medicine Women were going into a Sacred Lodge, she would first, center herself, use some sage or sweet grass smoke to clear her personal space both physically & mentally. But we are a virtual lodge! So how does that work?
To take up the concepts and practices of sacred arts is really entering into a temple. The Temple of "I" our deep selves. We can easily center ourselves when we come to this Lodge and take a few deep breaths and give ourselves permission to s...l....o.....w d....o....w....n.
This is your place to relax, to deeply listen to the gifts of sacred arts and try to incorporate some new ideas and ways of being, and maybe decide to let some things go too.
Each month will have a theme, and within this themes will be information on various traditions from Celtic to Siberian Shamanism, from Women's Wisdom to Goddess cultures, and much more!
We will have a Did You Know? section as well as techniques given to learn dreamwork, shamanic journeying, power animal retrieval, journey tasks and these will go into your dream and creative writing journal.
There will be so many delicious art projects, from basic to advance in sketchbook exercises, art projects, and information on developing a sacred art practice.
Also articles, recommended reading and access to wonderful inspiration and resources.
Each Lodge invites you, the Medicine Woman, to explore your creative practice while developing all aspects of your life in a sacred manner.
Let's not forget Humor! Every Lodge has it's sacred clown medicine and you will also lighten your heart with some levity.
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ASSIGNMENT
Opening the Circle Check-in with Self
Sacred Council Rules
1. speak from the heart & be brief
2. listen from your heart without judgement
3. What is spoken in circle remains in circle
You have just entered the Medicine Women Lodge, there are many women sitting in the circle around a sacred altar. The work has not begun, and the women are chatting and laughing between themselves. You might feel a little shy, but an older women with white hair see's you hesitating and waves you over to the open space next to her. She smiles from her heart to yours. Inside the tightness, loosens and you breath and grin back at her and go over and sit down.
Sacred Circle Check in
Now the women settle down, the curtains are drawn and candles are lite on the altar. Rattles and drums are handed out, and a slow rhythmic double shake rattling starts. After a few minutes, a hum, then a song with no words starts up, and this builds to a crescendo and then, into silence. All have thier eyes closed and sit in silence. You begin to feel this field, this Feminine Field of Power, Resilience and the Sacred.
One women across the circle, raises her hand, and she is given the sacred Talking Stick. When one holds the Talking Stick, all eyes and hearts are directed to that person. The woman introduces herself and speaks a little about herself and what brought her to the circle. She tells us that her spirit brought her to this Medicine Lodge and she feels she is in the "right" place.
You do not rehearse what you are going to say, but as the Talking Stick is making it's way around the circle, you notice your heart-beat is getting a little faster. That is alright, just breath into the anxiety. Breath in. Breath out. When the Talking Stick is handed to you, you feel it's weight and the beauty of the sacred art in it's making. Suddenly you know what you are going to say.....
Take out your journal and introduce yourself to the Medicine Women Lodge, and tell your story. What brings you here? What questions tug at your heart?
Write as long as you want about the hopes, dreams, longings of your heart. Feel the power of the sacred circle. It is there. It is there all over the world, women who hold Medicine for your soul. Look for teachers, be open to teachers appearing. Be open to transformation
Creative Arts Imagination
After you have written in your journal, turn to another page, the open space of clean page. Now close your eyes and turn inward asking One Question. Choose one of these questions, or maybe you have a Question living in you.
The image can be a single color, or many colors. It can be a form, or shape. It can be a sound, or dance.
1. how do I feel now? can I name that feeling? Draw or paint the feeling.
2. am I living my life-path, or do I feel there is something missing? Draw or paint that feeling. You do NOT have the answers now, it's just time for Questions.
3. What is "Work" that is working me at this time? Draw or paint that.
Make any notes about entering the Medicine Women Lodge, your participation in the circle sharing, and the artwork images/forms in your journal.
The women close the sacred hoop of sharing by a short rattling. Some one calls out,
WE THANK THE HELPING SPIRITS WHO CAME, AND NOW THE WORK IS DONE!
"The more you work with your dreams and your unconscious, and honor it, the more you understand it and it understands you. When you develop a relationship with your psyche this way, you begin to carry that energy into life and your relationships."― Marion Woodman Bone: Dying into Life
the Labyrinth is a journey of inner transformation and transmutation, the spiral of rebirth...
“In every human being there is a child who only wants to play, and the most attractive game is mystery. The mysterious content of the human soul wanders through the meandering corridors of a mythical labyrinth, with underground congregations ... illuminated by candles, secret passages in the double walls of castles, and treasures hidden in the halls!”
― Kurt Seligmann
Everything Turns, Rotates, Spins, Circles,
Loops, Pulsates, Resonates,And Repeats.
Circles Of life, Born from Pulses Of light,
Vibrate To Breathe, While Spiraling Outwards
For Infinity Through The lens Of time,
And into A sea Of stars And Lucid Dreams.
- Suzy Kassem
Goethe by Andy Warhol
"Colors are light’s suffering and joy" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The formation of one's character ought to be everyone's chief aim.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I have spent the day well just looking and looking. It is the same in art as in life. The deeper one penetrates, the broader grows the view.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Basics of Dream Work
Questions to Consider for a Dreamwork Practice
How do I begin to remember, map, and interpret my dreams?
How does applied dreamwork give results in my daily life, and what are the benefits?
How does dreamwork relate to my current life events or problems?
How do I know what the dreams are telling me in relation to my complex life questions?
Healing the Sacred Wound
How do I use my dream guidance to help me through a habitual problem or addiction?
Can I actually receive a healing from an addiction or compulsive habit in my dreams?
How can dreamwork help me in relation to my unconscious sabotage patterns?
How do I heal early childhood abuse through dreamwork? Heal my relationship with my family of origin?
How can dreamwork help me with my health?
Will dreaming give me guidance I can trust?
Will it warn me in advance of any disease? Can I receive a healing?
Can dreamwork help me to find my Beloved?
Can dreamwork help me with my children, my husband or wife?
Can it help enhance or heal my sexuality? How?
What are my spiritual gifts? Will dreamwork identify them?
Can dreams help move me toward my destiny?
How do I translate my spiritual gifts into a life path?
What does my destiny have to do with the greater common good?
How can dreaming help me to awaken my creativity?
Can dreamwork help me with a creative problem?
Can my dreams point me in the direction of a creative path?
Basic dreamwork tips:
Declare your sacred intention to remember your dreams, and ask to be taught within your dreams.
Buy a spiral-bound notebook or blank journal. Label it with the month, day, and year of the first entry you make. When the book is full, enter the last entry’s date, too.
Keep a penlight and pen or pencil by your bed within easy reach.
Have a cup of mugwort tea before going to bed. Mugwort is a dreaming herb. You can also try tucking a small pouch or pillow filled with mugwort under your pillow to court dreams.
Try to wake up naturally, without an alarm clock. If that doesn’t work for you, set a clock-radio to wake you to low-volume classical music (or other gentle music without words). Give yourself at least five or ten minutes before you have to get up.
On awakening, don’t move! Just lay in bed quietly. Moving your body activates motor centers in your brain that take you out of the imaginal realm of dreaming, and the dream will wisp away. Keep your eyes closed and stay in the same position in which you awoke.
Allow yourself to stay in that state between dreaming and consciousness. Follow the trails of your dreams. If you remember the first one, they often unravel backward and you can track the previous one.
If you cannot remember what you dreamt, ask yourself, “Person, place, or thing?” to help jog your memory.
Write down your dream(s), all the details you can remember: the smells, tastes, sights, sounds, textures. Was it day or night in the dream? Were there period costumes? Were you in another century or country? What was the emotional quality of the scene? Notice whether there were any puns, plays on words, or words with double meanings. Any visual innuendoes? If what you remember is just a snippet, that is good, too. Write it down.
Sketch a scene from your dream to help capture an important image.
Jot down a title and be sure to note the full date of the dream.
Questions about Dream Work
1. Do You Remember Your Dreams?
2. What do you think of Dreams in General?
3. Do you have a Dream Practice?
4. Have you ever had a NightMare?
5. Have you ever had a Big Dream?
Take some time to write in your journal about your thoughts of committing to a sacred dream practice; all of it. Doubts, excitement, questions, just do some journaling about dreams. Include the "dreams" you have for your life too.
Create a Soul Collage mind-map
Watch this video and create your mind map. This is the first fun art exercise I give on opening night of WomenSpirit class. This is only the first step. Share your Mind-Map on our Facebook page and we will continue together on this! Fun!
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ASSIGNMENT
The Word of Power: Beginning
for the traveler
Every time you leave home,
another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await. New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching You abroad;
and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune to the timbre in some voice, Opening a conversation You want to take in To where you longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark, To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
you needed to Illume Your Way.
When you travel a new silence Goes with you, And if you listen, You will hear What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing; make sure before you go, To take the time to bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward the territories of spirit Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
to Balance the gift of days which call you.
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ASSIGNMENT
SACRED ARTIST OF THE MONTH
When I was young I was always drawing. Being a dancer as well, I was enchanted by the female figure in motion. I would sit for hours, filling large sheets of paper with scenes from my imagination. In college, I majored in drawing and received my BFA from the University of Southern Maine.
As time passed, I traded my pencil for a pair of scissors and a stack of magazines. From there, I turned to digital photography which gave me more control over images and how I combined them. Naturally, a more lyrical quality developed recalling dance.
Today my approach is guided by intuition. A certain “meditative unfolding” seemed to develop over time, healing and transforming my life, much like a journalling process.
Everything relates to something and is tied to something. The relationships that I explore in my work--whether they be literal or metaphorical, symbolic or figurative, interest me greatly. There is so much depth and meaning in how things relate. When I combine imagery, stories naturally unfold, revealing a deeper mystery and sometimes sacred quality, because art and relationship reveal the inherent wholeness in life.
My work has been published in the Maine Arts Journal, Maine Art Scene Magazine, Escape Into Life Journal, Shadow and Light Magazine, on FocusMaine, and on books and CD covers including Osteopathic Biodynamic Methods (Castle of Marvels, 2013) and Shantic, from Austria (Transmutation, 2015).
I received Best in Show for my portfolio in Still Point Arts Quarterly Winter Edition, 2016.
I have also illustrated for local books (hear if you dare, Heart Songs and Other Legacies and SpaceHeart). My prints have been exhibited in Maine, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont galleries and at Primo Piano Livin’ Gallery in Lecce, Italy. My works are on display at Evolve Sanctuary for the Soul and Quench on Main Street in Belfast and with Leslie Curtis Designs in Camden.
A BEND IN THE ROAD
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION ASSIGNMENT
What does the Beginning Mean for You?
This month's Medicine Women Lodge Sacred Arts Journal has many archetypes, symbols, cross-cultural arts & traditions to contemplate. It is meant as the place to come back to every day to delve more deeply into all the topics offered here.
It isn't meant to be consumed like a Facebook page, and on to the next thing. We don't "eat" images as Medicine Women. Eating an image is indigestible and doesn't bring us any honey in the heart. Starting or continuing our Medicine Women journey is to slow down and contemplate, there is no "goal" as it's our daily choices that construct how we all choose to live our days.
What is eating an image? It's very like Facebook scrolling, we are eating thousands of images a day that do not bring us health or satisfaction.
ASSIGNMENT: For one week or for the month pick ONE image/tradition/symbol here on this months page of Beginning and work with it. Learn the development of it's Becoming into form.
What is it's story? Where did it come from? Research the image/topic/tradition
Start your Dream Practice with that image/topic/tradition. Ask for a dream about your topic every night. In the morning writing a Dream Title, create a image and notate your dream.
Try to draw or paint that topic. What does it mean to you?
After a week of focus how do you feel about the Topic/Tradition/Image you chose? How are you different in relation to it? Do you feel a deepening?
Share in our Facebook Group what you learned.
So that is how to Begin a contemplative Medicine Women journey to live with these manifold beings that resound in our universe and lives. It's very difficult not to eat images all day, because we are bombarded with them. But if we take time-out to contemplate a subject and work with it, over time, it will being to speak to us.
The benefits of this kind of training, is it strengthens our ability to focus, to hold intent, to bring a healthy curiosity to the world and begin a dialogue with the World Soul. Research or living with an archetypal image that contains power, brings an inner satisfactions, a feeling of doing something worthy for our souls, and brings us relief from pressures of our busy lives and this equals peace.
LETS TAKE A LOOK AT BEGINNINGS
FOR SOME OF OUR HEROINE'S AND HERO'S
WHAT GOT THEM TO START-BEGIN THIER TRANSFORMATIVE JOURNEY?
1. the Wizard of Oz: Dorothy
We are all heroine's in our journey in life. If we choose to walk the Medicine Road it's good to look at our cultural stories and Myths. We want to imagine ourselves also, as the Heroine and if we are focused on BEGINNING the start, the prompt, what is it that got Dorothy Out the Door? (pun intended- she Opens the Door to a New World)
It as THE WIND SPIRIT, a Hurricane. Or Owl Spirit Lodge Medicine you could say.
2. the Lord of the Rings: Bilbo
If we consider Bilbo Baggins, how does he begin his Incredible Journey? Who does he Open the Door to? A Shaman, a Good Witch, A Grey Initiate, a Good Sorcerer, Gandelf the Gray. Then he opens the DOOR to Dwarfs, Elves, Magicians, and Trolls and Dragons! What a transformative Journey! I think Gandalf belongs to FIRE SPIRIT- Revelation & Transformation.
3. Alice Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice
And of course, Down the Rabbit Hole tells us it's a lower world journey! A Power Animal came and nabbed Alice's imagination, and she fell and fell and fell. Alice might have been hooked by BEAR Medicine- the 2 Earth Spirit- one life below and one life above. What do You think? POWER ANIMAL SPIRIT