Shadow Work

Of Love and Loss by Gloria Gypsy

Shadow is said to be part of ourselves that we may try to hide or deny. According to Carl Jung, it can be said to consist of energy patterns known as selves or sub-personalities that were disowned... pushed down into our unconscious in childhood, as part of our coping strategies. I would take this even further, and say that shadow emerges from any stage of our lives.

The goal of working with shadow is to integrate and come to know and accept all of those parts that we have attempted to hide or run from, or bring these aspects to consciousness. It is instinctive or intuitive work which asks us to follow our own soul's call and inward response.

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious". -Carl Jung

By facing our shadow we begin to shine light into the darkness and invite that which has been hiding to come out. It asks us to bring our secretes out from the corners of our psyche. It helps us to ask our inner self questions about ourselves, and our relationships with others.

The above painting is my most recent intuitive work with shadow. It is much darker and raw compared to my usual or outward work. I've worked on this painting throughout the last month and it has been over layered time and again as my inner shadow expressed itself through my hands and creativity. This particular piece holds many frustrations, anger, and hurts that we're never given voice during this last year of struggling in my relationship with my husband. Yesterday, I laid the final brush stroke and new immediately that is was finished. I felt a sense of lightness. My plan of (outward) action was crystal clear to me.

When we allow ourselves to paint, whatever wants to be painted, we are mirroring back what is repressed and wants to be allowed to come to light, or consciousness... It can be difficult at times, whether one is just starting out in their work with shadow or seasoned with the process, to not only see what wants to be expressed but also to accept it and allow it to flow.

When I first started with intuitive painting, I was reluctant to just allow. I continually struggled with trying to control what was coming forth into the painting. I stayed with it however, and the struggle then became my reluctance to share the work with others, with the public. I was in fear of 'baring myself' to the world.

For many years I kept these paintings private, stacked in a corner of my studio. I would on occasion share them with a select few who I had a deep connection with. I continued the work. In the past few years I became more and more comfortable with sharing and I believe it is due to the continued work with shadow, I was transformed/am transforming into the person (artist) I am today.

Advancing Translucency

 Advancing Translucency © Gloria Gypsy 2014 
Advancing Translucency
Intent shines
With the light
Of subtle energy,
Like the essence
Of stained glass.

Diaphanous earth,
Translucent water,
Energetic transparent fire,
Air so clear
It is like watching a breeze.

Intention subtlizes
Into a corner
Of the inner eye

All these translucencies
Are a link
Between the subtle energy
Of the mind
And the effects
That it creates.

Cycles, Connections, Creativity

"The White Moon Cycle is a menstrual cycle that bleeds during the New Moon...
The White Moon Cycle according to legend, mystical arts and yogic philosophy is the most preferred cycle for inner work as a woman is naturally pulling her energy in, and able to utilize her vast rich resources for the expansion of consciousness. The White Moon will be linking with her emotional, mental and soulful energies. 
To orientate your cycles towards the White Moon, consciously link your womb to the moon in meditation, prayer, journey work and ritual. Ask for your womb to align with the White Moon Cycle, consciously linking your awareness to bleed on the next New Moon. It is in fact very simple and easy to do this." - Anaiya Sophia

I have begun a lovely journey through The Woman's Quest ... unfolding women's path of power and wisdom, by Alexandra Pope.

The women's Quest workbook is a 13-session self guiding course specifically designed to initiate you in to the hidden powers of your body over 13 menstrual months. Each menstrual month you focus on a different aspect of the cycle, each session building on the one before.

The course incorporates journaling and charting during your cycles. So, being an artist I decided right away to create an art journal as I go through this course. I will also be drawing my own charts based off the charts offered in the course book. Lastly, I decided this morning that I would do an intuitive painting project as I worked through my cycles and the course. i will be documenting this painting project on my blog. The paintings, the process, the intuitive thoughts, energies and experiences that I have on this journey.

Inside cover and first page of my moon time art journal, still a work in progress

When I was in my younger years I always bled with the Full Moon (Red Moon). In those days I was not as connected to my cycles as I am today. Now, in my mid-life years, I bleed with the New Moon (White Moon). Although I am connected to cycles and have done some work with this, I am excited to go deeper, and to learn more through Alexandra's course.

I invite you to follow along.

Full Moon Reflections

"We have been integrating what has been brought to light in the past few weeks and are ready to move out of these deeper waters. This Full Moon in Scorpio illuminates the last of it, and calls for us to gather our courage and take action that will enable us to  move forward." ~Mystic Mamma

I had participated in three meditations throughout the day for May's full moon. I started out with the Blossoming Tree - Full Moon Call hosted by Clare Dakin of TreeSisters, women seeding change. Clare's meditations are always deep and empowering. Her map of 5 choices is one of the most powerful meditation maps I have come across!

Later I joined an online circle of women for The Sage Goddess' May Full Moon Ritual for Power and Confidence.

And to end the day I sat in meditation with Meranda Gray and received her free monthly womb blessing. I receive the womb blessing each month. Each time I feel a deep connection with the other women participating and it is quite transformative!

The recurring energies in each of these for me personally was Abundance, Authenticity, Inner Fire, and Destiny. At the start of each meditation I drew randomly from my Awakening to your Divine Self oracle cards, which were recently gifted to me by my wonderful friend Jotree.

Each time I pulled the Catching Fire card!

Each day after I began and ended my days in meditation with the Catching Fire card. I began to fan my inner fire, with authentic intention to bring abundance into the space that I hold.

Suddenly I found myself in a whirl wind of activity! I began a four week course in hospice care with the intention of adding practical skills to my healing and shamanic work as a Psychopomp.

I received my calling to work as a guide to not only escort souls to the afterlife but to also serve as a guide through various transitions in life during my time as a live in caregiver for my grandmother.

I gained many skills and insights during this time and worked closely with my own spirit guides and those of my grandmother.

Soon, I will offering my services to others who are in need.

Along side of the classes I continued to work on Creative Sacred Living Magazine, while also offering my services as a volunteer to TreeSisters, homeschooling my son and generally holding my household together!

Although at times it was frustrating, hectic, and sometimes exhausting I held it all together with my meditations and the energies of the Catching Fire card reminding me to keep that inner fire burning!

Immediately after the classes ended and the magazine was published, I was commissioned to do a cover for the lovely Dr. Aradia's Kundalini Drums meditation CD. I was then contacted by Megan Hollingsworth's to be part of the creative team for Extinction Witness film, through VIRGIN films.

Wow, am attracting the abundance I was looking for in my life through connecting and working with these wonderful women who come from a place of authenticity and also work by fanning the flames of their passions!

What is Prayer Art?

prayer art created for world water day
My studio is my temple.

When I create I am collaborating with creation itself. I am uniting with Goddess. I carefully and silently prepare my materials while holding space in healing intention. I then take a few minutes before I begin a painting to sit quietly and just breathe. This allows me to go into the work with humility, which is to say a place of acknowledging that I am serving a divine intention, not dictated by my own will.

Prayer painting is an intuitive process. I like to use my fingers and let the energy of the paint merge with the energy of my intentions and of myself. I feel a deeper connection this way. If I am using a brush I look at it as an extension of my hand, of my fingers... and I let the energies flow through the paint. The painting/prayer then begins to reveal itself on the canvas as I work.

"Creating art as an act of prayer is an embodied, active prayer. It recognizes that every thought and action that we undertake, if is done with a spiritual awareness, will have a spiritual effect.
In this light creating art is the channel through which an artist's prayers are manifested. Art is not prayer because of a particular imagery or symbolism that is used. Art is a conscious connection to the Creator" -Erika Hastings

The goal of the exercise is not product but process. The process of creation; creating with intent, creating from a place of love and authenticity, creating from the source...this is where the magic happens! When painting listen to what that source is saying to you, through you. Are you urged to move closer or farther from the canvas? In which direction does the paint pull you over the canvas. What colors are screaming out to you in their brilliance? Which ones softly nudge you in their softness.... 
Depression: Soul's Quest for Depth, Meaning & Wholeness
Following is a small exercise you can try with prayer painting.
1. Quiet, Stop for a moment, breathe and just relax. Perhaps you have a favorite mantra or prayer you like to recite?
2. Intention, What am I grateful for? What do I want to change right now? Who would I like to help right now?
3. Attention, Look over your studio (temple) and your supplies. What medium is calling to you? Paper, canvas or perhaps clay? What color of paint or marker or pencil draws your eye?
4. Notice, What feelings, thoughts, desires do you notice? How does the paint brush feel in your hand? Too long, too rough, to fat? Do you desire to feel the paint or clay on your fingertips?
5. Respond, put finger or brush to paint and start to move. Roll the clay around with your hand, write words on your paper... and just let go to the movements of your process. Let go to the intuitive energies moving through and around you. Watch as your creation/prayer/intent forms into itself!
6. Close, Offer an affirmation, declaration of thanks, gesture or symbol of ending the experience.

Note: You may want to keep a journal on each sacred exercise so you can follow your creative process with prayer painting. If you are an art journalist, the journal itself may be your canvas!