Descent Series III
The Merging of Personal and Universal
These images were done during the deepest and most penetrating cycle in the series of descent and return. Although the emotional intensity, physical pain and creative deepening of the previous cycles are still present this third one involves a far deeper integration of the soul¹s knowing of it¹s connection to the universe through Her presence.
The archetypal energies become richer to include not only the Dark Mother, but the Dakinis, the avatars, mystics and the ancient ones whose knowledge of far vaster realms of the creative force are brought into play and into awareness. The events of 9/11/01 catapult my awareness, consciousness and vision to far deeper dimensions, enabling me to begin to grasp the depth into which I am being guided to step forth.
” Several days after the tragic events of 9/11, I went down to the brook near my house to sit by the bubbling water in hopes of finding solace in this place.I had brought my Touch Drawing materials with me so as to immerse in the creative flow and center through this beautiful process. My attention was drawn to a spot where the water was tumbling over some rocks slowing to create a deep pool.I rolled out some blue and red onto the plate with intention of creating a rich purple, then with paper in place I gazed into the pool and began to draw. As the image evolved I noticed a face appearing just below the surface of the water in the little pool and a face suggested in the drawing itself. Amazingly, where the Ancient Mother¹s face was a bit of red (which did not mix completely with the blue) appeared in the flow of water washing over her face as if the water of the brook carried the blood of the victims to be cleansed and healed by Her presence. I sent out my gratitude realizing the image portended a much vaster emergence of her energy on the planet.
During the fall as I worked on the painting, I returned often to the brook. And there she would be looking reassuringly up at me, helping me to trust in spite of the fear that was compounding all around and within me urging me to descend again to feel the oneness of my personal healing with the healing of the planet. Behind her in the tree roots appeared the faces of what seemed to me to be the great teachers and avatars of past and present. There they were in supporting the Ancient Mother as she continued her healing work. The raven brings her medicine of magic in darkness. “
” Several months after 9/11 I became aware that I was struggling with some energies within me that had been wakened by the tragic event. Were they feelings for the families and loved ones of the victims and, if so, why did it seem so difficult for me to fully access these feelings? After working for several weeks with my meditation practice to be with this material, I began to sense a deeper layer of my own experiences breaking loose. I felt the Ancient Mother calling me to come into the fear and descend again ever deeper within my being. Through the process of creating this image, I saw myself diving into the stream to join her and be guided into this immersion to connect with that which was ready to be recognized. My animal spirits….the loon, raven and owl….. accompany me as I swim ever deeper to union with Her and the depths of I knew not what. “
“This image expresses the renewed and potent energy that I was feeling as the new year (2004) arrived. It somehow felt like a time to honor the evolution of healing and of consciousness that I had been experiencing over the almost 10 year cycles of my journey. As in the very first image of the Descent series with the giant maple in “Initiation”, a tree became the underpinning . I came upon this tree over 15 years ago in western NY( where I was living at the time)in a place where one could walk through narrow chasms created in the rock formations of 10 to 20 feet in height. The tree had taken root at the bottom of the chasm and wound it¹s way up the rock wall towards the light…a metaphor for my own journey.”
” This image began from a Touch Drawing in which a lion appeared beside me. It felt male energy urging me to activate some energy within me, of which I was uncertain. As I worked on the image the surrender came to seem more like a deeper alignment with the Ancient Mother. Yet why the lion? I realized after some time that it was a male lion with mane and , perhaps, was guiding me to activate the passion of warrior energy to support my creative process. It wasn¹t until a year later that I realized I was sinking into the deepest depression I had yet experienced and would need this balance.
One morning while I was engaged in my morning yoga practice, I glanced up through the skylights at the crystal blue of the January sky. What I saw was some wispy clouds which on further scrutiny looked like figures dancing. They disappeared in a few minutes and I thought no more of them until that evening when I picked up the book I’d been reading,Women of Wisdom by Tsultrim Allione. Beginning to read I came upon this passage as the author is speaking of the way in which the image of the wrathful dakini has inspired women: ²Our culture has clearly discouraged women from claiming their feminine potency. Women are given encouragement to see themselves positively when they are assertive and angry. They are taught to be docile and never to threaten. Then, the strength she gains by incorporation of the masculine into herself balances the polarized energy within her….. Through contact with the dakini, intuitive faculties are opened and insight occurs. …… This is the raw primordial energy of the dark goddess.² Then a few pages beyond I find a picture of cloud dakinis much like I had seen in the morning.
The ravens also seemed to be coming to me during that time. Several mornings during my walk, Two of them would follow me for almost a mile chortling and cackling at me as if to give me some teachings in embracing their medicine of the rich dark energy of magic within and around me. “
This image began to emerge in my Touch Drawing process and my awareness shortly after I completed SURRENDER. I was having a recurrence of the deep pain in my hip and lower back and sensed it was (again) the Ancient Mother¹s way of drawing my attention to some energy I was holding there.I began a series of Touch Drawings in which I brought my attention deep into this area of my body with the intention of gaining some insight around this pain. One of them showed my spine with fairly clear anatomical details (in spite of my having no experience in drawing such) and from within the pelvic area peered the face of the dark Mother beckoning me . It was at this time that I connected the origin of this pain to the time my children had retrieved and shared with me the memories of their abuse at the hands of their father. It seemed that I was being summoned to revisit all that surrounded this reality. In retrospect I see it as the immersion in the deepest depression I had ever experienced…one in which I retrieve the memories of my own abuse from this man.
In my chest area are two figures clad in red.. a reference to a photo image I treasured from my children’s childhood in which, wearing similar little, red, hooded sweatshirts they march off down the path to the woods as if the world was in the palm of their little hands. It represents a time prior to when the abuse began and brought with it all the anguish and shame which I held as their mother. It was this that I had pushed aside to support my son and daughter in their healing and now was needing my attention. I worked off and on this image over the next year, my creative process slowing down to a virtual standstill at times because the memories of my own abuse that were rising to my consciousness were so overwhelming. The painting holds it all and became, as all my paintings have become, a sacred container for my healing. I felt myself held deep in the womb of Mother Earth as the planetary alignment of 2002 progressed and on into the winter of 2003 when I was finally able to complete it ….. AND to fully breath in and be present with all that was coming back to me.
“SHE SPEAKS TO ME FROM MY HEART “
” This image emerged this past fall after an intense few months of returning PTSD and depression. Through the process I found great comfort in the presence of the Ancient Mother (as I have come to call the energy that is present with me) and felt her truly speaking to me from within my heart, which was beginning to open. Earlier in the late spring my dog Holly and I, on one of our daily hikes, came upon a mother snapping turtle laying her eggs beside the road. She showed me such trust..that she should leave her eggs to the earth to hold and care for and I was deeply moved. As with all my images, the process of painting it was deeply nourishing, healing and affirmative of my growing strength and return to wholeness.”
” On April 1st of this year I heard a news broadcast on NPR stating that several Iraqui women and children had been killed at an Iraqui check-point. Such anguish and outrage filled every fiber of my body. I immediately went back to my studio and began this painting…
Faces appeared on the canvas as I opened to the energy of these victims and their families..and to the wisdom of my own body…my own pain becoming one with theirs. After years of allowing my own healing to happen within the container of my creative process, the personal merged with the global.
Central to this image the “Ancient Mother,” as I had come to call the divine feminine presence who has been guiding me for some years, her hands raised high in a prayerful gesture, a calling. Around her the faces turn to her in supplication and anguish in the lower part to gradual transition from resignation to solidarity ..the reds and oranges of the lower portion giving way to the yellow greens of spring, of growth and of renewal. Frequently, through the two months this painting was in process, I returned to the medium of Touch Drawing to open ever more deeply to the energies wanting to come through onto the canvas. Next to her appeared a quiet presence which I knew almost immediately as the divine male consort gently holding the energy to support her. It seemed that the prophecy of the ages was manifesting…. the feminine values of compassion, wisdom, creativity and peace, so long submerged by the patriarchal culture, re- emerging to bring balance and healing to the earth. The personal and the universal were merging. “