Blog #6B-D Personal Archetype

Anavami Center

Archetypes are universal, across all cultures, yet have a deeply personal essence to be explored as we often do not acknowledge, consciously or unconsciously, those with which we are most intimate. These constructions of our basic drives, foibles, and potentialities are core to human behavior. Greek myths offer classical expressions of archetypal behavior, some convoluted and dramatic and some more subtle, all have psychological truth in the context of the human psyche. In marking we are particularly interested in the archetypes that govern us and our culture as they are the currency of all the arts.

Blog #6B-D Personal ArchetypeIn the studio each of us began a practice by acausal means, like picking a Tarot card, to reveal a personal archetype specific for this time to prime synchronicity, assisting to loosen the collective paradigm as we develop a deeper rapport with the relational-field and trust alternate ways of knowing, his is a part of our on-going discussion of the overarching archetypal forest-of-art with its enchantments, perils and opportunities for transformation. We are cultivating what Josh Schrei in his Emerald Podcast on the Forest calls the “protocols or attitudes and procedures for safe passage”. We are learning that these protocols require deep attention, heart investment, commitment, care, love, work and awareness of the web of relations in the animistic universe.

The images accompanying this text may help to illustrate the protocols that developed in the creative process. The first image, a toothy non-descript animal flanked by a young girl shadowed by a red fox, with her hands on the beast’s jaws was an odd painting of several years ago. It was cartoonish and I painted over it several times, once even taking an electric sander to the surface. The icons, however, kept reasserting themselves.

Blog #6B-D Personal ArchetypeWhen I pulled the Strength card from the Tarot deck, symbol of inner strength, I realized this image had a message. It was the image of a young woman opening or closing the mouth of a lion. In my image the primal power of the beast seems to be from another dimension. It was transparent and on a different plane, legs dancing above the grass. The figure of the Red Fox is a personal daimon which sneaks into much of my work, extending like the young woman beyond the picture plane. None of this was intentional. Eventually in the last iteration a tri-fold figure was enshrined within the animal revealing itself as the Hierophant, which, according to the Tarot, is the spiritual aspect of the masculine. It emerged from the Beast signifying an intermediator or what I think of as the organizing principle or higher guidance. This was not only important to this image but shed light on several other paintings where this tri-fold image has appeared.

Blog #6B-D Personal ArchetypeThe dynamics of the organizing principle is one of the most important protocols in the forest, for it speaks to a higher principle to which we have allegiance. In an OEITH Podcast by Duncan Barford he refers to the Hierophant via Paul Verhaeghe saying, the difference between power, a two-party relationship, and authority, three parties, is that the Organizing Principle is the representation of goodness and truth and the renunciation of personal power. The Hierophant is not a figure of authority but, rather, a figure that knows where authority is to be found. Through research, reflection and physically marking, this understanding was brought home in a way that was before just conceptual. This process stimulated the important understanding from where inner strength comes. Other experiences in this endeavor confirmed that one of the perils in the forest is the blinders of personal aesthetics which can stop or stall the development of the work in its tracks. Here, we are practicing as not the sole agent but allowing other forces to work, to trust the images that arise and give freedom to become a navigation of the forest. This kind of process leads to a wealth of insights, lending flexibility and curiosity that allows the emergence of what exists. Thus, painting is not a product but a process that belongs to a greater mystery.

Majio

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Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

Anavami Center
Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

Dream of Fossilized Oyster Found in the Desert

This week we experienced shapeshifting field-trips: Robert guided us to feel into stone-ness, Marjorie had us holding a regret as we ran our finger through water offering a subliminal catalyst for release. Carolyn spoke in the first person as the tumbled rocks and shells of the tide line at the ocean and called forth the details of that rhythm. Lainie brought us through a delightful romp as a chipmunk who dashed and looked, leaped and listened, tasted and stashed gathering nuts and savoring the squirrel’s sunflower seeds.

Blog #5D & #6A: Shapeshifting through Trance Induction and Story Telling

Unreconcilable

Lucy, surprised us with her contribution by reaching back to the bard tradition as she brought us into deep participation in her story. She began by having us crawl around on the floor moving as cats, feeling the shoulders and hips initiate the movement of the limbs. She showed a short of the French tightrope walker Philippe Petit as his feet stepped along the steel wire. Then she began the story of his participation in 1987 walking aerially over the Valley of Hell between Palestine and Israel. This dramatic portrayal, 25 meters above the roaring crowd, was an occasion when there seemed to be a possible resolution between the two states. Her presentation included a lively portrayal of a confused white dove released from a piece of silk choosing to instead of fly to freedom land on Philippe’s head then the end of his pole and then walked behind him on the wire, almost mimicking his movements. All of this ended in the dove taking flight as Phillippe reached his destination.

When one actually imaginally embodies other, the experience brings emotions, information and insights very different from thinking about something. It was from this state that we undertook our Marking bringing forward powerful images from all of the journeys.  You can get a sense of that from the markings that appear after this blog.
 

Majio
 

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Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

Anavami Center
Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

Fingers of Fire

This week our field-trip guides who took us into shape-shifting were creative and innovative in their choice of subject and how they induced the state of mind to be receptive to becoming like something other or something we push away. Jess began with a complex hand mudra. She asked participants to gather a variety of materials and to interact with them by feel. She had us become like the tips of our fingers exploring and getting information through body sensation. My fingers became a fire gobbling up everything within touch leaving only ash of residual sensation and wispy smoke of memory.

Blog #5C Become-like Cloud, Fear, Fingers and Raven

In the Jaws of Fear

The venture that Margie stimulated was a journey into fear. She set the stage ahead of time for everyone to choose a strong memory of being in abject fear. Carol chose a more traditional journey taking us into the body of Raven with the breathing pulsing the wings in flight. Lorrie used the form of paradelle to induce the state of becoming-cloud, which will follow.

Majio
 

NOTE: “The paradelle is one of the more demanding French fixed forms, first appearing in the langue d’oc love poetry of the eleventh century. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only those words.” Poet Laureate Billy Collins, as it turns out fabricated the form.

Shapeshifting Clouds

Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun
Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun

I look to the sky the clouds stretch across weaving into many shapes.
I look to the sky the clouds stretch across weaving into many shapes.
Travelers conforming, changing, disappearing without beginning or end.
Travelers conforming, changing, disappearing without beginning or end.
Beginning to stretch into sky conforming the travelers or disappearing shapes.
Weaving across clouds I end many without changing the look.

So soft they appear I wish to wrap them all around me.
So soft they appear I wish to wrap them all around me.
They are wind clouds but I am enticed by their warmth.
They are wind clouds but I am enticed by their warmth.
I appear soft but they wrap me around their wind.
Wish clouds they are so enticed by all warmth I am to them.

Floating by like feathers I hug them to my heart.
Floating by like feathers I hug them to my heart.
Whiteness, softness, delicate movement I am looking at my Soul.
Whiteness, softness, delicate movement I am looking at my Soul.
Looking at my heart movement floating whiteness I am delicate.
I like Soul feathers my hug to them by softness.

The clouds are weaving my delicate Soul by wind movement so I am.
Soft whiteness stretch them beginning into shapes I appear without end.
Changing or floating across my heart they hug me to them.
I wrap warmth by softness around all travelers.
They enticed me but wish I am looking at disappearing.
I look conforming the sky to many clouds like their feathers.

Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun
Wade into a sea of clouds and swim with the Sun

By Lorrie Bogner as induction for Cloud Shifting

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Blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

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blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Majio’s Original Markings


blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Lorrie’s Contributions


Blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

Majio’s Completion

This week we are taking a break from meeting in circle before we dive into shape- shifting. This gives us an opportunity to show some of the collaboration work that we have been doing between participants. The format is that someone works on a piece, diptych or triptych and then passes it to another member who works on it to be handed back to the original artist to finish it, taking notes on personal insights of process and/or content.

This adventure brings up many issues. One is completion, for it is courteous and respectful to not over-do your part. When working on another’s piece you need to stop for different reasons than usual. Lorrie and I took several weeks of looking at the piece in all stages, not to strategize but simply to take-in and trust in an authentic response. Rather than the usually slap-dash delight of random, I needed to listen intently at each stage. I carried the piece inside me during that time alert to a markings that wanted to participate in Lorrie’s piece. After Lorrie’s work, it seemed to need something very small and subtle for completion. I waited until a Xerox transfer of cobblestone caught my eye. I knew that was it. But again, I waited to see if the flirting developed into a relationship of some kind. In the end, I put it into the white space and as there was not enough of the print to fill the space, I continued with drawing to repeat the pattern with colored pastel pencils.

 

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio
I was more comfortable working on Majio’s pieces than returning to mine after Majio had worked on them. I think that I was afraid of losing what Majio had added because it felt like my pieces needed her expression in them. Very interesting interaction. Lorrie

Lorrie’s Originals

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

It is always a delight to work on Lorrie’s pieces as they call something new forth in marks, color and subtractions. It is like toning a new muscle or listening for a here to unheard nuance. It forces me to be attentive in a new way. Majio

Majio’s Contributions

blog #5B COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE Lorrie Bogner and Majio

All participants are doing a collaborative exchange in three parts that we will be sharing in the blogs.

Lorrie’s Completion

Majio
 

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Blog #5A Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

Anavami Center
This week we journeyed into an old persimmon tree; first down into the roots to complete our inner vision of tree beyond what the apparent. Then we traveled up through time to budding of leaves, fruit. Through sensations in the body dropping of all the leaves and ripening of the persimmon. People had a variety of experiences and explorations depending on what was valuable at this time for them.

Exploration in how to powerfully shift perspectives, for information and insights has been practiced since the dawn of humanity. This month is devoted to marking through shape-shifting, with each participant taking a turn to lead the circle. The resources that emerge from this practice are outside of familiar ways of knowing in our time. They elicits an invitation into the kind of journey that like Jane Hirshfield’s poem Bees, expresses how do we not only refuse the invitation, but don’t even realize that it has been offered.

#5A Blog Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

Jess: Persimmon Tree Shape-shift

Bees by Jane Hirshfield

To every instant, two gates,
One opens to fragrant paradise, one to hell,
Mostly we go through neither.

Mostly we nod to our neighbor,
lean down to pick up the paper,
go back into the house.

But the faint cries—ecstasy? Horror?
Or did you think it the sound
of distant bees,
making only the thick honey of this good life?

#5A Blog Shape-shifting as a means of Conjunctive knowing

Marjorie: Persimmon Tree Shape-shift

In our marking circle, In-Bodying the Field, we have committed to answer the call leading to hell or heaven, which I may add that by ignoring the call both, we end up where we are. As we all well know, for the first time in the history of our planet human beings have instrumental role in the sustainability for many life forms. We are being forced to frame things in new ways, as we also find new ways of knowing. Josh Schrei maintains that shapeshifting is an evolutionary force. It is conjunctive knowing, knowing through the body that that has been normative to most of the planet’s inhabitants throughout history until recently. If we want to shift the paradigm that is not working, we as artist cannot afford to re-hash the same old stories. Shapeshifting is another way to expand how we learn, perceive and create. It takes a committed practice to go through Hirshfield’s gates and let the newspaper lay.

The Emerald Podcast Shapeshifting by Josh Schrei

 

Majio
 

Blog #4D Devotional

Anavami Center
This week’s exploration has had a lasting impact on most everyone’s attitude towards the marking materials, as well as a new connection to the animistic field. Our marking shifted materials as commodity to means of devotion. Devotion at first felt like an old unused word relating to organized religion, but as we explored it, we realized that we are all devoted in any number of things. We set out candles and incense to create a mood and instead of our regular materials we used organic colorants like turmeric, beet powder, tea, coffee, flowers, berries, powdery sand from the playa at Burningman and whatever that would leave a trace of pigment. We used these materials devotionally, as a means of appreciation, just as colored ochre and flower powders have been sprinkled on the ritual objects in ceremony all over the world throughout history.
Blog #4D Devotional

Devotional Marking with Colorants, on paper 18” X 24”


For some of us it was like sandpainting as we sprinkled powders over wet marks then brushing the excess way. For others, the colorants were in an ink-form. For all of us at first it was difficult not to use the colorants as art materials, to be under our control. The practice of conscious breathing supported the intention to participate in the act of honoring rather exerting our ideas, personality, ego. It was obvious to everyone that it was a different experience than making something. The theme of our work was to hold in our body the feeling of a special place that was safe, comforting and grounding. Honoring this place within us through the materials.

This is one of the podcasts that we took for inspiration from: Emerald Podcast, The Shape of Art, Place, Relevance, and the Living Force Between Adorer and Adored:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

In this podcast Josh Schrei infers that our experience of art has been formed fundamentally by our museums and art history format. He talks about art as the state and quality of interaction, echoing John Dewey’s stance that art is experience. Schrei maintains that art re-enforces the animate force of life as a gateway for the experience of the animate force.

From David Whyte’s book, Consolations we evoked both the sense of Maturity and Resting, which underscored the sense of selfhood. They also confirm the somatic sense of dropping into the relaxation of the moment with no goal. Our practice with marking is to hold a greater perspective through presence that includes contradictions, not knowing and risking.

Maturity is the ability to live fully and equally in multiple contexts; most especially, the ability, despite our grief and losses, to courageously inhabit the past the present and the future all at once…Maturity calls us to risk ourselves as much as immaturity, but for a bigger picture, a larger horizon, for a powerfully generous outward incarnation of our inward qualities and not for gains that make us smaller, even in the winning.

Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also psychologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting…

The template of natural exchange is the breath, the autonomic giving and receiving that forms the basis and measure of life itself. We are rested when we are a living exchange between what lies inside and what lies outside, when we are an intriguing conversation between the potential that lies in our imaginations and the possibilities for making that internal image real in the world; we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves lone…one state of rest is…the sense of slowly coming home…the template of perfection in the human imagination….

 

Click on thumbnail to see full size image. Majio