My completed design from the Ukraine, 3500 B.C.E.
With the start of class came much intensive learning (I had at least 12 objectives for the first class, a 2 hour session!) and several assignments to be completed over the course of a month. The most important of which was to begin to become familiar with the creative aspect of self. We will, after all, be making a White Bear Medicine Shield. The shield will tell a story. The story will be about the power of the individual who crafts it.
I know how I first felt submitting to the incredible void of creativity, this power of the feminine. It was daunting even as I wished to commit myself to its mystery. So I decided that we needed to have an entry point that was doable and non-threatening. I chose to have each participant color a pre-formed mandala from Susanne F. Fincher’s book, Coloring Mandalas, Circles of the Sacred Feminine. The book has 50 designs to choose from.
Each participant had about 10 minutes each to select one or two pages that spoke to them. They needed to be able to work on it in the first week (and, hopefully complete it). One of my participants shared with me that even though she had selected an “easy” design, the execution of it was challenging because she wanted the colors to imbue meaning (from within her) to the coloring page. From the teacher’s perspective, this is precisely what I hoped would be sparked from the assignment.
Believe it or not, I am still in the process of organizing all of the projects that I want to diligently work on this year. Having launched into the second new moon of this year, I questioned my ability to stay on track as it sometimes is overwhelming to juggle all of the myriad considerations of being a woman. Happily, progress has been made and I feel renewed in my commitment.
“The Sacred Fire of Love Exists Within All Life” is the second feminine truth. My revelation from last week’s comtemplation of that truth is that I have begun to honor, as I have intended, the Sweet Medicine Animals of my ancestors. I began a linoleum cut series of animals and their symbolic meaning from my experience.
This series incubated in my imagination about 5 years ago but printmaking was prohibitive to me at that time. I either had to travel a great distance to study with someone of my choosing and the expense of owning a press and housing it was impossible. The dream came true when a printmaking cooperative was recently established in my home town. Now I am content carving away on linoleum twice a week and learning from the wonderful individuals who gather there and share their skills.
Indigenous wisdom “saw” the Sacred Fire of Love contained within all Life. I hope that my new series will ignite a connection between the symbolic power of each animal that I complete. My hope is that you see their “Fire”. I want to share the first one I did about 3 years ago.
It is Butterfly whose symbol means “Keeper of Sacred Places”. I hope you like it. 🙂
The Sacred Fire of Love is the inner Radiance that all living beings possess. It glows bright and beautiful inside the smallest stone and the largest tree, inside the smallest insect and the largest mammal. It is the heart of Grandmother Earth. It is a truth that requires no belief system. We humans already have a deep body “knowing” of our own sacred fire of love and so we can name this the second feminine truth.
Having completed our personal “Cry For A Vision” ceremony, we are prepared to embark on our adventure and walk our “Path With Heart”. We admire the waxing of our beloved Clan Mother, Grandmother Wisdom Keeper. We are ready to honor the indigenous wisdom of the second feminine truth: “The Sacred Fire of Love Exists Within All Living Things”. The radiance of that fire is our gift to each other and all of our relations.
Everything Is Born of Woman, the First Feminine Truth, is the symbolic idea of nonordinary reality.
Indigenous wisdom held that feminine energy had distinct properties that were singular, utilizable, stable and had component elements. Adepts were able to “see” the energy flows from this invisible field. In our recent modern history, the “particle/wave” experiment in physics has demonstrated that our thoughts (or perception) have the ability to create and change real time outcomes.
To achieve balance in the world, indigenous wisdom gave honor to the nonordinary reality. From it, ordinary reality is born. And so it was passed down from mother to daughter, father to son, that feminine energy is the unseen and mysterious force in the universe that is the womb of creation.