Six months ago I found myself in the abyss, where death and rebirth occurs. Inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book I began a journey which had me focusing on key points to embrace and investigate on the way through the process of rebirthing myself. This came after experiencing a whirlwind 2 years of intense challenges, where foundations were shattered, and the death and loss of many things which defined who I was. As my whole perspective had shifted I took these six months to focus on ‘who am I now?’ where I found myself needing to simplify everything and break it all down to base level and rebuild myself from there. My show turned into a journey out of the abyss, through what Joseph Campbell calls ‘the special world’ and back into ‘the ordinary world, according to his hero’s journey motif.
In the abyss, if we choose to do the work, we discover the treasure that life has for us buried beneath the suffering. When we discover the treasure at the bottom of the abyss we are given the chance to practice alchemy, where we can transmute and transcend to a higher level of consciousness than we were previously.
In order to comprehend I found myself not only asking ‘who am I now?’ but also returning to ‘what is life?’ To do this I took hold of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and became ‘The Observer’. When we step back, or out, and remove all emotion from the equation, we become the observer of our selves. We also become the observer of others. We observe from the outside, from above, at the bigger picture, we even observe the observer. We watch our own mind as though from the perspective of another person.
Upon looking into sacred geometry and clarifying the natural patterns in which the world is based on I came across Leonardo DaVinci’s simple line drawing of an Icosahedron, one of the five platonic solids which are the building blocks of life itself, discovered by Plato, a philosopher during the classical period of Ancient Greece. Later I realized the Icosahedron was the solid that represented water and transformation.
The Flower of Life, another form in sacred geometry, is found in the makeup of our DNA and has been discovered burned, or somehow drawn, into the granite walls with incredible precision of the Temple of Osiris at Abydos in Egypt, and also other ancient temples, although this is the oldest find at over 6000 years old and may date back as long ago as 10,500 B.C. or earlier. I have depicted the flower of life pattern into a silver vessel, the ‘vessel’ explored in my past works, representing the body. The Holy Grail also plays with this idea with a baby Piwakawaka perched upon an eggcup, with the chick and eggcup being symbols of rebirth.
If there is one thing in life that is a definite it is that everything changes and we must remain fluid, like a river moving gently around the challenging rocks we come up against, and seek our way through to find the way out. Everything is also transient, ‘this too shall pass’.
Our Muse is always waiting to inspire us if we allow ourselves the stillness to hear them. The Tui has been my muse for years.
Because of their personality the Tui are associated with life fulfilment, confidence and spiritual harmony. They act as messengers to the Gods in the spiritual realms. Leonardo DaVinci’s self portrait in Le Mie Muse is The Turin Portrait, so called because of where it resides. Walter Isaacson says in his biography of Leonardo DaVinci “Like many Leonardo works, the face displays different mingled emotions each time you look at it. Strength, vulnerability, fatalism, and resolve. The tired eyes are contemplative; the down turned lips are melancholy.” I find a familiarity in Leonardo’s cravings to understand life and the Universe and to study how everything is connected and has a purpose in relation to everything else. I can relate to his fascination at the finer details, the thrill of investigation into the workings of life, an attempt to understand the architecture of the Universe.
A brief look at the remaining paintings:
Amore is a focus on love, more specifically self love and care of ourselves first so we are able to care for others.
Boundaries focuses on the importance of good healthy boundaries as a part of self care.
Listen explores our intuition, our gut feelings, to trust in these. Also to listen to respond rather than to react, and in some cases listen to not respond at all but to just lend an ear.
Shadow Work defined by Carl Jung (a psychiatrist, psychologist, physician and psychoanalyst in the early 1900’s) as everything outside the light of consciousness and may be positive or negative. Everyone carries a shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. The Shadow is the side of your personality that contains all the parts of yourself that you don’t want to admit to having. It is at first an unconscious side. It is only through effort to become self aware that we recognize our shadow. The secret is not to suppress it but to embrace it and understand it, and to accept it as a part of what makes us whole. With shadow work we become whole to live a more authentic and fulfilling life.
The Ruby - I Am - soul, higher self, the observer of the observer, the one thing that remains and continues, life energy, the essence of what I am. The ruby, also being my birth stone, is the stone of divine creativity. It boosts your energy levels and promotes high self-esteem, intuition, and spiritual wisdom. Ruby is also a symbol of pure love.
Bodhi means enlightenment. Through doing the work we acquire enlightenment. The red energy of the halo represents Archangel Uriel, known as the angel of wisdom. He shines light and truth into darkness of confusion, assists in making decisions, learning new information, solving problems, and resolving conflicts. Also help with letting go of destructive emotions such as anxiety and anger. The word Bodhi comes from the Sacred Fig tree Siddhartha sat beneath for 49 days and then he arose enlightened and became the Buddha. The Sacred Fig tree became the Bodhi Tree, the tree of enlightenment.