While choosing a favorite piece of art feels a lot like choosing a favorite child, of all the creations that have poured through me over the last year, this piece is perhaps the most treasured, not only in its materials, but in how its story speaks to the inward journey I've deliberately been sculpting and weaving over the last 10 months through journaling, meditation, and shadow work.
I was inspired to bring Maha to completion today after a powerful weekend of connection and reflection with loving, soulful women from the Matrixworks community who, through embodying their Wise Woman archetype, helped me connect more deeply with mine.
The Wise Woman or Crone archetype is one of deep intuition, discernment, balance, creativity, and mystery. Jung describes the Wise Woman archetype as representing an individual’s ‘mana’ personality. The ‘mana’ represents a primordial energy that, if properly embraced, can assist the individual to grow and/or transform.
Maha is a Himalayan crone who came to me as a guide in a vision I explored with my soul coach this fall. She speaks not through words, but through her bright, sparkling eyes, her infectious laughter, and her sprite-like twirling and whirling.
Her facial expressions are as animated and fleeting as the ripples of a river’s surface streaming through a mountain with dappled sunlight, and the infinite depth of her gaze is reflected back in the sparkling night sky.
She can't help but point out the levity where others cannot see it. Her laughter is heard echoing in rivers, on mountaintops, and in wide open fields of wildflowers.
She is the Earth Keeper, the Dream Weaver, the Wise One, and the shapeshifting, mischievous Wild Woman.
She lives within the hearts of those who seek to know her essence.
Handmade paper from stream of consciousness journaling, charcoal from woodstove fire in Nepal, fish bone from Tiverton RI, driftwood from Beavertail State Park, turkey feathers from Swan Point Cemetery, dried lavender from my pollinator garden, thread from an offering of Love that was returned back to where it had always belonged 💜
Memory: From the Mountains to the Ocean, April-May, 2018
Over the last five years, I've accumulated two suitcases full of memories; spiral-bound, 5-subject journals, dating back to September 2013, filled with stream-of consciousness observations and real-time reflections on navigating my way through the world amidst a series of life-altering transitions.
During this time, I've grown increasingly interested in how journaling can offer insights into the ways in which memory is formed, and how interpretations of memory shape perception.
As a starting point, I recently transcribed all of my journal entries from my spring travels to Nepal and Portugal, running the raw text through a word cloud engine to identify predominant themes in my writing. (If you aren't familiar with word clouds, the premise is that the larger a word appears in a cloud, the higher its occurrence in a block of text.)
I was curious to identify common themes that were coming through in my stream of consciousness during my time in Nepal and Portugal as the energy was fresh, and how the themes aligned with my current memories and perceptions of these experiences. What was there to learn?
I was also curious to examine my travel journalling from a bigger picture perspective, combining both sets of journal entries for the word cloud shared at the top of this post.
As illuminating as it was for me to synthesize hundreds of pages of travel content into a handful of ideas, this exercise generated more questions than answers:
Seeking thought partners.