Monday, April 4, 2011

Change # 25 Envision the Childbearing Year as a Hero's Journey

Dear Birth Peeps,
Last week I showed you the beginning of a 36" x 36" acrylic painting of a mandala I am making depicting birth as a hero's journey. I hope you will enjoy learning more about birth as a hero's journey as you follow the painting.

I started out with an idea of what I wanted this mandala to express, and how I wanted it to be same or different from the first HJ mandala I made a few years ago. I often paint at the crack of dawn for an hour or so, and again before I go to bed. Friday night I began painting around 10:30 and was surprised to discover when I was washing my brushes that it was 3 am!

Now a few weeks into the painting, it is beginning to "speak" to me. Sometimes I have a dream that guides the next image that gets painted on the canvas; I dream a brush painting a symbol or line--and that is how I know what to do next. Before I begin each session, I stand before her and ask her how she is, what does she want next? Then I follow... For example, last night when I asked, she said, "The Gates are all closed... you need to open them."

"What! I'll have to repaint three Gates, and I like them!..."
She insisted... and told me what color to use to rub them out and so, I begin again.

Other times my muse comes through a chance phrase in a book or a conversation with a friend. On Saturday I had breakfast with a friend, Joseph, who is a scholar and poet. He was telling me about Judson Jerome, author of The Poet and The Poem.... when Joseph said, "the poet Names things..." I saw clearly in my mind the Poet in my painting, and where she must be. I could not wait to get back to the easel to scrumble in a place for her....

Mandala is a synonym for sacred space or enclosure, a space created for a ritual or in this case, a rite of passage journey. In Sanskrit mandala means circle or round object. The circle represents the womb, sun, moon, eternity, and the Masculine principle. The square represents the Feminine principle, the four elements, stability. There is a dynamic relationship between circles and squares.

You can see the yin/yang symbol in the large circle representing dynamic movement in the hero's journey; the spots in the two halves of the yin yang symbol remind us that masculine and feminine energies are interdependent. Presently the yin/yang colors are too contrasted--a new softer color is needed.

This photo brings you up to Friday...We will continue tomorrow.


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