Monday, 18 August 2014

Refusing to Fly

Last week I started an ASTAR course where we will be working with “ARCHETYPES” and the roles we play in our lives.

According to Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, Archetypes are ancient, universal patterns of behaviour that are embedded in the "collective unconscious."
It is believed that every person has been encoded with a set of 12 primary archetypes. Four of these are universal archetypes related to survival: the Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur. These four Archetypes are said to be vital to our growth and functioning as adults. The other eight are drawn from the vast storehouse of archetypes dating back to the dawn of human history. They play valuable roles that relate to our work, relationships with individuals and society, as well as to our spirituality, finances, values, and our highest potential.

Author Caroline Myss has created a unique set of Archetype Cards which we used in this process art class. Each card is designed to provide the basic Light and Shadow attributes of the different Archetypes. We started by each choosing a card from the deck. The card I pulled, the Saboteur, read, "Highlights your fear of self-empowerment and the changes it would bring to your life" and "Induces self-destructive behaviour".
I could totally relate to both.

We worked in clay in this first session. We held the ball of clay in our hands and did a lovely, relaxing, guided meditation which always helps you to get into the session and to leave your busy day behind you.
We then had about 2 hours to created our sculpture. Working freely without any preconceived ideas or plans, my sculpture started off as one thing and then change direction and end up as something else. My tall, confident, standing figure ended up as a kneeling angel, with exaggeratedly long arms which were folded in her lap.

At the end of the session we took time to reflect on each person's work, leaving them a short message on a piece of paper.
When reflecting on my own work I wrote, "I have been given the wings of an angel but I am refusing to fly."
I called this work "Refusing to Fly"

From the Caroline Myss website:

"The Saboteur"
This may be the most difficult of all the archetypes to understand, because its name is associated with betrayal. Yet the purpose of this archetype is not to sabotage you, but to help you learn the many ways in which you undermine yourself. How often do you set new plans in motion, only to end up standing in your own way because of the fears that undermine those optimistic plans. Or you begin a new relationship and then destroy it because you begin to imagine a painful outcome. You begin a working relationship with another person and find yourself once again in a power struggle that could be settled peacefully -- but you fall into the same destructive pattern because you fear the other person.
The Saboteur's fears and issues are all related to low self-esteem that causes you to make choices that block your own empowerment and success. As with the Victim and Prostitute, you need to face this powerful archetype that we all possess and make it an ally. When you do, you will find that it calls your attention to situations in which you are in danger of being sabotaged, or of sabotaging yourself. Once you are comfortable with the Saboteur, you learn to hear and heed these warnings, saving yourself untold grief from making the same mistakes over and over. Ignore it, and the shadow Saboteur will manifest in the form of self-destructive behaviour or the desire to undermine others.
To learn how to become aware of the action of the Saboteur within, ask yourself these questions:
  • What fears have the most authority over me? List three.
  • What happens when a fear overtakes me? Does it make me silent?
  • Do I allow people to speak for me?
  • Do I agree to some things out of fear that I otherwise would not agree to?
  • Have I let creative opportunities pass me by?
  • How conscious am I in the moment that I am sabotaging myself?
  • Am I able to recognise the Saboteur in others?
  • Would I be able to offer others advice about how to challenge one's Saboteur? If so, what would it be?

If you are interested in reading up further about Archetypes, I can recommend visiting the Caroline Myss website where she has a list of over 70 archetypes, including a detailed description of each. There is also a section that can help you to determine your own Archetypes.

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Colour VIOLET

In the Colour Energy Course that I attended last year, we did an in-depth exploration into each spectral colour. Each week we focused on a particular colour and it's associated energy Chakra. We explored the colour's energy through senses, meditation and painting using only the tones and hues of that colour.
For each class we were asked to dress in the colour we were exploring that week. A still life, made up of various objects in the colour was set up in the studio. Little bottles of essential oils associated with that Chakra and colour were set out on a tray for us to smell. Even the food and drink that we had during our tea break was in the colour we were exploring.

The Colour VIOLET

The session where we explored the colours Blue and Indigo made me cry.
This session, exploring the colour Violet, made me laugh out loud! :)

The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara), situated at the top of the head, is the seventh energy centre in the chakra system. It is associated with the colour Violet and is often pictured as a lotus flower with a thousand petals. The crown chakra connects us with the universe and the Divine source of creation.

Purple and violet are not my favourite colours, but I did find the still life that was set up in the studio very pretty. The colour purple is often associated with royalty and nobility and can create an impression of luxury, wealth and extravagance.

We took time to soak up the colours, shades and tones of violet and purple and smelled essential oils like lavender, jasmine, frankincense and rose geranium.
The still life that was set up in the studio.
During the meditation we were asked to draw a circle, using one finger, on the very top of our head. Slowly, moving our finger round and round, we visualised creating an opening that wold allow a beam of light to shine upwards and connect us with the 'source', to our 'creator'.
After the meditation we used the six shades of violet paint that we had mixed earlier and painted freely onto our canvas page.  Painting round and round, I made a number of swirling brushstrokes, followed by some splashing of water and stamping of wooden printing blocks to add some texture onto the page.
Splashes of water and wooden printing blocks were used to add texture.
When we stopped for tea, I saw something in my picture that made me laugh. It seemed a bit silly at first, but I decided that after tea I would add to the painting and help 'bring out' what I could see.
And here he is... my little purple alien :)

Final painting for the colour Violet
Close-up of my little alien :)
The crown chakra.
Connecting us with the universe and the Divine source of creation....
Do you think they speak Huttese?