Hard Work, Shadow Work
These days I've been doing a series of exercises to determine my word of the year, card of the year etc. They are part of Rhomany's class on Patreon (When Frogs Sing 2021), which is a combination of spirituality (witchcraft, astrology, Tarot etc), self-development and art, or better said a holistic way of working on yourself, with a twist. :)
To be honest, I have sorta determined my word of the year a couple a months ago. Only it's not a word, it's a phrase, and now, that I think about it, I realize it's actually an affirmation. So, my affirmation for the year is:
I am enjoying my life.
The idea is I want to be more present, more mindful, more intentional in what I do. And to do more of what I like, create more etc. You get the gist.
And then, as I was reading the material on spirit and totem animals, I accessed one of the links Rhomany recommended (https://www.spirit-animals.com/). While browsing the site, I stumbled upon a section on... totem generators... and I said, why not? So I clicked on it, and then, totally on a whim, decided to click on one of the many generators there - Random Bird Totem - and... I got the goldfinch. I was half expecting, maybe even hoping, for an owl or something like that (I had an obsession for owls for... almost 20 years now), so goldfinch was kind of a surprise. I knew nothing about it. But then I started reading. And I realized... nothing is actually random in this wonderful universe we live in. :) I'll just copy the first paragraph (which is actually the most relevant and to the point) below:
In general, Goldfinch symbolism is a sure sign of excitement, liveliness, and enthusiasm in your current world. Their arrival is to remind you to enjoy life and savor each moment for the joy that is in it. Furthermore, it is also a time to celebrate who you are, your accomplishments, or just for the sheer fun of it. The Goldfinch meaning symbolizes that life is for you to live. Therefore, each moment you waste on such negative emotions as fear, hatred, and anger is a waste of time. This spirit animal is all about finding joy in the present moment.
Like, duh... Talk about synchronicities...
No comment. :)
And then the card of the year became sort of obvious to me. While trying to figure out which deck imagery I really LOVE, Morgan-Greer Tarot kept coming to my mind. I don't know if it's my all time favourite or something like that, but I keep coming back to it and its bold imagery time and time again. And what better card to illustrate the things I was talking about above, than the 3 of Cups? I just love this card, and I realized it speaks to me of more that just sheer enjoyment, and that it covers many more aspects of what I envision for my life this year and in general. I won't even get into details here, it would take me too long to write about everything, and I haven't even journaled about it yet. So it's kinda not fair, also, to write about it here first, for the whole world to see, lol, when I haven't even written it down for myself. :)
I forgot to mention that this series of exercises is also part of beginning shadow work. I was reluctant to do shadow work this year, for a truck load of reasons, but now I've started to kind of reconsider it. I mean, I am still not wholly, and 100%, embracing the idea, but I am at least not fully rejecting it, and also kind of open to trying a couple of things, in very small bites, or steps, if you like.
So, no surprise here when, a little bit later, on a similar "whim", I opened the Circadian Tarot book (This is a Tarot deck in book form. You just open the book randomly - again, that randomness... - and read what it says + look at the artwork for each card.)... and guess what I've got?...
The Page of Wands:
...My eyes were immediately drawn to that shadowy figure in the middle, my first reaction being: If that ain't my Shadow, I don't know what is... Even the text is kind of connected with everything I was talking about (and some that I haven't even touched upon yet)...
So, I decided to do a spread in my art journal about all this. I have a Moleskine Sketchbook Large that I have recently acquired, and I decided to make this one my spiritual art journal/sketchbook, a sort of a more visual book of shadows/mirrors. Although, this one might be the more sketchbook-y version of it, because I also have a bigger version of the same sketchbook (A4), and I was thinking to make this second one into a more elaborate/polished version of a spiritual art journal/book of mirrors, especially that I could also add some more text to it (just because it's bigger, and I should have more space for that :).
I have just started working on my spread, so it's a long way from being even close to finished, but here is what I've got so far. It's basically just a rough pencil sketch of the two cards in question plus the pretty boy - the goldfinch. :) I have followed the references pretty close, but not that close. I guess I'm just trying to work things out in my head, and for the moment putting these images on paper relatively close to the original versions is a way to do it for me, I guess... I might develop them later into a more personal (and elaborate) spread, but this is what I've got, for now. A study of the 3, together.
I'm not sure what the next step is. I was thinking maybe watercolour pencils/paints (or both) and coloured pencils. But I might throw in some acrylics/gouache too, I don't know. We'll see. :)
But for the moment I'll just leave it like that, because I'm tired. Hard work, this shadow work, lol. :)
I'll be back. :D