Image Credit: Evdokia Shorru Georgiou
The tale of Psyche and Eros is arguably one of the most notable of the Greek myths. One that has captivated and enlivened the poetic imagination of the Western world for centuries, and in more recent history a source of inspiration for Jungian depth psychology. It is through this way of seeing and relating to the story that we are shown a representation of a journey of an individual self, who is called Psyche.
A story of a young woman who through a series of seemingly impossible tasks learns to cast aside what is no longer required, trust in life, love without fear, and in doing so she becomes reunited with her soul.
It is a complex and rich story of personal growth and inner transformation with multiple twists and turns, and the more time that I spend with this narrative, the more I see, hear, and feel what is present. In many ways it is a story that has claimed me rather than me claiming the story and for this I am grateful if not a little bemused and bewildered.
Often referred to and referenced as a classical tale of star-crossed lovers, whose attraction for one another is overlaid with feelings of joy and delight, which move into betrayal, confusion, anger, and jealously before transforming once again into creativity, humility, compassion, redemption, and love.
A roller coaster of a plot line that is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. But it is here that the similarities to an atypical Hollywood story end. As in this tale we discover that it is the Heroine, Psyche, rather than the Hero, Eros, who takes the leading role. It is this difference that invites us into the inner realms of the feminine and illustrates the alternative perspective of the Heroine’s journey. Which requires a propensity towards openness, receptivity, and re-union.
Qualities that are not so forth coming in our telling of the classical Hero’s journey, with often speak more of conquest, conflict, and competition. More a grasping than a receiving. Taking more than giving. Here, I am referring to The Hero’s Journey, as conveyed within the Greek classic, The Odyssey, and the later Celtic tale of Parsifal.
Psyche’s outer journey, which is symbolic of an inner journey, undertaken by a mortal woman marks a turning point in how the culture of that time perceived the place and role of women in society. The world was changing and Psyche’s story contained the seeds of a new story, one in which we see how a fellow human being can transform herself, as she learns to access her own agency and creativity, foresight, and ingenuity. She is the one doing the rescuing rather than being rescued.
The critical inflection point in this story is that Psyche, although she falls in love with a God, Eros, she is not a goddess, so she is not blessed with divine powers and abilities to defeat and deny the Gods their fun and mischief making. What Psyche requires are the human capabilities of courage, creativity, and resilience.
These three generative threads are Psyche’s to acquire and weave through her own endeavours, choices, connection, and trust. Then once we witness that these qualities have been securely woven into the beating heart of her journey, we see another bright and dominant thread emerge, that of the self who is reunited with the soul through the commitment and selfless act of love.
Love in this human context, like rich nourishing earth becomes the medium for each individual’s search for genuine personal growth, and a reminder that the integration of our experiences, however tragic or frightening they may be, mature and transform us. Love is the transformative life affirming energy and is symbolic of deep regenerative change within our true nature. Just like the image of the butterfly emerging into the light from its dark cocoon, so to Psyche enters the nourishing darkness of her soul to emerge as her true nature.
An adapt metaphor when we consider that to the Greeks, psyche is not only a synonym for soul, but psyche also meant "butterfly,” which suggests how this culture perceived the human soul as being physically present in both the outer and inner worlds of our human experience. We have the capacity to attend to both, we hold the intentionality of the form, and we also connect to the energetic flow of the field. Both our inner and outer connectivity of self and soul imaginatively weave the form and field together into one unified vision.
Now, I have long been attracted to bright shining threads but slowly as I learn to adjust my gaze and explore the evolving imagery within my psyche, I am discovering ways to look a little deeper and peer into the interwoven depths of our experience. To facilitate this way of seeing, one of my intentional creativity practices is to pause and focus my attention between the gaps in the printed word. I then invite my embodied imagination to consider what other riches and treasures might be present just below the surface of our everyday parlance, meaning and experience.
I am discovering that this process of calling upon my thinking, feeling, sensing and imagination, in an intentionally creative way, opens up new perspectives and doorways into the unknown. Here, I encounter, a gracious and generous darkness that is slowly illuminated as I deliberately shine a light on contemporary interpretations and pre-set terms of reference.
This process often reveals new inquiries which are compassionately unearthed not to provide new fixed frames of reference but to generate new questions and insights. New ways of seeing and attending to our shared human experiences. Which can challenge long held orthodox views that have become frozen in time and no longer serve as the common symbol of who we are and who we are becoming.
So, as I move into this more expansive and imaginative frame, I often stumble across new configurations which spark my curiosity and ponder why in this story…
The feminine, as portrayed by Psyche, or Soul, or both, is presented as the guiding energy, the life force of change and transformation, and the masculine, as portrayed in the form of the God, Eros, is shown as a supportive rather than directing or forceful energy.
There is an intuitive relationship, dynamic collaboration and guidance offered freely by the natural world, as illustrated in Psyche’s partnership with various creatures and plants, whose assistance ensures that she completes what could be perceived as impossible tasks.
There is the presence and continually shifting relationship with other feminine archetypal figures, Aphrodite, Demeter, and Persephone, throughout Psyche’s story. Do each of these Goddess figures represent a different dimension of the whole feminine experience? And, are we encountering in this story a moving and expanding image of the feminine as a form of living composition?
In which the feminine does not exist in one singular form but is multidimensional and continually regenerating herself, depending upon circumstance and need: with life herself being the underpinning heartbeat?
A combination of vastly different feminine faces who each exist within an evolutionary spiral. Which is a symbol of an older, larger, and more inclusive story of the way in which we each need one another and to grow together. Remembering that each has her rightful place at the table, and each is required to reclaim her individual and collective story, in her own image.
Psyche is an enigma, she is a mystery, and a riddle that has captivated the minds and hearts of academics, poets, writers, and painters throughout the centuries. Her story and her message stretch out through time, touching the lives of others and in the process inviting a pathway to transformation and a return to a natural self. Free from the constraints and restrictions of our conventional thinking, and symbolic of a turning point, as we enter the next phase of our evolution, and story, which I hope will be more free flowing, generous and inclusive in its orientation.
I will complete this post by sharing how I came upon the beautiful picture of Psyche and Eros, re-united in their love, that I feel captures Psyche’s spirit and the essence of the whole story.
There are lots of classical depictions that show Psyche in a very particular way and although they have a certain charm and quality none of them grabbed my attention. I felt that these images had become trapped in time, and these classical depictions are of an age that no longer speaks for who we are and who we are becoming.
So, it was by a happy circumstance that I came across the work of the Artist, Evdokia Georgiou, who very graciously gave me permission to use her painting of Psyche and Eros. Which exquisitely captures the idea that stories are not static, they shift and change according to the culture, the place, and the age in which we are living, and how we see the world and see ourselves within that world.
As soon as I saw this painting, I thought to myself, ‘yes’ this is a feminine response to a feminine story. In this painting a place has been made for everything whilst at the same time we are also invited to constellate the themes of the story into our own image. I think it is a uniquely beautiful depiction of two souls reunited and I hope you see something of that too.
Evodokia, writes of her picture, “Eros and Psyche is part of a series of paintings called, ‘Mythology’ in which I aim to view how a myth was used in the past and how could be act as a guideline nowadays. I see myth as an essential guideline for humans to get involve, explore, and enhance through contemporary applications and obligations. “
Evdokia is an Artist based in Limassol, Cyprus where she owns an Art workshop for her Art practice. Evdokia is also the Art Curator of the Exhibit 8 Gallery in the cultural heart of the Limassol.
As a Fine Art graduate of University of Kent; Evdokia, in 2015, she was short-listed for the CVAN Platform Graduate Award. In addition, Evdokia has participated in several exhibitions as an artist and in events, as the designer and the leader of Art workshops in Cyprus, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom.
Evdokia sees society as the macrocosm of the domestic space and vice versa and that these two spaces are complementary. Through her practice she aims to make people re-think about their social behaviour and challenge their everyday life more often. As a result, she uses the daily life as an inspiration and how it could be altered in order to explore and challenge the private and public realms of the everyday behaviour.
This is achieved through various ways including among others the transformation of ordinary objects into sculptures, through drawing and thread creations. In this way, Evodokia aims to illustrate a new vision and add a new dimension of the reality in the everyday social systems, realms, objects, and the objects’ functionality. Her practice also includes sociological, political, and philosophic aspects of the contemporary, and not only era, we are going through and how the daily life could be challenged.
You can learn more about Evdokia’s work and view her exhibitions, and sculptures at https://www.evdokiageorgiou.com/
Alchemy of the Soul: The Eros and Psyche Myth as a Guide to Transformation. Martin Lowenthal
Till We Have Faces. C.S Lewis
Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness. Marion Woodman
Some say that we are presently living on the edge between the old and a future that is always emerging.
This image can be resourceful as we consider that we might not of asked to be in this place but now that we find ourselves standing on this edge, more than ever we are being called upon to adapt and embrace this new awareness.
To do this, we each, in our own ways have to courageously let go of the world we think we know and begin to be much more alive to the edges of the unknown.
Edges by their very nature are wild and fertile places. They mark a space in-between, where a mixture of two or more different systems meet each other, at a boundary that is often formed of varying terrain. These are places of dynamic change and are illustrative of nature’s wild freedom and where this inherent freedom is at it most fluid and adaptable.
Within this perspective change begins with a joyful acceptance and a willingness to be adaptable; learning to trust in our instincts and holding out our hands to support others along the way.
Change primarily begins when we open up our hearts and compassionately explore the forgotten about places within ourselves. When we let in the wild edges of our imaginations and our creativity, welcoming the spontaneous and the intuitive, we learn to create a natural form of alchemy.
Over the last two years as I have begun to stretch into and explore my wild edges, and in doing so I have also found myself nurturing a fledging creative practice, using the medium of photography and a writing process known as mid rash.
I am not a formally trained artist but chose to respond to a deep need to make and create textures which speak to my experience and offer an illustration of a multi-sensory and interconnected world. I have taught myself to use the medium of photography as a contemplative practice. Just one way to capture a feeling and to draw upon images to illustrate more fully an idea or a word. Photography has been defined by Henri Cartier-Bresson as seeing the “decisive moment” – a single split-second moment that is temporarily frozen in time.
The decisive moments in my life are made of flesh and bone. They appear to spin and swirl from inside the image itself as a form of interior enlivenment and aliveness. In my current creative practice, image and story are mediums which illustrate my sense of a continually changing living composition. In that I will gather materials which capture my attention and then proceed with a process of layering and combining, releasing, and receiving, dismantling, and returning, which also marks the commencement of an ending and a beginning.
Through the arrangement of different materials, I am attempting to capture a moment, whilst at the same time attending to a deeper underlying awareness that the forms I make are not fixed, all is fleeting and temporary. I mainly use natural materials which I source from either my garden or walks along the country lanes where I live. I have a particular fondest for plants and flowers and love how within their essence they are symbolic of a bigger creative process of which we are all apart.
The inspiration for this perspective is drawn from an old American folk tale, ‘The Old Woman Who Weaves the World.’ In this story the old woman is responsible for a vast cauldron which bubbles and hisses upon a great fire and contains a stew of all the seeds and grains which make up the plants in the world. This old woman is required to stir this vast pot as she also weaves a great garment of intricately woven threads. Many say that this old woman not only stirs up the world, but when things fall apart, she also binds it back together again through her weaving. Her old, rough, and calloused hands, intuitively knowing that the threads hold the endings and the beginnings together.
Prior to the COVID situation, in a professional capacity, I worked as Facilitator and Coach, within the fields of Organisational and Leadership development. This work often required the application of an artful way of looking at complex situations and a creative use of both process and language to encourage others to stand at the threshold of their own imaginations. Within my professional practice I have cultivated an aptitude to conjure up metaphorical gateways that in a business environment are often forgotten or lost, having been sacrificed to the alter of productivity, measurement, and efficiency.
I called upon language and imagery, as a necessary and appropriate counterweight to the bias of a dominant Cartesian mind, and I purposefully applied my creative resources to convene and facilitate spaces which invite others to see and experience the symbolic systems, metaphors, archetypal and mythic narratives within which we all live and breathe.
Today, as I slowly begin to explore new avenues of facilitation, and consider more fully the purpose of these gatherings, I am beginning to craft a creative practice, that I call ‘Story Weaving’, through online workshops, and courses, and writing. In this frame I primarily use myths and folk tales as metaphors to engage women who are aware that they need to make some changes in their lives.
Maybe like me they have also reached a point in their story where they want to define success on their own terms, to create new ways to live from the ground up and from a secure base of creativity, authenticity, and love. I am very aware that this new calling is a deeper reflection of my storied or adaptive self-letting go and learning to move more freely and easily through complex landscapes. I have a sense of a trickster energy at play, represented by the fool, who like me is being called to learn how to embrace, and welcome their new beginnings.
In this capacity to make a living, my art of making, my role as a maker, is to host and facilitate safe and supportive relational conversational spaces in which individuals and groups can experience and explore their inner and outer patterns of artful imaginal living, through the medium of story.
The purpose is to contact embodied expressions of self-awareness, creativity, reciprocity, exchange, and wholeheartedness. In all my endeavours, I aim to be present for myself and others who are encountering new conversational frontiers, who want to re-member and live from their true nature and draw upon different ways of knowing. In the process we all learn how to compassionately be with the multiple changes, challenges and dilemmas which make up a whole life.
It is only by expanding our hearts, imagination, and each of our senses, as well as our minds, that will we learn to truly let go of the old view of ourselves as separate from the rest of the Earth, and become open to a deeper awareness of ourselves as interactive partners of the whole interconnected web of life.
On this note, I will leave you with a question; what one thing can you try in your life that will demonstrate your willingness to become open to and trust in, the wild edges within yourself?
A remarkably simple place to begin is to just notice the wild edges that you encounter and attend to what they have to offer or say to you. Just pay attention to what you notice as you draw that presence into your heart felt awareness.
Threads of Connection
Edges - Framing the Horizon
My work is centred on making different ways to weave together story, image and nature connected practices. The purpose is to offer people a different lens through which to see themselves and their place within the world, and to find ways in which we might call upon our imagination, and different ways of knowing to sense into a future that is always emerging.
Throughout the month of May, my attention settled squarely upon a short Native American folktale, called ‘The Old Woman Who Weaves the World.’ On face value this short folktale can be viewed as an old creation myth but from another perspective this folktale can also be viewed as a medium for meaning making. As we too, like the central character, must attend to the endings and beginnings, and choose to pick up the often jumble of threads that make up the rich fabric of our lives.
In this context, ‘The Old Woman Who Weaves the World,’ can be perceived as a soulful story and a teaching tale, which flows to us today from a time when people listened directly to the earth. A time when the earth was viewed as a living story and held within a state of mutuality which reflected an older knowledge that from our birth, each of us, brings a thread of eternity into the limits of time and place.
Therein exists a perpetual human dilemma. We are born a creature of time and place, whilst at the same time we are also a child of the eternal and are continually being called to an unknown future. It is with these ideas of a fluid yet eternal self-moving through the fabric of time and place that my thoughts began to turn towards June where the next folktale had already taken up residency in my imagination. This time the origin of the folktale is Scotland and is called, ‘The Selkie.’
Over the last few weeks, I have mulled over the elements of this story, often whilst I am walking along the country lanes that surround my house. As, I work the story or the story works me, I am finding that beneath the initial literal meaning there also exists a deeper more poetic and soulful intent. This connection to a world within a world helps me to remember that nothing can really be taken at face value. As the old saying goes, there are always two sides to the same story, and perhaps it is during times of significant change that these older stories can help everyone, young and old to hold the ends and the beginnings together.
The story of the ‘Selkie’ is as old as the hills and again speaks of a time when the separation between humans and the rest of the world was not so defined as it is today. It originated in a world where each took their rightful place and knew their own unique purpose in the world. This situation created a delicate harmony or balance between the different folks who inhabited land, sea, and sky.
The Selkie imaginatively and quite evocatively tells of a moment when that delicate balance was broken by actions taken upon another who was less powerful than them. It tells of how we can each make mistakes in the choices that we make, and even if we make those choices to satisfy our own needs, we must also be respectful of the needs of others.
It is a story that also tells what can happen when we lose access to our true nature, how we each have our own song, and for either to be denied to us for whatever reason, is a renunciation of who we are and how we choose to live our lives. In many ways it is a classic story of loss, love, change and transformation. Of difficult choices and the bittersweet melody which accompanies our passage through life. It is also a story of our connection to nature. In this case a deeply held affinity with the sea.
This is a story which mirrors the choices we each must make to live out our calling and share our unique gifts in a world which often denies the mysterious and magical, in favour of the rational and the literal.
Here, I offer you my short re-telling of the Selkie which will undoubtedly vary to others you may have read or heard. But this is how I have chosen to tell the story as this is how the story speaks to me. You may choose to tell the story differently and this is perfectly OK, for we each have our own story to tell, and way to tell it.
The image of a Selkie is also known as, silkies, selchies, or roane. In times past Selkie’s would be collectively known as Seal people, and you can find many stories of their existence scattered throughout Irish, Scottish, Icelandic, and Scandinavian mythology and folklore. There is one particular story that is of Celtic origin and this one featuring a Scottish fisherman, and it is this one that I have chosen to share with you.
One night, a lone fisherman was making his way home, and as he travelled along the coast to his surprise, he spotted a group of women dancing under the soft shadow of moonlight. Now, this fisherman had travelled this way for a long time and never before had he seen such a thing. Getting closer, he made sure not to disturb the dancing women, by hiding his presence using an old thicket of Hawthorne trees.
Watching the flowing movement the fisherman recalled that as a boy his father had told him a tale of the seal people who would slip out of their fur skins in order to take on human form, and then when they wished to return to the sea, they would slip their fur skins back on, and return to their true seal form.
Now, this fisherman although a good and kindly man, lived a hard life, and was lonely and longed for a wife and children. So, as he stood in the shadows and watched the selkie women dance, a kind of madness took over him, and he chose to take one of the fur skins, knowing that the selkie woman from where it came, would be forced to stay with him and become his wife.
The time came for the selkie women to return to the sea and as each selkie woman took up their fur skin in order to return to the sea, there was one selkie woman left without her fur skin. Fearful and alone as her sisters swam away into the inky blue night, the fisherman stepped out of his hiding place, and to her horror the selkie woman saw that her beautiful grey fur skin was being firmly held in the hand of the fisherman.
Although the selkie woman pleaded with the fisherman, to return what was hers and not his to keep, the fisherman was intent to soothe his aching heart and need for a wife, and refused to give the fur skin back to her. The selkie woman knew that nothing more could be done for she was truly stuck in a world not of her making, and in her human form she chose to become the fisherman’s wife.
Some years passed and the selkie woman, as wife to the fisherman, gave birth to a son and a daughter, and both had webs between their fingers and toes. Whilst the children grew stronger and older the selkie woman grew more wistful and longed for the sea and her selkie family. One day, the children excitedly came running to her and held within their hands what they saw as a piece of old grey fur. Little did they know that they were holding in their hands, their mother’s true nature.
Their mother took one look at what was in their hands and wept with joy to have her fur skin back. She told her children the story of the selkie people and how she yearned to return to the sea. Then with a sad heart she warned them both that she had no choice but to leave them that very night and make her return to reclaim the true nature that was hers.
That very night after the fisherman had fallen asleep, the selkie woman took her fur skin and her children and went to stand at the water’s edge. There she hugged her children and told them that if they came and stood by the waters edge at night then she would appear and sing to them her song, which they would hear as they were half-selkie themselves. Then the selkie woman gracefully slipped into the water as her children watched her go. When they were sure she was gone they took each other’s hand and headed home to the warmth of the fire still burning in the hearth, and the small offering of bread and milk left by their mother.
In the morning, the fisherman was saddened to hear his children tell him that their mother had returned to the sea. He missed her very much, but in his heart, he knew that this day would come. He knew that the selkie woman who he had taken as his wife that her true place was in the sea where she could fulfil her true nature, and he had prevented her return for long enough. His children kept him company for the rest of his life, except for the nights when their mother’s song called them to come to her and together, they would swim through the waves.
Life is complex and no story is ever quite the same.
If you choose to sit with a story for a while, it might be this short folk tale or another story of your life but if you allow a story to sit with you, very soon it will begin to work its magic. Images that had been formed long ago will slowly dissolve back into the ground and new figures will begin to appear.
By really listening to the old stories of reversals, transgressions, change and transformation, and sincerely inviting them to be our teachers and guides, we find that we are afforded with an opportunity to build a new mythology from which new narratives may spring.
In doing so we each are developing an inner creative process which is transformative, as it enables us to see ourselves anew, and maybe like the selkie woman we too will remember our true nature. That we also have the ability to move at will between the worlds we love, as we so choose. All we need to do is call upon our imagination and let our soulful, and heartfelt stories guide us there.
“…My life has been one of weaving. And as I weave, I sing of the happiness and misfortunes of people. I sing of the birth of things: of water, of stones, of fire, which in its crackling accompanies me in song. I sing not to forget the whys and wherefores of things. … but to remember and celebrate our collective memories of such things….”
Juan Diego Tamayo - The Weaver
According to Tamayo’s poem, titled ‘The Weaver’ we each hold within us the gift of weaving the song of our life for ourselves and others. In the process we bring a little myth, magic, and mystery back into the fabric of the world. Elements of the imagination which contain the promise of healing our broken hearts and offering an image of unity and coherence. One not to be grasped and captured but reached for and received as a gift.
Yet this image of reciprocal wholeness can take time to settle into the marrow of our bones. As most are not immune to the impact of deeply fragmented thinking, the dualism and great separation of our age. Presented through the ongoing polarisation of this and that, into ever smaller decrees of specialisation and categorisation. Somewhere in this continually narrowing of our gaze, our place, and our story, I found myself lost, cast adrift and disconnected from an undercurrent of enlivenment and joy. I forgot that there is no singular narrative. No one size fits all. No ready made solutions to the complex external situations we each find ourselves within today.
The road ahead requires an openness to an older and deeper mythic and magical ecological narrative. Through discernment and reciprocity. Adaptation and Resilience. A heartfelt perseverance to turn our face towards uncertainty. But, even within this frame the pathways we are making are meandering and often disconcerting. We are being asked to wind our way through unknown landscapes, both inner and outer, as we are returning again and again to our stories, memories, and dreams.
Within this shape shifting territory, if we learn to tune our ears then you might hear the emergence of an invitation. A calling on the breeze. An ancient song to follow your ‘wyrd.’ By accepting and welcoming our ‘wyrd,’ an Old English word for fate or destiny, we each might become just a little bit wiser. But this requires us to learn the art of self-acceptance and self-compassion as we come to rest in the sweetness of our imperfections and limitations. We learn how to accommodate the strange ways in which we each have been shaped and are informed by a living imaginal world.
After many years of practice, I found myself becoming quite adept at calling upon my ‘wyrd,’ as I mastered the art of connecting previously unconnected individuals and teams, who were often completely unaware of each other’s role and purpose. Somewhere along the way I learnt how to invite each to pause, to take a moment and see their own agenda from within a larger systemic perspective. By initiating their shift to a deeper connection, I also catalysed my own. My internal sense of my ‘wyrd’ began to become more figural, and I slowly began to hear the song of my longing to make new ways of threading, binding, unravelling, and joining, our sense of self anew.
This song of my calling, which sprang from the well spring of my heart was inviting me to make human tapestries of story and image, which embody and illuminate health, wholeness and belonging in this fractured and divided world of our own making. This song helped me to re-member that now is a time to make pathways which reconnect our story-lines and song-lines to our shared human ancestry, of nature connection, and from within this mythic frame to re-ignite our individual and collective imagination that rests within beauty, wonder and wild grace. Staying present to the reciprocal and magical pattern of a life that is continually transforming, through a creative dance encoded in the biological act of living and transforming.
As I learn to sing my song and be comfortable within my wyrd, I am coming to understand that the metaphorical act of weaving, serves as a nod towards the ancient art of seeing our mutual health and wholeness as our primary state. Which obliges us all to be more responsible for the choices that we make. In this capacity, we are all weavers, who can each pick up our thread to make an intricate patchwork, and as we set about this process we each play our part in making a living patchwork which supports the whole. Through the partnership of our will and imagination we contain the capacity to take our disparate pieces of fabric and thread, and by binding them, we make our life as an artist would make a work of art.
Through the simple act of picking up our linking thread we see again the beauty in the discarded cloth which makes up the fabric of our lives. Within this movement we learn to drawn upon what is available to us in this present moment. We become the crafts person and the maker of our lives, connecting people and place in elegant tapestries of shared meaning and images. Transforming our lives and seeing clearly that we each have a responsibility for each small creative and generative act which send out ripples of reciprocity into the whole.
“Go forth onto the land & re-animate the World”
I grew up a little wild, roaming freely in the rural landscapes and seascapes of Pembrokeshire, and although for a long while, I lost contact with this deep rooted connection, over recent years, I have once again, found myself drawn to wildish, mystical thresholds in nature. Places where I could find solace and solitude to dwell in my wandering, poetic thoughts, and images, as they weaved themselves into stories and bright colourful figures, and forms.
From the beginning of my story, I have always felt the magical presence of water, and was particularly fascinated by air born beings, birds, butterflies, and the Milky Way as if they were guides toward a different world, one where all human beliefs and actions were coherent with such beauty and wonder. Though I would not have had that language then.
In what was often termed my “over-active imagination,” this felt sense of a human-Earth relationship, was much more precious than anything I observed in school. Within this frame the wild Earth was not an unfeeling, disinterested backdrop to my life story, but the breathing, expressive presence in which we are intricately entangled. We inhabit a world which is filled with interactivity. The ‘mundus imaginalis’ is extremely near and often so close that I can hear her breathing. But of course, I did not have the language then, only a felt sense, a feeling, much like a guiding compass, gently showing me the way.
Out of this ground, a form slowly began to take hold. I like to call her, ‘Imaginal Woman’ and to me, she is an archetype for our changing times. She is representative of all those who are learning to trust in their own inner authority, are prepared to stand upon their own ground, embrace their wild and abundant nature, and know it is time to embody compassionate action and well-being for all.
Now, more than ever I see an urgency to share more of this slowly crafted creative process, perspective and practices, because I trust that is some small way, we can all do something in supporting others, by choosing how we want to be and show up in a world that is calling for our attention and love.
This particular story has roots in my experience of feeling very disconnected to the everyday requirements, demands and dominant narratives of the modern workplace. Where, gradually over time my sense of self became eroded and I lost my lustre. During this time, I became much more aware of how we are all often fearful to show up as we truly are. We are scared to reveal our true colours and glorious imperfections in a working world that continually strives for perfection, rational knowing and linear advancement. Due to no fault of our own we become distracted by these exterior reflections, we loose contact with our inner knowing and we quickly forget that we are afraid to be fully seen and heard.
We learn to hide behind our personas, words, complex procedures, frameworks, and policies. We hold up a mirror of judgement to ourselves and we allow the opinions of others to guide our actions. We all too easily avoid the risky and important work of understanding one another and truly seeing ourselves for who we are, and who we all have the potential of becoming. We become entangled in a narrative that directs us to gather external rewards, to meet the demands and expectations of others, and in this process, we learn to wear an image that does not fit us. Or truly reflect all that we are.
These entangled threads are a living fabric which hints at the flow of our innate creative process which naturally errs towards life sustaining generative actions. But often, to protect ourselves from the shame and exclusion of being perceived as not good enough, we hold back our most essential unique contribution from ourselves and from one another. Tragically we forget our unique image, the golden thread of our own calling, as we learn to conform and fit in with a narrative that is not ours to inhabit.
We live our story within a story where bringing all of illuminated imaginal selves to light, is not deemed acceptable. It is a common story in which the wilder aspects of our embodied nature are rejected, outcast, abandoned and forgotten. So much of our wonky splendour and grace has been suppressed rather than included and celebrated.
That is why I have chosen to pick up my threads again and to share the multiple ways we can each access our embodied imagination through the medium of story, images and nature connected practices. Three colourful threads which draw upon the artful composition of stories, images, archetypes, embodied practices and the transformative vessel of nature, which each illuminate our diverse and inclusive human experience.
We each contain the potential to re-member and take responsibility for our unique creative process. So, if within you there is a heartfelt sense of something missing from your life but you are not able to articulate what exactly has been cast adrift, then within these pages I trust you will find inspiration and a variety of practical ways to access your wild, intuitive nature and unique creative voice.
I specialise in weaving together, stories, images & nature connection practices to help people access their true nature, strengthen their creative fluency and increase their sense of wellness, and wellbeing in the world.