The Great Within
When I teach my sacred art programmes I do not work within either core shamanism or Norse shamanism (though I do present valuable material from both traditions). I take my students into the place I call The Great Within. This is our inner world, the limitless spaces within our own psyche and soul. In my introduction workshop I use a labyrinth and I have people walk to the centre and out again twice (once with their eyes open and again with their eyes closed, guided by another human being). I teach that everything in the external world can also be found and worked with on the inner planes. In that sense I teach a spirit-led way of making art that does not belong in any particular school of shamanism. The way I work deliberately encompasses and teaches the guiding principles behind Medieval art in Europe as well. It aims to be more universal and reflect the history of sacred art as I have come to understand it over three decades.
The core principle underlying sacred art is that it is created to honour and express something beyond the realm of the everyday and the visible. It seeks to express the Divine and map the timeless realm of all things sacred (as opposed to the everyday or profane).To make sacred art we need to move beyond the desires and ambitions of our own ego and work in partnership with the timeless and eternal realm that is the spirit world.
Sacred art is not primarily concerned with the name or greater glory of the artist. (Medieval art did not carry the signature of the artist!) Sacred art is art in service of powers and realms greater than ourselves, to Divine Beings as we understand them- a humbling experience.
In contrast some Modern art has become conceptual and ego-led. It often shows a fragmented world where the artist is central: look at me!
The greatest piece of art we will ever make is our own life!
Some Key Phrases
Once we discover the process of direct revelation, writer’s block or artist’s block are no more. Essentially this means plugging yourself into the most vibrant current of life force known to humankind, a place fecund with potentialities
The beauty of art is that it that it takes physical form. By painting or drawing (to this add the disciplines of your choice) we create something that takes on a physical manifestation and existence outside of ourselves. The therapeutic benefits of that process have been well-documented in the field of art therapy. And just for the record: our word matter is etymologically related to the Latin word mater (meaning mother). The word matrix is derived from the same root.
Once our creativity flows, our innate capacity for self-healing awakens too!
You can view Sacred Art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit on Amazon.
Links and previous related posts