When I was a kid, I made art all the time. I loved it. It was my thing. Then it happened, the same thing that happens to so many of us: some teacher in high school told me I was doing it wrong and made me feel so bad about my art that I quit doing it at all.
In the past, say, 9 months, my inner artist has been re-emerging. This is, I am sure, a direct result of the shamanic healing I've been doing for the past two or three years, and it is awesome.
The truth is becoming more and more clear to: Art or some sort of creative activity is not optional for any of us. We are born to create. It is in our blood, in our soul. It makes sense, especially for us tarot folks (I just assume all my readers are tarot folks). We so commonly view the suits in this order: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. That is: inspiration/idea, soul/commitment, mind/plan, and finally manifestation.
And I am not unique in realizing this now. It is in the air. It is rising to our collective consciousness. Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic? If not, get your hands on a copy and read it. It will speak to your creative self that is aching to make things.
Our Minds and Our Souls
I used to say that the best way to understand what you think is to write. Of course I said that. I am a writer by nature. Also, I am a product of my culture, so I valued writing, thinking, precision, logic. As a culture, we have been trained to feed our minds until they are full to the bursting point and we all suffer from information overload.
But we don't get a lot of training on how to feed our souls. One way, I think, is to experience art (by art, I mean anything such as fine art, dance, music, photography, sculpture, movies even). Another way is to make art.
Here's the thing about art. Many of us think that unless our creative efforts will have some tangible end goal, they are a waste of time. But they are not. And that is something Gilbert stresses a lot in Big Magic. Whether no one ever sees your work or if you show it in a gallery, it doesn't matter to your soul.
And just as we know that writing helps us understand our minds and what we think, making art helps us understand our souls and what we value or yearn for or feel. A watercolor artist, Barry Toshio Shiraishi, said once that your art may not change the world but in the making of it, you may change yourself. Now, to my way of thinking, if you change yourself, you will also be changing the world. Because everything is connected, you know.
Tarot and Art
Lately I've been having a lot of fun (and learning lots about myself and the cards) by incorporating daily draws with simple art journaling. I have a journal, a free marketing item from a paper company, that I only use marker or paint in (no pencil, no erasing!). For a while, I was drawing mundane things, whatever was around. Then I started pulling a card or cards and later adding charms from Carrie Paris' Magpie Oracle. That's when the magic happened. The revelations and insights and pure joy has been so incredible. Below, I'll share some of my journal pages just so you can see it is not about making great art that will change the world (or impress anybody else) but about making "great" art that changes you!
I think that art is important and works so beautifully with tarot that my friend Melani and I teamed up to create some tarot and art classes. If you live in the area, I hope you check them out and consider joining us. Melani is a fantastic art/craft teacher and I am pretty good with tarot, so I think these are going to rock. You can get the deets right HERE.
And, as promised, here are some of my journal pages.