Visionary art Defined


Image 27 from Awaken the Goddess Meditation Deck

by Katelyn Mariah, Visionary Artist

Watercolor painting 5-15-1996

This is one of my favorite images and I will let my late friend Ron Mangravite explain the meaning. Ron always told me he wanted to support my work how ever he could because he felt it was important for people to see it.  I am so happy that I have a recording of his presentation about my work and some of my images.  This way he continues to support me even from the other side.  At the time I was creating this body of work and the time of his presentation I had very little knowledge of symbolism, tarot or metaphysics.

“This is a gem. When one is familiar with a conventional tarot deck you know that the purpose of the major arcane is to depict a journey, which begins with the fool and ends with the magician.  The fool is poised at the edge of a cliff ready to step off blindly not knowing where he is going.

Here is the equivalent of the beginning and end of Katelyn’s journey.  She is poised on the edge of a cliff but instead of stepping off blindly she is launching a liberated and enlightened being, a bird that can fly to the heavens and inform her. In the Egyptian mythology a falcon rather than an eagle, which she is launching is the transformed Pharaoh.  This Goddess, poised on the precipice, instead of leaping over blindly is sending ahead of her a conscious being.

She carries the moon of the Goddess and she is androgynous, crowned with the horns of the horned god, Cernunnos. The fool in the tarot deck has as an accompaniment, a puppy, happily barking at his side. This Goddess is accompanied by an armadillo, which is another form of lesser life.  She is taking lesser life and transforming it into a falcon, an enlightened being.

There are also twin waterfalls.  The water is a symbol of the Goddess.  The waterfalls are an outpouring of the Goddess’ energy, liberating it out into the universe.  The twin signs are because women are inherently dual in nature as the dark and bright Goddess and cause the unification of their existence through these twin forces.  There is a card in the conventional tarot deck called the Priestess. On either side of her thrown are twin columns.  These waterfalls are the equivalent of these twin columns. By putting those twin columns in, this initiate would say to the master, these are my twin columns, they are not static they are alive with outpouring water.

So this is very clearly not just a fool beginning a journey or a magician at the end of the journey, this is the priestess who is able to turn the armadillo into the hawk and send enlightenment out before her.”

Awaken the Goddess Meditation Deck is still available at: just send Katelyn a note.


INfusion of Angelic Light

This article is about an idea I had in 2003.  I wondered if it was possible to make a higher level connection with a musician friend and see if I could create an image and he could create a piece of music and somehow they would be connected.  I had a sense that there would be overlapping connection in the music and the art and I was right. I knew how to set sacred space and invite my friend into it before we began the creation process.  Read the story of what happened out of this connection.  This article will take you inside of the minds of two artists as they co-create together.

This is the same process that I use when I create a soul portrait for someone.

(This is an abridged version of the original article published by the Edge Magazine from July 2003)


                    ECSTASY, BY KATELYN MARIAH


Two artists create, embody and present gifts of love from Spirit

by Katelyn Mariah and Aryk Allyn

This is the story of the birth of INfusion of Angelic Light, which started as an experiment and quickly turned into an initiation and transformational process that changed both the lives of two artists.  INfusion of Angelic Light is a technology that brings one back to their authentic power.  As Gary Zukav points out in Seat of the Soul, authentic power is gained when the personality aligns with the soul.  the soul knows your path, your talent, your conception, experience, and life lessons.  Your soul wants to bring you to the point of enlightenment and exist in joy and peace.

The process of creating and integrating each INfusion has been a return path to authentic power for Aryk and Katelyn.  INfusion of Angelic Light can work that way for anyone who uses it.

INfusion of Angelic Light

INfusion of Angelic Light is a new technology of Light and Love that is inspired by the angelic realm, in concert with two visionary artists. “intimation” and “Integration” is the first in a series of meditation decks that uses a new technology called INfusions, which support spiritual development and transformation.  INfusions are music and paintings that are alive with resonance that reaches far beyond the material world.  The vibrational music and images in this deck resonate with ethereal energy that speaks the language of the soul through sound, color, symbol, numbers and movement.

Each INfusion is a key to a precise and specific energy.  The energy penetrates the consciousness and brings to the surface everything that is not in alignment with itself.  Art and music bypass the cognitive processes and touch the heart and soul, lovingly and gently meeting the person where they are on their evolutionary path. An INfusion of energy occurs.  New energy enters the cells and they are changed.  Seeds of light are planted within each person.  When viewed and listened to as a complete piece the energy is more powerful and alive.

Each INfusion was created through a higher self to higher self connection between Katelyn and Aryk.  The music and paintings were created simultaneously, in a three-hour period with Aryk in his studio and Katelyn 25 miles away at her studio.  There was no other connection during the process.  Katelyn set sacred space and made a connection with Aryk on a higher level.  Through this connection the angels came forward and guided the process of creating image and music that conveyed a specific message.

Each piece was created without preconceived ideas and the images, symbols and sounds that came through were unfamiliar to them. After the pieces were created the symbols, colors and number sequences were researched and compared and they were found to mirror and support each other perfectly.  The symbols that came through were a unique new representation of a blend of universal and cross-cultural symbolism that brought together a cohesive message.


The idea to do the first INfusion was Katelyn’s. It was an experiment to see if Aryk a composer and Katelyn, a visionary artist, could connect with one another on a soul level and simultaneously create music and art that had some kind of relatedness.  They both had a strong connection to the angelic realm.  Going into this experiment they had no idea what if anything would happen.

Katelyn: “Where is the beginning when you are involved in a process like this? The idea that two people can make a soul to soul connection with on another from 25 miles away, without any conversation, connect with the angelic realm and create something reflective of the other seems impossible.

Is is made possible by years of personal work and inner clearing, which I have done, or by the belief that it is possible and the opening created by the energy?  From the moment we met, our connection defied space and time. It was like a reunion of two souls who have known one another forever.  Could it be that this eternal connection made it possible for us to create INfusions, which is what we call each piece that is the blending of art and music?  Or is it the childlike innocence that we both retain that has made this possible?  Questions…

Aryk: “The process of creating INfusions begins with the belief that two or more individuals can somehow connect into on spiritual consciousness.  Far-fetched? No more than a congregation praying together on a common theme, like peace in the world, and expecting that it will make a difference and possibly bring about peace.  If one believes in the existence of angels, why not communicate with them and allow them to communicate with us?  Belief and making the attempt are the key.”

Whatever the case may be, Katelyn and Aryk have created a process of connecting with each other and the angelic realm that is not only real, but it also brings through them wisdom that is Trans-cultural and timeless.

Everything that has happened since the beginning of INfusion of Angelic Light has been driven by something of a higher realm.  Katelyn and Aryk were directed to do this in a certain way and given information about what was happening. There were to do 22 INfusions, one every 4 days for three hours.  As both artists went on, they learned that the first 11 were called “INitiation” because the series took one through an initiation that brought into view and released anything that was not light or love. The second 11 were called “INtegration” because the initial steps taken in the first set cleared the way for an integration of spiritual light with the physical being.


Katelyn: “I have always been intrigued by ritual and ceremony and have found ways to integrate it into my life, as I feel it gives focus to my intentions. People have been using ceremony in this way since time began. It was natural for me to create a ceremony to use to connect with Aryk and the angelic realm for the INfusion process.

“My ceremony for this process included lighting candles, creating sacred space, meditation and connecting chakra to chakra with Aryk.    I created each painting sitting lotus style in front of my shrine.  I did the same process each time I connected.  My process also included preparing my creative space so that I have all of my supplies within reach so I don’t have to stop to get something.

“Every four days Aryk and I determined a time to connect. At the appointed time. I connected with him through my ceremony and I could feel the energy shift immediately.  When I invited the angels into my space, I felt the energy enter through the back of my head. We stayed in this soul connection for three hours and created without any physical contact. Each of us completed our work in 3 hours.  To complete a piece of art in three hours, one must commit to accepting what comes through them without questioning it.”

Aryk: “For my part, I am not one long on ceremony, but I do take time for an hour before the agreed upon time of beginning to be calm and try to center myself.  Perhaps, I will meditate, perhaps not, depending on the energy I am feeling.  I try to let myself become clear and free to allow energy to flow easily through me. Sometimes I pace the floor before starting to compose, and sometimes I lay on the couch or floor and  close my eyes.

About 20 minutes before the INfusion hour, I turn on my computer and sound equipment and set up a new project in my software, initiate a percussion track, and save it as the new INfusion.  Then I will tune my 12 string guitar and my 6 string guitar.  This is about as much ritual as I practice.  The tuning of my guitars is my real meditation.  It focuses me and prepares the way for whatever music will be forthcoming.”


Love by Katelyn Mariah


Katelyn: “I have been doing visionary art for 25 years.  I worked for a number of years to clear myself so that I could step out of the way and let my art create itself, using me as a vehicle.  As others became familiar with my work, I was told that I was tapping into other levels of consciousness and Trans-cultural wisdom and that it was springing naturally through my artwork.   I learned that I could make a connection between my higher self and another persons higher self and create soul portraits.  The images that came through the connection spoke to them in personal ways and touched them deeply.  

With this in mind the idea of connecting with another person on a soul level was not foreign to me.  What was new is connecting with another person and consistently coming up with the same information as we were with INfusions. 

So now that the connections is made and sacred space created I get an initial visual impression in my third eye, which I sketch in the journal that chronicles this process.  After the images comes an intuitive message which I also write in my journal.  I found that when I went back to read what I wrote I was surprised not to remember it.  After the message is written I begin to by making a light sketch of the image on the paper in gray watercolor pencil.  Once this is done I am lead on a journey to complete the image.

At first, the images I painted in this process had a simple and naive quality to them that I questioned, because they were not reflective of my artistic ability.  Part of my process was to accept that they were exactly what they needed to be.  After completing 14 pieces, I could see the perfection in that simplicity and naivete were reflecting the initiation process as it occurred.

The process of creating INfusions and INfusion of Angelic Light changed my life, released me from old belief systems that had challenged me for years, and made me more capable of loving unconditionally.  

Aryk:  At the appointed hour, I sit calmly in from of my computer with my 12-string plugged in and ready to play.  Sometimes I played random chords and notes, sometimes not.  When the INfusion really begins in earnest, I begin to play something that has a sense of completeness.  It has a feeling that is unique and purposeful and I know it is “the music”. I analyze the music enough at the onset to put down a basic repetitive percussion part that captures the rhythm of the piece so that I can play with that throughout the composition.  This ensures that the entire piece will be rhythmically tight.

Once I create the percussion track, I continue with the creation of the 12 string guitar part having no idea what I am going to play next. Eventually, I reach a point in the composition that culminates in a finish.  this is the end of the INfusion as far as the basic structure of the composition.  Usually, it is obvious at this point because there is some kind of flourish that signifies finality.

“After saving the work, I then add a bass part accompaniment to the 12-string track and a complementary 6-string guitar part.  During the addition of the bass and 6-string parts, I am still in spiritual connection with Katelyn.  The parts often seem to play out in a particular style that fits the piece.  Sometimes a definite motif is developed or a particular rhythmic part that is essential in giving the piece its own definition and characteristic mark.  Only after all the parts have been recorded and saved do I begin to break the spiritual connection.

It really is quite an amazing phenomenon.  I feel complete gratitude and humbleness to be part of something so beautiful and profound.  My life has changed and transformed and I feel that I am an improved individual from this effort.”

Some of the INfusions have energy in them that brought the artists to joy and ecstasy while others brought them to deep levels of inner crisis.  Parts of the process were very painful, exhausting and on a couple of occasions so intense that each of them wanted to quit.  Something always pushed them to continue.

Katelyn: “At the end of our three hours Aryk called me and we talked about what had occurred.  After the first session we were both stunned at how perfectly in sync the art and the music were.  We wondered if it could happen again or if it was just a fluke.  After the fourth image, we were convinced that something real was happening and we were able to settle into trusting the process.  Many synchronicities occurred of the months we were in this process.  For example, in the middle of one of the sessions I needed to go downstairs to use the bathroom and on my way back up to my studio I hit my knee really hard on the top step and nearly passed out.  I had to lay down for a few minutes to recover.  At the same moment Aryk’s computer locked up and he had to reboot it. Thank God he had saved it along the way or it would have been lost.  I have chronicled many other synchronicities in my journal.

With each piece we created we continued to be in awe about having the same feelings at the same time, of finding numerical sequences that showed up in the art and the music and the image and symbolism that showed up that were reflective of deep esoteric teachings that neither of us were aware of before hand. These teachings were also reflected in the messages I would receive at the beginning of the session.

Aryk: “I am never short of amazement every time I do and INfusion with Katelyn.  Something quite profound happens every time and we have always connected with similar emotions, if not exactly the same ones.  Numbers are shared between us and Katelyn may have a pattern of stars in her image that is reflected in some part of the music.  Often, if she has an object that appears, say, six times, the meter of the composition may be in six, or they is a rhythmic pattern that is six.  Words are shared with us and often after competing an INfusion, one of us will express words that the other has written down.”


Compassion by Katelyn Mariah


Through the process of creating INfusion of Angelic Light and living with them for six months Katelyn and Aryk discovered that each of the INfusions is a bridge to self-knowing.  An INfusion of pure Love permeates one at the cellular level and purifies the path to self-love, understanding, union and wholeness.

We quickly discovered that we would recycle through the 22 INfusions two more times and the entire process of creating them and experiencing them to us on a 9 month journey.  The initial creation process was a process of Knowing.  We began to know the energy that we had created as it shed light on everything that was not like itself and we moved to release and clear old belief systems.

The second process was on of Experiencing the energies first hand as we went through a vision quest process that took each of us deeper into ourselves and helped us see behavior patterns that no longer served us.

The final stage was one of Being in which we became the energies of each  INfusion.  The entire process has brought us to a new place of center and authentic power which is the source of Love and creativity in each of us.

I hope this article gives you an idea and understanding of what is possible through a spiritual connection.  When we connect with each other at the soul level, magic happens.


My Journey to Becoming a Visionary Artist-Part Three of Four

I am going to let someone else tell this part of the story, because up until this point I didn’t realize what I had done. I was just following my spiritual/creative impulse and painting.  Ron Mangravite was an expert on this sort of thing. I met Ron at a monthly Salon that one of my friends had at her home.  I happened to have brought my portfolio of Goddess paintings with me and I was sitting next to Ron and he asked to see them.   As he looked at the first image, he said I see you have this symbol and that symbol and this.  He looked over at me and said “You don’t know what I am talking about do you?’  I said “No”.  What Ron was seeing in my paintings  were significant universal markers of higher consciousness.  There were themes running through the paintings from ancient cultures around the world that I couldn’t possible link together unless I had studied Mythology and Symbolism for years like he had.  I was stunned by what he was saying to me. So here is and excerpt from his presentation for the launch of “The Awaken The Goddess Meditation Deck”   6640518

Reflections on Katelyn’s art work given in 1996 by the late Ron Mangravite (Spiritual teacher and expert in the universal nature of symbolism, mysticism and mythology) at the opening exhibition of her “Awaken The Goddess” meditation images
x “What I am here to share with you is some relatively academic knowledge which I thought was rather superficial and well known to Katelyn, but to my surprise, none of her work came out of academic studies.  It just came up out of where it is supposed to come out of, which doesn’t really happen much anymore.  For me this presentation is a question of introducing a real live person who is doing extraordinary stuff.
This is not an opening of just some pretty exciting art, this is a public introduction to a woman who has found her inner identity in such a way that it transcends anything she is as a citizen, and inhabitant of Minneapolis, even as a woman and certainly as an artist.
I began studying exactly what is happening in the consciousness of a person who can get theses phenomenal telepathic test scores, who can heal someone by touching them with their hand, who can walk into a so called haunted house and precede to describe with relative accuracy the past history of some of the people who lived there.  Where does that come from?  Rather than saying that it’s a weird thing, I wanted to know the why of it.  The pursuit of that converts the searcher.  I became a mystic and then discovered some of the things that are going to give me great pleasure to point out how Katelyn is also discovering these things.
If people have discovered that they are driven to this search to find mystical openings for some kind of spiritual awareness, they traditionally tried to find ways and means of allowing their inner cravings to somehow take form.  They try to find ways to get them up and out of themselves and find a medium of expression.  What people do if they are fortunate is to find an established group or teaching methods.
It was known that in order for a person to understand something of what lay ahead in the metaphysical path to enlightenment they had to first understand themselves.   They had to understand and sort through their own identify and distinguish between those elements which were imposed by culture, and those elements which were genuine to them and those elements which were universal.  this involved a tremendous amount of inner pain and searching because when you are trying to tell the difference between what is you and what is simply an appendage, the only way you can do it is to cut it and see if it bleeds.  Artists who are working, whether in fiction, or the graphic arts, or in dance or anything else, know that if they are going to do something that has never been done before it has to be covered with their own blood.  It has to be a thing that comes from a piece of their own flesh, taken out of the body and molded.
A master of such initiates would look at the images they dredge up from their subconscious and know instantly whether they were simply copying stuff that was in the air, whether they were taking designs from the wall, or whether they had found someone else’s pictures.  They would know whether this was their truth or not.  If it was their truth this would have in fact been a masterpiece that would allow you to graduate and say, “I know my own identify, I am free to do this”.
In attempting to find her identity, which is the Goddess, and find ways she could manifest, she apparently went down deep enough to get totally past Katelyn, to get totally past everything but her femininity, because these images are the Goddess.  Katelyn dug down deep enough to get past anything that is the person and found real legitimate expressions that came from such a mixed bag of a culture that it would be very difficult for her to have truly cheated.  She does not know that some of these symbols are Babylonian, Sumerian, Chinese, and Welsh.  She cold not possibly known without at least 10 or 15 years of study.  She could not have made this mixed bag up by faking it.  It has to come from someplace very real.
And therefore, I am extremely privileged to be here to be more or less, the official midwife to announce to the world that this is not just an artist – Katelyn is an initiate of consciousness.”
Ron Mangravite
I sat in the audience that night will a room full of friends and I was as stunned as they were as he went through about 15 paintings and told us what they were saying.
Ron was a big supporter of my artwork and he had a big impact on me in the short time I knew him.  He was going to write a hand book for the meditation deck and talk about the meaning of each of the images in the deck.  I was hesitant because I wanted people to interpret them for themselves and get their own understandings.   I regret not having him do it for a number of reasons.   I realize in retrospect that it is difficult for the average person to interpret visionary art.  Ron died suddenly two years after this presentation so it was no longer even possible.
He was the founder of Foundation Mystery School in South Carolina and one time I asked him if I could join the school and study with him.  He said I already knew everything that he was teaching and didn’t feel I would benefit.
 Ron Mangravite 1933-1998 Rest in Peace
More about Ron
In part Four of my Journey to Become a Visionary Artist I will talk more about my creating process.

My Journey to Becoming a Visionary Artist- Part One of Four


I have been an artist all of my life but it didn’t become visionary until the late ‘80’s.  In 1985 I had a near death experience and after that my artwork not only changed but it opened me to higher levels of information.  The process that I go through is somewhat difficult to explain but I will give it a shot.

My early works were a reflection of an inner need to control, so my style was very tight and lacked life. Things changed dramatically after I used a technique, which required me to use my non-dominant hand for drawing.  My art therapy training taught me that this was a way of accessing other parts of the brain.  I created sixteen paintings using permanent ink, watercolors, with my non-dominant hand and I discovered that it forced me to give up my control and accept what naturally flowed from my pen without censoring myself.

When I looked at the images I was struck with how alive they were.  A space opened in me that allowed me to access another dimension using my dominant hand and permanent ink to draw.  Over time I have developed a style that flows naturally in the same way as our handwriting does and it allows me to listen to Spirit and let the paintings paint themselves, using me as the vehicle.  I learned that I have a wise friend inside of me who knows far more than I do and I have become like the watcher or witness as images create story on the paper in front of me.  In this way, Spirit speaks to me in my native language which is image, color, line and movement.

Like fairies dancing in the garden, images spring forth on my drawing board from a place deep inside me and beyond.  I am often unaware of what they mean because they are not linear or logically sequenced, but they engage my psyche in an energetic dialog. I usually get a small piece of the image that becomes a portal and the rest of the image just flows.  Over time the unconscious content comes forward and I again understanding at deeper and higher levels.  I believe that without my art my healing process would not have been as concise, efficient, directed or deep.  The art that has created through me has helped me to remember who I truly am at a deep, profound level.

The process of creating art has taught me to relinquish my need to control and understand, so that I can connect with that which is mystery and listen to its wisdom.  Through this form of visioning I am able to create images that spring from that inner well of wisdom in union with the collective unconscious and the wisdom of the ancients.  The images that result speak to deep levels of the psyche and activate ancient wisdom in the conscious mind of the viewer.  Thus an energetic dialog can take place that touches the psyche through and interchange of color, symbol, metaphor, movement, image and space, all of which dance together to speak the language of the soul.  The information received speaks differently to each viewer and whether they understand at a conscious level or not they have been touched in some way just by viewing the image. All of the information that makes up each image is intuitive, from shape, symbol to color. It all comes to me in the process of painting.

I learned not to question it even if it seems crazy because of what I tell write about in the next installment.

I will talk more about that in tomorrow’s post: My Journey to Becoming a Visionary Artist- Part Two


Whispers from the Mystery

5491793_orig Whispers from the Mystery


Mystery lives in the waking dream as well as the sleeping dream and is often referred to as “The Dreaming” or “Dreamtime”.  the dreaming is timeless, existing simultaneously in the spiritual dimensions of the present, as well as the distant mythological past.  It is mystery, wombspace, the vast empty void, God-Goddess and the place of all possibilities.  It is mystery that holds the stories, the laws and Spiritual principles that guide life.

Our indigenous ancestors lived by the information from the Dreaming for they believed it linked them to their origins at the beginning of time.  According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is known today – human, animal, bird, mineral, fish or plant – is part of an unchanging interconnected system, one vast network of relationships which can be traced to the great Ancestor Spirits of the Dreaming.  the heart and soul of the ancestors arise from the primitive images of their artwork and stories and the art form for them becomes the oracle.  We have lost touch with this ancient form of art, The Dreaming, and it must be revived for it is the source of vast amounts of information with while guide our evolution.

It is from this place of mystery that my images come.  It is through the dreaming that I hear Her voice.  Mystery doesn’t whisper to me in the language of the mind but through the language of the soul as it connects to the world of Spirit.  The language of the soul, for me, is about color, light, shadow, symbol, metaphor, image and space and is no less real than the language of words, for it comes from a place that is pure and it resonates as truth.  spirit doesn’t ask me to pub words to what I paint for it is in the attempt to give meaning to image, through words, that the truth and essence of a great piece of art can be shattered into meaningless piece.

My early works were a reflection of an inner need to control, and thus my style was very tight and lacked life.  About eight years ago I used a technique, which required the use of the non-dominant hand for drawing.  This was a way of accessing other parts of the brain.  I created sixteen paintings using permanent ink, watercolors, with my other hand and I discovered that it forced me to give up my control and accept what naturally flowed from my pen.  When I looked at the images I was struck with how alive they were.  A space opened in me that allowed me to access another dimension using my dominant hand and permanent ink to draw.  Over time I developed a style that flows naturally in the same way one’s handwriting does and it allows me to listen to Spirit and let the paintings paint themselves, using me as the vehicle.  I have learned that I have a wise friend inside of me who knows far more than I do and I have become like the watcher or witness as images create story on the paper in front of me.

As a trained art therapist I am aware of the healing power of art.  I have also been a recipient of the healing through my own creative process as Spirit speaks to me in my native language – image.  I have healed my body, mind and spirit just by allowing the images to flow.

Like fairies dancing in the garden, images spring forth on my drawing board from a place deep inside me and beyond.  I am often unaware of what they mean for they are not linear or logically sequenced, but they engage my psyche in an energetic dialog.  Over time the unconscious content comes forward and I again understanding at deeper and higher levels.  I believe that without my art my healing process would not have been as concise, efficient, directed or deep.  The art that has created through me has helped me to remember who I truly am at a deep, profound level.


The process of creating art has taught me to relinquish my need to control and understand, so that I can connect with that which is mystery and listen to it’s wisdom.  Through this form of visioning I am able to create images that spring from that inner well of wisdom in union with the collective unconscious and the wisdom of the ancients.  The images that result speak to deep levels of the psyche and activate ancient wisdom in the conscious mind of the viewer.  Thus an energetic dialog can take place that touches the psyche through and interchange of color, symbol, metaphor, movement, image and space, all of which dance together to speak the language of the soul.  The information received speaks differently to each viewer and whether they understand at a conscious level or not they have been touched in some way just by viewing the image.

The process of creating an image happens in the following way:  a piece of the image forms in my minds eye and I begin to capture it on paper.  This acts as an entry point into another level of consciousness as the painting unfolds before me and I am carried on a magical journey.  I begin with a very sketchy pencil image an I fill in all of the details in permanent ink, allowing whatever comes to go onto the paper without censoring it.  It becomes a meditation that draws me deeper and further connects me with the unconscious realms.  The final step of filling in the color with water color pencils requires repetitive motion in from of my eyes.  This is similar to EMDR (a rapid eye movement technique) and studies have shown that it creates changes in the brain wave patterns which allows access to deep levels of information that can effect anyone and through the process of viewing the work, the viewer is changed.

Like the dreamers of ancient times I am asked to navigate the dreaming, take the stories entrusted to my care and create for them beautiful images.  I am blessed to be used as a messenger of Spirit and I see the making of art as a sacred responsibility.  It is my intention to create images that speak of this ancient wisdom with a freshness that works in the present as I stay open to the drawing that is creating itself through me as it’s midwife.

Watercolor paintings in this blog by Katelyn Mariah BFA

Katelyn creates personalized soul portraits.  Learn more here

The Cauldron of Creativity

My art has been the most healing journey for me over the years.  I have a degree in Art Therapy and sometimes I think I got just for myself.  At the deepest and hardest points in my transformation there were always images.  Some reflected my pain, some reflected the transformation out of pain and others like this one showed my paint and transformation.  Many times there are words that come with the paintings.  Here is one painting and the words the came with it:   978061

“I am at the edge of the creative cauldron, peering in over the rim.  It is strange and yet familiar, as I look at my reflection in this dark lightness.  The image I see is a quicksilver reflection of a woman rippling across this smooth cauldron surface.  Who is she?  I see such beauty flickering in her face as the full moon shines over my head.  If this is a reflection of me what has happened?  I don’t remember this lovely face.

There is something in her eye that draws me in and I climb the cauldron’s edge and slip gently into the water.  As my body breaks the surface, the water begins to bubble around me.  Kind, fragrant bubbles, splitting rainbows as they burst.  I am surrounded by beauty in the colors, the fragrance and the warm water that surrounds me.  I am back in the womb.  I lean my head back against the edge of this vast support bowl, close my eyes and relax into the depths.  The water envelops me, caresses me with wet, wonderful lips and sucks me under.  I feel myself plunging into the depths of the water as all that was light turns to darkness and I no longer see clearly.  All the beauty that surrounded me has turned to black, and gray and swirling green.  It frightens me.  I drop, helplessly into this dark abyss with no anchor to hold me.  There are no familiar landmarks to grab on to.  I am just falling into a darkened space.  Frantically kicking my feet I swim toward the steel black side of the bowl and plunge my hand into its icy blackness.  My hand only smashes against the darkness, and splits open, splitting forth my rich, red blood.  With nothing to support me, I sink into the reddened darkness.  My body goes limp, as my breath is replaced with wet, amniotic blackness.  Slowly my lifeless body sinks to the bottom of the void and lands in the muddy surface at basin end.  I become the muck, dirt, rocks and oozing slime. 

And I lay there endlessly, alone in the darkness. All at once there is a stirring in the sludge around me.  I feel life return and begin to pulse and undulate in my body.  There is a growing, green shoot coming from the center of my being and it ascends from me like a strong green snake.  My lifeless body remains forever,  a part of the void at the bottom of the cauldron.  slowly moving its way through the dark, cold, colorless water this snake-like green shoot becomes a stem.  As it reaches for the surface the stem grows stronger, greener and full of life.  As it reaches the surface a sliver of light becomes visible again, encouraging the stem to move upward.  Finally it breaks through the gently bubbling, fragrant water as it burst forth in a display of green leaves that lay down on the surface of the water to support the beautiful lotus that it has birthed from its journey.  And the cauldron brings forth life again.

The process of creating visionary image pushes the artist to fall through the creative cauldron, into themselves, and through the illusion that is their own image, so they can retrieve the image of the Divine. This is the dance of creativity as it ebbs and flows from creative to destructive energies in equal balance.

Visionary art making, whether it is writing, visual art, dance or music, is a shamanic process and many artists have enhanced powers of seeing, hearing and dreaming which allow them to move easily between the worlds, without experiencing the boundaries that keep others from exploring those realms. The artist often takes this journey for self exploration but the images, movement, songs and poems that result, are transformative, enlightening, healing and empowering to those who experience their work.

Something must be destroyed in order for something to be created. It is a law of nature. This is a part of the creative process that must be understood, as many artists through the centuries have been swallowed up by the darkness and never returned. Why did they drop to the bottom of the creative cauldron and become the mud rather that retrieving the pearls? It is fear that swallows them up as they see themselves reflected in the quicksilver face and the personality can’t make sense of what they see.

We fear the darkness because it lacks the familiar landmarks that anchor us into feeling safe. It is the place where nightmares chased us as children and the boogieman hid under our beds and in our closets. Children learn to fear the darkness and that fear follows them into adulthood.

A physical manifestation of this darkness is the womb. The womb is an excellent prospective from which to view the process because it is something we have all experienced. We remember it in our cells even if we don’t remember it in our minds, whether we are male or female. We are all connected to this space. There is mystery and magic in the dark void from which we entered this life, which is also the place we return when we die.

I can feel a sense of fear and excitement when I think of it in this way. Excitement about the creative, birthing aspect of womb space and fear around the unknown death aspects. It is this paradox that keeps us ambivalent about darkness. It conjures fear because it is nebulous and if we go there we may never return. The darkness of womb space is connected to our origins in this incarnation. It reaches back through time and space to our very beginnings. To the time when we were all one with Source in the void. It is before light, dark, time, space, form and breathe. In womb space we are connected to all memory and if the visionary artist can dive into that place and retrieve that information, what they bring back speaks truth to everyone who views the work. Any one can tap into this well of wisdom.

Womb space has been called the matrix, the Great Mother, The Earth Mother and the cave is its chief symbol. Since ancient times initiation rights have been performed in caves, as the initiate returned to the darkness of the womb to vision quest. These lost ancient rights must return again for it is in the space of the womb we can revisit and remember who we truly are.

The womb is the unmanifest because of it’s potential to bring forth life in human form as well as creative form. In Sumeria the word for underworld, the sacred cave and the womb was Matu, which meant mother. The oracle at Delphi was thought to be a womb that could be accessed to bring forth wisdom and knowledge.

The word hysteria is now thought of as an out of control state of irrationality and madness that is attributed to menstruating women. It originates from the Greek word, hustera which means womb or womb consciousness. To the early Greeks hysteria was a condition of shamanic possession and ecstatic trance that was cultivated by women during menstruation in order to receive vision and prophecy.

Somewhere along the line in history it got relegated to a negative state of craziness. We have lost the ability to tap into this incredible state of womb consciousness that can connect us to a higher source of wisdom.

“The Dark Night of the Soul” is really a journey into womb space to the void and a search for light. It is a frightening place to journey because we must go there alone. When we have dropped through fear and the illusions of who we thought were and stand naked with our selves and the darkness, magic can happen. When we are naked, exposed and not sure of who we are we can open and expand to new possibilities. This expansion process begins in darkness for it is within this darkness that our greatest gifts and treasures are hiding just beyond the light of our current reality.

I have stood at the edge of my own darkness, on the rim of the creative cauldron and at the cave that leads to my inner landscape many times and I have trembled. I have experience fear pushing me to walk away and not look while at the same time my curiosity was calling me to enter. I have been told that bats, snakes, spiders, monsters and dragons live in dark places. Those scary things have kept me from exploring earth’s caves, which are the womb of the Earth.

Metaphorically our fear is the dragon that dwells there and the fire is its breath that will surely burn us. What if that very dragon lives within us, then what? What if others see our darkness and run away because they have mistaken if for a dragon? It is often safer not to look and pretend there is nothing in our darkness. In reality that dragon can become our carriage and it’s fiery breath our guiding light and it can carry us to the treasures on our darkened path.

The womb and the void are dark but they are the space that contains light of our possibilities. The darkness is the fertile ground where light can grow. If we are women the seeds of our future children in physical form are planted there. For all of us the seeds of the children of our creativity are planted there just waiting to grow into a beautiful garden. The vast space of the womb holds our passion, our power, our creativity, wisdom and truth.

If we can allow ourselves to drop into what appears to be a deep, dark endless cavern of no return, we can soar like birds through this expansive landscape and retrieve the treasures that are planted there.

Then beauty can be revealed to us from within our darkest dream. AS ABOVE SO BELOW…

Playing in the Field of Creativity

Creativity, play and imagination are sisters, interconnected energies that assist us in being co-creators of our life.  They assist us in bringing clarity, energy and life to our desires.  Their influence is particularly strong at this time because we are being asked to see life, our experience and the people around us with new eyes.  With new eyes we look forward into life’s mystery, rather than backward into our storehouse of memories, as we create our future.  We are co-creators and we are creating our reality with our consciousness.  Our creations will be influenced by what our consciousness holds.  Consciousness is a soup of experiences, beliefs, and programs.

Do you remember as a child how life was when there wasn’t a vast amount of past experience?  Every day, every experience, every encounter was fresh and not tainted by the past.  As we grew and gained experience the past mistakenly became the model for the present and the future.  The storehouse of memory became the matrix from which our reality was created and how we created our world.  We walked into our experiences expecting that they would look like ones we had in the pas and behaved accordingly.

Memory is not reality, but our mind’s way of cataloging what we have done.  Past experiences served us in the past, but they do not serve us in the present nor do they help us create our future.  What I have accomplished or not accomplished should not be a gauge for what I can accomplish.  I don’t want to be seen by others through eyes of the past and neither do they.  We do one another a disservice by doing that.  When we hold onto old energy we keep ourselves and others trapped and don’t allow room for things to change.  The past is gone and so are the experiences that created it.  It is comforting to know that we don’t have to keep doing things the way they have been done before.

The challenge now is to walk as though there is no memory bank of experience behind you.  To walk forward into each day, like the child, as though it was the beginning of something new, because it truly is.  The future contains the unlimited and mystery and is filled with many pleasant surprises.  With our hands open to the future we can receive more than we can imagine is possible.  Living in such a way takes total trust in the loving kindness of our Creator.

For a moment just think about a life that is creative, playful and with rainbow colors.  She is uninhibited by the judgments of others.  Her clothes are an outrageous expression of who she is in any given moment.  She wears wild hats and her long hair falls to her waist.  In her hair she wears the components of all that is.  She is the void where all things are possible and where nothing stops her from dreaming her dreams.  She knows that what she dreams she can create.  She has no preconceived ideas of what forms her dreams or creations will take.  This is possible because she trusts that only what is in her highest and best will manifest in her reality because she is loved by her Source.

The energy of her sister, Play, is also magical as it dances in harmony with her.  She wears a robe of stardust and has crystal bubbles in her hair.  As she moves she leaves a trail of twinkling stars behind her.  Play is fearless, she is whimsical and she has boundless energy.  Her laughter, songs, and stories are ancient and they echo through the canyons, over the mountains and in rivers of her wisdom.  Play is the energy of joy as she darts, pirouettes, bounces and leaps through the field of imagination with her sister.  She lives in the moment for the pure pleasure of existing and experiencing all that is possible.  Play is the expression of freedom.

The field of imagination is within each of us.  Creativity and Play are a source in each of us that brings us back to our true nature.  The essence of what we have always been.  The field that we played in as children.  The place where life was always new.  We leave that child part of us behind only to spend many years searching for it again.   Looking for something that we already have.

Imagine your most creative, playful, imaginative self.  What would you be wearing?  What would you have in your hair?  What songs and stories would you be singing?  Would you be young or would you bean ancient youth?  What colors would be on your palette?  How would you be different from the people around you?  How would your life be different from how it is now?  Let your imagination go wild as you picture yourself anew.

Creativity and Play want to dance with you again.  With them life becomes a blank canvas upon which to create a new image.  Each day is a new canvas on which to play and create all that we desire.  You are the artist of your own reality.  What do you want to create on the canvas of your life?  Sadness or Joy?  Abundance or lack?  Conflict or love? If we are indeed the God-Source expressing it self in the world of emotions why not show God what it feels like to have fun, to be joyful, to play and experience happiness.

The challenge is to release the old images that didn’t work and the fear attached to them.  We have support to do this work, for it is our true nature to be creative, playful, imaginative, loving and joyful because we are Children of the Divine.  As old images and beliefs arise, ask for help releasing them and then remember your new canvas.  Go to that new canvas and create the new image.  If you relationships are not working, re-imagine the ideal.  If you are not in a place where abundance and prosperity flow, re-imagine that it does.  Do it again and again until you believe it to be true and each time you do, release it to the Heart of the Loving Creator and watch what happens.  Miracles do happen, for when we change our inner reality our outer reality must follow suit.

This is an invitation to dance in the field of imagination with our sisters, Creativity and Play and return to who we truly are.  As you begin to play with the energies of Creativity, Play and Imagination, your life will begin to change in magical ways and you will experience things you never knew were possible.  All you need to do is take baby steps and just join in the dance.

(This is an updated version of an article that appeared in The Edge Magazine)