Art Journal: October 2018

I’ve done crazy amounts of art journaling this month.  I’m thinking that, this time, I don’t want to interpret it all, as it seems to be the sort of thing that holds mystery and may have different interpretations for each person who sees it. We’ll see.

Anyway, the topics were: The Shadow Self, Soul Collage™ , Ancestors, Free Choice.

The Shadow Self is not a simple topic, as it is multifaceted and involves all sorts of things people do not see: the deepest feelings, desires, obsessions, secrets, dark thoughts, painful memories, defense mechanisms, inner demons (or just archetypes) of the psyche, and more.

I feel that this is a long-running series, and I just managed to create a few.


The second topic was one of my favorites. I love creating soul cards. They are a wonderful, small art project, because they are smallish cards, and can be made one at a time. I usually make a bunch at a time, because I get inspired, and into a groove.

Soul Collage™ is the brainchild of Seena B. Frost, and I strongly recommend her book “Soul Collage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups.” My mom and I went to a workshop, where we learned how to make them (basically, you make a deck of cards, all the same size.) I use matboard, which is the suggested material. Some of mine are a little smaller, because I got them for free, but I just back them up with a card stock or whatnot, and slip all of the cards into a plastic envelope so that the are basically the same size.  The cards can be based on anything: an archetype, a person you know, a person you don’t know, something in the environment, something in the culture, a dream, a shadow part of yourself, a sacred something, a god/dess. Seriously. Anything that has meaning to you in the past, present, future, in the microcosm or the macrocosm. Soul Collage™ cards are used for meditation (and they could be used for divination, I suppose.) Because they are not bought or sold, they can use any image, copywrited or not.

Here are the three I made this month, but I will post the rest of my cards here.


As you can see, they are all pretty seasonally thematic.

Ancestors was a hard one, and since I don’t have pictures of all my ancestors, my work was pretty much centered around the Beloved Dead. I also want to do one of my spiritual ancestors, but I haven’t got there yet. Maybe this coming week, or another day.

Each of these pages is at least partially veiled, for the obvious reason that they have died. I made a page for each side of my family, and for my beloved friends. These pictures are all photocopes or prints, I still have the originals, whether physical or digital.


Above, with the roses, is my maternal side. My Grandmother’s side, mostly, but also my Grandfather’s parents.


My paternal side. Shamrocks for the Irish side, and yellow iris (the inspiration for the fleur-de-lis) for my family from Alsace-Lorraine. Also, Turk’s Cap Lily and the Alsace Peony. The wrens are for Ireland, and the belief that a bird flying in the house announces the death of a loved one, something that actually happened to my Grandfather.


This poem is from the funeral of Mary Ann Allegretto, my senior English teacher. She died way too young. 50, I believe.


Included in this collage: Phil Dix, Chris Johnson, Donny May, Jennifer Starr, Johnny Baranski, Patrick Salsich, Mary Ann Allegretto, David Moore, Shirley Lovely, Ramon Roussin, Bill Richstein, Rhyannon (Bronwyn) Forbes. All friends, all missed.

My  free choice this month stemmed from several sources. I think listening to CP Estés brought it up, as well as thinking about the current political climate. I will give a TW, there is reference to sexual violence (although not too realistic) in the last frame.

The topic is the story of Bluebeard, which always fascinated and horrified me.
Estés, in her inimitable Jungian way, interprets it as the unawakened intuition being brought to full realization. She writes about it in Women Who Run with the Wolves, which I recommend as mandatory for every woman over 30 (late 20s is cool, too.)


Naive women are prey.  They don’t trust their intuition. They wave off  “red (or in this case, blue) flags”  and persuade themselves that the situation is not dangerous. Women are purposefully taught in our society to submit to the predator, especially one that offers pleasure through gifts, compliments, or affection.

The predator then gives the prey the key to her own destruction.
The key, Estés says, “provides entry to the secret all women know and yet do not know.


Bluebeard prohibits his bride from using the one key that would open the door to awareness. However, deep down, the Bride’s curiosity leads her to the door of awakening. She is following her unrealized intuition.


The key opens the door into a dark room, where the bride is forced to shine light on the secrets within (her own self knowledge. Often her own trauma, her own pain, the reality of her imprisonment in ignorance.)


In the room are the carcasses of women Bluebeard has slain. In my telling, there is also rape and sexual violence, which continues on well after the initial act in the rape and murder of a woman’s psyche; it bleeds her soul until she shines light on it.

There is more to the story: the bleeding key. The discovery of the Bride’s disobedience by her monstrous husband . The rescue of the Bride (traditionally by her brothers, but in the astounding retelling by Angela Carter, her mother.)

I may continue at another time, but another story is calling me.

On another topic, I decided to paint without an agenda, and this came out:


Blessed Día de los Muertos, Samhain, or All Hallows Eve to everyone who celebrates, and may your Beloved Ones who have gone before bless you always.

Merry Meet, Merry Art, and Merry Meet Again!

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