Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 1 - Soul Collage

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only 
the colors of these nine crayons.
This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.
(You Begin - Margaret Atwood) 

Grad school is in full swing and I'm already behind on homework, journaling, blogging, laundry, grocery shopping and life.  But I am so invigorated, inspired and alive!  What I want to blog about today is SoulCollage.  At the end of the first week of class I attended my first seminar and I picked the SoulCollage seminar.  Our seminar was led by Mariabruna Sirabella of  She's wonderful.  One of the things that amazes me most about grad school so far is the illumination and clarity I see in the professors and more advanced students.  I'm excited and hopeful to maybe take on some of that peaceful energy.
SoulCollage is a divination tool in a sense--think Tarot but more psychological.  A deck of cards is created by each individual, for themselves.  The deck is based on four suits and contains three source cards: The Source, Soul Essence, and The Witness.  These cards are the transpersonal cards. (I'm still working on holding and really knowing the definition of transpersonal so just in case you need it too: Transpersonal is defined as: Of, denoting, or dealing with states or areas of consciousness beyond the limits of personal identity).    The suits are Council, Committee, Community and Companions.  Each card within the suit represents an aspect of your soul that is in your life.  Council cards are the archetypal influences in your life.  Committee cards would be your actual personality traits.  Community cards represent beings in your life: friends (or groups of friends), pets, a specific plant/animal that you've had a specific connection to.  Finally, there are seven Companion cards.  They correlate with each of the seven chakras and are represented by the animals that we envision after doing a guided visualization through each chakra.

The process of creating cards while learning about SoulCollage was fun but there was also a lot of charge along with it.  I was having a particularly difficult weekend coming to terms with some things that I cannot control and so several of my cards gushed out more difficult feelings.  Mariabruna noted at some point that it's always the present stuff that is wanting to be dealt  with that surges up when people make cards.

My first card ended up being a committee card which I called "the recovering wounded."  Throughout the weekend I ended up making a few more cards: "the exuberant child" (committee) "the suffering of the world" (archetype), "the suffering self" (committee) "the panicked-anxious self" (committee).  I have a list of cards I still want to get to but right now I'm just working through making cards without intention and seeing what comes up for me.

The way we began making our deck was to pick a picture that resonated with us and gestalt it.  To gestalt something something is to put yourself in the place of the picture (or at least that's what I've understood so far.  Eventually I'll be learning more about that).  The girl sitting on the dark card was my first image and she was sitting on a bed.  When I put myself in her place thoughts that came to mind were "I am one who is tired but waking to a brighter day.  I have been in the dark but I am hopeful" and so on.  The card gets created around that.

Once the deck is created you can do readings by asking it questions and pulling cards, gestalting the images and speaking from the perspective of your soul that the card represents.

SoulCollage is trademarked and an official sort of thing so I really recommend that you take a look at either of the two websites I linked if you're interested.  I barely grazed the surface of what SoulCollage really is and how it can be used.

For me, this was the perfect way to break into the school vibe.  Not only is my cohort amazing so far (eight women total, myself included) but so was the experience of SoulCollage--the ability to be truly, completely artistic in a way that wasn't commercial or product based and to be able to see the clinical applications of how SoulCollage could be used to heal people or heal the self even.

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