This weekend, I am in Albuquerque for Part II of my apprenticeship with Phyllis Clay in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. Yesterday, as part of the workshop, I journeyed to Pachamama (Mother Earth), guided by my Maestro (a spirit teacher), to better understand the forces of nature. Fortunately, Phyllis is also an artist and she had just what I needed to deepen my experience of the journey with collage and paint. Here’s the story of my journey:
Guided by my Maestro, I merged with Pachamama, feeling as if I were one massive, dispersed consciousness. Instead of my body being taken on a tour, I was merged as consciousness experiencing the forces of nature. First, I felt the powerful molten core of Pachamama with her enormous pulsing pressures and the bursting forth of lava and fire. This is represented at the bottom center of the painting. Then, I was at one with the great, deep oceans and all of their life forms and powerful currents. Sea anemones are on the bottom left of the painting. There’s also a sea turtle swimming with a yellow spiral at the bottom of the painting. The spiral symbol is used throughout the painting to represent movement and growth. This is one of the five universal symbols we used in class yesterday, based on the work of cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien.
Next, my consciousness experienced the ebb and flow of water on the Earth’s surface: ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. Permeating all things as the element of water, I was in the sky, in plants, in animals, and in the atmosphere as mist and ice. I traveled as water into the soil and experienced the force of microorganisms that live and move in this birthing substance. I could feel the cycles of life in decomposition and the growth of bacteria, fungi, insects and plants. Near the surface, I could feel the roots of trees and the vibration of life on the surface. Representing this phase of my journey, you can see the bark of trees, landscapes, and giraffes to the left in the middle of the painting.
At one with the surface of the land, I experienced mountains, with their upward as well as grounding forces. You can see mountains on the upper right of the painting. Next, I was one with the living atmosphere of the earth. I moved with the wind and cycles of the weather; always circulating and touching everything; breathing everything. I felt the interplay with the forces of the cosmos – the sun, the moon, the galaxy - all interacting in a dance of energies. These are represented on the upper left of the painting.
In my journey, I felt expansive consciousness encompassing the myriad of forces: physical, cosmic, energetic – all flowing with an outpouring of creative flow and growth. This feeling of creative outpouring is represented in the painting in the upper right corner with joy bursting forth. The spirals in the painting represent the cycles powering these continuous and dynamic forces of growth, destruction and rebirth.
You’ll also see little photos of people here and there throughout the painting. I was shown that people think they are separate from the cycles and forces of Pachamama. That’s why I depicted us here as isolated boxes. You’ll notice they are the only hard edges in the painting - and they are floating on top of the painting, not embedded in it. The journey showed me that we are indeed an integral part of these cycles and forces. We are an important member of the forces of the Great Mystery; a member of a conscious, living system. Through my apprenticeship experience, I’m learning more about our role(s) in this beautiful system of life and forces that we call Pachamama, Mother Earth.
One way to feel your connection to the energies of Mother Earth is to lie down on the ground on your stomach. Stretch your arms out on each side at about shoulder height. Place your forehead so it’s gently touching the ground (or rest one cheek on the ground). Notice everywhere you are touching the Earth. Then, visualize, imagine, or feel, a long energetic cord going from each of those places you are touching the Earth and connecting into the center of the Earth. It’s especially powerful to imagine energetic cords going from your heart and from your belly button connecting to the center of Mother Earth. Relax and sense your connection for as long as you are comfortable. When you are complete, thank Mother Earth as you visualize, imagine, or feel, the energy cords disconnecting from Mother Earth and returning to your own body. Enjoy!