A Bewitching Broomstick
Tada! My first broomstick! About time! It was a delight working on the composition, preparing all the little parts (beads, wooden cut-outs, paper leaves, woven ribbons) and of course making the body itself. The making was magical (of course). Some people have different broomsticks for many different occasions, but I am limited by the lack of space, so this one will have to do. Anyway, I have the feeling that it likes the exclusivity. Being an animist, I’ve always been attracted to magical and ritualistic objects. I particularly connect to the broomstick because it’s usually ridden by women. In this male dominated world, I’m searching for a more balanced approach. Expressing and exploring the Feminine is my pathway to Soul. I love the multiplicity, the complexity, the richness of colours. Children and women have always been so belittled, but there is power in the colourful and candid aspects of Soul. Generosity, kindness, complicity, spontaneity, relationship, trust and instinct, these are what pacify my mind. Let’s just switch off the news for a moment and use the creative power of sweeping out all the depressing energies, sweeping in all the heartwarming energies, because this is what the witch’s broom does. You might wonder whether I intend to fly. Yes, I do. Flying is freedom from all the things we cannot change and which try to eat us alive. It is good for you, no matter what some masochistic people might tell you. But you can ride a broom only if the bond is strong and trusting. It takes a bit of time to get to know a broom. A broom cannot be tamed. It is very wise, but also very bossy, so it’s important to establish clear limits from the beginning. A broom is a familiar, it is a reflection of the witch’s Soul, it’s like her “dream-body”, her magical being. It is pure, wild, uncharted, and unspoiled. A sanctuary where everything can be reset. Fantastic, isn’t it? And yet, so simple, so immediate. The broom brings power to put the mind at rest, to create only for delight, and give time and energy to what truly matters. But since life is not always a bed of roses, it also lights the path when everything seems to weigh you down. It’s like being held by the hand by an unconditionally loving spirit (who’s also bossy): “There, there... everything is so much more fun when we are together”. It’s a cold and dreary world outside, where nearly all the baddies get away, but the right company is something priceless. The right company will get us through anything. Companionship is what we all long for. Even when all alone, companionship tries to bring us back to itself, be it by the presence of a book or clouds in the evening sky. Companionship is our natural state. To think otherwise is perhaps what leads to despair and madness. Together is the most magical word.
I had many wonderful dreams lately. Two of them were BIG dreams as I was flying. The first dream became a poem: I dreamed I was flying over the dark ocean So low above the surface, I could almost touch it The heavy and turbulent water was like a terrifying beast, But even more unnerving were the unfathomable depths, At any moment, this dark infinite world could engulf me, swallow me whole And I would be lost forever. But this is not what happened. In my soul, I surrendered to the wild beast and it was sublime. There was no greater power, and yet, it didn’t crush me. There was nothing to fear. The second dream went like this: I dreamed that I was walking along a winding path surrounded by green valleys and mountains.The sun was rising and everything was bathed in its golden light. I had headphones on and was listening to some music. I started to float above the path and I was also dancing. I didn’t care if anyone saw me, and actually, I was making a mental note to do it more often, to fly and dance at the same time whenever I was in this mood. It was delicious. I wanted to try something special, I thought “let’s see if I can invent a personal Tai chi but in the air”. So I started to make some fluid movements and control the energy. It was like petting a cat, undulating and responding to my touch. I was playing with my own energetic field. While still flying. Suspended in grace.
Priestess of the Otherworld
I dreamed I had discovered the entrance to the Otherworld and I was taking some people there. To go in there, you needed a small book (to take notes?) and a flute to ward off unwanted influences (mostly ourselves, since we are often our own worst enemies). There was something wrong with the ordinary plane, so few resources of any kind. It was bleak and unwelcoming. These people sought refuge. Exploring the Otherworld was so exciting, it was indeed full of resources and very welcoming. It was tailored to our needs. I don’t remember the first trips there but I remember the last one. We had gathered in a derelict barn on a hill, we were waiting for all our other soul companions, but it turned out they were already by the entrance to the Otherworld, which was situated in a cave. We rushed there. I realised I had lost my tools—the book and flute—but I was surprised to find they couldn’t be lost, they always came back to the gate to the Otherworld, waiting for me. I picked up my flute and said it was mine, but then I saw there was this tortoise shaped ocarina and I gave it a try. There were 8 or 10 holes and the music was beautiful, so eerie. I am no musician, but with this flute, it all came naturally to me. This flute was made for my soul. So I chose it. The others had left already, so I followed a path. And encountered a wall. I went through it without a moment of hesitation and the sensation was peculiar, like going through some insanely thin paper that just crackled but didn’t break. On the other side, I discovered I was on the forested slope of a mountain and I could see the others ahead. I walked side by side with a nice little lady, everything was so lovely and peaceful. Beyond a hill, we faced a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. it was a coast of steep snowy mountains (just like Lofoten) and the path took us down along the shore where small playing waves licked our feet. Later on, I was back on the ordinary plane and I was walking in a town, heading towards a new gate I had discovered. In the dream, there was something about me lately which compelled people in the streets to make fun of me. I encountered a group of them who nicknamed me the “priestess”. Like there was something funny and pejorative. I am no priestess, but maybe, in this dream, I was, because I took care of a community. But in the end, they were able to take care of themselves and that was a very good thing. A week ago, I had a very similar dream. Except, I was no leader at any point, but I was with a leader . We ran up the stairs to the attic of a house where the gate to the Otherworld was. We were pursued, but it was fun and exciting. And the possibility of escaping to the Otherword was just… fantastic! We easily entered this Otherword and our pursuers could never find us.
I dreamed I had a tiger (again). I was walking the girls when I found him by the shore. I said I was going to the holy mount of the sacred tigers and he joined us. This mount looked like a witch’s hat and was covered with exotic trees and was inhabited by tigers. Anyone could walk there. Seeing a tiger was worth the risk of being devoured, although this didn’t happen very often and when it did, it was in a peaceful manner. You were devoured by God’s Golden Beast. Anyway, once again, the tiger was my precious ally . My golden strength. J’ai rêvé que j’avais un tigre (encore). J’étais en train de promener mes Toutounes lorsque je le trouvai au bord du rivage. Je lui dis que j’allais au mont divin des tigres sacrés et il se joignit à nous. Ce mont ressemblait à un chapeau de sorcière et était couvert d’arbres exotiques, et habité par des tigres. N’importe qui pouvait aller s’y promener. Voir un tigre valait le risque de se faire dévorer, pas que cela arrivait souvent, et lorsque cela arrivait, c’était d’une manière paisible. Vous étiez dévoré par la Bête Dorée de Dieu. Bref, une fois encore, le tigre était mon allié précieux. Ma force dorée.
Hygge is the religion of the Soul
Hyggehejsa! The perfect weather to stay indoors and paint in a perfectly “Hygge” fashion. Religiously. With my favourite Japanese green tea, some praline chocolate and my sweet girls. Who needs any kind of dry and dictatorial spirituality when you can have Hygge to your heart’s content? Hygge is within everyone’s reach, it needs so little. I believe we were born to cultivate Hygge as much as we can. This is Nature’s wish and although living conditions might be harsh, it’s any creature’s right to Hygge deep, deep inside. In the heart of every cold and hard rock beaten by winds and rain, there is a little warm light glowing softly. This is why in the Otherworld, there is no need for the sun or the moon, everything glows with Hygge. Simply put, Hygge is contentment … in spite of all the things which refuse to go according to our plans. This is the ultimate freedom. No dogma, no expectations, just the enjoyment of a perfect moment in an imperfect life. Hygge is not indulgence, it’s our natural state. So, Hygge as much as you can, as long as you can, without any guilt, any interference. Starting a new diorama project on a theme which is very, very dear to me: The snowy town. This is the town of Hygge. I realise now everything I paint has always been about Hygge but I didn’t know there was a word for it.
Last night, I dreamed I was driving my car. There was an otherworldly twilight and the night was colorful. I drove towards a steep slope. People around couldn’t understand why I took the risk but nevertheless, I took the leap of faith and sped up along the slope. I was working some magic with all my might, and then the car took off, a bit timidly at first but soon I was flying. The car seemed exhilarated and I had a bit of trouble controlling it, until I just let go. I let the car drive itself and it took me to some wonderful places, filled with magic and enchantment. Everything was so vibrant and very similar to the kind of paintings I try to achieve.
I know death is on the minds of many. It is the hardest thing to recover from the death of a loved one. It’s been nearly one year since my dog, Loki, died and there is not a day I don’t think of him and how much I miss him. Nearly one year of intense research on how to cope with the fact that he’s no longer a part of my life. Or is he really? The pain of the separation forces me to find other ways of meeting him. I’ve been very lucky to remember the dreams he’s in and there have been many of them. I am extremely thankful for that. But I needed to go further. I needed him to be constantly in my heart so I made him a little nest of love in the sacrosanct sanctuary of my heart. I know exactly how to get here – and here he is, looking at me with his beautiful amber eyes. Right here. No death, no sickness can reach us here. We cheated all of them. I like to think there is a possibility we’re living our lives in reverse, which means we’re already “dead” – which is to say we’re not dead per se, what an awful finality, but we’re different, we are happy little phantoms. Can you imagine yourself as a happy little phantom? How do you feel? Your life is behind you but at the same time, you can visit it again at anytime, relive events, even change them (which in many cases would be highly advisable), but at the same time, you can’t tell your unknowing self about future events because you can’t be sure things will unfold the same way. Your revisiting of every moment has a huge impact on your existence. You brought with you insights you didn’t have the first time (and maybe all the other times too), you know how every little moment matters, how futile is fear of death and how irrelevant is what others think of you. You are totally free. Free from the fear of death, too. You’ve been there, saw the movie, bought the tee-shirt and you know better than to live in fear of vanishing. Although you can vanish, you’re a ghost after all. But you have the gift of travelling where it pleases you, to any realm. The ultimate freedom. So, with this reverse perspective on life, it becomes so much easier to live without any pressure, nor any feelings of alienation. The worst has already happened but you get to revisit your life so that the best can happen again, with more improvements each time. I think it’s easy to entrap oneself in a disincarnate life, our happy phantom billions of light years away. We become zombies, living automatically, accordingly to what other people think is the proper way to be. This happy phantom is our little soul, sailing simultaneously over several seas because there is nothing it can’t tackle with the utmost grace. When the spirit is free from fear and limitations, it just beams with joy and anticipation… Can you feel its light?
Wheel of Fortune
I dreamed money… was falling from the sky, ha!ha!ha! It was night and I was standing on a balcony looking at a sort of wheel made of chiming bells which was revolving in the sky. From it came thousands of brown envelopes (with a transparent window) and one of them landed on my balcony. I just couldn’t believe it, there was money in it, perhaps 50 euros. Money doesn’t usually fall from the sky but if you bother going to the right place, at the right moment, the wheel of fortune will provide a little help. The card I was going to work on today is the Bell, by the way.
It’s been around -12 degrees Celsius for many days now. Cold means clear sky and it’s been so magical to see a glowing red sun peeping over the horizon these last days. We’re slowly evolving out of the Polar Night. I had to shorten the walks a bit because the temperature is probably too low for my little Pap. She doesn’t show any sign of freezing because we’re always on the move but we’d best be cautious. I’ve been working on my Oracle, already 9 cards finished! As much as I would like showing them, I have to refrain from doing so because this is confidential work. It might be published, you see. I’m having a cosy time. I like the round format of the cards, it’s interesting, composition wise. Also, the small format obliges me to strip the composition to the essentials. I have to keep the cards simple, too many details wouldn’t show on the printed version. It was a bit frustrating at first, but then I got the joy of finishing one painting in more or less 24 hours, which is absolutely new to me, since every painting takes a minimum of 3-4 weeks. That’s if I don’t do ceramics or felting in between. Sometimes, I feel it’s too long… But on the other hand, some things take time to be told. My paintings would be really, really different if I had spent only three days on them. Being patient is always rewarding. You can’t go very far in life without patience.That’s something many people don’t realise when they tell me I have talent. My talent is made exclusively of passion, nothing else. With practice come skills (and NOT the other way around!). But all this passion would lead to nothing if I didn’t have patience. And the only way of remaining patient is through pleasure. Because patience without fun is just… duty. You don’t want to paint dutifully. Although you could if you were masochistic enough, that would lead to a sort of frozen, lifeless perfection. People around you would admire your technique and wished they could paint like this – not for the fun (because there isn’t any), but to be admired. This emphasis on perfection saddens me. I believe many people renounce their right to express their creativity because they want to do it for the wrong reason in the first place: to impress others. Remember when you were a child and you drew and thought every drawing was good enough to be given as a present to the person of your choice? Unfortunately, not everyone can appreciate what goes into a creation, it’s not a crime, it just is. But this is not a good reason to ditch and feel contempt for something that didn’t seem to be good enough for others. It’s not that it was not good enough. It’s just that people aren’t receptive. You are receptive to what comes out of you, or if you’re not, then you should be. Be your best friend. Make yourself dream. Buy coloured papers, scissors and glue, doodle madly with colored pencils and JUST HAVE FUN!
An Encounter with Soul
I dreamed a girl came for dinner and during the meal, I found out she knew an old friend of mine who acted weird (from nice and very close she suddenly rejected me in a very crass way). I said to her “Ah! At last perhaps you could tell me what went wrong? I know she was not psychotic, but I would so very much like to understand”. She looked at me a while and then started to talk in long riddles, with sentences and images that didn’t make any sense. I actually had the feeling that only this fake friend could understand what it was about. So it seemed that the only option was to give up understanding. Then the girl took me out and we walked here and there. She showed me all sort of soils. There was an area where the soil was shaped in a multitude of ponds surrounded by long grass. A father was bathing there with his son and I really felt like entering the water. In another place, the soil had been dug around a huge tree in the shape of a circle along with a circular bench so people could sit around the tree. The girl said “let me show you something very special and rare”. She pointed at a vein of soil, it was darker than the other soils. She said “this one is very rich. It is compact, full of possibilities, highly concentrated in nutrients, all kind of things grow in it, but also very unusual things. But you can’t tame it into a garden, it’s totally wild, it goes where it pleases. Running across the world. Free”. I looked at the vein which was as dark as a chocolate truffle and the beautiful wild flowers growing on it, and said “oh… that’s my kind of soil!”. She looked at me with a little smile and said “yes”.
Why I favour quality over quantity
I have a confession to make. I just can’t let people who don’t like my art remain in my circle. I can’t. Because I feel deep inside that if they don’t like it, then they don’t really like me. I had a discussion about it with a dear friend, who is also an artist and whose wonderful work I admire. We both felt it was perhaps wrong, but we can’t help it. I don’t expect my friends to become fans of my work, or promote any post on this blog. But I expect something supportive, appreciative. My art is not a passion for bowling on a Saturday evening, my art is my life, my soul, and my personal relationship to what’s beyond. I totally believe in what I do. Therefore, I’m curious about what my friends devote their lives to and, even if it might not be my cup of tea, I always make a point of encouraging them in their own direction, simply because it makes them happy. They’re fulfilling a dream, expressing what’s deep inside themselves. So… if you cross my path for a long period of time and manage the feat of never acknowledging the fact that 70% of my time is devoted to my art, then you’re missing a huge chunk of what makes me ME. Unless, of course, you are not interested in me, you only want an audience of supportive people. Who doesn’t? You will get my support, good luck on your own path, I only wish you the most satisfying accomplishments, although our potential friendship won’t be one of them. Life’s definitely too short to bother with people… who don’t bother. I suspect jealousy is one important factor in the collective shunning of one person. Rivalry, competition… these words that make the world a cold, cold place. A place full of “ugly stepsisters and mean mothers-in-law” whose sly denial of other people’s qualities is meant to undermine on an unconscious level. Although the shunning is not always unconscious. If you’re surrounded by persons who don’t bother with being good friends, then don’t bother. At all. Because if you keep on bothering, you’re sending two signals. First, it’s ok to lower my expectations and be content with just pretending I’m no one special. Second, it’s ok to treat me like that. Oscar Wilde said: “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”. If there’s one special thing that is the core of your life but nevertheless keeps being swept under the carpet for convenience’s sake, then it can only lead to further disappointment. Do a favour to yourself and get rid of these people.
There are two domains in my life which are essential for my well being, and they are Soul and Instinct. I see this world saturated with Spirit and its vindictive commandments infusing every spirituality, even shamanism, which is originally a religion of the Soul. We think we’re being wise and enlightened and on the good path of spiritual awakening, but we’re just enslaved by Spirit. Spirit is all about good morality and the duty of love. Love will heal everything. No, it won’t. Instinct knows that. Everything which preaches unrealistic goals, unconditional compassion, forgiveness is fueled by Super Ego, but he goes under the guise of Spirit so as to not awaken suspicions. You don’t have to love, you don’t have to forgive. You don’t even have to be nice. Stop inflicting this upon yourself. What feels forced and goes against instinct leads to real damage, to yourself but also to others who could learn a great deal from a few rebukes. And the irony of this teaching about having to love and be selfless is that it emanates from Super Ego! See the twist? The mere suggestion of “spiritual evolution” is a scam. Be wary of anyone asking you to sacrifice your ego. Ego is a healthy pig, ego could actually be quite funny and entertaining if it was not getting above itself with all the pretentious dogma Super Ego whispers in his ear. Ego is honest and ridiculous. Super Ego is twisted and manipulative. Super Ego is a bully. There, I said it. Now that we’ve got Super Ego unmasked and out of the picture, do you feel the freedom? Do you feel that you’ve become a real monster without this supreme authority telling you how to be a “better” person? Nope. You might feel a bit wicked but it doesn’t mean you would actually act upon it. Super Ego would more likely push you to go to some extreme just to escape the enslavement of having to be nice. So, here you are, free from the dos and don’ts. You don’t have to be nice. You don’t even have to be politically correct. You can apply logic, use your common sense, discriminate positively, listen to your instincts, add a bit of tolerance for good measure but without extending the kindness too far. And then, you will also probably love. The right kind of love, mind you. Not the “look how nice I am” kind. The one that sends warm shivers through your body. Because if the body doesn’t feel it, then, it’s all “in the head”, there’s no emotion – at which point, you might ask yourself whether it’s love at all, more likely just a painted benevolent smile. Who do you fool? But enough about Super Ego. And let’s not talk about love. Love is a mystery, a miracle, not something that can arise on command. Ever. Love is. Now what I would love to write about is the greatly forgotten, greatly neglected, greatly underrated: Soul. I could copy and paste one of C.G. Jung’s or James Hillman’s quotes about Soul but I won’t. Feel free to look up these great writers yourselves. I want to give you my own definition, I want to explain what is Soul for me. Soul is enchantment. It is totally invisible but it has you in its power. You look at a landscape with the eyes of reason and it doesn’t affect you in any way, but look again with Soul in mind and behold! Everything starts shimmering and vibrating and you become exhilarated, totally in awe. When you let go of what you expect to see, you open yourself to the enchantment of Soul. Lately, I’ve watched Cinderella, I believe it’s a Disney movie. I was not so fond of the “be kind and brave” imperative because life’s many different situations can’t be answered with just one line of conduct, that’s totally absurd. Although many people in the grip of Super Ego would like you to believe they can. But one sentence caught my attention at the end of the movie. The narrator said “she saw life, not as it is, but as it could be”. It’s the kind of sentence you could interpret in a million ways. Personally, I thought “what? is Life not good enough, you have to imagine it in a different way?”. Life is not a bitch. There is absolutely nothing personal behind all the miseries which befall us. To think otherwise leads to paranoia. Life tries its very, very best. Always. When death happens, it means life doesn’t have any other option. This is terribly sad but that’s the limit we have to deal with. Meanwhile, I believe Life’s impulses originate in the Other World. Life lives on on two different planes. The first plane is a Dreamworld which pours all kind of potentials into this one. Can you imagine this? If you can, you can see with Soul. These two worlds are not at odds with each other. They dance together, like the threads on a woven cloth, in and out, in and out… If you dismiss the Dreamworld in favour of this one, the whole fabric unravels down to nothing, just a void. A soulless world. This Dreamworld embodies what could be, it doesn’t mean that “it is” in a realistic sense, but on some level it is, it lives, it vibrates and it enchants you. Soul is the bigger picture. We see some trees lit by the sun, Soul has a better story: the trees bathe in the setting sun’s golden light, and I’m holding my breath because I can feel a thousand things I’d like to put into words or painting, or music or I could just hug you, just as well. But not everything needs to be told, Soul can be quite content just infusing your whole being with a sense of delight and mystery. If you really insist, you might discover many things in these golden-lit trees, you might even spot a Firebird or imagine Baba Yaga’s hut beyond them. Soul might even provide a soundtrack, Many people would see this as pointless. But what do these people know? When one favours a soulless reality, one cannot be happy. And happiness, is it not in the end what it’s all about? What makes you happy is the only right thing, unless it harms innocent people. Someone happy, even selfishly happy (well, we can’t share everything, can we?) is an inspiration for others. Unless people totally miss the point and become just jealous. But in the end, it’s their loss. Just don’t waste your time with them. Now… what do you see? You see what could be. You know perfectly well it’s all here, in the Dreamworld, ready to flow into the world with its magical undercurrents. Forget yourself an instant or what you think you are, widen your eyes… what do you see? Soul is the sense of ultimate Home.