I had a show at Bethel Street Gallery this past March, and it was the first time that I had done a show where I wasn’t also working at a day job. Hooray! This meant that I could relax, settle in and devote much more of my time and energy towards birthing a “body” of work that was connected and whole. Before this, most of my creating was done in the evenings and on weekends, sandwiched in between all the other aspects of living a life. So it was both a joy and a challenge to be able to have this huge expansive space to push myself further than I had gone before, to link my pieces together, to work continuously, to make things larger and to create a full body of work.
As I was in the process of cultivating ideas and finding inspiration (which comes from anywhere and everywhere!), one evening I saw that the movie “The Golden Compass” would be on television. I loved it so much the first time I saw it that I decided to watch it again. And almost instantly, I knew what I wanted to do for the show. In the movie, every person (both child and adult) is accompanied by a daemon, a physical representation of their soul in animal form. The hero is a young girl whose daemon, which can and does shift form, most often appears as a cat (I love cats!). The story begins with the girl and her daemon setting out on a journey that appears to be about rescuing her missing friend. But she is really embarking on a deeper and far greater journey – about fulfilling her destiny in life.
She eventually finds her friend, who along with many other young children, have been taken to a distant place. They are being used in tests designed to find a process that severs the tie between the children and their daemons – a process to remove their souls! The powers that be want to do this to the children to make them more complacent, obedient and controllable. When they are separated in this way from their soul, they become lifeless, listless and eventually die.
I loved this movie visually and symbolically! It spoke to me of the power of my own daemon, my soul self and my deepest feminine being. It reminded me of the moments and periods in my life when I had felt lost, confused and separated from my source. It spoke to me of my deep yearning for nourishment, love and connection. And it reminded me of the times that I had set out, destination unknown, to embark on another leg of my life’s journey that would require much courage and vision, that was leading me closer towards my dreams and fulfilling my purpose. So my show would be about this.
This is the very first piece that I made, and it is called “Seeing I Cat”. Like the girl in the movie, her daemon has taken the form of a cat, with large, clear and distinct eyes that can see and evaluate everything, and guide her in a direction that reflects her truest self, her feelings, her needs and her values. It sees both inner and outer worlds, beyond what her five senses tell her. It is connected to the part of her that holds her wisdom, her wishes, her dreams, her desires and her destiny. It leads her to people, places and things that nourish her, cherish her and love her and that she nourishes, cherishes and loves in return.
Because her daemon needs a very special knowing to guide her in this way, there is another gift that it possesses. On it’s tail and back are three red “spots”, which represent three drops of blood. I first heard about the three drops of blood from Dr. Anita Johnston’s reading of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “The Goose Girl” that is in her “Light of the Moon Healing Stories Volume I”. In this tale, another young maiden sets out on a courageous journey. Before she leaves, her mother gives her the wisdom and riches she needs to successfully complete her long journey. In the gifts she gives to her daughter, the mother includes a handkerchief on which she spills three drops of her own blood. Dr. Johnston says “ the three drops of blood represent the blood mysteries – menarche, birth and menopause. They are our connection to our feminine lineage, our feminine spirit. When we lose our sacred connection, which is our birthright, we become weakened and our mind can betray our soul’s destiny.” For me, the three drops of blood also represent another gift from the feminine – insight, instinct and intuition. Our soul forever carries these gifts for us and keeps them present and near in our lives. If we are not aware of them, if we do not use them or if we lose touch with them, we are unable to see clearly all that is. With them, our spirit soars.