SoulCollage® Community Update
June 2017
"I Didn't Know I Knew That!"
What SoulCollage® Has Done for This 87-Year-Old
by Marybeth Webster

Editor's Note:
Colleen Haggerty, Executive Editor of SoulCollage® Inc's two monthly online newsletters, interviewed the enchanting Marybeth, perhaps our eldest SoulCollage® Facilitator, about her personal SoulCollage® practice.

My Cougar (Committee Suit)
by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who deliciously indulges in daydreams of handsome younger men and takes sensuous delight in my bathing and self-grooming.
CH:    In an email to me, you said that when you found SoulCollage®, you were comforted, you were saved, encouraged, amused, inspired and healed by it.

MW:    Here's one for "amused." I had not understood that the word cougar could mean an older woman who is really attracted to young men. When I heard that, right away I happened to find this marvelous picture of that languid cougar in the bathtub, among the bubbles, sensuously licking its paw. And in each bubble, I have pictures of some of the young men. So I get a big grin every time I pull this card.

CH:    Oh, that is great. I love how the image came to you after you understood that other meaning of the word. That's how it goes.... How do you work with your SoulCollage® deck?

MW:    Well, I follow the basics, to begin with. When making a card, I keep it simple, one energy per card.  I have one card in the Community Suit called My Women Friends with about 50 little tiny pictures on it. I noticed when I pulled it out the other day, that a higher and higher proportion of them are dead. So that is a very poignant card to pull when I'm asking questions and using that deck as an oracle.

New Life Out of Ancient Stone (Council Suit), by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who reflects my depths into your eyes and reminds you of ever-renewing hope.

This beautiful card shows the red rock country where I was born in Colorado (and lived in Arizona and Mexico) with a little pool of rainwater. Then I found the image of the sprout and added it in the crack. This card often brings hope, reminds me that even if things seem awfully bleak and dry, this planet has an incredible urge to live well for itself. When I consult the card, it always says something encouraging, like, "Come on, get out of your funk. You know you'll feel better."

I have a journal that I write in every day if I can; I find that my day goes very well if I do my journaling. And I have gradually designed a pattern.  On the front leaf of the journal is a list of 31 words, one for each day, such as,  "Just sit there." "Try something new." "Give a gift." "Receive a gift." "First impression." "Look to the hills." "YOU CAN." After I form an open-ended  question, I write the word(s), then draw a card at random from my deck to consult. This invites the universe to speak, and keeps my ego out of the way.

CH:    So  then do you consult your SoulCollage® cards each morning? Can you explain that?

MW:    Let's take today, for example, My question was, "How do I get ready for this interview?"  Couching a question really centers me, as does the card.  Today I drew the card My Shadow. It's a high-contrast black and white picture of an actor, dancing in a spotlight with his shadow - I added two ghostly eyes and a red mask up at the top. He's miming the unmasking of the shadow. I do love Seena Frost's definition of what Carl Jung called the Shadow, the semi-conscious parts of ourselves that we try to hide or ignore. Seena says that when a part if us is shadowed, it's simply imbalanced - having too much or too little of any quality. It's not something evil.

CH:    Yes.

MW:    Further focus comes from the word; today's is "self-comforting."  And then I wrote a haiku:
Unmasking layers
I dance in celebration
of all opposites

Haiku crystallizes ideas and requires the use of heightened language in the service of an idea. This particular idea would be something like, "All the opposites within me are something to celebrate, not to hide behind a social mask."
My Beloved Mentor, Seena Frost by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who recognizes the divinity in all, even fences, and who opens the way for many to go deep, to refresh themselves in the subconscious pool of grace, and to surface more whole.

Then I write, ' I Am One Who. . . ' and speak as the being shown on the card, not as myself.

I Am One Who uses the arts to revision my life. I keep moving, but savor stillness between stunts and leaps. I can wear many masks, I can shape-shift. The handsome man I mime today may be a stiff unbalanced old woman, or a cautious curious child, or a baboon. I obscure and enlighten, I celebrate and mourn.

Now the card offers advice:

You can choose to place me in the spotlight or obscure me in a dark corner. I am here for you when you are ready to accept me.

As on most mornings, I feel a bit awestruck hearing the card speak. I didn't know I knew that! But some part of me does.

CH:        How else has SoulCollage® benefited you?

MW:        The SoulCollage® journal has seen me through the death of a son, a year ago in October. He was 57 and cancer got him after not quite four years of struggle. Also, it has seen me through some difficult moves. I had built my dream house when I was 75; selling it was painful, but my kids didn't want me so far away, so I agreed to come here to Oregon. The Arizona house did not sell for 18 months, which made me very anxious economically. Another of my griefs was Seena's death.  Her card is always with me, though, and I'm happy that her influence is spreading.

My Late Son Will (Community Suit), by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who balanced daydreaming and action, but always focused on natural beauty and captured it in my lens in a way to share and heighten my appreciation of life. Nature was my church.

With SoulCollage®, life's risks and challenges become more manageable. It all converts to grist for the mill of self-understanding and so I have a deep appreciation of SoulCollage®.

I have three cards about my son, Will. This one shows a little boy's dream. He is sitting in his bed; when he was little, Will was very quiet, thoughtful, a daydreamer. When he was born in Costa Rica, I saw from the hospital window the brilliant blue butterflies doing a mating dance over a waterfall. He loved hummingbirds, he was a nature photographer. He and his wife bicycled a lot in amazing places where he could take his nature photographs.

This window shows ocean sports; Will was good at all of those. He stopped living exactly 30 years before my age now. And I'm greatly grieving the loss of his 30-year contribution through his camera lens. Somehow, though, these cards have helped tremendously to find some acceptance.

La Llorona (Committee Suit), by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who keenly feels the loss of those who die before me. I withdraw into my pain but know that it will ultimately open my understanding of all that is beneath the moon. I value the lives beyond and yet to be born and rejoice in my own, even in pain.

Interestingly, many years before Will got cancer, I made my card La Llorona - "she who grieves" - with an image of a head on broken glass, that looks very much like Will. So amazing, this synchronicity, this chance connection, but  so meaningful.

When I did Seena's guided Companions Suit meditation with my 7th chakra (a place of peace and onness with all that is), I saw in my mind's eye Will's photograph of a spider inside a daisy. Then this mandala that I found turns out to be a Tibetan artist's vision of the 7th chakra, so I used it as the background for the spider. I am named Webster; this was an old guild name for women weavers, spinners of webs, as spiders do. Every time I draw this card, that powerful Tibetan imagery is multiplied by my name totem plus the fact that the photo was made by my sweet son Will.

 "The way is opening" is my paraphrase of the Quaker saying: "The way will open."  That big gate across the old sandy track is permeable, may not even be locked. The forest beyond it is very dark; I don't know where the way will open and that's all right. The path can be muddy in rain or powder dry, but the way is opening.

7th Chakra Spirit of Spiderwoman, by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who stands guard over you and your spiritual quest for oneness with the universe.
The Way Is Opening (Council Suit),
by Marybeth Webster

I Am One Who represents your path in life, with all its obstacles and adventures.

Marybeth Webster, MA Educational Psychology: Counseling, PhD Community Psychology & Community Organizing, ATR (MA Art Therapy) trained as a SoulCollage® Facilitator in 2010, after a long and varied career, including 20 years in Spanish speaking countries.  She leads SoulCollage® with small groups of Quakers, friends, and elders in southern Oregon.
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Keep your SoulCollage® cards with you, make notes about any card, share your cards, and do readings on the go.

From the SCU Archives 
Read Zoe FitzGerald Beckett's article Why I Took the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training from the December, 2014 issue.

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June 29-July 2, 2017
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August 19-22, 2017 - Mariabruna Sirabella, M.S., LMFT   
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*No degrees or certificates are required to attend the SoulCollage® Training. The purpose of the Training is to prepare people to share SoulCollage® with others.  The pre-requisites for  the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training are your own active practice of SoulCollage® and your enthusiasm for sharing it with others, as well as taking at least one introductory SoulCollage® course, reading SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost and listening to her CDs: Introduction to SoulCollage® and  Facilitating SoulCollage® in Groups.

CEUs (up to 24) may be available
 for the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training
by pre-arrangement with your SoulCollage® Trainer. 

SoulCollage Inc. (Provider # 133654)  is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for California licensed L MFTs, MCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. SoulCollage Inc. maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Please check with your licensing Board to see if California CEUs are accepted. 

PDF Information for Boards is in these Downloads:
Some SoulCollage® Facilitator Training events may be able to award CEUs to LMFTs, MSWs, LPCs,  nurses and psychologists in many states (but if so, only by pre-arrangement with your SoulCollage® Trainer.) Please inquire about the availability of CEUs for a particular Training or a particular license or a particular state by writing to your Trainer. 
Before attending a Training, we want you also to have a SoulCollage® basic workshop experience with a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator or listen to a recorded class  Fundamentals of SoulCollage® , make some cards, do the exercise, " I Am One Who... ", with your cards and do some SoulCollage® Readings, letting your cards answer at least one of your questions.