Offering HeART and SoulCollage® workshops to inspire your creative spirit

Threshold Staff
Woman Child South Shield
Lodgepole Pine Root
Questing Sisters
Woman Who Cries West Shield
Break & Mend Altar
Woman Stands in Her Power   
North Shield
My Quest Site

Kali Fire

My Creativity Place
My Resting Place
Woman on Fire    East Shield
12 Stations of the Vision Quest
Rebuilding My Communion With Spirit Through Nature
When I was a child sitting in the pew at St. David's, I was intrigued by the small illustrations of the 12 Stations of the Cross that hung on the walls of the church. The paintings were colorful, detailed depictions of the path Jesus traveled on the day of his crucifixion. I think I was more interested in the paintings themselves than the subject matter, but whatever the reason, I liked studying those pictures and the story of Jesus's journey on the last day of his life. 
I gave up Catholicism decades ago, but the roots of the religion are evidently still in me. Today, I prefer to think of myself as a Pagan who worships nature. It was deep time in nature through vision questing that brought me back to my communion with Spirit. 
While preparing for my 12th vision quest in August of this year, I recalled the memory of those Stations of the Cross that decorated my childhood church. My questing purpose serves the same story: to die to my old self and be born again into a new phase of life, a rite of passage from the old to the renewed -- death and resurrection. And so the number 12 was significant to me as I undertook what I called "my 12th station of the vision quest."
During my quest, and over the four days of fasting alone in a meadow in the Inyo National Forest surrounded by lodge pole pines, hawks, deer, and coyote, I broke my Kintsugi bowl into 12 pieces, one for each of 12 major heartbreaks in my life. Then, I mended the bowl back together and wrote about the 12 gifts that each of those breaks gave me, like courage and resourcefulness. 
I devoted one day to each of the four directions of the medicine wheel. In the south, I spent the day in the energy of my inner child, spontaneous and playful. On day two, I went within for introspection to the territory of the west, the adolescent, where I asked the question, What needs to die in me? Then, on day three, I entered the realm of the north, the adult territory of wisdom and insight about the gifts (medicine) I bring to my community (tribe). On my last day of the fast, I entered the east for illumination and inspiration to answer the question, What do I want for my renewed life? 
Of course, I created art during my four days of devotion, one for each direction of the wheel: Woman Child (south), Woman Who Cries (west), Woman Stands in Her Power (north), and Woman on Fire (east), all pictured in the photo display above. 
I emerged from my 12th quest with a renewed dedication to my life, my art, my teaching, and my writing. I felt another layer of doubt and fear had peeled away to expose raw grief, gratitude, and joy. My purpose is to show up and belong fully to this life with all its ups and downs and tragedies and triumphs. 

I know vision questing isn't possible for everyone. Nor does everyone feel the call to go out into the wilderness and fast for four days and nights. But anyone can go for a walk alone in a natural place. A day out in nature to go on a "medicine walk" can bring you another way of knowing, of being with yourself. 
A medicine walk is time in nature that allows you to slow down, tune your attention, and shift your awareness to hear subtle messages that can give you the "medicine" you need. You can hear the quiet communication from the deepest parts of yourself and from the wonder and mystery that is everywhere around you. Remembering and cultivating this way of knowing makes us more fully human, more fully alive, more wise. It is in our DNA, no matter our culture, ethnicity, or where our family roots are planted.
Then, come back and create a piece of art from that deep part of yourself, from that wonder and mystery, from your inner innocence and purity. The more childlike, the better!  And, if you feel like it, send me a photo. I'd love to witness your creativity.  
From my creative heart to yours,
SoulCollage® Gatherings  ~  3rd Fridays

Autumnal Equinox SoulCollage Gathering
The Alchemy of Summer Light and Autumn Shadow
Friday, September 20, 2019
Choose the morning or afternoon session:
9:00 - 12:30 pm or 1:00 - 4:30 pm (Returnees: Note longer session times!)  GG's Down to Earth Studio in Salem, OR,   Sliding scale $20 - $35.  (Those new to SoulCollage can come early for an overview - Newcomer Fee of $40 includes overview and 3 1/2 hour session).  Come join us for the rekindling of SoulCollage fires as we make cards and see how Light and Shadow dialog with one another.  Bring your SoulCollage card deck.    Email me  to reserve your spot. 

Join me for these upcoming Friday SoulCollage themes: 
October 18, 2019 - Magic and Mystery
November 15, 2019 - Attitude of Gratitude
December 20, 2019 - A Special Gift
Ancestral SoulCollage®  Equinox Celebration
with Larisa Noonan, Ancestral Healing Practitioner
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem OR
Sunday,  September 22, 2019 
10:00 am to 4:30 pm

What are the specific earth-centered rituals and ceremonies practiced by your ancestors? How did your ancestors honor and celebrate the equinox, this time of light/dark, inner/outer balance? 

Join us for a deep dive into ritual and art. 
Sumi Ink Surface Designs
Art Department Supply Store, Salem, OR
Saturday, September 1 4, 2019
10:30 am to 4:00 pm

All skill levels will experience success in this joyful exploration of abstract design. Designs can be used in large format as framed art or in smaller pieces for cards or collage. Designs are created with Sumi ink and watercolor, watercolor pencils, colored inks, gel pens, glitter pens...pretty much anything goes for color!  
Shrines for Hope and Healing
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
Sunday, October 13, 2019
9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Shrines are a beautiful way  of showing what is happening in our hearts, souls and spirits. We will gather and transform our LOVE into visual expression by creating our own personal shrines for hope and healing. Your shrine can be dedicated to the environment, diversity of all species, return of the great feminine, your ancestors, your higher power, your spiritual practice, or to simply heal your broken heart...whatever moves you. 
Breaking and Mending- Where Grief, Gratitude and Beauty Co-Exist
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
Saturday, November 9, 2019     9:30 to 4:00

Breaking and mending are honest parts of a past which does not need to be hidden. Our wounds and healing are a part of our history, a part of who we are. Join us for this powerful journey of finding beauty in our imperfections through the process of Kintsugi bowl breaking and mending.  Learn More and Register
Origami Temple of Kindness Paper Arts Class
Art Department Supply Store, Salem, OR
Saturday, November 16, 2019  10:00 to 4:00

Come and make a Temple of Kindness to spread good cheer for the holidays, complete with secret little messages of love, joy, and happiness. Create this charming work of art to give as a gift-that is if you can bear to part with it. Follow step-by-step instructions to fold origami bowls and cover mat board to build a sweet temple of delight.  Learn More and Register
Eco-Dyeing ~ Botanical Printing on Paper
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
Saturday, December 7, 2019  9:30 to 4:30 

I'm really excited to offer this fun frolic into botanical printing in my fall class line-up. 

Eco-dyeing is a process of using the natural tannins and dyes from plants to create contact prints on paper. In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals of eco-dyeing, which you can then use to experiment on your own with plants from your garden, the forest, and your local florist. Learn more and Register
SoulCollage®: Solstice Soul Renewal 
Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort, Detroit, OR              S unday through Wednesday, June 9-12, 2019  
Ahhh...feel yourself relax into the thought of it...natural mineral waters to soak in, nurturing food, sacred old growth forests surrounding you, the sound of the river, the lullaby of the birds, the invitation to stop and catch up with yourself and your life. Oh...and of course!...stepping into the creative flow of SoulCollage®. This workshop is truly a gift to yourself!  Registration Info will be available in January 2020.

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out...
Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator in your heart.

Greet Yourself in your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of You.

       Hafiz, Sufi Mystic

GG's Down to Earth Studio
503 990-0278