Offering HeART and SoulCollage® workshops to inspire your creative spirit

My Shattering Year

Last year  something extraordinary happened. During a shamanic ceremony I received what I can only describe as a calling -- a clear message from an entity greater than myself beckoning me to set aside fear and uncertainty and step up my game. 
During this ceremony, I crouched on my knees in the rain in the forest, purging and sobbing. I had been dragged, pulled and pummeled into the river of grief that runs just under the surface of everything. It was as if I was crying for the whole world, the whole planet. My journey pulled me into an emotional torrent, leaving my throat raw and my head pounding. Desperate for relief, I prayed for guidance. "What do I do with my shattered heart? How can I live knowing everything is falling apart around us?"  I heard, or perhaps felt, a clear voice:  Take the art of breaking and mending further out into the world. Create places for people to be with their grief and recover their power. This is your work to do. 
I'm heeding the call and have named 2020  My Shattering Year. I am honored to be offering the Kintsugi Breaking and Mending ceremony several times this year: A one-day workshop in my studio in March, two multi-day retreats this summer in Sonoma County, California, and another multi-day retreat this fall at Breitenbush Hot Springs. It will be my year with the energy of Akhilandeshvari, the never-not-broken goddess. 
"Akhilandeshvari is the somewhat obscure Hindu goddess who presides at the temple in Tamil Nadu in southern India. She is connected to the element of water, navigating the river of the universe atop a ferocious crocodile. Known as the "goddess who is never not broken," she is portrayed with her body divided in many floating pieces, not quite whole and not quite shattered either. 
What is beautiful about Akhilandeshvari is that the very thing we dread the most is the very source of her power; she is in pieces. She is broken, constantly moving and creating new experiences and wisdom out of the broken pieces. She rides a threatening crocodile, symbolizing our fears, to navigate and propel her forward. We are always broken, and to grow we must be. Akhilandeshvari reminds us that being broken into pieces by disaster, heartache, and trauma is an opportunity to re-create ourselves. She intentionally remains constantly in flux, ever tearings herself apart, creating and re-creating herself. 
As much as we wish it were not true, our biggest breakthroughs often involve pain and risk. We cling to routine because it is familiar, no matter how unhealthy it may be for us. Yet you are at your most powerful when all the comforts of routine have been ripped away from you, when you have no other choice than to pick yourself and change. No matter how broken you are, in that moment when you are bleeding inside, when you are on the floor weeping and shaking, you are at your most powerful. In that moment all things are possible and nothing is off the table." (adapted from Dark Goddess Craft by Stepanie Woodfield)
I fell apart during my shamanic ceremony and something powerful was born. My deepest prayer is that the power of Akhilandeshvari is at work in our political, social and environmental systems, too -- that what is unraveling now will be rewoven into something better, more beautiful, more sustainable.  A-ho, Amen, and Blessed Be! 
From my creative heart to yours, 

Upco ming Art and SoulCollage® Offerings

SoulCollage® Gatherings  ~  3rd Fridays
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR

Upcoming Dates and Themes in 2020:
February 21st - Leaning into Intuition
March 20th - Hope Springs Eternal, Vernal Equinox
April 24th (4th  Friday) - Blossoming Hearts, Blossoming Souls
Choose the morning or afternoon session:
9:00 - 12:30 pm or 1:00 - 4:30 pm 
Afterlife and rebirth concept as a group of leaves shaped as flying butterflies rising out of a dead tree stump as a symbol of a soul leaving the body and a birth of new life after death with hope.
Ancestral SoulCollage(r)
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
Sunday, March 15, 2020 9:30 am to 4:00 pm 

Who are your ancestors? What are the (possibly unclaimed) gifts and blessings of your ancestral lines? 
Who are the other-than-human guides and allies - plants, animals, deities, elements, etc. - who walked with your ancestors (and who walk with you)?  Learn More
Kintsugi Breaking and Mending
Where Grief, Gratitude and Beauty Coexist
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR
Sunday, March 22, 2020 9:30 am to 4:00 pm 

Does your heart break for what's happening to our Mother Earth? 

In this workshop we honor the art of Kintsugi as a metaphor for what brokenness lives in ourselves and in our Mother Earth, to acknowledge and honor our grief and find the beauty that resides there.
Kintsugi  ("golden joinery"), is the ancient  Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. As a  philosophy, Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. It encompasses a philosophy of living, of finding beauty within the imperfections of life, and peacefully accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay.   Learn More 

Personal Shrines and Mosaic Silhouette Collage
Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival, Newport, OR, April 17-19, 2020      
Personal Shrines for Hope and Healing
GG's Down to Earth Studio, Salem, OR                        Saturday, May 16, 2020  10:00 - 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.         Learn More  
SoulCollage®: Solstice Soul Renewal 
Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort, Detroit, OR              S unday through Wednesday, June 7-10, 2020  
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! Mark you calendar!  Registration Info will be available in January 2020. Download flyer with details and costs here. Register with Breitenbush.
Kintsugi Ceremonial Retreats Coming to Sonoma County, California and Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon
Mark your calendar! 
Kintsugi Ceremony and Writing Retreat - August 15 & 16, 2020 with Susan Hagen
Kintsugi Ceremony and Land Quest - August 21 - 23, 2020 with Deborah Greene-Jacobi from Earthways
Kintsugi Earth Grief Ceremony and Ritual at Breitenbush Hot Springs - October 15 - 18, 2020 with Anne Stine from Wilderness Rites
Registration information coming soon. 
Upcoming Art Shows
I invite you to please stop by and see my work in these upcoming shows. 
River Gallery, Independence OR Jan 21 - Feb 29
Elsinore Gallery
Salem, OR Feb 1 - 26
Southminster Church
Beaverton, OR Mar 5 - 8 

from the beloved Persian Mystic, Rumi:
Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet.
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine.
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!
GG's Down to Earth Studio
503 990-0278