The Space of the Unknown

The process of creation happens in the present moment. Michelangelo said of his journey as an artist:  “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Alchemists knew this process well—the act of fashioning “something” from “nothing.” Solve et coagula, that is, "dissolve and coagulate" meaning nothing new can be built before we break the old and we make space. Before a project is revealed, the artist may not (and most likely doesn’t) know what the final work will be.  The artist may have a vague idea about theme, or character, or scene, or tune, but the work reveals itself during the process of creation. It doesn’t happen during a planning phase or a crafting session. The artist, the writer is a channel—one who is willing to go into the space of the unknown, into the space of uncertainty, and be present in that space long enough for the work to reveal...
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The Power of Pluto

The small planet of Pluto packs a gigantic punch! It’s interesting to me that this tiny giant was discovered in 1930 and its designation as an official “planet” has been debated until 2006 when it was re-classified as a “dwarf planet.” Pluto has had so much impact on the way we perceive astrology as well as the ways in which astrology can be used as a transformative tool. We’re now in the midst of a powerful grand cross, a configuration that includes Uranus in the sign of Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, Mars in Libra, and Jupiter in Cancer.  Under this grand cross, each planet sits right in the middle of each element: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. My interest in Pluto in this configuration is the magnitude of such a small object and its significance in terms of the cycle by which the individual and collective psyches are affected. Pluto’s symbolic associations include the Hindu god Shiva, and goddesses Kali and Shakti, Medusa,...
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Frankly Explicable: A Conversation with Mary Burger

The art of poetics begins with the intersection of the visual and the unseen. Word gives way to image, image to thought, thought to inspiration. As communicators, human beings desire to bring value to the exchange—something ambiguous in the visual art world, value. What holds meaning for one may not for another, and what inspires is highly subjective. More than value, we search for meaning. Who are we? To what do we devote attention? On what do we spend our time? The idea of categories amongst thought makes experience easily interpretable. But what of the things that meet and mingle? Where does communication end and poetry begin? How is experience cataloged as “art”? Writer, visual artist, and environmental designer, Mary Burger is interested in cross-genrewriting that merges aspects of poetry, essay, and fiction. Her books include Then Go On (Litmus Press, 2012), a collection of lyric prose pieces, Sonny (Leon Works, 2005), a novella on the Trinity bomb test, and A Partial Handbook for...
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Mysticism: Magic? Or Alchemy?

Ideas about magic and alchemy are rooted in ancient and early texts and artwork. The word “magic” is derived from the Greek word mageia, however, mystical and magical systems appear as early as the Babylonians and Egyptian peoples. (Those of you familiar with Lemurian and Atlantean culture know that mysticism appeared during these eras as well.) Early modern ideas and explanations of the esoteric or the unknown have been met with a mixed response of fear and reverie—depending on who was wielding the power to use these mysterious forces. Most documents and much research devoted to the topic of mysticism present a blending of the two. Many texts include information on the Magi, Ancient Greece, Kabbalah and Paganism; there is no discernment between those who practiced magic and those who would be considered “modern mystics.” Some documentation says that magic has its roots in or is closely related to Shamanism, and is associated with power, illusion and trickery. Transformation, however is older...
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Welcome to 2014: Insights for the New Year with Elaine Marolakos Edelson

I can’t believe it’s already 2014!  The 2013 year passed so quickly—and with many ups and downs—that it feels great to settle in to a new year and being again. I always love the time of year when we let go of what came before and envision a new way of relating to the world, perhaps expansive, perhaps introspective, but always moving forward and (at least for me) with intention. I don’t use the world resolution, and for many reasons. With each passing year, I learn some new things, I have grown in knowledge and wisdom, and have experienced important moments that I’ll remember forever. Time passes quickly—now more than ever before—and I felt it important to spotlight this fresh start in a new way. This month’s blog post features Elaine Marolakos Edelson, intuitive channel, empath, and astrologer. Elaine is also the author of the highly acclaimed Minutes to Manifesting, which she now uses in her Bodhi System ~ Intuitive Mastery Mentoring Program....
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Kicking and Screaming to Enlightenment: An Interview with Mary Bell

Mary Bell R.N.C. is a spiritual healer, author, teacher, and channel who has been in private practice for more than twenty years. Her passion has been to bring ease and grace into the transformational process. She specializes in understanding and integrating the shift of consciousness that is currently occurring on the earth plane. Mary offers a unique blend of new age and traditional spiritual philosophy in her approach to healing, which makes her work appealing to many different people. Her background in O.B. nursing and her study of psychology through Bioenergetic Analysis, prepared her for a direction in her work in which she is able to find the root of any issue and heal it at its core. She is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Awakening Your Light Body, as taught by Sanaya Roman and Dwayne Packer, and has been teaching her own work since 1995. Mary has taught nationally with the Healing Touch program before she...
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Are You an Indigo?

All my life I’ve had the feeling that I was a bit “different” than others. As a child I spent a most of my time in my own imagination, creating entire worlds from wooden blocks and tinker toys. In school, I was mostly bored and under-stimulated; intellectually I was considered among the top percent in the country as compared with other children within my age range. But what I felt inside me was not about public school testing or ordinary social interaction with my peers. As a teen, I was always pushing boundaries—my own, others’ and every adult with whom I came into contact. I noticed that my intuition was heightened—more so than my friends, or other people I knew. I had no explanation for this. I started to notice that certain people among my peer group were more like me than most, and we instinctively gravitated toward each other. I felt like I had a “mission” on the planet, but...
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A Succession of Nows: The Writing Craft of James Balestrieri (Part 2)

In the last entry, we learned a bit about James Balestrieri, his likes and dislikes, and how he approaches the craft of writing.  In this post we'll learn a bit more about The Ballard of Ethan Burns, what it means to craft a work in the "Western" genre, and what the Romantic era still has to do with modern writing. The work contains modern references to YouTube and yet Ethan Burns doesn’t feel dated or outdated in any way.  When you were writing this book, what did you have in mind when you decided upon how to convey time, timeliness, and the Western genre?  "I wanted the audience to be sure the story was rooted in the present, though when I first conceived it, there was no YouTube—there was barely an Internet! My experience of the American West stems from my day job at J. N. Bartfield Galleries in New York. We sell original works of art by the greats—Remington, Russell, etc....
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A Succession of Nows: The Writing Craft of James Balestrieri

Crafting a believable story is no small feat. Character, plot, subtext, conflict, dialogue, setting, detail: these are just a few of the elements that make up a believable but fictitious world. The art and craft of writing can, at times, be a slow and painstaking process—and at other times a seemingly channeled slew of words that come as an outpouring so quickly that fingers and pen can hardly keep up. Each writer has their own personal process, perhaps by way of a schedule or series of rituals, an unplanned meet-cute with the muse, or a deliberate pairing of pen and paper in an intimate way that draws forth word after word. If ever you've had a conversation with a writer who truly knows their craft (or you yourself are a writer), you already know that writing is a delicate process. That craft is essential for the work to convey what it intends to convey is unquestionable. And art, then, becomes the specific...
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Infrared: Through the Lens of Photographer Cody Brothers

Photographer Cody Brothers was born in Farmington, New Mexico. After attending West Point Academy and, later, exhibiting works at his first gallery showing in New York City, Brothers decided to devote his time to photography. Inspired by  Dalí, Picasso, El Greco and Paul Strand, his work concentrates on abandoned farms, crumbling homes, neglected churches, aging cemeteries, forgotten cars and other objects, set within the vastness of the southwestern landscape, which he expresses as a narrative of “the western abandon.”  He works almost entirely with infrared film, using a range of different cameras, including a 4 x 5, a hand-made pinhole, and a 6 x 17 panoramic. Shooting pictures in the early-morning or late-afternoon with a black-and-white infrared film is what he enjoys best because of the dreamy effect and the length of the exposure times required to get a great shot. Cody captures his analog frames, then scans and renders each frame as a black-and-white digital chromogenic print. Each print is then typically...
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