Yesterday I had a rune reading with my teacher and patron Ingrid Kincaid. Ingrid was the first person to ever pay me for my art, commissioning a series of rune and northern traditions spiritual illustrations for her books and classes. I arrived at the reading fragile, full, ready to bleed any day, dark as the moon.
I’ve spent the better part of the past few months in depression. I struggle with this each year, but it is not particular to the season. This year there was death, overwork, challenging changes and decisions. And there was this: a creative push inside my soul, longing to be born. And all else barring the way. I’d been laboring for months with no motion toward the birth. I wasn’t open.
My rune for this dark moon was Ac, pictured above, rune of the blasted oak, the lightning strike, rune of Angrboda, hag of the myrkwood who through a sacred union birthed fearsome and essential creations into the world. Fenris, the wolf of chaos, Jormungand the world serpent, and Hela, Goddess of Death.
In the reading it was clear that I need to make. Badly. And make without worry, without interruption. For a full moon cycle.
Ingrid left me with three mandates: lead with the art, rearrange the furniture, and stop eating bad food.
The first is the most obvious. Everything I do must begin with making art, or in the service of art. I use the word art to encompass my writing, too, and ritual, of course. But what feeds me most after a lifetime of words is image. So creation, to me, means beginning with the image.
Rearranging the furniture is literal. My “studio” is in the main area of my home, shared with my partner and our three teen-ish children. I needed to move my desk out of the mid space and clear myself for art.
Rearranging the furniture is also metaphorical. This is where listening to the illogical becomes part of a dedicated sacred art practice. I had just finished publicizing my Moon Divas Chrysalis Class, set to begin in February. But February is the month I am supposed to dedicate to art. It is a significant time for me, my birthday month, the start of spring here in the north, a gestative and potent moon.
I could ignore spirit. I could ignore my calling. But I have lived into this spirituality long enough to know that if I don’t follow my true path I will get sick. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
So I canceled the class, receiving overwhelming support from my community to take this time and space for art and healing.
Step two. Done.
Step three, stop eating bad food is harder for me. It is literal, of course. My increased sensitivity over the past decade has included food sensitivities. My body won’t let me eat things that are intolerable. Metaphorically, however, I keep saying yes to things that are the mental equivalent of bad food. Saying yes out of fear. Saying yes out of guilt or shame. Getting stuck with the consequences.
Over the next two weeks I have to clear my space, my consciousness, my schedule of the bad food and prepare to nourish myself as I enter creative time.
I’m simultaneously thrilled, relieved, and terrified. I still need to make rent, pay bills including tuition for my son’s education (he has autism and we’ve finally found a school that is a great fit. But I alone am paying for it…). Can I believe that if I am in the service of spirit that I will receive? Can I trust that if I devote myself to the practice of sacred art, everything will work out?
It will be an exercise in real, rooted faith, this.
And I am ready.
I’ll be sharing the journey here and on Instagram in the weeks ahead.