When I discovered my passion for photography, water drops became a constant source of zen-like inspiration and, to this day, remain an unparalleled liberation from stress. The process of capturing the elements in a macro environment proved an exercise in psychological and spiritual awakening, as I began to appreciate the shapes and their messages, and how those messages related to my personal life experience.
And for more than 8 years, I have been capturing these images, collecting them... thousands of them... discovering their messages, adapting my own spirituality to understand their hidden meanings.
Prepping for, and post-processing, these images became a meditation, a religion in which I was immersed in the understanding of my own psyche. Every image pulled from me, from my very center, a study of my own emotional capacity and opened up for me a world of inspiring possibility.
Earlier this year, I began to revisit these images and study their messages, to define them by my own experience with them. They took on personality and identities and, in the end, came together as a family of observations that became a working oracle for my spiritual practice.
The colors for these images were achieved through the use and strategic placement of backgrounds, scrap papers, the photographs I'd taken of flowers and wildlife, and camera settings that allowed these backgrounds to blend and blur in a cohesive, colorful whole, so all that remained was the flow of water.
My first printing of this deck, pictured above, was an opportunity to express my own weaknesses and strengths by choosing images and keywords that best represented my experiences, life lessons and goals. Some photos used were imperfect, out of focus, and poorly executed, having been chosen from a very early collection of images, when my understanding of the photographic process was still quite raw. But.... this deck was perfectly suited to me. And from this initial exercise, a larger, more comprehensive deck was born.
This 80-card deck will be available for pre-order soon and I'm really excited to share this experience with others. It's been a passion project of mine, one which is far from over, as I work towards embracing a spiritual, photographic relationship with the other elements!
I've always had a preference for the written word. Before all the arts, for me, there is pen and paper and an insatiable desire to express myself, even within the confines of my own limited vocabulary. As a child of 10, I used to walk to the local gift store with my hard-earned allowance (who else cleaned grout with a toothbrush and Comet?!) to purchase a beautiful, stark new journal, with which I would sit on my driveway and write Thoreau-esque about the nature of spirit, the connection between spirit and body, and rather unsophisticated, though sincere, musings on religion and the power and purpose of faith.
And this practice continued into my early teens, recording my first experiences with Quija, Tarot and Wicca, with automatic writing and the relationship between the living and dead. But it wasn't until my 20's that I really invested, in my writing, my spiritual process, practice and personal beliefs.
Beyond how my relationship with Spirit manifests itself internally, I've never much cared for the idea of defining to others my religious or spiritual practice. It was always on the edge of practices, characterized by modern esoteric religions with words like "Wiccan", "Pagan" or "Magician".... which were all less than. Less than my faith. Less than my self-empowerment. Less than my internal divinity. And because I was on the fringe of "acceptable" new age practice, understanding it (even for myself) became a difficult endeavor.
Despite my indifference to defining my practice and beliefs to others, I began to experience a soupy, dim confusion regarding my relationship with the Divine and how that translated into practical worship. Journaling then became an extremely integral part of my personal process. It allowed me the opportunity to discuss with Spirit, in a safe and meaningful way, my thoughts and feelings, and receive those messages from Spirit in turn.
These days, this type of journaling is often referred to in (again, limiting) terms such as "Shadow Work", "Book of Mirrors", or, as I like to simplify, spiritual reflection. Though these are not all-encompassing descriptives regarding the purpose and place of journaling in spiritual practice, I think, at the very least, it captures the basic essence.
And though I still use pen and paper every day, to discuss my relationship with the Divine Feminine or, as the unfortunate truth may sometimes be, a missing relationship with Spirit, my thoughts have often translated themselves into digital format, which is how we arrive here, to my blog, "The Points of Five", the five elements, the star, the five corners of Spirit, sometimes hidden, sometimes embraced.
I hope you embrace your own journey while I embrace mine and we can share in the discovery together!