SHAMANIC CREATIVE ARTS

MONTHLY SHAMANIC CREATIVE ARTS

SSP now has a section for Shamanic Creative Arts and is now open to receive submissions of your artwork (including music) to be displayed on the website. Submissions are open to both SSP members as well as non-members and can be any kind of artistic expression inspired by your work in shamanism. This is an exciting opportunity for you to share not only your artistic talents but particularly how shamanism has inspired and is intimately woven into the creative expression that you are submitting.

Every month SSP selects one artwork or music composition that we highlight on our website and to our community. 

Please fill out this form to submit an artwork or music piece to be considered for our monthly Shamanic Creative Arts selection.

Link to article on CreativIty and Shamanism by Dr. Steven Farmer

Please see the current month’s selection as well as past selections below.

MAY 2024

Shamanic Painting

by Mia Bosna

 

Hummingbird Dream

 

I started my training with an Israeli teacher Ayala Guy who introduced our class to ways of perceiving energies and the basic skills of shamanic journeying. I was so excited to learn about Shamanic practices from all over the world and discovered The Foundation of Shamanic Studies in California. Learning about Core Shamanic practices, which are shared across the globe, seemed a good fit for me and I continued my studies with many of their teachers. I also participated in rituals and trainings with indigenous healers/teachers from Peru and New Mexico who taught in the US. Additionally, I studied with some exceptional American teachers in the Mid-Atlantic area and Seattle who teach core shamanic practices and have incorporated them along with the spiritual traditions of their ancestral heritage.

My daily practice is to start and end my day with gratitude to my ancestors and spiritual guides who protect and help me each day. Part of my meditation in the morning is to send restorative energy to those most in need and to the threatened species and their habitats in my local area.

For this painting, the image of the Hummingbird came to me in a dream. When I woke from this dream my third eye was buzzing with energy. This was a gift from Hummingbird to open this energy center and connect with the heart. I normally journey with an intention and observe the way a message is portrayed visually or through other perceptions but there have been a few times when the images have come through dreamtime with such clarity and energy that they distinguish themselves as important and coming from a loving source. I am compelled to paint them so that I can better understand their meaning. It’s the process of further investigation through journeying that brings about the clarity that is needed. This piece was first painted loosely with watercolor on gesso and then final layers were done in oil pastel to create the feeling that I experienced in the dream. Dimensions: 30″ x 30″

The process of creating this piece started with photographing a friend who held the kind of energy held by the woman in the dream. I researched images of hummingbirds and created sketches to configure this multidimensional experience into two dimensions but without losing the energetic feel. While I paint, I am mindful of the music I play in the background and the intention of the Hummingbird so I can encode this painting in the strokes of the pastel. I have reworked this painting many times to get the energetic feeling of the dream. Translating an energetic experience into a visual is a super interesting challenge that I enjoy. It demands that I access what I am experiencing at a level I would not have to do otherwise.

 

Mia Bosna – Shamanic Practitioner and Illustrator of the Journey to Rewilding Oracle Deck. Mia combines her talents as a Visionary Artist and Shamanic Practitioner to create visual healing stories that come from spiritual guidance, Dreamtime and the natural world. Her current work focuses on the gifts of threatened species and offers positive ways to share our spiritual traditions (Meditation, Prayer, Shamanic Journey) to envision restoration for them and their habitats. Mia works out of her home studio in Lancaster and offers workshops to explore her Oracle Deck and fundamental skills in Shamanic Journeying.

She will have a limited edition of her latest project:  Journey to Rewilding Oracle Cards that will be available to order at the end of May 2024. She creates Shamanic Portraits, Chakra Totem Portraits, and other commissioned artwork. Information about this type of work can be found on her website: MiaBosna.com 
Prints of the Hummingbird are available in various sizes by request through her email: Bosnart@me.com

APRIL 2024

Shamanic Paintings

by Rhonda Jackisch

 

Returning Home

 

Wise Woman in the Tree of Life

 

In “Returning Home”, I see our souls as flaming blooms. We have lived our lives and as we ascend to the Great Mother we begin to leave our physical body behind: we start to lose our physical structure, the colors fade and we become translucent energy.

In “Wise Woman in the Tree of Life” I honor the Cailleach. In Celtic tradition she is the Crone (as am I, as this was painted on the occasion of my 70th birthday). She is the wise elder matriarch of the clan. She travels equally in Upper, Middle and Lower World supported by the World Tree.  Are the flaming blooms descending blessings for the future or are they ascending souls returning home, or both?

 

Rhonda Jackisch is a retired professional violinist and music teacher and soon-to-be retired mental health counselor.  Woven into my entire life has been a quest for spiritual knowing and understanding. I discovered that the best avenue for me to express that journey is through the medium of painting. The desire to express leads me to images rather than words: some images come from meditative visions and some come to me through shamanic journeys. Discovering other worlds has opened and deepened how I experience my journey through life, and I am grateful. You can email Rhonda at artj79@hotmail.com

MARCH 2024

Natural Element Woodcraft

by Dave Eyerman

 

 

Trees are magical beings. They provide canopy and protection for so much of the planet’s inhabitants, homes for countless more, and breathable air for the mammals. They eat sunlight and digest it into matter, turning the intangible into material.

Beyond that, each species of tree has its own special magic and wisdom imbued in its own structure. Cedar is not only aromatic, fungal and insect resistant, it is also used for healing. Maple reminds us of sweetness which lies just beneath a rough exterior. Cherry brings the energy of renewal and rebirth, with its blossoms that signify the start of spring.

Too often our culture views trees as objects to be used for our whim, without considering they are beings with personality and purpose on both zoological and spiritual levels. It is only recently that science has discovered what indigenous cultures all over the globe have always known, that trees communicate with each other, warn each other about invasive species and disease, share nutrients, and protect their young.

My work honors the energy of the trees the wood has come from, and I work with locally-sourced wood as much as possible. Specific species of wood are selected for specific projects, and each individual piece is worked with in a fashion that honors its energy. It is a pleasure to give these parts of trees – this sunlight which has magically been converted into matter – the respect they deserve and help them find a destiny as spiritual objects to be worked with in a sacred way by others.

Most projects begin with a request or a need to fill. If the request is coming from someone else, I have a conversation with them about their intended use for the project, including if they have any specific size or color or species preferences / requirements.

Sometimes Spirit will inspire me with the image of the completed project right away, and other times I need to wait for that to form to be shown to me.

Once I have the visual idea of what the piece is to look like, I go on the hunt for the appropriate slabs of wood to bring the project from idea into physical form. When selecting wood – whether pieces I have in my shop, or visiting a local sawmill – I am constantly tuning in and asking if these specific slabs match the project. I do this by asking the wood itself, and wait for a clear yes. If it’s not a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.

Once the individual boards have made themselves known for this specific project, I continue to sort out which direction they which to be oriented – which side wants to be up, which direction the grain wants to flow in. This all will affect the overall energy of the finished piece.

The process of the actual construction of the project tends to be firmly rooted in the physical plane, without too much spiritual input, including the sawing, planing, sanding, joining the different wood boards, and applying the coats of protective finish.

If the project includes any images or text burned into it, the process of pyrography infuses the energy of what is being burned into the wood. When burning a wolf’s head, for instance, I can readily feel the presence of Wolf energy around me and coming through me and being imbued into the project.

Once the project is assembled and ready to be put in use, I do a shamanic journey to meet the spirit of the completed piece. Naturally, as shamanic journeys go, it can take many forms. Sometimes I am connected with the mother spirit for the species of tree used in the project. Sometimes I am connected with the spirit of the specific trees these boards came from. Sometimes these journeys are heavily visual, sometimes they are heavily claircognizant in nature.

In the end, I am always brought to the spirit of the completed project itself, who offers guidance and insight on the energy it offers the human who will be working with it. It offers a message on the specific energy it brings, and how to best work with its medicine. This message gets written up and is presented to its recipient along with the finished wood project.

 

Dave Eyerman is a licensed acupuncturist, shamanic coach, energy healer, and teacher with a practice based in Belchertown, MA. When working with clients, he interweaves coaching and bodywork in his sessions to provide full-person healing, tending to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. He helps people deepen their level of self-awareness and how to relate to the world so they may live as free and as soulful a life as they can.
In addition to one-on-one client work, he also brings a spiritual approach to woodcraft, giving felled trees new life as spiritual tools and power objects. Working closely with the spirit of the wood, he crafts a wide array of medicine including (but not limited to) altars, incense holders, and pyrography honoring Power Animals and sacred geometry.
For more information, visit https://www.naturalelementwoodcraft.com

 

FEBRUARY 2024

Four Shamanic Rings:

A Journey of Life and the Creative Process

by Joan Levergood

 

Sometime in 2020 during a shamanic journey, my helping spirits gave me an assignment to carve four rings out of wax and cast them in silver. Each ring represented a part of my path to becoming a shamanic practitioner. These were the rings I was told to make. A ring of moss agate to represent the forest and my lifelong connection to nature. A second ring that would represent the Land of North America and the indigenous people of the land where I had been born. A third ring would honor domestic felines and the many cats who had walked alongside me, supporting and guiding me on my spiritual path. The final ring would represent the Creator’s energy in all things and the Creator within myself.

I am a creator. A maker of things. From a young age I made things. I used pieces of the forest and nature around me to build and furnish houses for my troll dolls. I learned to knit. At some point I was enrolled in a painting class at the local YMCA and learned about perspective and color. Mixing colors and making them talk to each other became my thing, and it still is. Since drawing realistically never came easy, I didn’t consider myself an artist. Yet I painted regularly. I mixed colors, painted, and started believing I was an artist.

I studied graphic design at Michigan State University where I had excellent basic art training and  learned to draw. When I graduated, computers were costly but were becoming common in businesses, and entry-level jobs in graphic design were drying up. I shifted to earn a living and worked in the insurance industry.

During my time working in business, I painted and painted. I learned that when I painted, the more abstract the work, the more likely it would be that I would go to a place of pure creation. An out-of-body place, merging with the creative rhythm of the act of painting, combining colors, shapes, and feeling into what was needed next. What would make it perfect? It was during this time that I was most prolific as an artist, drawing and painting almost daily.

As a shamanic practitioner I now realize that I was painting myself into an altered state. The act of painting itself, with the rhythm of the brush and the constant shifting of my vision to see the work differently, was an altered state of pure creation. Perhaps that is why the skill of shamanic journeying would come quickly to me years later, and the skill of allowing the mind to follow the suggestions of the creation process melds so well with shamanic work.

After thirteen years I saved money from my corporate job and opened a cooperative gallery with other artists. The gallery combined fine art, modern Arts and Crafts-inspired objects, and antiques. Then a friend suggested that I return to volunteering at a cat shelter where we had both volunteered. I did, and eventually got sucked in, working as a veterinarian assistant in their clinic for eighteen years.

When I worked at the shelter, the universe set me on my path to becoming a shamanic practitioner. I began fostering kittens at my home. One unfortunate result that happened very quickly when I started fostering was that my art studio became unusable and overrun with kittens. While I would occasionally sketch or draw something, I had stopped painting. I packed up my tools and supplies. I could not set up my studio to work and lacked the will to do it after working long, exhausting days at the shelter. It seemed that all of my creative energy was taken up with saving lives and helping cats. I worried that I would never live my creative life again.

I have learned not to worry because the universe and your helping spirits will send you the exact solution you need. I left the shelter and began working as a full-time shamanic practitioner. I went to an art show to see some friends and met a jewelry designer who taught jewelry-making. My helping spirits told me to learn how to make jewelry soon after and that this would be the path for me to return to doing regular creative work and eventually painting again.

I connected deeply to the transformative process of carving jewelry in wax and casting it in silver. This appealed to my designer side, to my getting into the creative zone side, and I began working. The repetitive scraping and carving appealed to me, too. The elemental process with the fire was thrilling. I was not, however, very successful at casting my work. Often I had to carve and cast pieces multiple times before getting a complete cast.

Then in that journey circle sometime in 2020, my helping spirits told me I needed to make the four rings. They also told me how to get my castings to work better. I needed to call in the Goddess Brigid with whom I had worked many times in my Celtic work. Brigid is the goddess of the forge and smithcraft, and my helping spirits suggested that when I cast metal, I should call upon her to bless the casting.

The creative process is a magical one in my opinion. I visited a local rock shop to get a piece of moss agate for one of the rings. While there I thought about the other rings and looked at stones to inspire my designs for the other three. I asked to look at the turquoise, considering its representation of North America and the beautiful stones in Indigenous Southwestern jewelry. Being very careful to select only stones from North America, I found a gorgeous turquoise blue stone which Inspired my design of the four directions ring with turquoise at its center.

I saw a gorgeous tiger-eye stone that reminded me of my beautiful cats at home. I picked out one of these stones and designed and carved a ring shaped like a domestic feline eye which would honor all that my journey with my feline companions had given me and how their feline magic showed me the spirit that was in all beings.

The beautiful moss agate stone reminded me of the forests that I love and of looking up through the leaves of the trees as a young child and enjoying the patterns of color and the changing light. I designed a ring that honored my relationship with the forest and nature, and I honored my Celtic ancestry with the spirals I have drawn since childhood carved upon its sides.

The final ring was in some ways the most difficult but the most simple. When I thought of connecting with the Creator, I felt a golden energy filling my body. I made the Creator ring with gold, representing this connection. It also represents where we came from, our piece of the Creator that chose to come here and dance with the Earth and take physical form. That perfect gold center also represents to me how we are both created and creators. When I look into the gold of this ring, I see myself reflected back.

When creating something or connecting to a piece of art, we align with the Creator. The magic of making and creating something allows us to connect more deeply with our own spirit and the spirit in all things.

My helping spirits had told me that one last thing about making jewelry. They suggested I call upon the Goddess Brigid, goddess of metalcraft and the forge when casting jewelry. So, I began calling upon her to bless my castings. My metal casts have been nearly perfect ever since. It did not take long for even the best students in my jewelry class to begin invoking Brigid when casting their more complicated pieces.

There are many ways to interact with our creative life more intentionally by using our shamanic practices as a window into more profound creative inspiration. You can ask your helping spirits for a spark of inspiration or an assignment like I did. You can journey into a landscape and ask it how it wants to be painted. You could ask to meet a helping spirit who is a master and merge with them while you create. Journey to the spirit of the stone or clay to ask how it would like to be sculpted. Cultivate your perfect altered creative states. Drum and/or journey before you begin. Play music that helps. If you are a musician, play music to help you get there.  There are many ways like this to inspire and enhance your creative projects.

Joan Levergood is a Shamanic Practitioner located in Chicago, Illinois. Joan is on the Board of Directors of the Society for Shamanic Practice as well as a longtime member of the Shamanism Without Borders Leadership Team. Being of service to her community as a shaman goes back to the very beginning of her shamanic training while she was working as a veterinary assistant at an animal shelter. Today Joan works with clients on a variety of life’s challenges. She specializes in unraveling and removing the unhelpful patterns of life, psychopomp or working with the dead, working with companion animals, soul retrieval, shamanic support of medical treatment and finding creative shamanic solutions to life’s sticky situations. www.helpingspirits.net