I open this blog with a journey into my personal dark bodypsyche which I have named, “Kill the Angel in the House.” I went through a dramatic initiatory encounter a few years ago and chose to engage the energies it induced in a large earthwork painting, as well as through writing and photography. The event was so powerful and transformative that I felt impelled to create a blog to share it with those I thought would be interested.
Besides sharing my work for its own realization, my other objective for this blog is to expose you, the reader, to a new way to relate to and engage with the energies of the unconscious. I have been trained by master teachers in these forms. My pursuit has taken me into the exploration of how to work with the unconscious on my own, in my home, at the moment these dark energies arise. Some would warn us of the dangers in doing this. I suggest these dangers exist anyway.
We each must take up the responsibility to do the work with our psyches in conscious creative ways, rather than unconsciously and self destructively. For those of us who have the capacity and knowledge, it is an imperative. Those of you who feel this form of work is beyond your level of knowledge and skill level, I suggest you get the training. I offer training in my Unleash Your Wild Creative Daemon 12 week program. I also do work one on one with individuals wanting to work with their deeper psyche.
Our lives our own responsibility. Artists of all forms throughout time have been wrestling with the dark unconscious on their own. Psychology is a relatively new science. The unconscious has been with us always.
During this period of my life I was immersed in Virginia Woolf’s writing. As some of you may know, she delivered a ground-breaking lecture to a group of graduating college women in the early 1900s, titled, “Professions for Women.” In her speech Virgina Woolf spoke of the Angel in the House of one’s psyche as a force that is in direct opposition to one’s authentic self. Her prescription? Kill it… or it will kill you. She imaged the angel figure from a poem written by a woman in the 1800s called, the ANGEL in the HOUSE.
The poem is about a woman who gave herself over to caring for a man because of the dictates of her inner Angel… and lost her life and soul because of it. The Angel became the image for Virginia Woolf’s own struggle with her ‘pleaser’ complex ~ the impulse which would have her flatter male authors so as to be esteemed and accepted by them. Or keep her from writing about women’s issues because of their unpopularity in the predominantly male world of published authors of the time. She writes of how she had to wrestle with and kill this Angel before she could cross the threshold into her own genuine voice as a woman writer. She forewarned the women in attendance of their necessity to do the same to achieve real success.
“Virginia Woolf satirized the ideal of femininity depicted in the poem, writing that“She [the perfect wife] was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed daily. If there was a chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it … Above all, she was pure.” (Woolf, 1966: 2, 285) Of her own Angel, Virginia Woolf wrote that she “bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her” (Woolf, 1966: 2, 285).”
(to be continued…)