I name the forms I was trained in the Embodied Arts: authentic movement, painting from the source, authentic writing, tribal music and dancing, ritual, and women’s mystery rites.
Since ancient times, women have used these arts to access the inherent intelligence in their bodies for the care and guidance of themselves, their families and tribe. Woman = Artist. Without doing anything, women are in a constant state of creation in their bodies. Birth. Growth. Decay. Death. Rebirth out of the decay.
The wisdom women gathered from this intelligence over millenia was engraved on our DNA. It was freely accessed. Many were the teachers, healers, and shamans of the tribe. It was only when this wisdom became a threat to the ruling order that it was disconnected from and lost. Women witnessed millions of other women murdered for empowering themselves. Because of this threat they closed the door on their embodied intelligence to keep dumb and innocent to protect themselves, their families, and their tribes from being massacred.
Women of our contemporary societies have fought long and hard to free themselves from the old socio-political regimes. We now experience levels of self expression and professional success that was unheard of even in my mother’s day. While women in other cultures are still bound by them, we in our western cultures have men who support us, a constitution that stands by us. There are women in the highest positions of power, government, law. We have inspiring entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, engineers. Women are found in every field of human endeavor. Though we are still a minority in these groups, we are in the midst of radical change.
And yet something is still howling to be released, to be re-discovered and garnered for its wisdom. The deeper tao of the way of women and the power inherent in our bodies is still mostly unknown. Unrealized.
I invite you to enter in and learn the Embodied Arts as a means to connect to the deeper Tao of Woman, the Wild Criatura within you. These arts are sacred and precious, brilliant and extremely important for our lives and those we love, and vitally so for our earth. It is time for us all to enter in.
The Embodied Arts
I engage in many forms of the embodied arts. One of the more unique expressions is what I term ritual performance art. The form begins with authentic movement, a movement ‘vision quest’ which is inspired by following the inner undulating kinesthetic impulses of my body into the unconscious. There is no music to stimulate my movement. This is the inner dance of the somatic unconscious beckoning me inward.
Coming out of the movement with my body scintillating in the energy of the journey, I give my instinctual~intuitive self free rein upon the paper with paint and natural pigments using my hands, feet, belly, face… energetically imprinting her ~my Wild Criatura’s ~ mark upon the paper, mask or bodycast. It is from these markings that my bodypsyche’s image emerges and from which my painting is then built upon over time.
Many of the artworks include elements from nature that have appeared as symbolic material in my life and dreams… burlap, wool, bone, earth, ash, feathers, moss, hair and fur. The images become living altars for ongoing rituals inspired by the deep feeling imagination and the dynamism of my unfolding life. They are organic creationary pieces that continue to generate, unfold, reveal, inform, shapeshift, transform and yes, heal me. They are alive.
A performance ritual will spontaneously realize itself out of the elements of gestures & movements from the original authentic movement and in relationship to the artwork. The performance weaves together and harmonizes the deeper energies of the bodypsyche which have been unleashed.
Performing this spontaneous ritual in front of at least one witness is vital to bringing these energies into my conscious Life and holding fast to them. To be is to be seen.