A Still Trust (In the Cards)

I selected the Ground card from my In an Open Hand deck. This card invites one into a sitting meditation, focused on noticing one’s experience during stillness. A settled presence is, for me, an invitation to trust and connect.

My childhood relationships with key figures involved a complete lack of stillness. There was either distance or an unpredictable swinging between being overrun and being abandoned or shut out. There was no stable, kind, present adult.

I hold as an image of Divinity an image of a huge figure resting in meditation. Seated in gentle, loving presence, unhurried and unbothered by the wildness of my heart. Able to withstand my inability to connect and to love. I can come and go and still he,she,they remains, willing to simply be with me as I need them to be.

I believe each of us is able to offer this presence to ourselves and to others, if we make regular our engagement in meditation and in simply being rather than doing. One question my card asks is what stands up when I sit, and I would say what rises up in that moment of sacred presence is connection. How much I long for real experiences that mirror this inner world! Perhaps that is what “church” would look like for me, simply being with others in the flow of Divine Presence. How do you feel in the presence of stillness (your own or others)? What comes up for you when you spend time in silent meditation?

Divine Light (Daily Works of Art)

I pulled the first Daily Works of Art card today which focused on creating a representation of the Divine. My mind immediately conjured images of warm sunlight and fire, glowing with softness and inviting connection. The Divine is more than a parent, but I find myself drawn most frequently to divinity in parental form, given my own lack of connection with my physical parents.

What I seek from Divinity in this space of consciousness is nurturing. I disagree passionately who think Divinity needs to be violent and harsh towards us in our failures in order to be complete; our most base instincts as humans do not need ascended representation. All this to say, a warm, inviting glowing presence, offering safety and comfort, is what I hold as Divine in my mind today.

In order to create a representation of this form of Divinity, I first started by opening some blinds and allowing light to pour into my house. I next lit several candles to cast a glow in every direction. Finally, I drew an digital image of a flame, as it allows for both light and heat to be generated.

I found myself wondering what this experience would be like through other senses, so I also listened to a video of a bonfire burning and held my hand over one of the candles to feel the warmth. I’m not sure what smells and tastes remind me of this, perhaps hot chocolate?

It fascinates me to consider my feeble artistic endeavors as perhaps the attempts of my mind to make manifest what my unconscious holds; I want to communicate my experiences with others in ways that are not solely reliant on language. I feel embarrassed by my ignorance as I think this is likely Day 1 of art theory, but for the first time in my life I’m living in this creative space, not simply being told about it by someone else. I’m still not brave enough to share what I’m making with many people, but I believe that will come with time. What is your internal representation of the Divine? Through which sense(s) do you find yourself translating your experiences?

Visualizing Inner Divinity (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

I’ve begun sketching a crow for one of my intuitive deck cards that I am designing, so the first image that came to mind when I pulled today’s Simple Pleasure card was that of a crow in flight. I immediately connected the image of a crow with my Inner Divinity as their behavior reflects characteristics I think are worthy of holding sacred. They have a tough exterior that belies their mental strength, and, in this, they represent aspects of the sacred that may be less approachable but which are vital for connection within safe boundaries.

Many corvids, including crows, are intelligent, cunning and discerning. They are able to use tools to solve problems. Crows are inventive and able to adapt to their environment. They may even understand how money works! Crows can also distinguish humans by their faces and remember who is friend or foe.

In certain spiritual groups in which I participated in the past, there was an preference placed on emotions and intuition above the “thinking” mind, or on trusting an external deity rather than one’s own knowing. This de-emphasis on reason and logic never sat well with me, as I think justice and morality require deliberative thought informed by compassion and empathy; a meeting and melding much more than a competition between hard/soft, masculine/feminine, etc. Crows appear intimidating to me when compared to many other birds, but knowing that they bring gifts to people they like and bond with each other for many years helps me integrate the wisdom of the Divine–the need for an integration of the mind and the heart–that I believe they represent.