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What's Ritual Got to Do With It? How Rituals Create Sacred Space for Inner Work of Soul.

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 author is a wheeling blur with drum singing & dancing in the Spirits Curators; Kristena West, Mary McCullogh & Tristy Taylor

When we were preparing the space in the JFK University gallery for Deities exhibition, we had about 5 days to bring our intention to the gallery environment. That meant creating four Art Altars: East, South, West & North directions.  This exhibition was a group of ordinary people who had been "touched" by spirit.  We wanted to bring a "spiritual art show" partly in my reaction to a woman in San Francisco doing an enema with chickens on-stage during a Da-Da Art revival. But this exhibition grew as a seed from people I had met over twenty years who had shared stories of a spiritual nature that had changed their life.

This exhibition was based on spiritual worlds informing artists, and the artists were asked to work with the spiritual being in creating the artwork. This meant putting aside the "little ego" of "I know what I want to make", and being silent for the Deity to enter into a dialogue with the artist. Click to View "Deities, Dialogues & Dreams; Extraordinary Conversations with Ordinary People."

 We were extremely lucky that the three of us were in alignment for working together doing a social art exhibition and helped each other over the bumps. We opened on the Dali Lama's birthday & held a calling in the Spirits circle for our opening (see image above). We had hundreds of people come to the opening, and received overwhelming positive feedback from all who attended. Many people burst into tears when they saw the art pieces and read the one page text describing 1. what had happened 2. how did artist react? 3. if they heeded information of experience, how did it change or heal artist?

Working on the Earth Art Altar

Working on the Earth Altar took Mary and her friend, Helena two full days with both of them working collecting flowers, bringing up bags of sand! (3 floors with an elevator yeah!) in wheel barrows filled with flora, fauna and more. We not only had to set up our own exhibitions, we had to create the four altars, and hang all the artists work that had been dropped off in the space. We worked in full light but the exhibition was to be seen in the evening with dimmer space and spots for each piece, to create a sense of the unseen and mystery. Below: packing up the left-overs of altar making.

 

The Importance of Ritual Work for Core Integration (from book, "Alchemy; the Magical Arts of the Union of Soul" by author)

         Another necessary adjunct to the healing process is ritual work for anchored and integrated soul stabilization. Creating and enacting different rituals formulated to our story, calling on spiritual forces for assistance or focused as a personal healing is one of the most powerful and important tools available. Rituals can be used at the beginning, in the middle, at the final stages of a life crisis journey, or in a closure ceremony.

         Ritual is not just a symbolic forum for the soul to release, contact, or provide a rites of passage for it’s journey. The ritual context is an opportunity to work in conjunction with potent spiritual forces or principalities for the individual. We must realize that the world is filled with potent forces waiting for our call to assist us in our evolution, healing and soul actualization. Spiritual beings will bring in enormous power within our rituals and lift us into altered states of consciousness whereby we can open to receiving a greater density of vibrational spiritual healing energy.

         The acceptance and reliance on spiritual realities to provide the electricity for our ritual empowerment is our first step in results oriented ritual work. This can challenge our early childhood “religious” socialization, much of which we may have left behind us--but even our twelve-step support programs are firmly founded on spiritual principles. We are realizing we cannot do this inner work alone.

         Numerous stories abound about the help from spiritual realities in the dark night of soul crisis--this points to the idea that we are being watched, helped and supported through these tough and problematic passages. Ritual is intended to transform the issue, problem or wound into connection to certain spiritual forces and potentialities--that will assist creatively within the individual’s physical body, mental awareness, and emotional field. Ritual work in alliance with spirit forces will help heal our wound.

In using ritual throughout the exhibition in our overall intention of building altars, in dialoging with the deities for art-making, and holding the entire space as sacred we brought to birth a long held vision that lived in my soul as a slow-growing seed, that was planted, I believe by the holy ones over the threshold. And as always, it's working within a socially consciousness group context with the intention for good, that lifted and transformed all of us.

hanging the Veils of the Virtues & Vices leading to the Holy Sophia



 I've been using and making creative rituals throughout my teaching & private practice. I'd be happy to mentor anyone who needs some help creating healing rituals.

Private Practice Spiritual & Right Livelihood Counseling, Dream Work & Process Art Sessions: Fees are on a sliding scale of $80-$100 per hour. Phone consultation are 1 hour. Please email kristena@innerlightarts.com to book a session between 10am-5pm M-F
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