Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Shamanic Artist

The Shamanic Artist by Cat Hawkins

"It has taken me almost as long to to call myself a shaman (or rather, class what I do as shamanic) as it has to call myself an artist. You never feel that you could possibly be on such a path... surely that kind of thing is for fairytale.  Then you realise there is much power and symbolism in the things you see around you, the things that come into your mind and heart, the messages that flow through you and manifest in colour and shape, and they are the only things that excite you and make sense! Following a Shamanic path brings as many doubts and challenges as it does when you follow a path in the arts.  Few people take you seriously or understand what you do, quite often you're not even quite sure what it is you do!  You can find yourself wishing you were just happy and content in a 'normal' job as it would be much more reliable and straight forward.  Art? Spirituality? Shamanism? not exactly the easiest paths to take.

Being a shaman, working shamanically, means being fully present, living your truth and walking your talk.  It calls you to find your authentic self.  It calls you to help others and to share your gifts. As an artist, I feel the same level of calling.  My art has been the one true and centred voice throughout all my years of finding myself.  It helped to unravel and sort through the intense mix of emotions and problems I have had.  My art is as important to me as my spirituality, my beliefs and my healing.  I look back over my life and I see a dark time.  Many people who come to shamanism do so after or during a difficult time in their life.  For me, it was depression, a hormone disorder, anger and childhood trauma.  Over the years of illness and depression, when life felt it was too hard and unbearable, I would draw, paint and create.  I had not been able to finish my degree at art college due to the birth of my second child, but decided that art was at least one subject you could do without going to college.  Leaving university gave me the freedom to experiment with my art, try new things. I have always loved mandalas, folk art, symbolic and abstract art, and anything to do with colour healing and symbolism.  In fact, over the years of self study into witchcraft, paganism, tarot, colour healing and seasonal festivals, I had developed quite a knowledge and passion for symbols and correspondences..."

To read the rest of this article, please click HERE.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

A change in direction.

It's November, and I promised myself I would start writing again this year... well, the year's not over yet, so let see if I can get into the swing of this again!

My work with the menstrual cycle continues but my main focus this year has been meditation, art and stepping out into the world with some new ideas, new experiences and figuring out where I'm at after a long period of recovery and learning to manage my moods and menstrual cycle.

This summer has been intense. So much going on, so much changing and shifting.  You can read all about it on the blog at my main art website www.shaktimandala.co.uk.

4 weeks ago, I was travelling to meet a Shamanic teacher, ready to start a years 1-1 study.  The work had already begun earlier that year when she popped up on Facebook with a friend request and we got chatting. On the way to my first day workshop, everything changed. I had a car accident. I was hit from behind by an 18 tonne lorry. It sounds terrifying right? the blessing is that I don't have any memory of the accident at all.  One minute I was about to make a turn, the next I was lying on a hospital bed. Apparently I'd got out the car and was breathalysed, so despite physically functioning, my brain chose to lose the visual memories. Thank you brain. I suffered a head injury and damaged my shoulder and spent a few hours having x-rays and scans. This came after 8-10 weeks of solid work to prepare art for a London show.  I'd been slowing down, I'd been resting after pushing it all summer, but obviously not quite enough.

The accident was a shock. An abrupt stop. A forceful impact. I had no choice and I didn't see it coming.  When something like this happens you can't help but be forced to stop and re-evaluate, re-assess and recover.  The work I had been doing over the summer was great, I enjoyed it all, however, it is pretty alien to me to create lots of work to sell. I tend to potter along creating what I feel like, enjoying the odd challenge in getting a commission, and only recently (as money becomes tighter and tighter) has there been any need to try and sell my work. I had put aside the inspirations that had been tugging at my harem's all year, in favour of working on things more appropriate to the show I was attending. Since the accident I've realised that that has actually affected me quiet a lot, and I needed a real change in direction to get me back in touch.

I could ramble on forever about everything that has happened, and I may, in future blogs, but for now my intention is to let you know that I have started a Shamanic Art group on Facebook where I will share art tips, progress pics, inspirations, astrology info and techniques to get others starting to live more creatively. My teacher told me after I explained how useless and helpless I was feeling after the accident, that I should think of myself as having beginners eyes, Experiencing a Shamanic death leaves you disorientated and almost wary of the world around you. It got a bit Matrix there for a moment!

If you would like to know more about the Art Group, please check out my other blog post, and my art page www.facebook.com/chaoticatcreations. All are welcome, male and female.

Once I managed to start drawing again, I drew Ganesh. When I looked at the meanings and symbolism of Ganesh I was blown away! couldn't be more appropriate.

Once I had discovered it had been a huge lorry that hit me, Jagannath had come to mind. Hindu God of the Universe. The word Jagannath is where our word juggernaut comes from. A huge, unstoppable force. He is described as the 'ecstatic form of Krishna', albeit a rather strange one. He is the only God that is made out of wood. All others are made from stone or metal. Jagannath is also significant in that I learnt of him through a half century old photo from my Grandmothers collection of pictures taken in India. She must have visited the temple at some point.

So.. yeah... lots happening.  Hopefully you'll hear from me again soon!