|In this Issue
|THE ARTIST AS SHAMAN AND HEALER
The GATEWAYS coming soon to iTunes Apps store!
GATEWAYS OF THE DIVINE
$108 sale continues!
THE ALCHEMY OF CREATION
OF THE DIVINE prints
|To learn more about Colette and her visionary creations, click on the BIO
To experience the power
and mystery of Colette's work, watch "The Vision
and Healing Artistry of Colette" on Google Video
Back to the Rivers
I am not prepared to say where the vision is
Is it a receding wave,
a descent into the tomb,
or an ascension of wings?
I look out over the vast horizon and feel the lightness of remembering...
The persistence of life,
the unfolding of the heart,
the aching towards ecstasy.
There is an explosion from within, a cavernous surrender to the flow of life.
Lava surges and boils inside me, destroying and creating with this moment's next breath.
The dissolution continues...
I am liquid in this current of perpetual change, this blood of purification.
THE GATEWAYS COMING SOON TO THE iTUNES
The kind folks at Magic Mouse Productions have invited me to co-create online oracle applications from my Gateways and Alchemy work, which I am calling "Oracle of the Divine," and "The Oracle of Alchemy," respectively. How cool is that? For all of you iPhone and iPod Touch owners out there, soon you will be able to download the application for a nominal fee, and take the wisdom of the Gateways with you everywhere! Stay tuned for details...
|Give Yourself the Gift|
of Visionary Creative Coaching from Colette!
THE ALCHEMY OF CREATION:
Visionary Coaching for Artists of Life
For more information, and to order Alchemy prints, go to:
Alchemy of the Divine
|Support this Vision!
You can help Colette manifest the gifts of ALCHEMY
OF THE DIVINE!
Colette is able to receive tax-deductible donations for her work through Telecosm, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that supports educational and transformational multi-media projects.
Contact Colette at 888.434.1154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, or to receive a proposal.
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
It is the time of union
It is the time of vision
It is the time of resurrection
It is the time of grace.
It is the time of generosity
The treasure of gifts has arrived
The brilliance of the sea has flashed forth.
The dawn of blessing has arisen.
On this day of the Autumnal Equinox, I send blessings of an abundant harvest to all of you. May we all take a moment to acknowledge the many gifts we have been given, and the way we are always carried by this earth, even amidst the many challenges and initiations of Life.
This is also a day of celebration for me, as I gave birth to my first 7-pound book baby, Gateways of the Divine, seven years ago today. In honor of this, I have decided to continue the $108 sale of the book until every copy of the Gateways has found its home. And as a way to express gratitude for the blessings of my life, I would like to offer 7 free copies of the Gateways to those who would be blessed by receiving it, but could not otherwise afford it. If you or someone you know would love a copy, let me know!
In this issue of "Divine Alchemy Newsletter" I share my musings on the unique role of the artist as shaman and healer, and some great news on a new opportunity I have been given to create online oracles for the iTunes Apps store, based on the Gateways and my new Alchemy of the Divine work.
Enjoy! And I welcome your comments and suggestions.
email@example.com / 888.434.1154
THE ARTIST AS SHAMAN
I have always lived close to the blood and the bones of existence, traversed the shadowy realms, and peered into the dark corners of dusty, locked rooms, called to give voice and to give vision to that which is denied, forgotten, unspeakable. This is the darkness of God, the province of the Feminine Divine, which calls us to embrace all aspects of life and creation as equal reflections of the One. Like Persephone who journeys to the underworld and emerges each spring to bring forth her radiant fruits, I, too, have been sent on many underworld journeys, and been asked to bring forth the gifts of these initiations through my work as an artist and as a healer.
As the poet Stanley Kunitz wrote,
"I did not choose the way, the way chose me."
A couple of months ago, I was given the following Dreamtime vision:
I am lying in bed, unable to sleep, staring up at the ceiling in the dusky light. Suddenly I sense a gust of wind, and a magnificent black raven swooshes through my bedroom door. The Raven hovers above me for a moment, and with a sleek ingathering of wings,
lands gently upon my belly.
My eyes open wide with astonishment at this close encounter, my skin tingling with aliveness as every cell opens to receive the powerful medicine of the Raven.
Our eyes are locked in a riveted embrace.
The Raven opens his beak wide to reveal an enormous, cavernous mouth, with two fang-like teeth hanging down. It's as if the Raven's beak has shape-shifted into the mouth of a serpent, ready to swallow its prey whole.
Somehow I know what I must do: I thrust my right arm straight into the Raven's mouth. The Raven clamps its beak shut, and I wail in agony as the fangs pierce my flesh and bones. I understand now: I must endure this suffering. But it won't go on forever.
I awoke from this vision of the Raven feeling oddly at peace, reassured that the Raven had come as a guide and a protector, as well as to be the agent of my undoing. In Alchemy, the Raven is often symbolic of the stage known as the nigredo, the necessary blackening, the breakdown of the elements, the shamanic dismemberment, the "Divine Dismantling" as I like to call it, that begins any real journey of transformation.
In the weeks that followed this vision, the above collage emerged, depicting a tender, young girl descending into the dark Mother, surrendered to a deep, alchemical journey, and yet somehow guided and protected by the strong grip of the serpent, the watchful gaze of the Raven, and the blessing kiss of the Father.
In the seven years that have followed since the publication of Gateways of the Divine, I have come to understand and accept the shamanic nature of the life I have been called to as an artist. While Gateways of the Divine was the result of a fierce, ten-year healing journey through the psyche, I understand now that something vaster was coming through me that could help others. Gateways of the Divine has since been used as a transformational tool for hundreds, including therapists, chaplains, healers, individuals all over the world who have been touched and inspired by its unique vision of wholeness.
It seems that when we follow the journey of our personal healing and transformation, we will inevitably be called to bring the gifts of our experience to the world in some way. I am grateful for giving birth to the Gateways of the Divine seven years ago, and for the way it has delivered me to my true path of service, continuing to be a vessel for works that are borne of profound initiations through the body, psyche, and spirit. My prayer is that these offerings be initiatory as well, guiding others to a deeper experience and embodiment of the Great Mystery within themselves, as awakened and awakening agents of the Divine.
And so we need tools of wisdom,
we need transformational experiences.
We have gone as far as we can go
in the world of technology,
we are a world out of balance.
And so connected to the heart,
connected to the Divine forces,
we become the mediums, and the conduits
for healing in the world.
from the interview in
"The Vision and Healing Artistry of Colette"
Collage: "Dark is a Way, Light is a Place"
from the forthcoming
ALCHEMY OF THE DIVINE by Colette
All text and images
©2008 by Colette van Praag