Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

Today is Winter Solstice. From Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac comes this: In the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It's officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe that solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years, before humans even began farming on a large scale. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun.

Last night our SoulCollage group here in Ashland, Oregon, celebrated with a huge bonfire. The ancients believed this would encourage the sun to return. We mostly wanted to stay warm.

The fire was incredibly beautiful. Sparks flew into the damp air. There were billows of golden smoke which occationally burst into flame. We had light enough to share SoulCollage cards around our fire.

It is a joy to share this Council card by Leslie Primus. Leslie began SoulCollage at one of our SoulCollage Adventure workshops last spring and recently joined our monthly group. Her card beautifully depicts the extremes of this season. Here are Leslie's words in speaking from her card.

I am the one who represents inner knowing, balance, and alighnment of the chakras.
I am the one who uses the elements to bring forth that inner knowing.
I am the one who brings joy, light, reverence--the feminine aspect of God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Floating in flowers

This card could also be called "fun with fatigue". I was in a very low energy space recently and realized that I just needed to rest. What a concept--resting as a natural response to a busy day (life?). This idea has been discussed recently by several friends. Could be catching on.

I am the one who is completely out of her mind.
I am the one cradled by beauty.
I am the one at peace.

Since starting this blog I've been confonded by how to put my text along side of photos. My brilliant daughter Sally (Harvard, class of 1984) started a blog last week, Martinology, and figured it out in 5 minutes. People used to need kids to help out on the farm; now we need them to explain the latest technology.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Molly Gordon

This is my community suit card for Molly Gordon. Molly is a coach for artists and the like who want to know how to market themselves authentically. She offers a great newsletter and has begun a blog. I've taken several of her classes and found them interesting and inspiring. I have her e-book Authentic Promotion. The work I've done with her has not been to learn to market--it's been to work with an enthusiastic, smart, savy teacher who models the way I want to live my life.

I am the one who is full of ideas.
I am the one who likes challenges--most of the time.
I am the one who delights in creating--with words as well as fabric.
I am the one who loves to learn.
Learn more about Simply Silence, the Timer with Soul

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Learning to love brokeness

Learning to love brokeness

This amazing card is by Sheila Filan (my friend and SoulCollage Adventure business partner). Sheila is a surface design artist, paper maker, dancer, martial artist, gourmet cook and cat lover. She has struggled through some painful break-ups this past year and is healthier and stronger as a result. Recently she made this card and spoke about it.

I am the one who loves wholeness but is learning to appreciate the value of brokenness.
I am the one who loves things to be smooth but also am fascinated with transparency and rough edges.

Asked about the core meaning/energy of the card she said, "When you are being really authentic there is no way to control the outcome of what happens".

The card is a beautiful example of the intuitive use of images to clarify and heal life's painful tumbles. Our group heard Sheila's comments on the card and added some of our own. There was a sense that this card spoke for us all and that it was probably a Council card. Let it nourish you as it did us.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A rich, new resource

Pause by Anne Marie Bennett

I am the one who pauses at the gate, who is drawn to quiet empty spaces, who thrives on time alone.

Anne Marie Bennett, on the east coast, has just produced an incredible website, KaleidoSoul. It augments the "official" SoulCollage website offered by Seena Frost and Kylea Taylor. Both are wonderful ways to see SoulCollage cards; get information, insights and information; and order helpful products.

Anne Marie has several freebies you will want to check out. Her newsletter will be presenting a column by Karen Mann. I have had several of Karen's cards on this blog. Scroll down for the beautiful card "fearless" (April). Karen is encouraging, warm, and offers a refreshing perspective from Down Under. Can't wait to read her first offering.

Anne Marie is also offering an e-course (free!) called Wisdom for the Journey. I just read my
first installment. I loved the SoulCollage card featured on it. It is "Pause" shown above. If your e-mail basket is not too overflowing, getting daily inspiration could be a delight. You'll find the sign-up on the newletter page.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I am the one who answers the call.

Warrior - Iraq by Sara Post

Sara Post, a SoulCollage facilitator from Davis, California, tells of her experience exploring the archetype of the Warrior.

Here is what she says about her own Warrior card, pictured above.

"This particular warrior card is directly connected to the war in Iraq. I had no idea that I was going to make this card. I know now that the war has been unconsciously very painful for me. I think one of the most disturbing ironies--and there are many--is the fact that soldiers are in frequent contact with their families, by cell phone or email and yet for those of us without a relative involved in the conflict, the war has been conducted essentially without personal sacrifice or really much awareness....This card is for remembering; for remembering those who are now in Iraq; for remembering those who are managing to maintain a life at home--both acutely aware of the threat of death or injury, both living each day and fulfilling whatever is demanded. "I am the one who answers the call."

Here is what Sara says about the group's card making experience of the Warrior. It ends with one action available to all.

"Several weeks ago a small group met in a SoulStudio workshop to explore the archetype of the warrior. We really had no idea what to expect, but with our national situation vis a vis the warrior archetype, we felt impelled to dig deeper, to find our own relationship to warrior energy, to find the interface of our personal reflections of this archetype with wider social events.
After some reflection on how the warrior operates as an archetype, we moved to card making. When we laid our cards out at the end of the session we were stunned by how broadly and deeply we had explored the territory.

Initially we examined cards that evoked the warrior's courage and awareness on a personal level in struggles with health/emotional/family issues. We then moved on to cards that called forth the warrior in the social sphere, associated with activism--affirming and fighting for causes we believe in. We realized we often (far too often) feel blocked or frustrated when confronted with national or global problems.

Yet because the warrior does call us to action, we continued to look for a way or practice. One particularly contemplative card led us to this: the affirmation or prayer for enemies. It is a daily practice that though extremely simple is said to be very effective. It a form of metta meditation— opening the heart to all.

This is a prayer/affirmation for another person when you are feeling estranged from that person, or have a problem with that person. Pray for 30 consecutive days—three times each day. If you miss a day, start the 30 days again. Pray the following prayer:

Thank you for _______________. Thank you for all the good that ________________ has done for me. Forgive me for the things that I have done to harm or hurt __________________. Bless ____________________ this day and make ___________________ very happy.

Repeat this affirmation whether you feel the things or not. Do not try to see if it is working. Leave the results to God/the universe.
Believe that blessing is available for all, including the one(s) who you have trouble with. Know that love is not dependent upon human understanding. Use this prayer/meditation/affirmation as a discipline and leave the results to powers greater than ourselves.


If you wish to comment on Sara's warrior post, do so here.

Friday, August 05, 2005


J C Teague, my Pawpaw - Community suit

My dad's father was pretty old when I was born. He died when I was about 5 or 6 years old. What I remember most about him was him standing in our living room with his hands behind his back. I knew he had a surprise for us (my sister Barrie and me). It was often a book. I was a little young to understand Alice in Wonderland, but I loved the pictures.

I am the one who holds the past , steady, for you.
I am the one who offers you journeys into your own imagination.
I am the one who becomes more real as you grow older.

Recently I was given some wonderful photos of buildings J C had done in his younger years, years before he met and married Bessie, my grandmother. It has added dimension to my knowing him. I wanted to include them on this card, but they just didn't fit. You can see them on my blog Show Off! There also is a picture I love of my dad, Gordon, holding me. We are standing outside the window shown on this card.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

In honor of Lyn

Death - Council

I am posting this card tonight to honor the passing of Lyn S. -- a member of our SoulCollage family. I did not have the privilege of knowing Lyn personally, so she is like a beloved cousin I never got to meet. She traveled into SoulCollage ahead of me and now has gone further still. My blessings to her, her family and all those whose lives she has touched.

Monday, May 16, 2005

If you need a great guide....

Russell Delman - Community

I am the one who allows my body to teach me to be present.
I am the one who awakens.
I am the one who is here--right now.

Russell Delman is my meditation teacher. Last night I was listening to one of his talks from his CD. It was such an incredible reminder of what is important--remembering our true Self. He asks us to consider "What is more important than being really present?" Russell goes on to suggest that we can only do that when our mind is still. He says that being aware of what is actually happening in our body is a good way to come into the present moment, unfiltered by our mind's chatter. Of course all the masters say that (so that's a good sign). It's just that when I hear it from Russell, I somehow believe it could be true even for me.

Russell uses his expertise in the Feldenkrais Method (in addition to his training in Zen meditation) to create alternatives to obsessive thought. I think you should check this guy out.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Breathing In - Committee

I made this card yesterday at our Introduction to SoulCollage class. As we shared our cards in the afternoon, I was able to model a tongue-tied response to the "I am the one..." question. I glossed over the fact that two people are smoking cigarettes and focused on Breathing In.

Background: I was given a crazy straw the day before by my music instructor, Mary. By sucking up water through the straw, I will strengthen the sphincters in my body and gain many benefits. So I connected the smoking with the sucking action I was given. But there is no doubt a lot more to this card than that.

I love the punk girl's innocence. And her attempts at being cool.
I am the one who is tentatively exploring a new edge.
Maybe that is what is becoming of my New Age outlook. I've reached a New Edge, and I'm definitly an adolescent there.

The green glowing face, inhaling deeply. Inhaling light.
I am the one who wants to breathe in more life.
Well, that's for sure.

Strong legs. Determined. Able. Committed. Toward Something Meaningful.
Okay. I am the one who has the strength and determination to move toward The One.

Funny, as I write all this I remember that right now, in my meditation pratice, I've been focusing on Breathing Out.

Comments? I'm still exploring this card.

More thoughts on Breathing In

I just read Bob Herbert's op ed in the New Youk Times. It details some obervations by a young man serving in Iraq. He saw American soldiers do some really mean things. So sad.

When I read something this painful, I do tonglen practice. I breathe in the dark smoke of violence and suffering of the Iraqi people. I breathe out clear light. I breathe in the fear and anger of the soldiers. I breath out clear light.

I have my new SoulCollage card on a little easel by my computer. I see those strong legs. Running, it seems to me, in some timeless fashion. There is no finish line. Breathe in the poison. Breathe out love.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Fearless by Karen Mann

I am the one who is no longer afraid.
I am the one who is ready to deal with whatever comes my way.
I am strong, I am following my heart & I believe that I have the resources within me to fulfill my dreams.

This inspiring SoulCollage® card is by Karen Mann. She is just about to leave her day job and do her dream job: her own art work and the facilitation of others in their creative life processes.

Go Karen! You are an inspiration. It is a delight to have your energy, ideas, and expressive cards in our SoulCollage community.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I feel honored

Here is the nice note I got from Kylea Taylor to be posted. I notice some reluctance to actually put it up. Clearly I could make a card for the one who loves and fears being seen.. If anyone has made such a card, I'd love to see it. e-mail


Your SoulCollage blog really shows the wonder, joy, and humble surprise we all feel in making our own SoulCollage cards and then working with them to find out what they tell us about ourselves. I appreciate that you also honor the artists and sources for the images that help us SoulCollagers find pieces of ourselves. Thank you for having the inspiration and follow-through to set up and maintain this blog so people can see samples of your and others' SoulCollage cards.

Warm regards,

Monday, April 04, 2005


This is a SoulCollage card made for my personal use. I post it here to illustrate my process of self-understanding.

The Red Queen

Last night I kept working on brochures for our next SoulCollage workshop far past my comfort level. Put in just one more contact. Now see if mail merge will work. Folding. Writing notes. I couldn't/wouldn't stop. Breathless. The Red Queen running just as fast as she could to stay in the same place and me flying helplessly along behind her.

The Red Queen:
I am the one who in in charge.
I am the one who can't stop if I want to keep up.
I am the one who wants to Be Somebody and Will Do Whatever Takes To Get There.

I am the one who doesn't have her feet on the qround.
I am the one being pulled along whether I like it or not.
I am the one who has climbed through the looking glass, entered the garden, and sought the Queen.

I awoke awhile back with this picture of Alice in mind. I knew immediately the card would be called Breathless. I made the card first with some embellishments -- not wanting to use just one single image. In the end, though, this image was exactly right. I redid the card and put it beside my computer.

Until I wrote about it (just now), I assumed Breathless referred to Alice. Now I see that Breathless can just as easily refer to Ms. Red Queen.

Yes. I want recognition as a facilitator of SoulCollage. and I don't have to make myself crazy to get there.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Selecting, Remixing, Finding Meaning

SoulCollage feels like a process whose time has come. There was an interesting article in Newsweek this week by Steven Levy. It's entitled
Life Isn't Just as You Want It? Remix It!

In a sense that is what we are doing with SoulCollage. Our SoulCollage webmaster, Jason Yergeau, spotted this trend at least six months ago. I've been trying to get him to write an article about it. In SoulCollage we are selecting and remixing and finding meaning from the barrage of images that assault us every day. Making meaning makes beautiful, too.

We now have 107 trained SoulCollage facilitators who hail from 15 different states in the USA, 3 Canadian provinces and the UK and Australia as well. Many of them are listing their workshops at

~Kylea Taylor

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My Body's Way

My Body's Way Posted by Hello - Committee

I am the one who has her feet planted firmly on the ground regardless of shoe style. I am the one who can dress up or dress down.

Energy of the card - Flexiblility
Last week I made the card shown above. I have been playing a lot with balance in my life. I mentioned my wonderful dance class, Nia, in an earlier post. Our inspiring teacher, Rachael Resch, constantly reminds us about levels. Level one is the foundational level – my body’s way since my knee surgery.

Instead of getting "wound up" (my husbands words) in my excitment over sharing SoulCollage® or writing a blog post, I think "Level one--REST." I sit down for 5 minutes and notice my breathing. I go into the living room and dance around to that marvelous music from Winged Migration. I give myself a foot massage.

How do I remember? I look at this card sitting right by my computer.
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Keeping track of it all

Journal Page - Book Lover Posted by Hello

This is a page I just made for Book Lover - Committee suit. I had written about this card last April, but decided I wanted to keep my writing in a more readable form. Plus I wanted a picture of the card to be with the writing. I came up with this journal page using a sample created by Noelle Remington, an inspiring facilitator in Seattle, WA. These are the questions members of our SoulCollage® group use to speak from our cards. They are adaped from Seena Frost's book, SoulCollage, which can be ordered from

Monday, February 28, 2005

Foolish Me

Waiting for inspiration Posted by Hello

Last week I was in my dance class Nia, and we were dancing The Fool. All of a sudden I realized the Fool in my SoulCollage® card was slumped on the ground. Of course Andy Goldsworthy is tossing red earth into the air – he is on his feet. Yet this other character is so earthbound. “I am the one who is of the earth. I come from the earth, and I return to the earth. "

You know, I don’t think this is my Fool after all. It is something/someone else. I will wait to learn more about this card.

I was listening to Seena's radio interview on HeartsArt yesterday. She reminded me that we often don't know what our cards are about. Sometimes it can take a long time to get the full message from a card we have made. I would be foolish not to wait....and see.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Wangari Maathai is outraged! And so am I.

This incredible photo came from a Vietnamese website. Since I don't read Vietnamese, I don't know who to credit. Here is the link.

Archetypal Energy - Wow! Pow!

In Seena Frost's July column on the SoulCollage® website, she talks about the difference between Committee cards and Council cards. She suggests that sometimes there is a fine line between them. At our gathering on Saturday in Davis I made a card called Sprouting Hope. It depicted Wangari Maathai, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. Sara Post mentioned that there may be a fine line between a Community card and a Council card, and that my card for Wangari might be a Council card.

Looking at the card (see Show Off!) I thinks it lacks some of Seena's criteria such as mysterious images. In my experience of the card I do find elements of archetypal energy.
  • The minute I heard about Wangari--only a couple of weeks ago--I knew I had to make a card for her. And since making the card I've been compelled to do more about the terrible situation in Darfur in the Sudan. Compelled and energized to take more action.
  • And I'm taking actions that aren't typical of me. Last night, after a very busy day, I drove to the Varisty movie theatre to ask if I could hand out flyers in the lobby after Hotel Rwanda let out. They said no, but I will do it outside. I'm printing petitions which I will take around my neighborhood. This is way more public than my usual style of "keyboard activism".

So my sense is there is some link between my experience of Wangari and The Keeper of the Children's Fire (Warrior) archetype. As Seena has said, sometimes you aren't clear what suit a card belongs to--if any. Sit with it. Or, in my case, run with it.

Does any of this talk about suits really matter? I think that being aware of what energy level we are engaging with can be quite valuable. The cards are expressing much of what we don't yet know about ourselves. Suits are just just one more way to "know thyself".

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

SoulCollage Facilitators in Davis after a delicious lunch.
Top row L to R: Sara, Lisa, Sheila, and Susan
Bottom row L to R: Karen, Sharry, and Sue

Fantastic Weekend in Davis, CA

This past weekend Sheila Filan and I traveled from Ashland, OR to Davis, CA for two wonderful SoulCollage® events at the home of the beautiful Sara Post (or was it the beautiful home of Sara Post?). Both fit.

On Saturday we made Community suit cards. I made the first card for someone I don't know personally, Wangari Maathai, the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner. You can see that card on my card gallery site Show Off!

On Sunday we met other SoulCollage facilitators from the Sacramento/Davis/ San Francisco area. Karen Lawrence, Sue Cross, Hannah Hunter, Lisa DiPlacido, Susan Osborn plus Sara, Sheila and myself had a wonderful time sharing cards, ideas, and observations. Mighty nice.

Thank you, Sara.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Poor Me - Committee
I am the one who is left out and feels sorry for myself. I am the one who creates my separation and then forgets I am it's author.

Low tech - High tech

This post is in response to Karen M's comments to January's post Letting Myself Be about making SoulCollage cards in the traditional cut and paste method versus the computer. Since that post, I have made two cards. Poor Me (done with cut and paste- above) and Clyde (done on the computer- below).

I have decided that cut and paste is best for my Committee cards. It's like writing in my journal by hand. Playing with the images, cutting them out by hand--I think I get closer to the hidden aspects that the cards help reveal.

For Community cards I still prefer the computer. I am after a certain feel. It is certainly more premeditated, but I am creating a visual alter to my loved ones--I want to convey my sense of them as closely as I can. The added flexibility of the computer helps me do that. I find it quite tactile also. I use a wacom tablet. Erasing is like coloring. Cutting is like tracing.

A special THANK YOU to all the wonderful photographers and artists whose images have inspired us to recreate and discover our inner and outer worlds.

Clyde - Community
I am the one who lives my life just as I am.

This card is in honor of my grandfather--Clyde Bruner--who lived surrounded bluebonnets in Navarro Country, Texas. My mother says of him, "He never traveled out of Texas and never wanted to." He died not far from where he was born at the age of 96.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

flyer for upcoming class

Geri Esposito, Sheila Filan, and I are offering Introduction to SoulCollage® March 19 in Ashland, Oregon--a great place to visit for art, plays, food, music. You're invited. (541) 488 -8016 or for more information.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Luna - Community


Clara's SoulCollage® card pulled at my cat love heartstrings. If you want to know about helping out kittys in Southern Oregon check out this article. It's from 2003, but still timely. Another great site is Cat News The princess cat at our house is Luna Muna.

My friend Sheila also showed me a site where, with a click of your mouse (kittys take note), you can feed animals in shelters. It is called The Animal Rescue Site.

Monday, January 31, 2005

This is one of the cards made at the SoulCollage Party. You can see Ginny's card entitled Me, Today by heading over to show off. A special thank you to all of the wonderful photographers and artists whose images have inspired us to recreate and discover our inner and outer worlds.

Clara's Card Posted by Hello

Visit for more information on the SoulCollage® process. The Card Gallery features many artists and examples from each SoulCollage suit: Committee, Community, Companion, and Council.

The party's over--literally

It is 10:45 (way past my bedtime) and I'm tired but satisfied. My first experience of sharing SoulCollage® was very fun and rewarding. Two women brought photos for making special cards for family members. Two women came to try out the process with little else in mind. And everyone's card turned out just great. It is such a reminder that we are all artists when deeply engaged.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Geri - Community
I am the one who is excited by life. I am the one who refuses to let others restrict my vitality and life energy. I am the one who isn't afraid to start three new projects at once.

Visit to learn more about the SoulCollage process.

Letting myself be

I was feeling some conflict this morning about card making. I love to make cards on the computer, but if I want to teach SoulCollage® to others--who will be cutting and pasting by hand, then I want to maintain my contact with this way of working. Plus I will want to have cards to show that were cut and pasted in "real time". Hmm.

When I went to the SoulCollage® facilitator's workshop in September 04, I wondered how I would make cards without the use of computers or copiers to resize. Of course it worked great. I made the two of the most dynamic cards in my deck. (See Moms to the Rescue.) Still, what a reminder that this process is magnificent--high tech totally optional. It would probably work just fine to tear around the images and use flour paste.

Yet, I love working on the computer with images. My communittee card of Geri Esposito is a good reminder not to get caught up in the "shoulds". Not to let my delight in doing SoulCollage in my way be dampened by my "rule follower".

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My 15 minutes of fame

Kylea Taylor, Hanford Mead publisher of SoulCollage by Seena Frost, e-mailed me saying she had gotten a news alert with a link to the Daily Tidings article about our Ashland group. Have a look!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Wow! I'm doing this.

I’ve gotten totally wound up in SoulCollage ( planning. Since I decided that I would offer some classes (and the paper actually interviewed me for a story), I went into adrenaline mode. My brain was buzzing and I’d wake up at 2 am with ideaphoria. Now, this is what I don’t want! Just when my life was getting settled down (okay, it was a bit too settled) I don’t want to be manic. NO NO NO.

Well, I thought, ask my cards. I’ve only done a couple of readings before—both very provocative—but I’d never tried it at home on my own.

I said a little blessing, worrying that perhaps leaving out the candle was inviting bad karma, and drew two cards. Two perfect cards. Devotion and Healthy Me (my very first card).

Okay, I just uploaded photos of these two cards and got 2 copies of Devotion. I guess that means that I've got a few more things to learn about this blogging business and that I must be doubly devoted. There are no accidents.

The cards have spoken

Devotion -- Council

I am the one who is empty. I am the one who reminds you of connection with Source. The more you open yourself to emptiness and intuition the more will be revealed.

Devotion -- Council

I am the one who is empty. I am the one who reminds you of connection to Source. The more you open yourself to emptiness and intuition the more will be revealed.

Healthy Me -- Committee

I am the one who is in touch with her body. Stay grounded. Walk. Breathe. (And take a break from the computer every 20 minutes!)