Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gift to the World

This card is simply entitled Heart Chakra. Its creator is Alberta Powell. Her reading for this card is just as beautiful.

I am the Light in the dark.
(Seek me.)

I am the fragrance of Love.
(Follow me.)

I fly on wings of song.
(Soar with me.)

I am your true Home; the direct door to the One Eternally Radiant Source.
(I await you.)

I am the all embracing Sacred Heart.
(Come unto me.)

Though, here in Oregon, the days are short and most are cold, spring is promised. As we are reminded by Dame Julian of Norwich (and by this SoulCollage card) "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Longing for Sweetness

Tis the season for eating, okay feasting. What I've noticed as I scarf down that second piece of pecan pie is that I can get really, really full without feeling satisfied. I bet I'm not the only one.

It took me awhile to name this card and understand it's meaning. For me it is about using cookies/brownies/ice cream/etc. when I'm wanting to feel loved, to feel included, to feel safe.

I am the one who craves sweetness.
I am the one who can hardly wait for the delicious taste of mom's touch.
I am the one who is hungry for love.

And if food substitues for love too often, well, we get fat. One writer who has a lot of say on that subject is Geneen Roth. Prevention magazine also has some excellent articles you can read on-line regarding emotional eating. Perhaps you are someone who prefers to work with a real person regarding their issues rather than read a book. Check out one of our SoulCollage facilitators, Dr. Laurie Andreoni who supports healthy eating. Anne Marie Bennett, producer of the Kaleidosoul web site, has a inspiring article on use of SoulCollage with weight issues.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Inside Out

The Lockless Door

It went many years,
But at last came a knock,
And I thought of the door
With no lock to lock.

I blew out the light,
I tip-toed the floor,
And raised both hands
In prayer to the door.

But the knock came again
My window was wide;
I climbed on the sill
And descended outside.

Back over the sill
I bade a “Come in”
To whatever the knock
At the door may have been.

So at a knock
I emptied my cage
To hide in the world
And alter with age.

~Robert Frost

I was having trouble getting to the meaning of this card using “I am the one” statements. I said things like “I am the one who is somewhat in a daze. I am the one who is cooped up and knows things would be clearer if I could get outdoors.” One of our wonderful SoulCollage group members offered that if it were her card it might have something to do with transformation. Hmm.

I wanted to post this card here with something more meaningful to say, so I decided to try something new. I’m studying a wonderful practice known as Inner Relationship Focusing taught by Ann Weiser Cornell. I decided to check with my body and see if I could get a felt sense of what this card was all about. It wasn’t long before I knew that the perfect statement regarding this card was Robert Frost’s poem, The Lockless Door. This poem was pivotal in one of the most significant changes in my life over 20 years ago. Hmm.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A theme of pumpkins

This is my granddaughter, Evelyn, age 5, holding the two SoulCollage cards she made at a recent gathering. It was a combo swim party and SoulCollage evening to introduce Karen Mann to our SoulCollage community here in Ashland, Oregon.

Before the swim party Evelyn, Eli (my grandson age 8.5) and three other kids aged 8-12 made cards. It was my first cardmaking experience working with the under 21 set. The biggest similarity to adult classes was the quiet and concentration around the table as the kids choose images, cut, and pasted. And, of course, beauiful, interesting cards emerged. The biggest difference was the amount of help needed with the messy mechanics of glue. Another difference: mostly the kids chose not to talk about their cards. Could be they were just in a hurry to get to the pool.

The evening was spent (sans children) introducing our SoulCollage cards as a way to receive guidance regarding life questions. After Karen's explanation on doing a reading, each woman drew two cards at random from the table where we had pooled everyone's cards. In speaking from my cards I really appreciated Karen's suggestions regarding wording. After making several "I am the one...." statements regarding the card, I then began with the sentence "The message I have for you is.....". This way I continued to speak directly from the card, allowing more space for intuitive knowing.

As we gathered for a final circle, I felt deep joy. Everyone shared that they had found this a helpful process. For some, it was profound. Thanks to Karen and all who participated.

Want to try a reading right now? Visit for a 4 card spead. I suggest for at least one of the cards you speak using " I am the one..." and "The message I have for you is....".

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I made this card, Listen, after a recent meditation retreat with Russell Delman at Mt. Madonna Center.

Russell introduced a poem by Rumi, The Ear, which I memorized walking the trail to our meeting hall each day. One morning I saw a grey fox peaking over the top of a boulder, watching me. I stopped. I didn’t move. At first all I could see was his face which reminded me of my cat, Luna. He inched further up onto the rock until finally he stood fully on top and barked a wild “hello”. I think this is what I was supposed to hear.

I am the one with my ear to the ground.
I am the one reminding myself to be quiet.
I am the one who hears both inside and out.

One way to deepen your own meditation or quiet time is to use a Simply Silence CD timer.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Who guides you on your journey?

We have our real life animal companions--pets! And then there are the symbolic animals that act as our guides in our SoulCollage decks.

This is Anne Marie Bennett's SoulCollage card for her first chakra. I love this card because it looks so homey, yet mysterious and powerful as well. My card for my first chakra is a shark! Some companions are just more inviting than others.*

Would you like to know more about the animals in the SoulCollage companion suit. I recommend that you could take Anne Marie's teleclass (she calls it a "playshop" to give you an idea of the fun you'll have).

*Of course I appreciate my shark companion. She keeps me rooted in fierce loyalty to what's important to me. See her over at Show Off!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Uncommon Organization

I recently paid a visit to Suzie Wolfer, a SoulCollage facilitator in Portland, Oregon. She is an accomplished artist and was working on lots of colorful projects in addition to SoulCollage. She will be teaching a fabric process at Art & Soul in Portland this October. I saw some samples--amazing fusing of fabric using a soldering iron! Really. And the results are like something an elf would design.

With her busy life (a husband, dog, cat, job, etc) of course she is organized! But her Organizer card goes way beyond the usual clutter free and calendar minded concept—this card has pow! I keep a copy on my desk to remind myself that organization is as much about ideas and attitude as it is about stuff.

If this were my card I would say:
I am the one who gets it!
I am the one who knows that every piece has a right place.
I am the one whose instincts and intelligence take me there.

I'll introduce more of Suzie's cards in the coming months.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Recently my SoulCollage partner, Sheila Filan, and I were asked to offer SoulCollage as a “final” for a nursing class. This idea was dreamed up by Sarah Seybold, a member of the Clinical Faculty for Mental Health Nursing, Oregon Health Sciences University. She supervises a 5 unit clinical course that takes the nursing students into mental health facilities for 15 hrs. each week for ten weeks. Only kidding about it as a "final". No grades, just the happy gestation that takes place when one is cutting and pasting meaningful images. This soul collage session was about integration of their learning at the end of their clinical rotation.

We weren’t sure how SoulCollage would be received, since the students knew very little about it. It turned out they were delighted! Many loved art and had no time to dabble since they were loaded with homework and housework. They had just said their "good byes" at the sites they worked at. Each woman had much to share about what they had learned, and the people they had met. It was a wonderful afternoon. Here is the card made by Sarah. It was typical of the beautiful, and deep, work done by all. It was a blessing to offer this work to such a receptive group.

What follow are the words Sarah used in "speaking from her card".

I am the one who has been privileged to watch the soaring of nine women with organic wings.

I am the one who has seen my students go into dark places and seen a baby being born.

I am the one who feels so honored to have been present for all the births this quarter.

What does this card want from me?
It wants me to hold the memory of this quarter. To affirm the energy I’ve put into this time. To keep loving all the future healers.

What does the energy of this card have to give me?
Hope for the future. Belief in the value of going into the dark, the shadow, the shame. I can see that truth and wisdom come from the shadow connection. This card gives me connection, admiration, for all that my students carry.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


WaterBearer - Council Suit Posted by Picasa

Seena Frost, the originator and developer of SoulCollage®, wondered last year whether other folks had WaterBearer SoulCollage cards in their decks. If so, she asked them if they were willing to display them in an exhibition. The answer was an enthusiastic “yes”. I wanted to make a card for the WaterBearer in order to participate. Alas, no images emerged that engaged me. Darn. The exhibit went up without my card.

The exhibition happened. Twice. First at Galeria Tontantzin. Next Sue Volpi Gelber (with help from Sara Post) displayed the exhibit at the Davis Art Center, Davis, California. And, now, the WaterBearer exhibit is virtual. Anne Marie Bennett has put up many of the cards shown in the WaterBearer Exhibit on her website. There is also a great article by Seena concerning this powerful archetype. I have posted some cards from the exhibit on Show Off! Another place to view the cards and article is at Mili Ballard's site SoulCollagers' Respite.

So, with all this inspiration flowing around me, I found the images (ok, they found me) for my WaterBearer card (pictured above) . I have not made many Council cards, and I felt a bit tongue tied when I began to speak. (“Will I measure up to the power of this awesome Presence?”) Then I remembered the wonderful Rilke* quote from Seena’s article, and I began to speak.

I am the one who is reflective.
I am the one who is life giving.
I am the one who is present with what preserves life.

The issue of water is monumental. Not only may we have reached Peak Oil, we may have reached Peak Water. Now there’s a problem! Or a bigger problem may be that we have water—but not where we want it and it’s moving so fast!! Hello, Katrina. Hello, Rita. Helloooo.

Today is the last day of the 4th World Water Forum. You can check out what they have been doing there in Mexico City. I’m sure WaterBearer is a witness to our renewed interest and activity on her behalf.

WaterBearer, we come to you as petitioners, as devotees. You have our attention. Let us hear you wisdom. Guide us.

* Rainer Maria Rilke
Let no one say that I don’t love life, the eternal Presence: I pulsate in her; she bears me; she gives me the spaciousness of this day, the primeval workday for me to make use of, and over my existence flings , in her magnanimity, nights that have never been. Her strong hand is above me, and if she should hold me under, submerged in fate, I would have to learn how breathe down there. Even her most lightly entrusted mission fills me with songs of her; although I suspect that all she really wants is for me to be vibrant as she is. (Fragment of an Elegy, Appendix to Duino Elegies, translated by Stephen Mitchell)

Seena describes a beautiful ritual she does that includes memorizing and saying these lines as homage to WaterBearer. I'm going to try it. Read her article for more information.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This Woman Rocks!

Barbara Sher is one of my favs! I’ve loved her wonderful energy, encouragement, advice, and innovation since I read her first book, Wishcraft, many years ago. It was great fun to make this Community Suit card honoring her.

Barbara has just come out with a fantastic new book called Refuse To Choose. It is a book about a personality type she has dubbed a “scanner”. That would be me.

I just sat down and read this book from start to finish. There are helpful exercises I will do later. I felt such joy at really understanding, for the first time, that trying lots of different things is my talent. I even made a SoulCollage card for that aspect of me. I called it Ideaphoria. You can see it on Show Off.

If you are a Scanner you will love this book. You might also enjoy connecting with like minded folks on Barbara’s Scanner forum. Her board also contains other wonderful forums such as Idea Parties, Wishes and Obstacles, and Success Stories. It is definitely a place to get ideas and help.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Stained Glass

I just finished this SoulCollage card and put it in the middle of my home alter. When I was a kid in Fort Worth, Texas, I spent Sunday mornings in Central Methodist Church looking at the beautiful stained glass pictures. I think it jump started my life-long spiritual quest.

I am the one who loves color.
I am the one who is ready to play with fabric, paper, crayons, ribbon, paint--whatever.
I am the one who is smiling.

A multimedia artist who has been very inspiring to me is Lisa Vollrath. Her site has an extensive gallary and lots of free stuff. If you relate to this SoulCollage card, you are sure to enjoy her work.
Thanks to Karen Mann for telling me about Lisa.

PS If you would like a way to open and close your mediatation ( or yoga session, nap, etc) with a beautiful bell sound, please see my Simply Silence CD, the Timer with Soul.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ready. Set. Go!

This beautiful card is by my friend, Ava. It was her first card, made at our first SoulCollage Adventure class. Here is what she says about it.

I am the one has a great group of women to support me.
I am the one who celebrates success.
I am the one watches the transformation.

Cool, huh?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Food Salvation

I loved Anne Marie's card (see below) about nourishment. I set out to make a card on nourishment for myself. And here it is. After making it, I realized (as is likely to happen if you make a card as intuitively as possible) that this card is about a lot more than nourishing myself. It is about the lifelong belief (ok maybe it didn't start until 6th grade when it was important to have a J. declare his love by giving me a dogcollar to wear around my ankle) that eating the right foods, in the right way will bring salvation. The good life.

Eat right (vegetables, low fat, no sugar) and I'll be able to do handsprings until I'm 90+. That's been the latest permutation. My knees will stay strong. I'll be able to stick to my meditation schedule. And my mother will not have back problems. It all depends on my self-control.

I am the one who goes overboard on one Righteous Eating program after another.
I am the one who loves pictures of vegetables but craves the taste of chocolate. See my hungry self card on show off!
I am the one who worships at the altar of food perfection.

This past month I've read several books by Geneen Roth, who counsels me to eat when I'm are hungry, eat what I want, and stop when my body signals "full". Hmm. I'm trying. It feels weird to be able to actually make oatmeal cookies, I mean a whole batch, for myself, with no guilt. It has been hard to eat when I'm hungry and not because it's lunch time. And am noticing how often I want to celebrate completing a big project by nibbling. Is this new program of mindfull eating just one more way to propitiate the food goddess? Too early to tell.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Good Health-I'll drink to that!

Whew! January.
I survived frosted cookies, egg nog, fruitcake, and yummy pies.
Now I'm ready to think about repairing the damage. I know not everyone goes overboard during the holidays--just most of us.

This card by Anne Marie Bennet reminds me that healthy eating can be just as beautiful as something smothered in chocolate.

I am the one who knows how to nourish myself, who drinks deeply from the bowl of life and never worries about the bowl being empty. I am the one who easily says, "Enough."

On her website Anne Marie has several cards relating to eating, body image and weight loss. She suggests that everyone could benefit by making a SoulCollage card for "I am the one who knows how to nourish myself". Of course this is not just about food.