Find yourSELF through SoulCollage®

SoulCollage® is a marriage of art, psychology, and spirituality. It is a creative and intuitive way to get to know and to understand the multitude of voices that influence and guide us. When we listen, we are steered by our innate wisdom instead of by fear or grandiosity.

Collage is an easily accessible art process—it is playful.  Leafing through a magazine of photos is relaxing—our analytical mind quiets down.  Certain photographs resonate with us; sometimes we do not know why the expression on a woman’s face or the apprehension of a watchful lion speaks to us, but it does. We tear it out, add a bit to it, and we make a card. Sometimes this gives instant voice to some deeply buried part of our self; sometimes it is a familiar persona that we often expose, and sometimes we do not really know—yet.  We keep leafing, we keep cutting and pasting and we keep honoring more and more of our own distinct voices, influences and energies.  Our deck of cards builds and becomes an assemblage of our own wisdom.  We ask a question and then randomly/intuitively choose the particular voice that can answer.

In a workshop we learn to create a deck of cards that represent these distinct voices. We make cards for different aspects of our personality, cards for the specific people that have had an impact on our lives, cards for the archetypes that affect us, and cards for the animal energies that influence our chakras. (Other categories may also come up for you.) No artist “talent” is necessary. The power of the cards comes from your insightful reaction to the images.

In a workshop we also learn how to “read” the cards. Seena B. Frost, the creator of SoulCollage® had this to say about readings: “The intention of a SoulCollage® reading is to provide a way that our personal and powerful card images can actually speak aloud to us about important life questions. Images have a way of bypassing the chatter of our logical minds and nudging our deep Soul wisdom where intuitive answers can be found and spoken. Doing a reading in a supportive, small group is especially powerful because Souls love the silent embrace of witnesses.”

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Bring the Ancient Wisdom of Feng Shui into Your SoulCollage® Readings

Feng Shui’s Bagua Map (shown below) is generally used as an actual map to guide the placement of objects within a space (structures on a plot of land, rooms in a building, furniture within a room, items on a desktop.) Because at its core it is a symbolic internal guidance system for maintaining a full and balanced life – each section (gua) represents an essential element of life – it can be a wonderful SoulCollage® reading tool.

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I periodically do a SoulCollage® reading that contains nine questions, one for each gua on the map, pulling one card for each question. Sample questions for each would be (starting at the center, moving down, and rotating clockwise):
1) Which part of me needs Healing right now?
2) What is the message from the current place on my Journey?
3) What should be my focus of Self-Cultivation?
4) What is the Mentoring wisdom I should listen to right now?
5) What is the lesson of Abundance and gratitude right now?
6) What is the message from my north star? (Illumination)
7) What should be my Relationship focus?
8) What is the wisdom I should listen to in order to activate my Creativity?
9) What is the current lesson on giving/receiving and supporting/being supported?
(Helpful Friends)

After the nine questions are asked and the nine SoulCollage® cards are pulled and speak their particular messages, what do the nine cards collectively have to say?

I recommend pulling the cards at random rather than selecting cards that may seem topic-appropriate. A seemingly incongruous voice can give us the fresh perspective we need. For example, I tend to engage in creative activities when I am in a melancholic/brooding mood. In my last reading I pulled my “Happy Child” card as a response to question #8. This was a reminder to bring not only more of “me” to my creativity, but especially this lighter, playful me.

More focused readings can be done as well and these are very potent.

The center vertical line in the map represents our individual journey through life, leading towards illumination. Focusing on this axis could raise a Reading question such as, “What guidance is offered for my successful journey?”

The center horizontal line represents where each of us came from and what we will leave behind. A possible Reading question could be, “What gifts from my ancestors should I pass on to my children/infuse into my art work?” I would be inclined to draw three random cards for these vertical/horizontal gua readings, but use your intuition – one may be perfect.

The corners of the map represent the aspects of our life that make it rich and full. Opposing corners happen to contain aspects that complement/balance each other. Doing a reading that concentrates on these corners – complementary/balancing traits within us – can facilitate a dialogue that may help to work out a dilemma. For example, the Love/Relationship part of our life works best when Self-Cultivation is engaged, and vice versa. We can neglect ourselves when in relationship, and can neglect our relationships when we get a little too self-involved with our personal growth. Pulling a card for each and setting up a dialogue between them can be very helpful in recognizing the tilt in that teeter-totter and in finding ways to adjust to get things back in balance.

A personal dilemma of mine: I am continually getting into friendships that seem one-sided, leaving me feeling emotionally drained. I am a natural counselor and am often sought out as an ear. My pay-off is that I like to be needed, like to feel wise, so I encourage these encounters. The problem is that the needy people I engage are not so good at being there for me when the tables are turned. While we think of “Abundance/Prosperity” as involving finances, it really has more to do with all that we have and can share, including the love and support I can offer to my friends. The cycle of giving and receiving is the key, and I did not feel I was getting much back from my “Helpful Friends.”

I did a reading on these complementary guas (Abundance/Prosperity and Helpful Friends), asking, “In order to reconnect to the cycle of giving and receiving, what should I know?” I pulled two cards at random.

Out of the Fog Out of the Fog

PachaMama PachaMama

“I Am One Who has felt invisible; I am starting to come out of the fog.”

“I am PachaMama – the earth mother, the one who graciously accepts the gifts from the heavens, from the elements, and generously offers her bounty to all who need my gifts.”

Through their communication, the following consensus occurs:
“I Am One Who is stepping into visibility as I lean on the parts of myself that are able to offer unlimited bounty to others and to myself. Constant replenishment comes from my source, my strength. As I step out of the fog, I let down my shield of pride and let others in, let myself be truly seen. Beyond attracting those who lean on me, I also attract those who offer me their gifts, laughter, shoulder, and friendship. I step out of the fog as a worthy friend.”

I made the “Out of the Fog” card because the feeling of invisibility has plagued me throughout my life. Though I have not considered it relationship-directed, this reading points out that it has probably been exactly that – it has provided me with a safe hiding place within my relationships. I encourage others to share so that I can remain silent.

I feel uncomfortably exposed (visible) by this reading (my solar plexus immediately clenches in a sense of lost power), but that layer of the onion was very important to peel. While my reflexive habits will not flip overnight, I can slowly make my way out of the fog, and can possibly have what I yearn to receive from others by giving more of my visible/true self. Earth Mother empowers me to receive in abundance.