Art as Ritual – a Search for Meaning

This is attributed to Pablo Picasso – The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.  

Picasso was well aware of the importance of self-expression, as these words indicate. This one reminds me that the creation of a ritual, such as SisterCircle does, requires a release from the ordinary. I find that to be true, whether it’s a personal project or a turn of the Wheel of the Year.

I wonder, as I explore the many layers of circles that surround me, as I come into and out of my experiences, whether art is an expression of a journey, a ritual. And those among us who put something on paper, or create something to be seen, are we simply performing our own rituals. So, it seems when I create something, I am performing one. It takes me from the dust of everyday life.

Just as the purpose of a ritual for me varies with the time of the year, the purpose of my art varies. Sometimes I look for an interesting subject. Or maybe a story in the image. Or just play with colors. Actually, my visual expressions require many of the same qualities as a ritual done by SisterCircle, for example.

Here are the steps.

  • Gather materials and choose a site
  • Assign the contributors’ roles
  • Choose the medium – size, color, texture
  • Perform the creative activity
  • And, finally, Offer the results for viewing

SisterCircle has a tradition… and that tradition centers around the Wheel of the Year. We’ve been creating and participating in rituals for over 23 years. Together, we hatch a plan, do all of the preparation, and execute the design. Many times I have marveled at how it all comes together, even at times when some of us are ill, or too busy to come, or out of town. It just works.

Now, one of the differences in creative actions is the goal. Perhaps the goal is the experience of someone outside the creator. In a religious ritual, on the other hand, the goal is the involvement of a group, large or small.

In my art, does it matter? Is that how other artists look at their work? I don’t know. Imagination is personal. As are some rituals.

I found this, by one Sharon Devlin:

The purpose of ritual is to change the mind of the human being. It’s sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant and the purpose of it is to activate parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity. . . As for why ritual, I think that human beings have a need for art and art is ritual. I think that when we became sapient, we became capable of artistic expression.

Rituals are mindfulness, generosity, self-reflection, meditation, above all, an expression of our connection to each other, to ourselves and to the world. Blessed Be.

Heehee Trump – The Wig Got Too Tight?

So I love irony – here goes – 1. I’ve been boycotting #starbucks like forever. I don’t care I don’t like their coffee and it is very expensive. I couldn’t care less what color what snowflake or rainbow they put on a cup. just don’t write Joe for Jo. So #Donald wants to put more people out of work? What happened to his support of the $15 minimum wage! What a dope. Follow the dots. I guess I’m jealous because I barely made that as a fully certified and accredited graduate with decades of experience and mad skills. But the truth is, I can’t make a decent cup of coffee, not even for the next #presidentialcandidate!
2. Now to wax religious. The solstice brings with it holidays galore. If your faith doesn’t have a holiday, well, that is so sad. As a Pagan, however, and as a Unitarian/Universalist Pagan at that, I am in the best situation possible.
#UUA has a set of seven principles which, if you follow, make all religious observations acceptable. However, the third issue with #hairydonald is his lack of discretion when he threatens free speech. Suppose I were to go and tell a whole country that they would have to honor the solstice and say “blessed be” in December.
Is it because he’s a male brained person? Or old? Or a multi-billionaire? I don’t know for sure.
But I’ll keep wondering and hopefully enjoy my pagan solstice in style with my UUA community.

Holding off on FALL Planting – or Putting it Wildly

Someone, a well wisher of very important status, both friendship-wise and wisdom-wise, noted my lament over putting things off (especially the weight on one side of my body). I thought how ironic, that the usual confusion occurs in my grammatically-obsessive mind.

Yes, I am planning a FALL planting. What that means is simply that. To practice a full range of nutritious vegetables and fruits in the home garden, it’s important to time the growth of each plant using the seasons. As we pass through the mid-summer season, and head on into the dark of the year, to use some Pagan concepts, we begin to plan a continuation of our delicious garden offerings.

Maybe this piece should be in another blog, my blog based on garden topics, or in my fictional blog, to conceal the identity of the injured party. But it is here, to keep things straight (especially my left kneecap).

Stay tuned as I notify, notice, notate my progress at each step(!) of the way.

8-5-14 post
Heading for a FALL

Jo’s Not-so-Silent Night

Ever wonder what the difference is between Christian or Jewish or any other established religion’s traditions and legends are at this time of the year and mine, a Pagan, earth-centered tradition? It’s so easy.

I can prove my faith. I can prove that it gets darker around this time of the year, and that no crops are growing and that the fur on my animal companions is getting longer and thicker. I can prove that in a couple of weeks, as the moon waxes to full, there will be an impressive, noticeable lengthening of the daylight and a shortening of the nights. The nights right now are downright oppressive. We are hardly done with dinner, and it feels as if there are countless hours stretching ahead before we sleep.

So, I read, watch TV, play computer games and delete blurry photos from my archives.

It is not strange to admit that some things can be proven, and should be acknowledged amidst all the fascination with olden tales. What is strange is the plastic santa claus or animated snowman sidling up to the column of wise “men” on their way to the front yard mangers here in town. There seems to be a dichotomy. Many homes have one side of their display devoted to Disneyland icons or Charley Brown statues, and the other side mangered complete with almost life-sized donkeys and sheep, who were supposed to have kept the baby Jesus warm and safe. All this is fine. I am more than elated that Santa is still an honored guest at the birth of the Sun. For that is all it is. Any savior birth stories we know are but stories, put together and preserved at the whim of a Pope or writer, some 2,000 years ago.

We must remember that the physical, empirically proven event of the Sun actually being reborn on the Solstice is beyond time, and is the universal signal for rejoicing and renewal with our families, friends, and livestock.

Once I am geared up to celebrate the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, my spirit rejoices as well. I know that soon, I will be able to enjoy a later walk with Missy, despite the cold. I know that the cold will eventually give way to warm, and occasionally foggy mornings will be extra welcomed.

I know that once again, I can look forward to a new year and new experiences. Life goes on, and it is okay to wear my pentacle and talk about earthly tidings.