SOMETIMES, THE PAST COMES INTO FOCUS IN THE MOST MEANINGFUL AND PROFOUND WAYS...
Unknowingly, I predicted my future:
This page is from my first completed visual journal.
It was a true journey of the soul. Each page was made thicker and more substantial by my written words and loving embellishment.
Though I say this is a 'page', it is actually the inside cover of the journal itself.
Before the flowers were added, the inside cover of this book was first and initially blessed solely by the sweet presence of this lovely Gypsy. Were you to hold my journal, you would see that she is three deminsional; found art ~ part of a broken key chain, it seems. She was discovered on the streets of Las Vegas by my daughter... then pregnant and about to give birth to my first grandchild.
My beautiful daughter, so far from home... so full bright dreams... Though she could not have known what depth of meaning this Gypsy would hold for me, she somehow intuitively knew, immediately, that I would offer her sanctuary; so she picked her up and tucked her into a letter addressed to me.
I love it for that reason mostly, but also, for many more.
When I first received the letter, and saw her, I felt an instant kindred connection; and was reminded of some fragmented poetic words I once read...
"Autumn is a gypsy with jewels in her hair."
Without contemplation, I knew just where she belonged! In the journal that I had started several years before.... So, I glued her onto the inside cover as the Priestess Protectress of all that the book would contain.
Beneath her image, I wrote:
She walked away
the Mother, but
and was the
Matriarch, on her
way around the
wheel to Priestess.
These words are profoundly meaningful to me now, as I wrote them when I was 38, a new grandmother, yet, still so full of dreams myself...
We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.
~ Gypsy Proverb
I did not know it at the time, but I was destined and guided to become the gypsy priestess. For the following ten years I would live as a wandering, wonderlustful woman of water and earth and fire and wind... Woman with a gypsy soul. Daughter of the moon. She who held the sweetest fruits in her mouth with such passion and deep appreciation. She who was wild and ripe and juicy; literally dripping with sweet desire. She who wove her dreams into reality... I spent far more than a decade working with the Goddess Inanna, and it was under Her constant guidance that I was made Priestess by sacred rite.
And, I promise, I did not consciously remember this journal, nor this gypsy when I chose as my name: 'The Gypsy Priestess'. Yet, a more fitting name I could not have chosen, nor imagined. And, the words I wrote (as if upon the altar before her), predestined my future! As you may know, I would later write and teach a 13 moon spiral journey* around the wheel of life for women. One that includes the three mentioned archetypes: Mother, Matriarch and Priestess, among ten others. (But, that is a story unto itself, best saved for another time... as I still have this one to tell).
What I have not yet told you, is how the flowers came to be placed upon the first page seen upon opening the book that is my journal..... This is, after all, the story I came here to tell. The one that offers hidden wisdom... grace... and a key to my future; and perhaps, to yours.
How the flowers came to be....
Some moons after giving the autumn Gypsy a place of honor, and while coming to the completion of this first journal, my husband at the time flew into a rage over its very existence (for some still unknown reason).
...I was in deep meditation that evening, fairly lost in its pages, when he, without warning, grasped it from my possession and violently threw it across the room!
I remember no other thing about that evening, as I simply cannot speak rationally of the utter disbelief and hurt I felt over this mean and senseless act on his part; but I can tell you that it broke my heart when I rushed to it, only to find that its heavy cover had been broken open! I sobbed. I cried as if over an unexpected death... I cried myself to sleep that night, like a motherless child.
The following morning, I realized it had not broken clean through to the front of the journal cover, as I had thought. The wound was only done to the 'tender' inside, (which I had left open to the moonlight that pour in through the bedroom window... so the moon could watch over it as I lay dreaming). Oh! How this tender (hidden) wound spoke deeply to my woman heart... As, so often in life we are wounded deeply in ways that others cannot see.
Later, that same day, he apologized for his irrational behavior and offered to repair it for me. He used some thick clear glue that held it firmly together, but left an ugly scar... (an eternal reminder that womans power is threatening to men who fear it, nor understand.)
Determined not to allow pain, sorrow and brokenness to be the story she tells the future... I chose to draw nine flowers and lush green vines to heal, and forever grow and blossom. I did not know it at the time, but I do now: Nine is a powerful number!
The number 9 is the number of Universal love, eternity, spiritual enlightenment, spiritual awakening, service to others, leading by positive example, soul purpose and mission, destiny, inner-strength, intuition, self-love, inner wisdom, freedom, mysticism, accomplishment, and Divine knowing. It calls us to use our gifts to make a positive, influential difference in the world.
Each of these attributes and qualities speak of my sacred journey becoming and being the Gypsy Priestess!
You may also find it meaningful, as do I, that she, the Gypsy, did not come off, nor did she break during this rage, but instead, remained firm, standing her sacred ground. A true and symbolic heroine. She reminds us just how strong we are capable of being.... That if we remain true to our purpose and spirit, nothing can ever destroy or harm us. (Which, I truly believe! As a key chain was not her mission, and thus she broke free. But being guardian over my sacred journal/journey was, and thus she stood steadfast.)
The dragonfly was added later. It is one of my animal spirit guides and represents 'Illusion'. It taught me in this situation that pain isonly an illusion. Once we are willing to feel it, hold it and sit with it, we will hear its message and then, it will fly away leaving us able to breathe deeply into the moment.
When I look back at my journal today, it is difficult to understand how it ever broke the way it did in the first place. It makes no sense.... Yet, it did. And, like many unexplainable hurts and scars, it serves a purpose: It offers lessons learned and wisdom gained ~ and a reminder that pain, no matter how deeply felt, last forever.
Some day, I will give my journal to my granddaughter and pray that it will be a book of beauty and wisdom that she can turn to when she needs guidance, courage or strength. May it speak when I am no longer here to whisper to her my hard earned truths.
Until then, I cherish it for the many bits of wisdom, truth and beauty it offers to me in my life now.
In the pages of every journal can be found insight and wisdom. We are wiser than we know.
In the spring of 2015, I will be offering a creative online visual journal course. If you are interested, please comment below or send a private message.
It will be officially announced early in the new year.
Watch for it!
*You will find my 13 Moons and 13 Faces of the Goddess course listed here, under "Wisdom" on my website.