If you were to consider
straddling the thresholds
you might hear a warning ring out
The old ones say this:
“Language has skin and color
and doorways to other worlds.”
The voyage might call you because
you are still searching for your secret name.
Perhaps you seek a sacred image of you
from another realm. You just know it exists.
If you can’t find it, you will make it
with your own two hands and a stardust brush.
Somewhere you know, that your identity
is yours to design, but how?
Perhaps you know already that images have
the power to create and destroy.
Maybe you have been called to listen to the earth,
moving your body to ancient sounds only you can hear.
A story is longing to be told through you
that emerges from the intersection of the
known and unknown?
A story carrying secrets in her teeth,
leaving pawprints in the mud to follow
and flowers for your wind-blown hair.
We know this much at least.
No one but you can tell the story that
needs to be told right now.
This story is a marriage, old and new
and makes a sacred third of now.
This story is yours to tell, but will you?
We have need of your voice, your face,
your place in the order of things.
The Circle of Your Imagination
has something to show you.
The Muse deals in riddles and rituals
when she invites you to tea with uncertainty.
The Muse has a bit of a limp these days,
and is only willing to work with those
who are edge-walkers, fire-breathers,
circle-callers and skin-dancers.
She will even invite you to sit in her chair.
The Muse doesn’t have a preference
for whether you are brave or afraid.
Makes no difference to her,
only that you show up like you mean it.
Between the mythical and logical
there is a holy wild place anticipating your presence.
The imaginal domain awaits your full attention.
The Seat of the Muse straddles both worlds
If you are truly interested in what it takes,
you will need to position yourself
so you can see
in all directions at once.
~ Shiloh Sophia
Will you Straddle the Thresholds with us? You will be in good company!
Paint, write and dance with a vibrant community of creatives all year in 2021.
Live within a mythic context of ritual and the phases of the moon.
We are making generous scholarships available to ensure
all who desire this experience can journey with us!
An Invitation and Thoughts on the Brain and the Heart
I send you greetings on this last day of the 2020. More than anything, I want invite you to focus on what really matters to you in these coming days and months. Just this choice, begins to organize things in a different configuration. What needs to be released is revealed and what wants to be claimed begins to speak.
My year has been steeped in story. I started studying story and storytelling a few years ago and this cycle has been rich with learning ancient fairytales and myths. I have been so sustained and moved by story – it has completely informed my entire year next year! And I feel joyful about this! I feel like 2020 was a ‘cooking’ for many of us who were already deep into the work of justice making and transformation – and we went even deeper that we could have imagined. Watch that next step!
Today’s message is an invitation to join me for the year in a dedicated sacred creative practice and to learn why this matters so much to me and all of us here at Musea. Have time for a cuppa tea – because even if you don’t join us, this message has something for you.
Living life in the context of ritual changes the texture of every single day. The experience in living a life in Ritual will lay the foundation for everything that happens in your experience of 2021. Creating in this way can be your go-to place, your rescue-remedy, your visitation with beauty, and your threshold crossing. And even if you are a lone wolf you can howl with the rest of us! Humans are going to need to stay closely conencted in the best way that we can.
Each of my yearlong courses catalyzes a deeper level of teachings to come forward from my lifelong body of work. I have been searching for a ‘position’ from which to view who we are, and what we are doing here on Earth that is non-ordinary – a position which includes what needs to get done but does not sacrifice story or beauty. I have been making inquiries into what power we really have to evolve, to make make changes, and how to get on with it. And, experience joy along the journey!
Each one of us can take responsibility for becoming as awake as our soul will allow us to be at any given time.
If we each experienced a profound level of responsibility, we would have a different world overnight! There is much work to be done – the ‘chop wood, carry water’ kind – on both the personal and collective level to accomplish meaningful change in our world. We in Intentional Creativity have recognized that this work becomes more possible and impactful when – at the individual level – we know who we are, what we stand for, and our creativity and love is accessed and activated!
What is going on in our world anyway? Some schools of thought say we have not evolved out of our mammalian brains, and are becoming more destructive due to heightened greed and the systems and actions that are enabled by it. There are those who believe an intelligent evil is manipulating our ability to do right. Others say the Anthropocene (age of human impact on the earth) has been occurring now for over 8,000 years, which chillingly coincides with the time frame of patriarchy!
I don’t know, you all – I really don’t know what is going on. I do, however, have something we can do about it. I am very clear there is something to do, and that in that doing, we save ourselves, each other and the earth to the best of our ability.
I tend to think the lack of coherence between the heart and the brain is something that is really impacting our awakening, and good news – you can do something about it. Here is a meditation. When you consider the three-brain model which includes the ancient, the limbic and the neo-cortex, and that it is possible MANY of us have not been able to access the highest potential for our brain, you start to wonder how this is impacting us collectively. What if what is needed for people to shift away from the fight or flight response that war mentality and polarization, into the seat of reason and the responsiveness and right action that issues from it? What if something as simple and obvious as creativity is the access?
The Heart begins to have more coherences the moment you focus on it. When the mind is out of coherence with the heart, it is doing what it is doing without the necessary and powerful inputs and signals from the heart that tend to move us out of fight or flight and into consciously experienced emotion and, ultimately, reason. Therefore, if a person is not activated in the heart and is not inviting coherence between the heart and mind, they may stay in patterns that are harmful or destructive. They could go their whole life without even knowing there is a choice. The heart and brain must be working in tandem for awakening to happen and for DNA to be impacted. I pretty much focused on this all year on forging this connection in my community. What I learned, specifically about medicine painting is being infused into Ritual – Our Medicine Painting and Mythic Journaling Course
This question of how to bring people into heart and brain coherence often wakes me at night. I don’t want nice ideas, I want results. I want science. I want action. I want to see the change in people. If I am honest with you, I am pretty concerned about how things are going here on earth. And I am also very serious about the work at hand. I have not ceased to do this work of awakening since my early twenties. I was blessed to have Elders and Teachers who passed on cherished information to me and I put it to good use in new contexts, along with my incredible team at Musea. I must also say that my amazing husband has done so much for my understanding about HOW what we do works – so that we can reverse engineer experiences that CHANGE us a the most fundamental levels.
Okay if I go into a hot hot hot topic? There is a challenge I have only recently become aware of, that comes from inviting consciousness by choice. It is hard to talk about. I get scared when I do – like I am looking over my shoulder for someone to come take me away and silence me. For a long long time we have been choosing organized spirituality and systems as the mode of transport into the higher realms of consciousness and humanity. But we all have differing spiritual beliefs – there really is very little agreement across or within systems even if we act like we are. It is all very personal – and there is nothing wrong with that. As long as exact adherences to dogma isn’t insisted upon for inclusion.
What if our very spiritual approach has been preventing our evolution? What if our insistence on our version of the truth and clinging to the stories we have been told, is literally preventing the potential of individual and collective awakening?
I am not one of those people who think we are essentially bad and need to be taught to be good. I think we are good. It makes me cry to say it. We got pretty messed up along the way, losing our clear inter-dependence with one another and the earth.
We can’t go back – we have to go forward. To go forward, we need people who care. People who care, who carry stories in their hearts and minds that heal.
By saying that spiritual systems the way we are working with them may be a hindrance to awakening, I am not suggesting we bypass a relationship with Creator and Creation. I am very much in an on-going relationship with my understanding of the Divine. I am talking about something else – something that is quite literally hard-wired into our biology and kept in place by epic narratives insisted upon by the dominant culture (and often the religions of our childhood, even if we have moved on).
What I am suggesting is that the chosen evolution of consciousness is biological and imaginal. Can we imagine a new future? You bet. Can we see our part in that? Yes. Can our body respond to these desires? Yes. We need our body and our minds and hearts to work together to move us forward into the new narrative, which is old and new. Determining an effective way to do this is often the issue. If not spirituality, then what? If we do hold to spirituality as the path forward, what might be required within our spiritual belief systems to amplify an outcome of goodness and compassion?
Many people who come into Intentional Creativity as a practice say they have been looking for this all of their lives. As human beings, we are designed to wake up, to consciously evolve. Yet the initiation of this awakening calls for a catalyst. What we may need are ACTIONS that allow us to practice new ways of inhabiting ourselves and shaping our identities. We can’t think ourselves awake, we must act. And if we act with ritual, we will be amazed at how the Muse rises to our support.
Creativity activates life force. Intentional Creativity focuses the activated life force. We need a bridge between heart and mind, between the mythical and the logical, between energy and matter. I often call this ‘riding the equal sign’, and it is here that the imaginal can begin to illuminate us. I am inviting you to claim the power to act by tending your own mind, heart, body and studio.
For 2021 Musea : Intentional Creativity is dedicating our yearlong community focus to waking up by choice! We will work directly with the circle of our imagination – what I am calling ‘Orbis Imaginalis’ – to really INHABIT ourselves and our relationship to earth and one another. The mediums for this journey of habitation are painting, writing, connecting, movement and practicing ritual in tandem with the moon and a sense of place within our own story and the collective story. The territory of mythic imagination and how it translates into your life and relationships is very exciting! The above image is a symbol of one of our teachings in Ritual.
You will never regret investing your time and resources toward an experience of waking up and the creation of an incredible artifact – your resultant painting and writing. I am inviting you to come. Make 2021 the year you inhabit all of you and the earth in a loving and powerful way. This could be your present to yourself. Need help making it happen financially – ask. Those who can pay make possible many women working from home – we have an incredible line up this year, including two men!
As for me, I am going to dedicate most of my innovative creative energy into this ‘ritual space’. So if you want to work with me in 2021, join me for RITUAL! I would love to have you with us and start the new year knowing we are together. The Orientation videos are already waiting for you. And yes, this is also a bit of a primer for Intentional Creativity and the science of how it works, when combined with medicine painting. Whatever you choose, I am sending blessings for your 2021. 2020 has been quite a ride, and a ride that has greatly informed those of us who choose to serve with our life force. This year has shown me what I need to focus on. So I am. Here are my inquiries.
4 Part New Year Inquiry that you can bring to your journal.
- How can I complete 2020 in a way that honors my experience?
- As I cross the threshold into the New Year, what can I let go of?
- What do I deeply desire to experience that I can create for myself in 2021?
- What context or theme can I create for myself in 2021?
I am thinking of you. What a different New Year we will all experience than ever before. I am getting off work early, my love is opening a nice bottle of champagne, the tunes will be turned on and we will plan our year ahead.
A big part of my gratitude is your presence in my life. A long long long time ago I had something quite special happen in my life, I was able to FEEL love for people way far out on my red thread. People I may never meet. And in some cases, we are choosing to meet, which is pure joy. May you feel this love moving towards you right now.
So together, let us straddle the thresholds between worlds, this is being asked of us in more ways than one.
With a paintbrush, a pen, and a candle for hope,
If you want to comment on any of this in Facebook – go here.
By the time you see a graphic like the above, there are many many sketches like these that go into the design. Then I bring it into photoshop and work on it, sometimes, for years.
What do you have planned for 2021? How will you intentionally make this year different?
What new context will you create for yourself?
Would it feel good to begin the year with a sacred creative practice alongside over 100 women from around the world?
RITUAL is Guided by Shiloh Sophia with support from Jenafer Joy.
with featured guests
Mythologist and Author, Dr. Martin Shaw
and Theologian and Author, Dr. Kayleen Asbo
Come and see what’s in store…
I am also very excited to be working with Jena C. Owen again for 10th year in bringing you experiences like this. And wow how lucky are we that Dr. Martin Shaw will be gracing us with his stories from his most recent book, All Those Barbarians, which already has my hair standing on end, in a good way!