I feel I have to share this salient point before continuing along any of the threads I seem to be writing about on both of my blogs lately since they make no sense without it. For the last year or so, I feel as though I’ve truly got beyond karma or “the karmic way of experiencing life”. And the point I just made over on my health blog (in my post What Your Body is Trying to Tell You) is that what has recently played out in my work-life seems to be a very good metaphor for this change.
Until two years ago, my art practice was centred on painting in oils. However, at the beginning of 2016, I felt called to go to see a particular healer that had worked with me at the very beginning of my spiritual awakening. I had no idea why I was suddenly called to revist her after all this time but I went along with the intuition and, over the course of two sessions, it felt like I untied all of my karma and let it go; as it were, leaving it behind on her treatment table. I didn’t know that at the time, though I registered that I felt profoundly different. My experience was that she dredged up what felt like the very root-stock of an extraordinarily long karmic thread from which innumerable other threads had originated and though, as she did this, she was racked with emotion and pouring rivers of tears over me (it really affected her), I felt positively ecstatic lying there on the treatment table. Truly, I felt lighter and more switched on than I could ever remember and as though some massively dead weight had been shifted. Over the course of 2016 from that point, it felt like I tied off the ends of several karmic threads whose “stories” had been playing out in miniature in this lifetime (I wrote about much of it in this space) and it even felt like I was still attached to these stories as I processed to these endings. But by the end of the year, I had tied off so many knots and had largely wound down to a sense of void, by which time (and this was exactly a year ago) I felt pretty exhausted.
The thing about void is it can leave you feeling confused…and so I was, since I had never felt less attached to anything in my life. The challenge is, when you are used to experiencing a life that is largely dictated by the impulses of karma which have you doing things in order to resolve or contribute to some sort of karmic sub-plot running like an undercurrent to your so-called free will, you still feel directed by impulses that feel “outside of yourself” in the sense of them seeming stronger and more irresistable than your own, innate impulses. When you have all choice because those karmic directives have ceased, you can feel so bewildered that you, as it were, stand still for a while…and that’s largely what I did, all year during 2017 (as I wrote about in my post “Taking a breather” last week). In my art practice, I felt particularly confused as, very suddenly, painting in oils…which, until this point, had taken centre stage of all my creative urges, being the one thing I always came back to within days or weeks of taking a pause…just suddenly went away. I packed away my paints at the end of 2016 (still in the midst of a canvas that remains unfinished), expecting to continue a few days later, and simply didn’t pick them up again. This left me stranded somewhere between bafflement and pure curiosity; because, what did it mean?
At the same time, my strongest creative urge in early 2017 was to start seeing what I could create digitally and this is where it gets interesting. Because, as I started to compare the two processes, I started to observe that, as I just wrote about in my post What Your Body is Trying to Tell You “switching from the very slow and laboured, stopping-and-starting, backwards-and-forwards and multi-layered process of painting something in oils, usually over many weeks or months, to digitally producing art at a very rapid pace, by comparison, feels like the equivalent of dropping the karmic perspective to become a fully crystallised being devoid of all that need to revisit what you once did and make sense or improvement of it. There’s something crisp, pure and transparent about the digital process. Its like using only the best, most enlightened bits of your experience to make the picture of your choice without having to labour and revisit or recycle what feels done with, including all those early “mistakes” that you are striving to make good of”. I would even go so far as to say that I identified how I would sometimes seem to make a sub-consciously deliberate “mess” of an oil painting, or make it more challenging than it needed to be, in order to put myself through the long and sometimes arduous process of paring it back, repairing or making the best of it; always getting some sort of life-lesson out of this for sure…but it became so laboured. Often, the the time spent on a painting was completely out of proportion to the satisfaction gained from the end result and no one except me could ever expect to gain the same degree of satisfaction or understanding from it, though there was often a sense of my epiphany contributing to the collective consciousness. Even then, it had started to feel leaden and unnecessary to take so long over one piece of art, so shedding this practice and starting to play with digital processes where, yes, I still work in layers yet they shine through one another far more overtly, collaborating their best elements, and without massive convolution underpinning their agendas for being there, feels so liberating. What you see in the end feels direct in a way that oil paintings never were (I literally can’t bear to hang some of those on my walls as they carry way too much energy from when I painted them). And when a digital artwork is done with, its done with and you can easily disentangle from it and move on, having invested a temporary portion of your energy in it but without sense of having left a piece of your soul behind (in fact, soul in that sense feels quite done with), like quantum entanglement with a material object. I feel free to walk away and start something new…over and over and over, without the time lag or sense of linearity tying me down to a physical object that now hangs on someone’s wall preserving some part of me that longs to be set free.
So my very visceral sense is of having moved through karma to, perhaps, a phase of (as John Lennon described it) instant karma in the sense that, as my awareness of everything going on in and around me sharpened-up over the last decade, there were indeed times when it felt as though the instant realisation of my part played in the cause and effect of my life triggered such instant remorse, regret or sense of responsibility that decisions felt pained and more burdonsome than ever (for a, thankfully, brief time relatively speaking). In that sense, yes, the karma felt instant and I had to assert myself to choose according to an innate sense of appropriateness more so than themes that would have had me following through on old karmic threads that continued to assert that I had unfinished business when I already felt done with whatever that was. This, in many ways, was a rite of passage as I took over my own controls more fully. And then, now, to this place where karma feels like its left the building for long enough that it really feels gone; and I can feel the fresh breeze tickling the air where it used to take up space. That’s not to say that other people aren’t still experiencing it since, I believe, karma will continue on (at least for now) in the experiences of all those who live from that perspective. What I feel I can also stand testament to is the ability to live beyond it now since that option is fully available as soon as you reach the crystalline perspective, which is a consciousness choice in the same way that tuning into the ninth wave is a choice that can be directed by the higher mind by choosing your themes and maintaining balance. And from what I’ve seen so far, I can recommend it. Yes, there is initially a sense of void, of not being compelled this way or that to the degree you wonder who you are now, almost of lethargy as you wonder why you would do anything at all any more. But then something else starts to assert and it comes from a feeling of lightness, of multiple uniquely earth-related possibilities presenting that tempt you to experience them and of feeling more overtly guided and uplifted by the heart as you decide which ones to reach for. It’s all new still but I feel I’m setting into it as we turn the corner into 2018 and am looking forward to meeting you there when you’re ready.
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I relate so much to this! My stripping-down and washing-away series of astrological transits (involving transiting Pluto, Neptune, and Saturn with natal Mars, Moon, and Venus) had this effect, the effect of stripping away karmic connections. The void did feel disorienting–I had to learn to breathe through “not feeling like myself” until I could settle into myself as breath and energy, rather than myself-as-feelings. I recently (as in two days ago) experienced the conjunct of my second Saturn return (it’s very brief for me, this time around–only one direct hit, and within two degrees for only about four weeks now, then another four weeks in the late summer, and that’s it!) , and I feel that this transit completes all the transformational transits of the past seven years. I enjoy reading your accounts so much because I see universal and energetic patterns being experienced, and I love to think of all the others also experiencing similar shifts!
Now this response from you really got my attention Cathy as I am working with those exact same planatary influences following a deep reading of my chart…..Though I’ve never been that deeply into astrology before, I’ve been deep diving to gain some incredible insights this last few weeks which has helped me to understand the personalities of these particular planets like never before. Helped, I must say, by Anni Sennov’s unique and resonant handling of the planetary energies as I’m still deeply into reading her books. Constantly intrigued by our synchonicities!
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Wow! Fascinating! This is your natal chart? I’ve got natal Neptune in my sixth house, also, and those extreme life-changing transits were transits, not the natal configuration! Amazing how astrological energies express themselves to us!
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I’m glad that you’ve found a new way of making art that seems to have freed you up so much Helen, good luck with all you might make this year!
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Thank you Andrea, looking forward to hearing about your creative ventures too.
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