CANGLESKA WAKAN- SACRED CIRCLE
Cangleska Wakan - Sacred Circle 2017
Cangleska Wakan, was energetically building up for a week or more and there was more than a little reluctance to begin something new at this time. There were a lot of events happening in the gallery that needed my attention at the time. One in particular was the mothering of a large marquee that was sit on ground behind the gallery, wasn't in good shape outside, within an hour of it going up a herd of cows were munching the canvas entrance. Although it had become very popular venue it badly leaked, the floor often flooded and it was very draughty after the cows devoured the canvas and made that area vunerable to the elements. I spent my waking and dreamtime either worrying it would get blown away or mopping up and repairing the leaks. It wasn't an ideal time to ask the Universe to throw everything at me to launch me into a new creative mode. Still, I was being pressured to begin, I went through my little ritual and innvocation prayer , I think the saying, in for a penny, in for a pound seems to sum it up.
I started at the time of the early stages of the protests in North Dakota in 2016. It was in my mind to work on a Sacred Circle, a very rare occurrence for me to begin work like this with an idea first. It seemed it was as a move of solidarity with the protests going on at Standing Rock.
I was personally going through my own much lesser challenges with authority at the time and also dealing with issues related to how some people were treating the sacred space I was trying to create. The marquee needed to come down as it wouldn't stand a winter, my energy level was pretty low and the prospect of the work involved was exhausting merely thinking of the task. I was also dealing with my disappointment at the way the space had not been given respect during some events. Sadly this made me question how deep was my commitment to staying at Tara and it's ever growing responsibility. I spent a lot of money and energy creating the Tara Open Studio and was often surprised at some people's insensitivity and disregard for a place they came to for healing. I would find things broken, rubbish and take away cups hidden behind cushions and drink spills on the newly laid carpet. This was all reminiscent of a gallery centre I set up in the 90's and went through similar trials that ended with it being attacked by Born Again Christians who attacked me, my windows and abused customers. This was obviouessly a fraction of the suffering the brave souls protecting their sacred land in the USA and their stand against an authority that showed no remorse for their aggressive response to a peaceful protest.
It seemed obvious to me that the new art was going to be dealing with commitment, so probably embarking on the work might clarify the situation for me and by totally accepting whatever outcome was to be the best for my growth and that to also include walking away with nothing. Throughout the early part of the painting, I constantly reviewing how it was effecting me inwardy and how that was then reverberating out. No alternative avenues were opening up that would make leaving a possibility for me at the time, so the job seemed to be something that needed to be resolved rather than walking away.
People lives are caught up with the everyday world and they come for a couple of hours to step away from their pain for a short time. Yes they were probably inconsiderate in their behaviour, but I couldnt in all honesty impose my reverence of the space on them. I had to consider my own connection to the space and why I did the space come together, was it for my own ego, or was it offering a space as a dedication to the Beloved, letting it evolve of its own and as it moves through those changes, highlight my own changes and what they reveal and need attending to. In a sense I was taking it to personally, it is what it is and I needed to address the situation but also view it in a more multidimensional way than from an I perspective. It wasn't for me to label someone who I only saw a fraction of what makes them tick, who knows what fear comes up for them when an accident happens, sometimes we panic. My devotionional commitment is creating the space, whatever unfolds from that just is, if I cannot deal with that then that's my problem no one elses.
The painting stopped midway and the flow of inspiration wouldn’t restart until the summer of 2017 when the Sioux claimed, “Victory and Vindication” in the court, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline did not receive adequate environmental vetting. At the same time my own problem with authority was resolving itself to a greater outcome than I could have imagined and the painting switched back on.
I have often noticed how Beloved in its wisdom and playfulness conjures what seems total trouble and confusion into my life and various situations rise up that seem totally unrelated to each other. Somehow or other they weave together into clearer picture of what’s been played through, often with amazing synchronicity all becomes clear. Life routes you may have tried to travel, expelling lots of wasted energy and effort working against resistance, often at the point of exhaustion and a broken spirit, suddenly life is seen in a new light thats interelated more fluid and not that 'perfect' path you had fought for.
Cangleska Wakan is a Lakota term meaning Sacred Circle or Hoop. It is based on the Sioux concept that everything, the earth, sky, and universe are interrelated, human beings and all things which exist in their environment are connected in one continuous process of growth and development. It instructs us about the seasons, life, animals, and the earth’s compass. Cangleska being circle and Wakan meaning holy or sacred. Most important are the four cardinal directions, North, East, South, West which are directly linked to the four colors associated with them, the four races of man, White, Red, Yellow, Black, the four seasons Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall/ Autumn, the four elements Wind, Earth, Fire and Water and the four stages of life, infant, youth, adult, and elder.
Ancient people from different cultures such as Aborigines, Egyptians, Celts and the Native Americans believe that birds and feathers carry stories, mystical meaning and even magic, wearing feathers on their heads in various forms gave them as a sacred connection to God the Creator, and the Divine. The feather symbolizes trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, freedom and many more things. ...Native Indian warriors were awarded a feather when they were particularly brave in battle. When a feather falls to earth, the Native Americans believe it carries all of the energy of its former attachment on a bird to a living being. Feathers are perceived as gifts from the sky, the sea and the trees. Feathers arrive unexpectedly, but not without purpose.
The Native American Tribes beliefs are based on Animism which embodies the spiritual idea that all natural things within the universe, including birds, have souls or spirits. That souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in birds, their feathers and in animals, plants, rocks and natural phenomena. The doctrine of animism is that everything is alive, and possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom. When you look at a feather, you will notice that there is a shaft running up the center of it vertically (the white part that looks like a stalk). This shaft is hollow - so the idea is that the person's prayers go upwards through the hollow shaft to the Creator - and then his blessings come back down to you through the same orifice, which acts as a channel.
Traditionally, when a feather lands at your feet, its seen as a positive omen that prayers have been heard and answered, that spirit is communicating with you and showing you their support and guidance. All around Europe, and in other parts of the world, stone circles can be found. While the most famous of all is certainly Stonehenge, thousands of stone circles exist around the globe. They connect the earth and the sky and are astrologically-placed, from a small cluster of four or five standing stones, to a full ring of megaliths, their positioning was probably based on knowledge about the movements of the cosmos gathered over several generations. The stones are positioned to connect with the path of the sun and moon at different points in their cycle.
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• Phoenix Rising • Opening To The Beloved • Breath Of The Beloved • Lifespirit • Transition •