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Phoenix Rising 2012

Painted as the planets lined up in a Planetary alignment 2012

The Universal energy was relentless. The varnish was barely dry on Stepping Into The Fire, when I started Phoenix Rising. This would be the third painting in the series that chronicled my passage through awakening, heralding a profound change in both how I viewed life and in how my life would unfold in the future. And there would be no rest between paintings. Where before there
had been a normal drop in energy when a painting was completed, this time the energy held. The flow continued and I was directed to start again. Now.

People often ask about the background of my paintings.Yet once I complete a piece of work, that information is often entirely lost to me. It’s as if the information needed for the painting was erased from my mind, like clearing the clipboard on the computer or wiping a blackboard clean. While this is a little unnerving, it does allow the new piece to hold none of the symbols or information relevant to past imagery. It is truly a blank slate.

People are also often amazed at how little I know about the history, myths, and symbols in the art. This all comes to me, and more accurately through me, during the creative process. What little I might know I regard as clutter.This knowledge, including the views and belief systems that Courtney once held as true, must be swept away so the channel is clear. And the sweeping is not easy or comfortable as I cling to certain beliefs and experience the rumblings of misgivings. These views don’t want to budge. They are so much a part of the structure of Courtney’s personality. And now, as this mask dissolves, so too does my commitment to them.

Yet even in the sweeping away for Phoenix Rising, there remained a strong resonance with that symbolism and what was unfolding in my life. The mystical Phoenix can be found in the myths, fables, legends, and religions of nearly all civilizations and indigenous cultures throughout the world. I write ‘the’ Phoenix because legend tells us that only one Phoenix can exist at any given time. With the ability to fly through the element of Air, the Phoenix has since ancient times been a symbolic representation of Mind and Spirit. However a stronger symbolism is one of resurrection and renewal. When its current and very long life cycle is complete the Phoenix sacrifices its current self through fire to be renewed three days later. In this way it holds a similar energy to the Serpent who sheds its worn-out old skin in order to renew itself with the new skin of youth. The Phoenix releases its old and completed self because it is ready to be transformed, ready to be reborn from the ashes of the old self and emerge on a much higher realm. It is the fire of light, enlightenment, and illumination, the spiritual and alchemical fire of purification, wisdom, transformation and rebirth. It is the fire which does not burn, but which burns away. And in this passage of awakening, so much of Courtney was being burned away.

Some of the re-calibrations I experienced were so subtle that only through the increased self awareness enabled by the dissolving of old belief systems was there the clarity and openness to understand these changes. To accept these changes in the moment and moment by moment. With these new paintings, the source of that awareness was now limitless and radiated a boundless love. I named it Beloved. And I was inspired to express my love for it and my involvement and connection with it. In my previous association with the Merlin and Infinity energies I had built most of the story from my imagination. I was now able to be authentic in what I had to offer.

The endless cycles of situations I had been caught in throughout my life were disengaging. I was breaking free of old patterns. I was shedding a creative drive that was shaped and distorted by the infusion of fantasy and a good helping of drama. An emotional perspective was replaced with the clear and multifaceted perspective of oneness.

 I know there will be constant shedding in the future.This passage is not over. There will be intensity and at times almost unrecognizable subtlety. And I welcome each challenge, each rebirth, and accept them as Divine gifts rather than a Universal stab in the heart with a hurt that had plagued my life.

Change is often a huge leap of faith. Jumping off that cliff to soar into the Universe can be a big challenge. Yes, there can be a period of plummeting and pain that follow the leap. But wings will be found to ascend to greater heights and in that soaring, in that seeing the past receding into the distance, there is the knowing that it is all worth it.

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