Waiting at the Gate

waitingatthegateOctober, 1995
Oils on paper
18”x14”

It wasn’t until I went to Peru in 2004 that I finally went deep into the heart of the Mother.

Journal 10/10/95: I was looking through the Goddess images book I had splurged on – Hallie Inglehart Austin’s Heart of the Goddess – and came across the image that made me buy the book: a stone yoni doorway from ancient North America. It gave me the shivers and I instantly wanted to go through – touch – sit in front of it. Then in the book I found a meditation/visualization that talked about calling on one’s grandmothers and being passed back through some portal and given a token.

So I lay in the sun and put on the Steven Halprin record which I had recently discovered. The grandmothers were pretty clear in my head since Skye had just been going over the family trees the night before for an assignment. As I got to the stone portal and was letting go to enter the phone rang. I considered not answering it but shot to consciousness and did. It was Vivi. In telling this story later the painting group laughed and said how I’d “called her up” to interrupt me so I didn’t have to go through the doorway. While I was on the phone with her, Morgan arrived home with a sprained ankle.

Later sitting in the sun I realized I should paint the yoni and me in front of it like my vision. So I leapt up and went down to my space. I had a sensuous feeling painting it.

I’m sitting in front of the portal draped in the orange power cape. I put it on myself as uncomfortable as it is. I feel very patient – waiting – waiting for?? What will entry mean to me? By my side is a bouquet of flowers – an offering. I had the feeling that the climate was hot and dry – Greece or Crete maybe. Stones filled the background though part of me wanted to paint a hot, dry sky.

November, 2004 – Nine years later this painting came true – not in the Mediterranean as I had imagined it but in Peru on a group trip with Nicki Scully’s Shamanic Journeys. And as I had hoped, it was a true initiation. Our second day in the Cuzco highlands, we went one at a time, into entrances like this one that tunneled through the rocks. Sometimes it was so pitch dark you could not see where you were going except to follow the shaman’s instructions to hug the left wall – or was it the right? I am terrified of caves and the shaman’s coyote trickster energy kept my palms sweaty and my heart pounding.

I even got the token. We did ceremony later that day in another cave with a hole above streaming light in as we called on Pachamama (the Peruvian Mother Earth) and snake energy. When we came out of the passage I found a scrap of fabric on the ground – a special omen for me who has been working so with crazy quilt patchwork in my art. As well as working on my fears.

Living Out Loud Show, November 2004.

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