Out of the Ashes

(click to enlarge)

September, 1999
Acrylic, Graphite, Charcoal, India Ink on Paper
36”x 43.5”

Done in Susan Keizer Workshop

This is the Moon Card in Lane's Greenwitch Tarot:

The Moon card is often about creepy crawlies coming up from a body of water exposed by low tides or the out-going wave of a tsunami (Tower XVI). Fearsome shadows and memories come to light, hopefully to be laid to rest. Here we have both the dark of the Moon when we can see the stars best and also find her full and lovingly cradled in our female belly, the swirling 2nd chakra of creativity. Or is that a drum available to make music to help heal the traumas? The painting is titled Out of the Ashes. A witch-burning is hidden (painted out) under the flames. I suspect that anyone using this deck (or other decks) has at least one past life of persecution or enslavement buried in their cells and bones. We also carry the lineage of the perpetrators and must come to terms with that horror as well. We fear that we risk such persecution again by being out in the open about pagan beliefs and practices that celebrate our deep connection with the Moon. Especially doing so in a small town. But the Phoenix is rising. Exotic flowers bloom from the compost of those memories. We are strong and beautiful, no matter our gender, tending to those memories in our bellies, assuaged by the promise of dancing in a circle with our compadres. We can now come up out of the ashes like the Phoenix. I have been assured that we won’t be burned again.

Do you have memories of the pain and terror of those times? They are probably showing up in arthritic stiffness, chronic illness, etc. that hold you back from claiming the power of your deepest, truest Self. What work is needed to assuage that? Many modalities exist now to help with the healing process: breathwork, massage, ecstatic dance, shamanism, vision medicines. Now is the time to clear ourselves for fullness to appear.  

Text of Out of the Ashes Show at North County Recreation District, February 2004

For a long time I’ve been facing the fearful memories of the Burning Times when women (along with some men) were tortured, burned, and hanged for being healers, midwives and wise ones. See Flashback and Deus Ex Machina.

There is a deeply held, visceral fear among many of us that we risk such burnings again by being out in the open about our beliefs and our deep connection with the Mother. Especially doing so in a small town. I share this painting publicly with some trepidation. But the phoenix is rising. We have come again. Flowers grow out of the compost of those memories. We are strong and beautiful, men and women both cradling those memories in our bellies. We can soften around that fear – all fears. We dance in joyful circles of tribe and community. Out of the Ashes like the Phoenix.

In the Out of the Ashes Show was the work was done as altars and unusual framing as I was in rebellion about more conventional framing. The paintings weren't conventional so why should i box them into standard form?!

Out of the Ashes original framing