(click to enlarge)

March, 1997
Acrylics on Paper
16”x 24”

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist will answer you, I am here to live out loud!” - Emile Zola
This is the Balance XIV Card in Lane's Greenwitch Tarot:

Traditionally this is the Temperance card and the most mysterious of them all. So many different interpretations. Some decks do call it Balance. Usually there is an angel, often with rainbows that are the mix of the Sun’s fire with water to form the alchemy of steam. Here an unlikely looking bird – sorta’ duck, sorta’ gull, sorta’ hummingbird -balances on the crescent moon. There is a timeless pattern in the ever-repeating phases of the Moon and tides, but at this crescent stage theMoon is signaling new beginnings. Balance must be  at play to manage a tightrope. Wings outstretched, orange power cape in place. Is that a dragon in the gut? Friend or foe? Its shape is echoed by the sounds in the throat chakra moving up and emerging from the beak. It is speaking a dragon’s power, beauty and gifts to us. Speaking Truth for sure – letting the words and the song rise up from the throat into the Air. Much is happening internally in the beautiful egg within the torso’s second chakra. Creative energy is shimmering around it. The green heart chakra glows, the Phoenix rises. The all-seeing eye is lined with kohl like an Egyptian Goddess, perhaps winged Ma’at of Justice XI with her balanced scales. Heart chakra blooms bright green. Part of an eggof creation to be birthed? There is potent possibility here, no matter how mysterious.

Doesn’t this look intriguing?! How do you deal with the fantastical? How do you find your equilibrium as you dance through your days? Do you need more of it in your life? Do you allow yourself to speak the truth? Can you feel the egg getting ready to emerge from inside you? What do your wings look like? This is a call to be your true authentic Self and to find Balance during both the “good” and “bad” days within the Journey.


A strange hybrid is this mythical phoenix whose tradition is to rise out of the ashes. Is it a hummingbird? The snow goose with its black tipped wings that is my shamanic power animal? Yet, it has sort of duck feet and head relating it to the almost comical duck as chopping instrument in The Last Period painting done just after this one.

It is certainly singing its truth, throat chakra open and clear reminding me of the bird /air cards in the Shining Tribe Tarot deck. My orange cape of power is there and the crescent moon of many European Madonna figures, as well as a shimmer of light around the wings and shoulders. Could she be Kwan Yin – the Asian goddess of compassion I fell in love with as a child?? In the center lies a calm and beautiful belly with green heart chakra blooming above. A smaller more normal looking phoenix rises there above a dragon figure – fire in the belly. There is cleansing water too. Soft belly as power.

This painting is a promise – a balm to my still roiling belly and still un-birthed potentials. It is a stance I take in my very best moments. A “being” rather, than a “doing” stance. Calm and assured, I embody and thus speak my truth.

I used Phoenix to practice building altars when I was getting ready for the “Out of the Ashes” Show. It sure wanted lots of birds but then birds have been omens and

messengers for me all my life. It feels good to honor them. But it was the one I had the most fear about “nailing” down. It was so beautiful as it was first framed, simply in gold. Yet, I loved the synchronicity of the coloring of the

painting and the candlestick. The latter came into my life a long time after the painting was done. During the show, which was dedicated to Frieda Kahlo, a friend came through and said she had given the candlestick and that she had bought it in Mexico City around the corner from Frieda Kahlo’s house! If that didn’t give us both chills!

The painting sold without the altar – back to its more simple frame. Then a couple of years later a friend called to say that she’d found the painting at Cartm so I went and bought it back. What an interesting life it has led.