A photo of the right eye I painted in my talismanThis summer has been filled with deep, soulful, purposeful movement.  I’ve spent a significant portion of my days pondering, researching, designing, creating, fine tuning, facilitating, painting and writing as I fully stepped into the questions of why am I here, what am I here to cause and create and who am I serving.  Mountains have moved as I’ve gained clarity and insight into my big “Why” followed by the “How’s.”  The results are being released throughout this week as I’m excited to share and ready to pull back the curtain.  Before I take you down that path, I want to share my newest painting.  She played a key role in my discoveries as she took me on a sacred journey over the course of the last few months during which time she slowly revealed herself to me on the canvas and, more importantly, transformed my life.

This painting was created as part of my Color of Woman course and this is my Talisman.  The purpose of this painting was to enter into a creative inquiry inside of my being.  I had the opportunity to choose conscious creation in every area of my life. I went on a journey of awakening.  A journey to find out who I am and what I’m all about.  It was not for the faint of heart, but a shero’s journey never is.

I started the process by writing my intentions on the canvas, which is a 36×48 inch canvas:

a blank 36x48 inch canvas and I started by writing my intentions on the canvas: to remove any roadblocks preventing me from accessing my authentic power, to tap my into my inner wisdom, to divine my unique path and to receive clarity on how to use my skills and talents.I pondered my past, present and future and glazed the canvas using 3 vibrant colors.

the canvas is covered in orange and yellow as a glazing process
As I entered the journey, I did so with a desire to consciously create.  I looked at my current self and asked the tough questions: Who have I been being? What doesn’t work? Who am I no longer willing to be? What wounds hold me back? What is the fear that prevents me from taking my space on the planet that’s mine to take? I was on a journey of awakening.

a painting with a rounded arc'd door

I traveled through 9 doorways, each teaching and revealing something deeper about myself.  Each requiring a key only I could use to unlock the door.

a round arc door and inside it is a symbol of a key and key holeMy keys took many symbolic forms….

One of the early pathways of the journey was to gather together the lost parts of who I am.  Over the years, I’d allowed parts of me to be cut off, which causes fragmentation.  I took a journey to find the missing pieces and stitch them back together into the fabric of who I am and who I am becoming.

a painting with the doorway covered by 2 series of 3 circles in white, purple and greenI released what was no longer serving me, while inviting in what I desired to create in the form of a declaration:  I invite and usher my dreams into my present, current life.

I added a declaration to the canvas that is in the process: I invite and usher my dreams into my present, current life.I wrote a message to myself using a water color marker and then listened to the 4 Tenors sing “Forever Young” and moved to the powerful music as I sprayed water over the message and watched it melt away, never to be read by anyone, but felt by all as the energy emanates from the canvas.  I painted over it using white paint representing a purity from which to create while swaying to the music, getting ready to call forth the face of my sacred being.

I wrote a message to myself using a water color marker and then sprayed water on it until it disappeared
The rough outline of the face painted in white paint
She was ready to emerge….

The face is very slowly starting to take form
A little more detail is added to the face

Symbols were also starting to be revealed to me.  The headdress on her lioness mane is her version of the Excalibur sword.  She is reading from a book of wisdom as she becomes heart-centered with her life as she begins to take flight as a rising Phoenix.

The face of the woman is taking form with clear eyes, nose and mouth and now symbols are added: a heart, book and phoenix rising
More color and form being added to all the symbols and faceThe book of wisdom now contains my declaration: I’m ready to make an impact.

I added two earrings, each consisting of 2 round circles and one has a compass in itHer headdress was taking a more ornate form and the earrings were a representation of the universe, of which she’s a part and can access through conscious summoning.

A painting of a heart with a candle in it and a lotus sits on top of itThe heart is the center of all, which guides her actions.  The candle is to light the way for others and to shine within to add light to the dark places.  The lotus flower grows above the heart, but takes roots in the experiences of life, especially the murky, dark places and times, from which it rises above in beauty and purity.

a painting of a colorful PhoenixShe is a rising Phoenix

a painted image of a compass
A compass to guide the way

a metal key hole collaged onto the earring representing the universThe gateway to the universe

A key collaged onto the painting in the headdressA personal key to unlock the gateway to the universe

a few crystals added to the paintingCrystals connecting the heart

a painting of the eye
Window to the soul

A photo of the completed painting of my talisman hanging on my studio wallThe finished lady, my talisman, now hangs on my studio wall, greeting visitors and reminding me of my Shero’s Journey that first guided my summer and now guides my life. As part of my sacred journey, I wrote extensively about the experience.  At the end of the pilgrimage, we were instructed to craft an adventure story of our transformation, of my conscious creative act to build a consecrated self – a talisman – a self that I invented from the self that I was, to the self that I am, to the self that I’m causing.  Here is the ending of one story, and the beginning of another.

My Sacred Journey

As I look over my shoulder, I see the flames shooting into the night sky from what remains of the shell of my torture chamber, burning to the ground never to entrap me again.  My gait is solid, intentional, bold and certain as I leave behind the ring of fire that held me in its dungeon for far too long. 

I couldn’t find my way out sooner.  I found false doors, trap doors and illusionary doors.  The real door and its key patiently awaited discovery as the carnage melted from my carcass, fanned by my explosive new plumage allowing me to take flight and soar above the ashes, unfolding in a rainbow of color and sizzling my chakras into purposeful action.

A phoenix rising. An amazon warrior. A high priestess. A shaman.

A shero’s journey through an odyssey beyond the labyrinth, destined for greatness if successful in navigating the darkness; if able to resist the demon’s temptation to return home to end the unbearable pain of being lost and severed from source.

The darkest fears lurking in the ordinary moments. The abandonment of sacred; the governance of story. The ending unknown until the fire burned high and hot, adding certainty of the alchemical purity to the resulting body, mind and spirit.

Success reigns true.

The consecration of the Talisman.  Pure in purpose. Clear in vision. Certainty in action.

From the hellish depths of the dank dungeon of rotting flesh of self-doubt, fear, insecurity and invisibility blossomed the lotus flower.  Burgeoning pink petals fill the heart space, illuminating truth and love, melting away carnal cravings and anchoring an audacious spirit to her higher consciousness, at one in body, mind and spirit.

My compass guides me, steering from my true north star while navigating this world and the portals to the next.  My headdress is my personal Excalibur containing a key, accessible by me alone, to unlock the gateway to the portals of my consciousness.

Each day is an adventure of my making. It is the sum of my parts, of this world and the next.

No more ordinary moments.

Title:  The Shero’s Odyssey Home


Joan Jakel

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