3 Reasons Why Tibetan Buddhism's Practice of Chöd Radicalizes your Witchcraft.

To be a Witch is a radical thing. To be a Witch is to declare yourself a true bad ass. To own yourself as a Witch and delve into Witchcraft requires you to show up in this crazy world. It requires you to show up 100% with who you are and where you are at. To be a Witch is to embark on the journey of the soul.

Witchcraft is akin to Soul-Making; both are a life's journey to answer the deep call of your heart and soul. Both Soul-making and Witchcraft require a very powerful type of honesty, willingness and acceptance of who you are. This is a very radical thing in my books.

Chöd is the radical Tibetan Buddhist art and craft of marrying your subconscious and conscious mind. It is the union of your waking self (your thoughts, goals and beliefs in your day-to-day life) and shadow self (your deeply hidden, taboo and dark core-stories and beliefs).

What makes Chöd so radical and necessary for Witchcraft you ask? Let us dive deep into the dark-night-of-the-soul to find out:

 

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1. Chöd Illuminates our own self-sabotage.

When you start to dive deep into the black waters of your subconscious mind, you begin to uncover rather unsavory aspects of your personality. It is these aspects of yourself that are deemed bad or taboo by society, family and ultimately yourself. It is these taboo aspects of your mind that actually hold the key to incredibly powerful Witchcraft and Magic-Making.

Much of what you believe yourself to be is actually what the misguided world has told you is true. They are ideas given to you by others, all the way back to childhood. These ideas are like insidious seeds that take root and hold all throughout your life. They are ideas about ourselves that were implanted by a family-member, a friend, and even a forgettable classmate or neighbor. These ideas grow to become part of your core-stories of who you think you have to be. They are ideas that have been with you for so long, you begin to believe and take action to further prove these core-stories as right.

I am unlovable. I am bad. I am a failure. These are common core-stories that most beautiful humans walk around with everyday. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of carrying these toxic and false stories. After all- it is the Wheel of Karma. We know not what we do.

What the practice of Chöd does is shine light on these false ideas and stories. It allows the truth to be seen for what it is. You are able to see the clarity of cause-and-effect. You are able to see who you are not. Think of practising Chöd as the illumination and disintegration of large spiritual blockages you have been carrying around for years, possibly decades. By dissolving these previously held stories, you are making spiritual space for more magic!

2. Chöd turns your demons into allies.

A very curious thing happens when you accept and own the darker aspects of yourself. The newly illuminated nasty parts of yourself start to become your greatest teachers.

In Tantric Buddhism this is called Inviting Mara to Tea. Mara is considered the embodiment of illusions, falsities and the general trance-state of our reality. Instead of preparing for battle against your demons, you invite them to tea. When you readily accept and listen to these demons, you realize they have an wallop of insight to teach. What was once an ogre is now an ally. What was once an enemy is now a friend and tremendous Guru.

3. Chöd streamlines this new abundance of energy into serious Magic-Making.

Energy is inherently neutral and of infinite-potential. This applies to the internal energy you have stored away in our psyche. The energy that was once used to perpetuate your core stories of I am who they say I am is now free and jumping at the chance to serve you. You have essentially levelled-up in your magic-making potential through serious psychic investigation. Cool, right?

All the energy you subconsciously put into sabotaging ourselves is now latent and waiting to manifest your true soul's desires. It is ready to be harnessed into amazing and beautiful spell-making. It has been waiting for you to finally realize the incredibly powerful Witch you have been all along.

In Conclusion:

The practice of Chöd is not convenient. It is not something to be finished over a rainy afternoon. It is an ongoing process that is uncomfortable and at times painful.

In my opinion, practicing Chöd is the prelude to the art of Spell-craft and Witchery. It shows that all parts of yourself are sacred and of infinite- potential. It allows you to see the the lies the ego has told you are true for so long. It allows you to take charge of your life and fate.

What a wonderful and radical thing it is to be a Witch.

Liquid Alchemy: The Importance of the Artist's Process

 Artist's alchemy 101

This past year I discovered the trans formative effects of art-creation.  I discovered the use of art-creation as alchemy. I used this new transforming knowledge to heal old rips in my psychic-mesh and to spring-board me into further internal transformation. Cool, right?

Cool and deeply terrifying. Growth is almost never pleasant and almost always painful. Why risk the pain? Honestly- the risk was definitely worth the reward. The healing rewards that took place were absolutely worth the risk of the pain.

This past year I discovered the rewards of using my art-practice as an alchemical-process.  Like the alchemy of The Phoenix birthing itself through fire, I too was able to rebirth myself through the fire of creating art.

 HOW I CHOSE TO SHOW UP TO CREATING ARTWORK WAS MUCH LIKE YOGA'S CREDO OF :

HOW YOU CHOOSE TO SHOW UP TO YOUR MAT IS HOW YOU CHOOSE TO SHOW UP TO LIFE.

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Prior to this year my reason for creating art was quite superficial. My art was delicate, beautiful,  and yet completely separate from my self. What I mean by separate from my self is that my intention for creating my art was goal and sales- oriented. At best, my art was used to re-tell traumatic stories from my past. Traumatic stories from women's past.

Now let me be clear, this was not a cathartic art practice to repair my internal damage. This art practice was a literal re-telling of a handful of stories over and over again. A psychic-wound I felt the compulsion to pick open and make fester. Like a prodded open- wound, my art-practice became infected. My paintings and illustrations became infected with victimhood and self-righteous martyrdom.

 The internal alchemy that happens inside you while creating artwork has the potential power to transform your soul. The possibility of internal alchemy or the possibility of perpetuating your internal stories (You are who they say you are) always at hand. If you are an artist and painter they can quite literally be at your hands. 

The path of creation can also be the path back to your heart and soul. 

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 As a young and stubborn artist I routinely chose to perpetuate my internal stories. I routinely chose to use my art as a medium to glorify my hurt. I had my glorifying-ly painful art practice for years until one day a voice said ‘Use your art to heal your heart. It will save your life.’

With this voice as a guide I began to meditate regularly. I began to practice yoga again. I began to eat with the love and respect that years of studying Ayurveda had taught me how to do. I did all these things-not out of a sense of duty but out of a feeling of pure self-love.

Now you may be wondering what self-love has to do with an Alchemical Art Practice? Consider how you create art as akin to Yoga's credo: "How you choose to show up to your mat is how you choose to show up to your life."

How I chose to show up to my deeply personal art practice is how I chose to show up to all aspects of my life. My daily and artistic practices that were once stuck and stagnant were now fluid and humming with life. As my mind, body and psychic-self began to organically heal old rips and wounds, my paintings began to speak and take on a life of their own.

My paintings and my being became one and the same. As I worked on illustrations with dedicated love and care, my body began to spontaneously work on repairing itself with this same love and care. I could literally feel years of conditioning and pain burning away. It did not matter if I was conscious of this process or not, the fire's of alchemy burned me away all the same. All I consciously did was try not to get in the way of this trans formative birthing-through-fire. A birthing of a more authentic-self.

Making art is like giving birth. Through this act of metaphorical birthing you have the potential to birth your self; your authentic self. The act of creation can also act as a catalyst. The path to creation can also be the path back to your heart and soul. The path of creation can become a path back home. The artist's process of creation can have the power of alchemy; the power of magical transformation. If that is not intensive to go out and create, I don't know what is.

If you are interested in learning more of my work, I recommend signing-up for my mailing list. If you are interested in learning about Sacred Art & Soul-Making I doubly recommend signing-up for my mailing list.

PS-

You will receive 2 free downloadable prints of my art and a PDF resource on 5 Habits to Create a Sacred Art Space Anywhere you go. Yay free!

Happy Days & Magic Things,

-Noël

5 Habits to Create a Sacred Art-Space Anywhere You Go

As an artist it is extremely important to have a space to create. As a traveling artist it is even more important to have this space. A sacred space to invoke The Muse is a key component to creating good artwork.

If you are anything like me, a plush studio space is non existent. You make do with what you have, where you happen to have it; a friend's kitchen floor, a patch of grass in a park or a small table at your favorite cafe. All of these spaces are perfectly acceptable Art Studios. An Artist needs a studio create like a devotee needs a Temple to pray.

The fun is in the creation of this Sacred Studio. This happens through a little bit of magic and ritual. Artists deserve their own art space at all times in order to create. These are the habits you can perform to create your own Sacred Art Space.
 

How you show up to one aspect of your life is how you show up to all aspects of your life.

Good Art is all about creative flow.

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1. Show up to your Sacred Art Space

How you show up to your Sacred Art Space is important. Your Sacred Space is a friend, so treat her with respect. You would not show up to a coffee date with a friend in fuzzy pajamas, would you? Show up at least semi-clean and hygienically passable. Change your socks and brush your teeth. How you show up to one aspect of your life is how you show up to all aspects of your life.

 

2. Mentally and Physically create a boundary around your Sacred Space

Creating a set boundary around your Sacred Art Space secures it's intention. Intention is very important to have when creating good artwork. Intention is the all-important fuel to drive your creative force. Creating an intentional boundary around your Art Space allows this to happen.

Creating an intentional boundary is very easy; the simplicity or complexity of the ritual is up to you.

Make the ritual yours. A thrift-ed table cloth you lay on the floor. A golden energtic bubble you surround yourself with in a public space. A simple Mantra you recite before you begin creating. These are all simple and beautiful examples of creating boundaries for your Sacred Art Space.

I personally like to visualize drawing a white circle around myself and chosen spot. When you feel like you are home, you relax. When you are relaxed, energy flows. When energy flows, creativity flows. Good art is all about creative flow.

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3. Romance your space through different senses

Romance your Sacred Art Space through the five senses. Indulging your senses within your Sacred Art Space is important. It brings your intention to the physical plane. The physical plane is where you create your artwork. Romancing your senses brings you to this creative physical-plane.

What are your authentic preferences when it comes to scent, taste and sound? A choice essential oil, a hot cup of coffee with cinnamon, or maybe just a few wild flowers in your space. All of these examples have an extremely powerful effect.

Intention and attention are equally important in both the preparatory stage and creation stage. Romance yourself through your senses and reap the creative rewards.

(A note on fragrance: Please be mindful of other people in public spaces. As my great-grandmother used to say 'Scent should be the hint of your presence, not the announcement of your arrival.')

 

4. Organize your Sacred Art Space into Sections

An organized space allows you to navigate your task at hand with ease and focus. The sections allow you to again shift your point of focus without being overwhelmed and wasting precious time.

I get a perverse pleasure in creating sections and piles. When I set up my Sacred Art Space in a coffee shop, I have a section for my books/journals, a section for my art tools and a section for distractions (phone and snacks).

An organized space enables you to focus precious energy on what is important:

Making good art.

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5. Breaks and physically leaving the Sacred Art Space.

Knowing when to take a break and physically leave the Sacred Art Space is necessary to the process of creation. I cannot praise the art of intentional-fuckery enough. Breaks and pauses during creation is part of the Artist's process.

When you start to lose momentum and need time to let something important sink in, give yourself some Intentional-Fuckery time. Instagram! Facebook! A short walk outside! All are amazing examples of ways to give yourself that very important pause.

I personally like to read a few pages of a book from my book/journal pile.

When you come back to your sacred art space, you are recharged and once again meeting your space with the respect it deserves.

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In conclusion:

These rituals are not law. They are a few of many habits to cultivate and use in order to invoke the power of The Muse. The importance is not in specifics, but in the intention behind the action. The intention being the all-important fuel for your art and magic-making.

Showing up and meeting your creativity with utmost integrity works MAGIC. This I promise. The importance is in the symbolism. The importance is in the care. Your work is worthy of this grandiose show of respect. You are worthy of this respect. Your Muse will thank you.

If Art and Magic are your cup of tea, I highly suggest that you sign-up for my newsletter. Enter your email in the box below if you would like to recieve more about my art, work and words.

Happy Days & Magic-things,

-Noel

 

Photography: David Irvine

www.davidirvinephotographer.com

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from The Den of Opulence & Slack

I am a woman of images. My natural inclination is to draw a visual map of my ideas. My instinct is to record what I see with ink into forms.

I am not usually a woman of words. I am not usually inclined to write my ideas down in neat pros. My instinct carries me away from words-not towards them. 

Yet here I am.

The purpose writing these stories in my little corner of the universe is to showcase my upcoming work, projects, & all matters I deem important. Matters I deem important enough to bang-out during my morning coffee.

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A woman of a few words so it seems.

 I like art. I really  like good art. I also like matters concerning heart, queerness, magic and shadowy consciousness. If that also interests you, yay! If that is not something that interests you, wonderful!

I like either outcome.

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I run a very tight ship at The Den (aka my visual compost pile/dogs' sleeping territory). A ship destined towards... I don't know. For now, I will leave that open.

That is an appropriate point to pause-the moment before the jump. So here we go.

Happy Days & Magic Things, 

-Noel