INTENT & SACRED PICTURE MAKING
Any process of sacred picture making should be aligned
to the highest and most positive Source that you know.
FAITH NOLTON shares her experience in the way of making pictures.
My life path has woven together soul and energy working, healing, counselling and shamanic soul practices with the processes of picture making. I have at this point come to understand how pictures can be received from that Spirit, which we might call Source, God, Great Mystery - there are many names for the One.
By working with a clear intent, in a sacred manner, aligned with the highest and most light source that we know, pictures can be made that are like visual prayers, and echo the various techniques both ancient and new, that promote of healing, restoring and nourishing at a soul level.
A good relationship with the sacred through one's helper spirits, angels or guidance is needed for these deeper levels of energy working through picture making. A steady spiritual practice that enables connection with the invisible interwoven energy and spirit worlds is important, as one needs to be able to shift consciousness to perceive and clearly receive pictures and then - most importantly - to be able to return to a grounded and everyday state of being. For me, this has grown through the practices of shamanic trance and silent meditation.
If I request a picture from Spirit and I am not given an immediate answer, I wait, and if still no picture is apparent, keep alert for any unexpected ‘downloads’, or in clear dreams or unusual ‘coincidences’, in the next while. Or I simply ask for help for the subject in other ways. It is not a personal rebuff, it is probably not the right moment for a picture to be made, either for me or the subject, something is not in alignment.
A painting made with a specific energy intent holds the vibration of the intent and continues to 'transmit' it. Some paintings made in this way are covered most of the time and only uncovered at specific times for viewing, connecting with their energy, as in the public parades made with icons in the Orthodox Churches.
When i make a picture I have to let go of performance, preconceptions, 'art' reputation concerns and self-judgement. In my experience, the picture I am given to make may not be what I expect, or even approve of, but it is always right. My own expectations must be let go of in trust, as the picture unfolds in the manner of an ongoing prayer. I must let go of creative attachment. Nor should I monitor the outcome for the recipient. Recognition of the meaning may be immediate, or may take time to develop.
The reason or intent for making the picture can be any of the following - and this is not an exhaustive list. My work with mentoring people who wish to develop these picture-making processes is always unique to each individual, so these categories are broad outlines of areas of the work. The common basis of it all is trust, truthfulness, and being centered in the heart.
FOR BLESSING: A picture blessing is a request that help and positive energy be sent to a person, place or time. Sacred work of this kind is trans-temporal and not confined to present linear time.
As picture maker I make the request only, and the blessing is NEVER sent from my own energy field, but left to spirit to send power and blessing in whatever form is appropriate. It is an act of detached trust.
Spirit's timescale is not the same as ours, so the blessing is delivered in the form and at the time which is right. This may mean that the work takes longer than expected, and sometimes I have spent months as the picture flow stops and starts. Usually this is because the recipient is also processing life issues in some way.
I have come to realise that the blessing process starts as soon as the picture making begins. At first, I would worry that pauses in the work were down to creative blocks and my own shortcomings, but I know from experience now that - although my shortcomings are very real - this is usually not the reason for the work's intermittent energy.
FOR HONOURING or REVERENCE: A picture can be intended and made to reverence, celebrate or honour; the recipient can be incarnate, discarnate, or it may be focused on an aspect of Creation. For instance, I made a picture for reverencing the waters of the earth at the time of the Standing Rock protests, another to celebrate the life of a friend who had died, or it might be to express gratitude for beloved teacher or a tree that I know well.
FOR OFFERING: Just as one may make an offering to ancestors, deities or aspects of Creation, a picture can be made in a sacred manner that is an offering that is being made continually. I have made a painting of a rose dedicated to Isis, and an offering mandala form of picture dedicated to the ancestors. Or it might be an arrangement of beautiful symbolic fruits and flowers echoing the 'despacho' offerings to Pacha Mama [Mother Earth] in the traditions of the Andes.
FOR SOUL NOURISHMENT
Our soul can get depleted or overstretched. So I might request a painting from spirit that will help restore and nourish the soul. Often for me this involves the imagery of gardens, restful sanctuaries imbued with the intent of soul nourishment and renewal. These are particularly helpful in settings such as hospices, or in an otherwise stressful work or home place. I was touched when one mother wrote to me to say her otherwise unresponsive autistic son loves to gaze at a painting i made with healing intent of the World Tree. Having such a picture where we see it often, brings connection with the energies at any time.
This has been a brief overview of my ways of working with intentional picture making. I mentor people who are drawn to this kind of energy working with pictures, developing ways to receive imagery not from one's own ego centre, but stepping aside so that spirit can come through and manifest what is needed. There is a great upwelling of interest and energy for this creative soul work in these uncertain times, and i do believe it is a balancing mechanism in the energy field of Mother Earth which is part of Her response to the situation.
If you feel attracted to this kind of creating, i am always happy to discuss possible ways forward through my email contact.