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Atlantis Rising;
Awakening of an American Artist

January 13, 2002

As I read this material in hindsight, as well as for editing, it is so obvious to me just how much I have changed. How everything has changed. I have learned so much. Yet, it's even more obvious to me just how much there is to yet to learn, for once you 'think' you know something, everything changes again. Even still, within the constant of change itself, there is the eternal 'Now". Perhaps this is the ultimate lesson to learn, for no matter how much one changes, or how far one travels, no matter where one goes, and no matter how much there is to learn,...there is always the "Now".

I have thought much about a "home" during my travels and the time since. For a Starseed, home always seems so far away. I don't believe there is a longing on Earth that can break a heart more. I can only find solice in the "Now". When I am in this certain space, I picture a huge bright blue sky with lots of white, cumulus clouds streaking from one horizon to the other. And in the center of the sky there is a one, solitary ray of light from the sun that parts the clouds and streams down to the ground. I stand in the center of this golden ray of light, and no matter how fast the clouds may past me by, I remain in this center of light. While the skies may grow darker and the ground moves beneath my feet in constant change, there is peace and stillness within this ray of light from the Great Central Sun........It is my home. My 'world within a world'.

In an ironic twist of fate, I have returned to the very room, the very space in which I first began to write almost five years ago. The focus of the documented journals that follow, beginning in June of 1997, was to become my invocation for passing through a threshold, re-awakening me to a multi-dimensional, intelligent, conscious universe in the most wondrous, magical and mystical ways. Over time, I came to learn of a term called, stichomancy. It is the practice of seeking metaphysical insight by reading a random passage from a book, the art of seeking spiritual guidance through the written word. So many times the written word did indeed guide me along, as you will see, like a voice in the darkness, enlightening the path like a beacon of light. And now, this path is to be shared, for I know how alone one can feel while traveling such a path as this. But we are never alone and nothing is without reason.

A few weeks ago I began to take my first steps towards public exhibits in an Art Gallery in Salem, Massachusetts. I have chosen a very long road to get there. Ironically, it's a town in which I first began exhibiting my artwork during outdoor, Saturday craft markets in a cobblestoned 'Derby Square' over twenty years ago as a teenager just out of High School. Indeed it's been a long, winding road. A dream of sorts, the likes that would be difficult to explain. The exhibit is to be held at a place called 'Galant Gallery'. The owner tells me it's French interpretation is 'The Enduring Spirit'. Talk about coming full circle. Which leads me into a little story I feel that may have some relavance to the following material as a whole.

One may be well aware of the heritage regarding Salem, Massachusetts, it's history, as well as it's present day company of witches and pagans. If there is anyplace in America for a 'SunSpirit' to come home and roost, it is here. Yet, there I was, fresh out of school, naive and green in many ways, yet full of wide-eyed wonder. I had just finished taping my prints to the brick walls in this corner square, sitting back to take in this Saturday afternoon at the market. It was always a job and a half seeing that most the time I would travel with back packs, portfolio's and easels draped around my neck, half strangling myself. The best time of day was those few hours between unpacking everything before packing it all up again. Kicking back on a few cobblestones this one day in particular, I recall watching this very old woman approach, complete with a cane, a shawl, ..the works. No kidding, your typical Salem 'witch' walking right off the pages of a history book. She crossed my path and walked straight into my booth as I stood back to take her all in. I was waiting for her black cat to appear behind her. She never said a word, taking her time as she hobbled slowly from one picture to the next. She would get right up close, within inches, looking at each and every picture intently. Not once did she look or acknowledge me, as I just sat back and watched her ever so curious as to who she was. I wondered if she too was an artist, and yes, I have to admit, I did wonder if she was indeed a witch. She had this dark wooden cane, a black shawl she wore over her head and down her shoulders. She even had the black strapped boots. After about a half an hour of passing from one picture to the next, she arrived at the last one on the wall. I for sure was not going to let her pass without at least attempting to talk to her. Just as I was about to walk up to her she turned and began to hobble towards me. She walked right up close, barely reaching my shoulders, raised her finger in my face and in the most typical old witch crackling voice said,........

"You my son, will be famous some day".

That was all she said. She turned and began to hobble away, cane and all. I was so taken back I never uttered a word. I just stood there dumbfounded, not knowing what to say. Her beady little eyes and scratchy voice forever etched in my memory. I watched her as she crossed out of sight. What I would ask her if I could ever have that moment back. I suppose it's every young artist dream to be recognized, or even to become famous. But that was a very long time ago. After a while you come to know quite well why even the most famous of artists struggle, for they can do nothing else. You come to know that it is not about fame, nor recognition. You realize that beyond the love and passion of whatever work you do as an artist, there is nothing you would rather do, then be who and what you are, matter what. You learn that success comes with acceptance, or forever struggle in vain.

So it is this enduring spirit who comes home. If it is to make a simple living, to learn, or perhaps to teach some, so let it be. The nite I booked the showing at Galant Gallery, I walked the wharf where I once pushed a cart full of etchings and showed my friend where I played as a child. The crisp nite and sea air felt good. We then walked into a shop called "Nu Aeon", meaning "New Age". I asked about a book I saw in the window. I took it home and read;

"So that according to the Teachings, the passage of this book to those ready for the instruction will attract the attention of such as are prepared to receive the Teaching. And, likewise, when the pupil is ready to receive the truth, then will this little book come to him, or her. Such is the Law. The Hermetic Principle of Cause and Effect, in it's aspect of The Law of Attraction, will bring lips and ear together-pupil and book in company. So mote it be! "
The Kybalion

And so it has been ever since that fateful June evening five years ago now when I picked up my copy of the 'Dancing Star' and held it in my hands.

The following story evolves around a series of journals and correspondences that began in June of 1997. They document my personal journey and experiences that culminate in April of 2000.

First Journal Entry- June 23,1997

Today is a special day, for I feel that I am ready to embark on a journey that I have waited for a very long time to complete. During this journey, my intention is to choose and experience a special gift from what I refer to as Spirit, or the "Divine Source". A gift in which my intentions are to result in a series of artwork called "Faces of God". Not that I feel that any 'divine source" is purely male energy, nor exclusive to artist. Thats not it at all. It's just that I have felt many times that the collections of Angel and Goddess images I have worked on over the past year would not be complete or "balanced" without the prominent male mythological archetypes. Like the work that has preceded this particular collection, I believe this is something that only Spirit can touch under the right conditions. Now is time to "create" these conditions, and bring the work full circle. Although I do not know in which way or to what extent, I do realize there is no way that an artist cannot be touched, changed or altered in some way after experiencing what I intend too in creating this series of work. I will need to listen, feel and touch the heart of "Source" in order to reveal the many "Faces of God". I will attempt to hear the voice and see through the eyes in order to feel and create what it is that Source would intend to reveal. I know in my heart, I will not be the same person when I am done, as I am today. I look forward to the change in eagerness, in thirst and hunger, with wild-eyed anticipation for the days that follow.

June 24, 1997-5:00 a.m.

This is an attempt to document a series of designs and concepts. It is my intention to report on the progress, communications, transitions, creations and outcome on a periodical basis as honestly and openly as I can. There is a passage by Kalhil Gibran I have grown older with, I refer to it often in times of change. Today, I am reminded of it once again....

A passage from the "Prophet"

"Almastafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalase for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the ilse of his birth. And in the twelfth year on the seventh day of Lelool, the month of reaping, he climbed a hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.

Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul. But, as he ascended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:

"How shall I go in peace without sorrow? Nay, not without a word in the spirit shall I leave this city. Long were the days of pain I have spent within it's walls., and long were the nites of aloneness; And who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret? To many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and to many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache. It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands. Nor is it a thought that I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst. Yes, I cannot tarry any longer. The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. For to stay, the hours burn in the nite, is to freeze and to crystalize and be bound in a mold. Fain that I would take with me all that is here. But how shall I?

A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether. And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the Sun".

Time was spent on re-organizing and arranging an itinerary for the designs. Attempts at meditations to focus were subtle, but a sense of wonder and newness seemed to permeate. Progress was made on assembling and organizing material for the collection, and three to four concepts were formed. Ares, the "God of War", "Apollo", the God of the Underworld, and "Pan", the 'Trickster". Other material was arranged and reviewed for possible consideration .

June 25, 1997-1:00 a.m.

Many times I will reach for a book for no particular reason. I will pick it up, hold it, focus and meditate but for a moment. Then I will open at a random page, knowing that whatever I was about to read was to hold a significance. I would listen carefully to the words and like many do, apply them to my own life. At times I find the messages amazing. I realize they are total random messages that can be applied to anyones life, at any time, like that of a horoscope.........

Or is there more to it?

Two days ago I went to a friend and told her what I was planning to do over the course of the next thirty days. Knowing me and knowing the state of my life, she was pleased to say the least. Even though we had talked about my personal course of action, nothing had been mentioned about such personal and intense introspective. I did not know how she was going to react but knew that I needed her help more than ever before to accomplish it. After I told her, I think she was more pleased at the fact that I was doing something for myself and that it would help me as an individual more then any art collection. Such is the love of a friend. For noone has seen and watch me wither in the past year more then she has. Such is the result of passion and an artist who is lost. Prior to telling her of my plans, she had gotten a few books for my birthday and had given them to me later that evening, the same night I was to start this introspection.

The books are as follows. The Prophet, by Kalhil Gibran, hence the passage that I opened this journal with. I had a pocket version of this book already that I keep around my computer. I use it as a reference at times. The one I have was given to me as a gift some 19 years ago and shows it's age. It is beaten and torn and stained, but thats what makes old books that much better. The next one was another pocket version called "Lifes little treasure book On Friendship" by H. Jackson Browne. The last one was "A Dancing Star - Inspirations to Guide and Heal", by Eileen Campbell.

I felt a particular kinship with this last book. As I held it in my hands this evening, looking over the outside of it, again i felt it....creeping in, that familiar feeling. That feeling one gets when the attunement starts, like an animal that stops in his tracks and fixes his senses on his surroundings, listening and looking intently. When one knows he's about to receive a message. But of course, I'm only holding a "guide to inspiration" in my hands at a time when I feel as though I need to be guided and inspired! No magic there. But, there is a difference between knowing that you will read something that will help, andKnowingthat your about to read something that is going to add another piece of a puzzle, perhaps one big corner piece. Perhaps even one that will change your life, ....forever.

I have been waiting, patiently, watching, listening to the signs. This is the way I am. This is what I have come to understand intuitively. I try to know better these days. Many years of doubting and fighting it will do that to you. I know that I am not alone in what I am doing. I realized a long time ago that I am but a manifestation of a power greater then myself. I try to listen and trust in this power, for it speaks only of truth. At times, I take back "my" will, a will of ego and act out of my own human frailties and screw things up,...badly. I have also learned that as an artist, only such a gift can come from a higher power, and with this gift comes a responsibilty. It's the same as the freedoms we endure as free citizens of a free world.

So I wait for the message, and listen to what it is I am suppose to hear. What it is I'm suppose to do. I hold the guide book in my hand, skimming the pages like a deck of cards, knowing that wherever I randomly open and read is what I am meant to hear at the moment. The rustling ends at the very first page as I begin to read.....

"I say to you: One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star".
Friedrich Nietzsche

The words read like that of a voice speaking out to me. My hands trembled as warm waves of energy seemed to surge up my arms. Barb, you truly are an angel of mine, I've never doubted it. Was this a significant message for me, now? Or was this a total random reading in which any significance at all was simply created in my own head, seeking a path to an esacape from a time in which chaos reigned in my own life. I just felt that something had begun, an initiation of sorts. An entrance or passage taken that opened this whole new doorway. But to where?

Up until now, I haven't been sure as to what I am suppose to write about here except for the usual documentation of this process. Perhaps there is much more to write about after all. I have decided to use quotes from this guide book throughout this process. That way, both you and I and anyone that chooses so, will learn of this "Dancing Star" and it's random guiding and inspiring messages that can be applied to anyones life, at any time.

June 26, 1997- 2:15 a.m.

To continue on with the introduction to "A Dancing Star"....

"The Nietzsche quote from which this anthology takes it's title illustrates the exciting potentiality of the dancing star emerging from chaos....

Our lives are constantly subject to change, and frequently chaos ensues, both within and without. Dreams, relationships, plans seldom work out as we had hoped; disappointment, failure, illness, and finally death itself, cannot be avoided. Suffering is part of the human condition, but our problems are never as unique as we feel them to be. Throughout history others have trod the same path of human experience and have had insight into how we can rise above the circumstances we find ourselves in. At times we all need inspiration- to make a major change in our lives, to help us deal with some unexpected, and perhaps tragic, life event, to comfort us when we feel we have lost our way and life has lost it's meaning. Invariably chaos in our lives brings transformation in it's wake. Here lies our greatest opportunity to learn and grow. With inspiration comes the necessary shift of consciousness - and healing.

This anthology of quotations is gathered from both East and West, from the great spiritual teachers of all religious traditions and from philosophers and psychologist, playwrites, novelist and poets of both the past and the present."

A Quote by Henry David Thoreau

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!......Live the life you have imagined."

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; Solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

Introduction to Part 2 ; "Activation"

Introduction to Part 3: "Return of the White Dove"

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Atlantis Rising;
Awakening of an American Artist