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October 22, 1999: About this time a couple of years ago Jene and I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico and participated in a unique workshop for women called “Praying With Images” led by Meinrad Craighead, an artist, writer and creative visionary well known among those who have read books and attended conferences relating to women’s spirituality. The experience had a very positive effect on all participants and many new spiritual works and directions have come from that beginning. In July of this year Meinrad sent each woman who has been in her workshops since 1995 a letter inviting us to enter into a bit of spirit play with her. Enclosed in the letter was a piece of tin about three inches square. Meinrad asked each of us to create an image using the piece of tin or any materials we prefer and send them to her. There is a trunk of an old dead cottonwood tree outside the front door of Erdahaus, her classroom studio, and she calls it the guardian of Erdahaus Threshold. The tree trunk is huge, nine feet around and six feet high. On the afternoon of Friday, December 31st, the gift images will be hung on the tree to mark our journey into the year 2000.

Delighted with this challenge, I began to listen, ponder and wait to know what I should create. I waited. And waited. Then suddenly, this week in one day, my image began to come to me and grew into reality. Here is a picture of each side of the image. It doesn’t show up well in a photo for it is designed to sparkle and flash in the outdoors. However, the description of my thinking that accompanied the image will help make its purpose clear.

Front view of She

Front of image

Back view of She

Back of image


Following is the information that accompanied the image:


SHE is an image that can function as a symbol on many levels of consciousness. I created her to honor all women at whatever stage of their spiritual and psychological development and in celebration of the past, present and future as we look forward to the year 2000 together.

bulletThe black background on one side of the image represents the Deep Mystery, the Matrix from which all life arises.
bulletThe sparkles twinkling in the Matrix represent each spark of life of any kind that is coming forth from the Void. The greenish cast calls to mind the greening, a renewal, or an act of becoming.
bulletThe face has multiple meanings. She can function as a symbol for the Face of the Deep, or Sacred, or she can represent all women from the beginning of time. She can represent your own face and being. SHE of any of the meanings mentioned, not the symbol, is very special and spiritually valuable to the world. I covered the symbol’s face with a personal treasure, gold leaf made up of 24-carat gold mixed with platinum, appropriately named “Moongold,” which I bought to adorn my Life Mask. In this image, the gold and platinum represent the Deity and also refer to the value of finding and following one’s spiritual path and relationship with Sacred.
bulletThe yarn is weaver’s yarn, particularly appropriate as women are excellent weavers at life and relationships, and because the name of the yarn is “Aura,” referring to one’s own life ambience and the love light that surrounds each of us. The multi-colored strands represent the Rainbow People, or people of all races. Notice that closely interwoven with these colors is the color of the Matrix Mystery, signifying the continual Presence within and with us at all times.
bulletBells were chosen because traditionally they are rung at joyful times such as ringing in the New Year 2000, as well as at somber times, such as the time of death, of return. One must get very close to hear the bells, a reminder of our need to keep our ears attuned to Sacred.
bulletOn the reverse side of the image I have placed a paper mache moon, also covered with Moongold, which appears as the ground color while the surface is covered with pearl essence, or crushed pearls. The pearl essence represents the beautiful sheen and soft glow of a woman who has overcome the dark times of her life and learned to love and function through them.
bulletI left the background in its original condition, for I like the way it flashes light as it twirls and turns on the swivel. It reminds me of Moonlightning, a personal symbol I received years ago honoring the creativity and spirituality of women. As the winds of time buffet the image, it will begin to deteriorate, just as we do. As the paint flakes off, and the face perhaps falls off, if we just will hang in there, flashes of the Original Ground will begin to cover the image, assuring us that Sacred is always with us regardless of circumstances.
bulletI placed my signature on a snippet of handmade paper created from pulp that comes from the bark, grasses and seeds of our wildlife and people sanctuary, The Lair.

Of course, most of the above can equally apply to men, but this is a retreat center for women, hence the focus on women’s spirituality. Years ago when I received the symbol of Moonlightning, I knew it also is my personal name for my studio, although for sake of continuity, we call it The Lair Studio Gallery on this web site. I also received the following poem that night:

Moonlightning Moonlightning
only hinting
at the storm
but the moontides
and whisper
as they come
and go.

In the
pink show
she shimmers
and shines--
some try
to deny her
but moonlightning
and continues
her glow.

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Last revised: November 26, 2010

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