Prismic Vision – Violet Crown Snake

This blog post is about the seventh mask, Violet Crown Snake created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, Swan.  Antelope, Bat, & Hawk and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. This is the final post in this series. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. It has been so wonderful writing and reflecting on the process of this project.

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Violet Crown Snake Mask by Khiri Lee

The Beginnings

This was the mask that I was chosen to wear in the Opening Procession, and the medicine of the snake and the vibration of the color violet have been a constant influence on my life so far this year since activating them so intentionally on New Year’s Eve.

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The Salvaged Pieces for the Snake Mask

Once all the animals were summoned through the Oracle, Rachel and I presented them to the vision team for the event. Since I was creating them I felt strongly about being in the Opening Procession they were being created for, and many other people were excited to participate in the procession as well. Many of the animals were chosen before I had a chance to speak up, which was fine, because once it landed I felt very good about working with the Snake, the Crown, and the Color Violet.

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Work in Progress for the Snake Mask

Since I knew I was going to be the one wearing the Snake Mask it was one of the final masks I completed. I was still painting details of eyes and scales onto the mask the morning of New Year’s Eve! The base of this mask was created using the remnants of a Papier-mache globe, which burst during the drying process. I was at first very upset, but then found the organic shapes came together to almost perfectly create the open mouth of a snake. And it also, for me, mirrored the magic ability of the snake shedding it’s own skin. A transformational and alchemical process. So to have that sense of disintegration and then innovation woven into the very base of the Snake Mask felt powerfully symbolic.

Working with Snake Medicine and the Energy of Violet Crown

The Crown is the transcendent space from the top of the head to edges of the auric body. It is the direct connection to source and heaven. In traditional imagery the Crown is symbolized by the evolved human, Buddha or Kwan Yin or Jesus or Mother Theresa. The mantra of the Crown Chakra is I Am Divine.

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Violet Snake – Crown Altar Sketch

Snake was the first Oracle card we drew from the animal deck, and it resonated powerfully with the image of the evolved higher self through it’s power to constantly shed and grow. Activating our inner divinity was an important goal for the event. Tag lines for the event included “Conjure your most magical self to greet the new decade” and “Imprint your super-consciousness with a clear vision of the future you are inviting in 2020.” At the Altar the Snake evolved into it’s magical spirit form of the Dragon, which was another supportive energy present throughout the evening.

Violet is a bright and mystical shade of Purple that vibrates at the top of the light spectrum, the final color in the visible spectrum before the transition into Ultra-Violet. This color stands at the threshold of the seen and unseen. It is the color of dreams, imagination, and spirit.

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The Mask in the Space

The Violet Crown Snake Altar was hidden inside a participatory Dream Fort. Participants were invited to slither or crawl their way into the sequestered space, having the opportunity to create new pathways in their brains through approaching the world through a completely different orientation. The floor of the Dream Fort had vibrational pads, and the invitation on the Crown Altar was to place your head next to the vibrational center and literally rest your Crown in vibration.

The Altar for the Violet Snake Crown was made from a piece of the Healing Helix that was first installed at Arise Festival last summer. I loved the idea of supporting the event by capping the energies of the event, in addition to the crystal grid that was set up around the building, with the Wish Altar in the Crown and the Grief Altar in the Root. Wishing and Manifestation is a powerful way to connect to spirit, so infusing the space with the intentions carried through from the Summer was exceptionally fun.

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Me in my Violet Dress, Photo Credit: Darius Demetriou

For the Opening Procession I had the honor of activating the Avatar of the Snake. The original choreography for the ceremony included a Grid Dance to shift into the dimensional space of the spirit. However, such a large press of people had gathered to witness the sacred art we were pouring into the space that after the flocking of the Hawk we no longer had room to Grid. So we released that piece of the performance and instead transitioned straight into the symbolic shedding of all of the Ancestral Secrets. I stood as sentinel for all the Ancestors Stories, held in the skin of the snake, and the other Animal Avatars energetically pulled the secrets away, running their hands across my skin and dress. It was incredibly powerful, and I think I am still integrating. Once this aspect of the Procession was complete we returned each mask with gratitude to it’s Altar were it remained for the rest of the evening. It was deeply powerful to hold space for such an intense transmutation, and snake medicine continues to inform my life.

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After we had passed midnight into 2020 my journey with Snake continued. For the past several years I have drawn a card from the Shapeshifter Tarot to find a totem to guide my year. I felt no surprise when I drew the Serpent from the deck, which calls attention to the moment of blind vulnerability Snake experiences as he goes through the process of shedding his skin.

 The tree roots, the woman’s hair, and the snake all weave together in a serpentine pattern, symbolizing the serpent lines of energy crisscrossing the Earth and the Oneness of all things. The serpent represents the Great Mother Goddess and the polarities in life such as life and death (rebirth), as well as being a powerful ancient symbol of healing. (Shapeshifter Tarot, pg. 110)

The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Violet – Crown – Snake

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Clarity of the Soul. 

Shedding Old Memories & Past Life to Awaken. 

Dragons will Breathe the Breath of Fire Here.

The power of snake medicine is the power of creation, for it embodies sexuality, psychic energy, alchemy, reproduction, and ascension.

The transmutation of the life-death-rebirth cycle is exemplified by the shedding of Snake’s skin. It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation, and that those things which might be experienced as poison can be eaten, ingested, integrated, and transmuted if one has the proper state of mind. – Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson  


Thank You for Reading & Witnessing my Process with these Seven Animal Masks.

I am excited to see how these Animal Allies and Prismic Vibrations continue to inform my year and my decade.

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Prismic Vision – Indigo Third Eye Hawk

This blog post is about the sixth mask, Blue Throat Bat created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, Swan.  Antelope, & Bat, and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be one final post after this one. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. So far it has been so wonderful writing and reflecting on the process of this project.

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Indigo – Third Eye – Hawk Mask by Khiri Lee

The Beginnings

All of 2019 I was working very closely with the medicine of the birds. Every week I wrote a zine about a different bird messenger called 52 Feathers. Hawk was the perfect ally to have at the Indigo Altar, which was nestled deep in the Third Eye Sky Shrine at the event.

This mask went through many iterations as I finessed the shape, editing it several times to attempt to capture Hawk, versus another bird such as Eagle or Vulture. This was the second mask I ended up working on, immediately diverting away from my original intention to create the masks in order from Root to Crown. However I have no regrets in following my intuitive path through these seven masks, and in some ways activating my intuitive flow early on, by working with the messenger of intuition, was a fitting choice.

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Since this was one of the first masks I worked on I learned a lot about the best ways to work with Papier-mâché. I watched a ton of youtube videos to get the best sense of which paper to use, how thick to make the paste, which materials to make the paste out of, and how to build the armature. The armature is the structure beneath the Papier-mâché, and most of mine included materials such as cardboard, tinfoil, styrofoam, balloons, and masking tape.

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I settled on using newspapers for the paper. Even though using an unprinted newsprint may have saved time later, due to needing to prime over all the ads and words, I felt really good about giving new life to the trees that had been used for advertising and news. I didn’t quite realize how much newspaper was being mailed to me each week; weekly ads for the grocery, local press, and a subscription to the daily camera I don’t remember signing up for. I also was thrilled by the magic of tearing newsprint. Pro tip – newsprint has a preferred way to tear, much like fabric. When you find the correct orientation it tears with ease in a straight line. It was SO satisfying tearing hundreds upon hundreds of strips of newspaper.

For the paste I used a homemade mix that was simply flour and water with a pinch of salt to keep it from molding. This project was done on a shoestring budget, so I ended up using a ton of materials that I had in abundance around my house, like flour and water. I found I was happiest using a paste that was fairly thick as long as I could keep it from clumping. There is something extremely satisfying about creating a piece of art with materials that have been in use for hundreds of years. There are records of Papier-mâché being used in China as early as 200 BC!

Working with Hawk Medicine and the Energy of Indigo Third-Eye

When Rachel and I began calling in animal allies through Oracle for the event we worked from Crown to Root, and so Third Eye was the second card we pulled. I knew that the Oracle was working when Hawk appeared, since birds are already symbolic messengers of intuition, clarity, and true sight. Their connections to the Heavens through flight makes them a strong ally for the upper Chakras, which are all connected to spirit.

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Indigo Hawk – Third Eye Altar Sketch

The Third Eye Chakra is located in the forehead, between and just above the eyes. It is associated with the Pineal Gland, which regulates our circadian rhythm, deeply connecting us with body intuition to the cycles of the world around us; day to night and the change is seasons. The mantra for the Third Eye is I Am Connected.

Indigo is a rich and moody color, easily lumped in with Blue or Purple to the unexperienced. Indigo vibrates with it’s own unique light, a color deeply connected to magick, spellwork, and enhancing psychic abilities. It is the color of the sky in the liminal transition from dusk to night, and night to dawn. Simply resting your eyes on the color Indigo invites a deep sense of meditation.

The Mask in the Space

It seems the Indigo Hawk Altar literally transitioned into a space beyond time, a truly ephemeral altar as I somehow failed to capture an image of it, and no one else I know from the event felt called to capture a picture of the altar. It was so beautiful!

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When conceiving of the design for the Hawk Altar, which would be nestled in the Third Eye Sky Shrine, where psychic readings were being offered, we wanted to have it emulate a nest. We designed it to be a round space, with opportunity to sit and rest all around the altar. Oracle and Tarot Cards were available at the Altar for individuals to tap into their own intuitive knowing, receiving messages for the year ahead. I participated in two powerful readings by the Altar.

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The first was a relationship reading, an impromptu divination into my primary relationship performed by a friend using the Osho Zen Tarot Deck. It was spontaneous and amusing to get insights, and like so many tarot readings it was mostly an eerie reflection of what I already knew to be true.

The second reading I did was after New Year’s had passed, as the evening was winding down. I have a tradition of drawing an animal messenger card for the year ahead to see what animal totem would best assist me. I was completely unsurprised when I drew the Blindness Card, which is the card for the snake, whom I was aspecting for the Opening Procession. More on this in the next post for the Violet Snake Mask.

In the Opening Procession, after completing a rebirth dance of the Bat, we flocked together with the Hawk Avatar leading our movements. We concentrated on activating our own head tail connection, a great medicine from bird totems, and peeked over the edges of the balcony, weaving a web of connection through the upper and lower levels. By the time we reached the upper level and were flocking the energy of the Hawk a grand crowd had gathered, to the point that it was becoming difficult to stay together as a flock for the ceremony. Despite the difficulty I was moved by the attention from the participants who were eager to be a part of the sacred manifestation we as ritualist animal avatars were calling into the event.

The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Indigo – Third-Eye – Hawk

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Medicine of the Messenger. 

Far Seeing… Seeing the Whole Picture. 

Knowing Somatically & Intuitively.

Mystic observer of the wind and sky, with piercing insight and attention lend me your eyes so that I may see more clearly the landscape of my life. May the subtle movements of emotion, opportunity, and growth be illuminated to me under your keen vision. 

With eyes and heart and mind open wide, like the expansive sky, may the obstacles real and unreal be overcome by fierce competence. I am sovereign of my body and spirit as you are sovereign to your sky. Excerpt from 52 Feathers Zine by Khiri Lee

Stay in Touch

  • Follow my blog to read about the other animal masks. The final mask in the series is the Violet – Crown – Snake. 

  • Join my Patreon for Zine Subscriptions and Weekly Art Updates

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Prismic Vision – Blue Throat Bat

This blog post is about the fifth mask, Blue Throat Bat created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, Swan. & Antelope, and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be two more posts. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.

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The Beginnings

I was thrilled when Bat appeared in the Oracle for the Throat Chakra. The Oracle continuously sidelined my expectations in the best way. When I was originally thinking about local animals that could hold space for the Prismic vibration of blue and the throat chakra I envisioned animals like wolf or coyote. So when the small but mighty bat appeared it delighted me to look beyond the obvious. And bats are SO COOL! If you don’t know anything about how wonderfully magical bats are, take a second to listen to this podcast by Ologies, and then pop on back for the rest of this post.

The most distinctive features of a bats face are it’s giant ears and adorable nose. Beyond their wings, which I didn’t see a way to include in the mask, they mostly look like mice. I focused on exaggerating the iconic bat features so that the mask would definitely read bat, and not mouse. I started with the ears, using cardboard and tinfoil to create the characteristic ridges.

 

The nose caused me some trouble, it was difficult to get the angles correct. And then once I had gotten the structure of the face to my liking it took a long time to build the rest of the armature so the mask would stay on the head.

I decorated the mask with crystal imagery, since the Blue Bat Altar was located in the entrance of the Diamond Light Healing Temple, a space for bodywork and sound healing with singing bowls. I adored the crystalline shade of blue I used for the base layer. Shout out to Joy and Aaron, who came in at the 11th hour to help me prime and paint several of the masks. The timeline for this project was a short four weeks, with the winter holidays eating up a fair amount of time. Thankfully, with the help of my artistic community, all of the masks were completed in time for the event on New Year’s Eve.

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Working with Bat Medicine and the Energy of Blue Throat

Having Bat Medicine at the Altar dedicated to communication was extremely cool, because Throat Chakra is dominated by imagery of finding and activating your voice, when being a skilled listener is an extremely important piece to the clear communication puzzle. Bats use echolocation, were they project sound into space and then listen for the map around them. This unique skill teaches the importance of a holistic approach to communication. They are also a creature of the night, becoming an ally for entering our inner landscape. The altar mirrored this association by being in the most cave-like area of the space.

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Blue Bat – Throat Altar Sketch

Blue is positively related to truth, peace, loyalty, strength, wisdom, spirit, and freedom, all of which can be unleashed through the use of our voices. It also held space for water and diamonds in the space, the wishing well waters of manifestation.

E027AEC7-87A0-4A6E-B5FA-D3FCE9AE1E6EThroat Chakra is the fifth chakra, and is connected to breathing and speech. The mantra for this Chakra is I am Expressive, and it also deeply connects us to our own inner truth. Finding your unique voice and then being able to share that voice with the world is the gift of the Throat Chakra.

The Mask in the Space

The Blue Bat Altar became one of my favorites at the event. It had amazing movement, with beautiful blue fabrics flowing across a multi-tiered altar. It had a pool of water, connecting the ideas of voice to the fluids of the body. And around the base of the Altar were a collection of river stones, each with a different mantra.

Participants were encouraged to choose a stone and then speak the words, literally activating their voice, into the space. Phrases included “I am the spiral path,” “I am ease,” I am trustworthy,” “I am strong.” I encountered several individuals throughout the night speaking their new found mantra confidently.

In the Opening Procession the Bat Aspect had three parts. The first was a sounding, and we were invited to hum and call and sing and sound the cave-like space of the stairwell. Once we reached the pinnacle of the space, the top floor of the event, we popcorned across the room exploring our angular body, mirroring the eccentric way of being a bat, with arms folded or emulating hanging upside down. From this position of the folded angular bat we began a rebirthing sequence through dance, birthing new possibilities into the world through our bodies and our voices.

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Photo Credit: Jack Jameson

The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Blue – Throat – Bat

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Sonic Powers. 

Death & Rebirth of the Voice. 

Skilled Communication.

Bats are gifted with the rare magical ability of echolocation. This highly sophisticated sense combines hearing, speaking, & seeing into a unique experiential super-sense. Practice your unique communication, expanding not only your own vision but also of those around you.

Bats move between worlds with their ability to navigate through the dark (unknown), bring rebirth from death (transformation), and then release fears that stifle growth. What are you ready to let go of? -Tanya Casteel

Stay in Touch

  • Follow my blog to read about the other animal masks. The next mask in the series is the Indigo – Third Eye – Hawk

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Prismic Vision – Green Heart Antelope

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This blog post is about the fourth mask, Green Heart Antelope created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, & Swan and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be three more posts, one for each mask. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.

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The Beginnings

Once we all had landed on the idea to work with animal allies, in addition to the Prismic Vision theme and the chakra rooms with altars, it also became clear that we wanted those animal allies to be found locally in Colorado. We used the Animal Medicine cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson to discern which allies would appear at which altars. I loved getting out of my own way, allowing my personal mythos and associations to fall away to see what threads of connection the universe wished to bring into the mix.

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The Animal Ally from Animal Medicine cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

For the other animals the way forward was fairly clear. However, when we came to the Green Heart center Rachel and I felt pretty strongly that we wanted Deer, or a similar animal ally, to be the guardian of our heart space. The Heart Altar was the central altar, in the middle of everything, and so it was especially important for our heart opening intentions. We couldn’t stop laughing when we drew the blank card from the Oracle deck, a clear sign that it was up to us to choose. To be extra sure we drew one more card, and that card was Pronghorn Antelope. I was excited by this message, for in India Antelope is already the traditional animal totem for the Heart Chakra. To spin this towards our own native Antelope ally lit me up.

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I started with the horns, since Pronghorn Antelope have such interesting and distinctive antlers. I looked at many images to be sure I understood the delicate curve, which starts in one facing and then elegantly curves so that the points create almost an upside down heart above the Antelopes head. Like many of the other armatures, I used a combination of tape, cardboard, and tinfoil before cloaking in papier-mâché.

The head of the mask took a long time to trouble shoot. Unlike a Rabbit or Skunk, the placement of Antelope’s eye are nothing like that of our human ones. To accurately mimic the elongated face of Antelope I needed to come up with another solution for seeing out of the mask. I eventually settled on lifting the whole face above the head, similar to the Swan mask, making it more into a headdress. Maria of the Shamanic Dolls lead the opening procession. I wanted to be sure she could see clearly to guide the ceremony confidently.

Working with Antelope Medicine and the Energy of Green Heart

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Green in the Heart always evokes for me images of Green Tara, Earth Mother, and Kwan Yin. Powerful and Kind goddesses of the Earth. The human eye can see more distinct shades of green than any other color, so I chose to work with the Greens found in the Prismic Vision Postcard, lovely colors between soft jade viridian and a true spring green. Colors that I can easily visualize radiating out from my heart into the whole world around me.

Green is fundamentally linked to nature, as well as joy, balance, harmony, and luck. The Heart Chakra is also a wellspring for balance and deep calm. It is the center were love originates. The mantra for the Heart is “I am Loved.” It is the center of the seven chakras, sitting equidistant from the higher realms of spirit and insight, and the lower realms of ground and action.

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Green Antelope – Heart Altar Sketch

Pronghorn Antelope in this Green Heart space speaks to choosing action from the Heart. In society today we so often make decisions based on our mind or our gut, being driven by the pressures of every day to stay afloat in the chaos. Decisions made from the heart lead us along a different pathway, and although it may not seem clear at first, in the end our decisions are made with authentic integrity.

The Mask in the Space

The Green Heart Altar was extremely special. The base was built just for the event to meet the ever evolving needs of the central room. The central lobby was the literal heart of the event, with people pulsing through it constantly and a flurry of diverse performances, workshops, and art installations.

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Photo Credit: Jack Jameson

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The altar was built up to be a mound of sacred earth energy. Moss had been collected then reverently placed across it and a giant activator quartz crystal anchored the center. Pieces from the Healing Helix that had blended wishes and grief at Arise Festival were affixed to the sides for a communal weaving. Baskets of yarn were arranged around the altar, interspersed with candles and mindful art. The Antelope Mask rested confidently on the connection of two pieces of the Helix. Above the Altar hung sacred geometric shapes, a crystal Merkaba and a copper activator pyramid which flooded the space with energy.

As happens so often with participatory art the weaving took a life of its own. It expanded beyond the intended panels from the helix to envelop the whole altar. Even the Antelope Mask was woven into the Altar. When the time came to retrieve the mask for the Opening Procession it was already thoroughly bound into the magic of the Heart, and took some delicate unraveling to free it for the ceremony.

The Altar was on wheels so when the Procession arrived in the central room it was moved to make room for our dance. We began by spiraling around Maria, creating a nexus of energy, a revelation. We danced toward her from Despair to Hope, dancing from the action of our hearts, landing connected together. Then spinning back out into the room we called out our intentions, inviting the whole room to speak their activations. It was a glorious, hopeful moment of Unity.

The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Green – Heart – Pronghorn Antelope

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Clear & Direct … Decisive Action. 

Ancestor Wisdom. 

The Imagination of the Heart.

Antelope signifies knowledgeable action; action that has its basis in clarity, focus, and commitment. Antelope is a symbol for the antenna of your hara, which attaches you to Great Mystery by its long cords of light. As we look at Antelope, we become aware of our mortality and the short time we have on this planet. With this is mind, we must act accordingly.

Antelope medicine is the knowledge of life’s circle. Knowing of death, Antelope can truly live. Action is the key and essence of living.

– Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson

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Rachel and I Resting & Admiring the Altar after the Event

Stay in Touch

  • Follow my blog to read about the other animal masks. The next mask in the series is the Blue – Bat – Throat

  • Join my Patreon for Zine Subscriptions and Weekly Art Updates

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Prismic Vision – Golden Solar Plexus Swan

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This blog post is about the third mask, Golden Solar Plexus Swan created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit & Skunk and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be four more posts, one for each mask. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.

The Beginnings

When I began working on the Swan mask I couldn’t fathom a way to clearly signal that it was in fact a swan mask with the face of the animal alone. And so I ended up creating a whole Swan headdress, with the elegant neck and powerful wings in full view. After the Rabbit Mask, the Swan was the largest of the masks. Creating the armature for the head, neck, and wings was extremely satisfying, although it took a lot of trial and error to determine the best course to take.

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The Head and Neck of the Swan were made out of cardboard and tons and tons and tons of masking tape to secure all the pieces together. It took several attempts at construction and reconstruction before I was satisfied the silhouette was correct. The body of the Swan was from a balloon. Using a balloon to create the base for Papier-mâché is a tried and true method. I used it for several of the masks, including the snake, rabbit, and skunk. During the drying one of the balloons popped before the  process had completed. My carefully crafted globe of wheat paste and newspaper was a floppy mess. After a brief moment of devastation I salvaged as much as I could of the deflated mass. At first I thought these salvaged pieces could become the wings of the Swan, but in the end they weren’t the correct shape and I pivoted to using them for the snake. To create the wings of the swan I instead used copious amounts of tinfoil, which I then carefully encased in masking tape, and then sealed in Papier-mâché.

The Swan was one of the first masks I started and ended being the final mask I Papier-mâchéd; it took forever to dry. In my haste I forgot to paint the mask in primer before attempting to spray paint the base color of yellow. I learned very quickly that the primer of white was fairly crucial. Pressed by the deadline I soldiered on, but I ended up using way more spray paint and acrylic to completely cover the newsprint on the Swan. Despite the complications and setbacks the Swan mask became one of my favorite, and Sara, who aspected the Swan in the Opening Procession wore the mask beautifully.

Working with Swan Medicine and the Energy of Yellow Solar Plexus

I was so ecstatic when Swan appeared as the animal ally for the Yellow Shrine and Solar Plexus Chakra. My partner in conjuring the allies wasn’t convinced at first, as we already had a bird for the Indigo Shrine, Hawk. However I felt that Swan and Solar Plexus were a delightful pairing. Swans are a bird for the Warrioress, and as the Solar Plexus is the seat of will in the world, creating a new story of Feminine Power in relationship to this Chakra was extremely evocative for me. The Chakra Mantra for the Solar Plexus is I am Strong, and Swan’s are certainly a powerful bird.

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Golden Swan – Solar Plexus Altar Sketch

Over the course of the project Yellow morphed into a more Golden aspect. Gold is a luxurious and royal color. It glows like warm honey and the shining sun. It radiates a sense of wealth, success, and shining optimism. Stories of the Swan linked to the Golden Egg and Valkyries heavenly armor continued to weave a web of mythic meaning around the Golden Yellow Swan Mask. I especially wanted to capture the sense of the Woman Warrior by evoking the iconic imagery of the Valkyrie’s winged helmet in the placement of the Golden Wings on the Mask.

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The Mask in the Space

The Altar for the Swan was in the entrance hall to the event. After transcending into the space through a prismically rainbow stairway the Swan Altar became the first piece of the even participants encountered. It was one of the most stately shrines, and to continue the desire for welcoming and invitation supplies to write New Year’s wishes were provided at the base of the Altar.

People wrote the most beautiful wishes, resolutions, activations, and manifestations on the giant mural provided by the Swan Altar, and I enjoyed revisiting the opening hallway as the night progressed to see how the mural continued to evolve.

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Photo Credit: Ethan Green

For the Opening Procession we circulated the energy of the event, briefly traveling outside and then up the Rainbow Stairway into the main space, gliding like a flock of elegant Swans and whispering our Swan Mantras. “Listen to your intuition”… “Find power through graceful and beauty”…”Only through the feminine will we find our revolution”… and so on. It was so beautiful to whisper such meaningful affirmations while witnessing all of the people who had come to enjoy New Year’s Eve at the event.

The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Yellow – Solar Plexus – Swan

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I will surrender to the flow of the spiral 

and trust what I am shown

Beauty, Light & Grace.

Beautiful, Majestic, Powerful, Loyal Swan! Remind me of my own inner grace and beauty. Share with me the wisdom of time and change. To reflect inward, as the water ripples out across time, on how to connect my mind to my heart, my inner landscape to my outer appearances, and my self love to the partnerships in my life. Be here now.  -Excerpt from 52 Feathers Zine by Khiri Lee

Through the Feminine will we find our Revolution

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Prismic Vision – Orange Sacral Skunk

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This blog post is about the second mask, Orange Sacral Skunk created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the first post in this series about Red Root Rabbit and other previous posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be five more posts, one for each mask. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.

The Beginnings

Originally my plan for these masks was to create them in order, from red to orange, and root to crown. However, after the completion of the Rabbit mask the timeline and my own creative flow didn’t allow for that to happen. In the end I worked on several masks simultaneously, creating different pieces of the armatures for some, while finishing the base of others.

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The skunk mask was one of the last I completed. At first I thought I wanted to aspect as the skunk in the Opening Procession, as I had been working closely with orange in a Rainbowmancy course by the endlessly magical Molly Roberts. I was wearing orange, eating orange and had reset my altar to be be overflowing with orange. So when the animal allies were being assigned I was at first dismayed to miss out on deepening my connection to Skunk and Sacral energies. In the end holding space for the Snake, which will be the final post in this series, was deeply satisfying.

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As I began creating the armature for the skunk, and looking at reference photos, I quickly realized that I had a very poor mental image of what a skunk actually looks like. Look at a real skunk. They are adorable! Their faces are actually quite long and slender, somewhere between a cat and dog. And communicating that the mask was a skunk, while also making it orange versus the iconic black and white that skunk is firmly associated with, was a challenge.  In the end I did incorporate more black and white then any of the other masks, and the tribal spots were a last minute addition that felt just right. It had an aboriginal, ancestral quality to me, and the lower chakras have always felt deeply resonant with ancestry.

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Working with Skunk Medicine and the Energy of Orange Sacrum

My home is filled with Orange. I have lots of orange art and a one-of-a-kind orange couch. When I grew out of completely adoring Pink and Purple, I stubbornly adored Orange for most of school (Today I have returned to loving Pink and Purple as well). Orange is also my husbands favorite color so I spend a lot of time with this color. It is a color of spunk and surprise. Its warming, like cinnamon and spice. It is a cheer to look at, filling one with energy. A kind and optimistic color.

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Orange Skunk – Sacral Altar Sketch

The Sacral Chakra is the second Chakra, located between the belly button and hips, and powered by the sexual organs. It is the Chakra related to creativity, relationships, and sensuality. Once your root is grounded, the Sacrum facilitates feeling and connection with the world. The mantra for this Chakra is “I am Creative.”

When skunk appeared in the Oracle I knew it was the perfect fit. Skunk appears to remind of us our place in the world, and the connections between scent and sensuality are obvious. Perfume, bouquets, pheromones, and musk all have a potent symbolic mythology in the collective culture for relationships, and so skunk, with his potent smell, sits comfortably as the animal ally for Orange Sacrum.

The Mask in the Space

The Orange Skunk mask resided on a playful altar in the room where workshops, contact improv, and food were being offered. It was against a mirror, inviting reflection on Body, Self, and Connection to the event. The interplay between the activities in the room and the invocations on the altar worked seamlessly.

In the opening procession Maria and Joy invited us to connect and disconnect, playing with the tension of eye contact then moving toward a partner and then moving away moments before touching. A rapid drum beat demanded attention and stirred the energy of the prayerformance. To finish the activation of Skunk in the space we finally landed in connection with another, melting into contact and into the floor.

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The words on the Altar were as follows: 

Orange – Sacral – Skunk

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Self Respect and Reputation. 

Attraction & Repulsion… that then melts into connection and yielding. 

When one learns to assert, without ego, what and who you are. Respect follows. Your self-respectful attitude will repel those who are not of like mind, and yet will attract those who choose the same pathway. As the odor of Skunk attracts others of its kind, it repels those who will not respect its space. – Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson

What are you attracted to? Where have you set your boundaries? Who do you want to be in the world? Notice the energy you are channeling into the room… how are others reacting to you?

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Prismic Vision – Red Root Rabbit

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Red Root Rabbit Mask by Khiri Lee | Papier Mache & Paint (2019)

This blog post is about the first mask, Red Root Rabbit, created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read my previous posts about this event to learn more about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be six more posts, one for each mask. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.

The Beginnings

Bringing together the constellation of symbols and meanings for each mask and altar was quite the task, however it began evolve into a unique mythology for the event.  When I began the endeavor of creating seven animal masks for Prismic Vision New Years Eve in December I at first thought I would create them in the order of the Chakras, or the Rainbow, that inspired their colors.

And I did begin with the Red Root Rabbit, which is the expected place to start. However, beyond starting with Rabbit, which was the smoothest to create, the others were created in a mixed up mash of pieces and parts that wandered from one animal to the next in the most watery way.

It had been many years since I last worked with Papier Mache. I created the armature for the Rabbit mask with a balloon, paper, masking tape, and some styrofoam from a pair of boots. I used many reference photos from Pinterest (what an amazing resource!) which helped me stay on course. In the end I was quite proud of the likeness of a rabbit I created. The intention was to have masks that had a grand presence of their own in the space, which lead to them being quite large.

Working with Rabbit Medicine and the Energy of Red Root

The root vibrates with the color red. Red is the color of blood, passion, and action. It is a highly stimulating color filled with warmth and vitality. It encourages movement. The Root is the first chakra, located at the base of the spine, the pelvis, and down through to our feet. It is associated with Courage, Finding Ground, and the Mantra for this Chakra that I was working with was “I am Safe.”

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Red Rabbit – Root Altar Sketch

When the Rabbit appeared in the Oracle it was unexpected and simultaneously wonderfully apt, like so many of the animal allies that came in for this event. I loved the initial images of a blood red rabbit that sprang into my mind. Rabbit, with their big feet, are in deep connection with the ground, and have a strong sense of erotic intelligence, which the lower chakras hold domain over.

The Mask in the Space

Jack Jameson Rabbit Altar

The Dance Floor at Prismic Vision NYE – Photo Credit: Jack Jameson

The weaving that Maria and Joy brought into the story, through the choreography of the opening procession, was conquering fear and the quantum leap. The leap symbolized the growth that we all see and hope for in our communities toward a wild new way of living, loving, and being on the Earth. In the Procession we carried Margo, who was aspecting the Rabbit for the event, across the room in a dynamic show of community and flight. Unfortunately very few photos of the Opening Procession were captured, which in some ways is deeply appropriate, as ritual space is beyond the veil of pros

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Red Root Altar at Prismic Vision NYE

The Red Root Rabbit Altar was on the dance floor, mirroring the ecstatic movement of dancing in spirit. Below are the words found on the Altar: 

Red – Root – Rabbit

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Energetic of Great Leaps of Consciousness. 

The Energy of Conquering Fear. 

Fertility.

Making hops, leaps, and rapid turns are a comfortable and natural choice for Rabbit. You don’t follow a linear smooth path, so trust your instincts for where to jump next. Rabbit plans for all possibilities.

As you plan, notice your fears and explore them. Are they just an exaggerated story? Where does that story come from? Are you worrying about something in the past or future? Ask yourself what’s actually happening right now, in this moment.  – Tanya Casteel

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Stay in Touch

  • Follow my blog to read about the other six animal masks. The next mask in the series is the Orange – Sacral – Skunk

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Posted in Costumes & Wearable Art, Craft & Ritual, Performance | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments