Saturday, June 13, 2020

Solitude: A Synchronicity, and a House Made of Doors

"The Hermit" card from The Rainbow Bridge Oracle by Lauren Raine

I seem to have become a Hermit these days,  because of Covid 19, but also I think because of  a kind of withdrawal from the busy world into my interior world.  Increasingly I feel a passage into the contemplative life.    Having said that,  it feels sometimes like I am often walking backwards, not going forward as I used to be, but instead walking backward through the doors of memory, which seem to shutter open at the oddest moments.  

Sometimes a memory from long ago will arise as I water the garden, or pull on the ugly, comfortable socks that only an old lady could love, and at that moment  I see things that happened that I was too "busy" to notice at the time,  bits of this life that seem to call for attention.  Some of those flashes of memory were  magical gifts, unseen help along the way, sometimes they were wounds that needed healing or integration but never really got it, and from this perspective farther up the trail, I even see now as gifts as well, gifts of experience that matured or deepened me.   In the end, I think gratitude is what we have to find for all of it, the whole story with all of its various colors and shapes.  

A line from a poem I wrote:    "Sometimes I can see the Pattern,  
                                                  Sometimes I am the Pattern" *

So here is just a small thread from that tapestry that has become "Lauren Raine", and I think it's about time I told it.  Because it really happened and I can prove it!

In the early 90's I was a professional Tarot reader,and I also was creating my own Tarot deck, which eventually became the Rainbow Bridge OracleI used people I knew as the models for many of the cards, and with the Tarot card "The Hermit" (which I subtitled "Solitude") I used a photo of myself.  The card has always been important to me, as my own interpretation of "The Hermit" has to do with the journey through the dark - those dark nights of the soul, or those hard, painful experiences that test us in life's journey.  This image, of a figure in the darkness bearing a flame represents, like the old woman Hecate leading the maiden Persephone through Hades, a pathfinder illuminating the way through the dark tunnels into the living world . 

What I feel is important about this image is not only that we must make that dark journey seemingly in solitude and alone, but further, when we emerge, we need to share what has been learned with others, helping to light the paths of others  with the wisdom we have gained.  It is, in that sense, also about what Joan Halifax called the shamanic "Journey of the Wounded Healer".   My intention in creating the painting for the card was a call to the Querant to  help others with what you have gained, to "Become a light bearer".

After completely 5 or 6 of the paintings for the series, all of which were small paintings only 14" x 8",  I decided to make color xeroxes of them in order to make a presentation.  In 1993 color xeroxes were still pretty expensive and the technology was not as refined as it is now.  I was living more or less in the country and had to drive 20 miles to the nearest print shop.   Everything went fine until I  xeroxed "The Hermit" -  for some strange reason, the machine only copied a very small section of the painting.  I called the owner over and it did it again - although finally we were able to get it to xerox the entire painting.  

Much later I looked at what the machine had actually chosen to copy, and I was amazed:

* Excerpt from "A House of Doors" (1987)

To Hear the poem as spoken word performance:

An onion,
that's it.  All those layers. 
Just when you think you can name yourself,
you discover new layers,
you’re forming a new skin,
a new ring.

But there's a core.
And where does that core start? 

This room I live in.
These walls.
They seem to be getting thin.
I can almost see through them today.

Sometimes I can see the Pattern,
Sometimes I am the Pattern.

Today I feel, I feel like a Chinese box,
one inside of another. 
I consider a state of grace:

I think
I think I may be the gate
that opens into another room
made of clouds
or sky
or something I can't name.

Sometimes, you open a door 
and you have to walk outside
into something tender,
like a touch on a winter night
into a quiet yard
because of a voice that you hear
     or a bell
     or a train
     pulling away somewhere.

Lauren Raine 1987 

1 comment:

Trish MacGregor said...

You need to meet Adele Aldridge, Lauren. Both of you are equally dedicated to art and synchronicity and symbolism through your individual pursuits. Great post and images!