Through the years my creative expression in response to the “here and now” has taken different formats. This post is about how Atlas of the Year evolved. In the 1980’s, I produced several series of oil paintings Skies in the Four Directions. In the 1990’s, I began teaching four seasons – four directions and produced several series of oil paintings, Home of the Ancestors and Cosmic Nest.
In the 2000’s I had a traveling art show of collages four seasons – four directions. In 2006 another exploration considered daily significant events with Each Day in the Year of the Fire Dog. The format is 365 four by six-inch postcards, 760 in all painted front and back, with relevant stamps and messages about cross-cultural celebrations of that day.
These concepts have guided me since 1982 when I was introduced to Sun Bear, a Chippewa Medicine Man. His system for understanding medicine ways of the four directions is written about in “Earth Astrology” which layers teachings of the four directions, time of life and the time of day, the cosmos and nature.
Soon after I met Rolling Thunder, a Cherokee Medicine Man, who taught me about always being in the right place at the right time. From then on, I related where I was and what I was doing to this world-view. It grounded me.
In 1983, I met my spiritual teacher, Wallace Black Elk, a Lakota Medicine Man. I studied with him for several years. By this I mean I listened with all ears to his stories around the campfire, under the stars. My knowledge of directions, cycles and being human deepened. In the Stone People Lodge, his word for the Inipi Ceremony one of the Seven Sacred Pipe ceremonies, he taught me how to pray and my heart opened. Never had I felt so a part of the universe, and the universe a part of me.
In meditation and Shamanic Journeywork, I encountered my own ancestry and learned about the Celtic world-view of seasonal cycles. As a perennial student I am grateful for these authors who shared their wisdom: Angeles Arrien, “The Four-Fold Way”, Caitlin Matthews, “Celtic Devotional”, W. B. Yeats, “A Celtic Twilight”, Steve Nelson & Darley Adare, “The New World Cycle of Celebrations”.
I’ve studied Astrology sine the 1970’s and been a beneficiary of Jin shin Jyutsu, “Know myself, it is.” for many years. Each of these perspectives offer an overview and summary of the indigenous principles encountered with humanity’s age-old connections with the cosmos and earth.
I acknowledge that many of the ideas in the Atlas originated from the indigenous peoples I talk about here. I declare that I am indigenous, inhabiting my place and time on this earth, with loving devotion. These sacred path maps are my own through practice, walking the continuous spiral cycle with intention to be and do my best and to share this knowledge in the spirit it was given.