March 12, 2015
SoulCollage, have you ever heard of it? Well, I was introduced to it in late 2012 when I was working at a retreat center. Before the group arrived, I decided to Google them (as I often did with organizations I knew nothing about) and see what they were all about. I was intrigued with the “collage” portion of the name. I have a bit of a passion for collage, and have for many years. So, I Googled the name and read a bit about them. I got a sense of what they did. When I met the coordinators I felt a kind of kinship. They invited me down to the room where they were working and check it out. I did that first time, although I held back a little, not wanting to disturb or intrude. Oh my gosh, it involved cutting stuff out of magazines!! Well, I love cutting stuff out of magazines! I have files and files of things I’ve cut or torn out of magazines! Some of the images and cards I saw were a bit “out there” to me, but I was interested.
The next time they came up to the center, I talked with them a little more and visited their space a few times. I took a bit more time looking around while they were at breakfast or lunch. I really liked what I was seeing. They invited me to join them on the last day, a Sunday, for their closing program, but I had other plans already.
About 6 months after I left the retreat center, and was looking for something to help me through a tough time, my therapist encouraged me to take a class that would relate to me creatively. So I Googled some mixed media, art, and painting classes, but everything was so expensive. All of a sudden, out of the blue, I remembered SoulCollage. So I took a peek at the website and searched for workshops in my area. There just happened to be a new facilitator locally that was having a workshop in a month or so. I hit the button and registered. In the mean-time I watched some videos and Googled cards and ideas. I spent a good amount of time learning more and getting a feel of what I might like to do. I decided I didn’t want to wait. I started making cards. I made a few. Then I made a few more. Then, the gal doing the workshop cancelled. I was so disappointed. She rescheduled and I attended that one. I enjoyed it, but I did discover though, that the size of cards I was making was wrong (I guess I read wrong and did them 6×8). Well, not really “wrong”, but not the size they suggest and that you can get pre-cut and plastic sleeves for. So my new cards are 5×8 and nestled in sleeves that make them shine.
I also signed up for an all day, introductory workshop last fall. One of the facilitators was a woman I met at the retreat center. It was at Cabrillo College at the top of a hill overlooking the ocean. Well, in addition to the glorious setting, the workshop was wonderful. Very warm, inviting, humorous, and a small journey in itself. I didn’t want to leave. I decided then and there I wanted to do this. Become a facilitator? I can do that! I talked a bit with the gal afterwards and since then have been in touch with the registrar for the facilitator workshops.
I have made 45 cards so far. Last week I decided I needed to do some of the Council cards (archetypes) so I can add them to my application for the October training. I read more on the suit and did some research on archetypes. This was a harder process for me as I felt a little uncomfortable. Was it that it felt sacrilegious? Was it because it wasn’t necessarily about me, parts of me, or people in my community? Then I decided to research a bit more and make cards for the archetypes that I felt related to me on a deeper level. I have to say that when making them, I did try to honor them and choose images and backgrounds that would be meaningful to them, but I still felt a little uneasy. That said, perhaps later on they will make more sense. Perhaps they will speak to me differently as time goes by.
I love my cards. I love looking at them and contemplating, listening to what they are saying to me. I go back and read what I wrote in my journal. I have shown my cards to very few people, and my journaling only with my therapist. This process has been a true and amazing healing journey. Who knew that the young girl who collected stickers, cut images out of old calendars and greeting cards, cut and saved pictures and sayings out of magazines, would find peace, passion, and healing in creating collages on 5×8 cards.
I want to share this with others. I have thought about it, and as there are many aspects and uses for the SoulCollage process, I want to share it as a journey for looking inward and healing. It may not ever evolve into using all four suits, or delving into the “mystical”, but like it has done for me, assist those that are trying to find their way; out of depression, out of a creative “block”, out of loss, out of trauma, out of stress.
I can do this! I will do this. I can’t wait until I can, but I have to be patient. Until then, I will keep making my cards. I will keep looking for images that speak to me. I will keep looking deep inside and writing about it. I can’t wait to share it!