This 6-page spread was made during The Reluctant Crone class with Juliana Coles. It was an incredible process which took me about a month to complete, involving many layers of journal writing, multi-media warm-ups, and consulting of the tarot.
Each circle or mandala represents a phase in the journey of woman. The project was intended to include three mandalas – maiden, mother, and crone – but Juliana encouraged us to include as many (or as few) mandalas as we felt were needed. I wanted to include the phase of the High Priestess, inspired by the women’s initiation work I have done with Jewels Wingfield at EarthHeart UK. It was quite a bit of extra work to make a four-page triptych rather than a three-page one but it felt so rewarding and was totally worth it. The High priestess is such a rich and potent stage and makes so much more sense to me than jumping straight from the mother/creatrix into the crone.
Please note: There were many steps involved in the creation of this piece, including the use of collage material in the earlier layers and choosing tarot cards for guidance on the journey. These are not my own creations and I am grateful for the inspiration that they gave me. Most of the collage material was transformed from its original state by my own drawings and additions, with the exception of Caroline Hiscock’s wolves that remain in their original and magnificent state. However, the tarot card drawings are copies of the originals and are meant to represent the original cards as closely as my drawing skills allow. Please see credits below.
– The four tarot cards on the cover page are hand-drawn copies of the cards I pulled from The Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince which gave me invaluable guidance on my journey.
– Wolves by Caroline Hiscock. These are printables from the magical tuck shop of Art Witch Academy.
– Some of the collage material used in earlier layers of the piece comes from the following magazines: Breathe Magazine, Simple Things Magazine and Womankind magazine.
I have included a video so that you can get a sense of the piece as a whole and also the way in which the doors open up to reveal the mandalas beneath.
If there is a problem viewing the video within this post, you can see it on my youtube channel here.
Here are the doors to my reluctant crone spread. Juliana calls them ‘The Closed Door’. I drew copies of the tarot cards I chose from The Dark Goddess Tarot to guide me deeper into each of the four stages and added a summary of sorts for what each phase represents to me. The doors open to reveal the four mandalas of my journey through life.
The maiden warrior
The Seeker Creator
The High Priestess
The circles on the doors tie in with the circles beneath:
Looking back upon this piece of work, I feel as though the whole of my past present and future are included here. This has been such a rich exploration of my timeline and my inner world. I completed the process with a sense of all four archetypes existing within me now and working together to find freedom and love.
I can heartily recommend Juliana’s classes. I took Initiation: intro to visual journaling when I first started art journaling 2.5 years ago and it has greatly informed my journey. As I post this blog post, I am in the middle of her class The Compass Rose, a journey to find treasure amongst the wreckage and to seek the wisdom of the siren’s song. Notes from this journey will be coming soon!