Posts tagged Healing
Unicorn Anti-Hate Hex

This year has been such a departure from the norm for me, I’ll usually take January to rest up after the Holiday market season, but this year chose to plow through a deadline to submit images on the 1st of January, spending my birthday on the 31st of December working. Then there were literally mountains of books on folk art and folk magic so sift through - searching for nuggets of inspirational material to work from this Spring. The Liminal art show put on by Conspiracy of Strange Girls in mid-January, Huldufolk art show in March (which, if you hadn’t heard, was marred by the presence of crypto-fascists and was shut down for the disturbance). Last in a run of gallery shows was the Unicorn Art Show in April, and a series of 3 Hex signs modeled after a Pennsylvania Dutch barn art tradition. In contrast to the original unicorn hex for piety, these Anti-Hate Hexes were made in response to the events at Huldufolk (which was held in the same space as the Unicorn Art Show), as an antidote to the damage done to the community.

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Folk Art Self-Study

Folk art comes from direct experience with the landscape. Specific adaptations to local environments give rise to unique forms of creative expression, born out of necessity. The oldest known form of magic, pictographs and patterns have been used for millennia to tell our stories and appeal to natural forces for help in navigating worldly challenges. Because we are living through a time of great transition, I’m wondering how we can we use the collective power of our traditional folk art forms as seeds for reclamation and healing. In order to explore this potential, we would need to reinvigorate forgotten skills that were once passed from generation to generation. But I realize that many people don’t feel they have a connection to any folk art traditions.

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The Doctrine of Signatures

As an extension of my last post, about learning sign-language and applying symbolic languages for the greater good, I’d like to talk about the role of healing and protection in this practice. Artists are trained to see, not just to create. Drawing, painting and sculpting are ways of seeing – seeing with the heart and seeing with the hands. The doctrine of signatures was a framing concept in medicine that hails from the time of Galen, and states that we should read the botanical world visually, and that each plant in our herbal medicine chest should be used to treat the body part or ailment it resembled in appearance. Paraclesus (credited with the illustration above) is quoted  “Nature marks each growth … according to its curative benefit”, in short – like treats like.

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