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A bit of a rambling ode to green....
Green is the heart, is F#... is the life force...
Recently, I had the luck to visit a friend who is a gifted energy healer. She demonstrated to me how our chakras, (the energy centers that go up and down our body) are related not only to colors but also to musical notes and to corresponding healing sounds. It was fun to play with the tuning forks she had for each chakra, and to make the sounds associated with each.
I remembered that I had been told by another energy healer, Donna Eden, that my "life colors" are salmon and grass green. So it was interesting to learn that the colors associated with the "high heart" (an additional chakra that my friend told me about and that I had never heard of) were green or pink. My life colors! And the note associated with this chakra was F # and the sound, "Ahhhhm," if I remembered that correctly.
Baby's Dream (The Green Bird), gouache and water-based crayon, 18 x 24, 2020
It just made sense to me, because I feel very connected to the heart chakra, and I have always been drawn to green as a representation of life force.
Green and Grey
I've been posting stories about previous participants in the Befriending Our Shadow course. Today I am taking a break from that series to share some of stories about green, the life force, in contrast to grey, which to me symbolizes the opposite of aliveness, numbness. But no more grey today. Today is all about green!
I have always loved the line from the Dylan Thomas poem, "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower," which it turns out is also the title of the poem. He ultimately is making a very different point in his poem, but to me, it is that line that stands out.
Ceri Richards, The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower, lithograph on paper, 1965 (this really looks upside down to me but it is how it shows up on the Tate Modern website)
What Hildegarde von Bingen has to say about green
I've written about Hildegarde von Bingen here before. She is one of my heroes. In this earlier post, I said of von Bingen:
"I’m reminded too of Hildegarde of Bingen, a mystic who lived at the turn of the first millennium, in a time that in some ways was much like ours. Her joyful vision of life centered on the idea that to be awake is to be “filled with greenness.” To her, every being on earth, not just humans, could potentially be filled with a spark of life, “for no creature exists that lacks a radiance, be it greenness or seed, buds or beauty…otherwise it would not be a creation at all.” (p. 67 Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen.) Each element of our living earth is a potential portal into aliveness and gives us an opportunity to experience our fullness and divinity."
Cultivating the Cosmic Tree, Hildegarde von Bingen.
Green is Aphrodite's color...
I have been absorbing the stories and wisdom of Donald Kalshed in his latest book, Trauma and the Soul. In one of the many moving chapters, he talks of a woman who had been severely traumatized but it was through her inner world of archetypal images that she was able to be healed. These showed up in dreams and in stories. In one of her dreams, (pp. 222 and 223 in the book) she describes a cold, dying world in which everything is grey and soulless, except for a tiny bear cub wrapped in a slimy blanket. The blanket disgusts the dreamer, especially when she realizes it too is alive.
She is moved to take both and the cub back with her to a more inhabitable world. But first she is asked by an "emissary" hidden behind a wall, if he could hold the blanket creature "..one more time. I am achingly moved... The emissary tells me to step close to the wall, a smooth metallic surface in which there is a round opening. I step forward, and a bright green tentacle comes out and waves around searching for contact. "
She is horrified but lets the tentacle hold the blanket and the cub, realizing that the emissary is a green monster and that is why he is hidden.
Kalshed goes on to say that the greenness of the tentacle is a sign of hope, "the only hardy life-form in this grey world. He quotes Jung saying "green is Aphrodite's color... and older still, the color of Osiris, the reborn Egyptian god. Green is also the color of Sophia and the Holy Ghost, the color of life, procreation and resurrection. Greenness also connotes the benedicta veriditas, the 'blessed greenness'...the secret immanence of the divine spirit of life in all things...Green signifies hope and the future.
Green is hopeful. especially in the midst of a grey world. Below I share the greenness in some of my paintings and dolls. Some of them are monsters and yet, from Kalshed's (and Jung's) perspective, and mine, green is aliveness! Greenness is wholeness. And that is what I seek in my journey into the shadow and in leading others in shadow work.
Below, a celebration of green in my art, dolls and paintings
I've been making dolls for about ten years now. I believe that dolls serve as representations and reminders of the best part of ourselves. I am excited to share with you here my learnings about new methods and techniques for doll making and healing. So glad you are here!