Visionary Art

Shiva the Destroyer

Shiva, Hindu God of Destruction

Shiva is the Hindu God associated with the destruction of the ego. He is one of three principle deities in Hinduism along with Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver. Together they destroy, create and preserve the universe. This seems symbolic of the death and rebirth we experience after an ego death. Shiva is also consciousness and he represents the universal collective consciousness as well as the universe itself.

Shiva has been coming to me in my dreams the past few months and he’s also been coming up for me in my readings. Since I’ve started this journey of exploring consciousness, he’s been popping up quite a bit. I had never worked with him before or even really been drawn to him in the past. I’ve always been more drawn to Goddesses and the Divine Feminine rather than the Divine Masculine. But lately over the past few months during this spiritual awakening I’m experiencing, several male deities have come through to me. I think it’s there way of telling me that it’s time to find balance between the feminine and the masculine.

Shiva is an interesting deity to me because he represents so much. He is seen to be everything and yet nothing at the same time. He is the masculine counterpart to the Shakti feminine. This is represented in this painting by the Sri Yantra which glows behind his head. The Sri Yantra represents the cosmos, the universe and consciousness. Shiva and Shakti are represented by the upward and downward triangles within the yantra. The convergence of the triangles represents the divine union of the masculine and the feminine.

Shiva, work in progress shots

Shiva is also associated with altered states of consciousness. Cannabis is sacred to him and many of his followers known as sadhus smoke cannabis out of the traditional chillum pipe in order to fill themselves with the energy of Shiva. As a cannabis smoker myself, I found this to be interesting. Cannabis works by altering your state of consciousness and your perception. It opens your mind to other possibilities and makes you realize that there is more to this reality than meets the eye. Every year at the Shivaratri festival, Shiva is celebrated and honored by one million devotees who smoke cannabis and cover their bodies in sacred ash.

At this festival, the sadhus or sacred ascetics (followers of Shiva) bless their chillum pipes filled with ganja and share it with the festival goers. The sadhus are seen as connected to Shiva through their sacrifice of all material and worldly possessions. So a blessing from them can be seen as a blessing directly from Shiva himself. Cannabis is illegal in Nepal where the festival takes place. But every year, the ban is lifted for festival attendees so they can worship their God in peace and devotion.

In this painting, Shiva sits in the cosmos surrounded by galaxies and stars. The swirling galaxies represent the chaos of the universe while Shiva (consciousness) sits in the center keeping the balance. His snakes which represent Kundalini energy are wrapped around him as he sits in a trance. His eyes are half shut and this can have two meanings depending on who you are talking to. Some say it means simply that he is in a meditative state. Others say that it’s because he smoked the sacred cannabis. I’ll let you decide which one feels right for you.

For those who like to connect with this ancient deity of the cosmos, prints and prayer cards of this piece are available in my shop.

Visionary Art

Spirit Guides & Connecting to Source

Spirit guides have a way of delivering messages to us through our psychic senses or “clair senses”. Once they deliver a message to us, it’s our job to figure out what it means. Many of mine come through in the form of visions or images. As with many people who receive psychic messages, they come when they come and we can’t necessarily control when or how they are sent to us. Unless of course we are doing divining work of some kind such as oracle cards or runes and we are directly speaking to spirit. Many times we will just receive a vision, a voice, music or even a taste or smell out of the blue and we need to decipher its meaning in correlation to the other synchronicities and messages we receive.

Many times when I’m in a deep meditative, trance-like state, I’ll receive visions that I feel I’m supposed to share with the world through my art. This particular painting (featured above) is very special to me because I believe the woman in it to be one of my spirit guides. This vision came to me while I was deep in a kundalini/chakra balancing meditation. The vision popped in my head and I immediately felt the energy of my spirit guide. I had seen her before in meditations so I already knew what she looked like.

In this image, she is sitting on the earth with beautiful mountains behind her. Energy in the form of dots emanate out from her third eye. This represents her connection to source and her connection to herself. The sun sets behind her as the sky starts to turn into visions of the universe. An eagle is flying in front of her which represents the power within her that she is putting out into the world. The triangles below her feet represent grounding and since they are painted with the same colors of the universe, they represent “as above, so below”.

The message in this piece is that when you are connected to your true self and your inner power, you are connected to source energy. When I say source energy I’m referring to the single source of energy we all come from and to which we all will return. We are all part of source energy. We are all light beings that originate from the original light energy. And the way we connect with that energy is through connecting with our soul and our true selves. The way we do this is to recognize the difference between our ego energy and our soul energy.

We need to differentiate between the two. Ego is not necessarily bad as it has kind of been made out to be. Ego is something that our mind created in order to protect us from the things that happen to us in our lives. It is essentially, in its most basic form, a different personality that has taken over our thought processes. And because we use our egos and live with them for so long, we forget that it is not actually our true selves. Which is why when you start to go through the awakening process of dissolving the ego, you will most likely experience pain, discomfort and some form of identity crisis depending on how strong your ego is.

Spiritual awakening and dissolving the go can be a beautiful thing. But it can also be extremely challenging to say the least. Following the path to connecting to your true self will help you to connect with your inner power. But the path to getting there might not be easy. Actually, I can tell you that it definitely will not be easy! So this is why it’s good to connect with your spirit guides, Angels, Goddesses/Gods regularly on your journey because they are there to help you and guide you on your path to true connectedness.

Prints and prayer cards of this painting are available in my shop.

Visionary Art

Dancing Ganesha & Holotropic Breathwork

Lord Ganesha

Experiencing altered states of consciousness helps us to expand our own consciousness and explore other realities. In order to fully ascend to higher dimensions and frequencies, we need to visit these other worlds. Experiencing a different reality can be something as simple as learning to change your perspective or thought process. It doesn’t always have to be super complex realities with beings and spirits. But sometimes, you can experience these too in altered states of consciousness.

The inspiration for my Dancing Ganesha piece came to me during a holotropic breath-work session. For those of you who aren’t familiar with holotropic breath-work, this form of breathing is said to produce an experience similar to that of a psychedelic experience. During this session, I was listening to drumming while performing the breathing exercises. Holotropic breath-work kind of reminds me of breath of fire in the practice of pranayama. During this particular session, after about 10 minutes or so, I started to see visions of snakes coming up from the ground flying up into the sky.

Then all of a sudden, Ganesha came into view. He was dancing on each foot, jumping from one to the other while balancing his bowl of sweets and his hatchet. He danced and moved to the rhythm of the drums. The best way I can describe his energy is to say that he was cool and laid-back. He danced smoothly and naturally and filled my mind with calm and euphoric energy. I tried to hold onto the vision as best I could before he faded away.

Ganesha work in progress

I stopped the session after that because I felt that I had gotten what I needed. It’s interesting to me that Ganesha is the deity that came through. Even though I’ve always been drawn to Ganesha, I’ve never actually worked with him. Also, during that particular time in my life, I was undergoing some changes with some new obstacles to overcome. Ganesha is known as The Remover of Obstacles. He was able to reach me because his energy is exactly what I needed at that time. I plan to do these breath-work sessions every so often so it should be interesting to see what other deities come through.

Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles

For those of you interested in learning more about holotropic breath-work, check out the work by Stanislav Grof. Prints and prayer cards of Ganesha are available in my shop.