It’s been ages since I’ve made a proper update but I’ve been pretty much buried under the work I’m doing for the Swords Suit of my tarot deck. The Swords are the suit that I struggle with the most on a personal level so it makes sense that this portion of my tarot project would be the most difficult for me. That said, the Swords Suit is coming along. In addition, I’ve been working with my Peppermint Pumpkin bandmates James Rupert Powell and Carisa Bianca Mellado on finalizing our debut album The Children’s Crusade which we began work on something like 5 years ago. Other commitments and a bit of laziness on my part have left the recordings in limbo but James and Carisa have finished producing it and it’s in the mastering stages. My goal is to have it available to everyone by Halloween.
So, while I’m moving forward on these rather major projects, I wanted to take a moment to share a spirit guide portrait that a dear friend commissioned me to create for another dear friend. I did this about a year ago and wasn’t sure whether I’d share it because I only had a couple hasty photos of it with my iPhone but I really enjoyed how it turned out so I figured what the hell. There was a whole build-up to channeling these spirit guides which I won’t go into, but it involved a deserted nocturnal midway illuminated by red posters, a monolithic stone elevator, and horror film white strobes. What follows are excerpts from my initial notes.
I regarded the first entity I encountered as the Spirit Guide of Choice: The first Spirit Guide reveals herself to me just beyond the elevator doors. She is rising lithely from a white bed blanketed in soft, silky white sheets, looking up to me with a red, featureless face. In rare moments, I see a single eye peering from a hole in the deep red visage but this is fleeting. The eye seems to regard me with curiosity, drawing a sense of safety from the red mask. She has an athletic frame, almost waifish. Two mirrors levitate in her midst, attached to her through chains that connect to rings piercing her nipples. I don’t know what she sees in these mirrors. It feels like a violation of privacy to ask and she never offers so this remains a mystery to me. She wears a lavish sort of collar made of a tough black frame that almost appears rough and chitinous. Within these frames are mirrors and while the floating mirrors remain obscured, I can at times catch glimpses of the reflections in the mirrors of her collar. At times, I see in the mirrors a pale angelic feminine face with red eyeshadow, dark hair tied over her head, black lips, and sharp features. She is smiling and while there is a darkness to her, I sense nothing sinister. At other times, I see a demure pale face with a soft pink glow to it. This face averts its gaze while a strong wind blows a wild mane of blonde hair beneath the soft pink clouds.
I regarded the second entity I encountered as the Spirit Guide of Optimism: Suddenly, a young girl (I’d estimate somewhere between the ages of 9 – 11) comes strolling out of the darkness. Her skin is an otherworldly gray and she is dressed in patchwork rags, yet she seems so cheerful. A warm October breeze blows her long stringy blonde hair. Without hesitation, she takes the hand of the red-faced Spirit Guide. I immediately realize that, despite a jarring lack of similarity, the gray child Spirit Guide and the red-faced Spirit Guide are friends. At this point, I come out of my trance.
The choice (because I do believe it is a choice) for the red-faced Spirit Guide to wear the red, featureless mask may have obstructed my view, but it didn’t feel confrontational or reclusive. Rather it seemed to have almost a logical caution to it. In the rare moments when her eye was visible, I noticed no suspicion or fear but rather a calm curiosity. She actually came off rather kind and gracious despite aspects of her appearance that seemed sharp and cold.
Ultimately, I feel the caution exhibited by the red-faced Spirit Guide is actually the result of her primary essence which is that of making choices. The featureless red face makes no commitment to identity while the mirrors display varied faces such as the sharp woman and the shy soft woman who are possibly exaggerated archetypes that the red-faced Spirit Guide can access through these mirrors. It’s as if she is trying on a new face, a new personality, a new lifestyle and testing it out before committing to it. There’s a playfulness to this, like when one plays dress-up as a child.
I feel like this Spirit Guide is a chameleon, ever-changing as she makes new choices but never sticking to one form. Perhaps the day will come when she makes an ultimate choice and strips her red mask away but for now I feel she is enjoying the fun that comes with versatility.
This may be less important but still worth noting: just because this Spirit Guide exhibits caution does not mean she is timid or afraid. In fact, she exhibits a great deal of confidence, knowing she’s making her choices after educated assessments. This is most apparent in her spiky head dress, a crown of sorts. This Spirit Guide is very comfortable as the queen of her castle, though it is admittedly a small castle for now.
The gray child Spirit Guide didn’t disturb me despite her shabby condition because her smile seemed to burn away her circumstance with its cleansing glow. She came into the scenario the way a happy child greets a new day, paying no heed to her tattered dress and dirty socks. I didn’t get the impression that her hands were bandaged for any particular reason save a quirky fashion, possibly some fancy of make believe or a game to which I wasn’t privy. This child had obviously been up against adversity and challenges, yet she smiled as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Therefore, I see optimism as the primary message of the smiling gray child Spirit Guide.
A warm October wind blows her hair, the warmth of an Indian summer pushing back the bitter colder months. This child, despite the cold gray skin with which she was born, radiated a warmth and an appreciation for rustic simplicity. I have no doubt this child actually enjoyed sleeping on a bed of dirt beneath the stars. Clothed in rags, she smiles because she’s already acquired the most important things in life and is certain that she will be able to get the rest when she needs it.
Optimism and choice can work beautifully together or rather optimism typically improves choice. While it may seem that the red faced Spirit Guide has taken the gray child Spirit Guide’s hand in a moment of maternal affection, I believe that the gray child is equally her guardian.