As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there have been times in my life when I’ve faced problems so tricky, so “impossible” that the only way out was in. Deeeeeep inside, through the inner rabbit hole, through the spiral and out the newly created portal. In those days, I’d paint a door, and you know what? It worked.
For the past three “doors,” I’ve taken to canvases that portray some sort of doorway or entry point — still portals, but not painted on actual doors. I usually select a local or personal issue as the initial point of need or emotional spark, but then I create the portals as offerings for how such issues play out across the world. “As Within, So Without,” and “As Above, So Below.” I’ve painted portals for healing Lyme Disease, for welcoming a return of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, along with commissioned doors to support inner transformation and healing.
This latest door springs from a delicate local situation trying to balance encroaching Agenda 21 plans for our town with the real world need for sustainability and community — not the co-opted Agenda 21 definitions that strip human rights, but actual Earth healing and human cooperation. I knew I could foment reactions from local Tea Party folks that could stop this Comprehensive Plan in its tracks, but I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Agenda 21, though completely co-opted to destroy liberty, nonetheless gets people talking about very real problems in need of creative solutions. I could not figure out a kind, gentle, yet strong enough way to protect our rights, honor the planet, and continue to foster community rather than dividing it. Since Agenda 21 poses a global threat amidst innumerable other worldwide challenges, I know I’m not the only one considering these dilemmas. I created this portal as an offering based on Rumi’s poem:
There Is a Way
The intellect says: “The six directions are limits: there is no way out.”
Love says: “There is a way. I have traveled it thousands of times.”
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle;
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.
The project began with a blank door, acquired from our former landlord in Madison:
Given the theme of protecting both Nature and human rights, I felt called to old goddess traditions that connect the ideas of “Sovereignty” and “the Land.” In Celtic, Norse, Native American and other traditions, the health of the land reflects our inner state or the state of a community’s leader. The awful condition of our world reflects the psychopathic leaders and corporations we have allowed to usurp the natural goodness of the human race. We have, collectively, lost our way.
The goddess who presented herself for gentle, yet powerful and wise assistance was Elen of the Ways. Elen is associated with:
Ancient ley lines
Fly agaric mushrooms
The Green Lady
The Horned Goddess
The Reindeer Totem
Loving care of humans
Finding sustainable tracks
The Faery Realm
Elen’s connection with birch trees appealed to me, because this old, white door with all its cracks and chipped paint reminded me of a birch tree. David agreed that I should leave the door as natural as possible in order to invoke the traditional newness, fertility and rebirth associations with birch trees and the Berkano Rune. I also liked that the Berkano Rune looks like a pointy capital B, appropriate for creating a Plan B to the predetermined Plan A(genda 21).
I painted this entire door during the first Mercury Retrograde period of 2014, because Mercury Retrograde supports revision, reworking, and wriggling out of former contracts. Merc Rx introduces a certain degree of chaos, which can thwart new initiatives, but offers great energy for tweaking old ones. Since Agenda 21 came about in 1992 and our town had already been selected as a pilot city for an APA implementation of A21, creating a Plan B through alternate ways, seemed highly suited for a Merc Rx project. I live in a world of synchronicity, but even I was floored when I found myself painting the portal address of 444 at exactly 4:44 East Coast US time on February 6, 2014 — the exact moment when this Mercury Retrograde period began! 444 reminds us of the angels’ love and support, and I’ve certainly felt them during this process.
I decided not to depict Elen of the Ways in a direct form, but instead chose to include symbols and images closely related to Elen and the Faery Realm. As Reindeer Goddess or “The Horned Goddess,” Elen has strong ties to Ice Age (and even contemporary) wanderers who followed the reindeer, caribou or (later) the red deer in order to find food, shelter and the ability to live through harsh conditions in the Boreal Forest. I included this image from a cave painting in Lascaux, representing an Ancient Irish Giant Elk:
Many archeologists believe that the cave paintings reflect shamanic visions and encounters, and some scholars believe the flying reindeer of the Santa myth come from shamans soaring through the stars to track the animals below. The poisonous fly agaric mushrooms so often associated with gnomes and faeries become a safe hallucinogen when passed through the reindeer and drunk via reindeer urine, so this portal door’s depictions of both the Lascaux elk and the fly agaric mushrooms offer a double nod to shamanic visions and inspired ways:
In addition to the inscribed intention, “Love said, ‘There is a way. I have traveled it thousands of times,” I also wrote in silver runes down the left side: “SUSTAINABLE SOVEREIGNTY,” a concept that honors and connects both human rights and a healing of Nature.
I had some interesting conversations with various members of the Faery Realm while creating this portal. Agenda 21 aims to remove humans from most of the land and huddle them into megacities with a Wetlands Project that keeps vast stretches of Nature off limits to all but a self-proclaimed elite. Part of me wondered if the faeries might prefer such an arrangement, given how irresponsibly humanity has treated the planet. It turns out that, although some of the Faery Realm does despise humanity, significant portions recognize a joint destiny between the realms. The Faery Rule, “Respect, Not Control,” urges humans to respect Nature but does not support the sort of top-down police state regulations of advanced Agenda 21.
The Faery Realm representatives I’ve long worked with prefer voluntary communion with humans and the natural world — a cooperative honoring and regeneration of the land as sacred. The most ancient concept of regenerating the land remains totally entwined with the idea of sovereignty. The Fae also indicated that vibration from such intense misery of human enslavement, along with the electromagnetic monitoring of all off-limits areas, would make our planet even more intolerable for such sensitive beings than it already is. By contrast, voluntary communion with the land and between the realms offers a truly healing and celebratory opening into a preferred reality with much more cooperation and exchange among the realms.
Based on these discussions and support from my continued and proven loyal friends from the Faery Realm, I added the mythical “silver branch” — an apple branch in full bloom, fruit and leaf all at the same time. This silver branch offers safe passage into and out of the Faery Realm, also called Avalon (“The Isle of Apples”). The golden apple is toxic if eaten by one of an impure heart, but its poison becomes regenerative with love and alchemical transmutation. Cut in half, the apple reveals five seeds symbolizing the original (non-co-opted) meaning of the pentagram: excellence, truth and purity:
You can see that I’ve used Runa Faery coding — one of three different systems of Runes used on this portal — to express compassionate intentions and requests for the Highest Good of All, not just human centric, yet also not excluding humanity from that mix.
I continued this faery theme in the top panel by painting a seven-pointed Faery Star, associated with healing, the magick of Avalon, and the Faery Realm, which is lit by inner and outer starlight rather than sun or moon. I embedded additional Runes and healing symbols as the smaller “stars.” This also coincides nicely with Elen’s association with finding the star ways and tracking Gaia’s ley lines by flying through the stars:
I usually paint the backs of my portal doors, but I received a strong sense to leave this one open to the Unknown Way. I’ve embedded the door with powerful positive intentions and requests for healing, regeneration, sovereignty, peace, compassion, love and return of faery magick and wonder into everyday human awareness and existence. I don’t need to know exactly how that looks, especially since “it” will look different for each person who desires to participate in this type of world. According to Rumi, “The intellect says: ‘The six directions are limits: there is no way out.’
Love says: ‘There is a way. I have traveled it thousands of times.’” In honor of creating something entirely new and joyful from the discarded scraps of what seems ugly and restrictive, I painted a single Rune on the door handle. Called “HAGAL,” this snowflake or star shaped Rune invokes our inherent ability to “Create a New Universe”:
May it be so.