Posts Tagged ‘Doors’

Goodbye Sonoma County Redux: Synchronous Owls, NaNoWriMo, and Safe Passage

My February 2010 entry, “Goodbye Sonoma County, Goodbye California,” has haunted me for nearly eight years. David and I decided to get married in December 2016 in preparation for purchasing a house in Michigan and relocating from Goshen, Indiana. Ever since then, memories of my sudden departure from California have tumbled across consciousness at least several times per week. From needing to retrieve Sonoma County divorce records — to a two-week stint on Instagram that felt like an assault of photos from places I worked so hard to leave — to discerning and executing our own exit plan from Goshen, the late 2009-early 2010 time period in Sonoma County kept bursting through.

Although David and I met as friends in Chicago, unbeknownst to me at the time, our story actually began in Sonoma County and Napa. Synchronicities Continue reading

Sync Winks and Faery Portals

I’ve been having one of those days already, and it’s just 7:22 a.m.! Due to a combination of yesterday’s late afternoon chocolate, a hot upstairs, new fan and the sudden absence of our heavy comforter, I had trouble falling asleep last night. My intuition was screaming at me to use that excuse to read the Kindle version of Sharon Blackie’s “If Women Rose Rooted,” since I had downloaded it in Pennsylvania but not had a chance yet to begin reading it. My Kindle sat on the floor next to the bed taunting me all night, but for some reason, I refused to give up on sleep and read.

At one point, after about my fifth bathroom break, fan fiddle, and prowl around the upstairs, I decided to go downstairs, still sans Kindle, and turn the full house fan on with just a few minutes of AC. We have super steep steps here — Dutch steps, as David and his dad call them. They have new hardwood directly over the original steps of this gut rehab, because to change the steps at all would have meant needing to bring them up to code, much less steep and a complete change to the house’s original layout.This stairwell has long given me visions of radical falls, and so I always hold the railing on the way down.

When Tania Marie visited last year, she tumbled down the last third of the steps while I was outside in the garden, but thanks to some kind of faery intervention, Reiki and both topical and oral arnica, my sweet friend who has a history of foot fractures didn’t even bruise. I experienced a similar situation last night on my way downstairs. Despite holding onto the railing and being catlike in my abilities to move through the dark, somehow, last night, I misjudged where the floor should be, skipping the final two steps.

I had just been wondering, “Where will we move when we’re finally done our time in Goshen?” I know I’ve got a contract with this land, and David and I had earlier been discussing how I might as well just continue to dive into the gardens here until I’ve completed the transformation. I had forgotten a message from 2014 that I am opening a faery portal here with all the land healing, flowers, trees and sacred work I do on these two yards. Around the same time, I received a vision of David and me as very, very old people, sitting happily by a fire in what feels like Ireland but might be the actual faery realm. This has remained a steady vision of mine for years now, popping up when least expected, but I wasn’t thinking about it at all last night.

Here’s where things get really strange:

There I was, hot, insomniac, listening to trains from across town blow their horns far away even though ours were silent … feeling far too vata with all that wind blowing from an air purifier and our new fan, wondering wherever will we move when I’m finally finished here. Before bed, I had just ordered a small frog birdbath/fountain and David Phlox, along with other white flowers for a watery moon garden in the Haus Am See’s backyard. Frustrated with my inability to sleep but for some reason not reading “If Women Rose Rooted,” I made my way downstairs, miscalculated the bottom and literally flew into Door Number 17 — “Elen of the Ways,” which is itself a faery portal, complete with faery star on top.

A few odd things about my launch: that’s not the door directly in front of the stairwell! I not only missed the bottom two steps and flew through the air unharmed, but I somehow pivoted midair in order to body slam the faery portal I had painted for Goshen’s “sustainable sovereignty” and in honor of Elen of the Ways, who finds the right paths. The door I ran into was the white one with the faery star, fly agaric mushrooms, and a faery passage “silver branch,” an apple in simultaneous leaf, blossom and fruit:

Faery Portal

The maroon door directly in front of the steps is Door Number 4 –“Four of Wands/Karuna.”

Anyway, I eventually went back to bed, tossing and turning for awhile and then finally sleeping just long enough to awaken at 4:44 a.m., about 21 minutes before David’s alarm was due to go off. (Note the address on Door Number 17: 444. You can read the synchronous story of that door’s creation by clicking here, but I didn’t notice the 444 sync wink until several more synchronicities prompted me to take a photo of it to share in today’s post.)

David got up, and I decided to try to go back to sleep, but that “If Women Rose Rooted” book kept calling to me, so I finally picked up my Kindle and began reading all about Boudica and strong women of the Celtic Tradition — about the power of the land and the importance of women reconnecting with the land. It’s a delightful, enchanting book so far, but reading about Boudica reminded me of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Ravens of Avalon,” which tells the story of Boudica, when then reminded me of “Priestess of Avalon,” which draws upon legends of Elen of the Ways.

Too many syncs before breakfast! This woman was rising rooted and reading her Celtic Devotional for the day. What did I find? A passage about soul kinship, which had me again pondering our next location and David and me talking about Irish people in both South Bend and Pennsylvania. I decided to pull a Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle Card, and pulled “Secret Doorway,” which pictures a half-woman, half-fae being approaching … a faery portal!

Wild Wisdom Secret Doorway

Stunned, I ran to Door Number 17, marveling at my unharmed crash into that faery portal last night. When David’s alarm went off this morning, I said, “Well, I’m still here. I fell down the steps and crashed into the faery portal, but I guess it wasn’t time yet.” As I looked at the door, I noticed the 444 and remembered my waking moment this morning.

I showed David the Secret Doorway card, and he said, “Hey, that looks just like the photo I took of you in Pennsylvania.”

Faery Door at Monocacy Park

Of all the things I wanted to do in Penn’s Woods on our visit there, taking David to my old haunts in Monocacy Park was on top of my list. We finally got a few hours to ourselves the afternoon before my father passed away. As we wandered by Monocacy Creek, I felt the presence of the Fae, so imagine our delight to find this faery door just off the path! David snapped a photo as I approached the door, and yes, it does remind me of the Secret Doorway card.

I had mostly finished this blog post before an early session with someone who had just returned from Ireland, and the sync winks continued in our discussion. Some key divinatory meanings of the Secret Doorway include: “Being able to see change ahead, but not knowing how to deal with it. Understanding that in order to learn something new, one must forget what one thinks one knows. Getting ‘down’ to the level of others who you do not know. Receiving messages from nature. Understanding that wonderment is the natural process of change.”

Indeed, I wonder as I wander … and, as Tolkien and Door Number 16 state, “Not all who wander are lost.”

Blessed Be

… and be the blessing!

Door Number 12: The World Card

Door Number 12 is another commissioned piece, located in the same hallway as Door Number 11. I hadn’t planned to paint a second door there, but the patron felt so happy with Door Number 11 and the bathroom door kept “talking” to me, so we agreed it needed “to express itself.” I know it sounds weird, but all three of us discussed the vision for this door — in ordinary conversations and then in dreams. I had not planned to paint a tarot card on this one, but The World Card hijacked my dreams, reminding me of how Freya and Frigga jumped in ahead of The Lovers for Door Number 6.

The World Card, Door Number 12 by Laura Bruno

The homeowner wanted the Runes for Joy and Flow in this door, and I had intended to create something entirely different, but the World Card or “Starry Dancer” appeared every time I closed my eyes. When I began researching this card, I realized why. We had decided to make this a “backwards portal,” with the image inside the bathroom instead of in the hallway. Door Number 11’s faery dominates that space and having another full image just seemed too much with the patterned rug. A small mantra, on the other hand, seemed like a nice accent.

Synchronously, the World Card is number 21 in the tarot deck, a backwards version of 12. It’s also an upside down and opposite image of the Hanged Man Card, number 12 in the tarot deck. The Hanged Man is, in turn, associated with Odin, the “father of the Runes” who hung suspended from a tree for nine days, saw the Runes upside down, understood their meaning and claimed them as his own. The back of the Freya and Frigga portal features Odin’s Rune Song. What does all this “mean”?

Heck if I know, but it seems relevant! These portals arrive in dreams, nudges and synchronicities. The Hanged Man stands for stasis and uncertainty, masculine suspension, whereas the World Card celebrates a union of male and female and a joyful fulfillment and dance. These portals do seem to have their own order and method, so I just follow along as best as I can. 🙂

That said, I think Door Number 12 is my favorite one so far. I loved the opportunity to expand outward onto the molding. To me, the bathroom seems like twice the size with this addition.

Detail, Door Number 12 by Laura Bruno

Typically, the World Card contains images for the four fixed signs in astrology: Aquarius, Scorpio, Leo and Taurus (clockwise from upper left), which translates into a man, a scorpion, a lion and a bull. The patron really did NOT want these images in the bathroom, but it felt important to include their energy in their door. I opted for the astrological symbols themselves, which you can see surrounding the laurel wreath.

Speaking of laurel wreaths, this door also seems to tie in to Door Number 3, the Daphne Door/Tree of Life, which also features laurel leaves and a woman (in that case with only her feet dancing). In tarot the third card would be the Empress, and Door Number 3 has a Chakana (the navel of the Earth) on Daphne’s belly. These cards and the Chakana also play key roles in Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.

All these 3’s! What do they mean? I don’t know, but I find the patterns and interconnections curious and fun to explore. I don’t consider this portal series “mine.” I custom design them according to patron request and dreams, but they seem to present themselves in interesting and insistent ways.

If you look closely, you can see all the patron’s intended elements encoded into the dancer’s hair and the laurel leaves:

Runes in the hair and leaves

The bottom quote announced itself in the usual “can’t get it out of my head” way and seemed perfect in meaning and feel:

For the back, which is really the front of this door, the Gayatri Mantra wanted to go there. Trouble is, the Gayatri is long, and we had opted for mantra-side out in order to minimize the details in the hallway. I remembered that the Gayatri is preceded by an introduction of sorts: oṃ(ॐ) and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ (भूर् भुवः स्वः), known as the mahāvyāhṛti (“great utterance”).

We decided to include the great utterance and a red lotus, which also appears on Door Number 7, the Lovers. Interestingly, to me anyway 🙂 , the full Gayatri Mantra covers the other side of Door Number 2, The Alchemy Door.

I find these doors a curiouser and curiouser process. The more I paint, the more interconnected and layered they become. The homeowner from Door Number 10 just asked me to paint Door Number 13 in her home. Fun, but also synchronous, as I have had Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” sitting around on my bookshelf for months. For some reason, I got the sudden urge to start reading it this weekend, right after the patron and I determined which door to paint. Lo and behold, “The Lost Symbol” tells a story about portals and features a very important Door Number 13! I don’t know what to make of all these things, but I do know this: I felt light and free after finishing the World Card. Here’s a spontaneous photo taken the following day:

Laura Bruno on the edge of The World

Blessings and joy to you! Thanks for sharing the journey …

Door Number 10: Hopi/Jewel in the Lotus

Someone commissioned Door Number 10 from me, and I finished it about a week and a half ago. The photos are posted on Facebook, but I’ve had some requests for a more complete write-up here. Ask and you shall receive. 🙂

Door Number 10 by Laura Bruno

Back of Door Number 10 by Laura Bruno

I really enjoyed painting this door! As my first commissioned door, it gave me a chance to code and design a portal to someone else’s intentions and dreams. This part of the process was as fun and rewarding as I anticipated. Once we decided on a theme — The Sun tarot card— I started asking her questions about quotes, mantras and important symbols in her life. By spending time in her home, I got a feel for her decorating style, and I also noticed that she happened to have a sun tattooed on her upper back. I decided to incorporate her tattoo into the door design, but at her request added some extra rays to make it look more like an alchemical sun from old texts.

The other symbols are also near and dear to her heart: replicas of some Hopi jewelry she showed me, a Hopi Kachina, and the Jewel in the Lotus Mantra on the inside of the door. Not only does she love this mantra, but it’s one she actually says, so the door resonates very closely with her interior life, just as the Jewel in the Lotus now graces the interior of her bedroom. Some synchronicities led to the inclusion of the four aspects of the Om Mani Padme Hum path, which are placed around the four edges of the inner door. (More explanation of that later.)

Overall, she wanted something bright and cheerful, but not overwhelmingly so. The door needed to fit within her surroundings. I got the idea to paint it quite vibrant and then “brown down” the colors, giving the suggestion of a faded deck of cards or a rare book. I used mountain colors because she feels a particular draw to the Pagosa Springs region of Colorado. Each of the colors suggests something naturally found in this area so special to her and her family.

Door number 10 also marks my first “functional” door, in that it leads in and out of the master bedroom. When she crosses this threshold, she actually moves through the energies of the door. We decided to work with the molding, too, creating even more of a 3D “portal” effect by using a contrasting color around the door itself.

As you may remember, doors 1-9 are standalone, discarded panel doors. By contrast, the tenth door offered a blank canvas, with no predetermined layers or frames. I initially found this challenging, because I enjoy the inherent guidelines forced upon me by panels. As corny as it sounds, I spent about a day tuning in to this panel-less door, so that I could learn its character. I walked through the threshold, lay down in front of it, stared at it from down the hallway, until I had a real sense of what the door itself wanted to express. Once I felt that, I combined all of the patron’s intentions and requests with the door’s energy and the surrounding colors and a clear image came to mind. The colors divided the door instead of panels.

That’s a bit of the background. I find it difficult to explain my entire process, since it mostly comes from a right-brain, intuitive and spiritually channeled, synchronous place. Music plays an important role as well. This door is most infused with two albums: U2’s The Unforgettable Fire and Krishna Das’ Heart as Wide and the World. Although I listened to other music, those albums wanted to repeat themselves most often, and I probably listened to each of them at least 6 times.

I’ll show some close-up shots below, with a little more explanation. Because this is a commissioned piece, I am grateful for the opportunity to share any photos and explanation here. Some of the intentions are quite private, and they are encoded in Runes as texture and words. I am only describing those elements she has given me permission to share publicly. The door is actually much more complex and layered than I’m letting on here, but out of respect for her privacy and gratitude for her willingness to share, I’m only focusing on the more universal elements.

Although the doors look like artwork, the use of Runes, Sanskrit, Sacred Geometry and ancient symbols directly speaks to the subconscious mind. In this way, the doors do act as portals, because they intentionally program the subconscious mind to accept and embrace desired experiences or states of being. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am using ALL of my education and all of my brain — melding right with left, major nerdy book learning with intuitive flashes, and language with art. Many thanks to my anonymous patron for allowing me to share so much with you!

Doorway Number 10 by Laura Bruno (open)

Doorway Number 10 by Laura Bruno

The woman’s teenage sons were so cute, too. They said the squiggly lines around the sun were “male” and thus represented them being added to their mom’s tattoo. They were really excited to find themselves in the painting.

Closeup of Kokopelli and the Hopi Starblower

Close-up of the Doorway Number 10, Kokopelli, Starblower, Crow Mother Kachina and many, many Runes! As a side note, one reason the water seems to move is that I coded its texture with a Rune that subconsciously corresponds to “flow.”

Buddha Door Quote and Crow Mother Kachini

Out of focus BlackBerry shot of the bottom of Doorway Number 10. It shows the bottom of a Hopi “Starblower” along with a Crow Mother Kachina. The background texture is coded with Runes specific to the owner’s intentions with this portal. The quote says, “There are two mistakes one can make on the road to truth … not going all the way and not starting.”–Buddha

Threshold Coding

Threshold of Doorway Number 10, showing part of the Runic coding, which runs from top to bottom. It spells out the Hopi elder saying, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” The photo is a bit misleading as the inner room is white and the threshold is cinchilla blue.

Jewel in the Lotus by Laura Bruno

The back side of Doorway Number 10, which is in the master bedroom. It features the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra, which the owner says on a regular basis. The Sanskrit on the sides (and on top and bottom not shown in this photo) lists the four aspects of this path: karuna (compassion), maitri (loving kindness), upaika (equanimity) and mudika (joy).

Thanks for sharing the journey with us! I’ve had some other tentative requests for doors, too — some of them with the possibility of painting Dutch doors. (Those are the ones that split in half and swing separately.) Door number 11 is also a blank canvas (no panels) already planned and set to start painting later next week. Each door reminds me that portals are so unique. They involve not just one element, but so many possible functions, energies, intentions, love and desires. I truly feel blessed to have stumbled upon such a powerful and unusual means of expression.

Many Blessings and if you’d like your own portal door, please contact me privately for details. Cost varies according to travel, complexity, size and style of each door. I would love to create something for you or teach you how to create your own.

Namaste.

9 Portals

My gift to you on this 37th birthday. Thank you for sharing the journey with me! Much love …

Payuurteel by Laura Bruno

The Alchemy Door by Laura Bruno

The Daphne Door (aka Tree of Life) by Laura Bruno

Four of Wands Door by Laura Bruno

King of Cups aka Chiron Door by Laura Bruno

Freya and Frigga Door by Laura Bruno

Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno

The Ace of Pentacles by Laura Bruno

Door Number 9: The Ace of Pentacles

I think this might be my favorite door yet. I completed it last week but am just getting around to posting it on this #9 day (5/19/2010), which also happens to be the 12-year anniversary of my life changing brain injury.

A few things about this door: it does not have a lock. I like this. The Ace of Pentacles is all about Manifestation, so I love the fact that the door doesn’t need to be unlocked; it doesn’t even have a lock to begin with!

Secondly, this began as a clear, glass-paned door. My supply of solid doors dried up, but again, I like this particular door for the Ace of Pentacles, because it brings an element of transparency to manifestation. The bottom quote reads, “Remember my friend, you must go down the road to know, it is as above as so below.” Reflection, transparency, manifestation: I like it!

One other note on the pentacle itself. Rather than paint a plain old coin or a simple star, I went digging around for pentacles. And what did I find?? Something cool for the 9th door in a series of 9 sets of 9 (yes, I’m up to 81 as a destination number). I found more pentacles from Solomon’s Keys. The Ace of Pentacles features the 5th Pentacle of Mercury, a magical talisman designed “to open all doors.” I found this appropriate for portal work. Plus, I just like all the Hebrew.

The door has Runes, Sanskrit and Hebrew in large gold letters down the sides. The Runes spell out, “Behold, I have given. Receive.” The Sanskrit says, “Jai guru deva om” from the Beatles’ “Across the Universe” song. Roughly translated, it means, “I give thanks to the heavenly teacher.”

The Hebrew spells out “Shekinah.” For those of you who don’t know, Shekinah is kind of a mysterious, feminine aspect of God, often associated with the Holy Spirit. I’ve been getting a lot of intuitive insights into Pentecost lately, which is when the Holy Spirit descended onto the disciples and allowed them to perform miracles … and I like the resonance of Pentacle and Pentecost. Plus, the idea of “ordinary” people performing miracles seems directly in line with the meaning of the Ace of Pentacles.

The address “42” comes from, among other things, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which lists 42 as the answer to “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” I have that phrase written in Runes down the back of the door, along with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo on the bottom back. This kundalini yoga mantra translates to “I honor the guru within” or “I bow to that creative wisdom that lives within myself.”

This door shows a portal within a portal, as well as a garden, representative of THE Garden … a return to an Eden-like life of beauty, love, creativity and absolute abundace. Wishing that for each of you!!

Ace of Pentacles Portal by Laura Bruno

Detail Ace of Pentacles by Laura Bruno

Down the Road to the Ace of Pentacles by Laura Bruno

Rose and Pentacle on the Ace of Pentacles by Laura Bruno

Fifth Pentacle of Mercury on the Ace of Pentacles by Laura Bruno

I am awaiting the manifestation of more doors, more room and/or that magical Victorian house that keeps haunting my dreams and offering doors I can paint and actually walk through. The attic still has more doors for me to paint, but they are truly funky ones, and this set of 9 feels complete. We … shall see! My birthday’s on Saturday, and I am VERY open to surprises. 🙂

Door Number 8: Ten of Cups

Door Number 8 began as a tall and impossibly skinny project that proved most challenging to reveal the inner vision that had begun to haunt me. I tried and tried to find a different door that would provide an easier work surface for this particular image, but it appears that the Ten of Cups wanted this door. Having completed it, I can kind of see why. There’s a lot more flow than a two or more paneled door would have allowed.

The bottom quote seems appropriate: “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t realize you left open.” To learn more about the Ten of Cups, please click here. For some reason, the Runes down the front called out to be Schizandra Ginger Parker, and the Chinese on the right is Wu Wei Zi (Schizandra chinensis), both from my novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. That surprised me, but I don’t argue with inspiration. 😉 Enjoy!

Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno (Front)

Detail Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno (Rainbow)

Detail Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno (Children Dancing)

Detail Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno (Stallion)

Back of the Ten of Cups Door by Laura Bruno

Front of Ten of Cups by Laura Bruno

This may or may not be my last door painted in this apartment. I’m honestly not sure! The remaining doors in the attic are either very large, screened, or very odd shapes. The remaining space in my apartment is similarly interesting. We … shall … see…

Many Blessings!