SoulCollageĀ® – Light and Shadow

Frozen Fear, by Anne Boedecker

by Anne L. Boedecker,
PhD

I’ve been working with collage as an expressive art medium for over a year and a half now, using the SoulCollageĀ® process for the past nine months, and I’ve noticed some interesting patterns appear in how I work with it.

When I went to my first collage workshop I had a backlog of unexpressed feelings that I had been unable to talk or write about. Intense raw emotion seemed to just pour out of me and take form on paper.

We were encouraged in that workshop to work on more than one piece at a time. As I struggled with stark images of grief I also experimented on another collage with bright colors and shiny textures.

After the first wave of feverish creating had subsided, I looked at what I had dumped on paper and decided to do one more collage with softer colors and textures, and more positive images. I needed faith and hope on paper to soothe the raw intensity of my exposed grief.

This has become a common pattern for me since, and shows up often in my SoulCollageĀ® cards. Sometimes purposefully, but more often

Trust, by Anne Boedecker

spontaneously, a particularly dark card is followed by one that’s more uplifting.

And Ive found pairs of cards that seem to speak to each other.

Sometimes the second card is the solution or antidote to the problem posed in the first card (Frozen Fear, Trust).

Often cards present themselves to me in pairs of opposites (Adapted Child, Magical Child):

Adapted Child,
by Anne Boedecker

 

 

 

And I have begun picking out a lighter card to work on after journaling the I Am The One Who exercise… with a card that touches on a wounded or stuck place (Fallen Angel, Free Spirit):

Fallen Angel, by Anne Boedecker
Free Spirit, by Anne Boedecker

Seena Frost writes about understanding the positive and negative aspects of each card in our SoulCollageĀ® decks. I think this same principle can apply to our deck as a whole.

Our unconscious carries not only shadow elements but also positive attributes, and incredible healing power. The journey within can be less overwhelming when we shine our light on the bright spots as well as the dark.

The next time you make or draw a card that’s disturbing to you, try making or picking out a card that is its opposite in some way, and see what that card has to offer as well.

I’ve experienced deeper healing than I ever thought possible using my cards in this way.

Anne L. Boedecker, Ph.D. brings over 25 years experience as a therapist, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner to her work in Spirituality and the Arts. She is a drummer, a dancer, and an artist. Her passion is the creative care of the soul through art, writing, meditation, music and movement. She leads workshops, retreats and individual sessions in a variety of media, including collage, clay, poetry, mandalas, labyrinths, and drumming. For more information, visit her website, Art Heals the Soul.