Exploring the archetypal energies of the emerging self, held within the cycles and seasons of growth can be deeply explored though the medium of face and body masks.
I was first exposed to hands on masking though Kaleo and Elise Durham Ching, teachers, healers, poet and artists who have written several powerful books on chi, creativity and mask work. They quickly became my mentors and taught me to dance on the imaginal path, journey deep and follow my fingertips as I opened to my artist self.
I followed my own unfolding story through mask work over the years, creating a narrative, dialogue and linking self to self. My work is steeped in exploring parts of self. As I share in my book Gathering Wholeness, Psychosynthisis and Archetypes are strong subject threads that run through my art and coaching practice.
Mask as form became a natural ally.
Interestingly my early art based work was in the theater, I was costuming and exploring layers of clothing that “made or masked” the character in my late teens and early twenties. To find masking again as I discovered a new kind of art and process that was redefining my life as I moved into my forties, was coming full circle.
The mask is a mirror of the emerging self.
The form of mask, and the creative process that unfolds in the making of the mask holds potent energies which reflect internal and external truths, through image, symbol, color, texture and form. Rather that masking the true self, the mask reveals and shows one the details of the true self, this reflection shifts and changes in alignment with the facets of our life journey.
The mask as form serves us as a divine mirror, rather than hiding our depths it illuminates our deepest truths…
– Cat Caracelo
The mask process incorporates guided journeying, dreaming, intuitive art making and TRUST. It is both an expressive and transformative form that often include working with layering, deconstruction, intuitive movement, art as ritual, dialogue and voicing. The making process is not about replicating curves and lines, it is always about discovery. Maskmaking is based in seeking the unexpected in the mask itself.
Following my fingers I find the surface of the mask to be a topographic map and settle into a deep and sacred space of seeking and finding.
I am honored to work with individuals in the mask discovery process, often when I am spending several days with clients in individual or small group coaching retreats we will explore the mask as form. I have found that masks, whether face or body cast, have their own agenda. They become ‘other’ in ways that will surprise, many times leaning into anthropomorphic, shamanic and shapeshifting reflections. Sometimes they remain raw, which many of my own have done for months and even years. Mask will also transform over time and can be approached from internal, external and multidimensional.
Mask as a creative form is a powerful tool of depth inquiry, transformative process and discovery. Art making and masking is explored while working with levels of consciousness. Much of the making process may be in an altered state, intense or dream like in nature, as you touch the intuitive…
Voicing can expose more layers of the mask.
The Sacred Belly Bowl voiced with an unexpected archetypal voice when she spoke to and through me. The poem became a reflection of the body casting of two bellies, shared by sisters of the heart, that grew together to create a vast bowl that resonated with ancient energy, ancient memory.
Consider how the mask as form can serve your emerging self, informing your depth work and transformative process. The individual retreat can be a powerful experience, contact me if you are interest in exploring a day long or multi day retreat!