Registration for PRIMA MATERIA is currently full.
We will announce new dates as they become available.
I don’t have to look very far to discover why awakening consciousness by choice is important to me. I want to end violence internally and externally. I want us to stop acting as insane people pursuing progress at all costs. I want us to stop having a conquest mentality. Talking isn’t going to do it.
The only way I can think of is to draw a new mind by hand.
I come from a lineage of pretty fascinating people. Artists, book-makers, pattern-makers, biological illustrators, concept-makers, zen-sculptors, and mystic trippers.
My grandmother Eden spent years drawing the Great Pyramid of Giza with a calculator and rulers and made a giant chart of it on pattern paper. For her, it was connected with her relationship with Christ in some way. Yes, I have the scroll. Yes, you can see it. It is at the Musea.
Lenore Thomas Straus, my teacher and Sue’s teacher, pursued art as a form of zen, illustrating her concepts, and making books with her drawings and ideas. She taught her approach to make art to Sue who taught it to me and, now, I teach it to you. You can see her books at Musea.
In 1970, my mother Caron and Sue worked on making a book of the meaning of numbers. They didn’t get too far but I have their initial drawings and ideas. You can see it at Musea along with Sue’s notebooks.
My mother Caron searched out and taught me things like circling the square and other forms of sacred geometry and mystery. My mother was so fascinating that her husband Jim made her a necklace of the Tree of Life, a commission because my mother studied Kabbalah for twenty years. She also commissioned my uncle to make her a necklace of her favorite shape, a shape that holds a square, a circle and a triangle and yet is one shape. So I come by esoterica naturally.
I was raised walking the boundary of the occult, a fine line between the mysteries and the danger zone. Yet my focus is not to duplicate what others have done and incant ancient spells to create magic.
My focus is the pattern-less pattern. What is the WAY, the actual APPROACH, to making that allows each artist to discover HER OWN information by her own hand? This is her magic. Accessing this allows each woman to access her magic. Few of us ever get there. I have been studying and accessing my own information for 25 years. Metacognitive Drawing, which I only started teaching in 2019, is one of the access points to our own gnosis.
Have I mentioned that I was conceived on acid? I was. Sometimes I wonder if my soul chose it. Sometimes I wonder how it has impacted me. Sometimes I wonder just how close I can bring us to an expanded framework without blowing our minds.
Illustration by illustration we will grow a new mind....
Have you, in your own way, sought the Holy Grail or desire to drink from the grail?
Many mystics have spent their lives searching for the Holy Grail literally and figuratively but never found it. They know it is the purification process that comes from the searching that makes us who we are. What if the thing we are looking for that has been so elusive is RIGHT at our fingertips? I think it is. I think we have the Grail and have what about it that truly matters. I want to tell you about it and show you how to find it yourself.
Have you, in your own way, wished to be an alchemist turning base metals into gold?
Alchemists have been trying since ancient days to discover how to turn base metals into gold. Then the esoteric alchemists mapped that pursuit to consciousness but were essentially seeking to turn a flawed, base man back to his gold prima material ~ our innate divinity. Alchemy is the process by which something changes forms, and that is where our interest lies. Intentional Creativity is the how.
Never finding the Grail or the gold or whatever treasure you seek has been the way of mystics and alchemists since the early.
What if there is an internal equation, a condition of prima materia in which you can behold the Grail and the gold you seek, in your own way?
We are less concerned with drinking from the Grail or discovering eternal life or making gold in a literal sense. Many of the early materials of alchemy point towards the discovery of the internal and external elixir and seek their relationship.
In Intentional Creativity, we make the internal-external through our art. This is who we are as a community of creatives. We have come upon something precious and we won’t let go. This treasure IS the consciousness we bring to our creations, the very energy and approach with which we do our work.
What if our Prima Materia is a potential, a condition, a space in which transformation can arise given certain ingredients to work with?
Alchemy has ancient roots and many fascinating literary and metaphysical stories. The one that fits the most for our purposes is the concept of the Prima Materia. This idea is ripe for us because of its ambiguity and the capacity for it to be many things while also pointing to a potential or a condition, in which something can arise that could not or would not otherwise arise.
Descriptions of the Prima Materia have changed and continue to change throughout history and we will be yet another school of thought to offer a potential for what it might be: an experience. Prima Materia, meaning prime matter, has no agreed-upon definition. In fact, historical documents show that every alchemist had a different idea about what it is. This is perfect for our purposes.
By the 16th century, alchemists had largely divided into two schools of thought and study, one became the root of modern chemistry focusing on forming new compounds and their reactions. The other one looked at the more esoteric, metaphysical side of alchemy - searching for immortality and transmutation, using the equations of ‘chemistry’ to assign to humans' search for awakening.
Some say the Prima Materia is lead, iron, gold, quicksilver, salt, sulfur, vinegar, water, fire, earth, the water of life, blood, poison, spirit, clouds, sky, dew, shadow, sea, mother, moon, dragon, Venus, microcosm, and so on. Others say it is man himself, or part of man, like his blood. Still, others say it is academia.
"That there abides in nature a certain pure matter, which, being discovered and brought by art to perfection, converts to itself proportionally all imperfect bodies that it touches."
~ Arnaldus de Villa Nova - physician and a religious reformer
Sometimes when I am painting and I ask, “What am I really doing?” I get the insight to "touch the Library of Alexandria" which is said to have been the place with the most wisdom from all around the world housed in one location, and it was burned by Christain extremists of the time. The Library of Alexandria formed the research institute aspect of the Alexandrian Museum, aka Mouseion, “Shrine of Muses” - but was largely populated by men. Except, of course, Hypatia - a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician.
Over years of searching this idea out, I got clarity that the "library" is the one within each one of us. The one no one can take away. And that each one of us has sacred work to reveal our "library" in form. These illustrations, drawings/paintings you will make will be as if they are some of the first works in your library.
The time has come to gather together.
You will be guided in a process that will get you as close to your own gnosis as possible; as close as your soul will allow at this time. Shall we venture forth?
The philosophy of the Work at Hand is an invitation to explore default settings, outdated beliefs, make new patterns, and to self-liberate. There are many potential areas to explore and we will focus on the following eight, as far as I know. Yet, this could change because we will be going there together.
Part of our work will be with the field. The field around your body is as real as your body is. How can you be with your field and collaborate with it? Not being able to interact with the invisible part of you means the physical and non-physical have barriers to clear signals. We will also dive into neuroscience and your influence on the plasticity of your brain. Exploring the basics of HOW to change the hard-wiring in your thinking and begin to practice. You are designed to evolve and transform. In order to access your field, you need to know how to work with it, then practice.
At Musea we tend to believe everyone is a mystic when they begin to do their own work and explore the mysteries within. Your magical ways of knowing, your very intuition, is a part of who you are when you illustrate the way you know what you know, gnosis (knowledge of spiritual mysteries) is yours.
I have numbered them because there are 8 that we will attempt, but there are many more. They are not linear however and we may or may not go in this order. This is for your left-brain comfort.
The way you think and the information you hold and the dimensionality of who you are and how you "be".
Free yourself of the layers of self-imposed constraint and pre-existing conditions energetically and physically and inhabit your own mind.
Why? So you can know what you think and feel and act from awareness, truly inhabiting yourself.
Your connection with God/Goddess/Source and all that is.
Awaken intimacy in your relationship with the Beloved in a way that honors your spiritual path. What you have been practicing may need a new dimension.
Why? So that you can have a lasting and true connection with Source, free of dogmatic limitations that may have held you back.
Your persona of how you act and experience yourself.
Reveal the co-created self beneath the constructed personae. Discover a profound relationship with your inner knowing and speak from your truest voice.
Why? So you can find the joy of inhabiting who you know you are but may not have been able to express before. Resolve never to lose yourself again.
Sexuality, sensuality, and how you are with your body and lovers.
Contact your innate and natural sensual to bring vitality to your body temple. Learn about the other senses that are left out of what you learn about the five senses.
Why? So your senses are vital and communicating with you. So that pleasure and joy are yours.
Earth home and how we live here
Become intimate with the Earth and the elements so that you can support and be supported.
Why? Because without this true relationship, our species is destroying itself. We can stop this self-destruction in our own lives.
Matrilineal History and our Place in it.
Being in a conscious place with the wounds of the feminine regarding the narrative our culture has been living out. Discover what you need to know about the past and the future.
Why? This relationship with the Mother/our Mother changes everything about how a woman inhabits her femininity, her prowess, and her power.
What you make up about the world and other people.
Your reactions and relationships are entirely based on what you made up about how everyone is in relationship to you.
Why? If you aren't conscious of the frameworks, the frameworks will begin to run you and inform all of your relationships.
Let's get conscious.
This is the one you will make up that summarizes your experience.
Your magnum opus of consciousness.
At the completion of the other illustrations a new one will emerge that is the "Mama" which will hold all the other ideas in context.
Mixology Lab with Jonathan exploring and making our earth-based pigments including red-ochre, chromate, and oak gall ink. All-natural (non-toxic) pigments for painting come from the earth, plants, and crystals (stone)
Brush Dance process/practice - Chinese brush roll-up.