Charcoal & Broomsticks

Like Cindarella after a hard day’s work I rest on my broom

exhausted and in a day dream about my Prince

Ugly sisters are having fun, being invited to everything and somehow stopping me from joining in while an evil step Mother holds the key to my cellar

Then a Fairy God Mother appears and offers a chance of freedom, to come out and shine

Cindarella figure from different view points; she is the hidden consciousness about to be revealed at the right moment

She holds the secret to unlimited success, beauty and Love!

Before you can manage your own affairs you must find the peace inside. Repeated rhythms of arduous work have kept Cindarella calm and disciplined. Drudgery has not dampened her dreams which sparkle more alluringly than ever. Solitude has brought her closer to herself and to value the company of others.

Reflection is a vital part of the discovery. To stay totally still and not move an inch, except for the infinitesimal but steady descent with gravity which the artists observe as they alter their measurements. I don’t notice, I’m locked in a stare and far away

The Art of Magic

Chaosphere; symbol of chaos magic

The first step to a magical state of mind, according to a Chaos magician’s handbook, is to still the body. It suggests finding a comfortable position and at first attempting motionlessness for 5 minutes, which is not easy when executed completely. One is then to build up gradually to half hour periods of stillness, practising daily. Should any unexpected occasions for stillness arise in one’s day to day life, then it is advisable to take advantage, if you want to maximise your potential as a chaos magician.

The joker in me thinks chaos magic people could do a recruitment drive among life models; most of us have definitely mastered step 1, and are probably well into the next levels too, although not being conscious of this might make a difference.

Breathing has to slow right down and get really deep. Tick.

Not-thinking: this is what I understand meditation to be; regarding one’s tempest of a mind and hauling it in, not wandering off with the pull of any divergent tangent. When successful this leads to trance, and you know you’ve risen above it all when you feel the glow in your third eye and in the crown of your head. It’s a warm tingle, very pleasant, and the lightness and euphoria I get enable me to transcend discomfort of the pose, because unlike chaos magicians, I’ve cut off my circulation, got a crick in my neck and all my weight is on my right heal. Do I get extra points? No, I’m way behind on the theory!

Also when in a trance, thoughts do still come up, but they all seem to make me laugh, except usually it just induces a smile. Occasionally I do crack up in hysterics much to the artists’ bewilderment; generally I can’t explain the joke or it’s just too dirty… I mean I like my job, and just them knowing that what my comical mind has yielded is off the menu says enough.

There is another state of hyper sensation I get; stronger emotions but with an extra awareness of them, like I’m watching them. So I might get on a sad one, may even draw a tear, but it’s like it’s from so deep inside, there’s an awesome release, so that the sadness is accompanied by elation.

That brings me to another of the chaos magic themes: emotions and their opposites. Apparently the root of every emotion is in its opposite, and a wheel is drawn: sex and death, love and hate, fear and desire (to begin with, it gets more complex too.)

Object concentration, as part of achieving a magical state of mind (from which who knows what is possible) means the fixed gaze during motionlessness. In my work this is most common and necessary whilst modelling for portrait. A fixed point in one’s vision must be picked, and held for hours, days, weeks on end. It is hard to stop the mind from distorting what one sees, but after a while, I have found, of looking thus in the same direction, everything looks different anyway, like you are seeing all that you could have missed with a more casual look. I practise this too when life modelling as it is part of what brings about the high I enjoy. All my worries vanish – what to do with that guy who pretends he doesn’t want to date me but when we meet that’s what it feels like… will other people apart from my boyfriend like my new script, do my friends still like me after I didn’t turn up to… is my brother mad at me!

During half term I didn’t have a lot of work and Aaron asked if my powers would diminish with hardly anyone worshipping me! I have been thinking this is a great way to think of my job, and love that Aaron sees it this way. Instead of thinking, ‘Oh no I’ve got to get up for work’, I’m like ‘Gonna go to the temple to be worshipped’!

Taking Time For Ourselves

At the first meditation meeting of the Women on Fire, most of us were tentative about speaking up, coming forward. Judith had some salient advice; many of us, whether by nature or nurture who knows, feel drawn to helping others a great deal. All too often to the detriment of looking after ourselves. I don’t know if this message came to Judith from spirit, as they say in shamanic circles, or if she just felt it intuitively. I felt its resonance.

I am not sure if people around me in my life would especially notice whether I take enough time for myself. Not having children, other dependents or a regular full time job means I am more likely to be taking time for me. The way I reflect on Judith’s advice, is to consider more, how many years I have given over to trying to nourish the impossible. In other words, relationships with men which were mighty troublesome.

I am so happy and grateful to be in more favourable circumstance now. It has perhaps been in trying to establish where my priorities lie in friendship that I may have felt myself spreading a little thin. It is needs part of the process of finding out how different friendships fit.

The regular meetings with the writers workshop in the theatre are already providing valuable structure. I have to present an idea, pitch a project and I am unused to doing this in such a group. Whether I come up with the right project or not, I know I won’t be satisfied unless I have given myself the appropriate amount of quiet and private time in order to realise whatever ideas I may.

At the Women on Fire meeting I tell them I am there because I want to root myself more, so that I may build my work more effectively. I am in good company.

Fire Power

Judith Seelig invites us womenfolk to join hip to hip and connect with the Earth in a circle. Breathing is deep, focused and poured out with sound; the song of the fire from deep down and within.

The Women on Fire recognize a stronger position for women ahead, and are about empowering women to become important decision makers, because too few have that power now. This imbalance is their, our cause.

We are asked to give voice to our projects which we would like to be energetically underwritten by the strength of the group. I know that Spirited Bodies belongs in their camp, although still I am tentative to take up air time – they aim to reach a wide audience, cross-cultural, and the nudity I espouse may be jarring for some, so I will bide my time. Also, it is important that I let the work speak for itself; it is not about me but for other women.

So uniquely silence is felt and tasted among those women. We are listening to each other and our environment, not only words but spaces inbetween as well.

At their launching celebration in April, a wide range of inspirational women spoke. Nigerian political activist Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Polly Higgins the lawyer pushing for the crime of ecocide to be the 5th law against peace (so far only crimes against people are included), Kids Company director Camila Batmanghelidjh; scientists, artists, many types of activists and a shaman.

I look forward to getting to know Women on Fire more.

Wired for Work

At an advertising agency in Kensington I am surprised by how lovely the young things make me feel.
A very dry, cold ‘theatre’ room with a cheap decor, slowly fills with keen, appreciative artists. I don’t want to like them; I checked out the multinationals they represent in the portfolio down in the lobby, but these yes privileged persons, have been requesting life drawing sessions from their seniors for some time; have been starved, so this once monthly occasion is feted.
I relax, improvising with the furniture, admiring their sketches. There is a chill at first, so I naturally huddle into protective, warming, apparently sex-kitten poses! Then a quality heater is delivered, and I uncurl into passionate, open posture; I let myself be the way I really am – cute, coquettish and angularly striking.
A young man announces he modelled in Florence whilst attending classes at the world’s premier life drawing academy. I ask if it paid for his tuition and he said he was lucky to have parents covering that. But knowing that he knows what it’s like to do what I do, does make me feel much more at home.
Candles are brought to illuminate my feet and I bask in loving ambiance.
Red flows to unwind their charcoaling fingers and lubricate a love for drawing. Why do I feel so enamoured? Am I projecting the love I desire on to these rat race rabbits? If I am I’m sure they feed it back because by the end I overflow. I do not resent their commercial creed; art unites us for a short exercise in loving connection where the only touch is on paper. They allowed me to be beautiful, and even to forget about sex, which is an achievement at present!
A good model friend of mine advised me on structured meditation while modelling, to avoid unwanted thoughts and attention. I cannot instill this instantly, but something of her wise words must have sunk in – I feel like I am on a higher plane. I’ve always fallen in my own time to the rhythm of meditation, but with practise a greater discipline will work for me. I do not want my sexual appetite to get the better of me, there is more to art and life.