Calling the Muse

studio altar with Motherpeace round tarot deck

My studio altar with Motherpeace Tarot deck


I've long had a ritual that begins my studio days. Over the past year it has evolved a great deal as I have focused more on the spiritual aspect of my life beyond just painting about it.  

When my son was little (he's 18 now!), I used to wake up at 6am, flip the switch on the coffee maker, and paint for an hour before I had to wake him up for school.  All I needed for the Muse to show up was a regular schedule.  She was there, and I felt productive no matter what else happened in my day.

At that time I was a single mom.  I explored my spiritual side through my art but didn't feel I had the time to do it in any other way besides an occasional yoga class.  I knew what my beliefs were and I honored them with my art, but I didn't know how to talk about them in relation to my art because I wasn't actually doing the personal work that my art focuses on so much. 

Now my life is so different.  My son is nearly grown; I am married and have a young daughter.  My art has an even stronger sense of spirituality as I am finally able to explore that part of my life and spend time with it.  In the past my paintings reflected something I wished to have more of in my life--balance, peace, self-love and self-care, and connection to something bigger than myself.  Now they are more of a reflection of the time I spend cultivating all of those things.  

Now I meditate daily, practice yoga, connect with other women at a bi-monthly moon circle. I am working to heal myself and others with a type of energy work called Reiki, which I also use to infuse all of my art.  And I begin my studio days with a more involved ritual. 

When I enter my studio I set everything aside (except my coffee!).  I sit in my comfy rocking chair and light a candle that gives my studio a warm smell and gentle glow.  I take out my tarot deck and ask, "What do I most need to hear today?" and pull a card.  This gives my day guidance and helps me learn more about Tarot.  One day I would like to make my own deck!

Finally, I turn on some loud music and dance for a moment to come back into my body and connect with the Muse. I call down Reiki and infuse my art and supplies with it and then I literally go with the flow.  

I can still just sit down and start like I used to; I usually do when I work in my art journal. But the ritual gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  It plugs me right in to the kind of energy that my paintings are describing.  My art then becomes a translation of that energy that I can share with you. <3

Do you have a ritual aspect to your day?  I would love to hear about it in the comments. 

Portland artist Lea K. Tawd with a painting in progress

In my studio with my current work in progress
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