Monday, February 7, 2011

Raven speaks of Spirit, Flow

Last week one of my online peers, Raven, sent me a copy of her new book—a photographic prayer entitled Spirit, Flow. Interesting concept and important message, worth sharing.

Learn more about the artist and her work in the below interview, which I conducted with her via email late last week.

What personal space were you in when the inspiration for this project came to you?

January has been an immensely creative month for me. My epic poem, "Chrysalis" finally wrapped after 10 years of carrying it around -- and I published that on my website. I also finished an extensive greeting card project for Pyramid Wellness and was "full of color", so to speak. Yet where I was headed next artistically was a huge question mark. I've been having an ongoing dialogue with my Muse -- which is basically, "Okay, what's next, let's get going, I'm ready..." -- and as I drove home last week from town blasting the radio, the words "Spirit, flow" started to repeat in my head. I saw the images and words flow together and I'm sure the river running parallel to the road largely had an influence.

It was so simple, that phrase -- but I saw the book and rushed home so I wouldn't forget any of the lines. I finished a rough version that day. Talk about flow!

Prayer has always been a part of my life -- though I'm not a steady "pray-er" myself -- and Nature has always been my friend and guide. It was important for me to start the year in gratitude and thanks to the Divine Artist. "Spirit, Flow" was a natural offering of that desire. A prayer.

 Beyond traditional dictionary definitions—what is your personal definition of prayer?

Prayer is connecting to our innermost being -- which is an extension of a wiser self that is beyond this form. Or to make it even simpler, in the words of Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice."

As a reader of Tarot, you work with images and intuition to bring messages to your clients. What part does intuition play in the process of creating your own (photographic) images?  

The two are a similar process using different tools. When I take a picture, I "see" the image I want to capture within the image. Often I have to coax it out of the original -- crop, add contrast, enhance the color a bit -- for the greatest beauty to emerge. Certainly beauty can be found everywhere once you know how to recognize it -- but the particular expression I wish to share can be elusive. I like the challenge. If I'm patient enough, she'll come to me.

I don't stress photography the way I do my writing (but I'm getting better at that). I just snap photos when I feel so inclined or have a running theme in my head that I want to marry with color. It's the same with Tarot and my clients. It's so important for me to keep my head & heart balanced so that the message can be as clear as possible. With this work and my connection to the Divine, it's not about trying hard. It's being in a space of openness and what I call the "expectation of kindness". As I heal, they heal. And vice-versa. The same goes for my photography. There's healing in the images themselves -- just like observing a Tarot spread. For example, I guarantee that if a client sat long enough with the cards and me not saying a word, they'd have a pretty good idea without my interpretation. That's the power of symbols and color. I just help them go beyond the initial image and "see" other possibilities.

Imagine that this book, Spirit, Flow, is a seed. What grows from the seed? What is the biggest destiny you can envision for this photo-prayer?

As far as the winds will take it. The effect of "Spirit, Flow" is immense because the images and words work their magic in the viewer. And who doesn't love a good prayer? I also don't pray to a particular diety. Just "Spirit" -- because that was the voice of the river as the book came to me. I have a convoluted relationship with my past-life as an evangelical Christian, but I've never lost my faith. Faith in the life-force, faith in the incredible beauty all around us (which I believe is heaven in disguise). I think many people can relate to that.

I see "Spirit, Flow" mass distributed as a coffee-table book. (I'm old-school like that), as well as the digital version spreading far and wide. I'm working on a Spanish translation at the moment and will move onto other languages in the future. Of course, the book is also a walking portfolio for me in terms of media exposure and other outlets.

But in the end, it all comes back to: I love what I do. Producing work like this thrills me -- because it's where I stop and say, "Whoa. There's more than just me at work here." If it can help heal others and bring ease, then it's an even greater gift.

"Spirit, Flow" can be found on Raven's Bookshop page

Raven Mardirosian is a self-taught healer who believes that everyone is blessed with the gift of intuition. Her passion is empowering women and her specialty is “healing the healer”. She privately mentors those who have decided to offer their intuitive gifts in service to others.  Raven lives in southern VT and happily offers sessions to US and international clients. LGBT welcome. Contact Raven to schedule an appointment. Sessions live, by phone or Skype.


Lynn Cohen said...

Very interesting interview and very beautiful book! Enjoyed both.

Raven said...

Thanks, Elspeth for a fab interview! I loved the questions.

And thanks for reading, Lynn!