Trust Your Inner Alchemy
Inner Alchemy Collage was formally named in 2013, but is a creative practice I've been using in my life for as long a I can remember. In the beginning, I made collages only using words. I'd spend hours cutting up magazines to make these wordy layouts for people in my life, as a way to both connect inward and with those who I cared about most. It was my way of conjuring up courage and inspiration to process and understand, invoke and express, give and receive. I didn't know it then, but it was like spell work of my own making.
Eventually my process evolved to include imagery, color, texture and a more intentional and spiritual and collective approach. I began to understand and see the power of this work as a vehicle to explore identity, values, and both personal and cultural narratives, and began sharing it as a guided practice with others - a tangible way to see and be seen.
Inner Alchemy Collage is ultimately about healing ourselves and one another.
What this process is:
- An deep listening and learning practice for tapping into personal and collective wisdom
- About discernment, discovery and bold self expression
- A way to stand in radical truth and trust and bypass internalized oppression (the inner critic)
- An invitation to embody, identify and locate who you are in this moment, in relationship to others
- A brave container for interconnection and vulnerability
- A journey that is subjective, nuanced and ever evolving
- A tool that is self-defined and flexible
What this process is not:
- A technique, lesson or how-to meant for you to replicate exactly what I make
- Creating a vision board meant to "attract" or measure up to anything external
- A practice about mastery, perfection or creating in any "right or wrong" way
- About any static end result or what is produced
- Only for Artists or people who consider themselves to be creative
Every Single One of Us is Creative
What I love most about this process is that you do not need any formal artistic training or talent, just the desire to explore and play. There are no fancy or expensive supplies necessary, and you can upcycle magazines or use stock images from the internet. All you need is an open mind and heart, something to collage on, scissors, a glues stick and a source for imagery.
For free magazines: try hitting up family and friends, local Dr's offices, or the free/swap stack in your local library for mags otherwise being discarded.
As with any practice, it becomes more honed to your individual needs and preferences the more you use it. I hope you will make it your own and share it widely.
My Yearly Planner and Notebook Ritual
I regularly use Inner Alchemy Collage in creating both my yearly planner cover and my annual inspiration Notebook. Every January and September, I sit down to this sacred ritual and create space for another year of personal growth, work, and dreams. For me, it is an act of creative devotion and radical self care. I also try to create monthly New Moon collages, or on a smaller scale I'll make Inner Alchemy Cards - a bite sized version of this process.
Inner Alchemy Cards
Beginning as a way to make a fast and dirty, smaller version of a full collage spread, I started making these 2x3 cards with simple textures, colors and words. Creating our own card decks was the natural next step.
The first deck we made together was in energy of Water, back in 2014. We created through the elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, season by season, and the cards expanded to also include explorations of color meanings, symbolism, animal spirits and archetypes. I was incredibly inspired by the beautiful cards you all created! This lead to our next adventure in creating our own tarot deck and the beginning of Wishcraft in 2016. Over the years, hundreds of us make our own handmade decks!
What continues to make these cards truly magic is the unique energy and perspective poured into creating them. I still get emails from people who have been using their cards and this practice for years, as a way to learn and connect in new ways!
Build A New World, June 2021!
Find my current online and in-person workshops and offerings, here.