Over ten years ago, I made myself a deck of collage cards very similar to Seena Frost's "Soul Collage Cards" but without the various "suits." My "Self-Discovery Cards" answered many of my life’s questions and visually revealed my unfolding life story. In the article below I share how I collaged my way out of depression and into self-understanding.
Sample Lesson from the E-Course 100 Days of Art Journal Therapy
The Buddha statue with his hand up as if to say stop, the woman with her eyes serenely shut, the temple in the background. There is a centered, objective, clear observation of thoughts and emotions.
2. Inner Masculine - Building Strength
The strong male hands minister to a drowning boy. The mother is nurturing her baby boy. Verdant growth, emerald greens and sky blues. Strength is ripening. The vitality of the birds, butterflies and animals and the sturdiness of the stone figures imply strongly forging ahead to create in concrete, beautiful and abundant ways.
3. Heart Opening and Self Love
White flowers evoke a startling purity and the iridescent red corridors speak to the rich unfolding of my heart. The image of the mother nurturing her child unconditionally evokes the possibility of loving myself completely.
5. Limitation and Depression
The three goldfish swim around in a bowl going nowhere. The powerful figure with his head hanging low is brought to his hands and knees with crushing feelings of limitation. Yet there is the choice of strength and growth at all turns. The powerful face above looks forward with absolute certainty and strength.
6. The Choice: Abundance vs. Scarcity
Bright butterflies, flowers, and jewels, a colorful lantern all evoke opulence and a carefree abundance. There is a choice implied. The contrasting image is of bare branches, empty inside a woman’s body. Yet an opulent bejeweled hand points to the intuitive mind as a reminder to see the higher possibilities in every situation.
7. Adventure into Feelings and New Growth
As the inner journey continues the mystery deepens. The cat stares enigmatically to the furthest reaches of the North and South Pole of the soul. The waters are deep and the lands are distant. Roots, new growth, break though ice though what has previously been frozen and inert. Feelings have more freedom and flight and fluidity.
8. Eternity and Integration
There is a wedding of the inner and the outer selves. The African mask glares with fierce determination to no longer abandon the true self. In tranquil water and blue sky, there is utter relaxation and freedom within this vow. There is a return to the original self prior to pain and problems. The higher spiritual self that witnesses our life cannot be hurt, and it innately understands emotional well being.