by Colleen Koziara – I painted all the pieces in the “From the Fire” Series during my two years of working in Sacred Fire Circles: an ecstatic Alchemical Experience of all night dance, drumming, music, chanting, song, etc., held in a Crucible style space, and designed to push your body to extremis and your Spirit to new heights, seeking the ancient Alchemists goal of the transformation of the base lead to the Divine Gold available to the Human Spirit.
I used my art as a sort of visual journal, a way to track and monitor my own experiences through my Journey. The two year journey I undertook through Sacred Fire Circles was not an easy or always a joyful one. On the contrary, during the time of this journey my entire life fell to smack on every level. Financial, Relationship, Housing, Familial…this intentional journey of mine left nothing standing… except me. And I had fought long and hard to still be standing. I, now devoid of almost everything, was glowing more brightly and seeing more clearly through that open Door than ever before, and this vision was manifesting in my art.
As opposed to the beginning, when I was being rocked and shaken by the energies to the point of pain, and seemingly without recourse, now I had become the dancer, I knew the rhythms and the places where the sound lived and how to coax it forth. I balanced, almost comfortably, on the threshold of that open Door. I knew the steps of the dance and how to integrate those steps and beats with the rainbow energy of the kundalini serpent within myself, so that all was in its proper place. To move outside of time and space was now simply a matter of a delicately and well placed step.
Kundalini Rising (2010)
26 people in the depths of the winter, joined tight in the cauldron to change none other than themselves. What happens when a sealed container filled with ecstatic energy and pure intent reaches the boiling point? What happens when the lid blows from the cauldron and you see within Her Eyes, the eyes of Creation, and know them for your own?
Spiritborn Neverborn Drifting
Shielded Hidden Away Sacred
Priestess Goddess Serpent
Alone yet joined with All
Swirling Twirling Writhing
Born on the waves of drum energy song love
Connected with the Infinite
Shot through with radiant beams of light
White hot cleansing swirling snake of energy
Her Eyes burning blue into from my soul
The gentlest touch upon my head still felt
My first reconnection to this world
Two things only
Remain to remind of my trip
Inside outside of time
Moon Silvered Dreams and Visions of Gold (2012)
Moon Silvered Visions and Dreams of Gold was (I thought) the final piece in the series. Brilliant Shining Full Moon calling to paint and imagine. All the images finally arrive, the dream comes flowing in, full and real, complete, each center in place and almost finished I am called to the out of doors so that She, Bright Silver White Lady of the Night can speak directly to my heart, and send me back to the easel to paint the luminescent path that braids each wheel into a magnificent whole.
Burned clean the colors pulse
Gold encrusted rainbow wheels of light
Each encompassing its fullest potential
Whole and complete in itself
Freed from past scars
Unattached to outcomes and futures
Moon Magic called forth
Sung within an Artist’s heart
A holy creation
Life’s breath entwined
Within a luminescent path of Magick
The Alchemical Door (2013)
Alchemical Door made its desire to be manifest known more than three years ago. Another Fire Circle participant and I experienced a synchronistic vision of intersecting triangles or triangular shapes during a Sacred Fire Circle weekend. I had previously completed the “From the Fire” series, which was a two-year-long journey through art that I undertook as a means of journaling my experience of Sacred Fire Circle. So I was not too surprised that the Fire had more to say. However, this piece challenged every conception I ever held about the creation of visionary art and took me far beyond anything I had done before.
Alchemical Door created itself. I was no more than the grateful narrator/translator of the information which Spirit chose to share with us at this time and in this place. The canvas, purchased almost three years ago, larger than any other canvas I had ever worked on before. I immediately needed to apply color washes indicating the general chakra placements, and I also completed the rough layout and sketch based upon the images that presented themselves related to our synchronistic visioning, but detail painting did not begin in earnest until 2013. The technique used is not one in which I was well versed, and I did not actually start learning it until after the visionary and creative process for this piece had begun…as if Spirit had decided how this painting was to appear and wanted me trained appropriately before it would allow me to paint.
From the first step, the manner and timing of painting was dictated by the image itself; I was merely a witness, who provided the hand and body for the translation process. The initial layering was painted from bottom to top (the direction of liberation and cleansing, releasing into the hands of the Divine) while the detail work was required (and I do not use that word lightly) to be manifest from the top to the bottom (the direction of manifestation, bringing the Divine into being). Within this image are overlaid the journey maps of many of the world’s traditions. This image is a Doorway, but not a doorway that we control. This door will take you where you need to go, not necessarily where you want to go. The message I have gleaned to this point during my time working with this image is as follows:
“There is no difference, they are all one, they are all The Door. But, a caution: do not presume to know where this Door will lead you. Pause, reflect, and take your next step with great care, for we are all children. We understand much less than we imagine and beyond this threshold our true learning shall begin.”
Colleen Koziara (www.mysticalwillow.com)
grew up in northern Wisconsin on a farm, on an island. In this place without movie theatre or even good TV reception, she grew to love the stories in myths, legends and songs. The area was peaceful, gentle and beautiful. Woods, fields, wildflowers, and views of the lake from rosy sunrise to golden sunset filled her life. What most amazed her were the intricacies of nature, like the sight of a setting sunbeam, shining through the branches of a tree, illuminating a delicate spider web and transforming that web to a magical world formed of liquid silver. She lived her most formative years immersed in these images and she came to see a personality in nature. It is these years she spent seeing this “secret” face and magic of nature and the stories that it told that filled her with a childlike sense of wonder and inspired her to create both then and now.
She creates images which portray the spirit and humanity of nature and thereby the nature of humanity and spirit. With her work she intends to capture a moment of magic either from the natural world or from an ancient legend or tale, and speak of the “secret” beauty and magic within simple everyday moments and objects.
Colleen strives to make each of her works a doorway through which the viewer may journey. Where this journey takes them is up to them.