“To move from here to there, sometimes there is a need to suspend the present realities; they can be a distraction” – Bidemi Mark-Mordi

We all go through passages in our lives. Births, marriages, divorces and death are all examples of archetypal passages that we, as a culture, celebrate or remember in someway as the time ‘before or after’.

Even the season of the year marks passages in time. Other kinds of passages, can be more of a spiritual journey that marks  going in to self and coming back changed or wiser.

This summer, I saw that the Blue Line Gallery was calling for artists to submit art for a juried show called, ‘Map It Out‘. This particular show asked for pieces that included maps.

I have had a very busy summer and little time to be in the studio, so I wasn’t going to enter this show. But I kept thinking about it…

I began thinking about the archetypal symbolism of a map. Of course, maps show us how to get from one place to another. They take us on a journey, one we follow using lines printed on paper; how to get from point A to point B. Maps also show us all the other ways we can get to our final destination. But what they do not show us is how we experience these journeys.

The mountains, boat and turtle are all done with maps
Night Sea Journey

Along these lines ( pun intended), I began to wonder about our journey here…on this planet, in this life. We are all on journeys, as a soul, learning the lessons we perhaps arranged at a time before birth. As a psychotherapist, I worked with many on a Night Sea Journey, or as it is often referred to: Dark Night of the Soul. Those who were going through grief, depression, sorrow and anxiety knew that this described what they were feeling. These are archetypal journeys many encounter in our lives as Joseph Campbell explained in the Hero’s Myth.


The painting shown here is called ‘Passages’ is about these difficult times that we all seem to go through, coming through it changed – with more wisdom perhaps. It ripens the soul bringing humility to the ego.

Soul Journey
Soul Journey

And this painting called, ‘Soul Journey’, is also about making our way on earth as we gather our lessons, not always chosen by the ego self, but by what Jung called the capital’ S’ -Self. The last one I am still working on is called the ‘Return.‘ It is about coming down the mountain, like Moses, from  the Soul’s journey. It’s reflected in the tale of Odysseus who returns home to his wife, Penelope, in the Odyssey, forever wiser and a changed man. Oh, how I have wished for a map to have helped me through all these kinds of life passages! Unfortunately, paper maps don’t guide us in this way.

These kinds of journeys are filled with the unknown and often with helpers that appear along the journey. Answering the call of the Soul is frightening. We don’t know the way, we know its dangerous and feels life threatening. Just like Dorothy who has Toto in the Wizard of Oz, or like, Lyra, the girl in the Golden Compass who has her spiritual  daimon  with her through her trials and tribulations ,I included  in each painting a creature as a spiritual guide. These always symbolize the instinctual in myths and fairy tales or the part of us that we can rely on when we are lost. If you look closely, you can see that I have used maps in the mountains, paths, and the boat.

Until next time happy creating!

Whats New:

These pieces can be purchased or viewed during the exhibit at Blue Line Gallery, Roseville- August 27-Sept 1.  Please stop in and let me know which one you like.

My Solo exhibit, called Artifacts,  is still up until August 27 at the Chamber of Commerce in Roseville

and last…

The next ‘Sip and Paint class is August 25; we will be painting these Sunflowers! The are only 4 spaces left! Register on my website by August 16th. No supplies needed…just you and a friend.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *