It Begins with Noticing
September 16, 2016 Briana Saussy Foundations, Lunar Letter, Right Relationship
Dear Miracles, There are now thousands of you who receive these lunar letters, which is thrilling and humbling to me all at the same time. And because there are so many new faces in our community of soulful seekers, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit briefly the notion of the sacred arts and why they matter.
The way I see it, the occult character of the sacred arts is not essential to the arts, but is the result of an historical accident. The sacred arts, like all art making, is a deeply human activity, springing from real – not made up – human longings and is an invitation to a fuller way of living, one that proceeds from an unflinching, clear and loving cognizance of the wounds and broken places of our life.
One of the guiding strands of my work – which comes from exoteric and esoteric traditions – is that every broken place in fact carries a blessing, if only we have ears to hear and eyes to see. Ordinarily we do not! But sacred arts practices help us open up, help us learn to stop and notice, to listen and look. And in this way they burst at the seams, overflowing with blessings we need and they resonate with our many broken places.
The more we can notice about ourselves, about our specific relationships to other people, to animals and the surrounding world, the greater our capacity to live in all the ways we want.
At present, tarot and astrology are the gatekeepers of the sacred arts – they are among the most popular areas of study. But if we stop to notice what is involved in both practices, we will find that tarot and astrology are in fact like rabbits with flashing tails and twitching ears, leading us down into the bramble-filled path of the sacred arts.
It begins with noticing. You notice that when you sit down to do a tarot reading, you are telling a story, or being told a story.
And then you notice that astrology is also telling a story, a story writ large and small in celestial sphere. And so you are led to storytelling as a way to nourish both practices. But it does not stop with this.
You may not at first see what your consideration of the latest Jupiter transit has to do with ritual, but you notice that, if you do one small, simple act in accordance with what you discover – it could almost be anything – the stories of the cards and the stars become energized, and are brought to life and into action.
And then you notice the difference it makes in your life when you do it. From there you go on to consider that if you build on those small acts, and get creative or create a space for them, how much more can the insights and discoveries be brought into action? Indeed there has always been a inseparable relationship between life, ritual and sacred stories.
You may have come down this particular bunny path looking to escape oppressive prayer and blessing only to find that you have to get to know prayer once again, this time free of false trappings, in its genuine and robust form.
It’s all connected, all related. One thing leads to another, and to another. And for every discovery like this that you make, there will be one, ten, one hundred voices telling you to pick one thing, to focus only here, to go with what is easy and already popular.
But because you are already noticing how the root system is interconnected, how one spills over into another, you know that our habits of over-specialization and division are arbitrary, diminishes our latent and very real ability to make connections, to discover reality, and find the overflowing grace where it is most needed.
This is, in my understanding, the sacred arts perspective. Everyone in this community will have preferences about which of the sacred arts calls to them most keenly, and which ones make the most sense to build a daily practice and rhythm around. That is a good thing! But look into how they work together, see for yourself how they are informed and shaped not only by you, but by one another.
In a very real way they are in a relationship of friendship – one that you are an absolute native to no matter your background, history, or upbringing. As the sacred arts become more and more popular in our overculture we will all feel the pressure to divvy them up and focus only on one or two. We will be told that specialization is the same thing as mastery and that authority is the same thing as sovereignty – neither of which is true.
When we approach the sacred arts as a whole, we approach reality as a whole, and we become more whole ourselves. And we also often discover strange things – like how to make our magic more effective or how to give the words we pray stronger wings.
We also kick start the powerful alchemy of refusing to be divided and refusing to be diminished – from ourselves and from each other. And because the magical should always ride shotgun with the practical, one powerful thing that we can do is share our stories and experiences in the sacred arts with one another.
This sharing has been happening for some time, but we now have tools available that can make it more direct and easier to share no matter where you are in the world. Because the sacred arts are skills, practices, arts, and traditions that each of us is uncovering and literally re-membering, piecing back together after many years of being occulted and hidden away, sharing and bringing our findings into the proverbial light carries a potent current that both connects and illuminates.
So under this Pisces Full Moon and Eclipse, I’d like to see the pattern of being divided and diminished change. I’d encourage each of us to be inspired by the cosmic fish that is a master (not expert!) of synthesis and begin to pull all of the parts of our practices together.
And I’d like to invite each of you in joining me for a social media experiment that allows us to learn from each other by showing and telling our own experiences in the sacred arts.
Simply use the hashtag #sacredartsshowandtell when you take a picture or (as I am going to do make videos) describing an aspect of your sacred arts practice. The hashtag will allow us to find each other and keep our sacred arts journeys connected, not divided.