For those of you who read about the stunning alchemical art of Patricia Ariel in the Midsummer Newsletter, here is the full interview:
When I discovered the sensual & deeply spiritual artwork of Brazilian born artist, Patricia Ariel I found a new language for the work that I teach on Tarot & meditation. So I was thrilled to discover that Patricia’s artwork is so linked to her interests in the symbolic arts of Astrology & Tarot & that she teaches a combination of Astrology & Mandala workshops to help people connect to their spirituality through art.
Do you see creating art as a spiritual process or practice?
Yes, yes, yes! Totally. It is through my creative process that I feel all the faces of God manifesting... Light, dark, male, female, child, elder, and everything in between... I come from a family of very mystic women. Both my grandmothers were healers, my aunt channeled spirits, and my mom have dreams and visions. I've always had that same connection with the invisible, but, being a very rational person, I took a long time to find out in which field I could bloom... Too much intellectualism blocks intuition big time. I've been reading the Tarot and doing Astrology since my teens, but didn't get to have that intimate experience with the invisible that they had... Like, experiencing with your own senses... Only recently, when I changed my direction in painting and started to open myself to symbolism and apply spiritual concepts in my art, I started to experience the invisible the way I have always longed for. The process of how many of my paintings develop is amazing, and if I didn't have any knowledge of how this type of thing happen I would say that it's scary... All the insights and visions I receive while painting, the connections between them and life events... I started to have dreams, and also a deeper perception of the mundane. I intuitively learn with my paintings. And heal myself, and also discovered that I've been healing other people too... This is priceless. So, I can say that I found my spiritual path. That's how I've been perpetuating my family mystic tradition. I feel so blessed for it, but at the same time with a big responsibility that I pray for being able to always correspond to.
What are your thoughts on 'symbiosis' - the interweaving of our male & female / light & shadow elements of our natures? Do you find art to be a good way to explore & understand these elements within yourself?
Oh, yes! Our culture, being so fragmented and dualistic as it is, have not been prepared to accept the negative polarity as a complement of the positive and part of nature and God. We learn that the concepts of male, right, light, day, etc, are the "good" ones, and everything dark, feminine, mysterious, are "evil" and need to be repressed. This is the main root of so many neurosis and imbalances that our society experiences now. But you can't learn what Heaven means without descend to Hell! Since the development of creativity is intrinsically tied to the understanding of yourself, eventually your shadowy part will emerge, and you'll have to deal with this in a symbolic way. When you bring images and symbols to your conscious mind, it means that now you can face them -- they are not buried in your unconscious mind anymore, so it's time to unveil them and work on what they represent. This is the beginning of integration and healing. And that's exactly what art does, when you bring out symbols and put in your creations you are doing this interweave of light and darkness... And integrating them.
How has your upbringing influenced your spiritual beliefs & particularly your interest in divination (tarot & astrology)?
As I told you before, I had all those witches in my family LOL... And grew up seeing all these things as natural. My interest in the occult comes from early age. Things just came across my way, and I just can tell how the interest began... Something innate. I have always had this big certainty of something bigger inside my heart... I remember as a child being deeply moved by religious films and spiritual teachings... I just knew that there was something there, nobody came and told me... Later I wanted to know the whys and hows of everything I felt inside me and began my search for rational answers. Now I know that the intellectual and the intuitive needs to walk side by side.
I am very interested in your blending of art & astrology - can you tell me more about your Astroportraits?
Art and Astrology have a lot in common. Both are symbolic languages, and Astrology is another type of Art... So it seemed just natural to blend them. It's very exciting. In my work with the portraits I am just expressing the symbols that already exist in my client's psyche and using my technique to produce something artistically pleasing. I design them to be a reminder of the person's uniqueness and potentials, something that she looks at and feels good about herself and feels empowered. I will first raise your birth chart and try to identify the images and archetypes that it evokes. I also use the tarot and meditation. We'll talk by email about the chart until come to a conclusion about what you need and want more at that moment. The process ends up being sort of therapeutic.
Please view Patricia’s awe-inspiring artwork at www.patricia-ariel.com where you can also enroll in her wonderful online classes combining Astrology & Art: Creative Astrology or commission one of Patricia’s Astroportraits - a fascinating process where she raises your birthchart & together with a photo, intertwines animals & archetypes in the portrait to remind you of your unique potential. Thank you Patty for sharing your inspiring work!