The Story of ‘Healing Luna’ Painting
The image featured in our Mother Tree graphic of a being in healing contact with a large tree is called ‘Healing Luna’. It was painted in the year 2000 by Intentional Creativity Art Ancestor, Teacher and Master Painter, Sue Hoya Sellars. Sue is one of the root teachers of Intentional Creativity, who taught that we can put intentional prayers for healing into the artwork we are creating. She believed that it had an impact on those who view, hold, or engage with the art – that it becomes imbued with meaning and has a ripple effect. Sue was also a lifelong activist who advocated for the rights of women and girls and the environment, and had personally been deeply moved by the story of the Luna Tree, that inspired the ‘Healing Luna’ Painting.
Luna is the name given in October 1997 to a 1,000-year-old, 200-foot-tall coast redwood tree in Humboldt County, California. This tree was occupied for 738 days by forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill, eventually leading to the tree being saved by an agreement between Hill and the Pacific Lumber Company. Shortly after that, however, in the year 2000, the tree was severely harmed by an act of vandalism in which a chainsaw was used to cut nearly halfway through her. Sue was heartbroken after hearing this news and chose to bring her grief and tears to the canvas. Curator, Shiloh Sophia, remembers this time in which Sue had broken down in tears of grief for Luna and had determined to paint her healing happening. This eventually led to the stunning and evocative ‘Healing Luna’ painting, which is a treasured part of the permanent collection that hangs at Musea.
Concurrent with Sue’s painting, and the devoted actions of many other artists, activists, and forest lovers, it came to be that a specialized medical team for the Luna Tree came together and devised a bracing system to help the tree withstand the extreme windstorms that would ensue in the winter. Many forest activists also came and supported Luna with herbal poultices and healing prayers. Miraculously, Luna survived the cut and to this day she is alive and standing.
In the philosophy of Intentional Creativity, the intentions we place into our creative works can have an impact on both the maker and those receiving what has been made. It is heartening to know that Sue’s painting of the healing of Luna was one of the many interconnected threads of intention for healing which brought this into being. That is why we have made ‘Healing Luna’ the feature image for our open call for art.
At MUSEA many in our collective believe that everything we do with love and healing intentions for our global forests, including the creation of art contributes to a powerful ‘healing field’ that creates the condition for this healing to come into form, and catalyzes beautiful holding actions. We are inviting multimedia submissions of art to the Mother Tree Open Call for Art which hold intention for the regeneration of our global forests. The funding that is made possible by this call will be invested into TreeSisters who have reforestation projects happening all over the globe. There is true reciprocity occurring within this collaboration, which will bring our healing intentions for our global forests into form. This is the heart of Intentional Creativity and work of MUSEA.
“Our mind is good at getting us to think small. But I have found that we will do for love that which we don’t think possible. So the question to ask ourselves is ‘What do I love?”
– Julia Butterfly Hill