– A Group Exhibit Birthed from a 13-Moon, Ritual-based Painting Journey –
Archeomythology is the study of archeaology through the discipline of Mythology. It has revealed that rituals have been performed throughout human civilization. Painted images, hand-made sacred objects, and many forms of art have been shown to be connected to rituals invented and performed by our ancestors. From an Archeomythology perspective, something is deemed “art” only after it has been found to have an intentional or ritualistic purpose, versus something that was made for purely utilitarian reasons.
For example, if a knife was found that seemed to be solely for the function of everyday cutting, it would be considered a utilitarian artifact. However, if the knife were in some way decorated with a thoughtful design suggesting it served a unique ritualistic or ceremonial purpose, than it could potentially be qualified as art. It is the determination of the intentionalility that shifts the object from a utilitarian category to an art category.
Art history also demonstrates patterns throughout recorded civilization of people using rituals connected with the natural world such as seasons of the year, migration of animals, agricultural cycles, and the phases of the moon to name a few. These archives show that we’ve found meaning by making beauty in collaboration with creation for thousands of years.
One part of our mission as a global museum is to share the work of our community while connecting with our human art ancestors and the earth’s innate process of creation. This was the inspiration for RITUAL, MUSEA’s 2021 yearlong painting course created by Curator Shiloh Sophia with student guidance provided by Jenafer Owen, Director of Curriculum.
The course was focused on healing through calling the whole soul out of exile, with Medicine Painting and Mythic Storytelling which included providing an experience to students of what it was like to track the monthly cycles of the moon through painting and ritual. All members of the class met together online over the course of thirteen months to connect, share their paintings, and engage in the teachings. At the end of the thirteen moon cycle, many had completed their powerful paintings along with their personal Mythic Story, which spoke to a new and beautiful union between psyche and soul.
Throughout this yearlong journey, teachings were offered on:
- Learning to live from Love catalyzed by incorporation of Ritual
- Engaging in the Archetypal Potential of the Healed Healer
- Practicing personal healing through Medicine Painting
- Writing a mythical tale paired with the finished painting
- Diving into the mystery of beliefs about life and self
- Awakening the Power of Mythic Imagination
- Dedication to a Creative Spiritual Path
- Practices of Meditation, Movement, and Mindfulness
Special emphasis was also placed on encouraging students to examine their relationships. Some of these included their relationships with the earth, with their homes, and with the ‘hidden self’… a concept made popular by Dr. Martin Shaw, who speaks to aspects of our self which can be cast aside or overlooked when it comes to developing personal insight and navigating our lives.
“There is an old legend that says we each have a wild, curious twin that was thrown out the window the night we were born, taking much of our vitality with them. If there was something we were meant to do with our few, brief years on Earth, we can be sure that the wild twin is holding the key.” ~ Dr. Martin Shaw
The course drew heavily from Dr. Martin Shaw’s book, Courting The Wild Twin, which encouraged exploration through mythical imagination of the ways we can begin to reintegrate cast off parts of our selves. Dr. Shaw made a guest speaking appearance during the course through an interview over Zoom hosted by Shiloh Sophia.
For a deeper sense of his writing, watch the following 3-min video in which Dr. Shaw reads an excerpt from his book, Courting the Wild Twin.