Living from the EartHeart


Thank you for visiting. This site holds space for insights about living from the Earth's Heart.We are mirrors of each other. Whatever brought you here and whatever brought my words to you is part of a sharing of presence; an affirmation that we both exist in embodying our own journeys side by side.. an affirmation that we are One.

The EartHeart Journey is a sharing of my experiences from earth, heart, and art. My reflections have evolved on so many levels since I started journal writing when I was 11. What used to be a blog for my art projects and some public musings is now becoming a portal for sharing about consciousness, creativity, sustainability… of light, life, and love. Everything here is part of a sacred journey to oneness within and everywhere. However you resonate, may it reveal to you you inspiration, intuition, or insight for your own life journey.

Note: My new blogs can be found on my Portfolio Site.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

an alchemic step towards the gods

Boy what a blog title. 
I thought of that because my thematic experience as an artist lately has been of alchemy.

Since January, I have been contemplating on a design for the logo of the poster for the Babaylan lecture ritual series that will take place within the year.

It was an honor to be asked to draw this for the Babaylan is a very important figure in my racial heritage. Mini Gavino, the organizer of the lecture ritual series said she asked me to do this because I was of Visayan heritage and because I was an artist too. (Mini, thank you for believing in me)

From the Buhay BABAYLAN Lecture-Ritual Series Facebook announcment, I qoute, "the Babaylan is a Visayan term which refers to an archetypal Filipino community leader (other Filipino archetypes include the datu and panday) who functions as the community’s religious leader and ritual expert, healer, culture-bearer as well as one having extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of nature and people. Historically, while the babaylan is often a woman, the role and functions of the babaylan are open to both males and females.*

In short, the babaylan is a powerful bridge between the human and the divine, heaven and earth. 

How can I, trained mostly in western fine art forms and media conceptualize and design something based on ancient tradition and wisdom? How can I do that with lots of my left brain capacities still spinning machineries in my head to continue to work for my bread and butter, juggling 3 non-profit projects to survive as an artist and not get enough time to be one? Working on the computer for many hours has disrupted my capacity to move my thought to pencil, from pencil to brush, from brush to canvas/paper.

But finally I was able to design it. It was a co-creative effort that took almost three months with the guidance and artistic direction of Mini Gavino, Leah Tolentino, and Leo Castro, 3 indigenous wisdom bearers who were patient enough with my organic process of developing this design.

But what a roller coaster ride that was.

I literally went through depression. I had to be constantly conscious with my creative power as a woman, and as a Filipina, and my nurturing and grounding nature.

Becoming an artist requires one to empty to evolve and in this process opens so many dams of insecurities, heartache, anger, and the survival instinct to build up the walls to keep the waters from rushing in again. I went through feeling unworthy of doing art because I still have ego and pride. I went through challenges with my white partner as my historical racial dna acted out of resistance and defense from the his own colonizing racial dna given our extreme polarities and cross-cultural differences. I went through blaming the need for survival through employment so I can do art. I started doubting if I was clear enough as a channel to manifest visions and messages coming from a higher source, for these I believe are the important intentions of becoming an artist. At least that's what I believe artists should be.

Or what I should be.

Drawing this design opened a very huge universal gateway which I am truly grateful for. And I am in deep respect for the organic artistic process it unfolded for me.

I need to respect that a creative life is in constant creation and all things are perfect as they are if seen from the heart of the source.I pressure myself to perfection so much that I forget that each moment is perfect on its own in its own with its own evolutionary potential ready to unfold in its experiential becoming.

I need to remember that I am being guided no matter what. Everything I do is not entirely my own doing and there are higher forces at work. 

Last week, I was feeling very low on losing energy about work to survive so I can do art. At my lowest point, I saw a video by cultural anthropologist Elizabeth Lindsey who is on a journey around the world to map the human story. 


After watching this I took a long walk and remembered my dream the night before of a Filipina woman of her age and grace who entered  my room and refilled a bottle i had of perfume with purple water. She then drew some images on her right hand with her left with a rainbow colored pen with the next lines coming out of the present line without her pen moving. Can you picture that?

She quoted Joseph Campbell and this helped me bring my chakras in alignment, stand up and continue to walk and dream. Campbell said, " When you walk one step closer to the Gods, the Gods will walk 10 steps closer towards you." That quote was powerful when I heard it first before she mentioned it ...but it had more depth when I heard it again. Last March, on Campbell's birthday, his book Creative Mythologies fell from my shelf right on top of my Marie Louise Von Franz' Creation myths book  (which fell on its own a day or two before). So I started reading these books again responding to the invisible forces at work. In her book, Von Franz affirmed that creative processes are often accompanied by anxiety, depression, loneliness, and the fear of the unknown. She also said that creation-myths motifs appear in the subconscious particularly in dreams in people on the verge of a leap forward in conscisousness.

There has always been a strong calling for me to tap into the creative process - the stories of creation from around the world, choosing to live a creative life, facilitating creative processes for others, and to create and manifest a vision for my future. Making this babaylan mandala planted a very potent seed for this calling. This symbolizes the first story of my people, the story told by elders, and the breadth and wisdom of their message that continues on.  

It is in a honor to share this mandala of the babaylan's breast plate.I have always been wondering what kind of mandalas I have from my own tradition and only lately discovered that Babaylans usually use circular breast plates that symbolize the sun worn on the chest. Around it, you will also see her archetypes as ritualist, healer, and culture bearer symbolized by the incense, balete tree, and the mutya shell. On the outer circle are representing weaves of the 3 regions of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao). 

The first Babaylan Lecture Ritual Series takes place on April 30 at Bahay Nakpil Bautista featuring Professor Fe Mangahas as speaker and Leah Tolentino as Ritual Leader. For more details, visit this facebook event page link -!/event.php?eid=194343763934108.

Now that the poster is done, I am now preparing a song for the event. I wonder what alchemic process this will bring. Now that the seed has been planted, I believe it is now just a matter of cultivating the growth and blossoming of my creative life. Bathalanawa!


Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah, wow. thank you for sharing your experience. I am so grateful that you have found the words to articulate the emotional and psychological challenges and even the thought process you went through in order to bring about the art for the poster. I am very touched. Maybe we can meet each other someday. that would be an honor and a joy. Many blessings. Mabuhay-LifeLightLove, Perla

Leny said...

good to see you are connected to Mini. Pls say hi and hope the Babaylan lectures go really well. Also pls say hi to Tess Obusan for me.

Sarah Queblatin said...

Thank you Babaylans Perla and Leny. I walk behind you, Mini, Tess, and all the women elders who are continuing the babaylan tradition. I am deeply humbled by the learning experience.