Christine Irving

Facilitator since April 4, 2014

Christine Irving
Home
Denton, Texas 76205 (United States)

Biography

Christine has moved often in her lifetime and lived all over the United States as well as in Germany, Taiwan, Ecuador, Bolivia and Saudi Arabia. 

She is a novelist and poet whose works include Magdalene A. D. an historical novel; a novel for middle school readers, Mystery of the Black Madonna; two volumes of poetry, Be A Teller of Tales and The Naked Man; the CD, Originals; a manual of rituals, The Wheel of the Year; and a travel memoir, Motorcycle Dreaming: Riding the Beauty Way Back in Time Across America. Her body of work also includes two plays written in collaboration with fellow playwright Kathryn Smith, A Rose in Winter dealing with the life and times of  the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Crazy Wisdom, a compendium of Crone insights, visions and cacklingsHer passion is story. All her work - writing, ritual and collage - tells a story of some kind. Christine believes the storytelling in all its many forms is the oldest and truest vehicle humanity possesses for the passing on of wisdom and culture.  

Christine is a ritualist ordained in two traditions - The Fellowship of Isis and The Gnostic Church of St. Mary Magdalene.  She creates and leads customized  marriage, memorial, naming, house blessing, labyrinth and rite-of-passage ceremonies.  

Christine has been working with collage for thirty years.  She loves collage for the freedom it gives her to bring the symbolism of various times and cultures into unusual juxtapositions the reflect the underlying Oneness of our universe.  Along with fellow artist Michelle Anglin, Christine has created a series of thematic collage workshops based on Jungian psychology, Goddess spirituality and an extensive study of symbols in which participants are led through meditation and ritual to create a collage and explore its meaning.  Their themes include such topics as The Winter Bear, Creating a Personal Mandala and Finding the Goddess Within.

Above all, Christine is a feminist and a devotee of the feminine divine.  She has been sitting in and facilitating circles of women since 1978 when the women's movement and the Great Goddess appeared in her life at the same time to change her life.  She is co-founder of the Soldotna Women's Resource Center and California Alliance for Women.  Her trainings include Consciousness Raising, Assertiveness Training, mediation, hot-line intervention,  the understanding and care of battered women, PeerSpirit Facilitation and SoulCollage®. 

She currently keeps three blogs going: Two Twitch a Tale - http://twotwitchatale.wordpress.com/ - a blog featuring collage work related to the exploration of the meaning of fairy tales. Mused by Magdalene - http://magdalenesmuse.wordpress.com/ - Whatever tickles her fancy, strikes a nerve,or delights Blog from the Back of the Bike - http://ablogbehind.wordpress.com/ - places, persons or things of interest encountered on motorcycle trips with her beloved husband of 46 years.

Description of SoulCollage® work

I've been making cards for many many years,  having been introduced to the "neter cards' before they were called SoulCollage® by Facilitator Jan McEwan. I have remained a solitary practioner for many years, with Jan as my only contact, though I kept track of Seena and bought her book when it came out.

Over time,I've made over eighty cards - some of them as thematic series depicting The Celtic wheel of the year, the sages of the alchemical process, the seven directions of Earth based spirituality and one for each month of a 9-month course in Spiritual Midwifery taught by Dana Reynolds.  I've journaled with the cards and used them as prompts and inspirations for poetry, as I do with all my collages, however I never did work with them using the "She Who" exercise.  In truth the cards were more like small collages - simpler and faster than some of my larger intentional art. As I mentioned in the biography, the workshops Michelle Anglin and I created took a different route to the same goal of self-realization; each one was a work of art in itself rather than being part of a deck. The participants' collages represented a kind of snapshot of the entire self in that moment. The process work deliberately evoked feedback from both facilitators and other participants as a way of underscoring the notion that all of our lives reflect and are integrated with each other's.

Sometime last year, I came across an ad for a workshop with Anne Marie Bennet and Jeanne Marie Merkel.  Being a ritualist myself, I was particularly drawn to Jeanne Marie's contribution to the weekend. Alas, that class was full, but Anne Marie kept me on her mailing list and the April Facilitator class seemed just the thing.  I miss the company of my fellow collage artist Michelle Anglin and am looking for a group of women with whom to do some more focused personal spiritual work. Becoming a facilitator and using the cards to establish a group seemed like an excellent way to start. 

The workshop was truly delightful and delivered full value for the time and resources it asked of me. I learned an extraordinary amount and finally "clicked" with the "She who" practice. I so appreciated Jeanne Marie's lesson on the nitty-gritty gritty of ritual.  She gave me language I didn't have before to concisely describe what I do to folks who aren't versed in spiritual vocabulary.  

So now I am a facilitator in SoulCollage®, ready to lead my own group.  I'm looking forward to bringing all my experience, wisdom and skills into these new circles.