SoulCollage®: The Language of the Soul by Sandra Nelson

Have you ever wondered why certain colors, shapes and images make your heart sing while others don’t? They are messengers, hoping you will listen, asking you to pay attention to some aspect of your life. If you are you restless, or are searching for something you don’t understand, or wanting to know your purpose in life, or what direction to take, SoulCollage® is for you.

Not a craft project, but rather an experience, SoulCollage® is personal to each individual. As creative beings, we are drawn to those things that speak to us, fill a need, give us joy…feed our souls. That is the language of images, colors, metaphors and archetypes. That is SoulCollage®.

The search for meaning, and answers to questions in life takes us down many paths: religion, politics, health, and education to name a few. Sooner or later, this search moves inward and becomes very personal. The thing I like best about SoulCollage® is its revealing nature. By this I mean that we create the cards from images we are drawn to. Then by consulting the cards, we listen as answers hidden somewhere deep within are made known. Through this process, of self-exploration, life is transformed as questions are answered and insights revealed.

As long as I can remember, I have always dabbled in the more common creative projects such as painting, gardening, and writing. I believe creativity feeds the soul, and an unfed soul eventually starves. In the mundane world, one is creative when organizing a fundraiser, cooking a meal using leftovers from the night before, or cleaning the garage to park the car.

Even though I am good at such things, I have longed for something more expressive and meaningful. A little over four years ago, the rise in popularity of mixed media, altered books, and found objects caught my attention and sent me to the computer to learn more. I am often moved by art created with unconventional methods or objects. Looking into mixed media, my research focused on collage where I found the SoulCollage® website, and the book, SoulCollage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups by Marriage and Family Therapist, Seena B. Frost, M. Div., M.A.

My creative juices have always been very eclectic. As an amateur photographer, I knew I wanted a way to integrate a variety of interests through captured moments that awaken the senses, liberate emotions, and feed my soul. That is exactly what SoulCollage® has done for me by introducing me to the language of images, colors, metaphors and archetypes. While many go through life with blinders on, I am drawn to life’s details: the color and texture of a river rock wet from the morning’s dew, the scents and sounds as the earth wakens to a glorious sunrise, the clicking of wings as wild geese take to flight.

I have heard it said that art imitates life. In many ways, SoulCollage® is life. My deck is a visual journal of people, places, events, and feelings. I make cards to honor people, to mark personal transitions, heal wounds, and receive guidance. I also make cards that seem to have no known purpose other than to bring certain images together. However, when the time is right, the intention behind each card is revealed.

Like life itself, my deck is in a constant state of change. New cards are created or new images are added to older cards. Each card in the deck represents one archetype or aspect, or theme. Often compared to a customized tarot deck, a SoulCollage® deck consists of one Source card and at least four suits.

The Committee Suit is the psychological suit. This suit acknowledges the inner parts of one’s personality. The Committee Suit gives voice to the unspoken, light on the unseen, and acknowledgement to the unheard.

The Community Suit represents people or animals that have previously, or are currently influencing one’s life. The influence from members of the Community Suit ranges from friendly and helpful to challenging.

The Companion Suit holds the animal totems, or power animals that correspond with the seven major chakras or energy centers. The animals in this suit are discovered through guided imagery, meditation or shamanic drumming.

The Council Suit holds the Spiritual aspects and archetypes influencing one’s life. This suit honors the journey that guides and shapes each person.

In her book, SoulCollage®," Seena B. Frost refers to our many aspects or archetypes as the “Neter” presence. From ancient Egyptian texts, the word Neter meant one or many, depending on how it was used. . “…These Neters existed in time and space. They acted as guides, helpers, and challengers to the beings of earth.”

Attending a SoulCollage® Retreat, you will be inspired to create a deck of collaged cards to use as a visual journal of your life.

• Silence the inner critic as you free the inner artist.
• Learn to interpret and consult your cards.
• Use your cards to heal aspects of your life.
• Incorporate your cards into your personal spiritual practice.
• Keep a written journal as your personal story unfolds.
• Manifest the life you desire and more.

I often tell people that once they try SoulCollage®, they will be hooked, and they will never look at another magazine, flyer, or catalog as they did before. Images are everywhere and unless you have a strong willpower, you may find your car no longer fits in the garage with a growing magazine collection. To be honest, my car shares half of the garage with hundreds of magazines. It’s not that I have strong willpower. I have learned to thumb through magazines, pull the images that catch my eye, and toss the rest in recycling as fast as I can. Most images are separated into categories and boxed for future use. Others are placed in a three ring binder for cards I am currently working on. This binder holds several plastic page covers, each labeled with the name or theme of a card. Keeping this binder has saved me from the old frustrating pattern of searching for an image that I just saw…somewhere.

Copyright © 2008 by Sandra Nelson

This article was first published by Kaleidosoul.com and later edited and published in Indigo Sun in Houston, TX.

About the Author

Sandra holds a BA in Organizational Communication from Marylhurst University in Oregon, and is currently a student with the University Of Metaphysical Sciences, California. As a mother and grandmother, her life has evolved from a seasoned businesswoman, civic leader and elected official to an ordained minister, Reiki master, writer, and SoulCollage® Facilitator with a strong devotion to Mother Earth, the Divine Mystery and Trees. Sandra facilitates SoulCollage® Retreats in the Houston, TX area and can be reached through her websites: www.papercrucible.com or www.naturetospirit.com.