This blog post is about the fourth mask, Green Heart Antelope created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, & Swan and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be three more posts, one for each mask. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.
Once we all had landed on the idea to work with animal allies, in addition to the Prismic Vision theme and the chakra rooms with altars, it also became clear that we wanted those animal allies to be found locally in Colorado. We used the Animal Medicine cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson to discern which allies would appear at which altars. I loved getting out of my own way, allowing my personal mythos and associations to fall away to see what threads of connection the universe wished to bring into the mix.
The Animal Ally from Animal Medicine cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson
For the other animals the way forward was fairly clear. However, when we came to the Green Heart center Rachel and I felt pretty strongly that we wanted Deer, or a similar animal ally, to be the guardian of our heart space. The Heart Altar was the central altar, in the middle of everything, and so it was especially important for our heart opening intentions. We couldn’t stop laughing when we drew the blank card from the Oracle deck, a clear sign that it was up to us to choose. To be extra sure we drew one more card, and that card was Pronghorn Antelope. I was excited by this message, for in India Antelope is already the traditional animal totem for the Heart Chakra. To spin this towards our own native Antelope ally lit me up.
I started with the horns, since Pronghorn Antelope have such interesting and distinctive antlers. I looked at many images to be sure I understood the delicate curve, which starts in one facing and then elegantly curves so that the points create almost an upside down heart above the Antelopes head. Like many of the other armatures, I used a combination of tape, cardboard, and tinfoil before cloaking in papier-mâché.
The head of the mask took a long time to trouble shoot. Unlike a Rabbit or Skunk, the placement of Antelope’s eye are nothing like that of our human ones. To accurately mimic the elongated face of Antelope I needed to come up with another solution for seeing out of the mask. I eventually settled on lifting the whole face above the head, similar to the Swan mask, making it more into a headdress. Maria of the Shamanic Dolls lead the opening procession. I wanted to be sure she could see clearly to guide the ceremony confidently.
Working with Antelope Medicine and the Energy of Green Heart
Green in the Heart always evokes for me images of Green Tara, Earth Mother, and Kwan Yin. Powerful and Kind goddesses of the Earth. The human eye can see more distinct shades of green than any other color, so I chose to work with the Greens found in the Prismic Vision Postcard, lovely colors between soft jade viridian and a true spring green. Colors that I can easily visualize radiating out from my heart into the whole world around me.
Green is fundamentally linked to nature, as well as joy, balance, harmony, and luck. The Heart Chakra is also a wellspring for balance and deep calm. It is the center were love originates. The mantra for the Heart is “I am Loved.” It is the center of the seven chakras, sitting equidistant from the higher realms of spirit and insight, and the lower realms of ground and action.
Green Antelope – Heart Altar Sketch
Pronghorn Antelope in this Green Heart space speaks to choosing action from the Heart. In society today we so often make decisions based on our mind or our gut, being driven by the pressures of every day to stay afloat in the chaos. Decisions made from the heart lead us along a different pathway, and although it may not seem clear at first, in the end our decisions are made with authentic integrity.
The Mask in the Space
The Green Heart Altar was extremely special. The base was built just for the event to meet the ever evolving needs of the central room. The central lobby was the literal heart of the event, with people pulsing through it constantly and a flurry of diverse performances, workshops, and art installations.
Photo Credit: Jack Jameson
The altar was built up to be a mound of sacred earth energy. Moss had been collected then reverently placed across it and a giant activator quartz crystal anchored the center. Pieces from the Healing Helix that had blended wishes and grief at Arise Festival were affixed to the sides for a communal weaving. Baskets of yarn were arranged around the altar, interspersed with candles and mindful art. The Antelope Mask rested confidently on the connection of two pieces of the Helix. Above the Altar hung sacred geometric shapes, a crystal Merkaba and a copper activator pyramid which flooded the space with energy.
As happens so often with participatory art the weaving took a life of its own. It expanded beyond the intended panels from the helix to envelop the whole altar. Even the Antelope Mask was woven into the Altar. When the time came to retrieve the mask for the Opening Procession it was already thoroughly bound into the magic of the Heart, and took some delicate unraveling to free it for the ceremony.
The Altar was on wheels so when the Procession arrived in the central room it was moved to make room for our dance. We began by spiraling around Maria, creating a nexus of energy, a revelation. We danced toward her from Despair to Hope, dancing from the action of our hearts, landing connected together. Then spinning back out into the room we called out our intentions, inviting the whole room to speak their activations. It was a glorious, hopeful moment of Unity.
The words on the Altar were as follows:
Green – Heart – Pronghorn Antelope
Clear & Direct … Decisive Action.
The Imagination of the Heart.
Antelope signifies knowledgeable action; action that has its basis in clarity, focus, and commitment. Antelope is a symbol for the antenna of your hara, which attaches you to Great Mystery by its long cords of light. As we look at Antelope, we become aware of our mortality and the short time we have on this planet. With this is mind, we must act accordingly.
Antelope medicine is the knowledge of life’s circle. Knowing of death, Antelope can truly live. Action is the key and essence of living.
– Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson
Rachel and I Resting & Admiring the Altar after the Event