What is SoulCollage®?
SoulCollage® is a doorway to your inner wisdom. It invites you to give visual and poetic expression to the unique tapestry of your life experiences, to discover and nourish the seeds of your destiny. The resulting deck of collaged images reflects back to you – your strengths, your beauty, your complexity, your dreams and your accomplishments. SoulCollage provides endless opportunities for stimulating your imagination, applying your creativity and integrating the many aspects of your life while you craft a series of cards representing your inner parts, your relations, the energetic patterns of your body and your personal mythology.
SoulCollage® is an expressive art process in which you construct, over time, a personal deck of unique, soul-tending cards. When you have a few cards you can start consulting your deck in ways that combine cognitive, practical insights with less tangible intuitive wisdom.
The cards are collaged to fit four main suits, each suit representing an aspect of our being. These suits are the Committee , the Companions, the Council and the Community. In addition, there are three cards which comprise the Transpersonal dimension, the Source, the SoulEssence, and the Witness.
The cards are collaged to fit four main suits, each suit representing an aspect of our being. These suits are the Committee , the Companions, the Council and the Community. In addition, there are three cards which comprise the Transpersonal dimension, the Source, the SoulEssence, and the Witness. Click here to see the SoulCollage Gallery of Suits.
The Transpersonal dimension – The Source, The SoulEssence and the Witness.
These three cards are a subjective and limited expression of the Oneness beyond Manifestation, the place where all comes from and all returns to, so they are never consulted and do not have a shadow. During a reading they are placed in the center to hold the sacredness of the space and to remind us of the interconnectedness of all things. They are the fabric of which all the other cards are the threads. They stand for the silent “voice” of the Spirit that longs for union with the Mystery.
The Committee Suit (The Psychological Dimension)
The cards in this suit represent the many inner parts of the personality, recurring emotions and the roles we play. One may perceive them as unlikable, challenging, useful, or very valuable, and yet they all contain both light and shadow and are all here to stay. They may cooperate or there might be conflict because one aspect claims a larger share of the limelight than it deserves. By consulting a Committee card we have the opportunity to discover its positive purpose and reclaim our inner balance.
The Community Suit (The Social Dimension)
In these cards we choose to honor friends, family members, ancestors, colleagues, mentors, teachers, pets or even special places, trees or crystals with which we have a special connection. The beings hosted here are external and concrete. They can be living or dead; actually known or admired at a distance, like artists, authors or inspiring members of the community. By consulting a Community card, we benefit from the unique gift and perspective of the being there represented.
The Companion Suit (The Energetic Dimension)
Each of the Companion cards represents one of the energy centers in the body, called Chakras in the Yogic tradition. An animal totem or “Companion” is encountered through a guided visualization. Once the right image is found this Companion is represented on a card. This is the only suit that has a fixed number of cards. When consulting a Companion card, we access the instinctual vitality of the body and the metaphorical vibration of the animal that inhabits each center.
The Council Suit (The Archetypal Dimension)
These are the invisible muses, guides, challengers, gods and destroyers who dwell in the realm of the invisible. According to Jung they originate in the collective unconscious. They are known in many cultures by different names, yet they bring similar gifts. By consulting a Council card, we visit the source of our passions, the force of our strengths, and the longings of our soul.
How the cards are used
After completing a card, it’s time to access the wealth of information that each card is waiting to reveal through the “I Am the One Who…” exercise (examples in the Gallery). Using this process, we become the central aspect of the card, and we intuitively let it voice its message and express its unique identity in writing and/or by sharing verbally with others. As we continue this exercise, we often gain important insights through the card’s words and understand its relevance to our current situation or to our life in general. Adding free-association writing and reflection to the practice of SoulCollage® creates a fruitful alternation between the right and left hemispheres of our brain. This “shifting of state” has been acknowledged by the most recent clinical applications of Neuropsychology as beneficial for healing mood swings and the sense of fragmentation and disconnectedness often associated with painful life experiences.
It’s important to note that SoulCollage® cards are made for personal use only and are not for sale or barter. The images borrowed from other artists are held with great respect and gratitude.
Is SoulCollage® for Me?
The Playful Child, the Seeker, the One Who Speaks Up, the Artist, the Writer, the Spiritual Pilgrim, the Intuitive, the Creator, the One Who Likes Surprises, the Procrastinator. Do any of these Inner Parts belong to you? These and many other aspects of the Self thrive in the SoulCollage® process where they are given space to breathe and evolve. If you have a box full of images collected through the years, or if you were often tempted to do so, you will sigh with relief and pleasure as the images find their place in your deck and reveal how they reflect a part of yourself or of your experience. No previous training is necessary to enjoy this non-threatening avenue to creativity easily accessible to all who can cut and paste and are willing to look within. You only need scissors, glue, mat board, pen and paper and old magazines. There is no way to make a ‘wrong’ card even if you try hard!
SoulCollage® offers a deepening, a lightening, a nourishing, a cheering, a thought-provoking, and a playful journey inside yourself. This journey bridges the many aspects of your self and of your relationships with the world. There are so many aspects of our human experience that cannot be expressed by words alone. The images you select and carefully paste on your cards hold the power of a thousand verses. SoulCollage in its wisdom offers you a path but lets you choose the direction. It invites you to bask in the richness and complexity of who you are, leaving you free to express and expand yourself in your own unique way.
If you already have a creative outlet, you will find that SoulCollage organizes your visual language in a new symbolic way that speaks to the soul and enriches the well of your creativity. If you have been craving for a creative outlet, you couldn’t find a less threatening and yet more satisfying one. SoulCollage speaks to your need for self-expression and to your desire to know yourself more intimately simultaneously. It is a personal growth tool that strengthens your roots and gives you wings to fly.
How Does SoulCollage® Work?
SoulCollage® works by involving the eyes, the hands, the heart, the emotions, the memory, the intellect and the intuition in its explorative process. In other words, its holistic approach embraces all aspects of human nature. By its very design, it calls into play alternatively the right and the left hemispheres, prompting a very rich neurological dialog between these two different functions of the brain.
This ‘both/and’ approach is reflected also in how SoulCollage® invites and honors with equanimity the luminous and the appealing, as well as the dark and the difficult. These two fundamental aspects alone can explain the profound insights often gained while consulting the cards, the sense of deep satisfaction felt while engaging in this method and the healing experiences mentioned by lay and professional users.
Among the healing properties participants have mentioned are a greater sense of acceptance, integration, wholeness, balance, clarity of purpose and easier access to inner resources. These sensations translate into a renewed sense of hope and vitality. With its nurturing and growth promoting qualities, SoulCollage® brings a sense of fulfillment to one’s life and the distinctive sensation of being closer to one’s intimate truth.
One more thing needs to be mentioned about the symbolic value of images that are so lovingly constructed and tended to through a process that bypasses the thinking mind. These images become powerful seeds of meaning, and the metaphorical value they embody permits constant revisiting without loss of vitality. You look at one card once and you may see and hear one thing; you look again and you will see and hear something new. SoulCollage® cards evolve and become links between many aspects of our story, internal, external, large and small.
How Will I Use SoulCollage®?
Every time you sit down to make cards alone or in good company it will feel like having a small personal retreat. You will easily slip out of chronological time and experience the timeless joy of play. You will discover the deep satisfaction of speaking your truth and connect with the positive role every aspect of your self serves in your life. Once you have a small deck you can read your collages as if they were Tarot cards, and you will be surprised by the synchronicities waiting for you in the messages offered by your cards.
SoulCollage® may also become a compendium to your spiritual practice, to your decision making processes, to your journey of self discovery and it will deepen your healing journey if you are engaged in psychotherapy. You will name your strengths and your challenges, engage in dialog with difficult parts of yourself, like the Inner Critic for example, and bring balance to each one of these Inner Parts.
SoulCollage® can also help your creative process, whether it is painting, sculpting or writing. A great support in dream work, SoulCollage® can also be applied to any group activity, from family reunions, to support groups, to Board meetings. You can consult your cards if you are feeling stuck or confused, to gain insight or to seek support, or for the sheer pleasure of consciously connecting with yourself before starting your day.
Many professionals in the helping professions are using SoulCollage® to support their clients’ healing process, such as psychotherapists, counselors, homeopaths, acupuncturists, nurses, massage therapists and life coaches to name a few. In a therapeutic setting this method encourages the recognition and the transformation of fears, inner splits, blocks and the consequences of negative experiences. It also helps in connecting with one’s strengths, zest for life and self-confidence. SoulCollage® can be used to overcome grief, find forgiveness and rise above conflicts. It helps clients identify and understand the motivations of various inner personality parts through writing exercises and Gestalt techniques. It is a most powerful tool to access and process personal and collective unconscious material. Clients may also pursue this method as homework. SoulCollage® is used to address Eating Disorders, Domestic Violence, identity crisis, aging, and acculturation. Organizational psychologists and corporate managers find SoulCollage® useful in brain storming and vision making, as well as in conflict resolution and team building.
What Can I Expect from a Workshop?
Most probably you will find yourself surrounded by like-minded participants equally eager to play, create, and share knowing that Mariabruna facilitates the group with great respect for everyone’s comfort and confidentiality. You will work and share at your own pace in a non-competitive atmosphere, guided in a personalized, lively yet gentle manner not devoid of humor. You will feel supported while re-discovering shared human traits and you will be delighted by the diversity with which every one expresses her/himself. You will leave feeling inspired and more centered for having spent time in closer touch with your own inner self and having shared from a deep place of reverence and attention. Time will probably pass quickly because you are having fun ripping pictures out of magazines, organizing, gluing and pasting and then magically holding in your hands a finished product. Come and let the images inspire you and lead you home to your own nature.