I’ve made a new edition of talisman shirts featuring Venus in Libra. Venus is the planet that rules love, beauty, and art; in the Air sign of Libra, aesthetic pleasure and harmony in relationships is emphasized. Relationship here encompasses all of its various forms: between lovers, between friends, between self and cosmos, or between an artist and their artwork. These talismans were created to harness Venus in Libra’s strong social magnetism, and to promote a sense of ease, flow and pleasure in relationships of all kinds. Especially important for artists, Venus here places an emphasis on intellectual pleasures as well as refining one’s personal aesthetic vision. Because Libra is oriented towards balance and equilibrium, there is also an emphasis on the intersection of beauty and justice.


The artists Hilma af Klint, Ana Mendieta, and Rosie Lee Tompkins all have Venus in Libra. While each artist’s work is visually distinct, some of the shared qualities for artists with Venus in Libra might be something like:

A RECLAMATION OF BEAUTY AS A BIRTH RIGHT ,

THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY AS AN ACT OF JUSTICE THAT RESTORES HARMONY BEWEEN SELF AND OTHER (HUMAN, THE NATURAL WORLD, OR THE DIVINE)

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), 1973-1977


Following a violent uprooting from her native Cuba, Ana Mendieta’s early life was spent being shuttled from one adoptive family to the next. Her desire to reclaim a sense of connection to place is evident in her series titled Siluetas, which she began at age 25. This body of work, which consists of photographs of ephemeral gestures she’d perform alone in nature, can be seen as a restoration of harmony between herself and the place she considered her true spiritual home — the natural world.


Rosie Lee Tompkins, String, 1985


Rosie Lee Tompkins was the pseudonym for Effie May Howard, an artist who wished to remain anonymous in the art world to protect what she saw a sacred practice: quilting. Her improvisational, colorful quilts are the material language for an intimate connection that she felt with the divine. It was also a way to express her love for those close to her, as her quilts often catalogued important names, dates and addresses. For a woman who who grew up in the racist, Jim Crow-era South, the mere act of creating something beautiful was also a kind of protest, and a means to enact justice.


Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No. 6, 1907


For Hilma af Klint, painting was also an act of communion with the divine. After ten years of practicing mediumship and communicating with a group of beings whom she called the High Ones, she was prompted by these spirits to begin a series called Paintings for the Temple. This series, which grew to include 193 paintings, occupied her for almost ten years. Hilma saw herself as a channel, and she saw her artworks as a means to fulfill a kind of spiritual duty. Remarkably, although the Temple was never built, Hilma's sketches of it bear a great resemblance to the Guggenheim museum, where she had her first U.S. retrospective in 2019.

Hilma af Klint, Sketch for the Temple, 1903

The Guggenheim






I'll be presenting my class, A History of Women Mystic Artists, through the Golden Dome School's online platform on Sunday, October 17 from 4:00-6:00 pm PST. Description and booking info below!



A History of Women Mystic Artists: Ritual, Channeling & Healing

Including artists: Ithell Colquhoun, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Ana Mendieta, Betye Saar, Pamela Colman Smith, Emma Kunz, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Guo Fengyi, Hildegard von Bingen, Herrad of Landsburg, Christine de Pizan, Georgiana Houghton, Hilma af Klint, and Agnes Pelton.


This class will look at the history of women mystic artists spanning the Medieval period to the 20th century through the lens of three different themes: Ritual, Healing, and Channeling. In varying ways, each artist’s work is the record of a conversation with forces larger than themselves. Each artist collaborates with and conceives of Mystery in unique ways: for Hildegard of Bingen it was the animating force of the natural world she named Viriditas, for Georgiana Houghton it was the spirits from the other side whom she channeled, and for Ithell Colquhoun, the process of painting itself was an act of divination that connected her to spiritual forces within and without. Each artist also shared a lifelong engagement with the co-creative process of opening oneself as a channel to the unknown.


Mysticism in art — especially by women — has often been minimized, ignored, or rejected by dominant art historical narratives, and so this class seeks to foreground each artist’s relationship with mysticism as important to their lives and their works. We will chart how these artists, through their engaging and complex works, reject the pervasive contemporary notion that mystical artwork cannot also be intellectually, politically, and socially engaged.


Ritual

We will look at artists whose approach to art-making involved ritual, whether as a means to create the artwork or as an end in and of itself. These artists drew on practices rooted in specific traditions of ritual magic, invented their own personal practices, or often some combinations of the two. Artists covered include Pamela Coleman Smith, Ithell Colquhoun, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Ana Mendieta, and Betye Saar.


Healing

We will look to artists whose artworks were made either to help to facilitate healing for themselves, to directly heal others, or to engage with the therapeutic potential for healing in artwork generally. Artists covered include Emma Kunz, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Rosie Lee Tompkins, and Guo Fengyi.


Channeling

We will look at artists whose approach to art-making was fueled by a co-creative practice with the divine, whose visionary works were created through channeling. We will study their varying approaches (seances, mediumship, meditation, and more) to gain a better understanding of how their artworks emerged in co-creation with the numinous forces that shaped their work. Artists covered include Hildegard von Bingen, Herrad of Landsburg, Christine de Pizan, Georgiana Houghton, Hilma af Klint, and Agnes Pelton.


Cost is $22 and you can sign up here!

The class will be recorded and playback made available to all participants.



Agnes Pelton, Alchemy, oil on canvas, 1939


Emma Kunz in her studio in Brittnau, Switzerland, 1958


Niki de Saint Phalle, The Tarot Garden (The Empress), Italy





I started Talis in 2017 as a line of clothing for psychic protection, and since then, it’s grown to include my astrology and tarot consultation practice. As a result of this, and because of all that the ongoing Plague brought in 2020, I took a pause on making clothing. I’ve had a lot of time to think about if and how I want to re-engage with this aspect of Talis, and I’m excited to let you know how it’s evolving.

I’m returning to the original impetus for its namesake: namely, talismans. In essence, talismans are objects crafted at auspicious astrological moments in time (when the planets and signs create harmonious aspects with each other), using symbolic correspondences (color, image, symbol, material), in order to draw down the influences and energies of the astral bodies they intend to capture. I will be incorporating this aspect of astro-magic into my clothing by making small editions of unique pieces, and these shirts will act as permanent containers of the energies they intend to capture, material links to the fleeting celestial movements above.


The first of these talisman shirts captured the Sun in Leo. Much like taming a dragon, pursuing one’s creative work in the world often feels like a quest for the buried treasure that exists just beyond the fears, doubts and anxieties that emerge along the path. These fears and doubts are like ogres at the threshold of a bridge that one must negotiate with to cross to the other side. Even when experience teaches us to trust our intuitive hunches on this shadowy path, it can be hard to continually take new leaps, when every time somehow feels like the first big jump. The Sun in Leo provides an infusion of bravery, but not for the sake of bravado alone — it’s a bravery to meet the inner fears so that one may take those meaningful risks, however big or small. It provides an influx of creative energy that simultaneously connects one deeper to one’s inner creative compass while also flooding the spirit with a brightness and a desire to radiate outwards.


Because these pieces are hand-printed within very tight windows of time (ranging from a few minutes to a couple hours), they will be made in limited quantities and priced higher than my regular inventory, which I’ve also brought back to my web store. Auspicious sky-weather being what it is, (rare and infrequent) these talismanic pieces won’t come out at regular intervals — only when the moment is truly ripe for the picking. Each piece of clothing will also come with information on the election, suggestions for ritual use and incorporation into your own life.


Click here to purchase and read more about the Sun in Leo shirt.