Petra is a DreamTime place. It is a magical and cloistered city tucked away in the desert cliffs of Jordan. The first time I saw an image of the huge temple facade peeking though a slender opening in the canyon walls I was stunned. I have yearned to walk through that portal into that otherworldly place since that day. I had no idea that through moving to New Mexico I was entering the same landscape as “a rose-red city half as old as time.”
Like Petra, New Mexico is an enchanted and mysterious place. It has its own hidden canyons, caves and tunnels. I have made it my work to enter these worlds and dance with the energies. The Painted Body ritualistic photography series emerged from these explorations in graffiti strewn tunnels and waterways. Now I am sharing these adventures with other brave souls, and we are embracing our fierceness and joy through these initiatory photo shoots.
Margi Halfon is a complex and magnetic person. She has her own deep cloistered parts, and is also a sparkly and engaging spirit. She and her partner Sean Tebor’s vision is to weave together yoga, dance and Tarot creating a community gathering place where Santa Fean’s can explore and embody their own juicy vitality.
Margi entered this Painted Body Process from a place of surrender and awe. She had recently gone through some intense personal shifts and was ready to meet the earth and herself through this collaborative ceremonial process. Throughout the journey she kept pointing out how much the land reminded her of Petra. She had been fortunate enough to visit as a younger woman when she lived in Israel. I had not shared with her yet that I pulled some of my own Oracle of Initiation divination cards and The Stargate deck by James F. Jereb before we met. Both of our ‘Masters of the Stargate’ cards were Egyptian. I found the parallels between her recognition of Petra similarities to this place and each of our connection through the cards to Sekhmet and Re incredible. The world NEVER ceases to amaze me.
As we wound our way back into my secret cathedral in the stones I was aware of what a gift I have been given by having such a sacred place for my soul. Margi illuminated how rare it is to have a relationship that feeds and nurtures me so deeply. It really is my hidden sacred temple. It is home. The feelings of love, joy, peace and belonging I experience there is what I have always dreamed of. This knowing of my connection to the land is part of the wisdom I share when I take people on these initiatory journeys; a gateway into their own re-enchantment with the Earth Mother.
During the Painted Body process different people need different things. At times the Painted Body shoots have been very shamanic and intense, at other times playful and inquisitive, but always potent and visceral. It really calls forth what transformation that person needs at that time. The process always offers a doorway into delight and wonder through engaging with the raw natural world. The exposure of the nudity, the sensuality of the paints and the soil, the freedom of flowing through the ritualistic container that we create all offer an opening into ones true essence. That really is our work, to reclaim our own inner knowing and engage with life from that innate radiance. We are all creative, passionate, powerful people when we release old programs and constrictions connecting to our pure potential.
Margi met this place of pure potential. She embodied her regalness, her reserve, her exuberance, her vulnerability and her unbridled joy. She danced her own rhythms, she touched her own depths, and the canyon, camera and I witnessed her majestic Spirit. It was an honor to share this experience with her. Life is beautiful. Thank You.