The art of Laura Berger discovers communion in curious places. Below, she talks positive imagery, humanness, and making art as a healing practice.
Whether lounging under palm fronds or tucked inside rainbows, Laura Berger’s figures delight in their sheer nakedness. As they collide with the wondrous world and each other, they appear both freshly hatched and deeply wise. “I guess I’m often painting what I dream of,” says the artist and yogi. And what does she dream of? Chosen families, phones with cords, and the imperfectly perfect adventure of living.
On the healing journey: I think I’ve been on that journey for many years, ha! It’s an ongoing process for most of us, right? I think making things is a good way to generate natural healing vibes, and the themes I’m working with are very positive. So when you spend many hours working on positive imagery, I like to think it slowly, slowly sinks in and has an impact, both consciously and subconsciously.
On chosen families: My own family is now very small, so I have this very deep longing to be a part of a close-knit group of people who can fill in that void a little bit. Like a chosen family—a group where you can feel completely safe to be wholly who you are, and where you can experience a sense of true understanding and belonging. I don’t currently have that in my life, but I value it so much. I miss the old way of communicating. Let’s do handwritten letters and face visits and pony rides and get phones with cords that stay in our houses when we go out.
On surrendering to the experience: Life unfolds so randomly and imperfectly perfectly. I’m interested in the push and pull between trying to control our experiences and accepting what comes, and how this works. Questions that there’s no rigid answer to. I think a lot about death, ritual, adventure, and finding ways to honor ourselves and sit calmly in the center of all of these conflicting experiences that we have.
On discovering humanness: I feel like [making art and practicing yoga] just gets you closer to the experience of it: more aware of your own extremely complex human-ness and the equally complicated human-ness of others. Hopefully you find more compassion across the board, and more appreciation for and empathy towards this shared, insane experience of being a human that we are all swimming through.
On the most challenging part of the creative process: Sitting down and starting.
And the easiest: Anytime after I’ve actually started.
On the moments when you feel most alive: When I’m not trying to do anything but be alive.
Symbolizing every step of the creative process, learning how to work with each Moon Phase will help you birth your deepest desires, says Hannah Ariel.
Every month we have the opportunity to creatively attune our awareness of our intentions to the rhythm of the lunation cycle. The Moon moves through time and space like a meditative mind in relation to the light of the Sun. When we steadily and willfully accompany this odyssey, we begin to see our potential manifest in a new light. We begin to live in a reality more closely related to the visions being illuminated in our mind as we see them through, every step of the way.
As the Moon changes its position to the Sun every day, a universal process of dynamic growth is being reflected here on earth. This means that every time we look to the sky upholding our dreams, symbolically we can see how much is possible – how much energy is available for us on a daily basis, so long as we maintain an awareness of this interplay. Every time we set an intention, by aligning our energy with the Moon our manifestation skills are sharpened, and we come that much closer to living out our most impactful prospects.
Approximately every 30 days, whether we choose to recognize and intentionally work with the energy or not, we all take a journey on Earth. Between the Sun and the Moon, between the unconscious and conscious worlds, the seen and the unseen, we birth new realities each month. There is a poetry contained within every lunation phase. There is a map for us to observe and subjectively identify with. Here’s how to work with each Moon Phase to let it guide the unfolding of your intentions…
:: FIRST QUARTER :: When the Moon reaches its first quarter phase, it faces us at a 90 degree angle appearing half full, half illuminated, and half in shadow. We are beginning to see what it will take for our intentions to come to fruition and can sense the creative tension of the process. The first quarter is a rite of passage that vitalizes our awareness to take action, take initiation, put or intentions to work. Often a sense of outrageous courage begins to build as we wish to release our will into the world. This is also a time to engage in community, have conversation with those around you and begin to vocalize your intentions. Through action or conversation, is time to literally “get a reaction” in order to gain more insight into the dynamics of the world around you. Allow yourself to relate to what is taking place outside of you and acknowledge that there is a container out there for you to take considerably effective action.
:: FULL MOON :: When the moon is full, it is aligned between the earth and sun where sun’s light is shining on to the moon leaving the illuminated side to face us as the shadow remains hidden in plain view. As the light is shone upon the moon we are shown there is another side to what we have intended, all we have thought of, real or imagined comes to the surface. Our consciousness expands into full bloom and we feel all the implications of our intention. All impressions are gathered and at a heightened frequency we realize whether or not our understanding as a whole fulfills us or not. It can be a time of brilliant clarity when we grow even closer to ourselves and deepen our self-understanding. Everything that takes place during a full moon reflects the accompanying reality of our intentions and points the way to realizing their power. Full moons can show us things have yet to see for ourselves.
:: THIRD QUARTER MOON :: When the moon is at its third quarter phase it faces us at a 90 degree angle appearing half full again, while the sun rises, half in shadow and half illuminated. As the sun rises, unusual revelations dawn on us. We integrate with an expanded awareness, how we have been affected by the intentions we began to put out at the new moon; how they have been received. We are given time to process what has come to light and internalize the heart of the matter. We can interpret events around this time as “frustrating” when really we are truly trying for a solution. During a third quarter moon the time has come to either break down preconceptions that were not helping us fulfill our intentions or further crystalize ideas that have helped us take responsibility and have enhanced out ability to carry out our wishes and sense of purpose.
:: DARK MOON :: The period right before the moon is new again, where there is no solar reflection and the moon passes through the zodiac constellation where the last new moon takes place we have what is referred to as a dark moon period. We have seen all there was to see no we must sense what remains, what will come before us in the next cycle. There is much mythology surrounding this particular phase. In India this phase of the moon is associated with the goddess Kali, black one and force of time. It is said when we are the most psychic and connected to the subtle worlds that whisper to us both our highest inspirations and our deepest subconscious fears ultimately allowing us to cut straight to the point of what remains. It is an incredible time to go within and observe what comes up within you as these are the secrets that will help shape your next moon intention.
:: NEW MOON :: When the moon is new it is aligned between the earth and the sun in such a way that we cannot see what is illuminated from the other side. With a mysterious sense of new beginnings taking place this is a prime time to set an intention as we say, plant a seed; allow for a creative impulse to arise from the depths of a visualization or meditation practice. Whether you write it down or repeat it like a mantra, the idea here is to get it up and out; bring it to your attention and focus in on the potential. The slate has been cleared so to speak. We can breathe deep as the creative process begins. A certain universal positivity can be restored as we remember how life continues to give us space to move into uncharted territory. It is a time to live through the powerful imaginative forces of nature and intuitively grasp up for possibilities of what is to come.
Hannah Ariel is also available for Moon Phase readings – depending on which phase the Moon was in at the time of birth can help uncover a person’s natural born instinctual approach to problem solving. Contact her at: [email protected]