The Spiritual Arts Foundation
Mel Stephenson - Child of the Cosmos

I am an illustrator, writer and fine artist, fascinated by the nature of reality - who and what we are and why we are here. I draw inspiration from remembered landscapes, intuition, and feelings carried within me. I want to make the invisible seen, felt, and known.

As an analogue artist, my creations evolve at a personal, human speed with mistakes less readily erased but integrated. In our fast, digital world where disconnection, distraction, and instant gratification is commonplace, this way of creating feels essential to my humanness.

Mel Stephenson - Be fearless
Fig. 1 Be Fearless.

When I paint, I am unbound from my finite mind and aligned with universal mind. I paint to emote, stir the soul, and awaken the imagination. For me, this is the portal to freedom and transformation.

My ideas come from the dance between human experience, quantum science, and spirituality. I blend the real and imagined into a new metaphorical landscape because I find it frees the mind to see with the heart.

I have often felt like an outsider looking in at a world where I didn’t understand the rules and struggled to belong. Challenged by a noisy planet, I became skilled at masking my sense of loneliness and invisibility, and found solace in paint and words, creating worlds in which I felt seen.

Creating these worlds, I explored my stories and wounds, while unearthing deeper truths about the universe in which we live. Storytelling became the channel for communicating with my cosmic self – my unique spark of Universal Consciousness.

Mel Stephenson - Letting go
Fig. 2 Letting Go

Exploring the science of quantum reality, I learned new ways of seeing and being in the world. Had I known I had a direct line direct to a loving, conscious field of energy from which I came, I might have felt less alone.

Now I know, my journey is to remember, to open the transmission from my heart to my mind and share it, so others can feel at home inside themselves and align to who they have come here to be.

As an illustrator, I am inspired to write and illustrate stories that invite readers of all ages to come home to their heart and align to their cosmic self.

I liken the idea of my picture books as medicine for the soul. Images are story. Art permeates the invisible, the unspoken, the language of the soul for healing and conscious growth.

Mel Stephenson - Pilgrimage
Fig 3. Pilgrimage

Themes of my picturebooks address the struggles of survival in our three dimensional lives and the sense of wholeness and potential that comes with reconnection to soul.

The words usually come first as a spring board for images and metaphors to come into fruition.

As an artist, my process depends on the medium I use. I start with a feeling, as sense or a memory that wishes to express itself. Charcoal is the most direct access to this place within me, often exploring the shadow within.

When working in oils, images often lie in layers beneath the surface, symbolic of the struggle to discover the metaphor that wishes to be seen, guided by listening and an inner knowing.

The landscapes often appear despite me, with only a sense of right and wrong as a guide. This is not a cognitive process, rather images are created by my psyche’s need to reveal itself.

Mel Stephenson - The Present
Fig 4. The Present

And oftentimes, I simply call myself a storyteller.

By exploring the unseen, we can go within to deeper truths about our existence that shift our reality to empowered creators in ways that are meaningful to our lives: where the story is not our prison or end.

But to experience these truths and be unbound from limitations, I believe we must first free ourselves from the conditioning we inhabit.

Until we do, it remains as trapped energy, repeating experiences painfully, until is heard, loved and released. Therefore, to ‘see’ our story, we heal the split between ourselves, the world and the universe.

Through the lens of quantum physics, art psychology and spirituality, I see this experience and process as my light body or soul inhabiting an incredible virtual reality suit, which uses senses as a mechanism for experiences that translate to the brain and nervous system, received as electromagnetic vibrations.

Mel Stephenson - Home
Fig 5. Home

The way we translate experiences becomes reality through our thoughts and beliefs. Therefore, we are a collection of stories, which can empower or limit us.

‘We may not be able to control all the conditions in our external environment, but we certainly have a choice in controlling our inner environment.’ (Dr. Joe Dispenza)

Ultimately, my journey has brought me to the science of inner transformation. Central to this, is the imagination. It is a mysterious realm of creation itself, and when harnessed with conscious intention, acts as the intermediary to bring our dreams or fears into the material world.

As an artist, I believe imaginary worlds are more impactful when they are rooted in truth rather than pure fantasy. This bridges the imagined and real events and speaks to the language of the soul. Fantasy is like daydreaming, unanchored and cut off, whereas imagination is a way we reach out and connect with otherness.

‘I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’ (Einstein)

‘The secret of imagining is the secret of God. Anyone who finds it finds supreme power, supreme wisdom, supreme delight. Everyone should aspire after this secret and try to unravel it, for whatever you find about your own wonderful human Imagination, you are finding about God, for your Imagination and God are one and the same.’ (Neville Goddard)

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Dr Rosemary T McAuley

Whispers from a silver tongue calling my name pierced by childhood with spirit song. At 8 years old, my sleep was awakened to the green life, leaving me somewhat bemused. A spirit voice called “Rosemary, Rosemary” and, frightened, I hid under the covers.

I turned, thinking it was my sister but she lay asleep in the bed beside me. From then on, my hidden life has been a journey of spiritual awareness and a path shaped by God’s hand.

It has reflected my deep Christian faith, intertwining sorrow and joy giving me moments of ecstatic wonder and absorption in beauty or the intense pain of losing suddenly my only sister Bernice of 24 years, preceded by dreams and premonitions, reflected in my art and both of our poems.

From the age of eleven when I drew the Virgin Mary, my artistic gift naturally focused on my Catholic faith and was encouraged by both my parents who had entered religious orders in Ireland before leaving and marrying. My dad had been a Divine Word Missionary in Roscommon and my mother a Missionary Sister for Africa in Dundalk.

Dr Rosemary T McAuley - Live Little Bird (St Mungo)

My early memories growing up were falling asleep to my dad’s Gregorian chant records playing downstairs and my mother’s insistence on saying the family rosary.

In my teenage years, I kept a diary and began writing a few spiritual poems; religious art was the theme of my six-year studies at school where I tentatively drew from Christian themes.

In my reading I was particularly influenced by the works of figures like Vera Britain, C.S. Lewis,  the secret diary of Beatrix Potter.

I also discovered a book in an antiquarian bookshop on ‘Christian Art’ by Percy Gardner and one of extracts from the writings of St Francis. My own writing was full of the yearning in my soul for a closer experience of God and eternity with a belief that to uplift and focus on beauty was essential to wholeness. In 1995, I painted a life-size version of my sister called ‘The Yearning’ taken from a study painting I did some months before my sister’s sudden death.

Dr Rosemary T McAuley - Sun Of God

Parting increased my spiritual desire and I was more in tune with the spirit afterlife. My prayer deepened and I was aware of the blue and white spirit lights around me and the blanket of snowfall at my sister’s funeral confirmed in my heart that great pain could give birth to great beauty reflected in nature. Christ has always been the sweet piercing sound in my heart and my beloved.

The God-given gift of art and poetry continued to be manifestations of my inner life of prayer expanding into ecstasy in my early 30’s where my teenage search for beauty blossomed into wide vision and deep transcendence in my soul as I swooned in love of God. I had the desire to annihilate myself for renewal of faith and a new age. As with so many, this branched with me into mental health suffering as I was overwhelmed and misunderstood  in my deep vision with an expansion of  the mind with infused knowledge and  traumatic experience.

Poetry then poured fourth as an expression of the dark night of suffering and pain like my poem ‘Nada’ (below) also of wonder, magic and universal love.  The supernatural life enthralled me and took me to closer union with God; my guides were the Carmelite saints like St Teresa of Avila as I explored the interior mansions she describes in ‘The Interior Castle’ as  spiritual life progresses. I has some spiritual guidance from Carmelite religious and eventually I spent memorable time living in with Carmelite nuns in a monastery in Tallow, Ireland.

Dr Rosemary T McAuley - The Yearning

I first wrote an article on ‘A Quest for Beauty’ for Catholic Life Magazine in September 2004, developing my writing over the years since. I  began to formulate a vision of a neo paganism branching into Christianity in the new age as in the early days when Druidism gave way to St Columba and Christianity in a very pure and fresh fusion of Celtic spirituality.

My later research formed in a ecstatic moment saw the crossover between the Celtic Renascence mystics and Spanish Carmelite mystics where pagan myth and belief fused into one path. My thesis focused on the brilliant visionary writings of William Sharp who wrote as Fiona Macleod and who influenced me immensely. I saw the contemplative life as gradually evolving in society in general. Through my doctoral studies I rediscovered the beauty, purity and inherent goodness in Christian art of the late 19th century and its ability to transform the inner life of the viewer.

I critically discussed the work of Edinburgh artist William Hole (1846-1917) whose book of paintings I discovered discarded at a jumble sale many years before. My belief grew in universality and unity of the many spiritual paths with universal love at the centre. My marriage to a Jewish man more recently has deepened my commitment to tolerance and respect for each others journey.  

I believe contemplation, direct mystical experience of God, and sensitivity to beauty will gradually deepen and purify our interior lives expressed in word, image, and music in a world purged by suffering to give a new tomorrow.

My latest poetry book,  ‘A Dreamer’s Consolation’; will be out shortly from Alba Publishing.

Nada
To see your weeping eyes
To feel your pain upon
That public post
The shame, the fear, the
Agony-

Oh! This dark night
When desert sands blind
Your vision and beat against
Your tired face
Cold comfort in your nakedness
Exposed to only your nothingness
Nada-your downing moan

Nada, Nada
Upon his empty stage you wait
Lost, broken, deserted
Point me north in this abyss
Soften my wounded heart
With gentle reminders of warmth.
From ‘The Cry of My Soul’

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Natalie Farrell

We are one.

Three very powerful words. What do these words mean to you? Do you believe them? Do they stir something deep inside your soul? Or does your body reject them? I most certainly had trouble believing this concept at the beginning of my spiritual journey but this is all part of the miraculous, step by step journey we take towards oneness. As we release ourselves from the binds of our past we step further each day into our “whole’  identity integrating all parts of ourselves to become one whole entity.

Who am I?

There we go again. Another powerful 3-word combination. I am Natalie. I am light. I am singer. I am divine. I am energy. I am woman. I am alive. I am writer. I am spiritual. This is my truth. But at 27 when I had my first spiritual awakening  the 3-word combinations coming out of my mouth were very different.

I was depressed. I was bulimic. I needed help. I was struggling. I was stuck. I was unhappy.

Lost Soul

At this point in my career, I was a singer and vocal coach. On paper, my life was looking really good. I had a property. I had money flowing into the bank. I had a lot of friends. I had opportunities. But inside. I was dying. I was suffocating. I hated myself. I hated the skin I lived in. And on the nights I was alone, I felt so lost. And on the days when I was in a room full of people, I also felt alone. Until one day I said to myself enough is enough and I surrendered and allowed myself time for a healing journey exploring all aspects of well-being including physical, psychological and metaphysical.

Natalie Farrell in the studio

When I think back on this period of my life, I see a small person, trapped within a multitude of constricting confines which controlled my attitudes to my body and my sense of self. Instead of looking inward, I was constantly focusing outwards and my inner critical parent was firmly in control. Any self-esteem I did have was drowned by behavioural traits and survival traits such as people pleasing, perfectionism, and self-judgement.

Quantum Leaps

At the age of 33, I quit my job and took time out for travelling and studied to be a yoga teacher.  I asked myself those 3-words who am I? I wanted to really get to know Natalie. What she wanted. What made her truly feel alive.

During this time, I overcame many small, but big challenges; managing my travel budget, meeting people I didn’t know, going to places where I had never been, driving on the other side of the road, walking across cities without a plan or a destination, adjusting to the huge, open spaces of Nevada and the contrasting busyness and claustrophobia of Rome. Being a lone traveller in Italy opened the path to conversations with strangers, inspired a new internal dialogue and thoughts and provided moments of mindfulness and self-indulgence. I had come from such a restrictive place, that I was opening myself up and changing, thinking, “I’m not the person I was, I feel differently now, and I feel the world’s a beautiful place.” 

This blend of self-discovery and self-devotion has offered me a depth of insights that at 27 I never knew was possible. Taking quantum leaps of faith has been a big part of the process. I took the time during my 30s to expand myself and my offerings. After leaving my vocal coaching business I became a well-being coach, yoga teacher and founder of an online yoga business called Yummy Yoga Girl guiding people to discover their true identities and find peace within themselves.

Quantum Shifts

In 2020 when the world came to a halt, the year of a new decade and my 40th birthday I was asked to be a radio presenter for Wellbeing Radio. I plunged into this adventure with my heart, body and soul. It was incredible.

Natalie Farrell by the swimming pool

I loved being part of the Well-being Radio family. Cosmic Soul Sunday show taught me about reciprocity, the beautiful exchange of giving and receiving for the highest good of all. I felt connected through this network of listeners and presenters. I began to fully embody the concept of wholeness.

During my time at the radio, connections began sprouting  for me. I met Nicola Humber who would later become the publisher for my first book. At last, I was  meeting soul-led business owners whose values and principles aligned with mine. As a result of this I was feeling safe to truly start to speak out loud, use my voice and explore the depths of my soul purpose and job here on planet Earth.

Voice Activation

Who am I? I am Natalie, a cosmic songbird with a passion for guiding people to tune into their innate wisdom, find sanctuary in their hearts and freedom in their souls. Through my work as a writer, author, and singer, I empower changemakers to push to their edges: to activate the power of their intuitive voice I use sound to break down barriers and uncover psychological trauma tears stored within the cells releasing it through the use of vibration, free singing, brainwave entrainment, frequency, coded music  and and to begin truly dancing with life.

Singing you into alignment

As a leader, and Soulpreneur, I embody all aspects of my raw, divine femininity while breaking conventions, creating change and paving the way for others to follow. My unique strength lies in my gentle, loving essence and intuitive, mystical powers which light the way for women to rise, awakening to their mastery and owning it fully.

The Essence

I’m a natural communicator with music, dance, creativity and colour flowing through my DNA, translating the light I see in the world into something tangible to amplify the human experience.

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” Eckhart Tolle,

On reflection, I am reminded of this quote by Eckhart Tolle, which profoundly impacted me at the age of 27. When I look back something deep inside of me knew that I had to ‘stand up’ and, metaphorically speaking; ‘throw open my wings and fly’ through those constricting confines programming from my life and programming from my ancestor’s life to fully wake up and be who I was born to be.

Today I take the path of least resistance daily. I love myself. I trust in my higher power. I am of service to others. I make conscious decisions to help the planet within my circle of influence. I boldly step each day into the unknown and trust the creations that come through me and the connections I make are all divinely planned in divine timing.

Natalie Farrell's book

Natalie Farrell is a leader in voice activation, intuitive sound healing and linguistic psychology. With an accomplished 20+ year background in singing, voice coaching, presenting, and writing her work with Soulpreneurs acts as a catalyst for profound transformation guiding them to be fully visible within their field of expertise. In 2021, she published her first book, ‘Light The Way’ a powerful companion for modern-day change makers who are ready to go all-in and approach business and life the unconventional way.

Natalie Farrell - Born to stand out

In 2022 Natalie’s debut album Born To Stand Out released on I-Tunes & Spotify: these sonic soundscapes create an immersive experience both emotionally and physically for the listener to remember & reclaim the power of their voice. Her mission: to release reverberant voices.

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Michael Baird

I am a drummer, composer, producer, field recordist, writer, photographer, and documentary film maker. I was born in what was then the British Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, since 1964 the Republic of Zambia.

Ohhh I had a carefree childhood, looked after by my African nanny who took me down the compound strapped on her back, music was omnipresent, part of everyday life, singing, clapping, drumming, the magical tinkling sound of the thumb-piano (now called ‘lamellophone’ by ethnomusicologists), xylophones.

And all that space – the bush was vast and unspoilt, the few roads largely unpaved. Until, aged six, I then had to go to school, and wear shoes. The school I went to was a ‘European’ school. My African friends went to an ‘African’ school, yes we got split up, and that reality hit hard: something deeply unfair was going on.

And to top it off, my parents always talked about ‘home’ being some far away place called England. But this was my home, the smell of the bush after the first rains, the sound of the birds and insects, the warmth of the people, with music for every occasion, fruits from the garden. From an early age I also listened to the colonial radio station, the likes of Harry Belafonte, Cliff Richard et al – I had my favourite songs – and then the Beatles took hold.

Out in the colonies it was if law and order was being challenged back in Britain, but I spent my saved-up pocket money managing to order the Beatles’ single ‘Twist and Shout’. And after about four months it arrived – in one piece!

Michael Baird drumming

After independence ‘repatriated’ to Britain aged 10, had to wear long trousers as well as a coat, and saw television. On ‘Top of the Pops’ for the first time saw the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, the Who performing – wow! I decided then and there I wanted to be the drummer.

And when a little later Jimi Hendrix came on the scene, for me there was then no turning back: I was going to become a musician! After a couple of years my father got a job with Philips Electronics and the family moved to Holland. Went through secondary school, doing what was expected of me, but I can tell you it was utterly clear to me that music was by far the most superior form of communication. Music is a reality unto itself, hearing is the most sensitive of the senses. I discovered modern jazz, Messiaen, Scriabin, music from India, Indonesia, Tibet, Japan, Brazil – I soaked it all up.

And yet I went along with the indoctrination that I should go to university ‘to enrich my mind’: after a short spell at Leicester University studying Philosophy, I ceased being a pleaser and I left, and became a professional musician aged 20.

In 1984 I started my first own group: Sharp Wood. Because I heard a kind of ‘modern primeval’ music in my head. I started composing. My African childhood had caught up with me – in fact it had never gone away! Sharp Wood became known for its ritualistic approach and exorcistic rhythms, the group existed for 10 years. The beat is interlocking, everything you play is part of that whole, it’s about timing and dynamics, it’s about togetherness.

This has become known as ‘ubuntu’, you become a person through other people – a very deep African philosophy. I have also come to realise that rhythm is not only a series of beats, but is equally a series of spaces between the beats, so the gaps are as important as the hits. What you leave out is as essential as what you include: music must be able to breathe.

Michael Baird - Resonance Vibration Frequencies

Yes I see myself as a spiritual person, but I don’t like religion, because I don’t like uniforms, I don’t like dogmas, because I don’t like censorship. We are all part of a whole, everything is interconnected, we are all family. There is clearly energy and all living things part of it. To my mind, that energy is eternal – it is outside of time. We are all spirits and each cosmic spark goes on forever. And music also seems never-ending, it is a healing force that is both liberating and comforting. I count my blessings every day.

In 1987 I started my own record label, SWP Records, which releases 1. my own music, 2. music from central, eastern, southern Africa, and 3. anything else that is forgotten and beautiful. It’s a lot of work, but at least I don’t have some halfwit producer constantly looking over my shoulder saying ‘Michael, if we change some things we’ll make more money’.

As far as my own music goes, in all humility, I hope you like it. I try to create what I hear, I try to be original and production-wise I want it to sound really good. Each new project is different, I try to avoid repeating myself. And over the years I have made many field recording trips in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho: if I know about some beautiful music, that is otherwise unknown, then I want to share it with you – even if that means going out and recording it myself.

About my new album ‘Resonance Vibration Frequencies’: performed with touché and intuition, I play metal instruments and objects, recorded using a special microphone technique capturing every last vibration. So yes, this is metal music, not ‘Heavy Metal’ but more like ‘Light Metal’! Perhaps more than ever before, my point of departure was my old axiom ‘first silence, then music’.

This certainly is not fast music, and when you slow down your pace of life, introspection tends to increase – generally a good thing. The sounds are pure, Tibet is never far away, and you will hear thumb-pianos in a brand new setting. This album is meditative music, but the nine tracks also form a suite that tells a story. All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating.

Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterised by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibration of various underlying fields.

Michael Baird instruments

An interesting phenomenon occurs when different vibrating things/processes come into proximity: they will often start, after a little time, to vibrate together at the same frequency. They ‘sync up’, sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious. Examining this phenomenon leads to potentially deep insights about the nature of consciousness and about the universe more generally.

All things resonate at certain frequencies. It’s all about vibrations. Let yourself become enveloped…

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Karen L French

Karen L French is a best selling author on sacred geometry, with widespread acclaim for popularising complex concepts and themes. An artist and game designer as well as an author, she utilises her knowledge in her own transformative artworks and designs. Through her books, art, games and talks, French enjoys sharing the inherent possibilities of numbers, shapes and colours to effect very personal changes in spirituality and self-development practices.

She has a Joint Honours degree in Mathematics & Management Sciences and an MSc in Management Sciences, both from the University of Manchester, UK. French has a life long passion for understanding and interpreting recurring patterns and symbolism. In her early career Karen spent many years in international marketing, during which time she was published on several occasions.

THE GATEWAY SERIES

Gateway to the Heavens and The Hidden Geometry of Life have become international classic texts. Central to each book in the Gateway Series is the Gateway, a geometric symbol comprising of the fundamental geometric shapes and principles. The Gateway can be used in a variety of ways to describe and explore our relationship physically and spiritually within perceived reality.

Karen L French - Gateway to the heavens

Throughout history humans have looked for order and patterns in our surroundings and the stars in our quest to understand our purpose in life. Over many generations humans have discovered that sacred geometry holds the key to the mysteries of the universe, both in science and spirituality.

Gateway to the Heavens: Spiritual messages hidden in the sacred geometry shaping reality

In Gateway to the Heavens Karen investigates these geometrical mysteries and explains the purposes of geometric shapes that are the unchanging, building blocks of reality, such as time and space. She reveals their hidden messages as ever-present signs and symbols that commune with our hearts and souls, guiding your spiritual pathway. She shows you how these have been consistently represented through numerous media across the Ages, in all cultures. Karen also teaches you how they have a direct bearing on you and why you are here. Also, why this knowledge can facilitate the expansion of your conscious awareness of reality.

The Hidden Geometry of Life: Alchemy of creation blending sacred geometry, light, sound, the elements & intent

Delve into the creative process, into the heart of existence and its composition of geometry, energy of light, vibrant colours, and the Classical Elements of water, fire, earth and air. Wonder at how nature exploits all these things in her myriad of creations. Discover how sound carries the geometric code in its waves of vibration that activate, energise and change as it moves through all of Her creations.

When light, sound and the Classical Elements are incorporated into the Gateway to the Heavens the vibrant Gateway to Becoming model is established, summarising the alchemical creative process. When imbued with intent the latent power of this model is formidable.

Karen L French - The hidden geometry of life

This knowledge of the alchemical creative process has been known about and harnessed down the Ages. Our ancestors understood the powerful effects gained with the use of specific intent in their spiritual creative practices, such as temple design, use of mandalas, magical sigils, design of fetishes and even body art.

Our ability to be creative is a truly incredible faculty. So is our resourcefulness as we employ the myriad of Nature’s materials around us in our own resourceful endeavours. Our creativity as a science blended with spirituality invokes the alchemical fusion of materials, light, sound, mathematics, symbolism and the power of intent to produce living works of art.

Further books in The Gateway Series will be following soon. They will provide potent applications that utilise the summary content of these first two primary texts.

Find Karen L French’s books on Amazon, The Great British Bookshop, Waterstones, via good book shops, as eBooks and from Karen’s website.

TRANSFORMATIVE ART

When creating her artwork Karen clears her mind, even meditating, before selecting a canvas and materials. Every piece has an element of order and chaos to it, but these are not predetermined. Colours choose themselves as the work progresses. Using mixed media and specific materials, such as ground crystals or metallic leaf, includes an additional layer of vitality. Sacred geometry always features and provides the main message of the piece, while the colours indicate emotions or aspects of the human experience the geometry relates to. Karen also draws geometric symbols and light language on the back of the artwork to activate it.

Karen’s intention is to convey the effect of transformative alchemy using spiritual art for a personal perceptual experience. This art is an alchemical mix, where the intent, process, tools, materials and symbolism are essential ingredients of the overall piece. Much like yantras and mandalas Karen’s pieces are tools for connecting into with your Mind for receiving healing, guidance and inspiration. Transformative alchemical art can even change the viewer in some way, physically, subconsciously, or emotionally. Through symbolism the timeless, boundless and formless are made concrete as images to explore reality.

You can view Karen’s art in her galleries on her websites.

Message Karen directly if you are interested in buying her original artwork.

Cards and prints can be bought via her website or from ThumbNail Media.

Karen L French montage

GAMES

Karen L French has created several board and card games based on sacred geometry and symbolism, both for spiritual practice and also traditional family fun. Her first one is being released in the Spring 2024 with Liminal 11 publishing. More will follow.

Since 2008 Karen has travelled extensively in the UK and parts of the USA, promoting my books and art through various events, talks, workshops, TV/ radio interviews and articles, etc. As geometry and symbolism is embedded in every culture and discipline she is privileged to meet a wide cross- section of people.

Thank you to everyone for your support of my work over the years. It is really appreciated!

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Désirée Ickerodt

Désirée Ickerodt is a German filmmaker living in London. Her creative journey started at the age of four when her mother enrolled her in her first painting class. Most of the children were older, and she was the youngest. She was told to paint a fish. At the time, she was not quite sure what a fish was other than that it was probably some animal. So, she used her imagination, and the result looked more like a sea monster.

Since childhood, Désirée has been sensitive to other people’s energies. Whenever she shared her impressions with the adults, they told her it was just her imagination. This led her to believe that her intuition was not a reliable source of information and that imagination was not necessarily a good thing. So, when she had to choose a career path after finishing school, she chose a more down-to-earth profession as a translator.

After finishing her translation degree, she moved to London. Living in London enabled her to explore her spirituality once more. She explored different healing techniques, such as Reiki, crystal healing and sound healing, and was professionally trained in them. She attended many spiritual talks, seminars, and meditations. Years went by, during which she felt that something was still missing. Finally, she decided to study Fine Art.

Désirée Ickerodt - What happens when we die

During her degree course, she started out by working on sculptures and enjoyed it immensely, but it did not come naturally to her. It was too physical. Her penchant towards the ethereal came back. Her tendency to lean towards the imaginable and intuitive side of life re-emerged. At some point, she purchased a tablet and started playing around with it, allowing creativity to take its unpredictable course. She started filming using her tablet despite its low resolution. It was a playful way of connecting with the medium of film. Her tablet also had a simple video editing app. So, her first film came about all by itself. She had not planned to make a film but could not stop once she started. Filmmaking was addictive in a good way. So, she decided to switch her study focus from sculpture to the more ethereal medium of film.

She finished her degree at the University of East London in 2014 with a BA in Fine Art. In her degree show, she screened a short film inspired by a theosophical writing called The Proem. It describes how everything comes into being and then goes back to sleep. The film Crossing the Horizon (2014) is a visual meditative short film about the beginning and end of the universe. The audio for this film is a recording of an Aeolian harp, a string instrument played by the wind.

Since then, Désirée has worked independently on short films about life, truth, death, and happiness. For this short film series, she interviewed several people from different walks of life, asking them questions, such as, What Matters Most To You?, What Is Life All About? and What Is Happiness? In her award-winning short film What Happens When We Die?, the interviewees are trying to answer the ultimate question. For some people, death is the end, but for some, it is just the beginning of a new journey. Désirée is very interested in the survival of consciousness after the body's demise.

Désirée Ickerodt - Death, light and time

In April 2019, Désirée underwent a past-life regression based on the QHHT method (Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique) developed by Dolores Cannon. These sessions can last about three hours. The session’s audio was recorded and featured in her short film Death, Light and Time. This hypnotic regression method involves connecting with the Higher Self, which knows all the different lives an individual has lived. Before the beginning of the session the therapist asked Désirée if she had any questions for her Higher Self so that they could be asked during the session. Désirée wanted to know how time worked and what time really was. During the session, Desiree was guided to three lifetimes: one as an ant being, one as a member of a secret sect and a third one that was not even an incarnation. Under hypnosis, she describes the moment of death in previous lifetimes, how she experienced a bodiless stage and how her Higher Self understands the concept of time. The film and its background are further discussed in the video Discussing Death, Light and Time on Désirée’s YouTube channel.

Désirée enjoys being involved in all aspects of filmmaking as it is such a metaphor for reality. When we consciously experience moments in our lives and ‘film’ them with awareness, we grow and evolve into more integrated individuals. We are the actors of our lives; we also record and film the scenes of our lives and are, as such, our own camera operators. When we are reminiscing, we usually only remember certain scenes, and as such, we are the editors of our own life stories. Sometimes, we project into the future and plan ahead, so one could argue that we are also storyboarding and scriptwriting our lives. Of course, we are also the directors and producers of our lives. We have, in fact, a complete film crew within ourselves.

When Désirée first learned to edit films, she found it very cathartic. It can be a very intense process if you go into the minuteness of it. Sometimes, it feels like entering the quantum structure of reality. The editing process does something to the editor. For Désirée, it made her more aware of how she edited her own life. Which scenes do not make it into the film? Which events are not stored in our memory? The so-called Deleted Scenes often end up in our subconscious. But they are still there. They never fully go away.

Désirée has been travelling to the Scottish islands for the last few years. In her atmospheric short films, she captured the energy of the rugged landscape of the remote locations she visited. In November 2023, she produced a few short films on Shetland. Since returning to London, she has been focusing on rediscovering the beauty in urban London in her short videos filmed at dusk and dawn over the river Thames. She maintains a positive outlook through a curious spirit of discovery that leads her to see beauty in ordinary life.

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Charlotte Mabon

My early childhood was spent on the outskirts of a small Suffolk town playing ‘famous five’ with my 2 elder brothers and losing myself in the small scrubby copse of trees opposite our house. I was a quick learner so aged 8, my parents sent me to an academic girls’ school in Cambridge, 30 miles away from my home. I remember feeling like a wild animal taken into captivity for the first time; looking around for a kindred scruffy child in the sea of girls with long plaits, white socks and neat pinafore dresses. I was a complete misfit and in the 8 years of being there, I never overcame this feeling.

I was an early developer and was thrown into an adult world aged 11 after being sought out by an elder teenager who left me with a deep wound and a secret to hold that estranged me even more from my peers. School became an oppressive endurance test and I was sent many times to the headteacher often for reasons unknown to me. I became a ‘problem’ pupil for my difference and the girls around me started to whisper. I had a choice of denying or living up to my reputation so I went with the latter and threw myself into edgy situations; jumping trains to London, shoplifting as a habit and seeking out people living outside society’s norms; the goths and park-bench dwellers of early 90’s Cambridge.

My parents separated, school eventually finished and then out of the blue, I received a cheque in the post; a gift from a deceased relative. 19 years old, I bought a ticket to India and emerged from Calcutta airport to the heat, the smells of spice and rubbish, the traffic mayhem and was enraptured. After 3 weeks of walking the city, I booked myself into a Vipassana retreat in Bodhgaya. Having felt alienated in the ‘human’ world I had grown up in, my longing for spirit and the spiritual life was burning in me. I emerged after 10 days of silence, shaved my head and soft as a baby, I travelled to Varanasi, threw myself into yoga and bought a guitar.

Charlotte Mabon

I met a beautiful singer, Katya Moslehner, who was studying classical Indian music in Varanasi and together we travelled to an uninhabited Andaman Island and spent our days bathing in the ocean, gazing at the milky way and singing with her shruti box. It was the first time I had explored my voice or come to know singing as meditation. We parted ways and I found myself alone again travelling to North India. Having been so saturated in the heat and headiness of the India I had come to love, this last part of my journey brought up some deep and familiar feelings of loneliness. My guitar became my loyal companion in this time. I’d hide myself away in concrete guesthouse rooms and tentatively pick out the chords and (quietly quietly) sing.

After 6 months in India, I returned to the UK to study philosophy and literature but was itching to continue travelling. At every opportunity I took off and one summer break I found a tipi community in the mountains in Spain. I deferred my degree studies and spent 2 years immersed in the simple life; growing food, walking barefoot on the earth, bathing in spring pools and singing round the big lodge fire. I learnt many things in this time – how to live in deep connection with the earth, how to find sacredness in simplicity – but I still found it hard to trust people and feel a sense of belonging. One warm spring day whilst walking by a shrubby hedge of hawthorn and brambles, I felt a rekindling of love of my homeland and a desire to return there and pick up the broken pieces of the self I’d left behind.

That time came around after hearing about such a thing as plant medicine ceremonies. I returned to the UK and, armed with my guitar and a small bag of clothes, I took a train from Cambridge down to Penzance and stepped into a whole new chapter of my life. The plants showed me a path on which I could gather up the many fragmented parts of my youth and become whole. I followed the medicine path to Japan, Spain, Italy, Austria, and with my new husband, to South America to deepen our study of the plants and the healing power of song. Together, we crewed on a four-man sailing boat across the Atlantic and it was under the wide starry skies that I began to hear my own songs.

Charlotte Mabon Anjali Orchestra

I returned to my community in the UK with the beginnings of my first collection of songs, tied together in a little book called ‘Song of the Earth’. The songs were warmly received and went on to travel far and wide through the network of medicine ceremonies. I took my music out into the wider world for the first time, performing a series of concerts with the Anjali Orchestra – a band of 8 musicians of sacred music. As this period of intense ceremonial work came to an end in 2010, my husband and I returned to India to find our way home within ourselves again and continue the study I had discovered through my friend many years before; Naad yoga.

This trip was a profound time of rebirth for me and I returned in 2011 to begin a new life in West Wales and become a mother for the first time. It is impossible to convey the depth and scale of the changes that parenting brings but the subsequent 12 years of raising 2 children and establishing a home have been an intense process of unmaking and remaking my relationship with music and its mysterious source. Having landed back where we started, in South Devon where we remain today, I have finally entered into a period of more time and space in which I can start recording my music.

“Of Grief and Gratitude”, my 3-song debut EP was released in the spring of 2022. Inspired by the death of a young friend, it is an intimate, heartfelt musical and videographic journey through grief, confusion, hope and the promise of coming home to who we truly are.

The process of recording these songs was wonderful in many ways and a steep learning curve in the sonic arts. Realising that I do know exactly what I want is one thing, but learning how to articulate that in musical language was another. Producer Misha Mullov-Abbado was a great support - translating my slightly cryptic language into musical forms in which my songs could fully come to life.

Charlotte Mabon Across The Veil

It was a delight to discover that on the other hand, I felt entirely at home in the world of visual art and videography. I received a vision for my film ‘Across the Veil’, whilst lying awake one night. Knowing it would be quite a videographic feat I sought out the filmmaker Kai Ohio and worked closely with him on the shoot and through the edit to completion. My heart was full to bursting when it received 20k views on Facebook in the first few days of its release and it has steadily built on YouTube since. I have been deeply touched by the messages I have received from all around the world from people that have lost loved ones, thanking me for the healing they’ve received through this song.

Since then I have released various self-made videos including one for my song “All is Love” using rough footage taken by my husband on our ocean crossing and through Brazil. I am now working with various other artists as a creative director on their music videos – not something I planned but it’s work I love!

I am also now co-producing and recording a full-length album of songs. The songs articulate my journey as a spiritual being born into the madness and chaos of this modern world. Inevitably, at the heart of that are my feelings as a mother looking forward into this uncertain future, loving beyond measure my children and having to hold a place of faith for them despite the overwhelming despair that I feel when I witness the demise of our natural world.

My songs provide me with compass for living - lyrically and melodically guiding me forwards and keep the torch of belief alight. They tell me; keep singing, keep praying and keep loving this incredible earth that we live upon. If others can also receive this wisdom through my musical legacy, then I’ll die having completed what I came here for!

I plan to release this first album in the spring of 2024 and will be launching a crowd-funding campaign in the Autumn 2023 to fund its creation. Crowdfunding is one of the unexpected gifts emerging from the technological change affecting musicians. In contrast to the digital distribution giants (Spotify, Tunecore etc.) it’s very real way for people who love music to support its creation and offer something to the artists who inspire them.

If you’d like to see my work and follow my journey, find me on the links below.

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Yolanda Barker

Yolanda Barker is an Irish-Polish film director, author and mental health advocate. She’s directed award-winning documentaries like ‘Cereal Killers’.

Born in Limerick city to an Irish father and Polish mother, her film making aspirations began at the age of eight, when she saw ‘The Little Mermaid’, and promptly decided she wanted to make films for Walt Disney.

In her teens, through a deepening understanding of her own mental health struggles, she became drawn to films that captured both the magic and the horror of life, like Roberto Benigni’s ‘Life is Beautiful’.

After moving to Dublin, she studied English Literature at University, and followed this with a one year filmmaking course. Here, she was introduced to the beauty of documentary filmmaking. Inspired by the work of documentary masters like Leo Regan and Nick Broomfield, she saw in documentary the potential to investigate and understand human nature.

After graduating, she immediately got a job as an editor, working for clients like Guinness and Jameson. In her spare time, she directed and edited her first feature documentary, ‘Drawing the Line’, about Irish graffiti artists.

Yolanda Barker Cereal Killers

In 2005, a (very unexpected) spiritual awakening changed the course of her life. She began exploring energy healing, yoga and meditation, but it was hard to get the information she wanted. Spiritual practices were very ”alternative” in Ireland at that time, and the internet was not that developed. She continued to work as an editor in Dublin, transitioning to TV and eventually working for R.T.E (the Irish equivalent of the BBC).

After a few years, she burnt out from full time work. She decided to go freelance, travel to India, immerse herself in spirituality, and make a documentary about what she found. She had no idea what she was letting herself in for, or how difficult it would be to make a nuanced film on such a complex topic. 12 years later, the result was ‘India, Calling’: a dark, yet beautiful film about spirituality, healing, and the human condition.

Agonising over ‘India, Calling’ didn’t stop Yolanda from working on other projects. In 2009 she moved to London, UK, and from 2011 to 2020 she directed five more documentaries. Produced by Donal O’Neil, these films focused on different aspects of nutritional science, the food industry, big pharma, and were more activist in nature. Titles included ‘Cereal Killers’, ‘Cereal Killers 2’, ‘The Big Fat Fix’, and ‘Extra Time’.

Yolanda Barker

She also directed several short films and short animations. Her most successful of these was ‘After I Saw You’, made with Leah Pearlman, the artist behind the Buddhist comic strip, Dharma Comics. This two minute animation went viral upon release, featuring in dozens of online publications. It made it to film festivals all over the world, including the Oscar-qualifying Encounters Film Festival, and won the ‘Producer’s Choice’ award at the Earl’s Court Film Festival.

Alongside all this, Yolanda continued practising yoga and meditation. In 2011 she qualified as a yoga teacher, and began teaching. Her experiences with yoga, meditation and breathwork became the substance for her first health and wellness book, ‘The Breathing Revolution’. Here, she looked at the connection between breathing, the nervous system and mental health.

This was her most personal work to date, as she shared openly about her struggles with anxiety and depression. Since then she has become a mental health advocate, giving talks about mental health and the benefits of breathing techniques both at online and in-person events. She is particularly interested in breaking stigmas around mental health conditions and has written about this in publications like Elephant Journal.

Yolanda is currently co-writing a TV series with actor Shaun Amos, which she will also direct. She’s directing a new documentary called ‘First, Do No Pharm’, an exposé on the pharmaceutical industry. She’s also writing a new book: a novel about generational trauma.

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David Kingston

It’s clear now that my journey with music and spirituality began as a teenager perceiving profundity in the lyrics of my then favourite artists … with my readily pedestalling them as great seers imparting some sort of transcendent knowledge and wisdom via their songs. To my friends, I used say ‘the answer’s in the music’. The challenge for us mortals was to get beyond the layers of lyrical ambiguity … for then we would surely access all those deeper meanings. Growing up in Somerset in the mid-70s, I had my head in the clouds. But the seed of an idea had taken root.

While still at school I formed a band with class mates. ‘Early Daze’ - a nod to a Jimi Hendrix song - we called it. We practiced and played cover-songs, interspersed with a few of our own compositions, and later performed to meagre audiences in local pubs and village halls, and of course dreamt of making it. In writing those early songs, I discovered I instinctively knew how to work my melodies and chord sequences. I’d had no musical training, but somehow it all seemed to make complete sense from the outset. The music was flowing, the songs where coming … then I took a bit of a left turn.

My brother Cliff had come home with a LP and a book. Some guy on the street in Minehead had sold it to him saying something about helping people for something or other. Not sure what. The book ‘The Science of Self Realisation’ waited on a shelf in our bedroom for a year or so, then it pounced.

Long and short, the book was a collection of lecture-transcripts and interviews with the founder of the Hare Krishna movement – the Guru, who I later found out had passed away several years previously. The subject matter was alien to me, but I felt intrigued enough to take a bus trip to London with my sister Dawn, to visit their new temple on Soho Street.

I can only describe my then experience of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for the first time as an uncovering of something deeply familiar. It was like a resurfacing of a long-buried memory. A coming home. An awakening. I immediately knew this is for me, and within a year I had become a vegetarian, handed in notice to my West Somerset District Council job, given away my guitars and amplifier, shaved my head and joined the movement. I was twenty-one. I found myself living in an old Hertfordshire mock-Tudor mansion-come-temple in the village of Letchmore Heath. The one that George Harrison had donated a few years prior. It was the beginning of a great, often varied, sometimes troubled, adventure that absorbed my enthusiasm for the next fifteen years.

David Kingston Hare Krishna

During those years my musical interest was expressed through playing traditional Indian instruments. The clay mridanga drum, the kartal hand cymbals, the harmonium reed organ, and a little dabbling on the sitar. During one kirtan (group mantra chanting) a friend leaned over and said ‘you nitch an mean ivory’ to my slightly inappropriate rasābhāsa rock-n-roll chord progressions on the harmonium. A sign that change was afoot perhaps?

After eight years as a celibate novice (seriously), I got married (yes, that was allowed), and along with children naturally came the need to make a living. So I moved outside the temple, and around this time guitars re-entered my life and I soon resumed song-writing and home-recording. Was I falling away from the pure path? Maybe some judged that I was. I didn’t feel so. Indeed, my fascination with eastern philosophy, and especially the Bhagavad-gita not only remained, but broadened and continued to grow.

Over the coming years I gradually developed a more personalised brand of spirituality, with differences in areas of focus and emphasis to those front-stage in Hare Krishna movement. For example, whereas the movement might characterise this world as primarily a place of misery wherein fallen souls are trapped by karma into a cycle of repeated birth and death, I increasingly preferred to see it as a place where divinity is being expressed and explored by everyone in ways of their own choosing, and I imagined that in so doing we all contribute and serve the completeness of the divine. Even in the dark stuff. Somehow.

David Kingston Reaching Back From The Afterlife

Fast forward to the 2020s and my song-writing has gathered momentum to the point of 50+ songs annually. And though my do-it-yourself recordings lack a certain professional sheen, they are intimate, and 99% centred on spiritual subject matters. Sometimes in the form of imagined dialogue with God; sometimes about my striving to celebrate the divinity in all life beyond cultural, political, religious, and species divides; sometime asking hard ‘why’ questions, facing doubt, or pondering apparent philosophical tensions, for example as in karma vs self-divinity, or fallen soul vs sacred collaboration. I routinely rise by 5am and do an awe-ful lot of thinking before the day begins. This means there’s never any shortage of material for my lyrics. For me there exists always the chance for a perfect marriage between soul and mind wherever self-expression is genuine and uncontrived, and this is my endeavour. To my mind that’s the potential beauty of the singer-songwriter genre. Its less about entertainment and more about connection, conversation and relationship with a listener. Some say it has a certain type of purity to it.

Having grown up in the 70s, and with one foot always firmly in the 60s, my musical influences are primarily of that era. Mine is thus a mixture of soft-rock, mellow, acoustic, Beatle-esque, with an occasional smattering of rock-n-roll angst. In spite of this my hope is that through my songs I can connect with people who find something spiritually positive in my offerings. Perhaps something that mirrors existing values and/or outlook, or even something that inspires a listener in their own spiritual journey, or provokes a new positive way of looking at our place in the bigger scheme of things. Or perhaps something that simply helps a spiritual person feel they are less alone in a material world.

HEAR DAVID'S TRACKS

Reflecting on my experience of inexplicable familiarity upon contact with mantra chanting, and my never-learned yet ready-knowledge of melody and chords, I now see all such things as simple resumption of past life cultivations. To me reincarnation persuasively explains many things. All it takes is a timely trigger to bring past passions rushing back to the surface of conscious awareness. To resume, so to speak, from where one last left off. Of course, I’m not saying it’s proven … just it makes sense to me personally.

Has the seed of my teenage wishful thinking now born fruit? Did I become one of those imagined musical seers of my youth? Probably not. After all I’m just a fallible person with a fleeting point of view, looking at something very big and perhaps from time to time some appreciating a very small aspect, as seen from where I presently stand.

Perhaps my music is your cup of tea? I hope so.

All the best
David

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Eva Abraham

Eva Abraham - Voice, sound vibration healer, songwriter, musician, producer…

Eva, a North Londoner born and bred to eastern European parents. Her Mother of Polish decent and her Father Hungarian decent, was naturally brought up a catholic.

Although not ‘religious’, Eva has definitely always been ’Spiritual’ and drawn to the spiritual life, even if she wasn’t aware of the fact until her early 20’s.

In truth, as a child she couldn’t understand why anyone would ever want to become a priest or nun. To her it seemed a very lonely, stark existence.

During one Sunday mass at a very young age Eva asked her Mum “why do people decide to become priests or nun’s?” her Mum replied “God calls them” to which her literal childs mind took her to a white dial telephone hanging on the church wall ringing and thought “I really hope God doesn’t ring me up!”

In retrospect, Eva has spent much of her life denying her calling because although not a priest or nun of any religion, she is very much a vessel for Spirit, a channel for healing.

Indeed, from day one, Eva has been told her voice makes people cry and sends shivers down their spine, something she initially thought negative and flawed, but soon realised this as a real compliment and a great confirmation of her talent.

The solitary life was always calling, but her upbringing and subsequent fear meant Eva was always looking for herself in another to complete her, to fulfil her.

There was always a yearning - a huge pull and conflict going on inside that has healed and been understood over time through her Music and Spiritual practice.

As a single person these past 12 years, Eva has found she can fully focus and dedicate her life to Spirit absolutely through music and sound.

So the beginning of it all….

The old cliché of hairbrush in-front of the mirror, standing on the coffee table singing to her toys absolutely applies here!

Eva knew she wanted to sing for as long as she can remember. She would sit at the piano making up songs and melodies, sounds, and tears would spring to her eyes, something which she now knows as Spirit coming through and moving her young Soul.

Eva would be singing constantly, asking family members to sing so she could harmonise, but sadly more often than not, she was told to be quiet. So Eva would find herself harmonising with the washing machine, or any engine that happened to make a sound!

Eva and her brother Andy began piano lessons from the age of seven, but it was the acoustic guitar she really yearned to play, so she could easily sing and accompany herself, but her parents couldn’t afford both and figured the piano to be the best option.

Her voice was always and still is her first instrument however.

For her 13th birthday, Eva’s parents bought a portable TV radio cassette player which she loved and could now record all her favourite songs straight from the radio and also the TV - everything from Calamity Jane to the 7 up ad (which she can still sing for you if you ask nicely!)

Through this, Eva figured out a very crude but effective way to overdub her voice by using both the house stereo with her new portable combo and two cassettes, harmonising to her hearts content!
And so began her interest in sound recording and production.

Eva Abraham

Age 16, with school friend Simon accompanying on piano, the two played many church cabarets where Eva met keyboard player and musician Andrew. A few functions later they landed a residency at the legendary Greedy Grape! A tiny cellar in East Barnet.

They had great fun spanning the gamut of genres, from musicals to folk to jazz standards and beyond, often morphing two completely opposite styles at the drop of a hat much to the amusement of the audience.

Slowly Eva began to write her own songs and eventually plucked up the courage to place an ad in Melody Maker and NME (remember when we used to do that?) as a session singer! A few very iffy sessions later, Eva met a group of likeminded musicians, and they formed the band ‘A Girl Called James’.

It was whilst in AGCJ, Eva was given her first acoustic guitar at 20. She quickly learned three chords, wrote her first song, and performed it in the middle of an AGCJ set at the George Robey no less!

However, it was the song ‘Poison Patchwork’ about the environment was the real start to her songwriting.

From day one, a thread of spiritual consciousness began to emerge from her work, even if Eva was not conscious of it herself.

Her songs, of course, were a way of processing, expressing and understanding her thoughts, emotions, conflicts and everything in the world was good when she had written a new song no matter what was going on around her. She had found her sanctuary, a safe place to heal and decipher.

Eva began playing solo gigs when AGCJ came to an end fairly quickly, playing the mean fiddler acoustic room regularly and also the acoustic scene of the time, namely Bunjies and The Troubadour amongst others. Musicians seemed to gravitate to her, which was very natural and a great confirmation, so soon came Eva’s own first band Eva-lution.

Eva-lution played all the London venues of the time from Dingwall's, Ronnie Scotts, Jazz cafe right through to The Dublin castle. They gained a nice following toured the UK and recorded three albums on their own label Sunflower records.

In 1997, there came a huge shock, when Eva-lution’s guitarist and close friend Jim Thomas became ill and in December of that same year was diagnosed with leukaemia. He was admitted to hospital and sadly died 15 weeks later. He was 28.

This shook Eva tremendously and for a time wished she could join Jim wherever he was.

Needing to feel closer to him, and with the help and guidance of her late Auntie Kasia through Angels, meditation and development groups, she turned more deeply towards the metaphysical realms. Finding Kundalini yoga, runes, tarot, dreaming and journeying, past life regression, life after death, astral projection, all areas of great interest, magic, enlightenment and peace.

A close friend introduced her to the work of Carlos Casteneda just after Jim passed, and without even trying, Eva was dreaming and found herself journeying to meet him. Eva would look forward to going to sleep each night because she knew another adventure awaited her.

Eva Abraham - Shadow Gazing

This helped heal and so fuelled her first solo album “Shadow Gazing”.

A time of great reflection and an opening into something Eva always felt but never really understood how to access. As time went on, Eva realised she had been shown a glimpse into something immense, something awesome, which she then had to go away and fully learn over time in order to understand access and achieve such states. She now was absolutely on the path!

“Shadow Gazing” made it through a failed record deal with short lived record company ‘City Rockers’ and was eventually released on Big Chill Recordings, to critical acclaim.

Eva continued writing songs and the spiritual thread was becoming ever more apparent. She presented Big Chill recordings with her new collection of songs who found it ‘too Spiritual’ for the label at that time.

Taking this very much to heart, Eva began to write in a way she thought might be more more acceptable, which of course never works, so for a time Eva felt very lost and unsure of her direction.

Listening to others ideas and opinions of what one should do, and how one should be, is never a good idea. However, the whole process was driving Eva further inward towards getting to know her true self, her true voice and sound. So honing her natural gifts, with her music and spirituality going hand in hand side by side always, Eva now needed to find the courage to begin really blending them together.

In late 2005 Eva experienced a fatal burst appendix and peritonitis. She very nearly died, but has no doubt that her Kundalini practice, mantra and meditation saved her by giving her the physical, mental and spiritual strength to realise she wasn’t leaving this way, as she had way more still to do!

Two years later, Eva was diagnosed with Lymphoma. With that knowledge, she became brave enough to admit she had been sadly unhappy in her marriage of 15 years, having come face to face with her mortality more than once, now she knew she had to leave.

In Jan 2011, it became necessary for Eva to undergo chemotherapy. By this time, she was in a very tumultuous, difficult and damaging relationship, which Eva describes as “harder than any illness or treatment I’ve ever had!” However, through all of this Eva never stopped making music. On the contrary, it was her lifeline, and she produced more music than ever, recording and releasing her album “Cold Light” and also writing music for film. Even if she felt, to quote the great Stevie Wonder, “where is my Spirit? I’m nowhere near it”, spirit was always by her side, gently guiding, teaching and inspiring.

Another blow came in Jan 2012 when Eva lost her beloved Auntie Kasia. She had been present as her Auntie passed, along with her two cousins. This was a beautiful, sad and deeply profound privilege for Eva that brought a tremendous insight into her work with spirit.

Soon after, her difficult relationship ended, as it had become intolerable for Eva. A hideous traumatic affair that rendered her mentally and emotionally broken. Awful as is was, she knew she had done the right thing because she had finally freed herself not just from that relationship but all past relationships and could now give her full attention to the relationship with herself and the Divine in a way she was unable to before…true freedom for Eva!

Eva Abraham - Songs For A New Earth

In such a desperate state, Eva found a medium close by who was able to help her initially then later referred her to a therapist who just so happened to be connected to a Spiritualist church, The London Spiritual Mission, in Notting Hill.

Completely unaware of the serendipitous nature of these events, Eva had stumbled across a new world where she would meet many other likeminded people. Eva began to sit in development circles, deepening and expanding her practice and understanding of spirit.

Under the tutelage, love and support of Trance medium Doreen Quinnell, Eva began to develop trance using her voice and sound. The blending of Music and Spirit was fully awakening into consciousness.

Combining voice with crystal bowls, drum and acoustic guitar, Eva currently leads sound healing workshops. She also collaborates with yoga teachers holding wellness retreats, studying sound therapy and the Shamanic way of life.

Sitting with Spirit in trance meditation, Eva finds that a language comes through her - perhaps a light language or an ancient voice before language existed? She does not question this but allows, and has learned to trust - which isn’t always so easy! As she blends daily with her development, which has so far been a very solitary and private process, she is being guided more and more to share the healing qualities and effects this carries.

Her most recent album “Songs For A New Earth”, released in March 2023 is solely her own work from beginning to end, and it is a fine example of that. Eva describes it as a huge learning curve, a labour of love that has lightened and enlightened her soul. “It is a massive achievement for me, and I am very proud of it”. To read the full story for SFANE click here.

Eva is looking forward to what's next. An album of healing voice and sounds, with crystal bowls. Another album of songs, simply voice, acoustic guitar and minimal harmonies. An album of devotional songs. Developing a new way to perform so that gigs/concerts are more than just performances. The idea is to bring a deeper more inclusive, immersive healing experience to the audience.

And finally…Eva plans to train as a celebrant, so all her skills and gifts are used to celebrate and hold space for life's most sacred occasions.

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Allie Joy

Hi everyone, I'm Allie Joy, I'm an artist, entrepreneur, and creative producer. I'm going to share with you about how I ended up writing this article with you today.

It began with two qualities that I have nurtured from the start of my career, which are following my curiosity and walking with courage.

I remember sitting in my college library trying to write my university statement. I couldn’t refine what I wanted to do as I had an interest in science, art and the English language. I was trying to write one statement to study three different degrees! In the end I decided to study art, because my logic led me to realise art gave me the freedom to research and incorporate other subjects, hence why I found my path in creative technology with a conceptual interest in psychology with a mission for wellbeing.

Very quickly, in university I gravitated towards moving image (video) as my medium, using performance and installation as further components to strengthen the concept and exploration for metaphors about human nature.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”.

A common artist's mission is how to make the unseen seen, the invisible visible. This is a common driving force for an artist, each expressed in their own unique way. My way to express this was through a variety of creative technologies and using nature as my muse for understanding the abstract nature of behaviour. This rollercoaster ride of conceptual thrills has led me to many interesting projects and to work with some amazing people.

So how did my journey develop from where I was to here today?

A lot of the work I exhibited was video projection installations, this took me to festivals and theatres, however I quickly understood that this was more of a technical than creative role. It was close but not satisfying enough as a career. My search continued…

Allie Joy Syntropy Logo

Then, I was a part of a workshop where we got to build a 3D printer with a Korean artist duo, one of these kits you can buy from eBay. I met a mental health nurse who was a part of the group and we got talking, networking and she invited me to deliver a series of workshops at the Sue Ryder Leckahmpton hospice she was working for.

The project was called 'Pocket of Laughter', it was my first experience with palliative care and my first time using the 3D printer within a project. Anyway, they invited a bunch of artists with different skill sets to make with the patients, so I decided that I wanted to turn someone’s sound bite into a 3d printed soundwave that was unique to the individual that their loved ones could keep. We had a brilliant time, patients sang songs, said their favourite phrase, others messages of love. This way of working with technology for me really complimented my constant curiosity for how to make the unseen seen, and how expressing this through technology can allow us to better understand, experience and manage emotions.

“Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. Art is the aesthetic ordering of experience to express meanings in symbolic terms, and the reordering of nature--the qualities of space and time--in new perceptual and material form.”

I kept going down the rabbit hole to define and refine the purest way for me to create a sanctuary for the viewer to experience positive emotion and I landed in shapes and colour - the building blocks of perception and the fundamentals of abstract art. This journey also landed me at the heart - how can I visualize and interpret heart data, what part of heart data is important for this research, I found it was Heart Rate Variability. Once I knew this was the data I wanted to express, this is where I found my business partner and co-founder of Syntropy States, Gavin Andrews. Gavin is the managing director of Heartmath UK&IRL, they research into heart rate variability and a psychophysiological state called coherence, “Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation,” that can be induced through a heart-focused breathing meditation that we use with the Syntropy breathe videos. After much conversation, research and creation we decided to create the app Syntropy - a digital platform where we could bring our experience and expertise together. Making mindfulness a quick and effective part of the day, when your head is too busy to ‘empty’ your mind like traditional meditation. This is because abstract art bypasses the meaning-making part of the mind, and does not engage in associative thinking, unlike the real objects and items we see, abstract art is free of these boundaries and limitations. It activates the visual cortex of the brain. The artwork below is an example of one of the videos stored in the app that aids in relaxation. We also hold a further two functions, Elevate and Breathe. I got to work designing and building the app and entered the world of business.

Allie Joy Syntropy Ad

It's been nearly 2 years since we launched the Syntropy app and began our work collaborating with international artists and musicians who shared our vision for creativity and wellbeing. This means more variety for the user who can choose from over 90 completely different art styles and the artists get international exposure. We are advocates for artists and we hope to close the gap between digital art and wellbeing.

Before I show you where this part of the journey went, you may remember my 3 'hats'. Well, an artist cannot live on inspiration alone and must find innovative ways to survive in the world in order to keep making, this is where my creative producer role comes in. I lend my skills of problem solving, time management and leadership to community groups such as Empower Poetry where we put on live poetry events and free workshops for the community around Birmingham. I’m also a tutor at the MAC in Birmingham where I tutor young people how to create VR films using 360 cameras. Being an artist means using any means, workarounds, and hacks to create your vision, to not allow a lack of resources or equipment to stop you from creating. This is the reason why I chose art; it gives you the freedom to grow different skills and then lend these transpersonal skills to reach new ways of expression and new communities, and more paid work!

I'd like to show you one of the breathwork videos here. These were designed to induce a state of coherence, this isn't relaxation or meditation but a gentle focus, ideal to help reduce anxiety whilst still needing to function. We've received amazing feedback on how effective these videos can be from a range of audiences. So, before you get started, here are some basic instructions: breathe through your nose if possible. This video speed is 5 seconds, so that’s inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds, if this speed is uncomfortable, please just breathe at your normal rate. This increases oxygen circulation to your body, focus on your heart center, which is in the center of your chest and a few inches left, breathe into your belly so it expands, and watch/listen to the art and music.

Notice the colours, the sounds and allow the movement and sound be your guide for the next 5 minutes.

Enjoy and stay coherent!

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William Blake

William Blake (1757 to 1827) was a visionary poet, painter, engraver and musician.

He had no formal education, but read widely in Greek philosophy and that of his contemporaries, and studied and challenged the psychological and philosophical theories propounded by Locke and Hume.

He read the Bhagavad Gita, Jacob Boehme, the Jewish Kabbalah, the Swedish philosopher Swedenborg, and he knew the Bible intimately. Apprenticed in his youth to an engraver, Blake later used his engraving skills to invent a new method of printing.

By engraving his texts and image outline backwards in ‘mirror-writing’, he was able to combine word and image on the same page.

William Blake

This allowed him to create a highly dynamic artwork, with the resonances and dissonances between image and text generating new and unexpected meanings.

With the help of his wife Catherine, who hand-coloured some of the work, he became entirely self-sufficient in the production of his extraordinary, illuminated books. The Blakes’ unique process, in one small room, replaced the necessity for large teams of artisan specialists in two separate workshops.

Blake is a champion of the creative imagination, striving to overcome the alienation between people, and between humanity and the natural world. For Blake “Nature is Imagination itself.” He strove to show us how to throw off our ‘Mind Forg’d Manacles’, both the bondage of social conditioning and the domination of our rational faculty. He shows us how to enter the world of Imagination, and through love and forgiveness to realise our divine nature, as in this line from the major prophecy, Jerusalem:

“Cannot Man exist without mysterious offering of Self for Another?

William Blake

In sacrificing what Blake calls our selfish ‘Selfhood’ we can also restore the soul of the world, for ‘Everything that lives is Holy.’ The earliest work in which he experimented with his new printing method was All Religions are One, and whilst his core beliefs could be described as a unique form of Christian Hermeticism, he embraces the wisdom of other cultures and other religions.

There is much in Blake that is reminiscent of aspects of Sufism, Buddhism and Hinduism, but the human is always front and present. As he writes in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: ‘Thus Men forgot that All deities reside in the Human Breast’. This pivotal early text printed in 1790 contains some of Blake’s central concepts:

‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern’.

In the same text Blake overturns the dualistic concept of Body/Mind as separate:

‘Man has no Body distinct from his Soul, for that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age’.

Blake created his own mythology, drawing on a number of traditional sources, which enabled him to convey ideas and concepts that had never been expressed in this way before.

‘I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man’s
I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create’

Through poetry, prose and image, Blake explores the human soul, psyche and body; ecological, political and social systems, and the scientific thought of Newton and Descartes.

William Blake

In Donald D. Ault’s book, Visionary Physics: Blake's response to Newton, Ault, an American physicist and literary critic, demonstrates how Blake brilliantly exposes the limitations of Newton’s and Descartes' models of the universe and in so doing, anticipates Einstein's theories of relativity and the New Physics.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

Blake’s evocation of the psyche strongly foreshadows the concepts of both Freud and of the depth psychologist, Carl Jung. Jung describes Blake as one of the few Westerners to have achieved Satori: the inner, intuitive experience of Enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. Blake is profoundly concerned with universal suffering: through his art he deconstructs the mechanisms of patriarchy, politics and power, envisaging the cycles of history that turn revolution into tyranny.

William Blake

Blake’s work also explores ideas of fluidity of gender and identity, insisting on the balance of the feminine and masculine in the divine and in the human, both fully realised in what he called the Human Form Divine. He taught himself a number of languages including Hebrew and Greek; he learned Italian in a matter of days in order to read Dante, and at the end of his life painted 102 pictures to illustrate the Divine Comedy.

Although much of his work was neglected and even scorned in his lifetime, Blake had some very eminent admirers, including Coleridge, and in later years a group of young artists including Samuel Palmer, who described Blake as ‘A man without a mask’. Blake died singing.

The current Blake Society was founded in 1985 and is a fast-growing community of members from all over the world, across six continents. Whether you are just beginning to be curious about the Blakes’ work, or have been enjoying and studying it for decades, we will welcome you into our Society. The Society’s aim is to celebrate the work of William and Catherine Blake in all manifestations of their poetry, prose, and artwork.

We also strive to inspire, to encourage and to give a platform to work arising from Blake’s incredible influence on artists, scientist, writers, musicians, performers and academics around the globe. We invite you to join us in this endeavour, exploring Blake’s work through live and online events of every kind.

Recent events have included; an art exhibition, readings and performances in Lambeth, where Blake use to live; three authors referencing Blake and a book launch of a lovely letterpress edition of Auguries of Innocence; Billy Bragg talking about Blake and the Dissident tradition; a live concert with Mike and Kate Westbrook and a seven-piece jazz ensemble performing The Westbrook Blake; a new multimedia play about Blake called Albion, Awake!; Patrick Harpur, author of The Philosopher’s Secret Fire, Daimonic Reality and Mercurius in conversation about Blake and esoteric traditions.

As a registered charity, we charge a minimal amount for the many benefits of membership. These include free access to the majority of events, a regular, free email newsletter with news of Blakean events and publications, and a copy of the beautiful Blake Society journal, Vala.

The Blake Society - Vala

The Society has a distinguished pantheon of past Presidents and Patrons, including Philip Pullman and Kathleen Raine. Our current president is the celebrated poet, author, performer and playwright Kae Tempest and our patrons are Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Mike and Kate Westbrook.

We are in a direct line of descent from the Blake Society founded in 1912 by Thomas Wright, a schoolmaster in Olney, Buckinghamshire. This earlier incarnation of our current Society was inspired by a suggestion made by the Irish poet W.B.Yeats and Edwin Ellis, British poet and illustrator, both members of the Society and editors of the first full edition of Blake’s work.

Yeats, with his esoteric interests and extensive occult knowledge wrote extensive commentaries on the poetry. Members included other early Titans of Blake studies: Geoffrey Keynes, Joseph Wicksteed, Dr Greville MacDonald, and the president Sir William Blake Richmond K.B. Women were strongly represented in the membership although, unlike the Society today, noticeably absent from the Trustees of 1912. Miss E. Harnden was a member, giving her address as ‘Blake’s Cottage, Felpham, Sussex’. Members hailed from England, Scotland, France, Portugal, South Africa, Canada and Tokyo.

Below is a picture of the 1912 Society. We warmly invite you to join the Blake Society:
Do join us here https://blakesociety.org/

The Blake Society

The Blake Society is a Registered Charity, No 1106130.

With thanks to the following for the use of the images:
The New York Public Library: Blake’s autograph
(https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c352b62a-0cd1-154f-e040-e00a18067a56)
Yale Center for British Art: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion
Wikimedia commons: Newton
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Newton-WilliamBlake.jpg
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia: Dante’s Inferno

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The Spiritual Arts Foundation
The Spiritual Arts Foundation is dedicated to promoting arts related projects that specifically demonstrate a vision of spirituality at their core. We represent all positive and life-affirming spiritual and religious beliefs.
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