Tag Archives: unconscious

Anam Cara

16 Oct Janet Balboa Anam Cara 2014


Janet Balboa Anam Cara 2014

Janet Balboa 2014_Anam Cara 19″x24″

Anam Cara. Prismacolor markers, pencils. a few copics too! on marker paper. 19 x 24…Finished!!!

Anam Cara – the beautiful Irish soul mate, the sacred friendship of the heart. I imagine this sacred friendship extended to include earth and sky, the intimate, glorious connection we share with all life. Filled with ‘symbology’ to help meditation and contemplation practice, this piece encourages the heart chakra to flow openly, lighting the world around you. Ygdrasil, the world-tree of Norse Mythology connects land and sky in an intimate bond of ancient kinship. The triple Goddess of Mother, Maiden and Wise Woman (a symbol for the feminine side of the Divine) Sophia encompasses all life with her wisdom, compassion and nurturing. Telephoros, with his lantern, encourages dreams and illumination of the unconscious. We are loved. Unconditionally…

What would it be like to feel this divine connection with the earth? What would life be like if we saw our life and our beautiful earth as divine gifts? What if we believed that we were entirely supported and loved unconditionally and always encouraged to evolve into constantly better versions of our self? What if we believed that the world is for us, instead of against us? What if the way we choose to look at our life and our world – as gifts – could help us live with our fear and terror? What if we accepted our self as we are, exactly as we are, light and dark? And let that be ok for now. See it as a good place to start to practice unconditional love.

It is my prayer today, that all of us who are suffering because we feel not good enough, that we are not needed, that we aren’t worthy of love – my prayer is that we come to know our self in a way that not only accepts, but delights in our differences, recognizes our fears as friends who bring lessons and gifts, and see that our incredible, one of a kind beauty  is present precisely because of our darkness. Our broken bits are what make us beautiful. They are part of the prism that scatters the pure light of love at the center of our being.  Our greatest gifts are often wrapped lovingly and snuggly in our greatest fears, waiting for us to mature enough so that we can understand what is needed to heal our wounded parts.

We struggle to manifest our gifts. We struggle to come to terms with our self. We struggle to bring our light to the world.  Slowly and with the passing of years, we begin to accept our selves. We begin to recognize, appreciate and take responsibility for our own life. We realize that we are complete. We stop the outer projection when we realize that our judging of the behaviors and actions of others is a manifestation of our unrecognized shadow. Our wounds – the dark inner places calling out to us for healing and attention. We begin to make friends with our interior darkness. This place of chaos and unformed things is also our place of potential, of creation. Our womb.  As we heal, we are ‘re-born’ , transformed into bringers of compassion, love and acceptance. We become whole and holy. We become lights for the world, living out our Divine connection to our beautiful earth and the beings on it. We can finally recognize and delight in our bond of ancient kinship. We have not been lost at all. We merely lost our way. We have always been known and loved dearly, for exactly who we are at this moment. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for…

Dwarfs, illumination and knowing that everything matters.

11 Sep
Telesphoros,  – Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

Telesphoros, – Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014


I think of him as a healer of sorts- but maybe not a healer of symptoms, more of a caretaker of our need to create meaning where it seems none exists. A reconciler that ties things together- a witness to something greater that assures us that somehow what happens to us makes sense – that things are ultimately cared for and brought to completion. That somewhere, beyond our understanding, all is made right in the end.

Telephoros, the strange little ‘Accomplisher’ of the ancient world started out as a Celtic god. His original identity has been lost to us, but the name the Greeks gave him when he was brought to Anatolia in the 3rd century BCE give a clue: telos – meaning end, or purpose and phoros – carrying or bearing. ‘Endcarrier’. ‘Purposebearer’. His name actually means “the accomplisher” or “bringer of completion” in Greek. Telephoros was closely associated with Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.

Carl Jung also had a fondness for Telephoros. He carved this sentence in a stone at his estate in Bolligen, Switzerland:

‘Time extending through the ages is a child playing at a game of chance. The child is king. Telephoros runs through the dark places of the world like a star sparkling in the depths, leading the way to the gates of the sun and the land of dream.’

To the modern mind, so much of what happens around us and to us seems so pointless. So accidental. So inconceivably beyond our ability to do anything about it. Our world perfectly acts out Jung’s metaphorical child playing his game of chance – great things happen. Accidents happen. Bad things happen to good people. We are overjoyed. We suffer. Despairing because chance implies randomness, suggesting non-order, no pattern, senselessness… one look around us could easily confirm this as truth. And yet…

‘Telephoros runs through the dark places of the world like a star sparkling in the depths, leading the way to the gates of the sun and the land of dream.’

To the ancient mind, most worldly or psychological forces were personified – it’s simply much easier to relate to a person or animal than to a concept of something. So our very human need for completion and purpose became Telephoros, personified as a dwarf, wearing a hood or cap and carrying a lantern. Dwarfs stand as a guardian of the threshold between the conscious and the unconscious realms. They traditionally have a life hidden from mankind, preferring twilight and night to daytime. I like to think Telephoros, when he’s not gatekeeping, carries his lantern through the depths of our personal and collective unconscious, shedding light on that which is in darkness, illuminating through dreams and longings what remains black and unknown in our waking hours. He casts a glimmer of purpose, balance and completion into the darkness of misunderstanding. He runs beyond limited concepts of time and space, acknowledging those things that appear accidental or random or unfinished. Holding his small light, he hurries ahead, urging us to the gates of the sun, the place of illumination, where life can be seen in its wholeness.
If we choose to entertain Telesphoros’ metaphor, we will find it easier if we adopt an attitude of faith that outside of time and mind heartaches will end, opposites are reconciled and healing is accomplished. The price of this faith is our willingness to allow light into our darkness.
Can we allow things the right to exist as they are, beyond our human compulsion to categorize them as good or bad, wrong or right, timely or untimely? Can we begin to conceive of a metaphorical space where opposites are reconciled and everything brought to completion- in its own time? Can we be ok with that? With not knowing? With letting something so important to us be ultimately out of our hands?
Compassion, deep self-love, acceptance, gratitude, mystery – these are concepts that we must personally personify in order to connect with the ancient belief echoed by every great teacher throughout time – that beyond our understanding, somehow, all is made right, things are cared for and everything matters.


Meditating on or moving with Telephoros can be particularly enlightening. (puns are good!)
In my drawing, Anam Cara, I’ve put the symbol for the feminine on his cape, indicating his integration with the intuitive feminine shadow world of dreams and the unconscious. Jung seems to have included the symbol for Venus on his Telephoros figure. ( I’m not sure if this is certain, but it makes sense.) Metaphorically balancing all energies,(i.e. healing), contemplating the concept of Telephoros provides a bridge to the idea of completion, integration, acceptance and ultimately surrender. Light a candle placed in a bowl of water. This is a great symbol of light in the unconscious realm.

Now… imagine seeing a book below the surface of a lake that is smooth as glass. Reach into the water and pull up the book. Watch the ripples as they recede and return the water to stillness. Notice the clouds float by in the reflection of the sky. Are you on the shore? In a boat? is the water cool? Is it a hot day? Do you hear birds? what do you smell? This sort of detail really gets your self involved and often allows things to drift to the surface that just as well might have remained on the bottom…. Become aware of what’s around you. Whenever you are ready, go curl up by the foot of an great oak tree and imagine reading that book!

Kiss a frog…

5 Jun Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014
Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014


Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014



Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014


Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014


Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014


The work for today. A Northern Leopard frog. And why, exactly, is there a frog in this picture(among other things)?

The water represents the unconscious, and the frog symbolizes that which can move between both realms- the conscious and the unconscious. The unconscious at first may appear as frightening and dangerous, but as we  reconcile this aspect of our self we take another step towards wholeness and self- acceptance. It is exactly our neurosis, our unwanted parts that make us unique and lovely. Remember the frog prince? The princess wants nothing to do with him, but when kissed, he reveals himself to be a handsome prince…so go ahead…kiss a frog  – warts and all.

I create.

3 Jun Drawing out the beauty of the soul! - janet balboa

Studio 141What is deciding your future right now? Often it’s an unfortunate combination of pure chance, not- so- enlightened reactions to circumstances combined with  frustration and monotony. Welcome to the world of quiet desperation…
Escape from the daily grind means reclaiming and using your power to consciously create a life that sustains you. Your future is not determined by the economy, your income level, your parents or your best friend. There is one person at cause, making all your decisions, who determines all the effects of your life, and that’s you. Take ownership of your actions and the consequences. When you say things like “It’s not my fault” and blame another person or the situation, you surrender the power you have to change ‘what Is’ into ‘what Can Be’’.
If no one is at fault, then no one is responsible. It’s a temporarily safe position. You can pass the buck and not have to do anything yourself. However, it is an ultimately weak position. Every time you blame, judge or accuse someone or something else, you are in effect saying “This person/ thing/situation is responsible for me. I cannot be responsible for myself. By making this choice, I allow it/them to decide the outcome of my life.” Then you get mad and resentful because you feel so powerless. It’s a vicious cycle.
When you choose to accept your ability to create in your own life, then you accept the power to change your own life. Take responsibility whenever you can. When you take responsibility you reclaim your power as a co-creation your life. You have the power to change course and choose a different outcome. Don’t blame yourself for how you’ve been in the past, just accept your power to choose different actions now, therefore different outcomes, in the present. All things change when you do.
Learn to use your power to create what you desire . The adage ‘energy flows where attention goes’ is true. Your ability to co-create means you can and should be directing the flow of your energy consciously. You already do it, mainly unconsciously, sending energy to everyone and everything you put your attention on. If your attention is focused on people and things ‘out there’, that is exactly where your energy is going, out there, feeding other people, circumstances, and situations. When you take responsibility just for you, you stop energetically feeding the externals. More and more of your energy will stay with you. When you are in possession of your energy, you are full. When you are full; energized, you can give. How can you give if you’re constantly running on empty? Begin to take care of yourself. Pay attention to where you put your attention. Learn to keep yourself full and consequently in the best position to give.
When you blame, judge or accuse, your powerlessness keeps you tossed about by circumstances– you react to everything, put out fires everywhere. It’s crisis management. When you begin to consciously take responsibility for where you put your energy, you will build a firm foundation from which to respond. Intentionally directing your energy allows you to be on top of situations and circumstances, not controlled by them.
Just like the blame game, getting caught up in the drama of everyone else’s life will distract you from your life’s purpose. In stead of focusing on what you can change, you focus on the never ending parade of ‘who said what’, –which you have no control over. Getting stuck here is a recipe for ineffectiveness and despair. Focusing on outer drama creates inner drama in your own life– resulting in incessant whining and wheel-spinning. Your unfocused energy, with no defined purpose, leaks away into people and situations that keep you busy and dissatisfied. Powerless.
In order to begin taking charge, it’s important to get a few things straight. Taking charge is not being in control. Taking charge is knowing who you are and where you are going. It is not about controlling what happens to you along the way. Bad things, unexpected things can happen. These things have the potential to throw you off course for awhile, maybe a long while. The important thing is to have a course to get back to. If you firmly know where you are coming from and what you’d like to accomplish along the way, you will watch your dreams turn into your reality.
Don’t assume that anyone else can make your decisions for you or is better equipped to run your life. When you start intentionally investing your energy into things and outcomes that serve you, your life will change. By consciously choosing and holding the image of what you want to see next in your life, you determine where your energy will go. When you decide what you want, a way to achieve it will present itself . In all instances, when we take charge of our own lives, and get to know ourselves and what we desire, our manifested dreams become natural extensions of our power to create.

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