Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The adult coloring phase is in full bloom, and many people are embracing the benefits of coloring. Art brings joy into our lives, and the simple act of taking an already laid out design or pattern and filling it with color sinks us into a meditative state that helps calm us as well as brings us peace.
There are TONS of coloring books being printed right now, with all kinds of subject matter. And, if you have a printer, you can find plenty of pages to color online, that you can print out at home. Pages can be as complex or simple as you might desire, and you are sure to be able to find one that you like. Of course, if you are artistically or geometrically inclined, you can always draw your own patterns to color in.
But coloring can be more than a zen activity! Coloring brings you into a state of simple focus. There isn't a lot of thinking involved, but your focus narrows down to what you are doing. This makes it perfect for using to direct your focus and work on a goal! Coloring can easily be used as part of other magical workings, either to raise energy, to direct it or to release emotions.
The best thing about coloring magic is that there is absolutely NO requirements to actually be good at art. It doesn't matter if you pick accurate colors, if you go outside the lines, if your color isn't consistent or even if you fill in all the bits. It is the process that is important, and this is something that anybody can do. Better yet, the more you do it, the 'better' you become at the process!
One of the easiest ways to start coloring magic is to do emotion work. When you are feeling something intensely, find a picture to color that represents what you are feeling. If you are angry, it might be a picture of the thing you are angry about, or a picture that you feel represents you, as you are when you are angry. If you are happy, it might be a picture of what triggered this specific happiness, or it might just be a picture of something that you enjoy, something that represents happiness to you.
Before you start coloring, really sink into your emotion, let it fill you up. And then, without a lot of thought, pick up the first color that jumps out to you, and start coloring! Let your inner toddler out. For this, it is especially not important to follow the lines or make your colors match what they would in the physical world. If you feel like scribbling out the face with that dark red crayon...do it! If you want to draw little black X's over the book that is driving you buggy, go for it! If the idea of a pink sun makes you giggle, make it pink!
Depending on the emotion you are working with, when you are done, you can either keep the picture (for happy or more beneficial emotions), or banish it. I like to keep my magical art all together in a binder. When you need a little boost, you can always look through your magical art binder, and soak in all that lovely energy you have stored!
To banish a picture, you are going to release all that emotion that you poured out into the picture. There are a lot of ways you can do this. You can simply tear it up into tiny pieces and toss it in the trash. You can take it outside and burn it. You can dig a hole and bury it or toss it into a body of water.
You can also take the picture and transmute it. You might rip it up, and use the pieces (like you would a mosaic, picking bits just for their colors) to make a new collage, a picture of what you want to turn that emotion into. You can also find other pictures (either from magazines or other line drawings that you can color), and glue them on top of your original picture, covering over that released emotion with the feelings you want to replace it with.
If, instead, you want to use coloring as a tool for raising energy, you will find a picture that either represents the energy you want to raise, or the goal that you are raising the energy towards. Working with water energy, you might color a picture of the ocean or of a rainy day. Calling up the energy of Wolf might be a picture of a wolf, or it could be a picture of a person wearing wolf's clothing (talismans or markings that make you think of wolf). The great thing about this kind of coloring, is that you can keep your pictures, as batteries of a sort, and when you want to work with that energy again, they can be a way to tap into it.
When raising energy towards a specific end, you can pic your picture based on what you want to accomplish, but pick your colors based on what types of energies you want to infuse your working with. So, if I were working on prosperity magic to find a new home, I might color the walls blue, for peace and tranquility, the ceiling grey/silver for security, the grass green for bounty and the door red for health.
This way of coloring ties right into using coloring as a way to direct your energy. You can lightly pencil in your desires on the paper before you color, or just use your picture to keep your focus. As you color each section, think about the ultimate goal, but also how the colors you are picking tie into and support that goal. When you are done, you can put your picture somewhere you will see it, and every time you look at it, you will further send energy towards your goal!
This year, I have been doing a little coloring every morning. I have a coloring planner for a magical year, and so the drawings on each page are tied into the energy of the month and often have a magical theme. I pick what I am going to color based on how I feel in the morning or what I might have going on. Some days, it is nothing more than filling in a few stars (there are almost always stars, and they are quick and easy...and filled with yellow are perfect as a little energetic pick-me-up on days where I am not feeling so energetic). Other days, I will really sink into the process, and either look up color references (for plants and planets I'm not super familiar with), or try different color layering techniques.
It was while doing this coloring that I realized that, while I am normally pretty particular with my coloring (I took art lessons as a child, and so the art of layering colored pencils and creating deep, rich color is something that still echos in my head), I am not nearly as critical about my morning coloring as I am with coloring at other times.
I definitely have bits that are out of the lines, places where the colors I picked don't quite match what they should, or the blending just wasn't working right. And yet, just looking at my planner makes me smile. And that is a wondrous thing! As it is one of the first things I do every morning, my planner now brings me joy, just by opening it and flipping to today's pages. And, for Sabbats (because there are pages for each of them) or monthly planning (again, pages for this!), it means that I am building up layers of energy as I color each day, and that I am thinking about and focusing on longer term goals, a little each day.
If you haven't tried coloring yet, I highly recommend it. You may feel a little silly at first, but let yourself really settle into the process. If you are intimidated by the really complex patterns and fancy pages, start with simpler ones. If the basic pictures make you feel to childish, find more refined ones. If you are scared to color in people (skin tones are definitely intimidating to me!), pick animals, or nature scenes. If you stress out about matching the 'right' colors, pick something abstract (there are some really lovely coloring pages that are nothing but patterns to fill in).
But find pages that look interesting or fun, or that call to you in some way. Find art supplies in colors that excite you (or in colors that match your mood...) and find some time to sit down and color. Color alone if you feel more comfortable, or join a group to color (my local library has a coloring session twice a week, and they provide pages). Pick a goal, or color out an emotion! And most of all, have fun with it.