This series explores what it is like to be a spiritual seeker and Priestess in the 21st century.
Is there more direct access to the Divine in the world now?
I’m interviewing women involved in my Priestess Training Program to find out!
Isn’t this always such a hard question to answer! I think the way we see ourselves can be so relative to our life experiences. I put a lot of work into my personal growth and self reflection. Being an air sign, one of my biggest lessons was to see how my tendency to change my mind affected the lives of those around me. In my efforts to always be improving, I hope to be a kind and compassionate person. I know that I am a really hard worker who is utmost dedicated to my practice. Much of my life is driven by intuition, not only my creativity, but the choices I make. I trust that if I feel it to be so, it is right for me, even if it ends in disaster. I strive to find the lessons in each step I take.
One of the most impactful transformation I have ever experienced was witnessing death through my work as a hospice volunteer. The feeling in a room when a life leaves it’s body is indescribable. That experience brought me clarity and insight into what it is to be a living being. It’s something that has permanently changed me. As I go about daily life it fades to the background, but I know it has altered so much in myself and the way I pursue my work. Sometimes I feel her looking out for me and watching over me. I know we were meant to be put together in that way, to be with each other in that moment. I have never deeply known anything as I have concretely known that fact. I think that’s what so many people are looking for, that knowing within the mystery of life.
Growing up in a conservative and religious community was one of my greatest challenges. Finding people and places that celebrate who I am has helped me to feel free to create authentically.
My house has been an important part of my transformation into living out my goals and desires. As a woman, it can be challenging to find a safe space to exist, let alone find empowerment. I’m grateful for the peace and privacy in my home, and in the desert, which has served as a safe space for me.
For me, spiritual strength means being grounded in your autonomy. This belief came from my upbringing in organized religion. As a child, you know so much about the wonderment of the world. Adults need community, validation, and, a pat to their ego, so they seek these spiritual communities. I never understood that growing up. I knew what I felt couldn’t fit into someone else’s interpretation of spirituality. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it felt hurtful, like a had rock placed on my free spirit.
My hope is that my D.I.Y approach to divination and spirituality inspires those who encounter my work to embrace creativity and freedom in their practices. That we all have our own unique way of experiencing life and spirituality.
I think most of all ego, and how that plays into comparing myself to others. Today it seems easy to fall into those traps of seeing how you measure up to your peers. I have to remind myself that these are distractions from my true work.
Sometimes I feel pressure to conform to a certain spirituality or what spirituality in the popular media has been made to look like. I feel comfortable not conforming into any particular style or scene, but of course like most, I can struggle with wondering if I should.
It has to do with empowering others. It’s something that’s not just mine to claim. It’s all of ours. I don’t think I would feel empowered without making others feel lifted up and loved too.
Being seen for who I am is empowering. Releasing my work to the public has put me in my vulnerability, giving everyone a window into who I am. When I made my first deck and saw it in the context of a product, it was like hearing my own voice, I cringed a little at first. But ultimately I saw the deeper purpose of that project and had to release those fears. That has been the most empowering thing, letting people see those parts of me.
I feel that I live my life very intentionally. I see magic and ceremony in the little things. For example, sometimes turning on the radio and hearing a terrible pop song, but listening to the lyrics for a sign or a symbol. Spending time with the boulders in Joshua Tree act as a ceremony for me, dying my hair, cleaning out my closet, making spell candles, cleaning and rearranging my alar spaces, it ranges from the more mystical to the very ordinary making my morning cup of tea.
You know, I had such a challenging time growing up. I felt alone, judged, pressured, and, disliked. I simply did not fit in well. I want to say don’t give up. There is a place for you. Please have faith in that of all else. No matter how crazy or weird people make you feel, you have a gift and a place in this world.
Mary Evans is a radical artist hailing from the small town of Franklin Tennessee. After living in many places in the US, she settled in the desolate desert of Joshua Tree CA where she found community and a quiet place to develop new works. Southern folk art, having roots in storytelling and craft, rather than acting as a form of “high art” had an early influence on Mary’s work. Raised in the church, from a young age she was attracted to ritual and mysticism. In recent years, her work has focused on developing tarot and oracle card decks that can be used as tools for self reflection and healing. With the intention of releasing judgement Mary uses creativity to open up space for readers to have a freeform approach to their own personal understanding of divination. In her practice she honors craft as a form of expression that is accessible to many and empowers others to experiment with their natural intuition and abilities to help themselves and others.
Photo credit: Zohn Mandel