Performance Art: The Crown Cycle

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for transformation practice, which includes reflection, creative expression, and talking ’bout the world as energy. My practice makes me happy and free. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee.and coffee. And I drop a lotta sci fi refs. Let’s boldly go to inner space.

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The Crown Cycle

This piece titled The Crown Cycle was completed during the week that contained summer solstice, transition to Cancer season, Capricorn full moon. The energy is full of considerations of the masculine, feminine, emotions and permission to express, connections to patriarchy, the old identity structure that makes a woman’s identity only visible through a male’s gaze—his terms, his shapes, his boundaries.

https://youtu.be/ziGLifn1fag

This piece addresses my desire to redraw boundaries between for feminine energy. Often, those boundaries are drawn through what isn’t able to be expressed. We exist in constricted shapes created by heavy emotional burden. I need a ritual to honor the cycle of a woman’s experience—as a child full of vivaciousness, a woman full of vitality, a crone full of wisdom—in it’s pure unadulterated state.

The Child

As a young girl, I spent hours planning what I would wear. Time was forever and planning outfits was the most important thing because I wanted to make sure to express who I was through the way I dressed. My mom drew pictures of my clothes on small cards so I could have an inventory. She was incredibly creative and had a talent for art and drawing. This is a cherished memory of mother-daughter bonding. But vivaciousness turned into internal turmoil. There painful memories reflect that the household in I grew up in was unstable. I didn’t receive the emotional nurture I needed. My dad implied her problems were all in her head. She was never really seen by her husband, my dad.

The Woman

I’m named after my maternal grandmother Anastasia. I seen pictures of her from her early twenties, wearing fashionable clothing and hanging out in Branch Brook Park in Newark and posing in photo shoots at a studio on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. With those images, I conjure up a zest-filled woman. These are cherished imaginations. But my mom didn’t know her mom like that. The vitality of womanhood was snuffed into depression–my mom remembers her as a fearful woman who wouldn’t leave the house. Anastasia lived in the shadow of my grandfather’s mercurial moods and bursts of rage. It was best not to be seen. She grew old, never learning to drive and being allowed to manage her money. The potential for wisdom from a life well-lived became a subtle bitterness.

Anastasia died in her early 60s; my mom was mid thirties. I was 7. Child, woman, crone.

When do we change from the carefree child to women with too much burden? When does my grandmother’s problem not be my mom’s problem, and when does my mom’s problem not be mine? We pass them along to each other in body and mind. The crone came to the woman and the child before her time.

When I was in my mid thirties, I recognized a pattern. I dated men from hetero culture who had expectations of who I was supposed to be. The inability to express myself, or, the lack of permission that they set up, was a huge burden to me. So, I set up strong boundaries. I ended or didn’t pursue relationships based on what I needed to feel seen and be expressive. I found myself more often single than in partnership. It was the lived experience of just how strongly the patriarchy has a hold on how women are seen—women’s identities are seen through men’s reflection, that is, what they see as permittable and valid.

The Crown Cycle: I am inside

I created the piece “The Crown Cycle” to honor the cycle of child-woman-crone, the stages of a female experience. Who we are (and were), how available we were to each other, how we took care of ourselves and beyond that, each other. The transition of child-woman-crone has not been straightforward. I wanted to see us clearly. 

I just entered my woman full-moon, mid-life stage. My mom has entered her crone stage. I have watched her heal, and become young again in her older age. I have healed and grown up into a woman that I am proud to be: happy, healthy, and free from thinking that I should be anybody but myself.

My mom and I worked on this project as an exploration of healing across generations. Mom painted the paper-mâché heads, and I attached flowers that are reminiscent of spring, summer, fall/winter, symbolic of child, mother, crone. Anastasia, my grandmother, was always with her rosary. I added one, plus 3 silver-painted quartz shards to evoke a cemetery-stone image, at the end of life. The eyes are absent from the skull heads but are present. Anastasia is absent in form, but always watching; I as a child was always watching the adults; my mom is always watching memory. And we are all women who had different levels of visibility. I at times want to be unseen, like my mom, and Anastasia, through her agoraphobia, was literally unseen—a far cry from the smiling face of her youth that was always posing for cameras.

The candle is reflected in the mirror; it is lighting the way to transformation.

I asked my mom why she made skulls with half hair, half skeletal attributes. She said the “the skull is the vessel of the brain, the part of us that perceives and translates the exterior stimuli. Hair is so visible and SO much an exterior judgement factor.”

The performance was done in front of a mirror as I wore the child-mother-crone crown and reflect. I reflected on the image in the mirror and also memories of me, my mom, and my grandmother. I recited “I am me, I am she, I am her” and rotated the heads, passing through the stage of child, woman, crone.

My mom and I are not in current geographical proximity, so I offered the performance to her online. I share it now with you. The performance is a healing transmission across my matrilineage and honors the cycle for all women who constellate the seen/unseen child-mother-crone.

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The inner journey, language, and breakthroughs

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for transformation practice, which includes reflection, creative expression, and talking ’bout the world as energy. My practice makes me happy and free. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee.

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The inner journey, language, and breakthroughs

One day, I sat at a library and re-read a hardcopy essay that I had been working on for a while. What I was trying to say wasn’t coming through.I had to open the conversation up—ask what the words wanted from me.

Visionary artist Allison Grey’s work, including her work that conveys her the origin of her worldview: chaos, language, and secret writing

The essay was about the journey inside to inner space—extolling the virtues of personal evolution. It’s part of the process of understanding “higher purpose.” But my essay was falling flat. Phrases like “finding myself,” “knowing myself,” “higher purpose” felt deflated. They lacked force. A reader could get a sense of what I was referring to, but couldn’t feel the electricity in my experiences, which is what gave me the enthusiasm to write about them. I couldn’t activate the experiences for the reader—which was what I was trying to do. I wanted the essay to convey a feeling of motion, transformation, which translates to excitement–this is what my journey inside had given me. I wanted to convince the reader to embark on theirs.

I started play with the medium, the language, by going in and out–shifting my awareness of shape of the letters on the page, focusing and unfocusing my vision, moving from words to shapes words strung together made, and then back.

This became dharana—meditation—on the words. I was singularly focused on them. My field of vision started to blur. My peripheral vision blurred, too, and the library bookshelves turned into cases full of neon beams of light, and the books on them became crystals. The idea of the interconnectedness of all of the ideas, writers, and me to them became apparent. It registered in my mind as a felt sense registers in the body. And then I had a fleeting thought I was a medium, a part of this vast network who, through the act of writing, pulled ether into material and with that, create our world because information is our world. I felt a deep sense of satisfaction in the core of my being, then, and the vision vanished. The meditation was broken.

I left the library, touched by the experience, activated to another level, and fulfilled. Part of my higher purpose was being in dialogue, literally, creating words. I trusted that the words to share this experience would come to me. They did when I applied astrological insight.

I checked my natal chart for transits, which are contacts of placements (and noted through the shapes of the angles that the placements make). The universe is in constant motion. The celestial bodies are dynamic. The sun (creativity) was in Scorpio (transformation), making a contact to my Uranus in Scorpio. Uranus is the planet that represents higher consciousness and breakthroughs. The correlation doesn’t mean causation—the sun contacting Uranus didn’t “make” me have that momentary lapse in reality. But my awareness of the motion, the contact was power; the knowledge allowed me to engage with the cosmos in a meaningful way by starting a reflection (in my mind) on breakthrough and transformation, while noticing how the reality unfolded breakthrough and transformation around me.

Visionary artist Alex Grey’s work, a painting titled “Universal Mind Lattice”

The essay I had been working has since been broken up into many smaller pieces. Lines of it appear on my page about the energy work that I do. The essay became the creation, the practice through which I facilitate an individual’s exploration of their inner and outer lives, and ultimately, personal evolution. Conversations on these subjects open up worldviews and offer new ways to interpret reality.

I hope my excitement comes through here. I hope the power in my words reaches you.

As a I writer, I am a node on the network of words. Letters, words are power. My higher purpose—that which I seek so that I can offer to others—is to be a conduit for expansive conversations, ones in which words become a key to unlocking pathways toward transformation and breakthroughs that serve us on our individualized journey inside.

May all beings be happy and free // Om lokah samastah sukinoh bhavantu

Homa for the commons

Hi! I’m Anastasia Wasko. Thanks for visiting my nabe of hyperspace. I’m here for transformation practice, which includes reflection, creative expression, and talking ’bout the world as energy. My practice makes me happy and free. So make yourself a fresh cuppa and pull up. I’ll share some things to think about, learn, and do. I’ll show you how to change yourself by changing your relationship to the world. BTW: I love tattoos and coffee.

Homa for the commons

Vandana Shiva, an Indian activist advocating for an ecological civilization, does work around organic farming and the food chain. She participated in the creation of the “Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth,” a manifesto to underscore the interconnectedness of all beings. She says that all beings have a right to life, and commons, the resources we share like food, air, and water, should not be poisoned or polluted. Disruption of the quality of the commons affect the sustainable exchanges among living systems. We are depleted by poisoned commons—and that includes human knowledge.

Vandana Shiva

I’m highlighting Shiva’s work because I find connection with it as part of the emergent planetary culture, the movement toward harmony among synergy and consideration of all living systems on the planet. There are others, too—think tanks, activists, and visionaries—who are creating the spaces and action around an ecological civilization, one that moves toward a symbiosis that supports all beings and systems on Earth.

Human knowledge is part of the commons. We share the resource of thoughts. What our minds consume influences what our bodies and states consume. Traditional and social media deplete our psychic energetic reserves when overconsumed. Mental imagery and the ability to think beyond ourselves can be distorted. There’s no easy way to participate in an ecological civilization without doing inner work—this is the entry point for self care into the conversation. A true planetary culture depends on psychological shifts and behavior changes.

Homa, the fire ceremony that I offer on a regular basis, clears subtle energies across dimensions. There have been studies done on the effect of homa on farming. Homa also works to clear the psychic plane, too, although those effects are harder to measure. Individuals have conveyed a mental clarity, a lightness in the mind perceived after sitting for homa. Homa is a link between self care, mental wellbeing, and our ability to make the perspective shifts and behavior changes that support action in line with planetary culture. This is why I offer homa through online and real-time ceremonies on a regular basis.

Homa fire in a kund

The Bhagavad Gita, Hindu scripture, says that all beings depend on food. We feed the fire our thoughts with offerings of cow dung, ghee, rice, and herbs. The dung and ghee are from cows, who eat grass, which grows in the soil, which is fed by rain and wind that moves clouds through the air—analogous to the regenerative cycle of life, and how each part has a place in it. The offerings are a yagya: an oblation, service, a purification, in which the offering of material on the mental plane becomes a selfless act to the fire. The fire, in a spiritual sense, the core of consciousness. Fire is the infinite divine energy.

Consider how you can gaze upon a tree and find beauty in that form of nature. Similarly, we can gaze upon the fire and allow an encounter with the divine—the light of the flame in the fire is the light of divinity within us. It is the impulse for a transpersonal connection, the feeling of a relationship to beings beyond ourselves. So, by working on the individual level, we are supporting the work to clear the mental plane, purify the commons of human knowledge, find rejuvenation in infinite divine energy, and through those connections, cultivate a relationship to society and planet that honors the interconnectedness of all beings.

Idam na mama * For the greater good of all

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