Frida: In Magic

Tree of Hope, 1946

As we dig deeper into the inner workings of Frida Kahlo’s mind and life – I can’t help but wonder about the underpinnings of her work that speak to Frida as a spiritualist. While coming out of the shadow of being “Diego Rivera’s Wife” and into the path of Frida as artist – the surrealist movement was bubbling. The male European Surrealists, particularly founder Andre Breton, wanted to Frida to join in on the surrealist society. To which she famously commented: “They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

Now, while she herself didn’t consider herself to be a surrealist, there were themes of Frida’s work that feel into the belly of what the surrealist movement was all about. There was the symbolism, the dream-state like quality to her work. The haunting thing was that her work was her truly reality and a peak into her unconscious mind. See, the Surrealist Manifesto, written in 1924, stated that the movement was interested in fostering “pure psychic automatism through which it is intended to express…the true functioning of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside any aesthetic or moral preoccupation.” Now if we take a look at automatism as an art practice, it’s no different than channeled writing a la Abraham Hicks, Bashar or A Course in Miracles. It’s sacred practice that many of us can tap into if we chose to. With all the surrealism shit aside, I do believe Frida’s advanced level of magic allowed her to pull from this unconscious place to share the agonizing reality of her physical and psychic pain.

My Birth, 1932 by Frida Kahlo

The elements of her symbolism strike me as someone with a heightened awareness of the non-physical world. She wasn’t shy in creating devotional works in the style of traditional Mexican Ex-voto or Retablo paintings (“My Birth”, 1932). She used Aztec symbolism in pieces like the “The Little Deer”. And coming across celestial elements in her work was not rare finding. She understood the subtleties of a transcendental reality even in the face of her physical pain. Maybe that is why she did not want to come back, she knew that her physical body was just holding her captive in this lifetime, stuck on Earth. “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

Frida Kahlo & Crystal Ball by Manuel Alvarez Bravo

If there is one thing that Frida Kahlo was – she was a bruja. Even if it was unconsciously, she understood her innate power of her truth and was able to channel her magic through her body of work and personal adornment so acutely and so publicly that after all of these years, we still can’t seem to rid her from our consciousness. Or was that merely by design?

Now, as we fast forward, here we are today in this state of cultural disarray. Yet in the midst of all the madness, one thing that I am grateful for in our social media-obsessed Information Age is the access we have to information and community to positively influence our freedom of thought. We can allow our minds to wonder and contemplate the universal purpose of our lives. We are to free to express that freely, publicly and openly without (necessarily) being judged or boxed in to any node of thinking or philosophy. And even more empowering aspect to this moment is time is having an open mind to all things is highly encouraged in the spiritual, wellness and holistic communities online.

I think about my spiritual journey and how damn good it feels to be open about what I’ve experienced and how I’ve found my own spiritual practices and purpose. Women like Frida Kahlo have paved the way for women like me today. Allowing me to feel comfortable being who I am, a wild woman who isn’t afraid to embrace her indigenous roots and witchy ways to bring peace, healing, service and a higher connection to Source. So much so, that I don’t have to burn my palo santo and sage smudge sticks in hiding anymore. I can be open, here on the Internet, with the hopes that some else will see it and want to free themselves of the conditioning that tells us that women like us are misguided, evil or whatever other wild shit someone may say when they come across something that they don’t understand. When really, we are In La’kech, I am another you.

So, here I stand at this altar I conjured with my Velas (Prayer Candle) along with fruit and flower offerings for Frida. Participating in this project has made me understand the religious quality of her legacy that has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with Spirit. I’ve always connected to the Divine Feminine and the goddesses that represent that essence of feminine power. Although she may not be an Ascended Master or a figurehead in religious history, none of that shit matters. She is a spiritual icon to me – my goddess of artistic expression, sexual duality and unwavering passion.

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I hope that you’ve enjoyed the second installment of the Frida: Digging Deeper Photo Series, please feel free to reach me with any comments, thoughts, feedback in the comments below or shoot me an email at info (at) lalanyc.com. I want this to be a safe space for perspective, discussion and dialogue. <3

Frida: Digging Deeper
Frida in Love

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