The general (non)rule to making SoulCollage® cards is not to put too much on one card. First, the physical size of the card is limiting, and it can be frustrating to try putting too much in a small space. Second, voices get lost when there’s too many speaking at the same time, so separate them! Maybe you’ll come up with card “series,” several cards on a theme that’s been needing your attention.
Everyone starts with two cards at a SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshop, but more are always available in a stack that participants are free to take from while at the workshop. I always want you to feel free to collage whatever needs to be collaged, even when it’s many cards.
This is a blog about SoulCollage® magic. I made the SoulCollage® card above with the cool tree and portals before I started looking for my next place to live, which I knew would not be in Seattle, but still close. I ended up in Tacoma, and when I looked in the backyard of what became my next rental house, the tree was there! I couldn’t help by take it as a sign.
The real-life tree in my yard has many nooks and crannies where other plant and animal life live, actual portals to other sources of life, and my dogs love playing under it. They bring all their sticks and toys to it, and now Jack is enjoying the heavy summer branches that he can leap for. Hope also digs trenches along the root system. That fascinates me. What’s in or by those thick, long roots? The neighbor kids have noticed the branches reach so far, we actually share the tree. We sure do! It’s very special.
It’s also very validating to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be. Thanks, SoulCollage®!
Part of basic SoulCollage® is journaling the “I am one who…” (IAOW) statement for each card, but you’ll also get a card reading question at SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld workshops which is different than the IAOW statement. They are different, and here’s how!
IAOW is written once, typically, when you create the card. Of course, it can change, and you can continue dating and journaling, but generally, it’s a blank slate for you to state what that card says about you at the time the card comes together.
Card reading, on the other hand, happens whenever you draw that card in the future, and it tells you about you, rather than you telling it, as in the IAOW statement. It’s like asking a question to a pet, and then intuiting their answer, “How are you today, puppy?” and it says, through you, “I can’t wait to play outside!” You spoke for the puppy, but it was the one who answered. It’s also about a specific topic, the subject of the card reading question, rather than a blank slate.
For example, with the card above, it was created on March 1, 2018, and I wrote, “I am one who takes the plunge.” It’s about being brave, bold and hopeful. All good and helpful. Then I drew it today while contemplating the card reading question, “What do I need to feel physically better?” and it said, “Take the plunge! Into nature, water, listen to waves, breath ocean air while you move and stretch your body,” which is not at all what I was thinking when I made it, but when I asked, it answered me partially with what I’d said initially and went on from there.
Both are important, fun, and effective ways to use your SoulCollage® cards. Even if you don’t journal the IAOW statement right away, I always encourage their creators to do it eventually. I also encourage people to draw cards for inspiration, affirmation, problem solving, and card reading! Seena Frost, the creator of SoulCollage®, used to say making cards and not reading them is like making a meal and not eating it. That would be a shame.
My first card – that brings back memories, good and bad. I was on a girls’ weekend with two former best friends who, a couple years later, became toxic people. It’s been said that people come into your life for a reason, and one of those people was apparently meant to introduce me to SoulCollage® so that I would have the right tool in my box for when things fell apart with those friendships!
But back to the card – when I look at that card today, I smile because 1) It has words on it and I rarely put words on my SoulCollage® cards, and 2) It still has active energy. My designs and layouts have changed (improved ?), I think, but it still describes parts of me that I wanted to bring forward, years ago, and what’s still important to me now. I’m proud of how far I’ve come since then. SoulCollage® has changed my life because it’s taught me how to change it, starting one card at a time. Good job, me.
I didn’t focus much on the Council suit until Soul Collage® facilitator training. I had many cards by then, but very few were Council suit, which contains archetypes, for instance Mother Earth, Death, and the Joker, or other energies like the elements, muses, and gods.
During one of our facilitator card-making sessions, I decided to look for potential Council suit images, and I ended up with my Death card, above, just two images. When I first saw the creepy tree hands, it looked like they were discarding the leaves, death-like, but then there’s the bird feeding off a blossom being held by the tree hand, too, and I liked the message of death feeding life and releasing what we don’t need anymore.
The other Council suit example above is my Nurturing Mother card. There’s a vessel, flowers and the most loving female face. She says, “Rest, drink some tea, and tell me what you need. We will make it happen. I love to help you.”
Do you have Council suit cards in your deck? Are there Council members wanting to speak to you through Soul Collage®?
I like to think I manifested Post-It tape. One day, while doing SoulCollage®, I thought, “It sure would be nice to be able to stick these images down temporarily,” and then I was in Office Depot for something and remembered that thought, so went to the tape aisle and there it was, Post-It tape, in so many colors, too! It immediately became part of my crafting kit and the SoulCollage® with Megan Menkveld supply family. Not only do I use it to arrange cards, I use it to stick my pre-cut images to scrap paper for easy perusal. So handy!
As I was burning out from a toxic workplace, I tried changing jobs within the same company, and ended up back in healthcare finance, something I’d consciously left, but I do have a deep understanding of healthcare finance and concern for public health and welfare, so I thought I’d take the job and hopefully be re-motivated to do some good. I meditated on it while SoulCollaging® and came up with the card above. I brought it to work and coworkers saw it and one even said she wanted one. It reminded me of why I was there.
This card says I want to stop “the man” from just talking and scheming – it’s time for action. And I want the money to go the right way. Where’s it going now? Too much to inefficient systems and bureaucracy, and not enough to patient care. One SoulCollage® card can’t eliminate all my frustrations about our healthcare system, but it is a step in the right direction, and it’s a tangible reminder when I need one which is something.
When you’re having trouble finding motivation, getting up in the morning, facing the world, sit down with SoulCollage® and see what comes up. I bet the universe has something for you.
SoulCollage® has four suits that you can assign to your cards, Community, Committee, Council and Companion. I’ll talk a little bit about each in four separate posts. This one is about Committee which are all your inner selves, your inner child, critic, dare devil, super star, worrier… All of these inner lives talk to you constantly, sometimes sending clear messages, but sometimes mixed ones if you have lots of inner voices. SoulCollage® is a great way to separate them so their messages can be heard in a more organized manner. I’ve used SoulCollage® to explore my inner children (there are several) and my inner demons. The majority of my cards are probably Community cards, or would at least share that category.
The first example above is my inner child returning home, to Holland, Michigan, with its alter ego, the alien. I’m reintroducing myself to childhood. The other example is from one of the darkest times of my life. I felt setup for failure and hurt, picked on, and gobbled up. I walked into it every day, until I didn’t. This is my inner victim speaking, and I have cosmic support to turn to in those times, and I also have cards that represent my inner defenders – thank goodness!
Which of your inner voices want to speak through SoulCollage®? Welcome diverse voices and have fun talking with yourself!
SoulCollage® has four suits that you can assign to your cards, Community, Committee, Council and Companion. I’ll talk a little bit about each in four separate posts. This one is about Community which are people, animals, souls, or energy that are worldly, or “real.” It could even be a place or an event that is meaningful to you, but it is an actual something, as opposed to inner people or fairies which are not (usually) visible.
Your Community is full of mostly souls, probably, who made an impact on you, not toxic people or anything that would cause trauma (always avoid those on SoulCollage® cards), but it could be someone that taught you a life lesson. Maybe it was difficult, but it ended up being a healthy experience. Or maybe it’s someone who has always been a bright spot for you and fills you with feelings of self-worth all the time. When you create or draw one of these cards from your deck, listen to the voice of that particular person. They want to tell you something. My first dog, Milo, appears in many of my cards. He has a lot to say.
These examples don’t include Milo, but do introduce you to my childhood orchestra director from 6th to 12th grade, Mr. Van, who instilled confidence in me, trusted me, and liked me as a person and leader (I was always first stand, first violin). I loved orchestra and I loved Mr. Van. The other example is a former co-worker, Chris, an army veteran, Ranger, and inspirational person. When I put the kid in the water on the card, I didn’t even notice he was wearing camouflage until after it was done. That’s what I call SoulCollage® magic.
You have a Community around you. Let them talk to you, help you, guide you. Even if they aren’t part of your everyday life, they can live on your SoulCollage® cards forever.
I started pre-cutting images because I was bothered by the extra space when laying out my cards. I was also bored. Then I kept doing it because they store better that way (taped to scrap paper), and it’s a good thing to do when I’m too tired to think through a whole collage, but I feel like doing something crafty and mindful. I don’t use all of the ones I cut, but it’s still worth it. I love being able to go to my folder and be able to create my cards without the extra time of cutting. I can automatically see what it will look like when glued down without squishing together a bunch of larger pieces of paper, and they are easy to peruse all taped to scrap paper.
Megan Menkveld created MMSoul to have a platform from which she could share SoulCollage® and the overall gift of art in order to create balance and wellness for all individuals open to receiving it. This blog is a way to stay in touch and keep the conversation going outside of workshop time. Please visit regularly, comment and share! All are welcome.