Capricorn Artist – Kara Mother Henna

New Moon in Capricorn
January 14, 2010 11:11 pm PST Annular Solar Eclipse 11:06 pm PST
This month's featured Capricorn artist is a vibrant and vital part of communities both online and offline. I hope you are as touched and inspired by Mother Henna's tale of strength, knowing and compassion as I am.

Capricorn Resources: Self-discipline, common sense, logic, patience, persistence, self-sufficiency.

I love doing henna as body art, but I also love using it to make intricate sugar skulls.

The heART of a Capricorn

by Kara L.C. Jones aka MotherHenna

When I was young, it was a mystery to me why I was a Capricorn. I hate gravity. I am not an Earth lover, and I do not like digging in dirt and playing with earthworms for growing my own food. I always hated the idea of climbing because it equated to social game-play where we try to climb from lower class to upper class. My heart was and is the five to eight year old child who spent every moment of summer daylight in the ocean or swimming pool until my mother dragged my raisin-crinkled-skin physically from the water so I would eat and sleep in preparation for another day in the water the next day! My fascination with hotels stems from the fact that we visited many a swimming pool when we traveled. To this day, a hotel pool on a hot day with a cool glass of iced tea - wow! Feeds my heARTist being big time.
It was only in recent years that I fully began to understand and SEE all that Capricorn is. It is not just the skilled climbing of craggy rocks that the Goat does best. Capricorn also has a *Fishtail*!!! She is watery. She swims to the depths of the sub-conscious and brings her dreams to the Earth, made manifest in spite of gravity and linear space-time. Oh! I get it now.

I love to work digitally, too. My Capricorn Goat likes the orderliness of digital work. My Capricorn Fishtail loves to swim in all the possible palates, brushes, layers. Every single move made in Photoshop creates a different version of my heART!
How is my heART influenced by Capricorn? Heck, my heART *IS* Capricorn made manifest. Forget "influenced by," I AM! My heART IS. As I began looking, not just at the finished art pieces, but also my process of being a heARTist, I could see my Capricorn birth all over the place. There are a million tiny steps up the craggy slope, no matter what medium I work in for a particular piece.
Photography: Which camera, digital or film? What kind of film? Lighting? Set up? Development?
Digital: What elements do I want to pull in? Colors? Layers? Brushes? Filters? Crops? Alterations?
Henna: Which plant powder? Moroccan? Rajasthani? Sticky agent? Molasses? Honey? Terp? Lavender? Cajeput? Do I want to henna skin on body or instrument head? Or wood or paper or as layer on canvas?
Physical: Canvas? Paper? Book? Carve a stamp? Which blade for stamp carving? Thick or soft acrylic? Transfers? Materials for doing patterns? Bottle caps? Produce netting? Bottle corks? Edge of credit card? Colors? What images appear?

Every step shifts the path of a piece. And I love swimming through it all! My days are full of swimming these kinds of options as I build up a piece layer by layer. But my days are also full of swimming through a creative life. My life is a million steps up craggy slopes, swimming a million items on the to-do list. Make time for art-making. Research. Write. Do proposals for heART presentations and workshops. Inventory and re-supply. Balance the books and invoice for work done. Get finished pieces photographed or scan to share online, send out for submission possibilites. Do those submissions which include images, applications, emails. My work is about creativity and grief, so there are emails, calls, meetings with bereaved families and caregivers who want to explore this with me or need other creative support. Actually doing blog posts and updating the website. Keeping our catalogue current and promoting it so more commissions are generated. Making sure we are getting and sending all that needs to come and go via the post office. Not to mention things like, oh I don't know, eating, seeing the kids and grandkids, maintaining our romance and inspiration by doing things like art dates, connecting with friends. Oh, and sleeping.

Pretty sure it is my Goat who just keeps taking another step, one at a time, making our way, being present for the journey, regardless of outcome. And it is my Fishtail that loves the swim, and unstructured structure, the choices, the ability to make my own meaning as I go through it all.

Madame Zolda and the 1,000 Faces Deck

It all became a metaphor and guide for making my way through the aftermath of grief when our son died, too. There is the Earthy, one extremely rocky grief step at a time, the marble jar full of my son's ashes. And there is the drowning wave of having a different emotion every three seconds, the tumult of grief, the swimming through my subconscious as I try to relocate love now that his physical body is gone. Creativity during grief definitely involves art for me, but art is just one possible creative grief tool. My practice has become more about the creativity it takes to start at the moment of trauma, and then moves the body across space-time into learning to live life in the face of loss. That movement is different for every single one of us. There is no prescription for grief. So I let my Capricorn self come to full manifestion in doing grief and creativity work. We all have the common context of taking one step after another in grief's wake. But the swim through the heART process and finding out which tools will actually work for us, is unique.

With that full picture of what Capricorn means, I was able to come into my own. Re-birth my heART and understand my Capricorn birthright. The mystery now is just the awe of watching it all unfurl, one step at a time.

About the heARTist:
Kara is Grief & Creativity Coach over at and creator of the 1,000 Faces of Mother Henna project. Some of the 1.000 Faces pieces are available at her shop.

You can read more New Moon Artist Features here.