Like Alice They Followed The Rabbit

23 07 2019

“Alice is bored sitting on the riverbank with her sister, who is reading a book. Suddenly she sees a white rabbit, wearing a coat and carrying a watch, run past, lamenting running late. She follows it down a rabbit hole and falls very slowly down a tunnel lined with curious objects. She lands in a long hallway lined with locked doors. She finds a little key sitting on a glass table. Behind a curtain on the wall, she finds a tiny door that opens with the key and leads into a beautiful garden. The door, however, is too small for Alice to fit through. “

By Natalie Rak

When Alice followed the rabbit down the hole into Wonderland she found a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. When some people stumbled upon The Soul Food Cafe they discovered that the Cafe was actually a ‘front’ disguising an entrance to the fantasy world of Lemuria.

The Soul Food Cafe was bought into the world by Imagineer, Heather Blakey. In its heyday, between 2004-10, Soul Food attracted over a million visitors a year. The majority of visitors never did notice the little key sitting on the glass table near the bookshelf. They never realised that the key triggered a mechanism designed to open the bookshelf, filled with the works of people like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

However, some intuitively knew that there must be a key that would open a portal. They persisted and found their way down the spiral staircase, crawled through the tunnels that meandered underneath the Cafe and eventually arrived in the Cave of the Enchantress.  Enchanteur (one of Heather Blakey’s alter egos) remains, to this day, an ageless Lemurian Priestess. She gave pilgrims a small bag filled with talismans, told them they must never relinquish the bag and magicked them into Lemuria.

When they recovered from the shock of being teleported into a new, thinly populated world, most of these pilgrims found themselves at Duwamish Bay. They invariably stayed at the Duwamish Inn, ate and drank heartily and full of trust joined a Gypsy caravan and wandered semi aimlessly around Lemuria with a host of donkeys.

Time moved on, the world of the internet changed. Travellers were drawn to the lights of Facebook, Heather Blakey’s life had been turned upside down and she needed to go away and reinvent herself. The world of Enchanteur drifted, like Avalon, into the mists. With Enchanteur gone, Soul Food has lain silent for over a decade and the door to Lemuria has been closed.

True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.
Cesar Chavez

Over the past decade, Heather Blakey has successfully reinvented herself and recently graduated as a Masters of Social Work. During her final placement, inspired by the children at Winters Flat Primary School, she messaged Enchanteur. Imagine her delight when she heard the rustle of E’s gown and the giggles of her entourage. Everyone agreed that it is important to find a way to celebrate and preserve the memory of those heady days when Enchanteur was in full flight.

If you love the expressive arts and understand their power to heal you can try to launch yourself through the cobweb filled back passage that leads into the vast halls and vaults of Soul Food. Heather and E have at least 101 stories to tell about Soul Food’s origins and the glory days of Lemuria.

An Inner World Revealed

23 07 2019

It was this drawing of Enchanteur, with her dream seeds, that was a turning point. I decided that while my drawings may not have been technically perfect they had a distinct message.

When I work with participants, encouraging them to draw upon material from their interior world, I never suggest that what comes forth will be able to be chronologically dated. These posts are in no particular, linear order.

Soul Food was never presented in an orderly fashion. It was drawn largely from my rich inner world and I am still amazed that so many people navigated their way through its meandering passages, rummaged as they would in some overstocked second-hand book shop to find treasures.

Today as I work I have vivid recollections of my husband, who was battling cancer, watching TV, flicking from channel to channel while I sat drawing. Unlike many people, I had never drawn but, inspired by some material Anita Marie Moscoso had been writing I decided to draw what rose as a result of reading her work.

My husband, who could produce almost photographic replicas with his drawings refrained from pointing out my technical frailties and I persisted. Rather than write I drew something every night, depicted what was happening as I led people through the portal into the world of Lemuria, a world I had learned about from the writings of my great grandfather who explored vast tracts of South Western Queensland in the 1860s.

The post I have reblogged from While Waiting for Godot contains a selection of images that were used to depict the journey that the Enchantress led through the portal into Lemuria.

While Waiting For Godot

This is a collection of drawings I did while I was travelling, with a host of companions,   in Lemuria. Many of these are self-portraits!  Over a five year period,  while my late husband was battling cancer, and often confined to bed, I spent my nights drawing, Looking at these drawing now I can see that I managed to capture the inner world that sustained me during those long years. After walking away from my life in the city, and reinventing myself, my pencils have lain idle! They served me well! Today I give thanks to them, and to all those who fearlessly travelled those Lemurian roads with my multiple personalities!
Heather Blakey
Pencil Drawings – Enhanced in Photoshop! 2005 – 2010

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The Chocolate Box

22 07 2019

I was beyond elated to discover Soul Food Cafe, an unbelievable mecca for writers and other creative folks. I don’t know when I’ve ever been so taken aback by seeing so much juicy, HELPFUL information on a single Web site. Take a look at the Navigation Signposts on the left side of the home page and then go where your intuition steers you…you can’t go wrong! One of my favourite sections was the material for journal keepers which, I’ll mention, includes prompts and tools that are equally effective for art journalers.
Artella 2003

HOW did I NOT find this site BEFORE? Not only is it about journaling, Muses, and creativity, but it’s practical, well-written, and has stuff on VISUAL JOURNALS!! There is, literally, enough stuff here to keep you busy until your favourite pen has gone the way of the Dodo. A MUST SEE site of 2003, in our not-so-humble-royal opinion.
IN(ner) QUESTION 2003

One of the first, very popular, features at the Soul Food Cafe was the Chocolate Box.

The early promotion called upon artists, dreamers, dancers, mythologists and Imagineers to nourish their creative spirit by taking a chocolate from the box.  It pointed out that this strictly non-fat box of chocolates is packed full of projects and material to help creatives return to that wondrous childhood kingdom where imagination and creativity reigned supreme.

The special fillings focused on celebrating childhood joy, spontaneity and imagination. For example, one chocolate takes you to a Box of Wonderment. It is easy to navigate the Chocolate Box. Each chocolate has a hyperlink that takes you to a specific activity.

Chocolate Box Memory Leonie Bryant August 2005

Sitting in my warm cosy room, I opened my delicious box of chocolates. My mind drifted back to life on the farm in the Mallee in Northern Victoria.

My fondest memories are of the derelict old buildings around the farm. My favourite was the stables which were used to house the draft horses who pulled the machinery around the paddocks. The building was made of split posts with a thatched roof of straw. The empty troughs lined the walls and the old harnesses and bridles hung from the posts. I can remember climbing onto the roof and jumping off onto the heaps of earth behind the stables. I can almost smell the aroma of the rotted straw and grease as I sit here.

The other derelict building I remember is the pigsty, as above. The picture here is of a painting done by my sister when she returned there in the ’80s. As you can see, the shelter for the pigs is almost intact, although the drifting sands from the drought have covered most of the surrounding fence.

Despite the fact that I had 3 sisters and a brother, I can only remember playing by myself. Strange! The home held many difficulties for all of us. As I reflect now, I can see the resourcefulness of the little girl who nurtured herself helping her rise above those difficulties.

The Chocolate Box by Simone Crowther August 2005

I wake up and there is a jewelled box at the end of my bed. The jewels glisten in sea colours of violet, blue, green and aquamarine; eels and fish entwine in the silver work. I open the box and therein incongruously lay chocolates!

Rich dark chocolates, milk chocolate, chocolate truffles, nut encrusted chocolates and white chocolates. I puck a white chocolate and memories swirl before me, memories that form the core of me. I find myself in a tiny airless attic with a trunk in front of me. I know of this trunk from the enchantress as the trunk of wonderment.

I open it and there at the bottom is a faded photograph of myself as a frail, pale girl, almost albino in my lack of colour with a voluminous mass of white blond hair that made me look like a mop on a stick. Such a miserable girl bowed beneath the hatred of a Poe-faced family. I remember her sadly. She was the sacrifice, I made to survive. I laid her in a chest, a stout wooden box, the size of a child’s coffin and hid her (in the cave of an old formidable she-bear who takes in all such orphans) in a netherworld of my own depths because she was sick beyond my healing. She lies there still, swathed in a few precious scraps of sun shot nature, dreams and hidden ambitions, waiting… So wan, pale and sick almost to death but lo’ she breathes, so precious!

I have been digging for that soul, to wake it up, revive it, breathe life energy back into it. I lay a honey comb as good will for the bear. A token of my recognition of the sweetness of life, my love and commitment. I take her childish form from the bear.

I call to her, coax her with soft words. It is safe to come out and be loved, joined with my body, joined with the present. It is safe to breathe deeply, to laugh, to dare, to dance wildly. It is safe to weep for old pain and dissolve old wounds.

I place her sleeping form over my shoulder and dig my way back up to the daylight world.

She is a splinter of my soul, a long forgotten part of me that had to lie hidden from the searching claws of my family.

She is a precious, precious thing. A part of me that wasn’t safe to express. She is the forbidden, the wild, the magick and also the vulnerable flame of youth, of life lived passionately. She is white like the moon and her fragility is deceptive for she holds tremendous power. She is my Persephone, my playful, puckish spirit that had to lie in the underworld but now returns to be my soul’s delight.

She lay like a spiritual seed and now she can grow like an immense silver-hot tree that casts both light and shadow.

I have let the moon out from my box. She is both the daughter and the mother of me.

She rests now, breathing deeply, rapidly gaining strength.

She is hungry and I feed her little scraps of meet. This is no vegetarian soul but a huntress with wolf’s tail, canine teeth and claws.