HOUSEHOLD GODS

Prayer cards for eight ordinary moments when hope is waning. Meditate on the relevant image to recover fortitude and find new inspiration. The card sets also offer suggested prayers to include in those meditations, to be read aloud or internally, though you might prefer to personalize them or compose your own.

The inspiration for these cards comes from the year and a half of quarantine, confinement, and separation that we have collectively experienced. Spending an increased amount of time in one’s interior spaces shifts needs, draws attention to different desires, makes different frustrations arise… Early in the pandemic there were numerous publications and presentations of art made in response to the crisis, initial reactions that expressed the grief and fear and loss that people were suddenly confronted with. I have found that with time my focus has turned to the small horrors and anxieties of daily details. I notice how much my hair accumulates on the rug and my baffling resistance to simply vacuuming it up. I notice the panic that wells in my chest when only one serving remains in the box of cereal and I then feel compelled to stockpile granola. I stare at the fine layer of dust covering every surface of my life revealed when the sunlight beams through the room. Why brush it off if it will only settle again on the same surfaces? These cards are visual representations of several such scenarios, and the associated prayers are my way of shifting from fear and defeatist thinking to hope and perseverance.

The original artworks, a one-of-a-kind set, are additionally interactive. These may be kept or displayed as art objects. You may use them for prayer. Under extreme circumstances of great need, a card’s spell may be entirely activated by placing the card in a shallow dish of water and weighing it down with the included stone. Things must balance — turning attention to something means something else must be sacrificed. Here this energy exchange is directed towards the cards themselves. The art must be destroyed in order for change to occur within. When making these, I was also thinking of Robert Rauschenberg’s 1953 Erased de Kooning Drawing, the changing of the guard it represents, the courage it took to seek permission to undo what had been carefully constructed in order to usher in a new wave, a blank slate on which to craft a new reality.

The original eight cards were made using a wax resist method to capture intuitive gestures for each theme, then embellished further to enhance depth in the images. I primarily used Sekhmet Red ink from A Rural Pen Inkworks in North Carolina. The pigment for this ink is derived from weaponry, from used guns taken off the market and dissolved in acid so that they can never cause bloodshed again. For me, writing and painting with this ink infused the resulting works with additional energy, in particular the energy of transformation. The included stone, found in the sand at the Oregon Coast, also represents this powerful transformational energy, as it has become smooth through the polishing of natural forces over an unknowable amount of time.

 

Prayer TO THE God of splinters

Protect me from splinters and thorns as I touch the surfaces of life. And when they do sink in, let them be easily removed.

 

Prayer TO THE God of crumbs

If I must exist on crumbs, let them accumulate to make a meal. Each one was part of something wholesome. Nothing will be wasted.

 

Prayer TO THE God of interior spaces

Let this space be a reflection of who I am at my core. Let me thrive in being located, not confined, within these walls. This is my domain— it keeps me as I keep it.

 

Prayer TO THE God of dust

I accept that all things will particulate with time, including my own body. While I inhabit this form, do not let too much dust cling to the surfaces of my life.

 

Prayer TO THE God of solitude

I am left alone. I absorb the light. I am energized. I am lighter. In this moment I am infinitely unburdened and free. Joy radiates from me, creating magic.

 

Prayer TO THE God of shed hair

Each strand fallen to the rug is a record of years of my life. Together they weave my intricate pattern. I gather them and remember my story.

 

Prayer TO THE God of wires, cables, & cords

Untangle me and direct my energy along a fruitful path. There is no need to try so hard. The right way will open with this calm unwinding.

 

Prayer TO THE God of empty CONTAINERS

Let me embrace the potential of this empty state. Emptiness is not a lack— it is a fertile path, the ground where I may plant seeds of the future.