LAURA ARENA

As part of a three day workshop at the Fish Factory Creative Centre for preteens from East Iceland. I designed a series of three sacred space rituals that all the attendees were invited to participate in each day.

Photos of the workshop taken by Elena Perez, Fish Factory Creative Centre.

DAY ONE: ALTER FOR THE FOUR ELEMENTS COMBINED WITH SPIRIT
I placed alters in the room at North, South, East, West and Center coordinates. All was invited to add to the alters. I shared my insight about the elements and they shared theirs with a particular focus on Iceland. We discussed the characteristics of each, our natural affinity for a particular, and the wholeness of them all. Children were especially keen on talking about animals and the element that represented them. Over the course of the workshop I photographed the alters invidually.

North is the earth element. It is the color green. It represents midnight and winter. It is the place of greatest darkness. It is caves, mountains, garments, groves, and plains. The characteristics are strength, wealth, body and form.

South is fire element. It is the color red. It represents the moon and summer. It is the place of greatest heat. It is the sun, stars, deserts, volcanoes and lightening. The characteristics are courage, will and passion.

East is air element. It is the color yellow. It represents dawn and spring. It is the place of greatest light. It is the sky, wind, high places, vibrations, and clouds. The characteristics are breath, wind, music, and intellect.

West is water element. It is the color blue. It represents twighlight and autumn. It is the place of the setting sun. It is fog, tides, snow, lakes, wells, rivers, oceans, and rain. The characteristics are compassion, feelings, dreams, intuition.

Photos of the four elements alters.

DAY TWO: DREAMS
I added to the room a giant dream catcher and a dream box and asked attendees to write down there dreams on sheets of paper and slide them into the box without writing their name. I discussed with the children the story behind the dream catcher and the importance of recognizing and verbalizing their dreams in sleeping and waking life.

Photos of the dream catcher and dream box.

DAY THREE: MEDICINE WHEEL
I added to the room with local crystals and rocks creating the shape of a medicine wheel that included the Earth, Fire, Air and Water alters. I asked the children to come up with an animal for each stone that best represented its position to the alters in the wheel. For example if it is a stone between water and earth to find an animal that possess both of these characteristic, for example a polar bear who lives both in water and on land. We also included animals from Icelandic folklore and stories.

Photos of the medicine wheel.

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