I practice stream drawing as an intuitive-psychic reader, on behalf of others. When clients seek me for a reading, a stream drawing becomes a visual, intuitive tool. In such cases, I dedicate a stream drawing to the client, most often without knowing them (other than their name) or their concerns. I close my eyes and use my non-dominant hand to draw in a way that allows me to get into the stream of consciousness flow.
Once I am finished drawing, I open my eyes and gaze at the drawing while I am in the stream of consciousness flow. I trust what comes to me to discover and connect the personal meanings that the imagery holds based on memories and associations. I describe how the imagery makes me feel and what it brings to mind—and as the client describes what meanings it holds—the reading ascends.
In one of my most recent intuitive stream drawings I did for a client, I saw an imagery that was so life-enhancing (not just for the client, but for me as well!) about how we know the past. In one section of the stream drawing, I perceived a person in what I felt was an excavator. I have never driven an excavator, but that is what came to me intuitively. It looked like she was up high, at the wheel, a foot at the gas and one on the break—she was in control. She was facing her past and moving swarms of momentous energy, rolling thoughts and emotions ran continuously through her mind as if to take all the things she had gone through in life up until now and pushed them all around.
Was she moving them repeatedly, or organizing them to understand them better?
Don't we all do that, take all the memories of what they said, or they did, etc. and try to make sense of it?
Don't we all have scenes of our pasts visiting us?
I felt as though the person in the stream drawing image was really, really moving around all kinds of past scenes, emotions, and thoughts just as we do in our minds throughout any day. There was a spade there, too (colored in green). For me, that spade signified how we bury the dead, since we dig the earth with a spade. A spade can have many symbolic meanings, but it struck me…had my client recently lost someone?
When the intuitive reading session began, I described the stream drawing imagery for the intuitive guidance it offered and began with this past orientation image, just one section in a larger, complex stream drawing reading. The client told me she had most definitely been thinking of the past, and in fact, she had lost both her parents not too long ago. I exclaimed, "no wonder you've been reviewing the past! I empathize greatly."
Because of the uniquely empowering image of the person at the wheel on that excavator, we talked about how she is in the driver's seat and able to be the determiner of her mind, her thoughts, and her grief. She can move those memories around to make sense of the chaos, or the pain, for as long as she likes and at the pace she wishes (gas pedal, brake pedal!).
You are the authority of your emotional domain and the landscape of your past. I told my client: if you are in charge!
That in itself was a very healing element of the reading, but when I turned the stream drawing to see her past from another angle, I got another surprise. What I saw was a wondrous landscape—a magical realm. A place with sun-lit mountain peaks, steep valleys and reflections of the moon in lakes, boats at the port in a bay, and possibly castles and winding roads. It looked like the abstract depiction of a hero's journey. I realized, while we often see our past in painful ways, or as a landscape littered with pain, perhaps we should also realize a spiritual view of our lives as very different from that. Maybe if we see ourselves as the main character, a prince or princess of our own fairy-tale, in a fairy-tale landscape, full of enchanted forests and fairy godmothers, guided by wizards to help us—maybe, then we would see our lives in another light. Perhaps we could give ourselves the unconditional love we deserve, perhaps all of our mistakes are sun-lit mountain peaks where we learned the hardest of lessons.
No matter how confusing it might seem at times, the places life took us are glistening streams that carried us with love and acceptance, even if we did not always feel it.
My client and I talked about letting the past be a place full of love and wonder—a place where we learned, where we journeyed into unknowns, and where we were often innocent and took wrong turns, but all the while we were on a quest for knowledge in experience. By nature, this is a courageous venture, a noble pursuit, and it allows us to see every other person we encounter as on their own journey in a landscape just as magical and fraught with pitfalls, too.
These two glimpses of a past orientation in an intuitive stream drawing reading really enabled my client, to feel in charge of her past, so that the past would not own her. Rather she could be the authority of her past. After all, it does not exist anymore—the past is gone. We can acknowledge the wrongs and heal the pain from what transpired, we do not have to deny what occurred. The past is just part of our life journey, full of light, promise, and heroic adventures.
Elaine Clayton is an internationally known artist, author, certified Reiki master, intuitive reader, workshop instructor, and the creator of Illuminara Intuitive Journal. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children, and illustrator of books by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Jane Smiley and Wicked author Gregory Maguire, among others. She practices Reiki and intuitive healing in New York City, Connecticut, and Atlanta.