Imagine how it would feel to be able to cast a gaze into your own authentic depths.

Spirit Masks, the creation of Nancy Haverkos of Santa Fe, New Mexico, provide precisely this opportunity for those who are willing to be seen.

“As both artist and psychotherapist, I combine art with personal growth in an exciting new way. Over the years of developing my techniques and process with the actual making of the masks, I found that I was capturing more than a three dimensional image of a face.

Through the castings I created of my own face, I found myself literally able to see my own inner processes, and realized that the masks reflected something profoundly and spiritually authentic.

Through the application of decorative elements, I found subtler insights were revealed. In sharing this process of inner discovery with others, I integrate my training and experience as a psychotherapist with my ability as an artist.

Through compassionately asked questions, the interview builds rapport as it illuminates the subject’s energetic field, opens the door to Spirit, and prepares the subject for the actual casting of his/her face for a Spirit Mask

The entire process, including the interview and the casting of the mask, provides rich and powerful insights for the subject. Through my understanding of the subject, revealed during the interview and casting, I gather seeds, berries, leaves and sand from various parts of the world, noting that the origin of the material becomes part of the mask’s impact. Natural textures, colors and energies make the message of the mask more profound.

I believe this process is at the forefront of an innovative approach to personal growth that can augment or accelerate other therapeutic modalities.”

In tribal cultures the world over, there are meaningful moments, rituals and passages where ceremony is used to invoke Spirit. During many of these ceremonies, the use of face painting and masks allows shamans, wise women and elders to pass along their stories of Spiritual guidance and wisdom.

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The space between ourselves and nature is thin, and the space between ourselves and Spirit is but a veil. Within the psychic realm of dreaming (whether awake or asleep), we often receive glimpses into the personal energies that surround us. In our dream bodies, nothing seems impossible as we blend our dreamtime with nature and heaven. In many traditions, the passage beyond the veil is represented by the mask of a god or deity or totemic ancestor, those half-human supernatural beings resembling creatures or plants. Aboriginal storytelling typically tells of creation and how the fabric of the dream dimension was made common to all elements... rocks, plants, animals, humans... and magic. Drawing from the dream experience that we are only half human, Spirit Masks provide a personal canvas for the representation of what we are in our non-human selves. Through meditation and deep perception, the artist divines color, form and textures to give life to the energies that reside within the subject's field of life energy.

Who hasn't caught a fleeting glimpse of 'something more' when seeing one's reflection in a mirror or window while passing by?

This initial elusiveness of Spirit holds intrigue and curiosity. We seek our deeper, truer selves in many ways... we pray, we meditate, we seek beauty in nature, and we travel long distances (often in dreams) for the sweet taste of connection with Spirit.