photography class

New Moon Intentions in Light by Linda Costa Cheranichit

"Flow Down River" a participant's intention written and painted in light by me.

Last Friday, with a New Moon in Taurus, I guided a group workshop inspired by self care and creativity. I began the session by introducing myself and my work as a light painter, detailing my process of painting with light onto darkness and explaining that the magic happens during the long exposure which the camera captures, not afterwards via computer imaging. I then shared my experiences with setting intentions, and how influential that has been in both my personal and professional lives. Before the gathering, I'd prepared bath salts and essential oils, and set out a vase of roses which we then used during our intention setting exercise. I'd learned through my circle of creative and inspiring women in Atlanta that using flower petals and oils to 'plant' your intentions into bath salts as you spoke each intention out loud was an extremely cathartic ritual. Once the seeds of intention have been planted in the salts, the magical mix then sits for the rest of the lunation, that is, until the moon goes from new to full. At the Full Moon, the salts should be poured into a hot bath where you revel in its divine scents and healing properties, reflecting on the ways that your intentions have come to fruition over the last weeks, or reconnecting to your true intentions. I love rituals of this sort, rituals that are simple, no stress, non denominational, and truly enjoyable. Rituals to remind us to take care of this wonderful shape that carries our dreams and our desires, rituals that wash away the negative and invigorate us, rituals to uplift us and keep us true to ourselves and the path we want to walk while on this earth. After planting our seeds of intention, I asked the group to boil their intentions down to 3-6 words that I would then light write and light paint textures around. Each participant was involved in authoring the words, and their silhouettes were used in creating the light painted photograph. It was my turn to enact my own sacred ritual, that of creation. I always enjoy performing my light painting in front of an audience, but I especially love to share it with people who have never seen the process before. There is always such joy in how they experience it, and that is contagious in the most wonderful way! "How are you not in the image? (After about a minute in darkness goes by and I'm still moving around, changing up the lights in my hands) Are you still taking the photo? I've never seen anything like this! That is amazing!" are just some of the questions and comments I heard as I worked in complete darkness creating words and textures using only hand held light sources. I'm so grateful to have my studio as the space where I shared my gifts, lighting up the darkness with the warmth of another person's truest desires. When we finished we each felt compelled to hug as we said our goodbyes, as it truly had been an intimate and unique session where we shared our greatest wishes along with our creative energies on a special New Moon night.