The Visionary Art of Paul B. Rucker

Take a journey through physical self, levels of consciousness, and into transcendent realms.

Inspired by myth, diety and personal revelation, Paul paints vivid colors and light-lines to evoke the dancing energy surrounding both traditional and new mythic figures. His original art is featured at the Eye of Horus, both on our gallery wall, as well as throughout the store.

We also carry some of these images and several of his other works as limited edition prints, all in runs of less than 500.  Prints start at only $15 for limited edition, archival quality prints of 24 of Paul’s paintings, both in the store and in the Art of Paul Rucker section of our online shop.  Each is signed and numbered by the artist and come with a certificate of authenticity.

Interview with Paul Rucker

We sat down with Paul to talk about his work and inspiration. We ended up with five short videos which explore the nature and understanding of life and the divine. Click here to go to the YouTube playlist.

In Part One of the interview, below,  Paul talks about his early experiences and how archetypal beings, gods, goddesses became the driving force behind his art. We also discuss his current work with body painting, ritual theater and sacred drama. Art, as he strives to create is Mythopoeic work, and artists reshape the Mythical Matrix.  We also explore the vibrancy of  Paganism.

In the second half of the interview, below, Paul explores the creation and meaning of two of his works. The first is his image of Melek Ta’us.  The second is image of Oshun.  We talk about how he doesn’t just set out to depict a pantheon, rather he connects with and answers the call to paint a divinity, and finally, Paul reflects on nature’s wisdom.

In His Own Words

Androgyne

Androgyne

As a small child I shared my visions by making pictures. That act of magic still sustains me.

When still very young I dreamed of a White Stag that took me to a moonlit grove, wild and rambling, filled with Gods’ names. Not the “Names of God” but the names of the Gods and Goddesses of the world. To stand anywhere in that holy place was to feel each Divine personality completely. All were there, every divinity the human world had ever known, and the Stag of the Moon leading me on and on… even then I knew my task was to bring that magic back to this world, somehow, through making images.

I think of myself as part of the Tribe of Dream… the people who bring heightened reality into the world through art and other acts of creative sorcery. View a video of Paul as he discusses the mythic symbolism of The Androgyne.

The Art & Appearances

I paint in acrylic and occasionally in other water-based media and in oils. I draw in pen, pencil, and mixed media. Other experiences involve creating theatrical backdrops, murals, collage, sign painting, mask-making in clay and paper-mache, silk painting, costuming, and elaborate face and body paintings.  In 1997 my art was featured in a mixed-media collaboration by the performance group Body Prayers at the Merrymeet festival. In 2006, 2007, and 2009, my “Blue Man” persona extended the boundaries at the Faerieworlds Festival in Oregon.

My images have been featured on and in magazines such as Green Egg, Hecate’s Loom, Mezlim, Psychedelic Illuminations, Tapestry Journal, and Reclaiming Quarterly.  In recent years my exposure has grown to include Spellcraft, Witch Eye, Faerie Nation Magazine, and the Green Egg Omelette anthology. I’ve provided work for card games, logos, T-shirts, brochures, and CD album covers: Ancestor Energy and Mojo Roots: “Prakriti’s Kiss.”

Paul Talks about his Influences

In the beginning, of course, were the dreams and visions I had no words to express, which led me to make pictures. Very early influences include the lush and amazing illustration in childrens’ books of the late 60s and early 70s– such as the work of Leo and Diane Dillon, who illustrated many of the most fantastical of the stories included in the Silver Burdett Reading series. Saturation in literature came fast and deep. To this day I think of myself as a “writerly” painter, because my art always alludes in some way to story and myth.

I never cared for mere realism, since one could see that anywhere, and far too much of it besides. In reading faery tales, I never identified with the hero or his/her sidekick the way I was “supposed” to– it was their faerie guardian or angelic helper or radiant friend/enemy from the Otherworld that held me fast.

Later on I delved into my parents’ collection of the Time-Life series of “Great Masters of Art”: my fascination with mythological images and scenes, paralleled what I was learning about Greco-Roman, and later Egyptian, Norse and Indian mythologies. I learned about who, or at least of what nature, the supernal personalities I saw in my dreams and sidelong visions were.

In college I began to make an active effort to expand my inner sensibility by studying and incorporating artistic/spiritual styles from many different cultures, most notably Asian art: Moghul images, Tibetan Thangkas, and so forth. Exposure to psychedelics and “entheogens” obviously left a mark as well. But after graduation I continued to work to expand the boundaries of my inner eye: gathering books for instance of artists just beyond my range such as Frida Kahlo and Gauguin, so that I could taste where their work and style was coming from.

Gremlin Fugue by Paul B. Rucker

Gremlin Fugue

One of my most important epiphanies came from a book on Aboriginal art: the frontispiece showed nothing but a dark and wrinkled hand, presumably the artist’s, lightly touching an Aboriginal painting done in undulating dots. I suddenly got it: these were energy paintings! Ever after I searched for more primal and trans-cultural ways to relate to these styles: Huichol, shamanic arts. The more I learned the more I realized how to learn; that the arts I had the most affinity for and that could teach me something, came from the same current of relating to the world in its invisible, energetic, and more than ego-based aspect: the universe was not a stage for the ego, and the world not simply its tool and plunder, but an infinite diversion of living beings, a “great story.”

Perhaps the ongoing journey between the two hemispheres of my own brain in absorbing Images and Music and Stories, then studying philosophy and discourse relating to expeditions “behind the veil” of ordinary reality, has shaped my approach to my themes and subjects. View a video of Paul discussing his meld of music and art – Gremlin Fugue. I find the greatest meaning in my art as a marriage of content as consciousness (understanding) and content as transmission from the nonrational and often surprising Undermind. I see my work as ongoing dispatches from a miraculous theater of myth and meaning, out there, in the Otherworld.

Paul B. Rucker originals showing at Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus also has two of his Pen and Ink originals available: Mother Goddess and To Dance for Iblis.  Prices for the original paintings start at $900 and the Black and White originals are $350.

Sacred Smudge Spray

Sacred Smudge Spray

Have you ever wanted to smudge your car, your office, or other non-smoking environments? How about your hotel room when you are traveling?  Let’s face it–we can’t always light a smudge wand on fire. Smoke is simply not allowed or wanted in some locations, and for some people, such as those with asthma or allergies, smoke is unhealthy.

Sacred Smudge Spray - Sage, Cedar and Palo Santo Essential OilSacred smudge spray is the smokeless, pure alternative to burning sage. Whether you need to change the energy or just lighten the air, just one spritz and the wonderful aroma of this spray creates a clean and blessed atmosphere. This quick and easy smudge spray uses only a traditional plant blend of sage, cedar and palo santo true essential oils for energy cleansing and ritual use.

These three traditional plants are carefully blended in this refreshing and fragrant smudge spray to disperse the same natural plant energy used throughout the ages in cleansing ceremonies. In fact, shamans and other traditional healers speak with respect of the spirit of each healing plant. These plant spirits provided our teacher-ancestors with the powerful medicine of smudging and have traditionally been our energetic allies. When we create our smudge spray, we do bless it with Reiki Energy, to make sure all the energies are clear, but we do not change the spray smudge with any other energies or add anything from other belief systems which could dilute, divert or in any way interfere with the pure spirit of the smudge.

Sage + Cedar + Palo Santo = Pure Plant Power

Our sacred smudge spray uses only true essential oils of these three traditional smudge plants in a spray bottle of ‘liquid smudge’ for you to use anywhere or anytime smoke is inconvenient. Here are the traditional properties of the essential oils blended in our sacred smudge spray mist:

  • Palo Santo is considered sacred by many native peoples of South America. It is said to purify and clear objects, places, and people.  Only tree branches that have fallen naturally to the ground are used for the distillation of this oil.  No trees are cut to produce the Palo Santo Essential Oil in this smudge spray.
  • Sage  is used worldwide in traditional energy-cleansing ceremonies–the sage essence attaches to negative energy and folds it back in itself to transform the negative energy into positive energy. Some say sage summons courage, wards off jealousy, increases mental acuity, and attracts prosperity. Our spray uses Organic Sage Essential Oil.
  • Cedar is often used in the sweat lodge (and in the Scandinavian equivalent–the Sauna). The scent of cedar attracts good spirits and eliminates negative energies. Native Americans put boughs of the white cedar on tepee poles, believing that it would ward off lightning.

Locally Crafted to be Naturally Pure

We respect the purity of native traditions. Nothing is added from crystals or holy water from various cultures, etc. This is absolutely the purest smudge spray we could create. It may be in a brown bottle, but our smokeless smudge spray is totally green.  In fact, it is:

  • Vegan
  • Uses only the highest-quality ingredients (no artificial fragrance oils)
  • Cruelty Free (never tested on animals)
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Made in Minnesota

Benefits of Sacred Spray Smudge

Are you sensitive or empathic and work with people? Some people leave lingering energy which may disrupt your concentration or leave you on edge. Use our smokeless smudge spray in these situations to reset the energy and put it on a more positive note.  In fact, liquid smudge is AMAZING for practitioners, consultants and therapists of all professions, as smudging helps keep your consultation rooms feeling light and welcoming, plus it helps to prevent heavy or distracting energies from building up.

Wondering exactly when to use smudge spray?  Many have found Sacred Smudge Spray can help with relaxation, rest, work, concentration, healing, meditation.  Smudging purifies and blesses the energy of a house, workspace, objects as well as mindful actions and activities. You can spray liquid smudge at home, at work, in the car, while traveling, in the bedroom before sleep, to prepare for important activities, to purify the air after difficult events, or to help transform your mental or emotional state.

Tips for use:

  • Use our sacred, smokeless smudge in a doorway to invite positive energy and strip off negativity.
  • Spray around the perimeter of any area you want to protect, and throughout any area you want to purify and bless.
  • When outside, stand with your back to the wind and spray three times to carry your prayer/intention/spell.
  • Use just before meditation or yoga for clarity and focus. (Or before study or a creative endeavor).
  • Spray after any particularly charged ritual or interaction to “clear the air”
  • Lightly spray on your bed before sleep for positive dreams.
  • Spray around your AURA (energy body) for personal cleansing.
  • Use any time you want to spiritually purify a space.

CAUTION: Do not spray in eyes. For external use only.

Traditional Native cultures offer simple and natural solutions for mind-body-spirit well-being, and smudging is one of the most common and powerful practices. In fact, spiritual healers from all cultures have always burned herbs or incense to purify people and places. Smudging with sage, palo santo, or cedar is done before all ceremonies, important meetings, and during illness. Now, with smokeless smudge spray, you are no longer limited as to where you can bless and be blessed. Pick up a bottle or two today.

Do you have any of your own tips or experiences with Smokeless Smudge Spray? Please comment!

Energy Renewal

There has been a lot of buzz out there about renewable energy, but did you know that you can start renewing your own energy today? Of course, I’m talking about your spiritual energy.  Call it Chi, Prana, Ki, Magic, by whatever name it’s still the same and it still works. It’s simple once you know how, and this is a meditation that I do myself on a regular basis.

Reach to the Sky

Reach to the Sky

Earth Energy Tree Meditation

Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and can sit comfortably in a chair with your feet touching the ground. Have a glass or bottle of water nearby. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing slowly and deeply, expanding your rib-cage and your belly for six breaths. Notice how this feels by focusing on the expansion and contraction of your ribs.

Relax and breath normally. Now bring your focus up between and behind your eyebrows, this is your Ajna Chakra or Third Eye and will help you with visualizing the rest of the meditation. Keep your eyes closed and picture a ball of white light in the center of your body, imagine it growing and expanding filling your body and creating a glow to about two feet from your body all around. At the outer edge imagine that a light blue electric light starts to form, like a forcefield it is protecting you and your space from any distractions.

Now feel the weight of your body where you are sitting, and imagine your chair as a tree stump, with roots reaching deep into the earth. Focus on your contact to the stump, and imagine that the white light flows freely from you to the stump and back again. Notice any sensations you may feel as you connect and ground yourself to Mother Earth.

Move your feet back and forth, and wiggle your toes while touching the floor. Imagine your feet have sent shoots down deep into the heart of Mother Earth as energy begins to flow effortlessly like water into your Energy Body. Picture the energy as a warm, golden-green color or loving pink color, whichever you are more comfortable with. Still your feet as they continue to drink and focus on the rising warmth as earth energy fills your legs, knees, hips, torso, arms, hands, neck and finally your head where it flows out the top, down your body, and back to the earth through the trunk of your tree-chair to the center of the Earth to be transformed into clear clean energy again. Allow it to flow at it’s own pace, and imagine as it does so it’s cleaning away all your doubts & fears, anger & frustration, and any negative speck or blocked idea that keeps you from pure love and joy.

As Earth Energy cleans out a space, it fills it with love, peace, and contentment. Focus on how this makes you feel.

When you are ready, open your eyes and drink your glass of water. Know that the water came from the earth and is nourishing your Energy Body which just had a good workout! As you continue your day, you can renew your connection to the earth by imagining a vine reaching from the base of your spine to the center of the earth.

Like an anchor it keeps you connected to Mother Earth and you can make it as large or small in your imagination as you think it should be. Use it any time you need to eliminate any negative or unpleasant emotions or energies throughout the day.


About the Author
Beth Hansen-Buth is a Usui Reiki Master and Celtic Reiki Master who has been working with Earth and Tree energies since 1997. Since November of 2008 she has been offering Reiki Sessions at Eye of Horus.  For more about her energy work, visit ReikiArtist.com, and to follow her on her journey you can read The Reiki Artist Blog – adventures of a practitioner.
Earth Energy Tree Meditation is © 2007-2009 Beth Hansen-Buth