Over the many years that I have worked with the energies of the Maya calendar it has become evident to me that people tend to reflect their Maya birth energies through their work, particularly when they are passionate about what they are doing. This seems to be apparent particularly in the realm of the arts, with the visual arts often providing striking illustrations of this phenomenon.
Since it is always intriguing to see examples of this kind of energy reflection, I am including a series of artist-oriented posts, to illuminate these kinds of connections. The first of these highlights the work of my friend Keith Rice-Jones (with his kind permission).
Keith Rice-Jones: Pyramids in Clay
I have known Keith for over 40 years, since the time he first began to realize the potential of working with clay. That was in his early days as a teacher, working with special needs children. At that time it was the therapeutic value of having his students work with clay that drew him to the medium, but since that time he has never ceased exploring its potential as a means of expression.
Keith is a builder – he not only shapes clay but he builds with it. And pyramidal shapes appear quite frequently in his work. This is strongly in keeping with the nature of his 6 Eb’ birth energy.
Eb’ represents the essence of animating vitality that provides the catalyst for the restoration of life. This is a healing-oriented, stream-of-consciousness, restorative type of energy that is oriented towards moving life forward. It is sometimes symbolized by twisted or dry grass, as in the dry grass that springs back to life in the spring, signalling the return of life and growth. Eb’ also represents the idea of defining space, particularly in the sense of creating pathways for energy, especially to the higher realms. This aspect of Eb’ is well represented by the pyramidal shape.
In combination with the life-oriented energy of Eb’, the influence of the force of “six” can be seen quite clearly in Keith’s work. In Maya mythology the number six is represented by an “axe-eyed” deity who had the ability to break open the heavenly vessels that contain the precious waters of life. The number six was thought of as a very productive, life-generating number that is often associated with the energy of structuralization or crystallization. So a Six Eb’ birth energy is indicative of a highly “refreshing”, very life-oriented type of force. It is not only suggestive of tremendous, but highly purposeful, spontaneity, but is also perfectly suited to “building things” – particularly “pyramids”.
A retrospective exhibition of Keith’s journey through clay over several decades was held recently at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. In that exhibition the evidence of this energy was everywhere. There were pieces that incorporated sticks (that “dry grass” aspect). There were dozens of different kinds of constructed pieces (click here for an overview of his “Working the Edge: A (Mostly) Ceramic Journey” exhibit). And there were pyramids – all sorts of them.
And, of course, there was Keith – working on a large new piece even in the gallery, and as animated and passionate as ever about his work.
Click here to visit Keith’s studio and see/hear his descriptions of his approach. Note that some of his pieces are quite large, but he has always been unstoppable when it comes to seeing an idea through to completion, regardless of the size. I consider it a great privilege to have been able to see how Keith’s work (and life) have evolved over this long length of time.
Happy Maya birthday Keith, on this 6 Eb’ day. I wish you many, many more happy and productive years. For further info. please see: http://www.wildricestudio.com/