I am liberating myself, I am crossing the yam soof into the unknown
Counting the OmerFrom the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days. is a journey; an intentional path taken over 49 days, while holding and embracing seven spiritual principles, one for each week, and another for each day. It is an intention to move the Self from slavery to freedom, from knowledge and understanding, to spiritual redemption, liberation and guidance.
Eleven years ago I found myself frustrated by attempting to travel a spiritual path with the Omer through the intellect and the mind alone. To quote Dr. C. P. Estes: “I was possessed by the excesses of the intellect” and by the hierarchical structure that places the mind in a superior position. It was a moment of realization where I said to myself: “Well, you know what, I am just going to paint every day.” And I have been doing this every year since.
At one juncture I was sharing how this journey opened up portals to my creativity that were blocked; there was huge construction in the way, separating me from the soul, heart and spirit of my creative Self. I shared that these structures had been taken down in the process of painting for the Omer. Someone asked me to guide them through the process, the journey that would blow oxygen onto the creative embers and spark a flame, so I quickly created an impromptu deck of cards. Over the years I have had the honor of guiding others in claiming this: “I am liberating myself, I am crossing the yam soof into the unknown and on the other side, in 49 days, I want to be open to receiving.” By creating decks that individuals can own I feel I am able to be a part of, and a facilitator in, others’ journeys.
My blessing for all on their Omer journey is that they will tread lightly and compassionately with strength, love, endurance, gratitude, creative force and feet planted on the earth. And that when they wind up at Malkhut sh’b’Malkhut they will be open and ready to receive whatever awaits them.
The 2018 deck of Omer practice cards is available here. This year, for the first time, a poster of the 49-panel painting is available for purchase here.
D’vorah Horn is a studio artist, an education and professional development consultant, and a therapeutic expressive mentor. Working with children, teens, and adults she acts as a guide to individual expression while exploring techniques in enhancing self realization, communication, and stress reduction. Her current studio and practice space is in Cheltenham, PA. D’vorah holds degrees in philosophy of education and political theory, as well as Masters degrees in human development (MSW), early childhood development, elementary education, and Montessori education (Med). D’vorah has had several recent exhibitions of her paintings and has placed her work in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and palliative care centers around the country as an aid in healing. In 2014 D’vorah founded a Fractured Atlas–sponsored non-profit called Mending Spirit, art for healing. Learn more about D’vorah Horn at her website and Facebook page.