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Summoning Shadow

Shamanic art that worked, 2006, by Jo Equinity

Horses have been my teachers and guides for many lifetimes; I'm inspired to paint and draw only them (even though I'm a huge dog and cat lover too)

These two images are not dreams as in sleep time, but dreams as in a future projection, a spell you might say. Let me explain.

I had a horse called Shadow. He was wonderful, and he carried me on his back for thousands of miles over the years. However, after I had my son, and I had a full time job, house etc, I did not have the time to give him the care he deserved. So with much sadness I sold him to two sisters who seemed smitten with him. They moved him away and that was that.

A few years after this, I started to pine for him. I missed him and I would have done anything to get him back. So to ease my sadness, I started to paint naked women on horses. I painted three in total; here are the two I like best.

Painting by Jo Equinity. A nude woman rides a white horse through meadows at night. Title: 'Epona Dreams'.
The one above is titled Epona Dreams. Epona is the Celtic goddess of horses. Below is He Comes to Me in Dreams, the last painting of the three.

All while I was painting these, I focused on my love for Shadow, remembering the times we spent together, getting almost into a meditative zone while painting.

Painting by Jo Equinity. A nude woman on her side in foreground awaits a white horse galloping toward her. Title: 'He Comes to Me in Dreams'.
When I finished the last painting, I needed something like milk or bread, so I went to the shops, but instead of going to my local shop, for some reason, I got in the car and drove into town?! I was being absent minded and even chastised myself when I realized I was driving, but thought, oh well, you might as well carry on.

Well, as I walked into the supermarket, who should be coming out but the sisters' father! He said he had lost my number and was trying to contact me. Shadow was for sale and the very next day he was due to go! Did I want him back? Well, you can imagine my shock and joy! So of course, I bought him back the very next day!

When I got home I tried to start another painting, but my inspiration had gone because I got my horse back. Shadow's now 25 and still with me.

So that is the story. Not a dream, rather an intent.

--Jo Equinity


Shamanic summoning! For at least fifteen thousand years people have been painting cave walls and such to summon game, rain, luck, harvests, mates, wealth, and endless divinities.

Pencil sketch by Wayan of a prehistoric cave painting of four antelope.

Jo's story explains why we do it. Making an image of what we desire truly does focus the mind--not just the conscious, but the real miracle-worker, the intuition. Somehow or other we really can summon what we focus on.

But notice... painting her longing wasn't enough. Jo had to indulge her peculiar urge to drive into town, too, in order to find Shadow. I've had similar serendipitous experiences leading me to friends, money, and love--but only when I relax my logic a bit and act on such urges. And sometimes that, not summoning Shadows with art, is the hardest part.

--Chris Wayan

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