you & me

The Labyrinth: A Series of Art. {Part Nineteen: St. Elmo’s Fire}

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}


In the labyrinth, there are many layers and circuits. How much time you spend in it is specific to the one seeking it out.

I know it can get super tangled and layered, but paradoxically, the labyrinth will always lead you to the essential core of it all, each loop and bend building on the one before it.

This last grouping of art pieces I’ve done — starting from #12: Apocalypse to continue through #47: Wild — are about sacred energies that amalgamate around us, moving through us, within us, over us, under us, around us. Like a higher octave expression of prepositional words in language art.

And all of these energies you have most likely felt or experienced at one point or another, and all of it calls you home to yourself, provided you are brave enough to hear it and to also actively participate in it.

After the Strike of Uranus, there can occur what feels like a rare phenomenon known as St. Elmo’s fire.

For a moment I’d like you to imagine that you are in the year 1790, a time that was underdeveloped scientifically. You’re a crew on a ship sailing across the Atlantic, and you have just weathered a raging thunderstorm at sea and all seems near calm again, yet still you’re on edge from what you just survived.

Suddenly you look up at the mast of your ship to check the riggings and the sails and what you see makes you fall to your knees in disbelief and wonder. The ends and yards of your mast are glowing a fiery blue. Emanating a source of light so clear, and real, you can even hear it hissing. You might have thought: Is my ship on fire? But why isn’t it burning?

“Blessings of St. Elmo!” you exclaim.

What you didn’t know then was that what you were experiencing was an electrical discharge at the mastheads due to the heightened electromagnetic field that was surrounding you and your ship from the thunderstorm.

When sailors would see this on their ships, they were interpreted as a sign of St. Elmo’s protection, and thus this phenomenon came to be called St. Elmo’s fire.

Originally known as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo, is thought to have become the patron of sailors because he is said to have continued preaching even after a thunderbolt struck the ground beside him. Hence this particular art piece coming in the wake of the Strike of Uranus makes complete and total sense.

To describe this more energetically, which is what I’m aiming to do with these art pieces, is after you experience the Strike of Uranus, you are submerged in a powerful electromagnetic field that makes your hair stand on end and your corners and edges pulse and glow vividly blue with a living fire that does not burn but rather causes you to emit a glorious light.

Scientifically, this effect is known as the Kirlian effect. This effect or plasmic charge on the mastheads, named St. Elmo’s Fire, was perceived by sailors as a good omen.

The Kirlian effect happens when what passes through a strong electromagnetic field begins to emit light. The greater the energy an object possesses, the brighter it shines. The color results from nitrogen and oxygen interacting. It’s a phenomenon that, though science can explain it, to another perspective may as well be magic, and invokes a level of mystery and wonder that nothing else can.

It’s as beautiful as it is provocative, and whimsically stated, happens to objects that are supercharged having been surrounded by an unruly amount of concentrated power. This can happen not only to supercharged objects, but metaphorically and perhaps energetically also to supercharged beings.

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

Being supercharged could be likened to that moment after an epiphany hits you, a great and riveting inspiration that compels you to take action and move in a direction. More described in terms of bodily physical feelings, that thing you feel after you have an orgasm — that heightened and electric, yet simultaneously peaceful, thing that can be likened to purring.

St. Elmo’s fire can also be something so exciting it hurts if what it is you’re feeling can’t pour out of you fast enough. A feeling that you might explode or combust if you can’t get the idea, that need to emanate that supercharged light, down somewhere fast enough.

This is somewhat contrary and opposing to the peace and contentment after being thunderstruck by an orgasm, yet it’s from the same phenomenal realm, born from the same place. Either way, both things can be likened to a deep and otherworldly fire supercharged by an unruly amount of concentrated (and expressed) or tapped-into power.

I know that I glow after an orgasm. I glow with a quiet light and a mystery, the same way I glow when I’m on a kick of creative inspiration in motion or e-motion, (energy in motion).

And in my labyrinth, this is exactly what it means to be under the expression and phenomenon of St. Elmo’s fire.

And for those sacred, fleeting, energetic, moments, all the cracks in my soul seal up and I become wholly human, returning home to myself in this world. As all of us are in this world, but not necessarily of it.

Those of us who are actively tending to our spirits as if it were a sacred garden understand this more than others, but the idea is to help everyone awaken to their wholeness and their humanity, to help everyone return to their Self.

And I aim to do this by bringing earthly things to humanity in a way that taps their sacred and untouchable nature, that part of them that is otherworldly, reminding them what it is to be human here.

Because the sooner we ground (like thunderbolts) into our humanity, the faster we will see the world transform and blossom into the one we all hope for where our peace is more prevalent than our discontent. Where creation is more revered than war.

Where our similarities are more hailed and celebrated rather than our patriotism and differences, and where our humanity is not thought of as something to be ashamed of but rather exalted and honored. And also…

… where Mother Earth is healed and restored to Herself and within her own planetary body, so that our unique souls can be made whole again and shine brightly, because of Her power and grace, and then we might all be expressed phenomenally.

All of us as we stand now are fractured, fissured, fragmented representations of our true, authentic humanity, but it is through these fissures where the light enters.

How brave are you to surrender control and break open to who you actually are?

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

This is an ongoing series by Kristi Stout. Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Labyrinth’. If her art resonates with you, and you’d like prints, contact her through her website or Facebook.


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Kristi Stout

Kristi Stout

Kristi L. Stout is an artist, mother, and lover. She considers herself a Renaissance woman, in service of Love in its many forms. It is her belief that inside each of us is our own sacred, Wild nature -- a hidden instinct that is not forgotten as much as it is dormant, like leafless trees in winter. It is the part of us that is connected to all things. A knowing without knowing. The part deep inside that understands darkness is necessary for the moon to simmer silver, and recognizes that even if you’re lost in the middle of nowhere you can always find a sacred somewhere -- like an internal compass pointing true north to your heart center. Her passion project, work in progress, is She Is Wild. You can find more of Kristi’s work here or connect with her on Facebook.
Kristi Stout