Close-Up Photos

full altar straight on blog size 538

The papercutting art piece is a bit intricate thus below you will find some close-up photos to help you see things more clearly. The back panel rises four and a half feet from the top of the table and is four feet wide. The central image is of Ilene with her signature features – bright red lipstick and orange hair.

ilene closeup

On either side of her swim one of her favorite feminine images – mermaids.

mermaid closeup

Frida’s eyes watch over her.

frida eyes closeup

And above that floats a large butterfly.

butterfly closeup

The lower panel is two and a half feet tall and four feet wide. The central image is that of the Teotihuacan pyramids near Mexico City that Ilene visited and climbed many times. The red spider goddess weaves and reweaves our webs below.

pryramid closeup

Many Sacred Feminine images form the frame of the cutting. Kwan Yin,

kwan yin closeup

Venus of Willendorf,

venus closeup

Miss Piggy,

miss piggy closeup

Day of the Dead sugar skulls,

skull closeup

an Aztec sun,

aztec sun closeup

a goddess image,

goddess closeup

and the Virgin de Guadalupe.

virgin de guadalupe

The top of the altar had several items of meaning to Ilene.

altar from above blog size 538

Below her papercut image is a photo taken of her meditating at the Tiosh Abaj, a hotel frequented by Ilene, her husband Conrad, and the many friends they escorted to Santiago Atitlan Guatemala. Below that photo is another that depicts Ilene’s crypt near the same location. Both of these images can be seen even more closely along with other photos here.

main strip closeup blog size

Frida’s diary rests in the bottom left corner of the altar. This was place there by a dear friend and fellow student of Ilene’s, Diane Schafer King. You can read her story about how she purchased this book at Frida’s home in Coyoacan, Mexico while on a trek there with Ilene.

diary closeup

Above the diary, a collector Frida doll stands holding two cards – Ellen and Ilene – that each originate from the Greek word for “Light”.

frida doll closeup

Ilene’s publication Sophia and the Seven Goddesses.

sophia book closeup

The photo of Ilene being blessed by another shaman in Santiago Atitlan Guatemala was place on the altar by her dear friend, Michael Mettler.

conrad 10

The ‘yellow man’ as I have come to call him, was one of Ilene’s treasures now adorned with some Frida earrings and rose hair. I don’t think he’d mind and I’m certain Ilene approves.

yellow man closeup

Frida’s Open Heart is a painting Ilene created. You can read more about it here. Below rests two sacred heart frames, one with Ilene’s photo in it and one with Frida’s. The latter was placed on the altar by another dear friend and fellow student, Rhonda.

frida painting closeup blog size

two hearts blog

As you’ve seen above, I invited others to place things on the altar. Susan Lily Lash created this beautiful collage that hangs on the wall behind the altar. She said it was a powerful piece for her to create. You can read more about it here.

lily collage closeup without writing blog size 538

Ilene’s husband, Conrad, gave me many photos to add to the altar of their shaman rituals in Guatemala. I displayed them with an electronic frame that continuously rotated the photos. You can see all of them here.


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

Master Teacher, Midwife to the Birth of the Wild Soul

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