Tag Archives: ritual

Rainmaking Experiment #3

Notes – Rainmaker Experiment #3:

Finding the rain inside of me

23/01/13 – Farm Otukaru, Namibia

A hot day - dry earth, clouds on the distant horizon and an empty dam. Ideal to start this experiment.

A hot day – dry earth, clouds on the distant horizon and an empty dam. Ideal to start this experiment.

Have the intention.

Have fun.
Lighthearted play.

The bringer of rain.
The wind.
Swaying my body.
Recognize it everywhere I look.
My blue toenails like large water drops.
The butterflies…
The clouds on the distant horizon.

Blue raindrop nails and butterflys attracted by them...

Blue raindrop nails and butterflies attracted by them…

Feel the heat.
Be grateful for it.
Touch a tree. Climb it.
Touch the earth. Caress it.

On my favourite tree - in awe how they survive through so much dryness and still have grey-green leaves.

On my favourite tree – in awe how they survive through so much dryness and still have grey-green leaves.

Caressing and climbing a tree.

Looking down at the earth…

Touch water. Play with it.
Throw it into the air to create drops.


Throwing water drops...

Throwing water drops…

Use my fingers, dipped into water
To paint raining clouds on rusted surfaces.

Drawing water

Drawing water

Raincloud painted with water on a rusted drum. drying quickly.

Rain cloud painted with water on a rusted drum. drying quickly.

Use a stick to draw a raining cloud
On the dry sandy road.


Rain cloud drawn onto dry earth with a stick

Rain cloud drawn onto dry earth with a stick

Notice how I sweat.
Being in touch with my own wetness.
Be grateful for the water inside of me.
Pouring out.

Take a cold shower,
A cool, wet relief.
Closing my eyes,
Imagining the cold water as rain on my skin.
More gratefulness.

Drops start falling outside.

Finally it is raining

Finally it is raining

Today it is raining in Berlin. The rain reminded me of my rainmaking experiments in Namibia. I always wanted to share the notes and pics I have made of this experiment, but the time never felt right. So, sitting with a grey sky and the sound of rain outside of my window, I am enjoying the memories of some time gone by and sharing them with you!

This also links up nicely to my previous post about rituals, explaining how the ancient rainmaker or shaman would connect with the spirit of the rain through a ritual.

Today I am grateful for the rain and joyously breathe in the fresh, wet air!



A Wedding Ritual

Inspired by a previous post about my interest in totem animals a friend lent me an intriguing book called Tafassasset – Regentier und Zauberbilder. Felsbilder der Sahara und Spurensuche nach dem afrikanischen Geist. (Which would probably translate as follows: Tafassasset – Rain animal and magical images. Saharan rock paintings and the search for traces of the African Spirit – by Edgar Sommer.

The book is beautifully written and contains some interesting ideas and concepts helping me to understand more aspects about the potential inherent power of the image and art making.

Loosely explained, the author implies that the ancient rainmaker or shaman would connect with the spirit of the rain through a ritual. The spirit first manifests through language and song and then materialises through dancing. Finally the painting of this process against a cave wall conserves and binds the ritual, and by that also the spirit, in time and space.

I love learning about different traditions, rituals and beliefs and then picking and combining the best parts or those that make sense to me in my own life. I improvise a lot – either out of necessity or out of curiosity. And also because I have never been comfortable with blindly following what others do… it has to fit and make sense for me.

So, today I wanted to share with you a wedding ritual, which I have made-up created for our wedding. I wanted to honour the role played by family and friends in a marriage and celebrate the joining of the two separate families and set of friends who have now been brought together (and met each other for the first time) through our union. I could not find any meaningful ritual that I resonated with, so I made up my own.

I mused over the ‘spirit’ I wanted this ritual to connect with and represent: love, an eternal bond and the interconnectedness of the people close to us…

Bond – binding together – different lives touching,
sharing and creating something new.
We are all like threads in a beautiful cloth…

I liked the idea of weaving and of threads representing each person.

We asked every wedding guest to bring along a ribbon. I created the symbol of eternity, an 8 on its side, from wire. I found a cord made out of three strands, representing my husband, myself and our union.

On the final day of our three-day wedding celebrations, we all joined on the beach at sunset, for everyone to weave their ribbon together with ours around the eternity symbol.

Getting started with our wedding ritual on the Swakopmund beach. © Imke Rust

Getting started with our wedding ritual on the Swakopmund beach. © Imke Rust

I had no idea how it will work out, but I guess that was part of the ritual too. I trusted that together we would find a way to make it work. It anyway needed joined forces to make it possible.

Yes, it was confusing and difficult to figure out, there were some struggles, some disagreements and lots of willingness to find a way to make it work. Advice was given and also rejected. Help was offered and accepted. Some were more involved than others. And eventually we completed the task. Together. Perfect.

My personal wedding ritual... weaving our lifes together. © Imke Rust

Our own wedding ritual… weaving our lifes together. © Imke Rust

Helping hands, weaving strands.  © Imke Rust

Helping hands, weaving strands. © Imke Rust

It turned out to really represent what life as a couple and part of an extended family is about. The intention of a loving bond for life is set, and everybody in his or her own way becomes part of it. Problems are solved together and eventually we have an intertwined, beautiful, colourful, knotted, patched, perfectly-imperfect life and relation to show for it.

Everyday I am reminded of this, when looking at the final symbol of our love and the love of our families and friends, hanging above our bed. Its spirit contained in time and space.

The final object. Manifesting the spirit of honouring and celebrating the love and support of our family and friends. © Imke Rust

The final object. Manifesting the spirit of honouring and celebrating the love and support of our family and friends. © Imke Rust

I am grateful, that my family and circle of friends has grown in such a beautiful way through my marriage. I am grateful for each colourful, unique thread that weaves into my life and makes it so exciting and worth living.

And I know these threads are only a small symbolic part of all the invisible ones of all other family and friends in our lives. People who are touched by us and whom we touch, weaving our own threads into their spiderwebs. 

Happy Easter Bunny!

May this happy Easter bunny jump straight over the rainbow and into your heart!

Happy Easter Bunny (Ink & watercolour on A4 watercolour paper + digital text added) by Imke Rust ©

Happy Easter Bunny (Ink & water colour on A4 water colour paper + digital text added) by Imke Rust ©

I do not really celebrate Easter and have always found it quite odd how the Christian story of Jesus’ death and resurrection was combined with colourful eggs, chocolate and cute bunnies… But I guess as long as it has meaning and importance to somebody, it is cool, and it is good to have rituals and reasons to celebrate.

Possibly my inquiring mind too often asks ‘Why?” and is not easily satisfied with the ‘normal’ answers if they do not make sense to me. And I am puzzled by how many people never even ask this question, or are just too easily satisfied with the often superficial answers or reasoning.

Actually I do like rituals and the whole original idea behind them. So I thought to share with you an Easter ritual which I found quite cool:

Collecting Easter water in silence…

A few years back I had the privilege to celebrate Easter with some friends in Germany who had a very special ritual. We had to get up some time before sunrise (a real challenge especially in the cold weather) and go to the forest to find a natural spring. All this time nobody was allowed to talk or say anything – which made me be very aware of everything we did and contemplate the energy of the spoken word. Somehow it felt really sacred, and I think that it focused the attention strongly on the intention, instead of dispersing it with too much ‘mindless chatter’. I do believe that words are a strong creative force and whatever we say has an impact on our reality.

At sunrise everybody collected some fresh water in glasses which we brought along and took some of the water to sprinkle over us and wash our hands. The water which was collected is called Easter water and will be kept in the house for the whole year as a kind of protection and blessing – it is supposed to stay pure and fresh for the whole year. Only once the water has been collected and the sun has risen, everybody stands in a circle, hold each others’ hands, say grace and blessings and wishing each other a ‘Happy Easter’. Somehow I really liked that.

Happy Bunnies

For today I decided to share with you my ‘Happy Easter Bunny’ to bring you a smile and some happiness. And to remind us all, of how grateful we can be. This bunny is the weirdest looking creature, rather ugly in a way and surely not able to hop along in a graceful manner with those legs – but still, it seems to be so happy and full of lightness, radiating warmth and love and not caring a single bit about the outside circumstances. I wish that he may pop up in your minds and hearts whenever you feel down, lonely or insecure and remind you look for the beauty and blessings in even the darkest moments.*

So, wishing you all a very happy Easter bunny and enjoy the weekend and celebrations – remember, there always is something to celebrate 🙂

* For everybody who wonders how I work or come up with the images:

The birth of the Easter Bunny

Often I just put my pen to paper and start drawing whatever comes to my mind – in this case I saw an image of an owl and started to draw the eyes. Then I am guided by the drawing and somehow it tells me what to do next. I do not consciously think about it, but just follow what feels right. Being very rational, it is often really difficult to let this happen, because my mind tries to tell me stuff, like: ‘you drew owl eyes, so this must become a bird’ or ‘this is really ugly, you can’t do that’, ‘this is not the kind of legs a bunny has…’. I try to ignore the critical voice of my mind and just follow my heart and eye and am often really surprised by the outcome and the insights I get from the process and the final image. It is as if a kind of dialog happens between me and the creature that I create. If you are interested to read even more about my art making process, you might want to look at one of my earlier posts “…and sometimes they tell me their names“, which is still very popular and insightful.