by Joey Phoenix
Images by Lux et Umbra Art
“What is that thing you want to have more of in your life? Deep within yourself, you know. In this deeply personal, empowering and soul-driven workshop we will help you voice and intentionally welcome precious, life changing desire into your life.” – The Halo Sessions.
Cynthia “Cyn” August (she/her/hers) of Lux Et Umbra Art, Jeannine O’Neil (she/her/hers) of Magnolia Blooms, and Chrissy Vacaro (she/her/hers) of Wild Sea Wellness are teaming up this coming weekend for a new creative collaboration: The Halo Sessions, a specialty three-part workshop created to intentionally guide individuals towards seeking and expressing their soul’s deepest desire.
The Halo Sessions will be in three parts: intention setting in the form of Sankalpa (heart-driven resolve) with Chrissy V., a flower-centric “halo” DIY workshop with Jeannine, and a photo session with Cyn. These three portions of the workshop will enable participants to flow into a space where they can access their innermost self, honoring the truths held there, and opening themselves up for sacred expression.
“I am so excited to be part of this amazing intention setting opportunity,” said Chrissy V. “The Sankalpa is a heartfelt desire that you envision is already in existence. Between the gorgeous blooms and incredible photography that both Jeannine and Cyn will be providing, I think this workshop is going to be next level.”
Related Reading: “Take a Breath with Wild Sea Wellness”
Session participants will come away from the event with not just the memories of the day but also with two tangible pieces of art that will stand as reminders of this sacred experience: a handmade wearable halo and a photographic art piece they helped create.
Designing the Halo Sessions
The Halo Sessions trio initially connected through Creative Collective, a creative small business membership program which serves to foster collaborations such as these. Jeannine O’Neil of Magnolia Blooms and Cyn August of Lux Et Umbra met for coffee in early 2021 to discuss a possible partnership, but serendipity allowed the duo to connect in ways that even they couldn’t have previously imagined.
“We were talking about ways we could work together, ways we could give back to the community,” Jeannine remembered. “But one of the significant things that we connected over is the loss of our parents. [Cyn] has lost both of her parents, and I have lost my mother. It’s a big part of my personal story, and we both just recognized how much it changed us and continues to change us on a cellular level.”
After nearly three hours of relating histories and dreaming together, Cynthia and Jeannine began to weave together the idea that would eventually become The Halo Sessions. For them, the pivotal point centered around the balance between darkness and light, between the subconscious processing that occurs in sacred dreamspace, the fully present and grounded expression in external space, and the conversations that happen between these two interwoven states of being.
Both of them felt an affinity for this work, and their own experiences with grief, transformation, and expression both privately and professionally led them to create a workshop that would guide others through this process, whether in a big or a small way.
“This workshop is for anyone going through something, or has something deep within them, and knows that it’s in there, and it needs to get out,” Jeannine explained. “It’s not just about grief or large internal events, I don’t want people to feel like they have to have gone through this crazy transformation to be a part of this. They could just be called to it. The people that are going to attend this will know that this is right for them.”
Cynthia, a long time supporter and follower of another fellow Creative Collective business member Wild Sea Wellness, eventually invited Chrissy Vaccaro into the project as well.
“We needed somebody in the beginning of the event that would set the tone for the workshop of what people are trying to call into their life,” Jeannine said. “So she will be doing that, creating a space where people can visualize bringing that concept in.”
“I’ve worked with Chrissy a lot and I absolutely love the way that she moves you through figuring out what you want: getting quiet, holding space, letting the spiritual show up, letting your own guides in your own voice show up,” Cynthia said.
Related Reading: “That Can Be Arranged!: North Shore Floral Artist Magnolia Blooms Creates Vibrant Pop Up Flower Experiences”
But even before the trio would begin to plan the details of this workshop, they knew that they had to hone in on the true focus of the event: intention and transformation.
The Halo Sessions: A Sacred Space for Transformation
Perhaps luckily, this intentional focus was synchronous with the work they have already been doing professionally. They all, in their own way, hold space for their clients: for Chrissy V., through the mind body connection of yoga, meditation, and movement, for Jeannine, through art as therapy, self-soothing, and intentional creation with florals and the gifts of nature as a medium, and for Cynthia, through creating tangible objects which stand as sacred documentation of a pivotal yet ephemeral moment in the photographic subject’s experience.
“The desire has always been to move people through transformation and have this photographic aspect of the experience be this almost talismanic, not only as an experience, but a tangible object that speaks to transformation and helps the subject to maintain and continue to manifest that transformation in their life,” said Cynthia.
Related Reading: “Cynthia August Honors “The Privilege of Breath” in New Solo Photography Exhibition at Paula Estey Gallery”
“Nature, and flowers, are proven to help us heal, whether we realize it or not.” said Jeannine. “It’s also constantly showing us that there’s moments of our life where we’re blooming, and then there’s moments of our life where we’re shedding. And I’m really excited to bring this healing element of nature to people who haven’t experienced it, whether they’re actively seeking transformation or are looking to have a really wonderful experience by themselves or with friends.
The first of the Halo Sessions is taking place this Saturday, November 13th. And while spots for this session are full, the trio invites you to stay tuned for more events coming in 2022. You can follow them on social media or sign up for their email lists using the link below.
Lux et Umbra:
Wild Sea Wellness:
Joey Phoenix (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and the Director of Brand Strategy and Innovation at Creative Collective. As the resident storyteller and town crier, they encourage you to send story ideas, inspiration, or pictures of adorable critters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative Collective’s #NonprofitNovember to highlight nonprofits, foundations, and community organizations North of Boston
This November, Creative Collective is launching #NonprofitNovember, a social media campaign geared towards bringing awareness to local nonprofits and encouraging the public to support. Nonprofit and community organizations foster civic engagement, leadership, and growth for cities, and the role they occupy as cultural touchstones and educational hubs in North Shore communities is difficult to miss.