Integration – A Prairie Wisdom Card

Integration - A Prairie Wisdom Card

Integration – A Prairie Wisdom Card © 2012 Bo Mackison

Spider teaches you to maintain a balance – between past and future, physical and spiritual, male and female. Spider teaches you that everything you now do is weaving what you will encounter in the future. ~ Ted Andrews, in Animal Speak

The spider’s web is intricate and purposeful. It is a visual reminder that whatever is woven in the gauzy fabric of our past will have an influence – sometimes delicate or unseen – in our present and our future. As the central figure in our life’s web, we are reminded that we are the weaver of our lives , using the threads of our thoughts, words and actions.

“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real…” ~ Libba Bray

The INTEGRATION card offers activities for contemplation, art, and writing and a call to action:

  • Art activities: Chiaroscuro, an art term, is used in the above quote by Bray, a metaphor for the illusions of light and dark that make up the human spirit.
    • Renaissance artists coined the term “Chiaroscuro” to describe how light and dark convey depth and volume. The word Chiaroscuro is a combination of two Italian words. Chiaro means clear or light + oscuro means obscure or dark. These artists discovered that the use of shading and tonal variety gave a 3D look to a 2D object, transformed a flat drawing into an illusion of dimension.
    • Draw a line drawing of a simple object — perhaps a piece of fruit or a ball. Then shine a light on the side of the object and draw it a second time, adding simple shadows and highlights. Compare the two drawings.
  • Contemplative practice: Compare the differences, nuances, and depth of character between a two-dimensional person and a three-dimensional person. When is a person more likely to be less dimensional? More dimensional?
  • Journal prompts: In your journal, discuss how the combination of shadows and light affect a simple drawing. Discuss how learning about the dark and light characteristics of oneself makes one more authentic, more self-aware, more fully responsible for his or her actions.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo is creating a set of Prairie Wisdom Cards, second in her series of cards based on natural habitats, and used for exploration and self-discovery. The first set, the Desert Wisdom Cards, are now available.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Interesting thoughts and intriguing image.

  2. I agree. It’s too early in the morning for me to think this hard, and without coffee as well, but you’ve placed some interesting imagery in my brain. I’ll get back to you…

  3. Very thought-provoking! As much as I don’t like crawling spiders around me, I do find the webs very cool.

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