The Arcanum: Sandra Carlock

On Being a Master in The Arcanum

Back when it all first started, I wrote a two-part blog post about what it meant to me to be a Master in The Arcanum, Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery.

Click here for Part One
Click here for Part Two.

Now, some months later, amazing things have happened… and I’m featuring a few of them here on my blog.

Featuring Sandra Carlock

Today… Sandra Carlock. Concert pianist, photographer, teacher – and one of my Apprentices just now graduating from Sphere 1, Level 20 (the first big leap in progress there!). As a concert pianist, she travels and performs around the world. As a music teacher, she holds the Arthur Judson Distinguished Faculty Chair in Piano at the Settlement School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a photographer… she shares her signature point of view of the world as she sees, feels and experiences it – while she travels and teaches and does all the above.

On November 16, she gives an invitation-only concert celebrating her 70th birthday (officially making her one of my heroes!)… which will also feature a showing of 35 of her finest photographs.

I got to meet Sandra in person (after working closely with her in The Arcanum for almost 8 months) when I went to New York a couple of weeks ago. We made this video on my iPhone of this auspicious meeting for the rest of our cohort gang. Can I just say… meeting amazing people that you’ve only known through hangouts and an online community feels… strangely… normal! And also full of heart, soul and joy…

The Road to Here

I chose a group of remarkable and gifted people to be members of my cohort. I selected people who have their own “spark of Divine fire”, who have possess rich layers in their beings, interesting life experiences and passions in their lives. I wanted creative souls who were looking to connect their innermost being to their photography – and do it in a supportive community of like-minded seekers! I chose a group of artists who wanted what I wanted (but couldn’t find) at their stage of growth… only now it exists! We call ourselves the “KHutt Cohort of Awesomeness”. COA for short.

For the past 8 months, they’ve been working their way through 20 “Levels”… where they accomplish various assignments and tasks designed to build their skills, confidence, vision and artistry. In the final 10 levels, I added an extra layer to the mix (they are, after all, not satisfied to simply stick with a prescribed program! Hmmm, who does that sound like?). They were to choose a project to develop throughout Sphere 1. Something that was in alignment with their dreams… that would push their boundaries, their artistry and vision beyond what they’d dreamed possible. I wanted them to create something tangible… something that, when completed, made them feel like fist-pumping, doing a dance and singing “I DID that!!!”. Because if you can give that to yourself once… you can do it again and again.  And let me say this right now: we have NO underachievers in our group!

Sandra’s Project

Sandra Carlock chose this concert, performed in the brand new, gorgeous performance hall of her school. But it wasn’t to be JUST a concert!  As she has progressed and evolved in her work within our cohort, a new sense of herself around her photography emerged… and it has been brilliant to watch. So for this radiant celebration of 70 (I still don’t believe it!)… she decided to bring her WHOLE vision of life to the party, to share it all. She printed 35 of her best images, created a print book AND an eBook… she sent out invitations and is having a reception afterward. (The mothers of her students are arranging the latter. In fact, they told her to “butt out” and took that part over! hahaha! So exactly what that party entails will be a surprise even to Sandra. I love it – and can’t wait to hear what the moms came up with.). The entire event will be like this huge love letter to love, to life, to the Universe… and to the people who have been a part of her great big, glorious life on this planet.

The image below is the cover of the book. If you click on it, it’ll take you to Blurb… where you can buy it, yes… but you can also expand it and see the the world through a true artist’s eyes. One who, like I say, is now one of my heroes… and I know will inspire you to imagine your own possibilities in a whole new way. That’s the true gift of what Sandra Carlock brings to the world.

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Joy, Creativity, Full Hearts

When we met in New York, we had lunch and shared smiles, hearts and joy.
She gave me a CD of her absolutely brilliant performance of Edward McDowall and her book.  I was so touched – and so excited to enjoy them both!
When I got home, I sat and listened her music as I read through her book. I’ll admit it… experiencing them both together made me weep, as moments of perfection do. (yes, they exist!)

Photography and music sing beautifully together. They weave an audio-visual journey deep into the realms of soul and imagination. I’ve had  had the honor to work with someone who has spent her entire life creating that tapestry… not to mention giving it back and teaching others how to do it too. She lives her life as a TRUE soul artist… and she inspires me more than words can say. What a gift!

If you ever wanted to know what being a Master in The Arcanum is like… well, this is it.

Sandra’s Final Presentation

As the final touch, this is Sandra’s final Presentation. At Level 20, Apprentices graduate to the next Sphere and a new Master. In our cohort, I wanted each Apprentice to have the opportunity to have a definite completion of our adventure together, a chance to share their journey, to have a chance to applaud and celebrate the amazing changes and growth each had experienced. We’re still working our way through them at this time… but this was Sandra’s journey…