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Seeking Sol

2013 - 2018

This image is a loving interpretation of The High Priestess card as depicted in Jodorowsky & Camoin's Tarot de Marseille

instant liking to my new initials, CLB, most specifically to the way in which I could draw them out. Still, sonically, CLB didn’t resonate for me and so I knew I hadn’t yet found the name I was seeking.

Why Sol? To have arrived at this question let alone at the answer to it has truly taken every experience of my life. But the story itself began to take shape just over 5 years ago the first time that I traveled to Italy, a trip that fell into place fortuitously and undeniably changed my life. I spent two months primarily exploring the regions of my roots, Sicily and Campania, and it felt every bit a homecoming despite my only having known these places through the ancestors of mine who had left them behind. Upon returning to New York, I came to realize that while they had sought a new life in America, I was, in a sense, being called to reclaim something of the old life that they had no choice but to give up. The heart forever has only one home, the feeling of which gets passed down in the blood.

And so I began the process of applying for Italian dual citizenship so that I could return and live there. It was a true test of persistence of will, but an invaluable experience that also led to me restoring the space in my last name that had gotten lost with time and paperwork. In the midst of searching for my artistic identity at that time, I took an  

Also during this period I opted to put my English Literature background to good use by becoming certified to teach English to speakers of foreign languages, the easiest way to assure that I would find work once I moved overseas. It was

in this course that I met my twin flame, a story in and of itself, and reason enough for me to be able to say that every single step of the journey, even those in which you feel like you aren’t precisely pursuing your dream, works in favor of you experiencing all your heart could ever hope for.

The only other thing relevant to our purposes from these few years was that I finally began the work of digging out my voice. A bit of a peculiar thing to say, I realize, but I phrase it as such because I could feel this voice calling to me from somewhere so deep down within, tempting me with an intensity, a power, that was as irresistible as it was inaccessible. Quiet and introverted by nature, I so dreaded the responsibility of my voice that I once wished it away entirely—but the pull of it was so persistent that I had no choice but to jump headfirst into the fear. The evening of my 27th birthday, I attended a vocal workshop and sang completely a cappella to a room full of real live humans, something I literally thought I would never do. The instructor looked at me with genuine surprise and said, “You are a singer.” It was single-handedly one of the most terrifying and fulfilling experiences of my life, one which sparked in me the acceptance of a part of my being that I had no idea so badly needed it.

Fast forward to my arrival in Naples, Italy, the guitar I hadn't known I'd been waiting my whole life to play recently acquired and in my hand. For those of you who’ve never been, it’s a city that rewrites and expands upon the definition of the word ‘crazy’ every single day just by nature of being so vibrantly and unapologetically itself. I was instantly enamored, endlessly inspired, its chorus of cacophony somehow just what I needed to really dig into my own music. Through a friend I made my first trip to Naples I found myself a great big room to stay in, truly the workspace of my dreams, and one whose size practically demanded that I fill it with as tremendous a sound as I could muster. And so I began in earnest the work of exploring my voice.

I also began playing around with my newfound initials, wondering what I could create if I used the letters to sound out a single word. The influence of the Russian alphabet (which I was studying at that time), my exposure to phonemes a result of teaching English, and the fact that I felt intuitively drawn to this ‘û’ with the character above it led me to Solûbi pronounced as the phrase ‘soul you be.’ It was an admittedly cool looking name in a vaguely sci-fi kind of way, unique, and I liked the idea of calling myself something that essentially pointed at both self and other being soul, but I still had some hesitation. However it did immediately serve to introduce an important symbol and shade of meaning to the mix: that of the sun.

So that we’re all on the same page, those of you who aren’t romance language speakers or etymology nerds, our English word ‘solar’ comes from the Latin root sol for sun. The presence of the sun at this stage felt serendipitous because I was viewing it through the lens of astrology. We are speaking of the sign that our sun falls under when we say something like “I am a Scorpio.” To take it a step further, the natal chart is made up of the 12 signs and 12 houses, thus we can also reference, in addition to the sign, the house that our sun (or any planet) falls within. For me, this is the 4th house, that which is associated with home, roots, introspection, and feeling. It is also sometimes referred to as the womb of our chart, with those planets falling within it said to be in gestation. But, as the advanced students of astrology know, there is also an astrology chart that moves with us symbolically in time, one which served to clue me in to the fact that my sun was to be shifting right around my 28th birthday into the decidedly more extroverted 5th house, that which is ruled by the Sun itself and associated with love and creativity. To me this transition of my sun spoke quite literally to the birth of myself as an artist, to a stepping out into the world as the genuine self who had only ever existed within.

It was in response to this line of thought, and likely as a result of the influence of a city in which the sun is so integral to everyday life, worshiped as fervently as if it were still the god it was considered throughout antiquity, that it occurred to me to shorten the name to Sol without even consciously realizing that it also happens to be the first three letters of my twin flame's surname—the very same person who once called me the sun to her sunflower. Yet another shade of meaning understood.


From there, deep into some pretty serious shadow work, I came across a blog post by Teal Swan that moved me so much that I sought to leave a comment, something for which I had to create a username. Upon finding that ‘iamsol’ was already taken, my mind leaped next to the Italian ‘Iosonosol’ only to be immediately taken with the visual palindrome it created when written with a capital I. Here was a word created of a phrase not unlike Solûbi but rather than stating its deeper meaning, it actually embodied its deeper meaning by being a reflection. The message was: I am Sol/soul, but so, too, are you. Even the fact that it isn’t precisely a palindrome is beautiful because it makes it all the more a perfect symbol of both the commonality and uniqueness inherent in all.

All the while, I was discovering more and more of my voice, as well as stepping all the more fully into being a musician, meeting others who were making music and actually coming to see myself in the same light instead of as simply someone who wanted to play their guitar all day long. I took to playing in the noisy streets, the volume a bit like a security blanket, but I was surprised to find that my own songs seemed to come to me most effortlessly in the middle of all the madness. Somewhere in the midst I also came across a café called Il Girasole, The Sunflower, and felt an incredibly strong pull (as if the name weren’t enough to draw me to it)—I went in and connected instantly with the proprietor Antonella, left after several hours of conversation with the knowledge that I would play my first show there.

The week that I was to be performing for the very first time as Sol at the café, a week before I was to be leaving Naples, I stumbled upon a shop on a street nearby to my apartment that I had never before noticed, the crystals in the window inviting me in. It was called Hermes for Hermeticism, the owner a lifelong student of the occult. There I was introduced to the sunstone crystal once I told the owner of my artist’s name, but interestingly enough his first thought upon hearing it was of the music note sol which is G in our musical scale. He couldn’t quite remember which chakra this note is associated with, but his curiosity was enough to inspire me to look. I learned that sol/G corresponds to the throat chakra—the energy center linked to the voice, creative self-expression, and the ability to speak one’s truth. Thus another shade of meaning.

After much seeking, I finally began the work of building for myself a creative identity around being a singer-songwriter, one called Sol. Even so, I must admit that all the while I had this vague feeling like it was only a fraction of the full picture. What I eventually came to understand the more deeply into my creative and healing processes I went was that Sol went beyond who I was creatively or even individually. It was both a name, and what I was being called to be in service of. I started to see Sol as the term for what’s formed when divinity, the soul, and identity meet and merge into the single idea of becoming—Sol then became for me the guiding star, radiant and forceful as the sun, that led me through the never-ending unfolding of my truest self. It was the lens through which the symbolism and synchronicity of my life came together in the most inspired of ways to form yet another shade of meaning in my own personal myth. 


I understood that Sol, too, was the voice of my inner-Creator speaking to me not of what art or music I was to create upon the foundation of an artistic identity, but rather of how I had always been and will always be in the process of creating myself, this very truth reflected in all the art and music I had already created along the way. Even more so than to any creative work I’ve ever given birth to or to any one that I will conceive of in the future, I realized upon truly tuning into myself that my responsibility as an artist was to baring the gestational period that goes into every artwork, to fully revealing the material from this fertile period as a way to help restore the connection between the creative act in all of its manifestations and the call of the Divine which speaks to us through the creative process, beckoning us home to ourselves. This was one of the founding ideas behind The Sol Seekers Collective.


It was right around this realization that The High Priestess archetype entered my life via the tarot and I adopted the title The High Priest/ss of Sol as a way of being able to further conceptualize of Sol outside of my own individual identity—this was the genesis for the definition I eventually came to write for the Collective and its symbol. I was first introduced to the tarot by a fellow teacher and Scorpio in Naples, but it wasn't until I was in Dublin where I heard Alejandro Jodorowsky speak about the Marseilles tarot as part of an incredible exhibit at the Irish Museum of Modern Art called "As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits, & Mystics" that I felt the pull to acquire a deck of my own. It was The High Priestess who came to me when I asked of the deck, my very first question, what it was that the tarot was meant to be teaching me.


As writes Jodorowsky in The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards, The High Priestess, aside from being the part of us that is fully receptive and in pure communion with God, is a figure representing gestation—both her own gestation and that of the egg, symbol of divinity, sitting beside her. As far as the symbolism goes it couldn’t be more in line with what I was realizing, or what I had come to understand with regards to fertility and divinity. And, to pick back up on astrology for a moment, it’s only in writing this out now that I’ve become aware of the bridge that's been constructed between my previously mentioned 4th house sun, said to be in the womb, and my 5th house creative identity, as a result of this priestess stage of my evolution. Yes, another shade of meaning.


Now I can feel that Sol isn't so much something that I need seek so much as it is who I am. After having had all of these experiences, each one lending its own feeling and depth, the gap between my artistic identity, who I am on a soul level, and what I am in service of has diminished to the point where I know Sol to be my name even whilst being so much more. It's like I've come home to myself after a long journey, and I've invited everyone into my house – my being – to celebrate with me by embracing this name that is so intrinsically a part of me and my mission. But perhaps the most beautiful quality of this entire process has been the not knowing and subsequent witnessing of everything blossoming of its own accord. And to think that what sparked it was something as simple as playing around with a few letters. If you take nothing else from this article, I hope at the very least you leave with the creative urge to play, the willingness to see where that very simple, powerful act leads you, and the desire to share what unfolds in its wake. 

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1 - If you haven’t already engaged with her work I highly suggest it—her YouTube videos make even the most psychologically difficult or spiritually complex topics incredibly easy to grasp, and I truly can’t imagine where I’d be in my healing process without having come across them.

2 - Even if unfamiliar with alchemy or the Hermetic principles you will have surely heard the phrase “As above, so below," which is the most well-known example (and relevant to this story!) 

3 - “[The High Priestess] has frequently been incorporated into two great mythical figures: the Virgin Mary of the immaculate conception, destined to bear God in her womb, and the goddess Isis, magical source of all fertility and transformation .” (Jodorowsky, pgs. 133-134)

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