Interview with Cosmic Cardinal, AKA Dayna Larson.

Posted on July 14, 2022 by laureen barker



Gaia: Hi Dayna, such a pleasure to be interviewing you. We love your astrological mountain stickers and seeing all of your art on Instagram. Can you tell us about yourself?

Cosmic Cardinal: My name is Dayna Larson, and I was born and raised in Kelowna BC. As soon as I moved to the Kootenays (around 5 years ago) I instantly fell in love with the mountain town culture and lifestyle. Being outdoors with nature, whether that be hiking, snowboarding, or backpacking, brings me back to center. Surrounding myself with mountains, streams and forests helps to keep me grounded, as well as in a constant state of inspiration.

I’ve always been extremely passionate about the environment, which is the backbone for all the work I produce. I consider myself a sustainable artist, incorporating eco-friendly practices and sustainable supplies in my studio. I enjoy repurposing materials to make art, such as painting on things such as : snowboards, skate decks, rocks, driftwood, you name it.

I have spent the majority of my working career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, working in hospitals all throughout the Kootenays. I have taken some much needed time away from Western medicine to focus on natural healings. I now work with clients as an Intuitive Energy healer, working with crystals and healing frequencies.

Gaia: How did you first get into creating art?

Cosmic Cardinal: As a young girl I always loved drawing, plain and simple. I would draw animals, trees, flowers… anything nature related really. I admit, I was definitely one of those crazy horse girls that drew them any chance I could. I always loved creating what was in front of me, adding personal dimension.

I took some time away from the sketches, and went off to post secondary school. When I first moved to Nelson I started picking up analogue cameras. I started using my film camera every chance I could, experimenting with different developing methods, chemicals and expired film. Capturing those first film photos is what really sparked my interest back into the wonderful world of Art. I then picked up some paintbrushes and started creating my own unique style. I would spend hours painting on days off, or after a shift at the hospital. It became apparent that I didn’t just love painting, I needed it.

Gaia: What were some of the first mediums you worked with?

Cosmic Cardinal: Growing up, good ol’ graphite pencil was where it all started. Starting with the basics of shading with pencil made the transition into other mediums so much easier. From then on I grew to love color, adding pencil crayon tones to my drawings. Color added more depth, which meant new mediums to try : pastels, watercolor, and acrylic paint. I stopped creating for some time during my adolescent years, and left many mediums behind.

Gaia: What are your favourite mediums to work with now?

Cosmic Cardinal: As an adult, about 4 years ago, I rekindled my love for art with traditional oil paint. The paint's rich color, and buttery texture has me reaching for it with every painting.  I have been absolutely hooked ever since. I am even able to make the paint sustainably with just pigment and walnut oil, while using a soy based solvent. I also love a good wood canvas

Since purchasing my first iPad a few years back, I have also sparked a love for digital art. This is a form that I have grown to love. I will be one to say there’s nothing quite like the classic pencil to paper feel… but you have to admit creating an initial sketch or idea on a piece of paper, and then being able to put it on a screen and make as many changes on the fly with the swipe of a pen, is pretty amazing.

Gaia: What inspires your art?

Cosmic Cardinal: Art was always a way for me to express myself. It first started making an appearance in my adult life when I moved to Nelson and started my first permanent job at KLH. Sometimes I just needed an outlet to express my emotions after a shift working in healthcare, just like with any job there’s good days and bad. Art has always been there for me like a journal to the writer, the cinnamon bun to the baker… and so forth.

Nature of course, has a very special place in my Art. The unknown answers to our humanly questions, the infinite possibilities the cosmos holds, and art through healing are my main focuses when it comes to my “Why”.

Gaia: We have your beautiful Astrological Sacred mountain stickers here at Gaia. What inspired you to select a sacred mountain for each zodiac sign?

Cosmic Cardinal: Mountains are some of the most sacred places here on Earth, in my opinion. Having a connection with the Earth around us is so important. Experiencing certain parts of life with universal understanding makes me feel closer to the world around me. When I go for a hike, it's so rewarding to stand on top of a giant mountain, feeling its energy beneath my feet. Sacred mountains are ancient, and that alone is to be respected. Mountains are the closest we can get to the heavens, so for me, it's a spiritual experience all together.

Each design was inspired by the heavens and earth, our Lunar Moon meeting a mountain horizon. We are all made of a unique combination of the twelve zodiacs, just like certain mountains are made up of a combination of different minerals. Energy exists within all matter, and I wanted to bring the saying “As above, so Below” into a meaningful form of art.

Gaia: You mentioned you were a cancer. What does the sacred mountain you chose for Cancer mean to you? 

Cosmic Cardinal: Machu Picchu is the sacred mountain I chose for the Cancer zodiac, for a few interconnected reasons. Located in the Andes of Peru, this sacred mountain and the surrounding environment was considered “Pachamama” - meaning Mother Earth. As a Cancer, we feel things immensely, and show our love to those we care for by doing motherly things. We all know that Cancer knows exactly when a hug is needed. We are able to literally “feel you out” in a millisecond and be there when you need us. With Machu Picchu being almost completely surrounded by the Urubamba River, this alone symbolizes how much we Cancer signs ebb and flow with the currents of Life. I can’t think of a better symbolic mountain to represent me and my fellow moody crustaceans. We swim in the watery realms, and absorb intuitive insights to nurture those around us. 

Gaia: What other projects are you working on right now?

Cosmic Cardinal: Currently I am working on some custom paintings, and getting busy with digital art designs.

I am very passionate about our environment and protecting the wild things in our backcountry. I have created a large statement painting a little over a year ago, representing Piq kiʔláwnaʔ (New Denver - Kaslo), an area that is currently under threat from corporate development. I will be looking to host an event to raise awareness about the misconceptions behind Zincton Mountain Resort. I have been working with the Autonomous Sinixt regarding this event, and we believe it is a positive step forward towards a consolidated future. This project aims to bring our community together by protecting our biodiversity within the New Denver - Kaslo Corridor.

Gaia: What is the most challenging thing about being an artist? What is the most rewarding, fun or exciting thing?

Cosmic Cardinal: I will keep this topic light, as this topic can be picked apart just like any profession. I do believe though, that it is healthy to talk about the struggles artists go through. Everyone goes through hard times, yet some artists use this pain as fuel to their craft. The challenges that I see around this lifestyle, or passion… is getting past the initial hardships. Getting over imposter syndrome, feeling as if you have no artistic freedom because you are worried your next design won’t be as accepted as the one before… or feeling the need to tailor your work to the masses' idea of what “art” is. Getting past these feelings of self-doubt is where the journey begins. Making your art, being proud of it and confident that it came from your he-art-space is something special.

The most rewarding part of being an artist is being truly authentic in the work you produce. Terming your creations as ‘work’ is actually where it all goes wrong. Make the definite line between work, and play. We make art because we need that expressive outlet, but also as a safe place to create with no boundaries. The emotions we pour into our art is an extension of ourselves, and in that way we can heal so deeply, and with such compassion.

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Cosmic Cardinal: I try to spend a large chunk of time away from technology. Living in today's world makes it hard to completely disconnect. Those periods of being in the moment, and working on myself with positive intention has made such an impact on my life. A spiritual practice on its own I would say. When we tune into our spiritual side, and create lasting routines that make us feel good about ourselves it can really be the stepping stone to a more peaceful life.

Crystals, Numerology, Astrology, and of course Divination are big players in my spiritual practices. I love using Runes, as they are a part of my Scandinavian heritage. I feel a strong connection when I use them in my divination toolbox. Also being in sync with the moon phases is something I do without even being aware (sounds like something a Cancer sun, mercury, and ascendant might say).

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Cosmic Cardinal: Eastern philosophies are so fascinating. If you ever want to dive deep into conversation with me, just bring up something in that area. I live my life based on the rules of Karma, and I believe everything has a purpose/happens for a reason. I believe in a world where we are all the same, made up of the same energy, and came from the same Source. We are all here experiencing our own emotions, and are here to learn life lessons.

I love learning about our minds, and what works for one may not work for another. Having the realization that we know nothing about what's right or wrong, opens up so many possibilities to what life really is.

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Cosmic Cardinal: I have probably grown more internally than I have externally. I have changed so much in the way I talk to myself, about myself, or even the way I see and feel things. People are getting to know me all over again, and it feels good to be changed in a positive light.

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Cosmic Cardinal: Taking responsibility for my own happiness, and taking care of myself is the theme for 2022. This year is about getting back to myself and finding deep healing in everything

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?

Cosmic Cardinal: Cancer, being my Sun, Mercury, and Ascending signs has me feeling ALL the feels… ALL the time. Some say being sensitive is considered a weakness, but what would life be if we couldn’t feel? We would be lost without an inner light. I love being a nurturer, and providing comfort to those around me. Being a safe space provider for those who need someone to talk to is a common theme in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I feel that my Natal Chart speaks so much truth about me as a person, and more intimately… myself in a spiritual sense. I believe that being aware of all the different varieties in ourselves is an essential tool we all could benefit from in our lives.  The stars don't lie - so we might as well utilize this ancient wisdom and harness our unique strengths and weaknesses through Astrology.

Gaia: Tell us about more about products or services you offer?

Cosmic Cardinal: I offer custom artwork, prints, stickers and other forms of products. I source my products through a sustainable print company, and take pride in offering eco-friendly options to my clients

I offer energy healings, with or without the use of crystals. I love working with alchemy and the powerful energy of the metaphysical world. These sessions can be done over distance (ie phone, skype etc) or in person.

Working in a hospital, and frequently seeing patients in low states makes someone like myself want to help get to the bottom of their initial suffering. It’s in my nature to think this way. The physical manifestation of an illness is the final stage, the level of awareness most of us see ourselves grasping for help the most. We tend to let things slip until we hit the physical wall where suffering cannot be ignored. I would like to assist those seeking to fix their root cause, the energetic imbalance within

The biggest take-away I am trying to say here is : the ultimate healer is ourselves. Being open to healing is where it all begins. I would love for my artwork, paired with energetic healings to help others to follow their emotions. To use them as a guiding light, instead of these things we attach ourselves to so fiercely. My artwork heals me through expression, and I would like to extend my energetic healings to the public as my personal form of He-ART-work.

Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your products and services?

Cosmic Cardinal: The website is currently under construction but you can find me on Instagram at the.cosmic.cardinal! :)

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Cosmic Cardinal: Crystals (of course), a salt lamp, sacred geometry oracle cards paired with white sage!

We will be doing an online giveaway of Cosmic Cardinal's astrological mountain stickers! One for each Zodiac sign. Email us back your Zodiac sign to be entered!!


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