Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forest Oracle

Here is a sneaky peek at a new project I'm calling The Forest Oracle, created from encaustic art paintings, channelled messages and plant totems. I love to paint in the Dark Moon, I hope these images inspire you to step into the deep forest of your own creativity today.

From Darkness to Light - In the Shadow of the New Moon Eclipse

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hecate by Eileen Poldermans

Over the last year I have been searching for an image of the Goddess Hecate as I see her and last night one of our students gave us a beautiful card featuring 'The Goddess Hecate' by Eileen Poldermans. This is exactly how I perceive this great and powerful goddess who often helps us when we find ourselves at the crossroads of our lives. Isn't she beautiful? Thank you, Julie.

Ellen Terry and the Beetlewing Gown

Ellen Terry at 16 years of age posing for Julia Margaret Cameron
'Ellen Terry is the most beautiful name in the world; it rings like a chime through the last quarter of the nineteenth century.' George Bernard Shaw
Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, John Singer Sargent, 1889
A woman I have always been fascinated with is Dame Ellen Terry (27th February 1847 - 21st July 1928). Ellen Terry was the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain and recently a dress that she wore as Lady Macbeth in 1880s has been restored. This is no ordinary dress but an emerald gown shimmering with the iridescent naturally sloughed-off wings of 1,000 beetles. This magnificent dress took 1,300 hours of painstaking work funded by the National Trust and is now back at on display at Ellen's home in Smallhythe Place in Kent. Oh how I long to see it with my own eyes!

You can read great article about Ellen Terry and this gown from The Guardian here.

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth in the beetlewing dress

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Courses and Workshops

Thank you to everyone who attended our Winter Solstice Animal Totems Circle last night. What a beautiful group! And together we have raised $700 for the koalas of The Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter. We'll be heading down to the koalas very soon and will keep you posted.

There will be only 2 workshops held between now and mid-August as we take time to 'fill the well'. In mid-August we will be starting a new meditation circle and a new course for women in Celtic Spirituality: Healer, Mystic, Creatrix - a 5 week course balancing the Elements and the Chakras with the Celtic Goddess. 

Warm Wishes,

Julia and Tony

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcoming the Light at Winter Solstice

Early this morning we experienced the exact point of the Midwinter Solstice our Yule in the Southern Hemisphere. The shortest day and the longest night of the Wheel of the Year. At this quiet and dark time of Winter we are at the still point of the year and this is a still point of potential. At this ancient earth festival we celebrate the return of the Sun, the returning light after the darkest night - from this point onwards our days grow longer and we connect to the promise of a new harvest in the coming warmer months ahead. Today we celebrate the coming of new life after the 'death' of Winter.

Gateway of the Soul - The Moon on Water: The Wildwood Tarot.
Recently I have begun reading with the incredible The Wildwood Tarot deck just released by John Matthews and Mark Ryan, the original creator of the much-loved and out of print The Greenwood Tarot. Mark Ryan grew up near Sherwood Forest and has a deep love for the earth and the Old Ways and John Matthews together with his wife Caitlin Matthews are my favourite authors and teachers of Celtic myth, oracular studies and the Celtic shamanic path. This beautiful deck is illustrated by Will Worthington of the Druidcraft Tarot and the Druid Animal Oracle and I am so happy to see the Court Cards of the Tarot given animal totems. This deck has been speaking to me so clearly and I look forward to reading for others and sharing it's messages.

The Winter Solstice is represented by The Moon card, referred to as The Moon on Water in The Wildwood Tarot. The accompanying book describes the Winter Solstice as marking the Gateway of the Soul, heralding a potent time of inner transformation, initiation and awareness. This midpoint is regarded as the womb of the Wheel of the Year.

Today is a beautiful time to reflect on what you are getting ready to birth in the warmer months and to open yourself to the potential of these dreams that are still incubating in the watery depths of your soul. A good card to work with for this energy is the mysterious and quiet archetype of The High Priestess, represented as The Seer here. This Divine Feminine archetype will ask you to meditate and open yourself to the mystery within so that you will have a strong knowing and understanding of what you are wishing to birth.

For some of us the month of June have been difficult with the auspicious timing of three eclipses. The last eclipse will be on Friday, 1st July - a New Moon eclipse that many are calling an 'enforced rebirth'. Last night I dreamt of stepping out of bed and finding flakes of skin before realising there was an enormous brown snake in my house. I hadn't realised I was at such a deep time of transformation and shedding the old - instead I was wondering while I was feeling 'flatter' than usual, worrying about issues that I thought I'd left in the past and feeling introspective and unsociable. This dream reminded me that in the Winter months many animals hibernate to reserve energy for the months ahead. The snake is a powerful symbol of rebirth and I realise now that I was ignoring and resisting this push for change. It's time for new work, new classes & new dreams. I hope this helps any of you who have been feeling much the same way. As I was writing this post, I received an email from my friend and artist Tammy Mae Moon who described a very similar experience.

The Seer, Tammy Mae Moon www.moonspiralart.com
Tammy loved the synchronicity of seeing the Bee honoured here on our website and told me how she had been 'woken up' from her recent feeling of 'disenchantment' after the sting of a bee. This led her to finish a new painting of Demeter and her bee. Thank you Tammy for your friendship and confirmation. I feel the Bee around so much at the moment and the message for me is to work hard at building community but only in areas that truly serve me and my 'queen bee'. And so I will spend this quiet time looking at my work practices and conserving energy for the projects that inspire me and create optimum healing. When I have done this I will work with the bold energy of The Chariot, or The Archer of The WIldwood. This archetype helps us to focus passionately on our goals and to trust in our ability to achieve them. I love The Archer's Wolfhound guardians!

Void Moon in Pisces perfect for Meditation:
Today at midday (Aust timezone) we will go into an extra long Void Moon in Pisces. This is not a time for a lot of movement or planning but a beautiful time for dreaming and meditation. The Void will finish tomorrow as the Moon moves into Aries at 6.30pm. Try to create some time in this 30 hour period for meditation and peace, you will be amazed at the difference it makes in quietening your mind and creating fantastic new insights or pathways to the new dreams you are currently incubating. If you feel you would like to meditate with a group, we are holding a Winter Solstice Meditation tonight to raise money for the beautiful koalas at the Southern Ash WIldlife Shelter and we still have a couple of places left.

At Winter Solstice we give thanks for the gifts and teachings of the year passed and for the gifts and teachings we are yet to receive in the light that is now growing ever more brighter as we journey to the Sun's warmth. For everyone who has joined us in our circles this past 12 months we are so thankful for your presence and your beauty and we hope to keep journeying together with you in the future.

This song is for everyone.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Homage to the blessed Bee

Pythia the 'Delphic Bee' seated on the Delphic Tripod Cauldron

Ancient Bee pendant from Crete

Minoan Bee Goddess

Australian 'Teddy Bear' Bee!