"The Hedgewitch is an elder of the people in the Otherworld. The hedge is the symbolic border of the Otherworld and Thisworld. She of all her people travels easily between the worlds. She is neither in Thisworld or the Otherworld, but always in both. She is the glassy eyed crone, the one who sees death and predicts birth. She leads you into the Otherworld with riddles. She is known by many different names...from Baba Yaga to Cailleach."
Our dear sister-artist, Tammy Mae Moon, has just begun a series of paintings exploring the healing story worlds of the Bach Flower remedies. I love that she is bringing the face of the flower forward for us all to see. You can read about the beauty and assistance of the Bach Flower remedy : Clematis on her blog: Spiral in the Sky.
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.
Most of us knew our soul’s purpose better when we were children then we do as adults. Three of my biggest loves as a child were mythology, anything having to do with mysticism or the occult, and drawing medieval women. The first two loves I had to really search out as I grew up in a small Southern U.S. town where there were only two religions: Southern Baptist and Presbyterian. My love for art was not nurtured and I never thought that becoming an artist was even an option for me growing up.
In college I studied antiquities and had planned to become an archaeologist, but instead I married another archaeologist and became a massage therapist after college. I started to have a lot of psychic openings in my early twenties, and after being trained in Reiki I began to commune with the spirit guides of my massage therapy clients. My own guidance led me to learn to draw these guides for my clients. It took me two years before I felt confident enough to start doing this. During those two years I reconnected with this deep yearning I have within, and have had since I was a child, to draw and create art.
Doing the spirit guide portraits was an interesting way to learn to do portraiture. The sole purpose of doing those portraits was to manifest spirit into the physical. I still feel this is the main purpose of my art today. I would spend a lot of time on the eyes of the guides, as I really wanted people to feel like the eyes of the guides spoke to them. People are always commenting on the eyes of the women in my paintings as if they are really alive. We are so inundated with imagery in this modern world, and very rarely does it feel like it is filled with spirit. I think that one consequence of the Modern art movement is that art has become more and more lifeless. I feel it is very important for people to reconnect with art that is tangibly alive.
Along with drawing the guides, I would channel a lot of spiritual information for my clients. This information was dominated by past life information. The guides were usually people that my clients knew in a past life, or sometimes, were the clients themselves in a past life. This was always intriguing to me as it showed that we truly are our own guides and reminds me of that old Native American saying
“We are the ones we are waiting for”.
My fascination with past lives grew as I did the readings, and I eventually got trained as a hypnotist and began doing past life regressions. This helped me to journey into my own past lives and to uncover my own soul’s story. I know I was a gifted artist in a few past lives, and that is why I was able to reconnect with this skill in this lifetime with no formal training. I also uncovered the skill of reading tarot. I was always a little frightened of tarot readings before discovering this. I found a lifetime where I was tortured as a Romany gypsy and I was a tarot reader.
Today I am a busy mom of two and I have cut back on doing the readings. What little time I have for myself I enjoy spending it painting. I think creative energy is something that you channel up through your root chakra from the center of Gaia. The more you open up to the energy the more it floods into your system. Learning how to balance this creative energy is a struggle for every artist. Images are constantly flooding into me and sometimes all I can think about is getting them out and onto the canvas.
My art is always centered on two themes, the sacred feminine and its connection to nature. I work with a lot of mythological stories to show this connection. I am most drawn to the ancient Irish myth, as I have a lot of past life connections there. I am borderline obsessed with the stories of the Tuatha de danann and the Sidhe (the Irish name for faeries). You will find in a lot of old Celtic lore the idea of the sovereign goddess. She is the physical embodiment of the land or the earth. She has to be treated with respect and nurtured for the land to be fertile. In most myth the goddess herself is symbolic of the human psyche. I feel there is a strong connection between the health of the human psyche and the environment. When we have a balanced psyche the land will also be in balance. This is the basic meaning behind the Beltane festival. It was the coming together of the god and the goddess (the balancing of the male and female aspects of the psyche) to insure the fertility of the land.
One of my favorite teachers of myth, as I am sure he is many peoples favorite, is Joseph Campbell. On many occasions he commented about how it was the role of the artist to create the myth of today. One of my favorite quotes of his says: “Artist’s are magical helpers. Evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves, they can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives.” If I can help others on their soul’s heroic journey with my paintings, then I know I will be following my bliss.