Winter Solstice

Plant Medicine Doll Workshop at Winter Solstice!

Hello friends, I am very happy to announce that Soul Mates - Sacred Trees Plant Medicine Doll Workshop will be held at Winter Solstice. Winter Solstice is one of my favourite times of the year as it is such a sweet moment to connect with Mother Earth as she turns inward for her winter sleeping.

The medicine doll you will create will become a Winter Soul Mate for you over the deepening and darkening months ahead. Her  essence will be linked to one of 9 sacred medicine trees that will be waiting to be placed inside her body as you weave and birth her into the world. In the mystery of her birthing will be the keys to her medicine and we will spend time writing her medicine story for it is your story too. Please bring a journal and any specific treasures you would like the doll to hold inside her body like crystals, talismans or plant medicine that you love.

The workshop will be held at Tree of Life, 3 Denmark Street Kew from 12-4pm on Sunday 22nd June. The cost is $120 and includes all materials including plant medicines. Places are limited so please get in touch if you wish to join our solstice tree circle.

Winter Solstice Swan Blessing Workshop - Wise Medicine from Plant Teachers

I am preparing for our Winter Solstice Workshop - Enchantment of the Dreamer by walking in the forest daily and looking around for fallen leaves, branches, berries and other plant medicine. I am loving seeing the world from a miniature point of view - a twig that doubles as a staff, a leaf as a cape - endless possibilities. During this workshop we will be journeying with plant wisdom from sacred herbs such as Blue and White Lotus, and the Passion Flower. At present I am placing these ancient medicinal and dreaming herbs inside the spirit dolls. It is a wonderful feeling when a doll tells you what it needs to carry. 
Deep inside our hearts, where the Dreamer resides, we remember the ancient shamanic and witch practice of doll-making and enchantment and we have ancestral memory of Plant Medicine. At Winter Solstice we will clear past life vows, oaths and sacred contracts binding the Artisan, from full expression of Intuition and Creativity before engaging in this sacred craft again. If you wish to join us in this deep dreaming pool as remember how to make all that we touch sacred, I have 2 last places, please get in touch by Friday morning if you would like to take one of them.
Spirit Sister Plant Medicine Dolls available for purchase here.

Dreaming in Beeswax at Winter Solstice

'She Wandered as if in a Dream' - Encaustic Oracle created at Winter Solstice

 A hearty fire-filled thank you to all of the participants who shared their creativity in the WInter Solstice Encaustic Workshop on Saturday. I have never seen the beeswax talking so clearly to the artist through image and symbol. And I am already so excited to see how the wax will speak and move in our workshop on magical Mount Tamborine in QLD next month. Golden dreams from the blessed bee.

Oracle making in front of the fire

Winter Solstice Encaustic - Oracle Writing Workshop

Hello art lovers, our next encaustic workshop will be held at the ancient Celtic Festival of Winter Solstice on Saturday, 23rd June. This workshop will focus not only on creating and painting your beautiful oracle cards with beeswax but also on the art of writing. We will take time at this Yule festival, a time when we feel the quiet and deepest point of the year to become still enough to listen to the voice of your oracle and channel it's message. Winter Solstice is a beautiful time of reflection and dreaming and also of giving gratitude. It is very much associated with remembering those who have helped us along the path: ancestors and the spirits of loved ones. What messages do your ancestors have to share with you to help lighten the load, to put a seed of joy in your heart for the journey ahead? What will the seed blossom into in Springtime when the new dream is ready to be birthed? 
This workshop is limited to 8 places - all materials are supplied. Please bring along a photograph of an ancestor or loved one and join us at this time of deepening. In the cauldron of Winter we may glimpse our radiant future. 
Below is a piece called Crone's Message at the Well - like all of my encaustic pieces she was not drawn or planned but merely moved up through the hot wax when she was ready to speak. 

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.

Winter Solstice Animal Totems Meditation Night for the Koalas at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter

Hello Tribe!

I am so happy to invite you all to an open meditation circle focussing on discovering your Totem Animals on the evening of the Winter Solstice, Wednesday 22nd June at Williamstown Community Centre. In this meditation circle you will learn to journey with your Animal Allies and Totems, and understand more about why these sacred creatures have chosen to walk your path with you.

We are dedicating this Winter Solstice Circle to the beautiful Koala. Koala is an Animal Totem that teaches us to relax deeply, and to develop visioning and inner-journeying to find the answers that we need to help us on our path. All of the proceeds from this evening are going to the wonderful Colleen Wood and her team of dedicated volunteers & wildlife carers, who spend endless hours caring for our precious wildlife at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Gippsland, Victoria. Colleen was the person who cared for 'Sam the koala' after the terrible bushfires of 2009 - you can read more of Colleen's journey with Sam and the amazing work she does on the shelter's website: www.samthekoala.com.au.

Colleen and Sam at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter
www.samthekoala.com.au

The shelter is run completely on a volunteer basis, with no funding from the government. Unfortunately the Koala's habitat is being greatly threatened by bushfires, growing urbanisation, and heavier vehicle traffic moving through the Koala's ancient trackways. Colleen's dream is to raise $200,000 to purchase land to establish a much-needed Rehabilitation Centre and Burns Hospital.

At this time of the ancient festival of Winter Solstice, our 'Yule' in the Southern Hemisphere we invite you to connect to your Animal Guardians, learn more about your own Natural Wild Spirit and to help SAVE THE KOALAS!! Please feel free to invite your friends to this open Winter Solstice Circle, places are limited so please let me know as soon as you can.

Warmest Wishes for the approaching Winter,

Julia and Tony