>New Moon 9/10th Aug – Depending on where you live

>I’m a bit late in posting this, as the New Moon in Leo is up and running . So this is just a reminder, if you’re interested in tuning into lunar movements, that this New Moon is part of the great movements in the cosmos, of which we are an integral part, leading up to the great changes afoot from now until 2021-2.

This New Moon has involved the Moon (of course – emotions, inner life, subconscious motivations, feminine energies) with Jupiter (expansion, benevolence, abundance), Mars (energy, explosion, passion), Uranus (innovation, new technology, unconventionality, revolution), Venus (love, beauty, appreciation), Saturn (boundaries, structures, societal norms) and Pluto (death, upheaval, destruction, new beginnigns) all dancing around in various relationships to each other.

I’m not going to go into all the various relationships, as I believe these planetary formations call on us to respond intuitively, to tune in and to create a new way of beginning (which is characteristic of the New Moon) in whatever way resonates for us personally.

For myself, I’ve created a new astro-crystal-healing mandala and here’s the pic:

On this ocasion, there’s a Singing Shaman Calcite stone right at the back.  In the mandala circle are: centre – a Malachite polished stone with a heart cut out of it; a tumbled Sugilite represents my Ascendant sign; a double-terminated elestial Amethyst my Moon sign; and a polished Amethyst from Brandberg, South Africa.  Around the mandala are figures of a Green Tara Buddha; an Angel; a Buddha; and an Isis figurine.

Here are pics of some of the individual stones:
This is the Brandberg Amethyst which has a beautiful golden heart, as if it were illustrating your soul’s glow.
This is the tumbled Malachite with a butterfly shape on the top, which I found quite by accident ina blow of tumbled Malachite stones.

Below is is the double-terminated elestial Amethyst which is from Australia but I don’t know the actual source area:

And finally, this is the tumbled Sugilite stone:

I’ve been working with this astro-crystal-mandala healing formation for a while now and I’ve found it interesting that this one is much simpler, with far fewer stones, as if I’m gradually working through old stuff and releasing it sub-consciously and very gently, in a manner I can handle.

Interestingly, a friend did a distant Tarot reading for me which she explained over the phone but hasn’t had the opportunity to write out and e-mail me until now.  The reading – which relates to health issues – turned up just before the New Moon here on the East coast of Australia.  A nice piece of synchronicity and so my health is the focus of new energies for this New Moon.

The same friend gave me some lovely “wish papers” from Singapore, which are tied up with a lovely rainbow-coloured ribbon. You write your wish or intention on a sheet and then burn the paper.  It’s lightweight so it burns easily and we have a lovely, ornate, brash ashtray stand which is ideal for such burning rituals (we neither of us smoke, by the way!).

Each time I create an astro-crystal-mandala, I write my intention on the paper, light a candle either side of the mandala, and then burn the wish paper.  It’s my way of creating a ritual to honour my alignment with the galaxy but my advice to you is to create whatever calls to your heart and soul, as we are all very individual, unique  beings, each one of us a gift to this Earth from the moment we are born.

>Kookaburras Galore!

>Here in Bowraville, in the hills behind the Pacific coast on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, we get sent to sleep with an evening chorus of kookas and woken up by the dawn chorus of kookas. You’ll note I don’t mention the word “serenade” here because you don’t get serenaded by kookas, you get deafened by their raucous cackling and manic laughter. Kookas are rife around this area and their calling morning and night is to establish their territory and warm any competitors that they’ll be in strife if they try to move in on already occupied kooka territory.

I have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I feel strongly that Kookaburra is a totem of mine. The very first morning I was walking to catch the train to work, three days after arriving in Australia, at 6am on a deserted street, a burst of manic laughter rang out. I jumped and turned around thinking someone had snuck up on me and was going to attack me. Not a soul in sight. Then the laughter rang out again and I realised it was coming from a squat bird with a huge beak sitting atop a telegraph pole. My first introduction to the laughter and cackling which characterises kookas.

(My husband also told me of an Irish worker colleague who, after climbing a high rise crane on his first day of work in Australia, was suddenly deafened as he climbed into his cabin high above the ground by the raucous cackle of a kooka. He practically slid down the ladder to the ground, probably the fastest descent ever by a crane driver) and assured his workmates that he’d heard a banshee. They, of course, were rolling on the ground laughing and took a long time to sober up and tell him he’d been spooked by a bird!).

I’ve read various material about kookaburras and what their presence means, but to me it’s always felt as if they’ve been very protective since I moved to Australia from the UK in 1972. I remember when we moved from Western Australia to the Eastern States, as we were driving to what was going to be our new home in northern New South Wales, we saw so many kookas, on their own, sitting on fences, watching us pass by. It felt as if they were telling us that our move was fine and lo and behold, the first morning I opened the curtain in our bedroom curtain, a kooka was sitting on the fence about two feet away looking calmly right back at me.

We did move to Victoria for 18 months and, while we made some marvellous friends, it wasn’t the place for us and kookas were missing. No loud laughter and I really missed their sparky absence. And then, when we moved back to New South Wales and were staying at a pet motel while we looked for a home, there was a kooka on the fence waiting to greet us, and we’d hear the kooka stomping around on the roof overhead.

We eventually found our current home, about 2 minutes from the motel, and since then we have sightings virtually every day of kookas. They are quite unafraid of human beings and will stay put even when you get quite close. And they will sit quietly without movement for ages as they keep a sharp eye out for the slightest movement of the tiniest insects or the largest worm.

I walked out a couple of days ago and a kooka was sitting on the fence. Here’s a pic of this sprightly fellow (or fellowess!):

And the following pic shows him/her suddenly looking down sharply at some movement on the ground, in other words, possible tucker:

So the other aspect that kookas demonstrate, for me personally, is clear vision and one which is grounded. Sometimes we can go off with the fairies because life on Planet Earth can be hard and it’s easier to detach from reality. But the reality is, to use a pun a bit, we are here to learn a fusion of spirituality with our practical life on the earth.

And of course, the other aspect which Kookaburra makes me recall is the power of laughter which lightens life’s journey, illuminates our heart and soul and casts a joyful light on our inter-action with others as we got about our business – whether at home, at work or in the general community..

I want to wind up by saying that it’s important to trust that, if you feel a bird, animal, insect, fish or reptile is your totem, trust how you feel about what it’s message means for you.  Look, listen and learn. And trust your intuition and own, inner wisdom.

>Introduced (drum roll …..) Puddha the Visiting Puddy Tat

>A while back our next door neighbours went away for nine days and left their cat, Puddha, outside. Someone came to visit and feed her and the dog in the backyard every day but Puddha got fed up without company. So after a couple of days she nervously appeared at our back door and gradually made our acquaintance. We gave her company and milk first thing in the morning and ensured she went back to her proper home at feeding time. Puddha, by the way, was born with no tail so she probably has Manx in her heritage.

But she’s obviously decided to spend some time with us because the back door’s open and she can come in and make herself comfortable. When we open the door first thing in the morning, she’s waiting and get’s a little bit of milk and then she comes in to make herself at home – mainly on the front room sofa lapping up the morning sun which shines in that part of the room. Here’s a pic of Puddha in the middle of a fit of the “oh-be-joyfuls” on our rocking chair:

But yesterday we went to Coffs Harbour, about an hour north of here, and as we were driving in I saw a lovely little wicker chair which I knew would be ideal for our verandah. I loved the faded rose design on the cushions and it is incredibly comfortable. And so Puddha thinks too. She has adopted it as her pied a terre and we don’t get a look in. We will do, trust me, when the weather warms up a bit, but meanwhile here are some pics of Pudda happily ensconced in her new home from home which, I’m quite sure, she believes we bought just for her:

>And the de-cluttering continues – Full Moon in Pisces

>I was intrigued to find that, when the Moon was in Virgo, I had another bout of clothing de-clutter.  I felt quite ruthless about what to keep and what not to keep, which is quite the opposite of my usual dithering over clothes, more akin to “Well, yes, I might just wear that later, so perhaps I’ll keep this top/jacket/jumper…”.  I’m sure you know the drill, you mean to de-clutter clothes, but then hesitate over what to keep and what to take down to the op/charity/thrift store. 

And as part of this de-cluttering process, a painting I did earlier has been changing too, I think perhaps reflecting the fact that I’m shedding excess baggage – emotional as well as physical in the sense of releasing clothing which no longer suits my needs for where I am now, as well as other less visible emotional clutter which is holding me back.

So this is the progression of my painting, from the latest incarnation to the first outing.  In this latest one, I’ve strengthened the words, which seemed to fade away at the end in the earlier versions, and be a bit wimpy in the original. I’ve also taken off all the rocks that were glued to it.  I suddenly felt that they no longer wanted to be part of the artwork, that they’d done their job and time to move on.  I also felt the urge to put a circle of Jo Sonya Pearl White around the circle. I like Jo Sonya paints, and have pretty much worked with these since I started painting, apart from a few sorties into Chroma and Atelier:

The previous one was similar, but had Angel Quartz included:

And finally, but by no means least, here’s the original, which as you’ll see is rather wimpy, as if I’d set out on the road to resonating with these passionate words, but was a bit hesitant about really being assertive in its creation:
I actually have the latest incarnation of this artwork hung on the wall at eye-level as I walk into the kitchen, to remind me of the power of this mandala and my commitment to abide by its contents – Purpose, Prayer, Passion, Power, Prosperity.I feel that the circle of Pearl White is a reminder that spiritual sustenance is the source of the words in the artwork.  I actually  must be honest too that I prefer Abundance to Prosperity but all the words began with “P” so “Prosperity” it was. I’m not too sure if my husband’s impressed with this as he simply rolls his eyes at the art I create. But he’s stayed quiet which is quite amazing and very impressive given that it meets his eyes too every time he walks into our kitchen!

And finally, I’m winding up with a reminder that today, Tuesday, as part of my commitment to keep reminding myself and you of the Moon’s phases, in the UK and the US is a Full Moon in Pisces, and it takes place in Australia in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Full Moon in Pisces is a great opportunity to release into the cosmos for transmutation and transformation all those parts of you – whether it’s on the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual planes – which you no longer need in your life.  It’s a great time to send out your intention to transform in your life that which needs transformation – only you know what that is.

But Pisces is about water, emotions, psychic energies – so tune in and listen to what your heart and soul tell you, create your own ritual to align with these lunar energies, and continue dancing on this great journey of life all we souls are engaged in.

>Of refugees and asylum seekers: love lies bleeding …..

>Yes, I know that Love Lies Bleeding is the name of a rather lovely, delicate flower, but I do have to say that it also applies to the Federal election which was held in Australia recently.

In a race to the bottom, both political parties sought to villify asylum seekers and refugees, appealing to racism and hatred to win votes. There has been talk of a “peaceful invasion”, “illegals” and “turning the boats around”.

I think this is very sad and has brought this nation to its knees. We have, relatively speaking in relation to the rest of the world, very few arrivals by boat and those that do come to Australia’s shores have gone through incredible hardship and suffering to make their way to this country mostly in rickety boats which are lucky not to sink at sea.

The “boat people” have overwhelmingly been found to have a legitimate claim to be refugees.  One wave was Iraqis, fleeing the illegal war in Iraq and the subsequent mayhem. Another wave was from Afghanistan, fleeing the fighting and violence in that poverty-struck nation.  And yet another wave has taken to the seas in the wake of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

An obituary in one of the weekend papers during the Federal election was for a Family Court judge who came to Australia as an internee from England. He was a refugee from Nazi Germany who fled for sanctuary to the UK but who was subsequently interned. His mother and sister were sent to a concentration camp in or near Riga. His sister was murdered there but he had never found out how his mother died.

In mid-May 1940 he was interred and put on the British transport ship, Dunera.  Those who came to Australia on that ship have become known as the Dunera Boys and most of them went on to make good lives for themselves in Australia.

A letter at the time to the then Prime Minister read in part, in relation to Australia receiving inernees from England:
“I beg to protest; we have enough of the scum here already, too many in fact. I am not a vindictive woman, these aliens are God’s creatures just the same as we are.  All the same, I sincerely trust that a U-boat gets every one of them”.

This isn’t much different to some of the hate messages about boat arrivals in Australia in the present day. A person I knew in Queensland commented that he would throw them all overboard and shoot them.

I make the point too that Australia has a “White Australia” policy whose effects still permeate this nation to this day.  One cannot imagine that boatloads of white refugees from South Africa or Zimbabwe would be locked up in the concentration camps Australian governments, both Labor and Coalition, have set up today and which cause depression, mental illness and suicide attempts by current-day internees.

I have mentioned in previous posts that the cosmos is calling to us all to change our ways, to open our hearts, to live in harmony with Mother Earth and to see ourselves as citizens of the world, rather than divided into different nations with false ideas that one is superior to another.

This recent election has taken place in a country which is wealthy and which has come through the global financial crisis virtually unscathed.  Yet our leaders have seen fit to heap abuse on very poor people whose only crime is to seek refuge in a country where they hope to have a peaceful life, get a job, get a roof over their heads, and provide a future for themselves and their children. Many of those who have been denied refugee status and sent back to Iraq and Afghanistan have subsequently been killed.

We should all feel shame when we see the president of a dirt-poor nation, East Timor (Timore Leste) say that even though the Timorese are a poor nation, they are still willing to open their hearts to those in need and be open to establishing a processing centre for refugees and asylum seekers on Timorese soil. 

Australia’s not the only Western nation taking this course of villification..  We’ve seen anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States. In France, Roma people are being rounded up and deported in a way which resembles the rounding up and deporting of Jewish people in World War 2. Italy’s not far behind in its treatment too of Roma people.

The real solution, of course, is for us to open our hearts – to remember the turning away of Mary, Joseph and Jesus – and accept these desperate souls into our nation and make them welcome. Because history shows that, with support and a welcoming heart, by far the great majority make a good life for themselves in this country and in other nations.

It might do us all good to remember too that there is far greater unhappiness and loss of spiritual succour in wealthy, Western nations, than in poor countries such as India, where people are happier even though their income is far less.  Money certainly doens’t necessarily bring happiness, but an open heart and welcome attitude to those in need doesn’t need a lot of money and it brings  far greater rewards in spiritual rather than material terms.

>Our Spring Garden

>One of the great things about moving into a new home is that you don’t know what plants you have until spring comes along. We’ve been watching a bush down by the side of our home coming into flower and thinking it was a diosma. But no, it’s turned out to be a white tea-tree and here’s the pic:

At the front of our house is a very shady area which is very wet and hardly ever gets the sun. So my husband, Bryan, has collected all the ferns hanging around in odd places under the house and replanted them by the front fence, along with the ferns, and a rather nice succulent plant of unknown name which has just produced lovely pink flowers resembling small London Pride:

Here are the ferns and palms:

and moving to the back garden, here’s a pic of our garden bed as it is now. It includes grevilleas, lilies of some sort (we don’t know exactly), geraniums, snapdragons, various grasses, lavenders, thyme, oregano, coriander, pansies, gerberas, gazanias, a buddleia (which has gone absolutely berserk), silver wattle, golden rain tree, dwarf tea tree, and probably some basil plants when the seeds come up. At the garden fence we’ve planted a grevillea and an azalea. In the corner is a strappy plant, genus unknown, but this is where, in the shade of this bush, we buried Rosie, our little Jack Russell, who died in January, aged 16.5, a very good innings. We’ve also planted a yellow miniature rose in her memory. We’ve also got some azalea bushes down the side of the house that were already here and which are now coming into flower, but we don’t know what colour they are yet:

This is the garden bed when we started planting it in March-April this year (we moved in last December):

We’ve started putting up hanging baskets on the back verandah, and the three so far contain fuchsias, one of my favourite flowers:

And finally this was our verandah when we moved in:

All this gardening and painting and renovating is due to Superhandyman, Bryan, who is a dab hand at renovating homes (he does the outside, I do the indoor decorating) and waving his green fingers at plants who just love him. As the summer here is hot with usually high rainfall, gardens usually go gangbusters so at the end of summer I’ll post some more photos of our garden in full bloom.

>A path of Passion 2

>As part of my retreat, I also felt compelled to create a piece of artwork which I think rather reflects the energy I feel at letting go of juggling too many balls and focusing only on the two main passions of my life:

I actually set out to create a montage of Aboriginal artwork I cut out of a 2010 diary I bought at the beginning of the year. Aboriginal art always talks to me because it’s so symbolic and I find it fascinating how Aboriginal artists sing their connection to this Earth into their artwork.

However, when I had finished the underlay paint of yellow, orange, red and ochre spreading out from the centre, I really felt drawn to continue to create a painting as opposed to a collage. And the above is the result.

At the centre is a polish cabochon of Tiger Eye surrou8nded by small Tiger Eye tumbled stones. These represent, for me at least, coming back down to Earth in relation to expressing my passions, and not being off in th ether with airy-fairy dreams which, with all due respect to them, send me hairing off in too many directions.

The yellow wavy circle represents my self-confidence and the journey of self-healing I’ve followed in order to express my passions in my own way. Around this are polished Citrine chips which represent the abundance and lightness I feel in my heart now I feel more aligned with what feeds the passion in my life.

The next, red, wavy circle represents the energy I feel now that I’m actually centred in my heart and I’ve let go of extraneous goals which were draining my energy. Around this are small, tumbled Carnelian stones which I always know as the Harvest Stone. ‘Nuff said.

The orange, wavy circle is my creative energy expanding while the small, Clear Quartz tumbled stones around this circle represent clarity of purpose.

Finally, the purple of the outermost wavy circle represents for me the spiritual inspiration which feeds my work, and my aim to be a channel to bring Spirit to Earth in my creativity.

The four black stones in each corner are a bit of a mystery. They could be black onyx or they could be obsidian, but either way they represent the stability of being grounded and aligned with the four directions – East, West, North and South – and four energies – Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

I might add that all this has only come to me as I’ve completed this painting and stood back and looked at it. It’s always a surprise what eventuates in creating artwork when I listen to intuition, keep my logical side under wraps, and simply go with the flow.

And, yes, I’ve yet to decide what I’m going to do with the photos of Aboriginal artwork which are still to be given a home!