Flight of the Eagle

Remembering our Ability to Soar. Created with Toolwiz; Photo Editor; Pixlr and PicMonkey. The feather represents the power of flight and the element of air in our lives; while the handprint represents our connection to our ancestors and our heritage from those on whose shoulders we stand.

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

~ Joy Harjo ~

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Dream Talking

Well, no, I’m not exactly talking in dreams but the last one I had was very simple and very clear and was about communication: I was in my home watching as a phone landline was being installed to my house. A bit ironic in one way because landlines in North Cyprus are as rare as hen’s teeth, mobile phones are the way to go here.

For me, the dream was saying that my communication paths are opening up, perhaps not quite there, because the trench for the cables hadn’t quite reached my home (which in dreams often means yourself). But the poems are crowding into my head now, lining up to be written so things are changing for me and I feel on a bit of a roll.

I decided also that I’d revamp my sanctuary tables too.  I’m not comfortable really with the term “altar” as it brings back unpleasant memories of being in a convent as a kid. But I decided I liked the term “sanctuary tables” because they do represent for me a connection to the earth, to ground me and to help me cope with life on earth.

I have suffered from depression in the past but have managed to work through to its causes which has helped me stay pretty sane (well, I think I’m sane, others might have different ideas!). But I do find life on earth hard, particularly when I see what evil humanity is capable of. A comment by Russell Brand about Robin Williams’ tragic suicide rang so many bells for me I could feel tears welling up: “an attempt to anaesthetise against a reality that constantly knocks against your nerves.”

I’m lucky in that I have a lot of optimism within me – I am so grateful for the good that people do, the help that is extended so generously to others, the outrage at social injustice, the artists and singers, my friends, my wonderful husband, our menagerie of cats and dogs. But I do find very wearing the selfishness, the rage around these days, the focus on things rather than people, the lies of governments, the victimisation and scapegoating of the poor and dispossessed, the greed of the super-rich and the way governments serve big business, not the people.

So my tables are sanctuaries for me – the reminder of the sacred in watching birds fly; hearing birds sing; feeling the energy of rocks and crystals, hearing the purity of my singing bowl; feeling energised by using my rattles; tuning into earth, fire, air and water. So today I also burned a feather from my past, my old me. I know I’m moving in new directions because the way I dress is also changing – not so gypsy-ish as I was in Australia, I’m wearing tighter clothing as I’m showing more of myself as I am but, don’t worry, still got the purple hair!

The Round Glass Table in my Study:

The turquoise of the bowl represents communication with love; at the bottom of the bowl are dried rose petals  from the Apothecary’s Rose in my garden, one of my favourite roses, and obviously to remind me of love;  around the edge are feathers for the air element – from pigeons, doves, rainbow lorikeets, pheasant coucals (a cuckoo found in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, Australia) and kookaburras. In astrological terms, I have nine air signs and no earth signs, so birds are important to me being representative of the air element, but I need crystals, rocks and stones to ground me back to the earth element. So on the table are three spheres: ruby for energy; labradorite for magic communication; and girasol for the vast, expansive energy of Jupiter. There are also two crow wings which I salvaged from a crow killed by a car, and a barn owl wing, again salvaged from a barn owl killed by a car. Both again represent air element for me. Also on the table  are the elements I worked with on soul retrieval which remain private and sacred – burning the feather today represented a return to wholeness for me and a letting go of the past. And finally the Buddha figure reminds me of the sacred in life, while the petrified wood underneath brings back memories of my eight years in south-east Queensland where I turned my life around, discovered the artist, teacher, photographer and writer within and never looked back.

The Round, Black Glass Table on my Verandah:

The rocks around the centre bowl all represent important memories and relationships for me. The bowl in the centre is green, for the energy of water, and in the bowl are rocks, coloured glass pebbles again representing the colour of water, and pine cones for earth energy.  There are also sparkly, white balls which represent the stars and galaxies around us.

And after all the wordy descriptions, here are my sanctuary tables:

Altar table - Study Altar Table - Verandah

Earth, Fire, Air, Water

I’ve had a lovely long lunch today catching up with some friends and felt a bit unpainterly-like when I got home. But when my  husband started watching a train video (!), I decided I’d retreat to my workroom and see what came up arty-farty-wise.

Yesterday evening I was working on a photo I’d taken of a rather beautiful agate piece in my crystal collection but I hadn’t felt satisfied with the result. So I played with it some more in PicMonkey (I should get a bonus for the number of times I mention this programme,shouldn’t I???), and finally decided to browse photos to see if anything attracted my attention and what came up was a painting I did in Australia working with paper bark. Paper bark is a very soft bark which peels of the tree and is great for using in artwork.  However, when I was sorting out my paintings recently, my dear dogs decided it would be fun to pull some of the paper bark off the painting and eat it!!

I always, always with art creation work on the basis that if something goes wrong, it’s an opportunity to revisit the piece and amend it. So this time – after I’d stopped howling at the dogs –  I added in shells and pieces of raw sunstone into the areas left empty of the paper bark.  It changed the energy of the painting completely, and it’s this final piece which I superimposed over the digital art. And I love it.

Earth, Fire, Air, Water
Earth, Fire, Air, Water

Agate
Polished agate stone

Earth, Fire, Air, Water

FLYING HIGH

Each day I draw a Tarot card and a small word card to ponder during the daylight hours. On my birthday a few days ago, 27th September,  I drew The Star and “Healing” which I gave me the impetus to turn the day into one of rest and reflection.

I took time to stand on my verandah and just look at the empty paddock beside our apartment and enjoy the view.  It is untamed land, as is much land on North Cyprus. People used to the manicured spaces of the UK and other Western nations complain about the lack of order, but to me the casual chaos simply adds to the charm of this little piece of wonderland on Earth.  It is dry, brown  at the end of summer,  but also a vista which is much richer than it looks at first glance. There are all sorts of grasses, small bushes and a few birds hopping to and fro.

I’m a great one for birds. Here you get pied crows, sparrows, pigeons, the occasional great tit, migratory birds which fly in great skeins across the sky, and occasionally a raptor. In the evenings, flocks of tiny birds swoop over our garden, amazingly missing the bushes and trees, as they return home to roost for the night. Birds aren’t too rife on Cyprus as there’s a hunting tradition which includes shooting songbirds and pickling them to eat. Plus in the hunting seasons anything which moves in the sky is fodder for shooting as so many “hunters” aren’t trained and simply shoot at anything which moves. Mind you, often they shoot themselves or friends and I must be honest and say I can’t find myself very sad about such accidents!

What I really miss here after Australia are the bright colours of the rainbow lorikeets, the trill of the Willie Wagtail, the long, musical notes of of the magpie, and the thrilling riffs of butcher birds, riffs which alter from group to group and which are a means of communication within each grouping.

I also like to look up at the sky and feel deep gratitude that I can still see the beauty of the heavens above and know that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 66, and I’m still Kite 1alive, something I consider a great achievement when I read of all the disasters which happen to other people.

So there I was, feeling very blessed to have somehow made it through to this stage of my life, pretty much intact although facing a few health challenges, but ALIVE! 

And as I thought this, I looked up and there was a splendid kite circling overhead.  As if aware I’d noted its presence, this beautiful bird circled lower so that it was only just above head height.   I could clearly see its wedge-shaped tail and the wing feathers spread out at the end.

I remember in Australia you’d look up and see eagles circling high in the sky, wafting lazily on the thermals, as we lived in what seemed to be Eagle Central. On one occasion, sitting at an outside cafe in Coffs Harbour, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales,  I looked up and there was a wedge-tailed eagle flying low over the cars and shoppers and no-one noticed this miracle in the sky!

So seeing a raptor above me last week seemed to me a great blessing, an appearance by a magnificent bird to remind me that life is brilliant. Yes, it can be tough, there can be huge challenges, but I just have to look at the sky, see the beautiful colours, the floating clouds and remember the appearance of the kite to feel absolute awe at living on this beautiful planet and delight at the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives.

>Artwork I’ve created in alignment with New & Full Moons, and Eclipses

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I’ve uploaded some of the paintings I’ve done at Eclipses, Full and New Moons. I’m not suggesting you need to honour these times as I have, but it does give you an idea of what you can create if that’s how you want to proceed.
I actually feel that what you do in the way of rituals also needs to reflect who you are.  I have a lot of air signs and my Sun and Ascendant signs are in Libra which is all about creativity, art and beauty.  Someone with an Earth sign, might feel drawn to create a ritual with earthy objects,  a person with Fire Signs might go for candles, and a Water sign might want to work with water. OR you might want to work with the opposite energies, it just depends on what your intuition tells you.
 This is one of the few paintings I’ve created in response to a New Moon, most of the artwork has been focused around dreamboards, as the above one is.
The painting below is one I created here in Bowravile and it’s realy big and is hanging on the wall facing my computer.
The “Artist on Fire” is one that came out of left field.  I had in mind to do something quite different but then saw an image of a red hate and decided to go with all the lovely images I found of red hats – cartoons, animals and people.  I’ve got the purple dress but I’m still hanging out for the right red hat. I know it’ll turn up in its own good time, lol. I think my husband’s a bit nervous about the red hat as he’s still adjusting to my emergence with bright purple hair (which I’ve toned down from an all-over colour to streaks at the front, easier to do, lolol).