I bought a really lovely crystal necklace with a druzy pendant recently, although I’m not quite sure what the crystals are. They don’t feel like rose quartz, too cool, and I’m guessing they’re pink chalcedony. The necklace has a matching pair of earrings and I’ve just altered them – originally they had one pink crystal bead and three very small pink beads, but they were so small I kept losing them. So I added in a couple of bigger beads and now they’re much easier to find!
I also altered a pair of larimar earrings I seldom wear. They were on a triangular frame but never felt quite right. Then a couple of nights ago I had the idea of simply hanging them on a chain and they feel quite different, far more resonant with my own energies.
I also have two Larimar pendants which will go well with the earrings – one’s an oval and the other a heart. A friend here in North Cyprus has a lovely crystal jewellery stall at the local market, and gets a lot of different stones from Turkey where they are really quite cheap, and that’s where she found the two Larimar pendants I now caretake. I love Larimar, it’s a really soft, loving stone. I often think of chrysocolla as Aphridote’s power stone, while Larimar is her stone of love and nurturing. Aphrodite, by the way, is said to have emerged from the sea at the southern end of Cyprus where I live.
Here’s an acrylic painting I created of Aphrodite – it started taking shape when we lived in Victoria, Ausralia, then grew clearer when we lived on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and took final shape here in Cyprus after we’d moved here. Aphrodite was certainly calling me!
I donated one of my rose digital art works to a raffle this week, looked at other images I’d created over these past months and decided to devote this post to roses as they really are the most wonderful flower. I absolutely adore the Apothecary’s Rose in our front garden – it’s an ancient rose of the Turkish region and has an enormous centre. It seems to be that it’s continuing existence and sturdiness signifies the history of the region and the thread of past, present and future which links the lives of past, present and future generations. Roses here are either au naturel or in some I’ve worked on them digitally.
I seem to be focusing a lot on bougainvilleas lately, but it’s just as well I took photos of the different ones in our garden because they are now battered and bruised and may need to be pruned right back to regenerate. Unusually for this time of the year when it’s normally around 17C, last week we had a really intense cold front move over this area with diabolically cold winds being blown down from central Europe. We have had daily temperatures of 7-8C here whereas they’re normally up around 17C this time of the year. At least we didn’t get the snow that blanketed Syria, Israel and Egypt which was a blessing.
Anyway, our poor bougainvilleas have lost all their blossoms, our black-eyed susan has given up the ghost and will have to be pruned while our hibiscus has lost its top leaves. In an apartment further down the block, the poor roses – pink and red – have been stripped of their leaves with only the rose-hips and rose flowers left behind. I guess the flowers are hardier than the leaves.
I didn’t actually intend to end up with bougainvilleas, to be honest. I started off with a blank canvas in PicMonkey which I coloured a pale green, then added a photo of one of my paintings, Aphrodite Rising. I played around with effects and textures, then added an effect layer of a winter scene I photographed recently. And I finally finished up with an effect layer of a bougainvillea photo I took before the cold wind knocked them into oblivion. I added in the butterflies because they represent transformation and, whether we like it or not, the very cold weather has opened up new growth for plants and flowers affected by the low temperatures and also shows us how we can grow from adversity.
As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to have time away from the internet and work with any creative ideas which came up in my time free of Facebook, news and so on. Luckily for me, I did get some inspiration!
I decided to revisit some former paintings I’ve done and cheer them up a bit. I’ll post info about three others in another couple of posts. In this one I want to look at the painting I did back in Australia with lots of blues and a really wimpy figure in the middle. This is the original painting and I felt that while the colours around the figure were full of energy, the small figure looked pretty overwhelmed and ungrounded.
So I swished different paint colours straight from the tube over the old figure to create a stronger, more energetic figure which filled the whole canvas. Then I placed a sea-green, round stone at the heart centre, for love at the physical, material level. This was surrounded by small, rose quartz chips for love at the spiritual level. Four rays radiated out to represent love at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
Then I added in more violet for the head shape, to signify the wisdom with which we operate when we link the power of a loving heart to the power of thoughts. And radiating out are turquoise rays which represent communication with love.
This figure, for me, is a homage to the power of Aphrodite who is the patron of Cyprus. Aphrodite is reputed to have been born from spray surrounding a rock at the western end of Cyprus, where Aphrodite’s Rock now stands. For me, Aphrodite is a power energy as, astrologically speaking, the ruler of my sign (Libra) is Venus, another name for Aphrodite. I also have three other signs in Libra which strengthens the influence of Aphrodite in my life.
I have for a while wanted to create a power figure for Aphrodite as the renowned painting of her by Botticelli always looks so goody two-shoes and off the planet. I know it was a produce of his times, but it is a typical representation of woman on a pedestal, the Madonna as opposed to the Whore. So this for me is a portrayal of Aphrodite as the goddess of love – a love which is not soft and wimpy and idealistic, but a love which is real, fiery and incredibly powerful.
In completing this poem I’m reminded of one of my favourite sayings:
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on the day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.”Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
I’m not a great adherent to the concept of God, I prefer Divinity or the Sacred, but I believe that if we can harness the energies of love for the good of all sentient beings, then humanity will reach for the stars and truly light up the web of life.
All my life I have drawn a graphic of a triangle with loops on the end. I’ve done it as a child, a young woman, a middle-aged woman and now in my crone years. I have drawn this graphic on paper, in the air and it’s turned up as an image in my mind I don’t know how many times.
And now I recognise the meaning, the hairs are standing up on my head and arms, and I know I’ve come home.
Since I arrived in Cyprus, I’ve changed my moniker to Aphrodite Rising. It sprang out of nowhere (a bit like Aphrodite springing from nowhere when she popped up from the seas all of a sudden), and seemed just, well, perfect. Today I started work on producing my next Constant Contact newsletter and I fished through my artwork until I found a painting created in Traralgon, Victoria, in 2006. I remembered doing it, but not much about the detail. Until I uploaded it onto the newsletter. And then I sat staring blankly at the screen.
Here it is:
As you can see, the graphic stands out, I was compelled to add it when I was painting around the blue glass triangle with various rocks and seashells around it, but looking at it now I realised it’s a stylised “A”. For Aphrodite. Aphrodite has been calling me all my life and finally here I am!
Interestingly, the original image was obscured by netting, but in Bowraville (on the mid-north coast of New South Wales) where I lived after moving from Traralgon, I felt the need to rip off the netting, almost as if Aphrodite was calling to me, the artwork needed to be clearer and not obscured, and the message was getting louder.
And I have to be honest, Cyprus is the last place to which I ever thought I’d volunteer to move. Why? My husband has raved on about this island ever since we met, so much so that on occasions I’ve given serious consideration to nuking the damned place. It drove me nutso. He even had a clear dream while we were living in Queensland of walking down the streets of Famagusta, with a white dove flying beside him, BUT the streets were modern, not the streets of his childhood days and when he served in Cyprus with the British Army in the late ‘fifties. My good friend, Yvonne, reckoned that Bryan had left a piece of his soul in Cyprus and I think she’s right. But it wasn’t my soul, at least, not until I got here.
The day we moved into Bowraville I came very close to the Pearly Gates. I don’t know if they waved me away or whether I tripped at the entrance. Be that as it may, I had heatstroke with a BP of 220 over 160 and a heartbeat of 40. The ambulance officers thought I’d have a massive stroke and die before we reached the hospital. Mercifully they stabilised me and here I still am, one tough old bird. But it did concentrate our minds about where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. My husband’s three children live in the UK, we have friends in the UK, and we really felt we wanted to live closer but couldn’t handle the British climate and the country’s high cost of living.
Then one day, out of the blue, I suddenly said: “Why don’t we move to Cyprus?” I must admit, I nearly fell of the sofa when these words popped out. And Bryan said “Good idea” before I had a chance to hoover the words back into my great big gob. But it sort of felt right. So we did our homework, decided on North Cyprus as it’s not in the Eurozone and has a lower cost of living than South Cyprus. It’s not as developed but that sort of thing doesn’t both us in the least.
So last June we put our home up for sale. We both operate on the basis that, when the right seller comes along, the house will sell and all will be well wherever we are heading. The house sold in December. We found a young couple, setting up home with not much money, who bought the whole house contents, paying us enough to cover the cost of our fares to Perth. They were grateful. We were delighted to empty the house in one fell swoop the weekend before we moved out. The big bugbear was our Subaru Outback. But lo and behold, a couple of weeks before we moved, a guy rocked in who bought the car for cash and, not only that, left it with us until the weekend we moved out to help us save on car rental. You can’t get much better than that, can you?
When we arrived in North Cyprus, we were met at Larnaca Airport by a lovely bloke who took us around and then told us his friend was selling his Land Rover, in good nick, with a gearbox still under warranty as it had had to be replaced recently (memo: don’t go into reverse while your Land Rover is going forward as it wrecks the gearbox!), so we bought that for $6000. And we have found a lovely unit, with a very helpful, friendly seller and we are hoping to move in around the time our 33 boxes turn up from Australia in Famagusta. If we aren’t able to move in by then, the seller is happy to store them in our new home until their departure is finalised.
And now I’ve fished out that painting created five or so years ago and now I understand why I felt the need to add the stylised “A’s” surrounding the island in the middle, and why I am now here in Cyprus and feeling so much at home. It’s whacky, eccentric and a bit like living in the Wild West. It has a serious commitment to timelessness (as per when my husband asked a cafe owner when she closed and she simply spread her hands out and said: “When we have no more customers”), and the people are friendly, cheery and incredibly helpful and kind.
I have come home to Aphrodite and I am at peace. I no longer need to keep drawing the stylised “A” graphic in my mind, because it has become part of my being. At long last!
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve been tracking down the local markets and I’m pleased to say I’ve found some stalls which have my favourite goodies – rocks and crystals. This time it’s been crystal jewellery. The first I came across was this lovely rose quartz pendant. I always hold crystals to get a
sense of how I feel with them, and this one – the third one I held – was the one which really resonated for me. It feels calm, loving and kind, and it’s helping me adapt to the emotional upheaval of leaving Australia, all my very good friends there and settling in a completely new country back in the Northern Hemisphere.
This week I found a lovely little stall at the big market near our holiday apartment where the owner makes her own jewellery – all sorts including various beads but also crystal pieces too. My husband rolls his eyes because he knows I’m absolutely drawn to the presence of crystals, but now he has adopted a bemused, tolerant attitude towards my mania for rocks, stones and crystals!
Sure enough, I found a lovely amethyst bracelet which feels great, and also a fluorite bracelet which the stall-owner is lengthening for me and which I’ll pick up next week. Here’s the amethyst bracelet:
I was also going to buy an amethyst pendant and felt a bit uncertain about it, until ……. DADAAA ……. I noticed a beautiful chrysocolla necklace right at the back. Since I came to North Cyprus I’ve been really drawn to chrysocolla. It’s a fantastic stone and I get the feeling that, for me, it is Aphrodite’s rock. Aphrodite is the goddess of Cyprus. She is reputed to have emerged from the waves close to a rock near Paphos in the south, now known as Aphrodite’s Rock. Aphrodite’s Pool and the Sanctuary of Aphrodite also exist around the Paphos-Limassol area, and the spirit of Aphrodite permeates the atmosphere of Cyprus.
Since I bought the rose quartz necklace, I’ve been tuning in to how I feel about Aphrodite. She was a powerful goddess because she embodied love, the most powerful energy in the Universe as far as I’m concerned. But I’ve always been a bit peeved by Botticelli’s version of Venus rising from the foamy seas because, well, it’s so damned wimpy. It’s a man’s idea of a maidenly-looking woman who looks basically like a wet fish as far as I’m concerned. When you think about it, love is incredibly powerful and Aphrodite wielded enormous power as the embodiment of love. So I really don’t see her having the very soft energy of rose quartz. But I do envision her embodying the very power of chrysocolla with it’s sea-green colours and its radiant energies. Well, they’re radiant energies for me!
So here’s a pic of the necklace which I love, particularly the shape of the stones. And here’s a pic of the chrysocolla polished stone which I brought with me because I knew somehow that this stone would be important in North Cyprus:
What I find interesting about this particular stone is that it’s a mixture of chrysocolla (redolent to me of powerful emotions, sea connections, power of love), cuprite (grounding of love, being able to radiate love) and turquoise (healing through the power of love).
Our gear from Australia arrives in mid-April and around that time we are moving into our new apartment. I am SO looking forward to unpacking the boxes and boxes of crystals and various rocks I have packed away and showing them the light of day in this beautiful island. I’m sure they’ll settle in nicely and feel as happy and content here as I do!