Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just a quick note for anyone who is in Burlington, Vermont this weekend.  The neighborhood known as the Old North End is having a Ramble.  And it promises to be a lot of fun.

I will be reading Tarot cards at the ONE World Market at the North End Studio A at 294 N. Winooski Ave.  Stop by!  I will be doing $5 quick look readings (3-cards, about 5 minutes), $10 readings, about 15 minutes, and $20 for a half hour reading.

After the festivities, I will be at the Round Up, held at 274 N. Winooski.  I think I will be doing sliding scale readings there.

Last year I read at Old Spokes Home which is a really great bike shop, the pride of the Old North End, and other wonderful things.  It was a lot of fun talking to people from so many walks of life.

So wish me luck!  It will be a long day of card reading, and I can't wait.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pagan Art, Part Deux

Good morning, friends (and foes, if there are any such out there).  This summer has been summery lately, that is for certain.  Hot, dry, and all my flowers are wilting.  The herbs seem happy, though.

Well, let's carry on with our exploration of Pagan Art.  Today I want to start with an artist I found on Etsy, Emily Balivet, who according to her profile hails from the same neck of the woods that I do; Vermont.

Her main influences are myths, goddesses, and Art Nouveau--some of my favorite things.  They are full of grace and movement with deep colors and lushness.

Hathor as Goddess of Music & Dance
I love the image of Hathor as the goddess of music and dance, with its mysterious monochromatic feeling.  It is more evocative of a 60's movie that takes place in Las Vegas than it is of Ancient Egypt, but if the gods are alive and on the move now, then why not?  The goddess of music and dance will be where ever there is music and dance.

This creative interpretation of the Goddess's aspect shows a strong understanding of Her myths and aspects.

Check out her gorgeous work on Etsy or Facebook.

Anunet, Goddess of Mystery

Orpheus and Eurydice
Lastly I want to mention Mary Kelly.  Some of her work is more stylized, but very dynamic nonetheless.  Rather than portraits, her work strikes me as more votive than anything.

As well as some well-known goddesses, she digs out some very obscure deities and brings them to light through her art, like this beautiful lady.  Brunissen, a figure of Norman mythology.  I had never heard of her, and unfortunately, Kelly does not cite her sources.  Nonetheless, I include this one because it depicts a Goddess of the Birds, a favorite aspect of mine.

If you have the good luck to be in the area of  Bluffston, South Carolina this summer, her ladies are on exhibit for the summer and fall, first at the library then at the SOBA gallery.  Details are on her website.

That's all the Pagan Art that I have for now.  I may revisit the subject some more in the future so if you have any recommendations, please share them.  I am always on the lookout for great art, which can be hard to find when you are as picky as I can be.

Til next time, Blessings dear friends.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guest Blogger and Horse Totems

Hello, friends and Pagans. On this glorious summer's day, I would like to welcome my very first guest blogger, Sofia Rose.

 Sofia's Rose (Bobbie) is a Science Lover, Crystal Junkie, an Etsy shop owner and Blogger. She works in a hospital lab and is owned by a 5lb Chi/Pom mix named Sophie.

 Be sure to visit her at her blog, Sofia's Roses, as well as her Etsy shop. Follow her, favorite her, buy from her!

I now turn this blog over to Miss Bobbie.

Horse Totem

Having recently discovered my totem being, a brown stallion, I have been obsessing with what does that mean spiritually, physically, and energetically.  I have loved horses as a living animal since I was a small child, and so there are some thoughts that come to mind about the possibilities of representation. In my vision, my totem was not bridled or harnessed in any way. 

Horses have long represented freedom. In this case, I feel that my totem was the absolute in freedom and free will. Having struggled with the concept religiously, it is a major lesson to learn that while society says one thing, I do have the freedom and free will to be my own person. And just as we raced with utter abandonment, I feel that we also have the right to live with that same abandonment. Live by instinct, live my choice- how many of us conform to western thoughts? These people say we can only live one way (and this “way” can change with who you speak with!).

Spiritually the horse as a totem represents freedom, friendship, adventure, stamina, psychic abilities, a warning of possible danger, spiritual freedom, joy, perseverance, creativity, and expression.  People that have the horse totem are very independent, intuitive and compassionate people who can be teachers, leaders or healers. I work in a hospital lab and while I do not directly deal with patients, I have a direct impact on their care.

Physically and energetically for me, right off the top, horses represent strength. How wonderful, just to visualize the brown stallion and feel a boost of strength and energy! Standard rule of thumb by veterinarians is a horse can carry 20%- 37% of their body weight! My horse totem was large, tall and muscular with boundless energy, the feeling of endless stamina! We could have ridden for much longer and he and I both would have been fine. 

Being female, I think that it is important to note that my totem was a stallion (male). This has so many meanings for me. The strength, courage, and also the lack of a strong male influence currently in my life come to mind.

While I am still in the process of getting to know my totem being, my horse friend, these thoughts are what have occurred to me since this discovery. If you have any other thoughts, please share them below! I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Cranky Rant, and Some Pagan Art

I love art, but I am picky.  Most art, I don't like. "Good art" is a slippery thing to try and define.  You might lay out exactly what that means to you, then a piece that defies it all will floor you and change your life.  Then another piece that meets all your criteria strikes you as just awful.  It really is best not to pin it down.  You like what you like!

When it comes to Pagan art, I am even pickier, more opinionated, and, well, cranky about it.  There are a couple of things that turn me off quicker than a light switch and one of them is pointy eared humans.  The moment I see long, pointy ears on someone other than Mr. Spock, I'm done.

Another thing I am sick of is the boobs!

In actuality, I don't mind boobs.  I swing both ways and before I met my husband, I was more a ladies' lady than not.  But it seems to me that images of witches and goddesses are as rife with unattainable and unrealistic body images as any issue of Harper's Bazaar.  Even while I was a member of a coven where most of us were young(ish) and female and slim(ish), none of us looked like that.

Sometimes it is appropriate, of course.  Aphrodite is a sex goddess.  It is great for Her to look like a sex kitten in images.  Demeter, not so much.

Okay, enough of my opinionated crankiness and on to what I have found that I think is really wonderful.

I will start with Thalia Took.

She makes these portraits of deities that are so simple, yet so expressive, and with an element of humor. It is as if the goddesses took a few minutes from their busy schedules to sit for their portraits.  I can almost hear the pregnant Artio (a Celtic Bear Goddess, according to Took) saying, "Okay, now's a good time."  For the most part, she shows a true understanding of the deities she portrays, and that is hard to find.

Be sure to explore Thalia Took's website and blog, Amused Grace.  Lots of interesting stuff.

But let us move on!  Let us consider Stuart Littlejohn, a brit from Devon, England who looks kind of like Aleister Crowley, and whose art has a ceremonial bent as well.

I like Littlejohn's work because it is kind of dark.  It is not just the style that is dark and wonderful, but the subject matter matches its darksomeness.  (It's a word now.)  Take this image of Sekhmet:

She is standing between two cliffs atop a mountain of bones and human skulls.  She is the Egyptian war goddess, and, according to Wikipedia, one of Her titles was "The Lady of Slaughter."  She was also associated with the desert and its creation, so naturally She would be a fearsome goddess of death and destruction.  I like that this work faces Her scarier aspects head on without sugar coating of any kind.

Here are a a couple more; Hekate and Brighde.

I mean, you do not mess with these women!

There are a few more artists that I want to explore and talk about, but since this post is running on a bit, I will save them for later in the week.  

Til next time, dear friends!