On the Day of the Dead. (some call it Hallowe'en or Samhai)n, we perform a ceremony called the Álfablót (literally: the Sacrifice to the Elves, who are closely linked to the Ancestors in the Old Norse Tradition) here in Scandinavia.
The title of this painting was taken from a lecture by Cody Dickerson:
As a person with synaesthesia, I often hear a mysterious music. Often I will hear colours or visual patterns as music. However, other times the music takes on a more mysterious quality and I hear Otherworld voices singing to us. Over the years I have often wondered whether Plato's Music of the Spheres was really the celestial song of the Ancestors singing us home - so we will know the way when our day comes...
That may be just me thinking outside the box - or perhaps it has resonance for you too.
Moss people (also known as wood people, the females known as moss maidens) come from Southern Germanic folklore and are a type of tree elf, tree spirit or fairy. By classification, they were a race of elves, similar to dwarves, the same size as children, "grey and old-looking, hairy, and clad in moss."
They were often but not always the object of the Wild Hunt. According to folklore, in order to escape the hunt they enter the trees that woodsmen have marked with a cross that will be chopped down.
The moss people are similar to a Hamadryad. Their lives are "attached to the trees; if any one causes by friction the inner bark to loosen a Wood-woman dies." They are thought to be small, with hair and clothes made of moss. Katharine Haworth informs that her family calls moss 'the fairy carpet'!
THE FACES OF ANCESTORS APPEARING IN AUTUMN LEAVES (60 x 42 cm) £235
Please note that I am presenting this as a VISION - not a fact or established spiritual teaching!
Autumn is my favourite season. I always experience a huge surge of creativity and energy when the leaves start dropping off trees. One night, as I was approaching the Gates of Sleep (the hypnagogic state) I saw a vision of the faces of Ancestors appearing in those leaves being released, carried on the winds of the Northern Hemisphere. Not only my personal ancestors - there were ALL Ancestors: biological ancestors, ancestors of spiritual lineage, ancestors of affinity, animal ancestors - and so forth. In a previous art post I explained how the Northern Tradition teaches that the souls of ancestors dwell in (ancient, sacred) trees - a huge argument against large-scale logging and deforestation!!
Our ancestors are all around us as they (sometimes) choose to ride the life cycle of leaves. Meaning that they come into form briefly, only to fade away again with vibrant displays of colour and shape. There is a profound teaching in that around accepting and transcending of Death Our Elders are never far off, not even physically! It gives the biblical concept of The Fall (or just Fall) a whole new dimension of meaning....
BADGERING (60 x 42 cm) £275
As things stand the UK government is planning to cull more than 60,000 badgers this Autumn:
"The government’s badger cull is being expanded to 11 new areas of England including parts of Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire so that more than 60,000 badgers can be killed.
Conservation groups said the expansion was a betrayal of trust after the government this year pledged to phase out the badger cull, intended to reduce bovine TB in cattle, after a scientific review cast doubt on its efficacy.
Dominic Dyer, the chief executive of the Badger Trust, said: “The decision to expand the badger cull is a huge betrayal of public trust by the government."
My own personal viewpoint is: let's cherish and cradle (see painting) all forms of life, not flirt with even more human-caused extinction (and eco-imbalance).
I am aware that there is a wide spectrum of opinions on this matter...
GROWING ANTLERS 60 x 42 cm £265
This painting was inspired by the deer I see daily from our house in the Forest in Sweden. There are many stories about a reindeer or stay carrying the Sun in their antlers. In a recent dream a deer appeared, carrying embryos in her antlers...
THE BED SOLD
My dream is sleep and dream in the Forest every night and to enter the dreaming of all trees, plants and animals...
JOURNEY THROUGH FIRE (To Be With The Animals) 60 x 42 cm £325
This painting follows on from a painting I featured a few weeks ago, titled MY JOURNEY HOME. The night after I finished that I dreamed that once again my own ribcage became a spirit boat and I found myself navigating a "Sea of Fire". Then I realized how this is one powerful way of reaching out to, even being with, all the animals dying (or having died) in the fires.
Right now wild fires rage in the US (where I have many friends and colleagues I am concerned about): fires are scattered across the northern Great Plains, from North Dakota and across the United States’ border into Canada. Far to the south, dozens more fires are burning in the Mississippi River Valley in Mississippi (against right edge), Louisiana (to the west) and Arkansas (north of Louisiana).
A year ago bush fires raged in Australia. Koalas are currently listed as a 'vulnerable' species but some people are engaged in activism to getting their status lifted, in New South Wales and Queensland, to ‘Endangered.’ Are you willing/able to navigate a Sea of Fire?!
AS THE CROW FLIES 60 x 42 cm £285
"As the crow flies", is an English expression that means 'taking the most direct or straight path between two points'. The idiom 'making a beeline' means the same thing.
This meaning is attested from the early 19th century and appeared in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist:
We cut over the fields at the back with him between us – straight as the crow flies – through hedge and ditch.
Crows are often observed flying alone across open country, but neither crows nor bees (as in “beeline”) fly in particularly straight lines.
On my soul travels I often fly with crows (as depicted here). As Lockdown has imposed immense restrictions on travel, at the time of writing/painting I find myself avoiding London Underground but flying all over London on the back of a Crow...
APPRENTICED TO SLOTHS (60 x 42 cm) £275
The Equinox is a time of balancing: the word literally means 'equal night', (from Latin), so twice a year our night is exactly as long as our day!
This goes for the Southern Hemisphere too, in reversed order.
For me "balance" has meant, for years, achieving work-life balance. The final touches were added late last night - but I forced myself to bed on time: I try to practice more Sloth Medicine these days...
GUARDIAN OF THE VOID (60 x 42 cm) £265
This painting was created during the week of teaching my first on-line Rune Foundation Class. In some ways this image comes from the Ginnungagap (in Norse Cosmology): the Void or Abyss filled with magical powers.
As I do a lot of work with Spirit Children (as well as shamanic outreach work with the souls of children who die under extreme circumstances such as civil war or pedophilia-related crimes - please see project Healing Wise) I felt reassured to come face to face with the Compassionate Guardian of the Otherworld space of Eternal Becoming...
THE HIVE MIND 60 x 42 cm £225
The phenomenon of social media receives a lot of criticism and I see many people profiling its shadows (which are real!) Today I wish to highlight the Hive Mind aspect and the sense of being part of a larger network of connections. I sometimes feel like one synapse firing in a large collective brain...
And of course our social media presence is what we choose to make it....
"When I Swim With Sharks, The Crescent Moon Is My Dorsal Fin"
60 x 42 cm £275
And don't get me wrong: I don't hate or demonize sharks - they are magnificent beings and our family has swum with sharks in the Caribbean (but admittedly not a Great White Shark!)
Please make point of finding Beauty and Poetry in your day!
FIERCE AND FEROCIOUS PROTECTOR OF ALL CHILDREN (60 x 42 CM) £265
The media are awash with profoundly disturbing stories and images of things happening to children in our world, right now.
Unfortunately those things have ALWAYS happened to children. Tragically it is not exactly a "new phenomenon" but we have failed to make the progress we owe to the most vulnerable groups in society (surely the benchmark of 'true civilization").
My September Session for Healing Wise is dedicated to addressing Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse - please join the Healing Wise Closed Facebook Group!
ARCHITECT OF CHANGE (60 x 42 cm) £245
The words: "Be the change you want to see in the world" is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. In 1913 Mohandas Gandhi published a piece about snakebites that included a thematically matching passage: “We but mirror the world".
Many voices are begging for change. The world witnesses outrage, protests, acts of immense bravery. As a mother of three children I am also acutely aware that we have a wave of passionate and talented young people coming off age.
Let's support them in being Architects of Change please!
THE STONE BABY - LITHOPEDION (60 x 42 cm) £165
The concept is not due to poetic license, medically speaking Stone Babies exist:
"Lithopedia may occur from 14 weeks gestation to full term. It is not unusual for a stone baby to remain undiagnosed for decades and to be found well after natural menopause; diagnosis often happens when the patient is examined for other conditions that require being subjected to an X-ray study."
Imagine such a stone baby showing up in a routine X-ray! You can find deeply touching photographs of stone babies on the internet. I have always remembered a story about an Inuit woman whose greatest dream was to be "One of the Stone People". She collected and consulted stones, considered them her Tribe. My artist mind put both these things together and I have created a painting where a Stone Baby is return to his or her tribe: The Stone People. And perhaps the Inuit woman got her wish in death and now watches over them. Please check out my work with
WOMB TEACHING: INTER-SPECIES COMMUNICATION AS A VITAL LIFE SKILL
(60 x 42 cm) £265
This (quirky) painting hopes to illustrate the importance of inter species communication!
We human beings need to drop the toxic idea that "we have dominion over animals" and learn to co-exist with them in a respectful way. Animals (as do trees and plants) sustain human life on this planet, we can learn a lot from them, and we no greater right to be here than they do. Not just that: they do not poison and endanger our planet the way that we human beings are doing right now.
Fly Agaric mushrooms can bring visionary experiences and vivid lucid dreams. I do NOT recommend that pregnant women experiment with this!
For more information about mushrooms please see my art video dedicated to them:
SWAN MAIDEN - LET'S MAKE IT SNOW! (60 x 42 cm) £275
Swan maidens are appearing in recent paintings. Over the last year a lot of references have pointed me back in the direction of the Bird Goddess. Revisiting her I see took new manifestations over the centuries (Swan Maiden, Mother Goose, the bird-like aspects of Frau Holle and Perchta etc.) In the Norse poem Völundarkviða, Wayland Smith and his brothers marry valkyries who dress in swan skins. The swan maiden is a mythical creature who shapeshifts from human form to swan form. The key to the transformation is usually a swan skin, or a garment with swan feathers attached.
SEA THISTLE WOMAN (60 x 42 cm) £275
A mysterious Blue Woman carrying Blue Flowers kept appearing to me. I did not recognize the flowers so I did some research and identified them as Sea Thistle or Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum). Its flowers are metallic blue!
I have not shared this painting on Facebook but I will soon.
Perhaps other people are more familiar with this mysterious woman than I am!
TELL ME HOW TO GROW UP - SUNFLOWER PETROGLYPH! (60 x 42 cm) £245
Created with a nod to all the young people who have been forced to grow up too soon, by a brutal pandemic exam year that has not treated them fairly on any level.
Also reflecting a comment from one teenage son recently: "Mum, there is now only one child in this house and that is YOU!" (Obviously I took that as a BIG compliment).
Did you ever grow up?! What or who are you going to be when you grow up?
THE WOMAN WITH A THOUSAND BREASTS (60 x 42 cm) £255
The woman with a thousand breasts appeared in an astrology reading Susan Rossi did for me. She represents the "Cancer Moon Mother" tendency to over-give and deplete herself as she nourishes all young life around her (and all wounded creatures, given half a chance).
Through making this painting I acknowledge her but also release the grip she has had on me, for decades of my life. Thank you for all you taught me!!
THE OWL MOTHERS (60 x 42 cm) £245
My current obsession with owls is clear by now! I have named one full moon of the year the "Barn Owl Moon", I am "Dreaming Myself A New Parliament", I created a "Birch Birth Chamber" guarded by a Snowy Owl....
This painting shows Four Owl Mothers, four women who sometimes appear in owl form and other times in human form.
They give good council when Life gets tricky or conflicted! I invite you to connect with them!
THE WILD RIDE OF THE SPIRIT CHILDREN SOLD
CHILDREN ARE THE MISSING LYNX 60 x 42 cm £325
PLEASE ALSO VISIT THE PAGES WITH RELATED PAINTINGS!