Saturday, April 30, 2011

Please help to fund Artnerd



I have been a fan of Suzanne Gerber's Wurzeltod for many years now. So much inspiration has come from the website to fuel my art, particularly during my undergrad in fine art - without which, my aesthetic and same bad taste would never be the same. Suzanne is now venturing to open a gallery in London with the memberships contributing to the setup of the space - with maaaany benefits to be had. 


Follow the link and scroll down to see what is in it for you. Wurzeltod was set up to advocate unusual fine art which often slipped through the cracks because the artists weren't friends with the 'right people' or the highbrow art scene didn't support them - even though they were brilliant. Wurzeltod also has a forum based on alternative culture, art, design, fashion and aesthetics which has been inspirational for artists across the globe. ArtNerd is Suzanne's official gallery whereby you can purchase artwork - and she has always advocated to make art affordable so it's a win win in so many ways. You don't have to have a membership, you can just donate.


It's going to be an amazing venture, so get involved.


)O( Elspeth

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bird of the Week II - The Hummingbird

Living in the Americas, including the Caribbean, the hummingbird was worshipped by the Aztecs and were used as fetishes to represent vigour (sexual and in battle) for their speed which may also have something to do with the fact that for their size they live for quite some time due to their strong metabolism (3-5 years).

Dan Pancamo Photography - via Wikipedia
Top moving image via Psychoticrecreation

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Desired Home XI


via Black Lung

Achieving a sincere balance by combining methods

Lately I am really dedicating myself to Scott Cunningham's thirteen methods to push myself in my craft and to achieve general balance for my overall wellbeing which is working out really well.  The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path is also mentioned in my post where it is compared to the Threefold Law which I believe helps to strengthen the Threefold Law and our understanding of it - especially if you are only just beginning to learn the craft which you can read here.


This entry is really a regurgitation of previous entries and I like to emphasise them to see whether the reader is also keeping on track and also to push myself further.  I've joined the gym again and meditate every morning for half an hour which is proving to be wonderful before I go to work for a clear mind.  I have found a job working for a environmental conservation society to achieve the 'Right Livelihood' as mentioned in the Buddhist Eightfold Path and also am dedicating myself to right mindfulness and concentration.  I feel that the Wiccan version need to emphasise more in regards to kindness towards others, yourself and your planet.  Naturally by Celebrating Life, Honoring the Goddess and God & Keeping Your Words in Good Order you could achieve this somewhere amongst it but I feel that it needs to be explicitly outlined.  I feel that Achieving Balance could also hint towards treating people equally and advocating equality amongst society rather than just your own personal balance.


Concentrating on Mindfulness has been great, as noted in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying when you eat you eat & when you sleep you sleep - without any distracting thoughts which could carry you away from the now so that you can experience the enjoyment of being completely present in whatever it is you are doing.


I am now also finding ways to assimilate my artistic practice into my craft to challenge reoccurring nightmares and retain my mindfulness.  Some works as like charged talismans and others are more like antidotes or spells to things which I want challenged in my life.


I feel that all of this is really helping to relieve a lot of anger, frustration and stress in my life by walking a much more careful and considerate path so that my energy is purely kind & gentle rather than creating energy which can be negatively absorbed by others.  I do feel a lovely sense of wellness, balance and happiness thanks to this dedication which I know I can keep up.


Blessed Be,
)O( E


SCOTT CUNNINGHAM'S THIRTEEN GOALS OF A WITCH

1. Know yourself
2. Know your craft
3. Learn
4. Apply knowledge with wisdom
5. Achieve balance
6. Keep your words in good order
7. Keep your thoughts in good order
8. Celebrate life
9. Attune with the cycles of the earth
10. Breathe and eat correctly
11. Exercise the body
12. Meditate
13. Honor the Goddess and God

THE BUDDHIST NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
1. Right View. The right way to think about life is to see the world through the eyes of the Buddha--with wisdom and compassion.
2. Right Thought. We are what we think. Clear and kind thoughts build good, strong characters.
3. Right Speech. By speaking kind and helpful words, we are respected and trusted by everyone.
4. Right Conduct. No matter what we say, others know us from the way we behave. Before we criticize others, we should first see what we do ourselves.
5. Right Livelihood. This means choosing a job that does not hurt others. The Buddha said, "Do not earn your living by harming others. Do not seek happiness by making others unhappy."
6. Right Effort. A worthwhile life means doing our best at all times and having good will toward others. This also means not wasting effort on things that harm ourselves and others.
7. Right Mindfulness. This means being aware of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
8. Right Concentration. Focus on one thought or object at a time. By doing this, we can be quiet and attain true peace of mind.

The Pentagram by Aleister Crowley




In the Years of the Primal Course, in the dawn of terrestrial birth,
Man mastered the mammoth and horse, and Man was the Lord of the Earth.

He made him an hollow skin from the heart of an holy tree,
He compassed the earth therien, and Man was the Lord of the Sea.

He controlled the vigour of steam, he harnessed the lightning for hire;
He drove the celestial team, and man was the Lord of the Fire.

Deep-mouthed from their thrones deep-seated, the choirs of the ├Žeons declare
The last of the demons defeated, for Man is the Lord of the Air.

Arise, O Man, in thy strength! the kingdom is thine to inherit,
Till the high gods witness at length that Man is the Lord of his spirit. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Attempt to find the oldest witch image #1

I am fascinated to know what is the oldest image of witchcraft ever found in history - especially in a sincerely figurative form rather than cave drawings of stick people raising their hands to the sky... or something!

What I'm really trying to capture are images of witches when the term 'witch' came into existence, rather than images of the goddess Inanna or Isis, but actual witches who roamed the earth.

This seems to be one of the oldest images that I have found thus far, and I won't stop searching in order to find one that is truly ancient.  The oldest general witch-related thing I could find was a 12,000 year old shaman's grave in northern Israel - which doesn't count as a picture just as the oldest 'wise woman' documented which you can read about here.

I am interested to see how witches are depicted over time and most importantly: how that started and did it change?  Were images of witchcraft only created to justify the witch burnings by showing people the actions they would undertake by doing bad and naughty things?  Was it all fiction or were any of them real people, were any of them real stories?

I simply adore these images, they are the eldest that I have found so far.  I have no idea why the women in the image below are beating the devil - if it is meant to be the devil.

© The Trustees of the British Museum
Print made by Agostino Veneziano
After Raphael (suggested by Bartsch)
Date
1510-1536
Schools /Styles: Italian
Description: Two naked men drag the carcass of a monstrous creature, a witch rides above and two other naked men bring up the rear
Engraving





© The Trustees of the British Museum
Print made by Daniel Hopfer
Date: 1505-1536
Schools /Styles: German
Description: Three haggard-looking old women, possibly witches, beating the devil to the ground, devilish creatures in the sky, landscape background; another impression; large section at lower right made up.
Etching



Both images sourced from Varnamarafevanfel

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rosemary for the mind


For concentration, focus, sleep, youth, love, protection, banishing, purification and mental powers.

Origins in witchcraft: Rosemary was associated with love, friendship, and remembrance in Medieval times hence being used for memory. It was used in weddings as a symbol of love, and was tossed into graves to signify that the deceased would be remembered.  Try burning it as an incense for these purposes.  Burning also is believed to help with healing, especially if burned with Juniper.
Used in witchcraft today for: Study, memory at work, for youthful vigour, used to attract Fairies, love, lust, cleansing & exorcism.  Blend two drops of neroli (to calm nerves) and 1 of rosemary oil (for concentration) before an examination & anoint yourself around the temples, throat and wherever with whatever you have left!
Growth: Perennial
Naturally grows in: France, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia
Planet: Sun - masculine
Day of the week: Sunday or Saturday to banish
Therapeutic Properties: Analgesic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, astringent, carminative, digestive, diuretic,  hepatic, hypertensor, rebefacient, stimulant, tonic

Image source: Mermaid's Garden
Info source: Medieval info from Mystical Blaze

Pluto in retrograde - 9 April to 16 September

It's time to wake up and shake up.  A few of my friends on Facebook have suddenly had to change their entire lives since all but yesterday.  Whatever you consider holds your values, ideals and sense of identity together could be shaken up.  It's a time for moving forward and challenging the parts of yourself which need a desperate Spring (Autumn down here!) clean.  Have you got any hangups that you need to address?  Do you think you could benefit from doing a cord cutting once the waning moon comes around?  Start to plan this and leave it open and flexible so that you can become stronger and ready for any challenges that come ahead. 

The truth will set you free, no matter how hard it can be to face.  I have personally taken on the challenge to meditate every morning for 20 minutes to half an hour and my world is sincerely changed.  In this time, depending on the goals and prayers of each individual day.  Every day, each meditation presents a challenge for me to overcome the ego and find ways to clear my mind from bad thought (possibly about others) which are putting up barriers in my life.  What do you really believe and why have you made yourself stop at that point to believe it?

It's time for Mr. Intensity's retrograde cycle. This year Pluto retrogrades from April 9 to September 16 and will go over the road he's already traveled from 8 degrees back to 5 degrees in Capricorn. Do you have natal planets/house angles between those degrees? If yes, then Pluto has been hanging around agitating that part of your chart/life. Just when he moves past the degree of your natal planet/house angle, he switches gears and heads for it again. But it's not personal. It's his job. And it's each of our jobs to endure with whatever transformative change he is helping us make. The more we resist, consciously or not, the more difficult his transit on our charts/in our lives will be...

For more go to Astrogrrrl's page for how this will affect you over the majority of the year.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Witchy Outfit XXII


New Moon in Aries (Mars) Reflection

As a witch, I am aware that I am going through many changes, alterations and maturing into the path.  My abilities are stronger than what they once were and the responsibility that walks hand-in-hand with it is becoming more apparent over time.  I'm more able to take a step back and inspect my beliefs from an outer perspective to the point where I feel like I can provide stable advice to others and be a more receptive learner.  I'm more fond of wearing black and have started to balance with my dark goddess energy who knows when to keep silent.  I certainly feel that I have been very inward and could do with taking this new moon energy in order to flip that around a bit.


I really feel that I have benefitted from reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and was about 150 pages in when my boyfriend accidentally left it on the plane on the way to Tasmania.  Once I've read that I can give you all a full review, but it would take a while!  I'd still highly recommend it even though I'm only part way through.


The new moon is a time of reflection - looking back on the last moon phase and looking forward to the rising, waxing moon energy, setting your own personal goals towards the full moon.  I feel like I can be more honest and relaxed with people and possibly with myself.


I have been so inwardly silent that I haven't even written here for quite some time!  Not to mention that I have also been very busy.


I really felt Mars entering Aries on the 1st of April all but two days ago as I am more driven, clear-thinking and charged for all of the challenges lying ahead with this Arien energy!  It is a time to take charge & proclaim in the new moon what kind of elements of your character need strengthening from the Mars energy that is coming to the fore.  You need to understand your motivations in order to strengthen your character, so inspect those motivations in order to move forward to strengthen yourself as the moon's energy waxes.



"Mars enters Aries on April 1 at 9:51 p.m. PDT (April 2 at 12:51 a.m. EDT) and will stay through May 11th. While in Aries, Mars will align with the following celestial bodies (all dates reflect North America Pacific time zone; allow +/-2 days for life span of influence):
§ April 3 ~ Mars conjunct Uranus. Nothing is as it seems. Openness to unconventional solutions, even to the most common problems. Pushing for one's desires. Aggressiveness. Unpredictable behavior. Be extra careful when traveling, even short distances. Also today, the New Moon in Aries with both Sun and Moon oppose Saturn-rx.
§ April 11 ~ Mars square Pluto. Power struggles. Everyone wants to be the boss/everyone seems bossy. No one seems to want to listen or reason or discuss. Tempers fly. No one wants to budge. Standstill. Agreeing to disagree. Elsewhere in the sky, Mercury-rx conjunct Jupiter and conversations/ideas can easily be blown out of proportion.
§ April 18 & 19 ~ Mars oppose Saturn-rx and Mercury-rx conjunct Mars. A chance to get things accomplished. Commitment and hard work are required, though. Simply starting something without a good plan will most likely fail when obstacles present themselves. Think first before acting.
§ April 30 to May 1 ~ Mars conjunct Jupiter. A little braver to try out something new. More optimistic of succeeding or arriving at desired results. Believing in the dream coming true. Making a go of things. Elsewhere in the sky, Venus oppose Saturn-rx."
Information via Astrogrrl - thanks Honor!