Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mabon Blessings!

I am a lover of the steady Earth
and of Her waters

"Let the light be brilliant" She says,  

"for those who will cherish color."

From "Verses at Powis" by Robin Williamson

Mabon is traditionally the 2nd Harvest Festival of three (Lammas in August, and Samhain in October being the other two) and falls on the day  of the autumnal Equinox.   A time to give thanks for the bounty of the harvest,  to give thanks and celebrate all that nourishes us. The Day of Balance,  a time to consider what we have harvested this year, to give thanks for all of that harvest, the bright Blessings and the dark Blessings from which we learned wisdom, patience, or compassion. On this auspicious day of Balance, when day and night are the same duration, may we experience the grace of Balance within our lives, and in the greater life of our common humanity.  

Apple trees in Avalon, the "Isle of Apples" (the Chalice Well garden) 2011

When I lived in the country in New York, I remember a Mabon with hot cider and new apples, and honey mead that was opened for the occasion.  

I also remember an Equinox when I lived in New York City in the late 80's, and was invited to be part of  a performance organized at a small theatre in the East Village.   She asked me to do some kind of ritual for the  occasion. I couldn't think of anything,  and felt quite intimidated with the prospect of creating a ritual for an audience of New York sophisticates. 

I was visiting a friend upstate at the time, and I  happened to be standing near an apple tree by the road.  I can still see the green grass under the tree, and a brilliant  circle of ripe, freshly fallen red apples,  lying in the grass around the tree.  I picked up all the good ones, and took them back to the City with me.  

When I gave my short performance, I took out that basket of apples, and said something to the effect that "This is Gaia, ever generous, ever giving us what we need."  And then I invited those present to come and take the apples.  I was amazed to see that the audience took every one of them and ate them right there!

As I sit writing, the sun rises over the Catalina mountains that surround Tucson, where I live now.  Many years and miles away from that theatre in Manhattan.  I look up to  orange, magenta, violet, mauve, and a continually changing pale, cerulean sky, the canvas for this magnificent painting the sky makes, created anew twice daily.  I'm grateful indeed for this moment of Beauty, and grateful for the stories of my life.  Especially, today, those that are about Mabons.  

This is one of my favorite songs, Robin Williamson's love song to Mother Earth.  Seems a good time to share it again............

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Asherah - a New Sculpture

Another in my "Our Lady of the Shards" series of ceramic mosaics.  Thanks to Lauren Losue for the cast of her beautiful hands!  

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Litany of the Real by Patricia Ballentine

I wanted to share this beautiful Meditation/Praise Video by my friend Patricia.  And a few of her words from her Blog as well.  The questions she poses are important questions as the worldmind increasingly seems submerged in cyberspace, internet fantasy, cellphone addiction, AI, and a touchless  pace that scrolls our lives by with very little contact with what really matters.

How do we retain the capacity to recognize what is real? 

As an artist, I have first-hand experience regarding the evolution of creative tools over the last 20 or 30 years. I have experienced the challenging conversations when being told that any art I created on the computer wasn't real art. In some ways, my ability to incorporate some technology into the creative process makes me uniquely qualified to recognize and speak to the difference between artists who utilize technology as an aspect of their creative work and people who are using AI (artificial intelligence) to tell a computer program to make something they will then describe and promote as art. 

There is an increasingly problematic trend toward being satisfied with what is on the surface and not caring about a deeper connection to, and understanding of, the human essence that goes into the act of creating. And although it should be obvious that this goes far beyond what is described as art, apparently it is not. 

At what cost have we surrendered to what is easy and entertaining?  

We are becoming technologically advanced beyond our capacity to see the inherent dangers on the path ahead. The technology is not the danger. In some cases it is our desire for a simpler existence without the willingness to release the grip of materialism. In some cases it is the result of the weight of pressures in our daily lives that leave us with little energy or imagination to seek something beyond what is simply in front of us. And, in some cases it is the result of diminished caring for the hands, hearts, and minds of others.

Through our aspirations of greatness and power have we begun to lose that which makes us human?

Technology and scientific advancements are vital in ways that cannot be measured. But to move beyond the potential for good and look to what serves the greater good requires our individual and collective capacity and willingness to see and understand what is all around us. It isn't just about AI and artists. And it isn't just about fake news and politics. It is about seeing, caring about, and holding onto what is real for ourselves and for others.

And so, in these many days and weeks the questions churned in my mind and heart. They stirred my imagination and fueled my belief that we can each play a part in holding onto the beauty and power of what is real...and what must not be lost. 

This is my offering released at the August full moon. 

The Litany of the Real.

It is my personal next first step toward making Sacred what is real.