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Time passes

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:28 PM


Has it really been more than six months since I last updated my gallery? It does not feel like it, but yes, that much time has passed, and many things have transpired during that time. My first bit of news is that earlier on in the year we, meaning myself and those whom I share space with, discovered that my depression was more than depression. I am bipolar. In the first months of this year, I worked myself into a very fearful and manic state that resulted in my collapsing and clicking over into one of the deepest and darkest depressive states I have experienced for many years. It was quite a shock for someone who had thought herself 'cured' of her depression.

For the first few weeks, while I was not suicidal, I did long for an end to the fear and sadness that threatened to overwhelm me. I had worked so hard to overcome this illness, and I believed this fall was proof that I would never be free, no matter how much hard work I did. Medication has never been an option for me for several reasons, so it was a harsh and hard truth to bear knowing that I would always be "ill".

That's the thing with depression, you cannot see any light within the darkness. There is only hopelessness and fear.

But time passes, and when you are as determined (or stubborn) as I am, you eventually pull yourself up and out of the mire and keep going.

I came to understand that the depression was not so much a depressive state, but more a physical and mental reset. It was my body's way of putting an end to the manic state that was going to kill me if it did not end. The only real problem I experienced was the unnatural levels of anxiety and sadness that came with the onset depressive state.

So again, I had to go back to find the source of the fear that inspired the need for me to always be better, to always be improving, and to not disappoint others. I will not discuss the details here, but the source was found, the fear faced, and slowly, but surely, I began once more the process of undoing the underlying behavioural conditioning that was the result of the fear. Whilst I did so, I found myself discovering that the depressive state was passing a lot faster than it would in the past. I came to see that the reason for this was that I was no longer hating myself, harming myself, nor punishing myself for being weak and vulnerable. In truth, the hard work that I have done over the last few years to peel back the layers of harmful conditioning that prolonged my depression had been worthwhile. Without the harmful patterns of behaviour inspired by my self-loathing, the depressive state was more and more feeling like the 'reset' I mentioned above, and less like depression. Oh yes, I had many a day when all I could do was cry. I still do now. However, I am now learning to flow with my feelings instead of fight them.

The last eight weeks have been a very interesting time. Some days have been joy-FULL and others joy-LESS, but something else that has revealed itself is that I am now fear-LESS too. No, this does not mean I am without fear, but that I fear less than I did before. The fear behind the mania has been addressed. The fear behind the depression has been addressed. I will always be bipolar, because that is the way my brain is wired, however, I now have the mental and emotional strength to change my entire way of thinking, and that is exactly what I have done.

I came to understand that I have been conditioned to see this as an illness, when in truth, it just means that my brain is hardwired a little different to everyone else's brain. This hardwiring makes me who I am. It fuels my creativity, my passion, and my faith. It is so much a part of me, and has been a part of me for as long as I have been alive. So if I see this as an illness that I must battle with, it means that I only battle with myself. That is a war I cannot win, and one that results only in perpetual suffering and disappointment.

So instead, I had to accept who I am and understand that the only thing I can change is how I live. I have started sleeping again. Before my collapse, I was down to about four hours of broken sleep a night. In the eight weeks leading up to my collapse, I painted eighteen paintings, took nearly 3000 photographs, wrote pages and pages for my tarot, journals, etc; I socialised, ran my business and home, and still felt that I was not doing enough fast enough. My collapse was inevitable. What it revealed did not come as a shock. In fact, it made sense of several times in my life when my life had spiralled out of control in much the same way. Each of these moments were a prelude to depressive states that lasted for years. I am technically Bipolar II. This means that my mania is not as aggressive nor as frequent, while the depressive stages are longer and more dominant. This is why I was misdiagnosed. Bipolar II is commonly misdiagnosed.

It is a diagnosis that brings clarity and change to my life, but does not change who I am, because I have been living with it for almost thirty years. It is but a label that explains how my brain works, and my brain has worked that way all of my life. It has helped me to see that I do need to structure my life and be a creature of habit ... but good habits.

What I could change, and have changed, was the harmful conditioning that turns the way my brain works into a cage full of hurting and fear. Without the hurting and fear, there is no cage. There is no suffering.

Over the last eight weeks, I have been doing what is necessary to restore good health. I have been nurturing myself. I have stopped pushing myself to accomplish everything NOW and now only focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. I have stopped focussing on the big picture and now focus on the details, and making sure those details are created with love and care. I do so knowing that the big picture will take care of itself. If something does not get finished today, then it was not meant to be finished, and I will work on it tomorrow. If someone wants something of me by a particular time, then they just have to accept that I am always busy and that I will get it done for them only when and if I can get it done for them. If I cannot, then again, it was not meant to be. If others are disappointed when I say no, then those feelings are theirs to deal with. Not mine.

I am now being very clear about this with everyone. My only commitments at this time are to continue working on the tarot, and to continue building up my strength again. I can say with honesty that I am happy and at peace within myself. Not much ruffles my composure at the moment, but my calm has been hard-earned and now comes at the price of speed. I have become the tortoise, when before I was the hare. Now, slow and steady wins the race and will see this tortoise arriving at her destination alive and happy, not worn out and working herself into an early grave.

In many ways, I am probably luckier than most. My body has a natural reset button that many do not have. I am actually quite glad that the reset did get flicked, because if it had not, the truth of me may not have been revealed. Before, I only had part of the picture. Now I have the whole picture, and in seeing it, accepting it, I have finally embraced a state of wholeness and have found a centre of calm and peace that had, until recently, eluded me.

I am still in a depressive state, but it is a very kind and gentle place, and one that requires only that I treat myself with care and respect my physical limits. It is only when I do not, that I find my calm being challenged again.

For the first time in my life, I now march to the beat of my own drum. I no longer fear what others will think of me. I no longer strive to be all and everything to everyone else. I no longer force myself to become better each and every time I pick up a brush or write something. I am no longer full of fear, and find that my head is now a lot quieter as a result. All those little fear conversations that used to play out in my head have been silenced. I am free of the stigma of illness, free of the fears others instilled within me, free to create without fear being a part of what inspires me.

Yes, it's been an intense year so far, and one that has been full of challenges, but I cannot say that it has been a bad year, nor would I want it to have been any different. I have learned so much about myself and who I am, and now as a result of the experience, accept who I am.

So what more has transpired?

Well, I've made more than a start on the minor arcana for the Dreams of Gaia Tarot. Eighteen cards have been painted, and I begin work on another in the next day or so. I felt it best to step away from the tarot whilst I was healing, as this channelled creativity was part of the reason why I was so run down. I forgot to respect the process, and the process is that I imbue each and every painting with a part of me, with my energy and emotion. I forgot how much of an impact that experiencing the energy and message of each card has upon the senses and body, and with my sometimes painting three cards in a week with no rest in between, I literally emptied myself. So I stepped back and have not worked on the tarot now for about six weeks. The card that I start on shortly, is the first in a while and so I will be proceeding with care.

But just because I have not painted for the tarot, does not mean that I have not painted. Painting will always be a part of my healing process, and so whilst I was healing, I was painting. I will eventually get around to posting all of my new works over the coming days, but that is not all of my news either ...

I am also very proud to announce that the Messenger Oracle has been released and is now available in a growing number of stores throughout the world, through my publisher's website and my own --> www.dreamsofgaia.com ... I am so proud of this deck of mine. It has proven to be all and everything that I wanted. It is both beautiful and magical, powerful, and yet so simple and easy to use. I could not be happier.

And on that note, I will end this rather long entry with a hello and a smile
xxx
Ravynne






  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


I am currently working on the 'Faith' card for the major arcana of the Dreams of Gaia Tarot. I'm not sure if I have explained yet how each of the cards for the majors is imbued with a particular energy and meaning, and how I am guided to create each card. The new format of the major arcana has been a true collaberation between myself and Spirit, and with every new card created, whilst I create it, I am made to live the meaning of the card so I understand the energy and the meaning.

So it is a sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes confusing, sometimes clear and simple process. But with every card created, I have grown as a person, as an artist, and have been blessed with a clear vision of Spirit's hope for this deck.

With regards to the 'Faith' card and my experience, I have had my faith in my gift tested. How? Simple. I allowed an external influence to inspire me to rush my creative process when they said that I was avoiding the painting of this particular card. There words challenged me as I was not avoiding the card, but delaying because I had questions and concerns. But I was determined not to have the perception remain that I was avoiding it, and so, when my daughter chose the 'Faith' linework out of the remaining three major arcana cards for me to paint next, I picked it up and began without hesitation.

But it was ego and fear guiding my brushes, and as a result found my efforts to paint the artwork resulted in failure. But with that failure came opportunity. I stopped. I looked and I reconnected with the divine and then stepped back into that place of complete trust and faith. I listened to my intuition and feelings, and I changed several elements of the card's composition that had initially delayed my painting it.

The beautiful part of this whole experience is the way that several moments and choices made were given to others to control. I gave control to the person who said I was avoiding the card, and they were not wishing to upset or offend me, but -something- inspired them to say what they did, and what they said put this whole 'lesson' in motion. My daughter did not know of the situation with regards to my "avoiding" Faith, and yet, it was Faith that she chose for me to paint.

In many ways, I gave away my power so I could experience this wee reminder that Faith is not belief. Faith is TRUST. It is complete trust in self and in the Divine.

As a result, I have found myself stepping back into that place of complete trust in the higher source that guides me. As mentioned, Faith is not 'belief' - there is a real difference in believing in spirit, and feeling it flow through you, communicate with you, touching and influencing your life in every way, and trusting that this connection and communication is real. Belief is all in the mind. Faith is knowing and trusting. It is something you do not question, but instead accept, not with blindness, but with the utmost confidence.

Now I am repainting Faith with that same confidence and this time the paint flows with ease and grace.






  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Devious Journal Entry

Sat Oct 1, 2011, 3:43 AM




Have I ever mentioned how much of a Facebook Whore I am? For those of you who are interested in keeping up to date with the progress of the Dreams of Gaia Tarot and updates about the release of the Messenger Oracle, then be sure to keep watch on my Facebook Page.

LOVE ME - WATCH ME

On a more serious note ...

It is important to follow inspiration and see where it leads you. It is important to at least attempt to make your dreams come true. No, you might not succeed. You might not be destined to live your dreams. You might fail.

But, remember, it's not the destination that is important ...

it's the journey ...

... and when you step into the Void and create from the heart and soul, you may not get what you believe you want, but instead be blessed with what you need. You may not journey in the direction you believe you need to travel, but you will alway be where you need to be at this moment in time.

Don't dwell. Don't over-analyse. Don't let your doubts and fears silence your muse.

Live an inspired life. Dream, create, and love doing.









  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


For me, finding peace and healing has been a long journey, with many bloody battles and conflicts along the way. I have hurt people. I am hated by people. Some of those are people whom I have deliberately hurt. Others are those who I have unintentionally hurt. While I would like to believe at the time that what I did was justified, was born from good intentions, I now see to be born of my own anger and self-loathing.

I cannot undo these past acts. I live with the consequences of them.

My journey toward healing has been a long one - a journey made lengthier because I did not want to acknowledge or accept the truth that I did not love myself. I did not want to accept the truth that life experiences, and my reactions to them, had filled me with self-loathing and blame. I did not want to accept the truth that every time I attacked another, I was attacking them for doing things I had done in my past that I unjustly blamed myself for. I did not want to accept the truth that every time I judged another, I was finding them guilty of behaviour I could not forgive myself for.

To be authentic, and to live an honest life, requires that we first be honest with ourselves and embrace the full spectrum of our nature - the good and the bad. To find healing, and wholeness, also requires that we first be honest with ourselves and be willing to see the truth of the infection we carry within - blame and self-loathing.

To be authentic you have to embrace that you are not perfect.

We are not meant to be perfect and we are not meant to strive for perfection. Perfection is an illness imposed upon us by society that warps our perception of self. We are flawed, and more beautiful because of those flaws. Love, true love, comes when we love the flaws and see them as something that makes us stronger, wiser, more gentle ... more accepting ... more loving.

I have come to a place where I can now acknowledge my past with a gentle acceptance. I have done wrong. I have hurt others. But ultimately, I have spent much of my life hurting myself.

Now, I want to live it instead.

I cannot yet say that I love myself unconditionally, but I now have more liking for myself. I care about myself, and now I am willing to care -for- myself. I now see and acknowledge the anger and hatred I have carried for decades, and I have chosen to let it go. How? I cannot explain the how of it. There is no magic formula, except that I have chosen to embrace honesty instead of denial. I have chosen to accept responsibility, again, instead of denial.

I have chosen to be loving.

I have chosen to be forgiving.

I have come to understand that, once more, choice plays a part in all things.

I have chosen to be kind to myself.

So can you.



PHOTOS OF THE DAY

Day 12 by ravynnephelan Day 8 by ravynnephelan Day 5 by ravynnephelan Day 1 by ravynnephelan Day 2 by ravynnephelan Red 1 by ravynnephelan Day 4 by ravynnephelan  

Other Nomminess

Orange 2 by ravynnephelan Red 6 by ravynnephelan Red 5 by ravynnephelan Red 4 by ravynnephelan Red 2 by ravynnephelan Red 3 by ravynnephelan Knot - My Rainbow Serpent by ravynnephelan








  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Rambles of an Artist - The Cameras

Sat Sep 17, 2011, 10:43 PM


I have had a love for photography for a number of years. For the majority of those years, I have used a trusty, well-worn, but very limited Canon Powershot S3 IS. This teasing and tempting little hybrid camera taught me a lot, and showed me that one thing I do love is to get out into nature - even if it is only my own back yard - and capture a moment. I have thousands and thousands and thousands of such moments, and each and every one of them taught me something or served to strengthen my faith and my connection with the divine aspect of nature.

But there came a time when that little point and shoot just could not give me what I was asking of it. I loved it dearly, but it could not perform to the level I wanted it to perform. I had wrung our relationship dry, and instead of my seeing an opportunity to push the camera further to do something amazing, it began to only remind me of what it could not do.

And when I saw other people's photos, taken with a DSLR, I became green with envy and wanting. I rejected my little point and shoot. I wanted a new camera. I wanted a DSLR. I wanted it so badly that my wanting would sometimes bring me to a point of frustrated tears. But I could not afford to buy one. There was never enough money to stretch that far. There was always a bill that needed to be paid, always something that was more of a priority.

So my frustrated longing went unanswered. Instead, I haunted product review websites. Instead, I haunted the photography pages here on DeviantArt. I did, until I could not do it anymore. My longing had become like an aged and brittle leaf - full of cracks that threatened  complete disintergration. I could not handle the unrequited longing anymore, and so I withdrew. I stopped looking. I stopped tormenting myself with dreams of something that was, at the time, never going to be.

It is not easy dealing with unrequited love. In the end, the only thing one can do is to walk away when the torment becomes too much to bear.

Time passed. In fact, years passed. I stopped using the little point and shoot. I just stopped. I focussed upon other loves - my art and my writing. Afterall, I could not be greedy. I have two creative outlets already. Did I really need another? No. I did not. It was for the best that I did not have that DSLR, for it would prove only to be a distraction that prevented me from focussing upon the completion of my work.

That's what I kept telling myself.

More time passed.

Until a moment came and I made a choice that would change everything.

About six weeks ago, I was looking in my storage boxes at all of the originals that were stored within. I am a prolific artist. When your job is to illustrate card decks consisting of 40 to 70+ artworks at a time, then you end up with a lot of originals, and with over 70 artworks for the tarot, and another 30 or so new works painted for the Oracle, I needed to find my older works a forever home. So I decided to have a spontaneous sale and sell all of the artworks offered at less than half price. I did not care that I would not be getting full price; money was not the issue. It rarely is with me. I just wanted the artworks out of the box and up on people's walls. I wanted them to be seen and enjoyed by others. I wanted them to be loved.

I listed 60 artworks. I am not a greedy person. I hoped to sell about 10 of them. If that happened, I would be very well pleased.

Instead, I sold all but 10 of them.

I found myself with enough to pay all of my 'Hell Month' expenses - show costs, stock costs,  car registration, car service, car insurance, electricity bill, health insurance, rent, 2 birthdays, school fees, all fall due within 5 weeks, and each year the anxiety of covering these costs brings me to my knees.

But not this year. This year it was all paid for. The hellish aspect of 'Hell Month' had been banished. For the first time in years, I could focus on painting and creating through August and September instead of stressing about bills.

And there was money left over.

Oh my fucking GOSH! There was money to spend on A CAMERA.


But I did I buy a DSLR straight away? No. I did not. Instead I hesitated, I fretted, I analysed, and I pondered. I kept finding excuses not to buy one. I had to wait ...

Then one day dawned just like the one before it, and I found myself embracing the awareness that I had become rather adept at 'going without', i.e. depriving myself of niceties and little luxuries, and now, with the opportunity to no longer do so flashing like a neon sign in the night, I didn't know what to do.

It took me almost two months to buy the camera I had been dreaming of and wanting for years.

But I have it now. In fact, I have two new cameras - a Canon EOS 7D and 550D - to use with a couple of nice L Series lenses.

I feel oh so sinfully wicked. I feel very naughty at having spent so much money on cameras and lenses.

I know I have to stop feeling that way. Goddess knows I have busted my ass over the last five years, having illustrated two oracle decks, two books, a number of book covers and numerous character portraits during that time. I have to keep reminding myself that there must be a reward at the end of all that hard work ... or why do it???

Get over it, Michele-lee ... YOU DESERVE IT!

And so now I am learning how to use my cameras. I must admit, I use the 550D more than the 7D. It will most likely be my partner's camera more than mine. I have little hands, and the 550D fits in them comfortably.

So my mornings now start with a photo shoot. I am going to try and take a photo every day for the next year so I can learn, learn, and learn some more. I wonder if I can do it, considering I do still have that tarot deck to finish. *laughs* Yes, the camera has proven to be a distraction, but I know that give or take a few weeks I will have found myself feeling more confident and proficient with its use, and then each little photoshoot will take me less to complete.

It won't be too much of a distraction or disruption.

Or, at least, that is what I keep telling myself.

So you can expect to see my photo gallery grow over the coming months. I plan to challenge myself with this camera in the same way I have challenged myself to learn how both to paint, and to write. I will master it and I will take my creative abilities to a whole new level, for there is nothing I love more than to create

... and to do it well.



PHOTOS OF THE DAY

Day 5 by ravynnephelan Day 1 by ravynnephelan Day 2 by ravynnephelan Red 1 by ravynnephelan Day 4 by ravynnephelan  

Other Nomminess

Red 6 by ravynnephelan Red 5 by ravynnephelan Red 4 by ravynnephelan Red 2 by ravynnephelan Red 3 by ravynnephelan Knot - My Rainbow Serpent by ravynnephelan








  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


Deciding what today's subject would be was rather simple. It is something many of us do, and that is to fall slave to our conditioning. We become so used to conditioning and rules that we impose conditioning and rules upon ourselves each and every day.  Me? I find myself unable and unwilling to stop and be still at times because I have conditioned myself to believe that if I stop I'll not get all I wish to accomplish achieved. I began writing this journal on a daily basis and was going to force myself to write something every single day. Then I stopped;  I realised what I was, again, doing to myself. Now, I write when I can and if I cannot, then so be it.

Last night, I did not know what to do with myself. I had just finished a painting that morning and was presented with an opportunity to do nothing; to simply be. I could snuggle down on the sofa and watch television and inevitably fall asleep, or I could start another painting, I could draw, or I could write. I felt lost and aimless for a while as I have become so conditioned to be doing something that I find it difficult to contemplate the notion of nothing.

In the end, I listened to my body. I put all of my things aside and I snuggled down on the sofa … and fell asleep. I let my body do what it needed to do, instead of what my mind has been conditioned to believe it needs to do.

While I slept, I dreamed, and my dreams were, ironically enough, about being conditioned to live and act in a particular way.

From a very early age, I was taught to embrace and accept the teaching of both parents and family. I was taught what is right and wrong. I was taught what acceptable behaviour is, and what behaviour is not acceptable. I was taught to live by rules and to follow traditions, and over time, I was shaped by my elder's perceptions, their beliefs, and their dogma.

I was moulded and shaped by my parent's teachings and their actions.

From a very early age, we are conditioned to accept our parent's teaching because we are also quickly taught that if we do not, then we will be unhappy. We follow the teachings and rules of the family unit, or we risk being made an outcast by being expelled from the family unit.

This conditioning to be compliant and to follow rules without question is then further reinforced once the child is allowed to step out into society. The child is then made subject to further to conditioning by teachers, big business, religious organisations, and governments. By the time the child is grown to adulthood, they have, more often than not, become a slave to their conditioning and move through life guided by what they have been taught. Everything they experience is influenced by their perception of the world, and their perception of the world has been fundamentally influenced by what they have been taught.

They have, essentially, been conditioned to walk to the beat of another's drum. They have been conditioned to believe, but often not what they believe, but instead they have been conditioned to believe and accept what others want them to believe.

To say no, is to be defiant. To offer continued defiance is seen as stubbornness. To fight to hold true to the right to say no is seen as rebellion. Even if your no is declared in the very passive form of writing, you are still seen as being aggressive or desirous of conflict.

This to many, is one of the highest forms of unacceptable behaviour. Why? Because they have been told time and time again that it is wrong. That it is a negative behaviour. It is bad, and all that is bad brings suffering or harm.

We are taught to be polite. We are taught to be respectful. We are taught to voice agreement, or remain silent when we do not agree. Why? Because to disagree is unacceptable behaviour. It is negative behaviour. It is bad, and bad brings suffering or harm.

We are taught etiquette. We are taught how to dress. We are taught how to groom and style ourselves. We are taught what we are all supposed to look a particular way, and if we do not fit within the acceptable parameters set by society, then we are again, ridiculed and seen as being different and made outcast. To be different is bad, and bad brings suffering or harm.

We are taught what to believe. We are taught how to believe. Every religion has rules we are conditioned to follow from the beginning, and if we do not follow those rules then it is made clear that we will suffer as a result.

We are conditioned to believe our emotions are good or bad.

And our entire lives are controlled and governed by our perception of what is good or bad.

To not follow the rules of family, to not follow the rules of society, to not believe in an acceptable form of spiritual dogma, or scientific dogma, and to not behave in a polite and acceptable manner is to, again, place yourself at risk of being ostracised and exiled.

We all fear being alone, being alone means being vulnerable. Alone, you are prey.

We are a pack creature, although many would dislike my use of the word 'pack' because it implies that we are animals. Sorry, people, but we are animals, and this conditioning is pretty true to the 'follow the rules or be gone … or die' teaching employed by any animals that live and dwell within a group. There are leaders, and there are followers, and those who follow are conditioned to follow without question and those who question are forced to leave and/or fight for a position that allows them live by their rules, not the rules imposed by others.

Now, don't mistake me; there are some rules that are necessary in order to protect each other from death or injury, but while they are necessary, I personally feel we have come to a point where there are now too many rules; our lives have become complicated and governed by rules and we are conditioned further and further to accept more of them every day and live by them or be made to suffer if we do not.

Some people are happy to live bound by those conditions. They feel safe, believing that they are free to live their lives because of them. But of course they will believe that for that is exactly what they have been conditioned to believe.

However, like me, there are many out there who are waking and who now fight to break free of the conditioning. They, like me, whilst on a healing journey, have remembered a time when they were freer than they are now, when their minds were allowed to wander, and their senses guided them.

Like me, they have, layer by layer, removed the dogma and belief and seen the truth of who they are revealed.

My thoughts changed when I experienced this moment and began to wake. My emotions took on an honesty that both confronted and inspired.  I became more aware of all that is around me and within me. The connection I feel to all and everything was strengthened.

There is but one pitfall … the more I embrace the truth of I am, the more I see the lies others wrap themselves up in, and the more I hear and see the conditioning in their words and actions. I feel conflicted … I want others to know the freedom of what I have found, but I recognise also that I do not have right to impose a maybe unwanted awareness upon another.

Those who choose to step free of belief and conditioning have done so by choice. Many of those who don't have also chosen not to do so. They have become so entrenched in believing and living a particular way that they have become willing slaves, dependent on their beliefs in order to both belong and be happy. They do not understand that their happiness is dependent upon their beliefs, when it should be independent of their beliefs.

I feel sadness for those who never experienced a moment of true freedom, for until they do, they will never know the freedom that comes with the choice to strip away the dogma and conditioning imposed by self and others and embrace a way of life that mirrors that moment.

I can only imagine that it is like jumping out of an airplane. From that moment, you can never go back. I know that I can never go back. My perception of the world is forever changed. It is a freedom I am willing to fight for. Indeed, it is a freedom I am willing to be ostracised for.

The freedom to be me in my truest form is a freedom I am willing to be exiled for.

Again, don't mistake me, there are still rules I follow. There are still things I do that some would say I do because I have been conditioned to do so, and this is true to a certain extent. I still have to function within society and as much as I want to rebel against the brainwashing, I also still have responsibilities and a role to perform within my family circle and within society.

There is but one difference – I now recognise the conditioning and the brainwashing for what it is; I accept responsibility for my choices, my behaviour, and my actions. I do not deny the truth of who I am, but I now no longer care if others dislike what they see. I honour my truth, and I say what I feel needs to be said regardless of whether others agree or not.

I can now trust in my emotions, my instincts and intuition. I see myself mirrored in, and a part of nature, instead of separate to it. I see creation and destruction as identical. They wear the same face and act in perfect unison. Now the inner me and the outer me also wear the same face. Some will find it beautiful. Others will find it ugly. Some - the conditioned - will measure and label my actions and choices as good or bad, while others - the wakened - will say that they were true to myself and who I am.






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Been a Busy Bunny

Sat Jul 9, 2011, 2:35 AM


Just a short quickie to let you all know that I'm still alive (just in case you are interested). It's been a madly busy couple of months with several large shows to prepare for and attend, but now life is settling back into a normal routine.

I have had some good news too. After the first oracle deck submission to Blue Angel Gallery was rejected, I was somewhat despondent but determined to release the deck myself, but only after I gave it a damned good work over to write out of the fairy element and add the animal. Now it's almost finished, self-publishing appears to be unnecessary, as the new version - The Messenger Oracle -  has snared my publisher's interest and I am delighted to say that contracts have been exchanged and the deck is now slated for release early in 2012.

I have just added a lot of new artworks to the gallery, so go and have yourselves a looksee ---> The Messenger Oracle Gallery

Now, only a couple of artworks remain, but only one is necessary before the deck's completed. (There are a couple of fae ones I may replace if I have time)

Anyways, I hope everyone is well and smiling.

much love
Mich
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  • Mood: Love
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Meet the Sceptical Believer

Thu Mar 10, 2011, 8:49 PM


You know, it's somewhat unsettling to suddenly have the awareness that your mother now has access to the internet (for the very first time) and can read about my thoughts and follow my online movements.   (0_o) *grins* ... Hello, Mother. *grins some more* Methinks you are going to discover a side to your daughter that you have only seen glimpses of. Methinks you might soon discover the true depths of my insanity. *insert maniacal laughter here*

*cheeky grin* Love you, Mum and Dad *waves*

So what, besides the fact that I now have another two pairs of eyes watching me, has been happening since the last time I posted? Nothing real exciting, just more of the same.

Oh, I did have a complete and utter brainsnap and showed my newfound scepticism of many conceptual newage beliefs. Most of you here know that I am an intensely spiritual person. I've never made any secret of that. However, I have come to a point in my life now where my realistic outlook on life clashes with the conceptual belief that many new age followers have that all around us is an illusion and that we can alter the world we live in simply by changing our beliefs and through prayer. Action is unnecessary, because our creations are born of the mind and can therefore be changed by the mind and will alone. Many new age followers are all about ascension and becoming beings of white light and love. Me, well, I am more inclined to believe that true ascension occurs when we become conscious of spirit in all that is around us; when we make that leap of faith and go from disbelief to belief. It is when we become aware that Spirit and Gaia communicate with us. It is when we become aware of past lives  Ascension is awareness and acceptance of all that is unseen and all that is mysterious.

I have a great resistance to this concept that all is an illusion. I believe that all is real and exists independently of me. The rock I stub my toe on is a real rock. It is not an illusion born of my imagination. My oak tree in the back yard, a tree I feel connected to in every way; it too exists independently of me. Just as my cats, dogs, and birds - all beautiful, magical, aware and curious little minds - are independent of me. My mind just will not accept that it could all be a construct.

In many ways, I find this belief that we are creators of such a vast and grand illusion to be the height of arrogance, born of a belief that if we are born of God then we must be gods. Yes, we are divine, but in the grand scheme of things, we are but little babes learning to walk among divine entities who have been flying for an infinite amount of time. We are children, learning. To learn how to lead a corporeal life, one that embraces both the real and the inexplicable, both spirit and science, both the real and that which is born of our imagination.

Oh I do believe that all is born of our imagination, but that it is the birthing place for that which is supposed to be made manifest in a tangible form in the real world. Our minds are amazing tools. We use so little of them, but I also believe that the human psyche can be very fragile and leads to some becoming confused by the truth of reality and and the freedom to be found and explored in one's imagination. I believe that too many get lost in their imaginary worlds and actually do cloak themselves in both illusion and lie. Why? Because their minds are incapable of accepting or dealing with the truth that is reality - that life is full of pain and suffering, as well as love and joy. They cannot accept that reality is a place where creation is born of destruction, and destruction born of creation. The reject wholeheartedly that reality is a place where sacrifice is expected and that success and fulfilment must be paid for in blood, sweat, or tears.  They run in terror from the belief that we are responsible for all of our choices and actions.

It is so much easier to believe that it is all an illusion. It is also easier to blame others and hold them at fault for our failures and disappointments. It is so much easier to see only the love and the light and dwell in a positive state of mind. But in doing so, many fail to see the suffering that exists here in the real world. They send out thoughts of love, that they believe will end suffering. But it does not end, because they do not understand that change requires real, physical actions not just good intentions. I am starting to see and believe that a lot of new age beliefs are nothing more than an excuse for inaction.

Now, don't get me wrong, I believe in a lot of intangibles. I believe in angels. I believe in dragons. I believe in nature spirits - fairies if you must -  but not the twee pretty girls with wings on their backs and pretty dresses. Those particular fae only exist in the movies and in art, humanised so that our poor fragile mortal minds can embrace an awareness of them that is free of fear. I don't see them as beings who exist in the fairy realms, but as beings that exist here in the real world as part of nature.

Can we humans be fairies and dragons and the like? *snorts* Oh now this is a belief that makes the crone in me want to pick up a big hard stick and whack people. Let me put it to you this way ... I believe in reincarnation. Have had way too many odd, inexplicable memories and happenings to not believe. Yes, I may have even existed as a dragon in one of those cycles, but am I a dragon now? Fuck no. I'm a HUMAN. I am genetically HUMAN. I have nothing in my DNA that would suggest anything other than that, and if I was something other than human, there would be something in my physical being that would back up my claims. That's reality, people.

So if someone comes up to me and claims to be a fairy? I'm sorry, but unless you can prove it, then in my eyes and mind you are nothing more than a human with a mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

Ooohhhh! That's a harsh thing to say, isn't it? I can hear all of the newagers and fairy folk passing judgement upon me, calling me both ignorant and intolerant, claiming that it is only my inability to believe that prevents me from seeing the truth of their claims. How truly accepting and non-judgemental of you.

Well, so what. I have little care anymore for the opinions of those who confuse cellular memory with reality. It's not my burden to prove that you are wrong. It is yours, to prove that you are right ... and guess what? You cannot. Why? Because you are HUMAN not a fairy.

Yes, you might be psychic, and yes, you might get glimpses of the future, but so do I. I don't disbelieve in abilities such as clairvoyance and empathy. I believe in ghosts and in spirit beings. Again, I have witnessed too much to say that these are myth. But having these gifts do not make you an omnipotent being from Atlantis in this life who knows the secret of life.  You only know what you believe, and just because you believe does not make it truth, especially if what you believe denies all and everything else that exists.

And as for Atlantis and other great, glorified civilisations that have now become the focus of many new age beliefs. I find myself thinking that those who do make them out to be so pure and magical are forgetting one very important thing, and it is something that prevents both true awareness and understanding. These civilisations, whether they existed or not, did not fall because they were pure and shining. They fell because they were arrogant and corrupt. By focussing on only the good you fail to learn the important lessons born from the bad.

So what has inspired this denial of many new age beliefs? Necessity. You know what?  I sense big planetary changes coming, and it will require that we embrace reality or die. No, I am not a doomsayer, but the truth is that we need to learn how to live in the here and now. We need to see the truth of the world around us. We need to take responsibility for our steps upon this earth. We need to embrace our humanity so that we can bring about real change, not imagined change. This means learning how to be spiritual and using that belief to enhance your life in the here and now so that you live, dwell, love and laugh with eyes that see Gaia. When we can all do that, then we will truly be powerful.

What happens if you do not? Well, mayhap you will ascend and become a being of pure light and love. When you do, I think you'll discover that it's a state you have embraced before, for it is a state we all exist in during the time inbetween physical lives. You will ascend and find heaven not because you are special, but simply because your physical form has died. You will have manifested the outcome that you wanted, only to discover that it was not the outcome you believed it to be.

Please understand, that I respect your choice to believe whatever you choose to believe, but also accept that I have a right to believe as I choose and my belief is that to deny one's humanity and reality is to deny the very truth of who you are.

Love
M
xxx






  • Mood: Love
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Ummm! Has it been that long???

Mon Feb 7, 2011, 4:43 AM


Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and happy. I am.

I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted. Life has been crazy. Or should I say, life has been normal. I have been growing and healing a lot over the last few months. It was time to let a few things go and to turn my focus and attention forward instead of dwelling upon a past which cannot be changed or altered.

I have been very busy working on both the oracle and the tarot as well as learning how to deal with the public face to face. Working the show scene a couple of times a year is both exciting and challenging. I have enjoyed it immensely, despite the fact that shows leave me feeling both drained and distracted for several weeks both before and after.

I've had to wind back my online time due to my increased workload. I miss DA, but I simply cannot be here as much as I used to be. And I've noticed that this place has changed somewhat over the last months. It feels different and I cannot quite put my finger on the what or the why of it.

I spend most of my internet time over at facebook. I'm over there most days because it's quick, easy, and I can connect with so many more people. I've closed down all of my older journals, and next to facebook, DA is now the only other place I visit. My cyberworld has become very small, but with that smallness comes a little more intimacy and opportunity to get to know people better.

The oracle deck has been put on 'slow' as the deadline for the tarot looms closer. I find myself rather relieved that my publisher knocked back my initial submission now. In the time since then, I have reviewed the deck and found it to be not what I wanted it to be. It was more what I thought my publisher would want. The deck has since been reworked and rewritten. But I still have about seven artworks to paint. These will be done when I have a need to do something other than the tarot. As for what will happen when it is finished? Well, I've decided to do two things - I will resubmit it to my publisher for consideration, and if they say no, then I will definitely be self-publishing. If you are interested in preordering it would be great if you could let me know by posting your thoughts on the oracle gallery.

My number one focus is the tarot, and I still have a lot of the cards to paint. It's falling into place nicely though. I am very happy with the creation that is manifesting. That being said, I recently took stock of all the cards completed, and there were a couple I felt were losing something in the translation or lacking in some way. The 'Love' card has been replaced with a newer version. 'Union' and 'Perception' are also up for replacement. In fact, I am working on the new 'Union' card right now. Once the replacements are finished, I will move on to the final cards for the major arcana. Then work on the minor begins. I've already drawn out quite a number of the minors and I'm am delighted with them.

I'm determined to finish the artwork for the deck by the end of the year. That's a big ask, considering that there are still 59 artworks to go. But I love a challenge, and considering I have seven days a week to devote to the project, there's really no reason why it cannot be done. I've become quite adept at banging them out over the last few months. I've become very confident and nimble with my brushes ... I've grown in confidence period.

On a personal note, my depression has left me again. No, I'm not cured. I'm now aware of how easily it can return, but the underlying emotional/psychological issues have all been addressed so now I've only to be watchful on a physical front. Changes in diet, hormonal ups and downs, failure to exercise ... all of these things affect my mental wellbeing and focus. So I'm being a good girl and making sure I keep all monitored closely. Good news is that I've not had an 'I feel blue' day for a couple of months now. I'm happy in a very crazy busy way.

I've been working a with symbols and sigils. This combined with the work for the tarot makes me a very happy artist. One of the biggest sources of joy for me of late is the fact that I now only paint what I want to paint. I paint just for me now.

Anyways, one thing that has not changed is the fact that I tend to ramble, so I had better end this before I write a book.

Much love to you all ... go check out all the new works in the tarot and oracle galleries.
xxx
M






  • Mood: Love
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Llama Love

Fri Sep 10, 2010, 3:43 AM


I'm sneaking in to post about my love for Llamas. Things are madly busy for me right now, so as usual, I have very little time to reply or comment. Instead, I will be spreading the Llama love!!!

THE END

I hope you are all well and happy?

xxxx






  • Mood: Love
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  • Watching: my computer screen
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The Vow and Dreams of Magick

Sun Jun 6, 2010, 7:48 PM


With a good night's sleep, come the dreams. I wonder if I paint during the night so I can have a rest from them sometimes. Why? Because my dreams are often more tiring than being awake; full of noise, action, and adventure, I am often more physical in my dreams than I am during my waking hours. Last night was no different, although I have no recollection of what I dreamed about.

I know I dwelt in the lands of dreaming in the hours before my partner woke, and I know I returned to them not long after he left to start his work day, but that is all I remember. There were no messages given to me to write down upon waking, although my dreams were quite startling, vivid, and chaotic. There would probably be several good painting concepts in amongst the confusion if I really wanted to look, but the fact that I feel quite rested and at peace tells me that last night was one of those nights when my dreaming time was spent sorting through and exploring thoughts and feelings about my day.

Many of the ideas for my later works are born within my dreams. I believe many of them are messages from my guides and from those who come to me with a message to share with the world. Yes, some are born of me, but regardless of the source, it is in my dreams that many of the seeds of my creativity reside and sprout. I heed the wisdom and the messages found within my dreams as they are not only the means by which my guides communicate with me, but also an honest reflection of my own desires, my thoughts, and my feelings.

When my dreams are like those I had last night, I have nothing to draw upon during the day. No images stick in my mind. There is nothing but sense of peace and an awareness that there's nothing important I need reflect upon or need to madly sketch out.

Which means, on this particular day, my creating will revolve around projects that are already underway. At this moment, I am working on my oracle deck – 'The Wisdoms of Gaia' Oracle. It was recently rejected by my publisher, and while I respect their reasons, I also feel that this creation, this oracle, is worthy of publication and will fulfil a purpose, and so I have decided to self-publish. When I made that decision, I didn't realise how much it would impact upon me spiritually, emotionally, and creatively.

The decision to self-publish took my role of creator to a new level. I had to be objective, and learn how to step out of my self and look at the deck with eyes unclouded by ego. The deck has flaws. I had to find them, rework and polish them out.

There is no room for ego or doubt in this process, and because the years of working with clients and speaking with fans have taught me to look at my work critically, but to also heed my intuition and instincts.

I could see that the deck does work, but I could not help but feel that the subjects in the artworks were a little too 'fairy' heavy in content, and because the deck brings forth messages from Gaia, delivered by those who protect, serve, and are born of her, there needed to be changes made.

This awareness terrified me at first – I wondered how the changes would impact when 'they' had been seemed so determined to be depicted as fairies. But they reminded me – again, in my dreams – that it's not about how they look. It's about how people 'feel' when they see them. It's the emotion the representation inspires within. It's how the artwork touches the individual.

I discovered the energies I work with have no care what form they are depicted in, as long as their energy and message is imbued within the image and shines forth. They will connect with those whom they are meant to connect with irrespective of appearance. It really is that simple. It is only we humans who over-think and impose our own fears and doubts. The energies who I work with don't have fears and doubts; just faith and a pure desire to help humanity to find faith, to have a belief, in both themselves and the divine.

It's not about the form in which we see the messenger, but that we hear the message.

So I have been making changes to the artworks and in doing so I have found myself in a happy, creative wellspring, and once more filled with the knowledge that everything happens for a reason.

When the publisher initially rejected my oracle deck, I was initially angry and disappointed, but given a little time and space I was able to step back and see that in many ways the deck had been restricted and limited. I had altered and changed the deck to fit the publisher's 'book list'. The very essence – the magickal energy - of the deck had been altered to suit their ideology and in turn it had manifested in a manner that was no longer true to its original design or purpose.

I had allowed it to happen, but I was now being presented with an opportunity to undo what I had done.

The energies around me rejoiced – my dreams were full of 'happy' with one image after the next dancing behind my eyes. But it took me just a little longer to catch on as to why they were so happy. My ego was still stinging and I was still somewhat deaf to the fact that 'they' were giving me their blessing to now follow my intuition and instincts and go and make whatever changes that needed to be made.

They have told me time and time again -- "Be true to your self, be true to your creations, and in doing so you will be true to us, to Gaia, and to Great Spirit."

And in truth, that is the very message and purpose of the oracle too. To help and encourage others to understand who they are, to know who they wish to become, and to be true to that vision.

They had not just a desire for me to create this deck, but a lesson for me to learn and embrace as I found being asked to walk a path of authenticity.

Authenticity.

It's funny and kind of sad how we find ourselves subconsciously changing ourselves. Being alone, being different, being an outsider have always been my biggest fears. Like most people, I just want to be liked. I want my thoughts and feelings to be respected, and to be accepted for who I am, warts and all.

But to be accepted by others, we must first be honest about who we are. We must walk our talk. We must be willing to both embrace and share the reality of who we are in order for others to see and then choose to embrace it. If we do not show our real face, then we will usually meet with the rejection we fear.

I can say without hesitation that I have never been a particularly big fan of humanised fairies. That's not how I see them, but it is how many humans like to see them portrayed. Over the years, I have had to reconcile myself to this truth. In the end, I came to understand that by humanising them, people fear them less. They connect, and in turn feel the energy of the fae, instead of being intimidated or afraid of their true, somewhat alien, exterior shell. It's why dragons can inspire absolute terror in some people ... humans have trouble seeing beyond the exterior.

But I cannot help but feel that it is time now to rip away the illusions, the lies, and embrace truth.

I came to realise that my abundance of fairies had been somewhat influenced by the people around me. I had allowed this because I wished to be a part of something – the fairy scene. It worked for me on both a personal and commercial level. Fairies are popular, and many of my friends and customers are lovers of the fae. Painting fairies made me popular and gave me a sense of belonging.

It mattered not that I do not see fairies in the same manner. Fairies are elemental creatures. They are not human. They do not possess human feelings. They are bound by the seasons and cycles and are primal beings capable of acts of malice, cruelty, and destruction, just as they can be loving, joyous and creative. I believe in them, but not in the same way that many do. There are fairies who are only too happy to work with humans, but there are also fairies who hate us, and who would do us harm without remorse or regret.

The energies I work with knew this and but they were happy to be depicted as pretty humanised fairies. As long as I was happy, they were happy.

As long as I was being true to both myself and the deck I was creating

But sadly, I was being more influenced by my insecurities – my need to be a part of something – because I did not want to be 'different' nor judged because I perceive many things quite differently.

On a personal and spiritual level, the last year has been a testing time. Again, and again, and again, I have found myself forced to look at both myself and the people around me – was I being true to myself? Was I seeking my destiny? Or was I again, trying to be and do what others expected me to be. Was I dulling my light by always seeking the approval of others? Was I marching to the beat of my own drum, or a beat dictated by others? Was I hiding real me again because I was afraid to stand alone as a unique and shining individual?

Yes, I was.

The realisation that I was marching to a beat that was not my own came to me only weeks before the publisher said no to publishing my deck. But the full ramifications of this new awareness would not be made clear until that moment.

Everything happens for a reason. I perceive things differently because I am meant to. I am different, because I am meant to be different. My creation, my oracle deck, is not meant to be a rehashing of my publisher's beliefs, but something different, something unique ... a new perspective born of different perception.

So while on one hand, it was a blow to have the deck rejected by my publisher, on the other came a growing sense of rightness, of joy, and of ... freedom.

No more restrictions. No more limitations. No more illusion.

I'm not denying that the road ahead is going to be a little harder now – I have repaint a dozen or so card artworks and find the money to have the deck printed. But you know what? I'm not worried, nor fearful. All that I need will come to me as I need it. I know it will, just as I know that this ... every high and low ... was meant to happen.

This time I made a solemn vow to Gaia and Great Spirit that I will never again change in order to be accepted. It is now time for me to accept and embrace me, and be inspired by, and rejoice in the awareness that I am not a carbon copy of everyone else, nor willing to be a pale shadow of my true self anymore. I will continue to grow, learn, and heal, but all change from here on in will be natural healthy growth, not growth forced from a place of insecurity or fear ... and my creations will be all the purer for it.

My dreams a full of magick, as is my life, and my heart.

Namaste






  • Mood: Love
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The Things That Made Me Different

Sat Jun 5, 2010, 6:10 AM


When I was a child, I thought everybody had a dragon. When I was a child, I thought all children could leave their bodies and fly to far off lands and play among distant ruins. I thought everyone could feel what others felt, see ghosts, and sense spirits, and that everyone could hear the whisper of the trees and feel the life pulsing through the earth beneath their feet. I believed I was a normal, happy child.

One of my earliest memories is of me as a child, sitting on the stone back step of my great grandfather's house. I was playing with feral kittens. They were wild, but they came and played with me. I trusted them and they trusted me, but they ran from everyone else. I was different, and even the animals around me sensed it.

The time we spent at my great grandfather's house was a time of both fear and delight. I did not like my great grandfather. He was a cruel man, and yet I was never actually afraid that he would do me harm for there was something in that house watching over me, protecting me. There was a spirit in that house who would never let any hurt befall me. I knew, and so I felt safe.

It was only as I grew older that I realised both my parents and brothers never spoke about their dragons or dream adventures, nor did they speak of the spirits that dwelled in many of the houses we lived in. Their silence did not make sense until after I started school. When my school years began, I learned to be quiet very quickly. If I talked about my dragon the teachers praised me for my vivid imagination, but made it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that my dragon was not real. If I talked to the trees the other kids laughed at me. I did not like being laughed at. Even then, I just wanted to be liked.

To be liked, you could not be different. You had to heed the wisdom of fox and learn the art of camouflage. The older I grew, the more this one truth was brought home to me time and time again. The simple fact that I was sensitive to other's moods and emotions brought me enough confusion and sorrow, especially when the feelings they felt made the words they spoke a lie. I did not understand the many reasons why people lie as I do now. When I was younger, I would confront them, demanding to know why they would say that everything was okay, when inside they were angry and thinking unkind thoughts.

People don't like to be confronted. People became visibly angry when I questioned them. So I learned again to be quiet.

All I wanted was to be liked, and so I became the good friend, the giving friend, the shoulder to lean on when times were hard. The one people could count on for a helping hand.

The very same person who everyone forgot about and ignored when times were good for them, and not so good for me.

I was not pretty, so the beautiful people didn't see me. I was not pretty, but I was eager to please, and so the boys saw me as a easy target they could use, abuse, and then laugh about amongst themselves when they got what they wanted ... and I was so starved for affection and attention that they usually got what they wanted.

I learned that even when I kept silent about the things I saw and felt, I was still different, still a target, and so I began to withdraw.

My teenage years were not happy. If someone were to offer me a billion dollars in exchange for reliving the six years from the time I was fourteen to twenty I would not accept their offer. There is no incentive that would entice me to revisit that period of my life.

It was during those years that I learned to hate being different. I learned how to hate myself. I learned how to hate myself so deeply that I rejected both my love for art ... and myself.

At age fourteen, I was 5' 9" tall and close to 80kg. By the time I was 18, I was closer to 40kgs. I was pathetically thin and still thought I was fat and ugly. I was using speed to get me through the day, and alcohol and cocaine to get me through the night, and sex was both a weapon and my only means of 'feeling'. Yes, I was promiscuous, I lived recklessly, I lived dangerously, and I didn't care if I lived ... or died.

I look back and I wonder how I survived.

And then, just as I had come to a place where ending my life was becoming a familiar train of thought, love came to me in the form of my darling life partner. He lifted me up. He gave me hope and a reason to keep on living. He and my children became my world, but even he did not know me in the beginning. Even in the secure embrace of his love, I hid away. I repressed. I denied. I rejected. I did not want to feel. I did not want to hear.

I did not want to be different. I did not want to be laughed at.

I was terrified that others would think me weird, or worse, insane.

I was, by then, both mother and lover, living quietly in the suburbs, dying a little bit more with every passing day. I funnelled all of my fears and doubts and loneliness into false smiles, perfect dinners, a spotlessly clean house, and two perfect, well-behaved children, and an immaculate garden.

I had no faith. I had no connection with the divine. I no longer listened to the trees or felt the pulse of the earth beneath my feet. Instead, I began to hate the world and the people in it. I began to drink more, smoke more ...

... and with every passing day I danced closer with death. I remember going to bed one night and placing a sharp knife under my pillow. It was not a conscious act, and I was horrified the next day when I saw what I had done.  

As time moved forward, I found myself hating my life partner. Our life had become so ... bland. We had meat and three veg for dinner almost every night. Our weekends were spent having barbeques and drinking beer with mates. There was no real intimacy in our relationship. My partner did not talk about his feelings and nor did I feel I could discuss mine with him. Real blokes don't talk about feelings -- that was for poofters and girls.

Inside, the real me was fighting, refusing to die, creating internal conflict and confusion. Telling me over, and over, and over again that I was meant to be so very much more than the person I had become. I lay no blame at my partner's feet. I was just as bad. I had become everything I didn't want to be.

But more years would pass ... I had further to fall. I will leave out the details, because even now, a part of me fears that you would think less of me.

For fourteen years I had been a slave to my depression. It took root when I entered puberty, and in my naivety and ignorance, I believed the sorrow and loathing I felt for myself was normal. I thought teenagers were supposed to feel perpetually confused, unfocused, moody, and afraid. I thought we all looked at ourselves in the mirror and hated the person who stared back out.

My depression played a key role in how I saw myself, and how I believed others saw me. I had no self-esteem. I had little self-worth. For fourteen years, I told myself that what I felt was normal; again, I didn't want to be different.

But in the end, it was my depression that saved me. It eventually broke down the wall of proud denial I had built around myself.

My illness had begun to manifest in a terrifying way -- anxiety attacks.  

Those attacks landed me in hospital, and then in the offices of my doctor.

I will forever bless this man. He was a doctor who thought outside of the box, and because he embraced a different school of thought to most in his profession, I am now the creative, happy person I have become.

He prescribed art and writing instead of pills and potions. He told me that it was okay to cry, that 'feeling' was good, and that what I needed most was to discover who I was meant to be instead of being the person who I believed others expected me to be.

The person everyone knew ... and loved ... was a lie.

It was time to learn the truth.

Thirteen years have passed since that fateful day, and in many ways, they have been the happiest years of my life.

I followed my doctor's advice and discovered who I am. I still find myself falling into the same patterns of behaviour now and again. I still want to be liked. I still just want to be loved. I still fear other people's judgement.

But over the years, I have learned who I am, and that person is both psychic and empathic. I am creative and passionate about it. I believe in dragons. I believe they are real. I believe others call them angels and gods, and I converse with spirits, dragons, gods and angels in my dreams and feel them around me when I am awake. I can hear the laughter and song of crystals, and dwell in a house that is filled with their song. I can hear the song of the trees and earth, and I now know it to be Gaia speaking to me, loving me. I work pure magick with both colour and emotion, and imbue every painting with both message and meaning. I am a woman who has embraced my spiritual self without hesitation or reservation, and who now has an unshakeable belief in Great Spirit, Gaia, and myself. I no longer fret about my physical appearance - well not too much anyway ;) - because I know my soul is beautiful and that it shines bright. I have learned to trust both instinct and intuition. I have embraced both the beautiful and ugly aspects of my nature, and now love myself for better and for worse.

And all that I have learned and accomplished has not only touched and changed me, but it has also awakened new awarenesses within those around me. My partner has also changed in so many ways. Gone is the ocker aussie man, and in his stead is a gentle, compassionate, spiritual, and caring hero who cries when he is sad, laughs when he is happy, and loves deeply and with passion and without hesitation.

The journey has been long, and often difficult. There have been both good days and bad days, triumphs and disappointments, but the most important thing I have learned is that being different is good. I now understand that we are all meant to embrace our individuality. It is our differences - those quirky eccentricities, beliefs, and loves we each and every one of us have - that make us special. They make us who we are meant to be.






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Awakening

Thu Jun 3, 2010, 10:36 PM


Time has been both cruel and kind to me over the last couple of years; the weeks and months have gone by in a whirl of colour and magick. For a while I was tempted to close many of my accounts at my regular haunts, because I was not sure if I would ever return. But as fate would have it, I did not. I believe this to be so for a reason, and because I know myself better than I think I do. I have allowed my journals to fall silent before, but I have always returned.

My journals - once used on an almost daily basis - went into a natural semi-sleeping state. As my workload increased, my time spent online decreased. In the end, I became active only on Facebook. Except for intermittant updates, no more did I post here. No more did I post at Livejournal. Even my own website's journal has been cloaked by a shroud of dust and cobwebs. I was sad to leave, but I simply could not keep up with everything that swirled around me.

In truth, not much has changed. I am still working very hard on several projects and my time is still somewhat limited, but I find myself realising that I'm no longer quite so challenged by the sheer volume of my workload. I have grown and adapted. So now I challenge myself to grow again by returning *smiles*.

Recently, I went through a bit of a change. This last six months have been a terrifying time as my depression returned in force. I have been confronted by emotional and psychological challenges. The more they came at me, the more I withdrew from cyberspace. But oddly enough, the more I withdrew from cyberspace, the less afraid I was to go out into the physical world. Before I was a hermit. Now, I am not. Before I was somewhat shy and introverted. Now, I am not.

Like a bear who pushes out of its den after a long period of hibernation, I now push myself back out into the cyberworld. Like a butterfly breaking free of its coccoon, the caterpillar discovers that it now has wings ... and that it can fly.

I look back at who I was when I first created this journal and realise that I'm no longer the same person. Parts of me are no longer. Parts of me have died. But I have also grown, and find myself discovering that I have come very close to achieving my goals, and that my dreams are coming true. I have come to understand, and accept, that to heal, to achieve and overcome, you must be willing to make sacrifices and change.

I am still the rambler, but I am now older, a little wiser, and a lot more confident. I know who I am in the present. I know who I wish to become in the future. This is the first step taken on a 'forever' kind of journey.

Namaste, sweet souls.






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

DREAMS OF MAGIC PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE

Tue Apr 6, 2010, 6:39 PM


*DANCING A HAPPY HAPPY DANCE*

I hope this wee entry finds you all happy and well. I hope you will all forgive my squeeing and jumping about, but I must confess that I am very excited at the moment because my new book 'Dreams of Magic' is now available for pre-orders.

Preorders can be made @ www.dreamsofgaia.com/art_book.…

Dreams of Magic is my first solo publication and showcases the following:

- Up to 100 colour and sepia illustrations depicting dragons, fairies, gods, goddesses, nature and more.
- A selection of poems and short stories.
- A walkthrough of my painting method.
- An informative chapter about my life and why I paint and write.

This beautiful book of art and words is an affordable, high quality publication with padded hardcover and 100 thick satin pages. Many of my favourite artworks are showcased within.

Just a small number of the artworks included are:

- Dragons ... Cernunnos, the Cailleach, Gaia's Dragon, Dragons of the Wood
- Dragonkin ... The Empress, The Mystic, The Guardian, The Priestess
- Fairies ... DarkBringer, The Moth Queen, Secrect of the Phoenix
- Goddess ... Lady of the Flowers, Night She Cometh, Of Earth, Air, Fire and
Water, Sol
- Greek Mythology ... Herackles, Pan, Hestia, Aphrodite, Zeus

I am also holding three auctions on eBay ...

Aphrodite from the Mythic Oracle -
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?…

Grandmother Magicks from Oracle of the Dragonfae -
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?…

Gothic Reds - a new fairy OSWOA -
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?…

Finally, I am still running a special on all purchases. Spend $50 and you get a small print for free. Spend over $100 and you will receive a medium print for free. Just mention your preference in the shopping cart comments area.

xxxxxxxx
:)
M






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Devious Journal Entry

Thu Mar 25, 2010, 5:24 PM


The following artworks have been listed for auction on eBay






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Taking Commissions

Sun Mar 7, 2010, 3:37 PM


I would like to announce that I am taking commissions again. Those who are interested can note me here, or email me through the website at www.dreamsofgaia.com/contact.h…

Prices for commissions created with acrylics and coloured pencil on 300gsm cotton watercolour paper:

ACEO 2.5"x3.5" miniatures AU$75-100.00
4"x6" OSWOA miniature AU$150-200.00
5"x7" AU$175-300.00
5.5"x 8.5" (A5) AU$250-400.00
8"x10" AU$400-650.00
8.5" x 11.5" (A4) AU$500-800.00
11"x14" AU$900-1500.00
11.75"x12.75" (A3)AU$1100.00-1800.00

Prices for commission created with acrylics and coloured pencil upon stretched canvas:

Approximate canvas sizes:

5"x7" $175.00-300.00
8"x10" AU$425-700.00
11"x14" AU$950-1500.00
16"x20" AU$1000.00-2000.00
18"x24" AU$1500.00-2500.00
Larger canvases begin at $3000 and go up to $15000.00

Please also note that shipping and insurance costs are the responsibility of the client and can add between $50.00 and $500.00 to the cost of the commission depending upon size, cost, and destination. Any commissions being shipped overseas valued at more than $2500.00 can incur an import duty from customs. Payment of this fee is also the responsibility of the client.






  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Psychic and Alternative Fair Tomorrow

Fri Jan 22, 2010, 7:11 PM


For those in the Sydney metro area who are looking for something to do tomorrow, why not come and pay Lisa the Candlewytch and myself a visit at the Psychic and Alternative Fair at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club. 20-26 Canterbury Rd, Hurlstone Park 2193 From 10am to 5pm. Adult admission is $8 and kids are free.

There is only one week left to snag an opportunity to win one of my original artworks. Come visit at Dreams of Gaia.










  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

2009 - A Retrospective

Fri Jan 1, 2010, 4:30 PM


2009 – A Retrospective

What can I say about 2009? I could say that it sucked completely, but it didn't. I could say that it was the worst year I have lived through in a very long time, and in some ways I would be speaking only the truth, and yet, I will not say it was.

2009 was a very challenging year. It was a hard year. It was a year that tempered me, and made me stronger. It was a year of many highs that were as high as the lows were deep.

My depression returned and I came to accept that it is always going to be a part of me. It is part of who I am, and the days when I feel sad and alone and desire nothing more than to hide myself away, are meant for me to do exactly that. My depression makes me thoughtful. It makes me pause. During the dark days I look inward, I problem-solve, I analyse. I take the time to see what's working for me … and what's not working for me.

The dark days also make me appreciate the good days even more.

Financially speaking, 2009 was the year that almost broke me emotionally and professionally. I knew it was going to be a hard year from the very beginning, but when my partner's overtime was cut completely and his earnings no longer covered even the most basic of costs, it suddenly became a necessity for me to make money. Not since the darkest days of my battle with depression had I been so anxious or afraid. I had no licensing income. My print sales were negligible, and I was meant to be working on several projects that brought in little or no income. I had stopped doing commissions the year before in order to complete these projects, so my earning potential had reached an all time low.

But I did it. Somehow the bills were all paid thanks to those who purchased print and original artworks throughout the year. We survived one of the harshest years many have experienced. I am very grateful to those who supported me. Thank you. You helped to keep a dream alive.

Emotionally and spiritually, 2009 was a growing year for me. I grew into my own skin and found it a comfortable fit. I realised that I am happiest being me, and no longer willing to try and fit this square peg into round holes. I like being a square peg, and if I cannot find a square hole to slide into, then I decided I would carve my own.  

I shine.

And while the depression came back, in many ways this too was something I saw as a blessing. I had become quite hard and indifferent to other's suffering because I believed that if I could overcome then so could they. But I was one of the lucky ones, and quite arrogant in my assumptions that people should just pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get on with life. When my depression returned, I was once more reminded that it is just not that easy.

So, in 2009 I found myself becoming a little less hard and arrogant, and a little more compassionate and empathetic. My depression has, in many ways, made me a wiser person … a kinder person.

My readings began to make sense at last. I could hear my animal guides cheering with glee and delight as I experienced a 'light switch' moment and at last understood their message. Mountain Lion (the leadership card) no longer terrifies me, and Badger (Aggressiveness) and Wild Boar (Confrontation) no longer make me quake in my shoes. They are my friends, and now they have helped me to see what I needed to see, they have made way for Eagle to soar into my life.

It was an amazing year spiritually. I used to fly in my dreams and meditations all the time, but sometime during my teenage years, my wings were clipped and I found myself afraid to fly. In 2009, for the first time in almost 25 years, I soared – I became an Eagle who soared across a field of green and gold, my wing tips, touching the flower petals as I flew just above them.

Since that moment, I have felt great peace. Spiritually, I know who I am. I trust completely. I am no longer afraid to fly.

Professionally, 2009 was a huge year for me. I painted less, but larger. I painted 49 paintings during 2009, and at least two-thirds of them were 12"x17" in size. I challenged myself with every painting, trying a new technique or colour scheme with every one. Technically, my work improved. My greatest challenge however, was to find a middle ground between working with the energies around me and meeting their creative demands, and creating art that has both an emotional appeal and commercial appeal, that merged symbology, colour, emotion, and was imbued with energy and spirit.

I discovered just how mentally, emotionally, and physically draining this level of creating can be. I have not questioned myself as much as I questioned myself in 2009. My fears almost overcame me on several occasions. What right did I have to do what I was attempting to do?

I have every right. I do what I have been asked to do by Gaia herself. It matters not what others think. Some will understand, others will not. It is not my place or purpose to try and sway those who do not. It is my role to create … and so, I create. I trust in my purpose implicitly.

It was also a year that I became less willing to meet 'commercial' demands, and more determined to simply paint what was in my heart and mind … to let my soul speak the language of Gaia. That one choice brought me more freedom and pleasure than I could ever have imagined.

2009 was the year I came out of the hermitage and embraced life. I wandered, taking thousands of photos. I spoke to strangers without wanting to hide. I allowed people into my heart, able to trust once more. I found myself surrounded by friends, both new and old, knowing that I was loved and no longer questioning whether I deserved it or not. I found myself simply happy to be with people whom I enjoyed talking to and sharing space and time with. I found myself unafraid to love, and unafraid of being loved.

Yes, I'm still a work in progress. The last few weeks of 2009 brought with them an awareness that I still have a few trust issues when it comes to sustaining this dream of mine. I find myself fretting about money still, wondering if I am going to be able to meet the financial burden I have chosen to place upon my shoulders. I long for abundance, but I still have moments when I look at the bank balance and feel quite afraid because the wealth well is not very deep. I long for rain to fill it. I pray for rain to fill it. But instead of having faith that the rains will come, I stand here watching for clouds and fretting when none appear.

2010 is destined to bring with it great change to my life -- a lot of creating, hard work, and responsibility, and yet I know it is going to be an amazing, powerful, magickal, and creative year also. It is a year that fills me with excitement, but also makes me nervous because there is so much ahead that I have to simply trust in. So, trust, working with trust and fear are my spiritual lessons to learn for 2010.

2009 was for me a 'seed' year – a seed was created over the last ten years. In 2008, the seed was planted in deep, dark, fertile soil. Last year saw it sprout, sending strong roots down deep into the earth, into Gaia, while a fragile, questing shoot began its quest up toward the sun.

2010 will see that shoot push out of the dark and into the light, reaching for the warmth of the sun, and the kiss of the rain. My prayer is that I will get both when I have need.

Brightest blessings to you all,
xxx
M





I am sorry I have been so silent. Life and work are just so madly and insanely busy right now. I am striving to complete the last of the writing and art for Oracle of the Wisdoms. The deadline I have set for myself is January 1st, and with much writing and painting still to do, it's going to be a toughie to meet. However, I would love to greet the new year with nothing else on my desk but the tarot.

For those who are wondering, my book, Dreams of Magic, is now at the printers. It will be available for purchase in first half of the New Year. I'm no longer even going to try and give a specific time frame as I have now learned that with publishing it will be available when I have a copy of it in my hands and not before then ;) ... I will most likely begin to take pre-orders once I know the books have been shipped and are on their way to the warehouse here in Australia.

For now, I ask you to come celebrate the dawning of a new decade with me by taking the opportunity to win one of my original artworks. Come visit at Dreams of Gaia.










  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Weekly Update No. What was I up to?

Wed Dec 16, 2009, 5:17 PM


I am sorry I have been so silent. Life and work are just so madly and insanely busy right now. I am striving to complete the last of the writing and art for Oracle of the Wisdoms. The deadline I have set for myself is January 1st, and with much writing and painting still to do, it's going to be a toughie to meet. However, I would love to greet the new year with nothing else on my desk but the tarot.

For those who are wondering, my book, Dreams of Magic, is now at the printers. It will be available for purchase in first half of the New Year. I'm no longer even going to try and give a specific time frame as I have now learned that with publishing it will be available when I have a copy of it in my hands and not before then ;) ... I will most likely begin to take pre-orders once I know the books have been shipped and are on their way to the warehouse here in Australia.

For now, I ask you to come celebrate the dawning of a new decade with me by taking the opportunity to win one of my original artworks. Come visit at Dreams of Gaia.










  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


I would like to invite you to join in a new and exciting adventure for me. This coming weekend, I will be working for the very first time with two amazing and magickal women - Lucy Cavendish and Serene Conneeley - at the Triple Goddess (B13) stand at Sydney's Mind, Body, Spirit Festival.

Lucy Cavendish, the respected author of White Magic and Lost Lands, creator of enchanted oracles, and workshop facilitator, and Serene Conneeley, the visionary author of Seven Sacred Sites and A Magickal Journey, will be working their magic with me so that we may share some of the beauty and wonder of our creations with you.

There will be a number of original artworks, limited and open edition archival prints, giftwares, as well as Lucy and Serene's books, and copies of Mythic Oracle, Oracle of the Dragonfae and Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle available for purchase.

We'd love to meet you, so come by and say hello. Come share in our adventure, while enjoying one of the most amazing festival events to be experienced.

Below is a little more about the festival, taken from the MBS website ...

"It's a fantastic fun day out, filled with new experiences, entertainment, learning, and expert advice.

At the Mind Body Spirit Festival, you can learn to conquer stress in minutes, discover the latest herbal supplements, or realise your psychic powers. Perhaps you'd like to know how to find your soul mate, enjoy the mysteries of tantric relationships, find that highly prized work-life balance, or balance your chakra.

There is something for everyone searching for a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. Your friends will love it!"

Thursday 5 November - Sunday 8 November 2009
Hall 1, Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour
10am - 7pm Daily

Prices:
Adults $16
Concession/Student $13
Children under 14 free

All Enquiries phone: 03 9276 5555

For those interested in attending, below is a half price ticket offer just for you. Print it out and present it at the ticket booth and get $8 off your adult ticket entry price.










  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: the television in the background
  • Watching: my computer screen
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water