Blessings and being thankful

It is a beautiful sunny morning here. A little chilly after a slight frost but really sunny with a clear blue sky. This made me think about how much I have. I may not be able to walk very well and sometimes have excruciating pain but I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, food and clothes, a small garden and a wonderful world around me.

As a Reiki Master Teacher I know the Reiki precepts;

The Reiki Precepts

Just for today I will let go of anger

Just for today I will let go of worry

Today I will count my many blessings

Today I will do my work honestly

Today I will be kind to every living creature

These could equally apply to everyone whether doing Reiki or not. If we all lived this way, what a wonderful world it could be. When I feel frustrated or depressed I think about these principles and they always lift my spirit.

Here is another photo of a scene that I find uplifting and refreshing.

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A peaceful post today

Before I start writing today, I’d like to thank those who took the time to post comments on my previous blog entry. They were all appreciated.

I have been looking at my collection of photos that sit on my computer and also in boxes (photos from the days before digital cameras) Several years ago I sorted all my photos into large envelopes or boxes according to their subject or theme. Many of these were put into scrapbooks which I made for each journey to another country as well as for handfastings and other special occasions. Many of these photos inspire my art work and my writing. Here is one of those that does just this. It was taken on a holiday in Brittany at a favourite spot where I could sit and meditate watching the ripples and the reflections as they changed with the flowing water. There was always a feeling of peace here.

Conflicting thoughts

This blog is about walking the druid path so how does this heading fit in with that. So a bit of life history here first, I think. I have always painted having taken Art at school in the 1950’s. Since then I have gone to a few art groups where there has been some kind of teaching but I have always painted how and what I like. I started with oils in the late 1960’s when I had a boyfriend who was an art student. He taught me a lot about technique and still inspires me with his current works.

My main paintings are landscapes, mostly of mountains, lakes, the sea and sunsets. The mountains for me are spiritual places and in my paintings there is much that the ordinary observer will not see. Nearly all of my paintings of landscapes have ways of drawing you in to the picture.

Over the last 3 years I turned to pastels and tried painting flowers, and birds but in the flower pictures there are fairies and angels hidden away for the sharp eye to find. This is almost psychic art.

But where do the conflicting thoughts come in? Well, I have been offered an exhibition at the end of this month and discussion with friends at the art group about my paintings bring up this conflict. I paint for me alone, my thoughts and feelings are in my paintings. They are not painted in order to be sold as I know some people do this. They are painted for me to look at, to share in exhibitions if necessary and sold if people would like them but mainly they are for me and they express my spiritual essence.

I have been asked about commissions as this could bring in money; that awful word. That is not the issue for me. But commissions well, again this is not for me. Last year I knitted a giraffe pyjama case for my son and then everybody wanted one. I think I knitted about 16 in all but the requests to knit them, put on the pressure and eventually took away the pleasure of the knitting. So I will not take any more orders or commissions.

It took me time over this last weekend to think all this out and decide exactly where I stood regarding my paintings. I think what really brought it home to me was a memory of a painting I did around 1973. It was of the Snowdonia mountains, in reds and purples and when I was painting it, a figure appeared in the sky. My current art tutor asked me what I was going to do with the figure. He advised me to either blot it out or make it stand out. I did the latter. This painting was named ‘Sanctuary’ and I refused to sell it. It meant a lot ot me as there was quite a bit of turmoil going on in my life and the mountains have always been a sanctuary for me.

However, in the 1980’s I had an exhibition in Beddgelert in Snowdonia and a woman came every day to look at this painting and wanted to buy it. I refused day after day until the last day of the exhibition, then I asked her why she wanted this particular painting so much. When she told what it meant to her than I reduced the price and sold it to her.

I feel this is where this blog stops. What do you think? Does my attitude reflect my spiritual druid path?

Here is an old photo of that painting.

Imbolc

The festival of Imbolc occurs on the 1st and/or 2nd of February. It brings much joy as the days get longer and the sun slowly starts to climb higher in the sky. It represents the quickening of the year; the first stirrings of Spring. The emphasis is on light and this is represented by candles rising out of a dish of water. This is symbolic of the rising light of Spring emerging from the creative feminine waters.

In Scottish lore, the Cailleach, (kai-e-och) the Old Woman of Winter, journeys to the magical isle and founds the Well of Youth. She drinks from the water of the Well of Youth and is transformed into Bride, the fair maid of Spring.

In many Christian countries, this festival is known as Candlemas and is celebrated by candlelight processions when the candles are blessed for use at the altar.

Imbolc is the time when the days lengthen and the buds start to form on trees. Snowdrops bloom and other plants start to raise their heads above the earth. It is time to plant ideas, just as we plant seeds in the garden, and leave them to germinate. We can prepare for the coming changes through meditation, writing poetry and other creative projects. It is a time when we can bring out from within us all the ideas we have considered during the dark time of the year. It is now time for these to push their way outwards like the early spring plants which push their way through the soil.

 We can let go of old things that we no longer need. This makes space for the new ideas to prosper and bloom. Our mothers always did spring cleaning at this time of the year but they often only cleaned the house. We can take this spring cleaning further and not only clean our homes but also our minds. Imbolc brings healing as well as initiation into another circle of seasons.  We can make new resolutions at any time but this time of the year they seem more special.

On Monday evening some of us gathered together to celebrate Imbolc. We decided what we needed to get rid of in our lives and what we wanted to bring in. We lit candles for Brigid asking for her help with this. We also made personal shields to remind us of what we wished to bring into our lives.

My personal celebration of this festival is the publication of my book ‘ Poetry and Prose’ which also contains grey scale images of my photos and art work.

I am also hoping to set up a small group of those interested in learning about druidry. If you live in the Melton or Oakham are and would like to know more about this, then contact me through Facebook.