Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter Solstice decorations with spirit paintings

The Winter Solstice is a high holy day for me and I like to create winter solstice decorations by using spirit paintings. When I have bits of hide left over from making a drum, I sometimes mount these within a rough hoop of unpeeled cedar, and gaze into the dried disk until images appear.  These images are then painted with raw earth pigments.  This is the way I first created the paintings of the Journey Oracle cards, by gazing into surfaces of deer skin and also ammonites and agate.

These paintings tell stories from every angle.  I hang them in doorways so they move in the passing air currents like slowly turning snowflakes.   Sometimes they seem like a spirit call made to the other side, with the phone accidentally left off the hook, so drifting snatches of conversation float back through my awareness. 

For my winter solstice celebrations, my partner John and I go out into the forest for the shortest day and have a wilderness feast of every kind of food that keeps us alive--so we can savor each one and say thank you.  And yet these northern Cortes Island forests are also home to the apex predators of wolf and cougar.  It requires lots of my courage to spend the day in the woods around a scent-laden smokey fire roasting pieces of beef, chicken, pork and salmon, knowing that we saw cougar prints only last week on the driftwood steps coming up from the beach. 

And yet I remember a wonderful quote from a book I am re-reading after many years:  The Sacred, by P Beck and A Walters.  "Do not be afraid of the animals.  They do not dislike you."
Happy Solstice from the Journey Oracle.