Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Receiving technology advice in an Oracle reading

I have been considering buying a net book and besides comparing various models and features on line, I decided to do a Journey Oracle reading about my possible purchase. I especially wanted guidance about whether this technology would actually be useful in my business selling painted shamanic drums and oracle card decks on my website, or was I just wanting a new gadget?

I drew card #17, which represents the Path in the Journey suit of cards. Immediately I connected to the image and the question: Am I keeping all the parts? The image appears to me to be a caterpillar or some sort--all mouth and stomach--resting on a yellow-colored foot pointing to the right. A caterpillar is a symbol of imminent transformation for me, a creature whose only task is preparing for dramatic change. The yellow foot going right represents personal power moving into this ordinary, or "right hand" reality. The shapes made of black lines arching above the creature look like the outlines of net books to me.They begin in the clear white space but take on the color and shape of the catepilliar's head as they seem to join with its form.

The card feels like it is saying this purchase would be useful, but what are "all the parts" I am needing to keep track of? To answer this question I read the story aligned with the energy of this card. As I recommend to my clients who receive online oracle card readings from me--I read the story and then asked myself what "jumped" into my awareness. The last phrase, "meeting fellow travelers who revealed the next message" caught my full attention. I most want to keep connected with my Journey Oracle website, write my blogs and respond to emails when I travel, and a net book would enable this.

When I turned the card story over and read the 5 pieces of advice from the Journey Oracle, I smiled at the first two sentences:
The creative force is sure-footed.
The momentum is fed by self-generated struggle.
I recalled what a friend said earlier when I asked her advice about my planned purchase, "Why not buy it? Its never a struggle for you to find something interesting to do with a new tool."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why admit a mistake?

Most of us try to avoid making these, so why admit a mistake? I recently made a mistake that has been a good teacher for making sure I have more than my opinion before acting. I was contacted by a web designer who wanted to use images of my paintings on a website under construction. She wanted the use of my work in exchange for links to my Journey Oracle website and credit on the images. I was careful to ask permission from my other than human guidance because the images were of my painted frame drums and shamanic paintings. I also spent some time checking out the recommended royalties for the use of fixed images on the internet, as suggested by the Canadian Artist's Registration Copyright Collective.

I did a Journey Oracle card reading to receive advice about how to proceed. This card reading was most interesting because the question asks "Will I accept direct experience?" In this situation I don't have any direct experience. Besides, while the figure in the card image has lots of radiating colors that I associate with personal power and self-approval, she is not 'upright' in this energy. I sent my Yes and a copy of the recommended royalties anyway, without exploring further.

The web designer withdrew her interest because of my request for money, and when I spoke to Dianne Bersea, a fellow artist here on Cortes Island, she said that web-links and artist credit is currently a good offer. "The internet is not the same as exhibiting in a gallery. It's a whole different world out there." After all, she pointed out, until recently many sites just took whatever art images they found on the web, without any acknowledgment at all.

It seems that the Oracle card reading was trying to point me in the right direction all along. I literally needed to accept some direct experience with the situation, if not mine then from someone else. I did write back to the web designer asking for a reconsideration, and although I haven't received a response, I feel I have come upright in the energy of this story, by admitting to her I made a mistake.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finding summer work

Islands are beautiful places for finding summer work, and Cortes is one of the best. Lots of interesting things are happening on the water and in the gardens of this special place. We invite Wwoofers to come and learn about oysters on the rafts of our sea farm in Gorge Harbor. Our helpers this week are Kathy from Cobble Hill and Ito from Japan. The Wwoof program is a great way to travel, meet local people and do interesting summer work.

This is also a good time for me to be making new drums and giving Journey Oracle readings at the Friday Farmer's Market. With so much happening I only have time this week to wish you a Great Canadian Summer!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Time for art

During most summer days it is a struggle to find time for art. I have been wanting to finish this new shamanic frame drum, but life seems to conspire to get in the way. The dog wants walking, the basil was mostly eaten by slugs last night and needs protecting, and the garden still must be watered. The paint brushes require cleaning to be ready for tomorrow's next coat of varnish on the sailboat, and I'm still hoping to bring up a bucket of gravel, left in the verge from the recent road work on Cortes, to put around the pond.

I recently finished reading Masters of the Living Energy, by Joan Parisi Wilcox, and discovered a new perspective about time for making art. One of the paqos (shaman) interviewed in this wonderful book about the mystical world of the Q'ero of Peru described time as a being. A completely new perspective to my north American mind! Seems this time person is a difficult one to have a relationship with. The being who is time for art is demanding that I enter a sort of "no time." How I find to do a thing is most often discovered by finding out how not to do the thing, over and over, until at last all the necessary elements of sturdiness and beauty come together in technique. And this requires being fully present with gererous time.
So how to make this time being a friend, instead of a stranger in my full summer days? Probably the same way we visit with any of our asking for their company, setting aside space to be together, maybe bringing a small gift or some food to share. I am imagining that the best food to share will be my full attention, and the gift to bring is my efforts to make beauty when we are together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The art of making a drum beater

I recently finished making a new drum beater, while at the same time beginning a new book by Stephen Harrod Buhner titled Ensouling Language. At first thought one might not expect a connection between making a drum beater and writing nonfiction, but art is art in its essence, no matter what its final form. Buhner writes how all craft must first enter a territory of spirit and lived experience, from which all else will come. The initial design comes from a conversation of feeling with the material, with its invisible essence, and all technique must flow from this core if the piece is to become inhabited by presence.
These drum beaters have presence. My opening conversation is with driftwood, and the essence of driftwood is that it has lost its skin to the sea. All my choices of covering and technique are a response to this essence, to give the wood a skin of art.

Some of my drum beaters are felted with wool from Cortes Island sheep, and fitted onto sticks polished by wind and tide and left along the ocean shore. The lacing and wrappings are made of traditional brain-tanned and smoked elk or deer leather. I name the forces of nature within each beater as I make them, asking that they bring the voices of grass and rain and smoke to join your drum song. The sound bursts from the drum at their glad striking, happy to be wearing such beautiful new skin.

felted drum beater...$80.00
with St Mary's hitching

doeskin beater ...$60.00
with French hitching

contact Kristen at for more information.