Whimsical Wednesdays ~ The Artist’s Corner: You Are A Canvas To Paint From The Palette Of Your Heart
As I’m up to my Faery ears in creative fun here at the Forest Portal, Whimsical Wednesdays inspired me to share about a recent transformation I physically went through to keep in alignment with my own inner artist and soul signature expression. I’ve mentioned many times before how we can live “life as art” and that my own personal motto has been “creating life as a work of art.” This extends to all aspects of you and your experience, and I know that one of the ways that always feels to boost creative energies and inspiration for me, is when I change my way of adorning myself with different clothing choices, accessories, hairstyles, or even hair colors. The latter is what recently took place just last Thursday.
Aqua has always been my favorite color and I’ve often admired women who had aqua/teal colored hair. I just never wanted to go through the process of how you needed to get that at the time.
I actually didn’t have a plan to do this, it just happened spur of the moment. I briefly mentioned that it might be fun to do sometime and perhaps would do for my birthday. Then while I was at my hairstylist, we both got excited at my mentioning and a momentum kicked in high gear.
I walked out looking as you see in the above photo.
It was easy to do at this stage because I already have natural silver hair at top, and silver ribbons we’d been weaving in below to accentuate my wanting to go bolder and even more dramatic with embracing my silvering hair while my natural ones grow out.
I’m known to do things either big or not at all.
This provides the base to just add a color toner of my choice over these areas. It’s only semi permanent, as it fades out over continuous washings.
It was obvious to me, I was ready for this even bolder expression of my soul’s essence and having the light to darker shades of teal weaving through my brown hair makes it feel so natural to me.
For me, the aqua or teal has always represented the higher heart energy between the heart and throat – a place I feel has been more of the journey for me to expand and deepen into. Yet, it also is a color exuding a lot of creativity energy and expresses transparent, vulnerable, open communication between the heart and spoken word.
I feel much flow, joy, peace, balance, and wholeness in it.
Not to mention, it really exudes watery energy, which speaks to my Native Pisces nature and my inner mermaid or merfaery. 😉
It feels like another way I’ve embraced putting myself out there more, not being afraid to be seen, and not shying away from the parts of myself that at one time made me feel lonely, misunderstood, and different.
I’ve always felt “not of this world” and yet I’ve learned to be in it with much greater joy and peace while I’ve worked hard to merge the Earth and Cosmic parts of myself.
This new hair feels to be a visual reflection of that merging I’ve worked so hard on and the synergy I’ve been finally able to create in finding more harmony in being. It whispers of an ancient me and speaks of a future me, intertwined in the now.
And so, this new creative energy I have cascading throughout my hair, speaks to deeper embodiment for me, self love, and honoring of my creative soul.
It’s really cool to see how something so simple or perhaps silly to some, can truly speak volumes of someone’s journey and can make an energetic difference in the way you live each day in or out of alignment.
While I may do things more dramatically, even just simple changes make a world of difference.
I’ve definitely felt a shift with this new, but perhaps more “now me” and even reflections of this alignment I feel.
The first time I went out with it to an event, an older woman in her 70’s came over to me to tell me that between my hair and how I was dressed, I really looked to be very creative and artistic.
I thanked her and replied that I was in fact an artist, to which she smiled and said she could see that.
Perhaps it’s my way, as my tattoos have been, to display my heart on my sleeve and share who I really am even more transparently and unapologetically. Not to mention, is a way I share the process of my journey very openly.
Something that was very hard for me growing up and even made me cringe in the beginning stages of my adult life when I started to reveal more of myself and my artistic and spiritual work to the world.
I’ve noticed a huge creative spurt the last couple of days, too, as I’ve been in “mad” creation with the inspiration that has come for items I’ll be sharing soon in my new Etsy shop – new launch date TBA. In fact, just yesterday, I created 22 imaginative themed worlds of mini bunny Faery gardens. I have another 10 to go today, but alongside the new painting art and items, I’ve really outdone myself in output of creativity so quickly.
And I have so much more inside me to come, including great excitement (and even a bit of healthy nervousness) over returning to my book full time, which all feels interwoven like braids of hair.
I believe it has to do with my following the joy in my heart AND embracing who I really am – not being afraid to share with the world what moves through me.
This has been a very long and at times super hard journey, so I don’t want anyone thinking it came overnight and not without challenge. We have the tendency to only see what is before us now (which is great, as in focusing on the now), but tends to provide a false idea about people and that we each go through a process leading up to that now.
I mention this because, while I still work on things now, I want others to know that it is possible to move out of the place you find yourself in currently, if in fact you aren’t happy or are experiencing challenges. With commitment to you and your individual journey and process, you can create a different and more aligned experience to what you desire. Absolutely!
Growth of the spirit is a beautiful, although colored journey, and the only goal to achieve is the one you deem important to experience.
And speaking of spirit growth, many Native Americans believe hair to be a physical manifestation of the growth of the spirit and that it supports extrasensory perception, as well as connection to all things. They also believe hair to be like tentacles reaching out to take in energy and information much like whiskers on animals – makes me think of my bunny loves and their sensitivities to energies through their whiskers, ears, feet, nose, and inner vision despite being far-sighted and having a blind spot at the center.
I never thought of hair in the past as such until the last half dozen years or so, and every change I’ve made, including chopping it all and growing it out, has always reflected a turning point and shift in my life in big ways.
It really is something how the way we express our creative energy can affect things energetically.
And of course, not expressing it, has it’s own experiences as well.
Whether you feel creatively blocked or gushing with creative energy that wants a new outlet, you can do little or big things to help move it.
This could be in the form of things like playing more, as Monday’s blog shared, doodling on scratch paper, planting a garden, buying a new outfit, rearranging or redecorating your space or home, journaling and free-writing, singing, dancing, throwing paint on a blank canvas, molding some clay, spending time imagining and day-dreaming, walking in nature and seeing all of her beauty great and small, or even wearing your hair differently.
You, your life, is a blank canvas awaiting your creation. The palette of your heart is a vast and limitless space from which to choose how you want to express yourself and live your life. The only limit is choosing not to let those colors shine.
From the red rocks of Sedona to the white wonderland of Tahoe, I sit here surrounded by winter blankets of snow swathing the Forest Portal of our home.
We arrived back Monday evening, still vibrating in the energy of the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse – also a Super Blood Wolf Moon – and I’m just now fully integrating back in time for today’s Whimsical Wednesdays share from the Artist’s Corner.
We were away between Friday 1/11 and Monday 1/21, enjoying quite a full vacation and igniting of the new for 2019. Since we were driving, we decided on a stop-over in Las Vegas the first night to break up the drive – only exploring out for delicious comfort vegan food at The Modern Vegan for both dinner and early brunch, but the rest of our time was spent in the magick of Sedona’s high vibes.
We spent several days on our own anchoring in the energies, as Sedona welcomed us back, and then the rest of the time was with dear friends who all journeyed there from both the Grand Canyon and Tahoe to reunite.
I also had the chance to connect with two sweet friends that live in the area, we set intentions and sent out prayers from the Peace Garden two separate mornings, and of course we sampled all the great vegan eats and some new finds!
Every day was filled with tons of outdoor fun and exercise that tallied up to 60+ trail miles we ventured on foot and bike in 8 days – although I only went mountain biking once and Dave went three times making his mileage come to 74.
We thought it would be fun to see just how much adventure our feet take us on. 🙂
Unlike past blogs, I won’t be recounting our entire trip, but instead will be focusing on how Sedona was actually the birthing of my art and the “art of living” for me.
If you’d like to see a full photo journaling of the adventure, you can find all the beauty and adventure at my Instagram page here, even if you’re not on Instagram:
TaniaMarieArtist – (If you see two overlapping white squares in the right hand corner of a photo it means there are several photos to each post. You can click on them and then click the arrows to venture through)
It was interesting that our friends asked me about my time in Sedona, having me recount the evolution of my experiences with her energy since the beginning.
Although I now experience flow, joy, and tons of nature immersion, it wasn’t that way at start. Her powerful vortexes asked of me to dig deep, purge, cleanse, heal, and strip away everything I knew how to on a daily intensive that lasted for nearly two years. My journeys then were journeys into the inner sanctum of my heart and I only ventured out on small occasion to walk or drive somewhere where I could meditate, anchor in the work I’d done, set intentions, and receive insight for what was next. Other than that, I had no contact with anyone and in fact, had made a clean break from the life I had before.
I can share more another time, but it was very intense and hard work.
It also opened the door to my artistic journey I’m on now.
Although I drew nearly all of my life up until that moment, for joy and only once for actual pay, it wasn’t until I started uncovering layers within myself that I decided to purchase some oil paints, canvas, and start truly painting for the very first time in my life while on this inner journey living in Sedona.
It didn’t happen right away, but the more I released and healed, the more I felt the call to express myself on canvas.
The first painting I created was for my parents – it was an oil painting of Venice they have in their living room today – an image I replicated from their travels there. I just jumped right in, as if I’d been painting all of my life, but in actuality I was simply moving the energy that I had released from within that echoed of my lives on this earth and the artist within me that had always been there.
Upon completion of this painting, I then created some symbolic paintings that seemed to echo not only the healing and insights I’d received, but the messages of empowerment and transformation that were taking place.
I also created a few charcoal pencil portraits of my grandparents and others.
In essence I was tapping into the well of creative energy as a form of communicating what was within me and channeling through me, while also adding layers of healing that aided the work I was doing – giving myself therapy on every level imaginable and with every tool available that I knew of and was learning along the way.
My art became a form of self expression, much as this Super Full Moon in Leo has beckoned forth from us all – to shine like the light that you are and to birth new creative things from the power within that you embody innately.
It was in Sedona when this creative birthing took place, that I knew art or creative expression was an important part of who I am and what I needed as the breath of life to bring through.
And since, I’ve continued to channel creativity, as it flows through me in its many forms of expression that shift as I do.
It is also then that I realized life could be lived as a form of art and how the “art of living” started to manifest as my way of life – everything seen as a way to create beauty and inspiration, as well as to paint my way through experiences and weave the story I wanted to tell with different strokes of colors and feelings that reflected my essence.
From then on, even though I would still have more layers to journey through, I lived much more presently and with intention.
Sedona helped bring me back to the core of who I am and it was up to me how I wanted to paint the rest of my journey from the heart.
So while my first encounter with Sedona was intense, there has always been a love affair with her energies, knowing she supported exactly what I needed. Since that time, every trip thereafter has been softer and more joyous, flowing, and activating, igniting major shifts and leaps at just the precisely aligned moments.
I was always a willing partner to her dance, but I’m no longer struggling to keep up.
Creativity continues to ooze from each encounter with her and greater inspiration comes forth, providing me choices and new possibilities.
This trip was no exception, as I found myself not only receiving inspiration on the new, fun images I’ll be creating next, but also found myself dancing with yet another potential timeline I hadn’t entertained before.
I didn’t know until the trip was approaching that we’d be there for this powerful Full Moon Eclipse.
Perhaps many of you also felt its potency and like something has shifted and/or released. It seems as though things are moving forward and receiving a green light, after a thoughtful pause for a bit.
I shared this with a dear friend about my experience with it:
The eclipse was a powerful experience, although gentle too. We actually had opportunity to watch half of it with an astronomer and telescope, which was very cool to see it so clear and close. It was very clear in the evening and then a thin veil of clouds emerged, which made it symbolic, to me. It did not affect viewing, but I could tell there was still a very thin veil – so as if those layers are very close to full reveal collectively soon. The astronomer had about 4 telescopes set up and we could see star clusters as well, like the Pleiades. We left to go back to our Airbnb home because we had to pack and leave very early the next day for the long drive home, so I watched the second half there. The house was perfectly situated with the moon right in front of the main sliding door and windows and patio, so I watched the whole thing. It was very moving because at the same time I got word that a favorite bunny of mine (that I’ve followed on Instagram for a while) had passed right as the eclipse was darkening. I saw that he’d become ill earlier that day and I had a feeling something might happen. It was very potent to say the least, and being that he reminds me of my male bunny, Cosmo, because they had the same exact special needs and the same unconditionally loving demeanor and expressions, it hit me hard. It was quite something that this bunny, Flynn, had chosen such a powerful portal just like my bunnies Cosmo and Joy had, to depart – one on Samhain and the other on Summer Solstice Full Moon. It wasn’t random and it just clicked in a bunch of things, as well as felt like a big shift. Very heart opening and moving. So, it did ignite some memories, but also a seed of new. A lot through the bunnies, but deeper levels. I’m not sure as of yet what the new entails, but that it is a seedling awaiting choices that can ignite new timelines.
Something very profound hit me while watching the eclipse, which I haven’t felt in the past with other ones. It was special and sacred to come through rabbits, whom I hold most dear and reflective for me and my life. They, too, symbolize creative abundance and fertile impetus for the new. The Moon, of course, has a large rabbit on it. 😉
I received a big hit to my heart and core of what is a must for me to do right now.
The rest is a story yet to unfold, but will do so as I support this creative expression to live as the art of me – my creative contribution to the new beauty we’re weaving together as a collective.
New Etsy Shop Update:
Originally there was intention to start a Giveaway this past Monday 1/21, but with travels and such things shifted and Astrid has chosen this Friday 1/25 to begin the Giveaway instead. This will take place on Instagram.
There’s potential of things shifting with the shop launch date, which is set for Friday 2/1, but for now it’s still that date. I will be checking in with Astrid and my other star bunnies, as the days unfold here. I have a lot to prepare for the launch, and two items have been delayed until the 8th or sooner due to an office move my printer is undergoing.
I always trust my rabbit familiars with their impeccable and keen navigation, so I’ll defer to them if they want us to go ahead and launch on 2/1 with most of the items, adding the two later that first week of February. (Laura mentioned that the Lunar New Year is not until the 5th and the 8th the Moon enters Aries, so who knows what the bunnies have up their thumpers!)
Or, if we’ll just launch everything together when I know they will all be ready.
Either way, it’s coming up very soon and I have lots to prepare. So I’m off!
It was a wonderful trip away and I’m also happy to be back. I hope you all had a great week and that the energy of this Full Moon Eclipse has ignited a creative transformation within you too.
It’s no surprise to me that today’s share from Astrid falls on this incredible Solstice line-up to include a Cancer Full Moon and Ursid meteor shower. Rabbits have long been associated with the Moon and, in fact, many ancient stories tell of the rabbit on the Moon that you can actually see when She’s at her fullest. I find it fascinating how on this longest night of the year that we’ll have incredible illumination and cosmic alignments galore, as the Full Moon will peak tomorrow morning of the 22nd AND tonight we are also going to be able to see Mercury and Jupiter in conjunction within this Yule’s Long Night’s Moon sky to add to those shooting stars.
Winter Solstice celebrations of the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere means Summer Solstice celebrations for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere. Again, a very cool link for Astrid, as she came home with me on Summer Solstice – a day shared by the transition of my beloved rabbit, Joy.
And Winter Solstice, two years ago, was a day my sweet rabbit, Cosmo, had chosen for some of his ashes to be spread here in Lake Tahoe.
So, I’m seeing a lot of wholeness around this, which makes sense as the Winter Solstice embodies the energy of conclusion along with a time for rest, self-reflection, self-care, and “being the light” – something rabbits are very adept at in being masterful navigators of the dark.
I’ve noticed Astrid spending extra time in her castle tunnels lately, as she demonstrates this time to cozy up and journey the inner labyrinths of our emotions, beliefs, fears, and patterns so we can make adjustments for bringing in and embodying the new and potentials we envision and feel calling to our hearts.
“There is value in journeying the depths of your heart,” she says.
The seasons remind you of the ever-shifting and flowing cycles of life, change, and potential to honor and make space for. Winter Solstice reminds you of the light that you are, as a gateway of sacred reverence for a “return to light” in general.
Astrid reminds you that your 3D circumstances and stories do not define you. She encourages you to open your heart more and be willing to take up more space while beaming out the glow of who you really are.
“If I relinquished to simply being seen as a little, round ball of bunny fluff I would never know the true and full power of my inner rabbit. Looks can be deceiving, but if you believe in that limited illusion then you won’t experience the full spectrum embodied in the coin of being. Remember there are two sides to it, but you’re not limited to one or the other. There is simply the coin that can flip in and out of experiences at will, never being less of the whole at any time,” she says.
So, as the holiday season flashes through with a flurry of hustle and bustle, Astrid wants you to tune into your inner rabbit and honor your needs with some extra nurturing during a time when you are feeling tugged to do more outside of yourself. This will create balance and help you to find that peaceful center amidst everything around you. It also helps you to anchor more into your wholeness and all of the potentials available for how you experience things and are experienced, yourself, by others.
The Full Moon feels at home in Cancer and this lends to the ability to do some beautiful movement on the inner landscape that can help you make those bunny leaps into the New Year. An opportune time for embracing your feelings, allowing healthy emotional release, communicating from the heart, and experience a cleansing and freeing up of space, as you are supported in shedding light on the dark crevices within.
I know how Astrid and I will be spending this cozying up Cancer Full Moontime, as I return to one of my most beloved childhood stories – Watership Down – this weekend.
Astrid’s eyes get bigger and she sits up to nudge my ankle, as I write this.
I read the novel in 6th grade as part of our curriculum and was transformed by it, falling in love with the rabbits and the movie, as well. It has long been a favorite for me so when my sweet friend, Kelly, told me it was coming out again, the little girl inside of me was over-the-Moon excited. I keep mentioning it every day, actually, and it’s finally almost here.
Originally set for release on the 25th/Christmas, Watership Down is a new BBC series starting the 22nd and will hit Netflix on the 23rd in two feature-length episodes.
I feel its message is quite fitting for these times and its release is quite aligned with things unfolding in my new world.
Before I conclude with a dream Astrid wants me to share, she also reminds me of all of the sightings and alignments that have recently been taking place here. She wants me to mention these, as a way for others to also recognize the constant messaging reflected to us even when we think we are alone and not receiving answers. And also because she knows our experiences are collectively connected, like a warren, and there may be something ignited by these reminders.
“Nature is especially supportive to your journey,” Astrid shares, “as She mirrors with raw reflection the answers you search for and in some cases for many of you, yearn for.”
Lately, I’ve had a lot more different wildlife sightings than usual. For the first time, recently on Thanksgiving, we’d seen a raccoon just across and down from our house and yesterday I saw another – this time one that had been hit by a car on the side of the road. We haven’t seen raccoons in all of the years we’ve lived here so both of these feel significant, including the full life cycling as well, as we approach the end of the year and this longest night before days expand.
Coyotes have been on ultra high around our house, too. Several individuals have crossed the street in front of our car as we turn the curve at the Sherwood sign recently (I always say we live at the edge of the Sherwood Forest). And two large coyotes that looked like wolves went right by the edge of our back deck one night, as if circling the perimeter of our home.
Then, of course, the four deer at our back deck and side yard on 11/11 for our first sighting at this house.
But yesterday, along with the transitioned raccoon, I also saw bald eagle for the first time in months and a cool sighting of wild mustangs.
This all took place on a day I decided to forego my usual schedule and go down to Reno instead, feeling called to shift things. I was contemplating the change and how it felt aligned with my feelings, guidance, and going much deeper into my work after setting things up to nurture that.
As I began my drive suddenly bald eagle appeared confirming what I was affirming in my mind and heart. She soared toward me and above, following the lake’s shoreline, as I was. I could see her white head clearly, guiding her dark, massive body across the sky. She heralds taking to flight, greater personal freedom, and going further with courageous steps, as she can see ahead the possibilities and renewal even if I can’t.
And in the valley below, I saw wild mustangs for the third time now, but rather than them grazing near Washoe Lake, they were in a single-filed line wading through the lake at hip level, which was a beautiful sight to see.
A lot of feeling confirmations and moving through the watery energies of this Cancer Moon reflected – all connected with inner trust and being willing to examine what is moving through.
A raw, freeing energy seems embodied in all of the sightings – even with the sad physical death sighting of the raccoon.
I definitely have been feeling nudges with several things and the need to make the next moves and changes. Driving always is meditative in this regard, where I solidify answers and confirm my intentions.
Astrid is always on my mind when I drive and I smile in my heart with each sighting, knowing she is experiencing it with me where ever I am.
Later yesterday evening I was messaged by a friend and artisan that I’d commissioned back at the beginning of September to create a special piece for me connected to my projects as a way of manifesting the visions. There had been no rush, as I believe in perfect unfolding and wow, was it ever.
She sent me photos of the creation she was making for me and said it would be done that night and sent out the next day – and it was!
Of course, this was magickal with its birthing happening for the Solstice and Full Moon. Not just because of the timing, but because of even the details of the creation that were so fitting – some of which she did through her own inspiration of my energetic description.
This piece happens to be a cosmic dragon, that embodies the essence of the Cosmos. She is of Aurora Borealis coloring, star-dusted, and golden star encrusted, holding a silver crescent Moon up with her tail – that has planets embedded along the spine in cosmic alignment. And upon the Moon sits a little white rabbit, while another rabbit sits on the back of the dragon reaching up in sacred connection with it.
Talk about synchronicity with the Solstice Full Moon, Meteor Shower, and Mercury and Jupiter conjunction.
Oh, how the Universe works in mystical and magickal ways.
Astrid is smiling hugely as I share all of this and she had made her way to me when I was receiving this news and the photos to ensure I knew her magickal part in all of it. 🙂
She now asks me to add the dream.
So, just two nights ago Astrid appeared in my dream landscape. She’s been hopping in lately even if I don’t always share about it. But this one was potent with its timing and so I’m not surprised she wants me to share it.
In the dream Astrid was with me and we came upon a place the Earth was opening up below us. A deep hole, jagged with rocks appeared and suddenly Astrid went hurdling down it. I couldn’t see how it happened, but there was a deliberate energy around it. I peered down and saw her laying on the ground. I was so worried she was hurt or worse, but she stands up and brushes herself off. She takes a moment working out her legs and such, shaking it off, and seems to be okay after wiggling her body back.
I contemplate how I will get her when suddenly creatures of inner Earth start to approach. First as shadows and then closing in on her from the left. They are almost like wolves, but something more.
I can hear her in my heart and know she’s about to take off, and she does. She darts off to the right down one of the tunnels and the creatures follow.
I hear the invitation and know I must journey into inner Earth and her womb to follow her. In my mind, to save her, but I gather Astrid intends much more than that.
She seems not afraid or worried that they will catch her, but I’m not as certain – my mothering instincts setting in to protect her.
But I also feel the call of the adventure, and Astrid is asking of me much more than simply to save her…she wants me to join her on the journey.
I, and she, know I have no choice because love guides me above all else, and gives me the courage.
Two dear and powerful shamanic friends of mine show up as if they know of this expedition already and come with tools of their gifts to join the mission in this underground system of warren tunnels within Earth’s core.
So the three of us devoted women head off together, down the rabbit hole.
Wishing you all a peace-filled Solstice journey into the light of your heart.
Last night while we headed out for our second wind of the night’s outings, just as we turned the bend at the tip of the forest, a raccoon caught my eye to the left. It was no more than a day or two ago that we were having a conversation with friends where Dave mentioned not ever seeing a raccoon, opossum, porcupine, etc. and I told him – “Oh they’re out there, they just don’t show up when you want, plus you’re usually asleep when they’re exploring about. They slip through the veils when needed.” And then she did.
When asking Astrid to think about what she wanted to share for today’s message of her blog, she told me to go ahead and go out first to enjoy the snow and more snow shoeing, while she thought about it and would send me her ideas while out in the forest. And, of course she did.
While out in the forest I received two messages from her. One, was the image of the raccoon and the second was some sadness – my own – and some words “illusion of loss.” I continued snow shoeing, wondering about the tie-in and why she wanted me to go out, but it then hit me while the snow was coming down all around us and all of the forest was deep in blankets of white.
Everything around me had changed pretty much overnight since the eve of Thanksgiving, going from Fall’s warm colors and brittle leaves, to a slumber where signs of life are dormant and the purity of snow infuses its own cleansing alchemy.
It might appear like life is no where to be found, but in fact it is never gone and is in process of deep renewal – the kind you believe in, but won’t answer to your hopes until you’ve all but forgotten your dreams.
Astrid reminds me that the holidays can be very beautiful and warm times because of the love in our hearts the magick kindles, but they are also full of nostalgia, memories, and in many cases – a sense of loss, emptiness, and loneliness.
These are times people reflect on dear ones who are no longer physically with us and Astrid knows that lately we’ve heard of many souls moving on, which makes it challenging for those of us left behind with our feelings that are magnified now.
She reminds me that I, too, am one of those souls who deeply misses my dear ones and she brings this up for me to impart a message from her she knows won’t immediately take away the pains any of us feel, but assures us can be the alchemy we desire.
She prompts me to share what I’ve learned through my “losses,” while she helps channel her message through my processing. And by “loss” she means, having experienced my dearest friends that resided on Earth in animal bodies with me, returning to the stars.
So I reflected on the snow, bitter wind, and the blankets of white draped over the once colorful landscape and the feelings that flow through watery tears and sometimes cast a frozen burn upon my heart. They are one and the same….an illusion of something we think we can’t see or touch anymore in the same way, but underneath it all, remains and is ever-renewing, expanding, and preparing to blossom again and again.
She reminds me how much I LOVE the snow and its magick, even though it can be harsh and even take lives away from the creatures of Earth when her presence is thick with icy illusion.
Yet, I have not thought of snow and Winter as wrong or hurtful. It simply is another form of beauty that transforms and kindles a spark of inspiration in my heart and brings me closer to pure grace of being.
The same is how I’ve experienced physical death – when I allow myself to go through the flow of icy tears and memories, I’ve arrived at the magick of pure and simple love that suddenly drops into the true experience of eternal spirit that inhabits the vortex of my heart.
The loss is no longer truth because the gain is far more permeable and returns me to essence.
Winter. Death. They are both passing cycles and they are both ironically beautiful. Inherent in the state of each, is a remarkable alchemy that draws forth the depths of our hearts to feel things we normally want to run from or put a coat over to keep the chill out. But if we run our fingers over an icicle, we can begin to feel the burn.
This is the flame of life – the fire that raises the ashes – the burn of Cosmic love – the inferno of eternity.
Astrid knows I go through this burning continuum every time waves of memories and winds of spirit flash through me of my loved ones gone. They are a merging of then, now, and beyond, and once I move through the reminders of then, inherent is the presence of now.
The bridge becomes the heart and we become One.
I am seeing eternity through the eyes of loss and death. Just as I am seeing promise and inspiration through the eyes of Winter’s veil.
And so, raccoon reveals herself.
No longer to be hidden away in the dark, striking behind the shadows.
I/we come face-to-face with the truth.
Raccoons are known as great shapeshifters and tricksters.
Some may even refer to them as thieves, stealing away or hiding things from you in the dark of night.
Caroline Myss has written about the thief archetype saying that he, “sheds light on the potential wealth within you that can never be stolen.”
Our dear ones, our dreams, the things we think we have lost and can’t touch or experience the way we used to love, were never truly taken from us.
The only thing we ever lost was our understanding of real love.
Love that truly sees.
Love that truly feels.
Love that truly is eternal.
Love that bridges all illusions and boundaries.
Love that knows the inherent beauty in all things.
Love that brings everything into the now.
Love that expands and renews, over and over again.
Astrid reminds us that we have the strength and courage, just like fearless raccoon, to see through any difficult situation with ingenuity, flexibility, and possibility.
Like Spring inevitably comes after Winter, it is also inherent in Winter’s embrace.
They aren’t a one-after-the-other experience, but part of each other right now.
You experience things as beautiful because inherently your spirit recognizes the totality of something even if your ego and conscious mind only sees one thing.
Just as Nature recognizes our true nature and hopes to remind and reflect back to us the totality of who we are at any given moment – every cycle, every experience, every emotion, and thought are all of who we are now.
Our loved ones are all of who we are now.
They are eternally here behind the veils we erect.
And when you catch those glimpses of their spirit moving through the wind, when you feel their breath send the hairs on your arm and back of your neck to stand on end, when you see a shadow and spark out of the corner of your eye, or simply when your heart swells with enormous floods of love…you’ve pulled down the veils, removed the masks of slumber and judgment, you’ve turned on the light in the dark, and opened a locked door.
Those we love are with us and in everything around us.
We’re ready to experience the multi-dimensionality of life and open to new potentials and great change.
Astrid walks between worlds…between being grounded and on Earth and far-off in the Cosmos and although she understands the challenge we have of grasping these concepts, it is her desire to help open the portals to our hearts so we can walk with her into the realms of possibility. When we see only half the story, we are choosing to keep our lives compartmentalized.
We are choosing to remain small and separate.
We are choosing to keep those we love away from us, rather than with us.
Creatures of the night, like raccoon, can help reveal the truth of the heart and bring us the gifts they’ve been hiding away – into the light.
And what was lost can now be found.
Those that left, we’ll discover just tucked themselves away in our hearts, revealing the greatest magick trick there is – the power of love to unlock everything.
Astrid sends her love to everyone and hopes the seeds within her words take root.
Reinvention is a way of life for me and, in general, I feel that as innately creative spirits there is a constant propulsion to continually evolve. Creative energy is just that, it’s energy that has a momentum of finding ever-new ways to express itself. And as we do so, this is the natural evolution of creative love unfolding.
If you are an artist – be it of painting, illustration, music, wood work, jewelry, writing, gardening, flower arranging, building, dreaming….this would be the artist’s journey. However, as I’m known to say, this is also a way of life….life as art.
There’s no end to creativity and even if you revisit some of your older ways of doing things, you revisit it with a new perspective and infuse a spark of growth and understanding to it that will take your work and expressions to another level.
Creativity is a process without an end result. Every moment is mad genius and something to savor.
And this constant reinvention is a necessary part of life and being. It is the alchemy of transformation. Nature reflects this so powerfully to us and shares how creativity is both necessary and beautiful in every phase of the process.
The boundless quality of creative energy mirrors the eternal spirit and so it is through creativity that we learn about the mysteries of the Cosmos and the journey becomes a wondrous adventure of both personal evolution and collective unfolding.
For me, painting is a way I enjoy this exploration of deeper inner journeying as a way to know both myself more and the world around me.
I never felt drawn to taking classes outside of the ones we either had to, or had as electives, through elementary, middle, and high school. For some reason I felt inclined to keep this part of my life raw in its nature and didn’t want to feel controlled by rights and wrongs. I wanted simply to bring forth my visions without boundaries. Having everything else in life feeling so controlled, this let me have one little sacred piece to myself where anything goes.
A way for me to creatively evolve as a natural process and feel where the energy was guiding me to travel as an artist and as a pilgrim of the Cosmos.
At times that may be to bring forth feelings and experiences I’m going through, convey messages of the heart, bring through visions from other worlds I dip into, capture a frequency that acts as a key for unlocking something within the viewer, or simply is a reflection of the beauty I both see around me and imagine.
My own artistic evolution has gone through more than one metamorphosis over the course of my life.
When I was a child I would simply draw the things I loved, which was mostly animals and nature and there wasn’t any technique about it except to bring forth that love. This was a reflection of me feeling free and most naturally myself.
Then I was all about the detail and it would take me hours to work on just a few inches of canvas at a time. Interestingly, this was during the deepest work I was doing, research, and dissection of myself, and trying to define or understand things.
I then found joy in a looser and more flowing way of painting and bringing forth energy like an aurora borealis exploding in blended harmony. This came as I let go more and more and was relaxing into being.
My art evolved into expressing a very ethereal and surreal quality.
And although the love of painting animals, nature, and Otherworldly mysticism still remain my favorite, I currently am drawn to fantasy and a whimsical, Faery tale way of telling a story or imparting an energetic imprint in your heart through my latest work.
There’s a return to my origins – that child within – taking place with the evolution of my painting and creative journey.
A spiral effect that infuses something new to something remembered.
My style of painting and even personal style of clothing, as well as my life and the work I feel drawn to, keeps evolving and I imagine will continue, as I change.
Creativity asks of us to leap into the unknown and explore and experiment with variety.
It’s like a musical composition you get to compose from the improvisation of your heart.
With every vulnerable stretch you discover a little more of the Great Mystery within and without.
And you’ll experience the vitality of its force that never stands still.
It’s through creative evolution that we forge new realities and create more of the experiences we dream of.
How has your creative journey evolved? Be it, through the expression of your artistry or your life as art?
Do you notice any tie-ins between things you’ve gone through with personal growth and how your artistic expression and life reflect this?
We’re right in between the energies of the Full Moon and Samhain, or Halloween as most people know it as, and there seems to be a continued split of both intensely challenging or intensely joyous experiences circling about. There’s definitely a transformative and growth-oriented theme around things where you may find discomfort and pain in that expansion taking place because of something deep within stirring to emerge. For some this can be surprising and unwelcome, or exciting and can’t-come-soon-enough. The Full Moon in Taurus wants to ground and root, but we are being asked not to plant the same ol’ seeds we’re accustomed to, but rather to reflect upon how best we can weed through our inner gardens and then dream up our most wildest visions of new possibilities we’d like to see blossom. Scorpio at the other end of the spectrum assists us with this underworld exploration and excavation so that we may both have desires to purge and cleanse, while building and acquiring – all in effort to experience something fresh.
Where ever you find yourself on the spectrum of experience, remember that now is a time when you could be easily triggered to feel inner disharmony about things and find emotions rising or tension building. As always, what seems like a crisis may present an opportunity and the first reaction isn’t always the best. Take some time to ground and be with Nature and step back for a moment so you can come back to your core and respond better from your heart.
Right before I sat down to write this, I’d just seen a coyote crossing the street in front of us and then hid in the golden leaves of the Aspen with eyes peering through. Her message seemed perfect for this post and the energy right now, and her deep magick helping us to see the truth behind illusion and bring us back to center within chaos.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to announce the upcoming new blog series that will begin this Monday, October 29th, right in the middle of these energies – part of my own spectrum of purging transformation and building and recreating.
What you can look forward to will be a three-part series each week that will include the following:
Monday Musings – The Writer’s Corner
- this will include blogs with a writing theme involving anything from my own journey with this, challenges, inspirations, Top 10 Lists, support and helpful insights for writers, behind the scenes looks, and favorite books, to book reviews, other writers’ work, or even author interviews….fellow writers welcome to share their work and experiences to be featured as well
Whimsical Wednesdays – The Artist’s Corner
- this includes artist’s of life, creative visionaries, and anyone who loves being artsy in their own way or has a creative passion…blog themes will be around “life as art” and how to live this way more mindfully, inspiration, sharing the creative journey, featuring artwork, favorite artisans, how to get in touch with this side more…
Ask Astrid Fridays – The Rabbit’s Corner
- these will be blogs from Astrid’s point of view…any advice or wisdom she has to share for the week, a day-in-the-life of Astrid, a bunny’s perspective, getting to know rabbits more, and will be open at times to take questions Astrid will get to answer from our readers and down the rabbit hole we’ll go….
I hope you’ll enjoy the new blog focuses. I’m in the middle of updating my website, so many of the new pages are “coming soon,” but I’m excited about the journey unfolding.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and lots of love and creative inspiration!
In Monday’s blog post titled Things You’ve Been Curious To Know I opened things up here to any questions you might have for me that you’ve been curious about. I’m going to go ahead and post the first eight that I’ve received while I have some time to write some thoughtful answers.
Thank you for the great questions. I hope they provide a little extra look into who I am and perhaps even reflect something timely for you, as they certainly come at a synchronous time for me since I’ve just accepted Barbara Franken’s October Challenge – A True Selection of Awakening Experiences Part III to share my thoughts on the next leg of my journey since my Part II contribution. This will be shared on October 22nd.
Until then, here are my thoughts to the following questions received:
Was there a particular moment or thing that felt pivotal for you or made a difference in who you are now?
Well, that’s a tough one to answer in one swoop, as there are several things that come to mind. In some cases they were sudden click-ins of realizations, in others they were pivotal choice-points, and yet others were specific experiences that affected me in more profound ways than others. But if I’m honest with all of it, although each of the things that come to mind helped make a shift, in many ways they weren’t strong enough to take full hold at the time. And so, I had to keep experiencing several similar types of things to hit all levels within me for greater leaps. That said, I would then have to say the stand-outs really are when I made the decision to stop searching for some miracle answer, stop working with others to give me answers I wasn’t recognizing I already had, stop searching for wholeness through relationships, and embraced my individuality. In terms of people, my brother was pivotal in helping to refocus what was most important and kept me on track in my earlier years. In terms of places, Egypt was the greatest trigger power spot that helped activate the greatest remembrance and empowerment on my two sacred journeys-of-return there. In terms of love, my twin soul in rabbit body, Nestor, reminded me of what was most important, who I am, and helped me see the truth. And in terms of game-changers, deciding to leave everything behind to explore my options when I was offered a choice to return to the stars for good, go off and live in an RV for a year and a half immersed in Nature, and letting go of all that I knew for what is most reflective of my heart now, was the greatest choice I made and provided a new lease on life to merge my Earth and Cosmic self in a new, more authentic and freeing experience.
What fears do you have or still struggle with?
The fear I work with the most is my fear of heights. I continue to implement processes that help me move through it. It is not an all-encompassing fear of heights, as I have no fear of flying, para-gliding, etc. It is a fear of standing, walking, or climbing on edges of drop-offs. It speaks to me about my having always felt more comfortable “out there” and of not being grounded, but flying freely and feeling most at home in my imagination. I have been able to work through this fear the most in recent years because of my willingness to be more in my body now, whereas I was always not fully here. My coming into more anchoring in my life, feeling at home and secure in my body, loving myself, and understanding the importance of merging spiritual and physical in order to live fully and manifest on this plane of existence are the factors that are helping to integrate this now. It does no good to have dreams if we aren’t actualizing them…that’s what it boils down to for me. So, spending tons of time in Nature and embracing the reflections as the nature of me, and being willing to challenge myself to greater heights of experience that don’t follow in the vein of what I’ve always done and comes easy, is also aiding this process. I now put myself in situations like hiking mountains and the Grand Canyon, skiing, and embracing new mountains of experience to climb in my life. I am now able to support myself through this and the fear no longer controls me. With patience and love, I am my own support system.
I always had the fear of speaking in public since Kindergarten. It was not there before that, so was triggered by changes that took place in my life. It took most of my life to get to the point where I could do this and teach and lead classes and retreats. But I did it and it also was one of those things I nurtured my way through and in that case listened to trusting myself and letting go of judgments in order to find my natural flow with it as well. I can’t say this fear is fully gone, as I don’t know that things ever fully leave us, but instead we learn to manage, process, and make friends with them so that we are not taken over and controlled by fear. Instead, we become masters of our fears and learn how to utilize them most effectively for the gifts they have to teach us.
You always seem so happy. Is this how you are all the time?
Thank you for that reflection! Well, the truth is, rather than “happy” I would likely say “at peace”. That said, yes I’m the happiest I’ve been at this time in my life, but it stems from a sense of peace and inner harmony that has settled after many many years of struggle and inner turmoil. If you see me smile and enjoying myself now, I truly am feeling that from deep within me, whereas for the earlier years of my life it would have been a mask I wore so as not to reveal what was underneath. However, if you were to see photos of me from my past compared to now, you would intuitively see that turmoil and how the joy wasn’t fully embodied back then. I do feel peaceful and happy nearly always these days. Does that mean I don’t experience any other kinds of emotions? Of course not, but I will say that if anger or sadness about something comes up, it honestly just moves right through me and doesn’t come to settle or last more than moments. I don’t judge feelings, but rather observe them, recognize them, and allow them their space to be. Because I’ve built over many years, a strong sense of peace and self, I’m not thrown by emotions, they don’t overcome me or control me, and they don’t surprise me. I’m so grateful for the solid sense of peace I’ve worked hard at, which isn’t easy when you haven’t felt at home most of your life on Earth or in your body. I’m sure you can relate.
I love your stories about Astrid and the bunnies you’ve had close relationships with. Well, all of your animal stories are special, but why do you think rabbits are around you so much?
Aw, thank you! My bunnies are my best friends, so that means a lot to me that sharing their stories and our relationship reflects something meaningful to you. Good question, though. I’ve always been strongly connected with animals since I was a little one – more so than with people for sure. My very first furry animal companion (as I mostly only had parakeets when growing up) was a rabbit and later in my late twenties my rabbit, Nestor found me and since then I’ve realized they are my true familiars – although miss Gaia (my Russian Tortoise) and rabbit counterpart made it into my life as well. But as to rabbits, they truly feel to mirror me the most and although I’m moved by animals in general – rabbits stir something in my heart and soul that no other can. They are pure magick to me and complex beings. They take another level of commitment to understand and really need presence, intuition, centered peace, integrity, and purity to interact with. Perhaps I see myself in them and understand them because they are so like me. Perhaps it is their wisdom of working through fears and timidity that I have had in my life, as shared previously, that supports me and vice versa them including with things like social situations and an overload of people’s energies we’re both sensitive to. Perhaps it is their connection with creativity, abundance, and that fertile Spring energy of joyous blossoming that my birth placement as the Empress and a #3 life path reflects. Perhaps it’s their innocent exuberance and playfulness that I adore. Perhaps it’s the dichotomy of their gentle and delicate nature combined with an inner ferociousness available to them if needed that I love. Perhaps it’s their cleverness and spontaneity that I love as a free spirit always thinking of new, creative ways to do things. Perhaps it’s their connection to the Moon and Cosmos, as well as their deep Earth love in perfect harmony. Perhaps it’s because like Faeries, they are creatures of the twilight and so most certainly are best friends to Faeries like me. Yes, it’s all of these reasons and in every way they feel the most mirroring of how I feel myself to be. And for this reason they are the most profound animal spirit guides for me, although I have many other animals around. The spirits that I have strongest connections to that assist me with things this life, come into rabbit bodies for that reason.
What was the worst experience you’ve had and how did you overcome it?
Hmmm, another good question. Gosh, I’ve had a lot of challenging and tormenting experiences in my past – contrary to what it may seem like now. To pick one is hard, but I guess I’d have to turn focus on when Nestor, my twin soul in rabbit body, left Earth. It was the most heart and soul wrenching experience that tore me in half along with her when she separated from her body back to the stars. It was hard for me to grasp the idea I needed to ground myself more and be more of this Earth, when the one I loved most dearly had gone back to where I truly called home. I went into a depression and felt my world crash down upon me. Her leaving also catapulted a huge life shift, divorce, and needing to figure out how to really get on board with the path I’d laid before me and step up bigger. I can’t say that you truly ever get over something like this, as I can always find tears swelling if I think about my bunny loves who have departed. But you can find strength through that pain and a new reason for living from a deeper place of authenticity and love. My heart break both tore me apart, but also cracked me open. And in cracking open, I keep finding new depths of love I didn’t know possible and that comes through acceptance of other emotions like sadness and pain. I remembered that she wanted me to embody wholeness without projecting that onto her. I remembered that I came here for a reason and that there is no real separation. She reminded me she’ll be with me, within me, and by my side all the way and to give up would also give up on what we had together promised to share. I remembered that living fully as the expression of who I am was her greatest desire for me and it became my own. And so, it was through my creative passions and focusing on living the best version of myself that I could, that I found my way out of the depression and the more I did, the more she showered me with gifts from the stars.
Is there anything you learned that you wish you could tell your younger self or share with others as wisdom you gleaned?
Probably the key thing that comes to me is to trust myself. It’s what I always did as a very young child and what I lost once conditioning set in. Everything we need to know and all answers truly are within. NO ONE can give that to you. It’s why I shifted my focus from being what felt like people’s crutches or temporary fix to wanting to purely empower people – I don’t want people feeling they need me and so I started drawing lines for them in the work I used to do. I know we’re each at different places with this and some nurturing, reflection, and support is helpful and can guide you, but truly until I loved, supported, and removed myself from tethered crutches, I wasn’t living fully as my potential, nor in my true power. Nurturing and remembering the song within me has made all the difference, and singing it regardless of what others are doing, is what anchors in peace.
I struggle in the relationship department and with self-love. I’m curious if there’s anything in your experience with relationships that stands out as helpful to share?
Well, this is a tough one, as we all know that self-love IS key and until we feel a strong sense of that we will continue looking for love in all areas of our lives – whether through relationships, addictions, or any next-fix. So for me, I noticed that every single challenge I had in life I kept attracting relationships that would play that out for me if I wasn’t getting the picture. And while that eventually made sense and I was able to start seeing it for what it was, I also realized I didn’t have to keep projecting these things into my relationships and rather, could reflect back on myself and my relationship with the challenges at hand. I also used to tell people I was in relationship with, what they needed to fix and work on, or hoped for change via them. AND, when the going went tough, I’d either continue staying far too long, or made a bee-line for the first open door. It wasn’t until I decided to accept people for who they were (knowing that letting things be will work themselves out naturally as to the truth of a situation made by each person’s choice), practice what I preached and decided to be an example of the change I wanted to see, focused on my own passions and what I needed and wanted to do for myself, and made commitments to work on things fully and see them through, rather than find the easiest escape route, did I experience peace and the ability to function in a healthy relationship – all because I was ultimately having the kind of relationship I wanted with myself.
And last, although this one wasn’t specifically a question sent via my Contact page and was a bit more general, I still wanted to answer it in a way that does feel more personal, so I’m rewording the question to fit more of the theme.
The original question was: Do you have any Magickal Beach Spells you would like to pass along? (It came from someone who lives a block from the Atlantic Ocean and had recently visited the long deep beach due to the New Moon low tide, discovering some treasures and was curious about magickal suggestions)
I’m rewording the question to: Are there any magickal beach rituals or spells you’ve found particularly useful and supportive in your life?
Well, being a Pisces, this is a great question and one that feels close at home since the ocean, or any body of water in general, is my native love. I find the ocean very cleansing, expansive, and rich with creative possibility. She teaches me about unpredictability, resiliency, flow, and the Great Mystery available at her depths. Here are a few things I’ve done over the years at the beach or with the beach/ocean energies that have been helpful and powerful. When wanting to let something go I’ve sometimes placed a small object of meaning or symbolizing something in my life at water’s edge or written a word or phrase in the sand at water’s edge. My intention is strong when doing this and in letting the tide wash it away or take it away, I intend I’m letting go fully and being cleansed of the thing in my life. I hold the vision of the pattern or thing lovingly returning to its origin and me to my own. I have also done powerful rituals of throwing something into the ocean that I’m done with. For instance, while in Bimini on the last retreat I hosted there, I let go of a necklace with three very important pendants on it to me that represented my soul contracts I had that were complete and in doing so I was stepping away from that way of life and service I no longer was willing to perpetuate and ultimately had completed. This helped begin to pave the way for the new to catapult into where I am now. I’ve also done similar with a dream or wish where I meditate at water’s edge and write something in the sand or put a symbol of something about that dream or wish there and let it be carried by the tide to the powers of the sea with intention of being cleansed, old washed away, and the new coming in with a new tide’s cycle – particularly good at New Moon.
I have also brought home seashell gifts and used them atop the soil of my garden tower, around the perimeter of our home, and in my office for protection (since these shells are like safe homes for sea creatures just like that of a tortoise and carry a strength and resiliency with them as well. I will place these with intention and could also be done at particular time periods like Solstices and Equinoxes, Moon cycles that feel connected, etc.
I also have gathered sand, a little ocean water, or treasures to use as element holders in ritual intentions I may cast, in a sacred altar space, for a ceremony, or as ritual I may do in the forest as offerings. Sand is great to cast a circle with as well!
I’m so grateful for these very thoughtful questions and I hope they share a little more insight that helps you get to know me more. It’s a great challenge to review things like this in my life and also a great way to reflect and honor the growth I’ve experienced.
I feel that it’s a powerful and healthy thing for each of us to realize how much we have changed and recognize the work we’ve done.
I hope you can find gratitude for yourself and the ways in which you’ve shifted your own life, as I know you have even more than you think. Just take a glimpse back and I’m sure you’ll see that too. Then please do give yourself a big hug…and one from me….for being you and doing your best.
Stay tuned, as I’ll be announcing the new blog series in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you so much for your constant love and support!
Sending so much love out to everyone during this swiftly shifting and potentially intense time.
I think this extra expanded insight on Lee’s October update around identity shifts will speak to many of you on how to feel out the new opportunities on every level that are coming toward you.
In summary, Lee shares the following, but do listen to the video if this speaks to you:
Sit with the possibilities to feel them out before saying “yes.” Don’t just take the first upgrades that come along. Truly check in if your body is settled and at peace with it or if your mind is the one buzzing about it with excitement.
I know quite a few people going through these opportunities right now a-knocking that are really exciting in new ways they didn’t know was possible….and while you can’t do anything wrong, you may also be able to choose more from the deeper wisdom within.
There’s stuff coming at us really fast and turning over new things constantly…if you feel overwhelmed, take time before deciding things quickly to ensure old patterns aren’t still operating in the decision-making process.
You can choose tiny steps based on old patterned fears or choose based on the sensory body telling you it’s a huge upgrade.
No wrong in either. Simply choice and awareness around how and why you are choosing what you do.
One of the things Lee shares about on a potential way this sensory experience might translate for some of us has indeed kicked in since October 2nd when I began my new exercise routine implementing a much more involved experience of 5-day commitment to working with my body at the athletic center with coaches for training and classes. Something I thought I’d not be interested in, but makes complete sense as to why I listened to my body during this identity shift of my own I’m anchoring.
How are things in this vein translating for you?