Sunday, February 26, 2012

Postcard from Paradise

The Mother of Good Counsel

inspired by and extracts from Untie the Strong Woman
by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Healing is not for the pure who need no healing.
It is for those in need.
And healing is not a straight line, but rather, a zig zag.

A powerful prayer here,
a person who listens with holy love there,
a book over here,
a sudden inspirational thought over there,
a sudden realisation,
a ritual that has meaning to the spirit and the soul,
and all these held together in tenderness with oneself
and one's idea of the Holy.
extract from Untie the Strong Woman

my postcard from paradise this week
is ignited and sparked by the fiery passion
of Untie the Strong Woman.

 ,,,,,,,,,,, And so I create small shrines,
and offer this sacred space
 of healing and wholeness;
a mirror that speaks louder than the
clamouring voices of external authority
of  'those that declare that they know
better, or the truth or the right way'

a mirror that reminds me and you
of the words of the Memorare to Our Lady

Never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
or sought they intercession,
was left unaided.

Visit Rebecca's Postcards from Paradise and become part of this circle of sharing and receiving.

Also, Please visit Her Grace by Devata my other blog, where I participated in IA's challenge of textures with my rendition of Untie the Strong Woman.  

Also have a look and consider joining in with my weekly SoulSongs, the SoulCollage art that is a direct mirror of the Sacred Heart within.


Soul Songs

The lake of your eyes reflects the ripples of my heart.  I melt and dissolve beyond the crashing of the waves, the ebb and flow of life.  No longer becoming, leaving, embodying, or expanding into love.  Now stretched into wise skin with eyes that have known all along.  It is Love and only Love.

Soul Songs
Songs of the Soul
Collage of feeling,
Open the door,
make the Unseen
enter the Sacred,
sing the Soul's Song.

Please come and play along.

Through the work of Seena  B Frost's SoulCollage I have discovered a wonderful medium of playing, creating and uncovering!  SoulCollage is a structured technique with certain ground rules.  It is ideal for self-reflection and group work and it is facilitated by trained SoulCollage Facilitators (which I am not).  I started playing with soul collages, based on her book and I have become completely hooked onto collage cards.    Then they started appearing in my dreams and in my art.  Previously I would try to reproduce all my visions and insights onto canvas, but it took so long that my sketch journal just became thicker and thicker and I could not paint fast enough.  However, making collage cards are simple and quick and they are beautiful!

And now I invite you to play along with myself in Soul Songs every Sunday here on The Path of Divine Love.

I invite you to create a collage card making the invisible in yourself visible.  You create the card from the soft focus of your right brain and you set the intent that that which is hidden, be unveiled through its coming together.  I use an A5 board card to glue the images onto.  I mainly use magazine clippings and paper images from my folder of collected images. I find many old magazines at local charity stores.  Old magazines, especially the old National Geographics, have wonderful 'new' images. Digital artists probably have a digital folder filled with images - this will work wonderfully! You can continue to add to your image collection over time and allow your intuitive self to lead you.  Do not plan too much.  Maybe at times of change or insight, you may want to create a specific collage card honouring that stage in your life, or facilitating the change or transformation or to support a new resolution.  Decide on the subject only and allow your eye to guide you to the images.  Play around for a while with the images, but do not apply your art rules to the collage - there are no rules - that is the fun of it!  You will be amazed to discover how your Inner Artist puts together a powerful and evocative image;  one that gives you a deeper look into the sacred.  

Once you have collated the card, you want to find the Song of your Soul that is held in the inner chamber of this card.  We are part of the infinite and we have many many songs just waiting to be heard!

You can link up below.

Also, please visit Postcard from Paradise here on The Path of Divine Love, and Untie the Strong Woman, on Her Grace by Devata.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Postcard from Paradise

I learned from my grandmother -
herself a great and simple church -
if one creates a prayer of poetry,
heaven will send for you by name,
bypassing all theological detours ...
for God so treasures poets.

It was night.
We were kneeling,
saying our prayers together;
old aunties, uncles,
daddies, mommies, children,
and one old, old one.

It sounded  like this :
'Hail Mary full of grace' we intoned.
But grandmother said under her breath,
Hello, my most holy Sister.
(It sounded like this : Elo miy most holey see-stair.)
You are so filled with the light of God
(Djou air so feeled wit te leet oav Goad)
I can hardly bear to look at you.
Soften your light just a little
so I can see you more clearly Dear One.

And we droned on,
'The Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou amongst women ...'
and grandmother whispered,
You were pregnant with the Lord,
oh the glory of it all!
You are filling my womb 
with holiness as we speak.

And we bleated onward,
'... blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.'
Grandmother went on,
Oh my dearest sister,
I am so sorry you had to give birth
with only the poor animals,
your poor distraught husband,
with only the night sky to hold you,
for, What did Joe know?

I know this feeling, and I commiserate
if I had been there, I would have held
your thighs for you, cut the cord
of our beloved baby Jesus.

We bellowed out into the home stretch,
'... Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners ...'
Grandmother murmured,
Oh, my sins are many my sister,
but without your love
they would have been so many more;
if not for you, for your advice,
for your great love for women such as me.

Then, we began the final bugle,
crashing now into the finale
like moose in rut:
'... now and at the hour of our death, Aymen!'
Grandmamma was still whispering:
I have had many hours of death in this lifetime.
Without you my sister, my mother, my child,
I would never have known that pain, joy,
and strength are one.
You gave birth to me over and over again.
You are not the mother of all life, you are life itself.
Thank you for my life my Child, my Sister, my Mother.

Aymen for now, says your old daughter, Katerin.
Aymen ..... and a little woman.

Extract from  Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Join in with other Postcards from Paradise here 

I also invite you to visit Soul Songs here :

thank you for visiting

Soul Songs - Holy Fool

The words of Richard Rohr epitomises for me the medicine of SoulCollage :

'If we don't learn to mythologize our lives,
inevitably we will pathologize them'

This Soul Song today is called the Holy Fool.  That which cannot be named.
Rumi captures the essence of the Holy Fool in his words

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field. 
I'll meet you there. 

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other
doesn't make any sense.

I invite you to play along.  If you want to learn more, click below


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Soul Songs - The Swan

The Swan Card - Community Suit

I am the One who takes you on a safe passage through the transitions.  I offer you sacred companionship; the promise that I will never abandon you and the reminder that you always belong to the community of your Soul and of Spirit.

Every Sunday, here in this sacred space, we play
Soul Songs.

These collages are powerful, simple, easy to make,
and, when used with conscious awareness,
they are wonderful guardians and guides on
the journey within the Self.

I am currently on a journey of transition,
changing over, crossing a bridge,
going through a new doorway,
entering another part of the sacred garden within.

And I have been using my SoulCollage tool to reflect the mirror of Soul
for me.

I would like to share the process of making a SoulCollage card with you so that you may 
join in with the weekly SoulSongs and see what fun it is!

I have been aware of being drawn to images of a boat, a small boat crossing a lake;  even cruise liners!!
So I started looking for images that resonate with me right now and I immediately chose swans.

Years ago, when I did some Jungian studies, I had many visions and dreams of swans and I have painted quite a few iconic and mythological images of swans.  Then they meant something completely different to me.  The one thing that remained a constant, though, is that they represent Soul or Spirit.  

As I gathered these image, I learnt a few things about swans.

They are hardly ever seen by themselves.  They are usually in pairs, or as a family unit.  I know that swans mate for life.

Swans carry their chicks on their backs.  How absolutely beautiful is that!!

I keep a notebook, writing down my insights during the process of making a card.  These insights are invaluable and very pertinent to one's inner journey.  You may pick up other things that are specific to your history and circumstances.

Some more pertinent insights about swans :
the colour white which represents purity, purification, initiation, Spirit;
the throat area is emphasised by its long neck :  throat chakra, called Vissudhi in sanskrit; Vissudhi means purification.
So, a process of letting go is of importance here. 

They swim across the waters.  Waters represent the emotions, the world of the Soul.  So, again, transitions, journeys to new horizons.

And this is the card that I made :

As part of the SoulCollage process, you 'climb' into the card, mentally and emotionally, and you let the neter (the archetype) of the card speak to you.  You always start the process with "I am the One who ....'

I am the One who takes you on a safe passage through the transitions.  I offer you sacred companionship; 
the promise that I will never abandon you.  I am the one who reminds you that you always belong to the community of your Soul and Spirit.

The gifts of this card is sacred communion.
The shadow of the Swan is the stressful times of transition that can take you back into childhood memories of being the Ugly Duckling!

To play along with Soul Songs, you only need make a card.  It is then up to you what you want to share, if anything!

I will be back on Sunday with my SoulSong.

I invite you to join in then.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Thank you Queenie

My friend and kindred spirit, Queenie of Always, Queenie Believe, awarded me the Liebster Award.  Oh my!  who does not enjoy being recognized and being someone's favourite!  And the wonderful sense of community!  I have never considered awards previously, and I gratefully accept this one.  Thank you dear Queenie for so royally bestowing this award on my blog.

 Liebster means favourite.


I will pay this award forward to five blogs that I regularly read and follow and which are my favourites.  The only specification is that they have to have less than 200 followers.  They will then each pay it forward again.  What a wonderful idea! I wonder who started the Liebster Blog award?

The five favourite blogs that I really enjoy and try to visit regularly are :

Recuerda mi Corazon , Rebecca's wonderful blog of colour, travel, art, the Madonna, and other sacred sharings of the heart;

Avalon and an Apple Tree, where Miss Robyn, the hedgewitch from Australia (with ancestry from Cornwall) chronicles her questions and findings in her womanly life;

Scenes from a slowmoving train , Annie's newly re-surrected blog that offers her insights on life;

The Angels wear Fins, Noelle's visual feast of poetry and film

Fran aka Redondowriter a tongue-in-cheek blog where Fran shares her special love of SoulCollage and anecdotes that always bring a smile to my face!

Please visit these blogs and share the love!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song of my Soul

Woman of courage,
reminder that the heart demands boldness,
brave steps into the unknown
in order for the inner garden to bloom
and flourish in the heat of the Sun.

Over at Inspiration Avenue, Gemma, our co-host for this week
chose the topic of Here Comes the Sun. I teamed up with
my Frida theme and entered my first ever
art doll.  She was born today - very fitting for the theme
of Imbolc, Candlemas and Spring, don't you think?

I invite you to play along with Song of my Soul, SoulCollage Soul Songs.
Here you can make a collage that speaks to your heart, guides the way
or just reflects what you are looking at now. 

Song of my Soul plays every Sunday.

Here is a full description if you are interested, but really, there are no rules.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Holy Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is Day Nine in this Art Novena of Our lady of Lourdes.

 I pick the flowers from my garden and make a garland
to adorn Her image
I twist ivy and roses for Her crown

I pick the first crop of gooseberries
and symbolically offer the fruits of my harvest to Her

as I sprinkle the ground around Her with
holy water from many Holy Wells

and I plant Her blessing seeds to sanctify the ground

(You can read more about Mary's Blessings seeds

I reflect on the past eight days of this novena.

While I stayed in Lourdes, the one image that still lives vividly in me,
is that of the thousands of sick visiting the shrine AND
the thousands of volunteer helpers, carers, companions and nurses.
Such giving and such receiving.  Compassion and extension to those who cannot walk, for those who cannot hide their vulnerability.  Being a part of that procession and witnessing such love openly being given and shared, touched me deeply.

So often we shut others out because we look different, act differently, believe differently.  So often we shut others out because we close our hearts for fear of revealing our vulnerability.  

A humble heart is a heart that is strong in its vulnerability.  An open heart is a door through which love flows in and out.

And such is Her infinite Love, in whatever form is true for you;
in that which has meaning for you;

In these nine days many new voices and hearts have entered my circle, taken my hand and walked through the garden of Mary with me.  Thank you for your sharing.  May we continue to meet and share the Love!

May you bathe in the river of blessings that flow from Lourdes

Ave Maria.

I invite you to participate in today's 
Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes
through image,
your love for Her, Mother Mary.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Haiku my Heart Our Lady of Lourdes Novena

Enshrined within woman
sacredness the door 
to wisdom through the ages

Today is Day Eight of the Art Novena dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes
in all Her aspects of

An earthen altar and shrine
the Queen of Heaven on Earth
manifest in the cycles of natural life
visible in the changes and transformations
renewal, rebirth and loss
of identity and attachment.

Tomorrow is the Holy Day of Our Lady of Lourdes
Love made manifest in the Earth

I invite you to share with me
your art
your stories
your vision
your heart

To visit more Haiku my Heart go here

and to link up the last two days of this Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes
add your name to the list
and we will visit

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day Seven of Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes

Anandamayi Ma, the blissful Mother

In 2010 I spent time at the ashram of Anandamayi Ma in Haridwar, India.

It was after a few years of serious loss and letting go in my own life.

I attended meditations and satsang at her ashram.

Anandamayi Ma's words :

Question :  Is it difficult to know which is the true path?
Answer :  If you  sit with all doors and windows closed, how can you see the path?
Open the door and step out, the path will become visible.
Once on the way, you will meet other wayfarers, who will advise and guide
you as to your path.  Your job is the muster whatever strength you have to
get underway - thereafter help is assured.

All names are Thy name and all forms are Thy form.

Do you want deliverance from the bonds of the world? Then weeping profusely, you will have to cry out from the bottom of your heart: Deliver me, Great Mother of the World, deliver me!.... When by the flood of your tears the inner and outer have fused into one, you will find her whom you sought with such anguish, nearer than the nearest, the very breath of life, the very core of every heart....

I invite you to participate in this Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes, the blessed Mother.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day Six of Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes

Rituals honouring the Divine Mary

Through my many pilgrimages to sacred places around the world, I have learnt from other cultures and societies, and I have found many ways with which to show my love for Mary.  These small rituals also leads me into full trust and acceptance of Her infinite Love for me and all of this world and all of its fruit.

From creating art and shrines, to the simple act of lighting candles, each of these actions, done with intent and contemplation, has the power to anchor the numinous into this physical world;  to bring profound healing to the human heart and all its illusions and to liberate us from our self-sabotaging and limiting ego personalities.

Our lives are no different to the lives of those mythical tales.  As we act with loving awareness, acceptance  and intent, we awaken the Godself within and we open ourselves up to become aware of a new way of seeing and to the divine Presence that is in everybody and everything.

I created a sacred Mary garden outside my art studio.  Here I light candles, burn incense and plant fragrant lavendar, basil, rosemary and white roses.  Each plant and its fragrance has a sensual and healing property and the rose is sacred to Mary.

And then I have added the ritual of dressing the image of Mary in beautiful cloaks and flowers.

During the festival of Sara la Kali, the image of Sara is dressed in many many cloaks - at times up to 25 cloaks.  The cloaks represent the prayers of her devotees.

I follow the old Pagan wheel of the year or the wheel of the seasons.  Here, in the Southern Hemisphere, we are six months different to the North.  The equinoxes are the feast days within the wheel, which follows the path of the sun.  I then add the Holy Days of Mary to this wheel.

You will see that you can fit any tradition or religious calendar into this wheel.  Most of the Christian feast days coincide with these dates, as do other traditions.  Each season has its own colour and symbol.  These are archetypal, that is, they are images deeply embedded in our subconscious and we recognise them when we see them.  Advertising and marketing people know this and they also use these images in their advertising and promotional campaigns, not the other way around.

Obviously, as this will be your own ritual, there are no rules and regulations and if you have symbols or colours that are pertinent and meaningful to you, then there is no reason why you cannot change the generally accepted symbol.

When we work with archetypal images and symbols, we are telling a story on another level, a much deeper level and we give meaning to our own stories, our own suffering and our own inner conflict.  

Without meaning we cannot enter the centre of our beings and the centre of our lives;  we will always stay on the periphery and on the outskirts and we will feel alienated, lost and alone. 

The rosary (known in other traditions by other names), uses the word rose because the five petals of a rose in medieaval times signified Mary's five joys and the thorns her sorrows.  The rosary combines mysterious roses, white, red and gold.  The white rose is joy.  The red rose is sorrow.  The gold rose is glory.  These colours are also reflected in alchemy, as well as in myths and legends and fairytales!!  This reflects the wisdom of the psyche, the inner language of the soul, planted there for us by the Divine to help us find our way home, to Love, again.

Ave Maria!