On June 21st it will be the Solstice, also known as Litha.
On the longest day of the year the sun is bright and proud and we bask in its energy and heat. This marks the turning of the wheel once again, we are reaping the rewards of fertility in our ideas and actions and preparing for the journey inward that is inevitable.
The solstice is a fire festival but also comes on the heels of cancer the crab which is a water sign. This pleasant duality is what we will explore in our Litha art project.
In my three tenets of art magick, this one would sit happily in any or all three of devotion, exploration and invocation.
Often the art projects I share encourage an end or result, a spell for example or a message from the divine. Here we will simply enjoy process and sit with our creativity in the heat of the sun, in the soak of the rain.
You will need:
An orange candle
Watercolor paint in pale blue
Your book of shadows or journal or a heavy piece of paper.
Your preferred ritual items (chrystals, cauldron…)
If possible, do this outside but if it is quite breezy you might have trouble with your candle!
Light your incense/smudge etc.
Cast a circle, going clockwise.
Cleanse you materials.
Sit cross legged in your circle with you materials close to you.
Breathe deeply. Feel yourself rooted to the earth, imagine your spine growing like a large root into the earth, the crown of your head is the crown of a beautiful tree canopy.
Rub your hands together and generate some heat.
Place your hands on the page.
Continue to focus on your breath. Listen to the blood in your ears imagine the water in you ebbing and flowing like a tide.
Light your candle and allow it to burn a little. Drip the orange wax all over the page, watch it dance and move imbued with the power of its heat and the pull of gravity.
When you are ready, stop. Take your paint brush and load it with blue paint. Dab it all over the same page. Drip water and let flow over the page.
If possible try dripping the wax onto the page with one hand and water with the other.
Enjoy the process. Leave it to dry in the sun.
Open your circle thanking the divine, muses deities for being with you.
Within these pages begins your journey to creative and spiritual emancipation. Learn how to develop a practice of witchcraft that allows your creativity to soar and thus open the way to accessing the divine/the goddess/the muse. You will read about the different ways art process can be used in your craft and includes three activities that you can try for yourself. The zine is illustrated and the designs were created for you to color in and enhance as you see fit.
Upon payment you will receive the e-zine as a PDF.
I don't know about you but this waning moon sent my creativity into hibernation. I am usually a flurry of ideas and while this might sound boastful, that kind of disposition doesn't always result in meaningful productivity. So I tried to welcome the opportunity to pause, which is hard when you are starting your own business. Pausing allowed me to address my own development as a witch and artist and so I read, I drew and I started astrology tutelage with Virginia Rosenberg. In so doing I think I am gaining some great insight into my place in the world and the work I am drawn to. I am also grappling with balance a lot: how to balance all the elements that require my work to be successful while also being a parent, a partner and having a full-time job. I am hopeful but vigilant, for it is easy to let things slide or for certain important aspects, such as ritual and free creativity, to be forgotten.
As I work through all of this I will share whether I am successful. For now though let's look at this brief but sweet period of darkness. I love dark moons. I think they are undervalued and I also think we need to reclaim the word darkness as something to be cherished as essential to our well-being. Traditionally many witches use the waning and dark times as opportunities to banish and I invite you to face and banish something that is inherent in all of us. The inner-critic who is the accomplished author of negative self-talk.
These voices that tell us our ideas our dumb, that what we are doing is pointless are powerful and hard to ignore. Personally I have found that the very act of acknowledging what they are is surprisingly effective in keeping them in check. The root and motivations of this habit could be the subject of another post so for now let us develop some ways of diminishing them so that when that fresh new moon arrives we are ready.
You will need:
A circular template - a lid, roll of tape, etc. You need to be able to draw circles large enough to write in.
A colored pen
A black marker.
Incense (or essential oil)
Other preferred ritual items.
Light a candle, lay out chrystals, stones, flowers any other items you like to work with.
Create your sacred space, using Palo Santo, incense or an oil diffuser, cleanse your space, your tools and yourself in circular motions going clockwise.
Sit with a straight back and breathe deeply.
Repeat the mantra "A creative space is a sacred space" a few times.
Think through all the negativity you allow yourself to feel. Where does it come from, what does it say?
On a blank page in your journal or on a piece of paper, start to draw a few circles.
In each circle write something that you tell yourself that is discouraging or you know prevents you from moving forward/creating.
Fill the page as much as necessary.
When you are done, look down at the words. See how small they are, how when they are written they seem less powerful perhaps even ridiculous.
Take your black marker and put a big X over each circle. It is important that you are still able to sort of read the words.
Say: 'Your power is gone I banish it to be blown by the winds, soaked by the rain, burned by the sun and buried in the earth. So mote it be!"
Remember these words that were oppressing you. It's important not to forget them for in the future they will try to creep in. Look at this page regularly to remind yourself that you have the power to silence the inner-critic.
“Life doesn’t last, art doesn’t last.” - Eva Hesse.
I don’t want to say I am envious of my daughter’s spontaneous art-making abilities, but I am. Here she made a ‘birthday cake’. I love how this little sculpture looks and I admire how she can create worlds from what is around her. She time travels to times she loves - parties, holidays and times that are pure fantasy - conversations with dragons.
I want to work on this ability. To create worlds wherever I am or create a change in the ones that exist. Magick indeed.
Outside we can look to what is at hand and in so doing embrace the temporary nature of ourselves.
Everything is impermanent, everything has cycles and phases. This fact can be sad and also liberating. We live many lives. Even within this one right now.
Begin with a circle and go from there.
Come and celebrate the longest day of the year, embrace community and take part in a collaborative art project. We will come together to make a foraged collage as an offering, talk about activating hopes for ourselves, the community and the world.
This is a non-denominational event and all are welcome to share their ideas and beliefs about this special time in the solar calendar.
No experience of art is necessary!
Free but donations to the Peace Garden (located at 47 Bryant St.) would be happily accepted. You can sign up on Facebook or just show up :)