Sunday, July 31, 2011

Della Carita Capolavoro


The Madonna and Child are God's supreme truth - Michelangelo

We are blessed with three mothers in the course of life;  our biological mother, mother nature, and Mary, our spiritual mother.  Mother is a metaphor in the case of nature and of Mary.  They are mothers in the sense that they represent a structure that acts in a motherly way;  forming, transforming, protecting, instructing, directing and redirecting, warning and initiating.  This is an energy in the universe called mother nature and an energy in the soul personified as Mary.  The life-giving powers in nature were sacred in ancient times.  This referred not only to the physical but to the inner Source that is always alive and and one and the same in the world and the pscyhce.  Nature has laws that exert an energy that compels and draws but also accompanies us through the phases of life.

Aldobrandesca, a medieval mystic of Siena, when close to death had a vision of Mary with this message :  'Daughters, be obedient to the law of the Mother'.

Mechtild of Magdeburg saw Mary as the spiritual mother of all humankind :  'I suckled the prophets and sages before God was born'.

Juliana of Norwich saw visions of the motherhood of God and also said 'Our Lady is our mother in whom we are all enclosed ..... and our saviour is our mother in whom we are endlessly born ..... To motherhood belong nature, love, wisdom and knowledge, and this is God'

Allah has chosen you, Mary.  He has made you pure above all women - The Koran

You will open the hearing of the wayfarer's heart (fu'aadi min saalikin) because the subtle knowledge of Her is Her proof.  Grant us union with Her always and cause us to withdraw from  every sensory existence.- Songs of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib

Inciting love in every heart, you bring forth generation after generation - Prayer to Venus, Mother of Rome, by Lucretius (d 55B.C.)

The Tao is the great mother, empty and yet overflowing, bringing forth the infinite universe. And it is forever inside you - Tao Te Ching

Mary held all these things within her, pondering them in her heart - Luke 2:19

We are divine feminine love in this world.  When we live out the titles that has been bestowed upon Mary, the Sacred Heart, we are the divine masculine love in the world.

I have to mention PetiteMichelleLouise for some of the beautiful printed tags and holy cards that I used here - her handiwork is inspirational.  See her blogspot and her shop on

Mary is not an invention of the Church, but the masterpiece of God - David Richo

Her blessings to you!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Faith is carried on the wings of Love

All my treasures and art pieces that I make, has a small white bird displayed on them.  Not always in the same position, but it is there.  There are also some other small clues to the message of the piece - at times, a madonna or a holy medal.  I knew what the white bird meant to me, but I did not realise that it was deeply embedded in my childhood memory.

This little dove in the picture above is from the my childhood story book of Hansel and Gretel. The book is one of those 3D pop up books with bits n pieces that can move! absolute magic, when I was five years old. 

I have kept this book all these years and you can see how tattered it is.  To be honest, I had forgotten about this book.  It was tucked away in one of my many bins of supplies and 'to do' goodies. 

But the other day I took it out to use in an art project. As I paged through the pages, it jumped out at me!!  The memories of reading that book and seeing myself in those situations.  Not literally, I never got lost in a literal forest, but I did often feel 'lost' in many situations.  

I felt intimidated by many things in every day life which I had forgotten about. Small little things that we as grown-ups forget what a huge impact they have on one's soul.

The one thing that I noticed for the first time is that on each and every page of the book is a picture of the white dove! I cannot recall having noticed it particularly. 

If you have been reading my other blogs you will know about the importance of doves in my life (see Faith on

I slowly paged through the book and allowed the memories to speak to me. And the little white bird became my guide; it shone with a luminosity and I saw how it formed a thread between the pages. I felt my child's mind and heart resonate with the feelings of Hansel and Gretel (the fairy tale of the book). Their sadness at the plight of their family; their deep feelings of fear at being lost and abandoned in the woods; their horror when they realise that it is a witch that has outwitted them; Hansel's desperation at being locked up and his sister's sadness. And in each of these situations and feelings I found myself. All those feelings were my own. I walked in the darkness with them and throughout it all, the little white bird shone with a message. What is the message? Where is this little white bird taking me? What is it telling me?

I paged to the most horrible and thrilling at the same time, page of the book : where Gretel shoves the witch into the fire! And there the little white bird is sitting on the corner of the oven!

And then it dawned on me : the little white bird (the white dove in fact) is the symbol of Hope and Faith! Even without knowing the symbology, the five year old me knew the meaning of that little white bird.

And nothing has changed. Look around you. Wherever you are, whatever you are going through : the little white bird is with you. It may look different to my white dove, but Hope and Faith's messengers are always with you. That small still voice inside your heart, is also in your outer world. Maybe the messenger comes in the form of a friend with a supportive word; or in a line in a book that really jumps out at you; or a new blossom on the fruit tree or a new song on the radio. There is no separation between your inner and outer worlds. The Divine Power that loves you unconditionally, leaves bread crumbs for you to guide you back home. Home is that place within yourself, where you feel safe and nurtured. Home within exists at all times, but sometimes our minds have become so overwrought with fear and worry and our hearts have closed down and we forget how to nurture and take care of ourselves.

You have to feather that nest within. Do what it takes. Set time aside for meditation, contemplation, sacred art, devotional activities, reading sacred literature or spending time in nature. Find the tools that will help you - inform yourself about emotions and feelings and the workings of the mind. Make lifestyle changes, eat better, sleep more, drink more water.

And change the way you talk to yourself. Turn your inner talk into positive and optimistic self-talk. Become your own biggest fan! I used to ask my student 'which team do you play for? your own or the opposition?'

And in the same way remind yourself that whatever you feel or fear, you will find manifest in your outer world. Whatever is big and scary in your outer world, is bringing you the message that you need to change your belief systems and habits. It is not there to harm you or persecute you, but it is there to help you to overcome yourself! 

Faith means that you have to hold on to Hope and Joy without knowing where you are going or what is happening! Faith means that you believe without reserve in a Power greater than Yourself; a loving power which never abandons you and which only has your highest interest at heart.

Faith is that little white bird.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Post by Inspiration Station

This is a wonderfully inspirational post by The Inspiration Station :

If not now, when?

the body

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the body, about the Earth and their intimate connection.I have been studying Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, this week focusing on the chapter 'The Joyous Body'. As ever her writing is enlightening and somewhat disturbing, shaking me out of passivity and into action. I am a strong supporter of women respecting and loving the body they are in. I believe it's important to refuse to give our power away to the insidious voices that tell us we should spend our precious energy trying to be what we are not. So many of us have got hooked into the trap of thinking, 'if I just loose 5lbs, I will be acceptable, if I try to look like that model I will be loveable."
Dr Estes talks about this absurd obsession with one kind of female beauty:
"To take pleasure in a world filled with many kinds of beauty is a joy in life to which all women are entitled. To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature. There cannot be only one kind of songbird, only one kind of pine tree, only one kind of wolf. There cannot be one kind of baby, one kind of man, or one kind of woman. There cannot be one kind of breast, one kind of waist, one kind of skin."
I had an enlightening discussion with one of my wonderful wise workshop participants and we realised that though we understand the absurdity of robbing ourselves of the power of our bodies intellectually, we are not so good at applying the knowing, or really embodying it. We are both in our mid-life and realised, if we don't love ourselves now, when will we?
If not now, when?

When Effy Wild set us an exercise based on a photo of my own naked body, I felt a strong resistance, I wanted to shriek 'Eek! and scuttle down the nearest hole. Which of course meant I must do it!
It was immensely powerful and moving to reclaim my own body, warts, wobbly bits and all. Writing deep affirmations of truth around a picture of myself felt like having the eyes of a safe accepting loving mother gaze on me, acknowledging the strengths,vulnerabilities, mysteries and miracles my body holds.
my body

I really believe their is a direct correlation between how we view womens bodies and how we see this precious Earth. Is is something to be carved up, tyrannised and enslaved, or is it something to be nurtured and revered, with all her beauty and mystery? 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jack and Jill went up the Hill

Jack and Jill went up the hill  - this is my entry into Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge : Nursery Rhymes


a shadow box - ready to hang

Jack and Jill

went up the hill

to fetch a pail of water

Jack fell down 

and broke his crown

and Jill came tumbling after

Jack and Jill went up the hill
to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after!!!

Look at that bucket go flying!  I had such fun creating Jack n Jill.  They are part of my nursery rhyme series.  These are Swiss or German dolls and when I saw them they immediately looked like Jack and Jill to me.  They are in perfect condition and are attached to the box with miracle putty - so they can be taken out of the box or be moved around inside the box!!

I used vintage lace and ribbon and vintage seamless ribbon everywhere!

I lined the box with vintage prints, and extracts from Jack n Jill and a vintage German dictionary.  They are part of the Mother Goose compilation, so I included an image from Mother Goose.

I added miniature alphabet blocks for the pails to rest on.  A book title frame has a repeat image of the background print of Jack n Jill tumbling down the hill.  I have added a miniature straw hat with flowers, just above the red bucket, on the inside of the box.  The hat goes flying as Jill tumbles down.

All my pieces have a white dove.  You can read more about the reason for this and the meaning of the white dove to me personally, in my article 'Faith' here :   

As with all my pieces this one comes labelled with a Certificate of Authenticity and a serial number which is part of a catalogue.  

This little treasure will be available on Etsy along with other vignettes in my Nursery Rhyme series.