Archive for December, 2011

A new cycle begins

Posted in art, pagan, paganism, spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by cerrilee

So for the northern hemisphere the Sun has begun the waxing cycle and we have celebrated the event in Britain our amazingly multi cultural island, with the many and varied religious rituals and rites associated with this time of year, not to mention enough food and drink to make Bacchus blush. Now we move toward the calendrical new year with another long held tradition, the ritual writing of our “new years resolutions”. How many of us have made list of these over the years? Some we have kept and many broken, a thousand and one good intentions and commitments to ourselves both large and small.

As with many other people my mind has been working that way for the past few weeks, to compound this energetic there has been much build up toward the next Winter Solstice 2012 as a seminal point of change for the world, this is of course based on the ending of the Mayan calendar at that point. Though much of the hype around this event has been exaggerated and embellished with all kinds of dreadful omens and prophesies, it was/is, never the less considered a major point in our celestial cycle and possibly even our spiritual/emotional cycle also. With all that weighty stuff hanging in the air and ready to unfold throughout the year, it feels particularly poignant to think of life, love and spiritual reviews and what we might all do if this coming year really does turn out to be a year of immense import, are we prepared for anything?

For me the repeated resolutions have to be to a deeper commitment to my personal spiritual practise such as meditation, as it is one of the hardest things to commit to myself to on a daily basis, it is always easier to do the practical things first and things for others before making that commitment to oneself. So my “new years resolution” list is something like this….meditate more often, take time to read, keep a diary and do a piece of art every day, oh and of course keep an eye on the news for impending epic doom.

But seriously I do truly feel we could be poised on the crest of a powerful wave that has the potential to take us all on a fast ride into a brighter future. Consciousness is slowly but surely being raised on many levels with education and information available through so many of our media systems.  We have seen over this past year that big businesses, governments and other money driven enterprises have been harried and pushed to change the way they do things as people across the globe have started to jump down their throats and bring them to task. Technology has the power to work for the good of the environment and the people as it becomes more accessible to all, it is no longer a domain of a privileged elite. It is shrinking the world, breaking down barriers, misconceptions and bringing a global consciousness into being, as things like mobile phones become an eye into, and a communication out of, previously closed worlds.

In my idealistic vision of a brave new world we will find that no matter what colour, creed or religion we have more in common than we have differences, and if we can just let go of the outmoded idea that we should all follow one credo, then we can build something that brings people together without falling into the trap of needing everyone to be the same. The wave of energy beneath us requires us to keep our emotional, intellectual, spiritual balance, and focus in order to read the signs and make the best use of it. If we can and do this together we can ride this wave safely right onto the shores of a brave new world.

Idealistic I know, but it gets me up in the morning and with these grand visions in my head it may help me focus on the small things I can change everyday….like not having another chocolate out that box and having an apple instead, drawing it before I eat it and meditating on the good it is doing me!

Leonardo Da Vinci, Armin Mersmann and others

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 16, 2011 by cerrilee

It will be obvious to anyone who read my last post that the idea of going back to the root source of what inspires me is occupying my mind greatly. I feel that there is a need every so often to reexamine what we do and why we do it and I am truly in that mode at this moment in time. 

I have again been watching a number of programs over the past weeks about Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo is and always has been since I can remember, my total hero, if I were that way inclined I would “model” (NLP terminology) myself on him and all his methods, though not the dissecting thing obviously, luckily he and many others have already been there and done that for me, phew! He was/is the ultimate rebel, visionary, a naturalist to put even Ray Mears to shame and a thinker of such profound intelligence and spirituality that few have surpassed him in my view….He sits along side the small hand full of human minds that seem to been open to comprehend the universal mysteries and yet somehow he remained open to and able to convey the spiritual aspects of it all in his work.

I digress….The first of these programs was about the rediscovery of a lost work of his, a jaw droppingly stunning and utterly moving painting of the face of Christ (which to my complete joy I will be going to see in February)…..and the most recent being the repeat of a dramatised series on the BBC. Added to this I saw a post on yesterday Facebook about another artist I really admire, Armin Mersmann who’s work is a good deal in one of favourite mediums Graphite and is also jaw droppingly stunning. What both of these genius artists seem to be telling me at the moment is, before all else comes observation and I don’t just mean looking with the eyes.

What they seem to be able to convey goes beyond what can be seen on the surface, it is what the picture can say to your emotions, your heart and soul. What makes a piece of art Art? What is it that takes light, shade and colour from being a good use of materials to something that makes you cry with the beauty and spirit of it? Answers on a post card please ……

As I take this path of rediscovery further I have to apply it to my whole life and work, where do I go from here, what is the point of what I do? what do I want to say? how do I reapply the art of observation to my spiritual being? well in truth I know that to apply the art of observation to one aspect necessitates the application to all aspects of conscious living, it is a cascade affect that revels light and shadow previously veiled by half closed, tired eyes. Once the alarm has chimed incessantly rousing you from sleep and you throw back the curtains to reveal the fresh new light, you can not help but notice even familiar things with a fresher, sharper eye.

All this is in no way to justify the £90 I spent on art books yesterday…well maybe a little. But in truth I think for me the energy of this time the Winter Solstice has much to do with wanting to go back to the womb, to reform myself, to taking time to learn and improve on a practical level so that I can consciously reemerge at Imbolc/Spring refreshed, renewed and ready to take life and all it entails for me and my artistic/spiritual expression to another level of engagement.

 

Going back to source

Posted in art, cerri lee, clothing, damh the bard, druid, druidism, druidry, pagan, pagan music, paganism, sculpture, shamanism, spirituality, Uncategorized, wicca, witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by cerrilee

Recently I have been pondering the magic of Art and it’s ancient mystical roots.

I have recently finished a piece of work called “Cernunnos” that for me speaks of the origins of the pagan Horned God and then, a couple of weeks ago, I watched a curious film called “The Cave of Dreams”  made in a recently discovered cave in France where cave paintings have been found, these paintings are believed to be the oldest found so far at around 35,000 years old.

I have been driven for a long time by the need to understand what Art is at it’s source and I have long wondered if it still can have the same mysticism and power in a culture that is swamped by banal and fatuous images.

Almost every culture has in some way or another over the millennia created animal-headed men that have come to represent Gods, they are very familiar to all whether you be Pagan, Christian or any other religion, and they seem to me to be both a natural and magical way to interact with those forces of nature. They are powerful images that conjure a primal response within us and for me that is the whole point of art, to illicit an emotional response. Even within modern Paganism today many find ourselves drawn to this primal image and connection.

In some of the earliest images it is hard to see whether it is a man wearing an animal mask or an animal behaving like a man, the boundary is blurred and I feel that was the point. In order to catch your pray you must first understand it, maybe even become it. So are the beautiful cave paintings art or magic or both?  Were the shamans of the tribes, as walkers between this world and the world of spirit, the ones who painted these images, or was every hunter a shaman/artist? Did each hunter believe that to capture the animal in the flesh he must first capture it’s spirit?  In the dark recesses of the ancient caves by flickering fire light and with the most basic of ingredients gleaned from the earth, did they sing, dance and drum to the spirits of the animals before the hunt? Did they bind the animals and hold their spirits to give any advantage to the hunters against the enormity of mammoth, lion or rhino. Maybe the shaman stayed in the cave until the hunt was done, holding that energy for the tribe doing battle with magical spear and arrow?

Then there are the many small sculptures of naked women with large breasts often called the “Venus” of where ever they were found, older still than the cave paintings in many cases, but one was found as a painting in the French cave with animals woven into the design to look like parts of her body. Did they call to a spirit of creation to aid them in the hunt also?

All of these dreams and notions keep me searching for ways to express the ineffable through art, inspired by the magic of the ancestors.