Wednesday, March 30, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 9}

This week’s prompt: earth

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What does the element of earth mean to you? How do you connect to this element?

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I’ll be honest, I struggled with this prompt. I started the background earlier in the week, but even though I have no problem with the element itself, sitting down to write about it was a bit of a challenge.

So the page is a bit of a hodge podge collection of various things that relate to this element in my life lately.

Monday, March 28, 2011

an artist journey: questions about where to begin

What do you do when you want to start on your artistic crafty path? How do you begin?



I was talking to my husband the other day and our conversation prompted the following reminder and realization:

 
Starting out is not only daunting, difficult. And the more you're overwhelmed with information, the more confusing it gets.

 
For example, the other day my husband wanted to make me a birthday card. He wanted to display his artsy prowess, wowing (and wooing) me with his fine creative endeavours. But when he sat down to actually construct the card (you know, something more than folded paper), he felt totally overwhelmed by the choices and ended up giving up and buying me a card instead.

 
And it reminded me of how overwhelming it all was to me when I started scrapbooking. Honestly. I'm still overwhelmed by scrapbooking most of the time! Most of the time I still feel like a lost little girl, playing with paint and never daring to think about all of the options, for fear of breaking down into tears and insecurity. Yup, it's true. The internet, for all it's glory, can be pretty dang overwhelming, inspiring, humbling, and just plain ole too much!

Some days I just wanted someone to give me a formula, a place to start that was concrete and manageable. Looking back, I'm not quite sure how I found my way here but I do know that it was a bit of a rough journey at times. The one thing that gave me any focus was the fact that I was crafting for my wedding at the time. And then I was trying to scrapbook my wedding. And then just crafting in general.

Along the way I learned more about what I like and am as an artist through my artistic fails. Here's what I do know:

  • I'm not a knitter. I can knit. But I can't finish projects. Nope, no sirree. Not gonna happen cause I just don't have the self discipline to knit for weeks or even months. I have crafting ADD, don't even think about asking me to do something that will take that much focused attention cause it just ain't gonna get done! I'm always going to be the person who buys her knitted goods!
  • I am not a fan of the cutesy. Cutesy stamps and stickers make me roll my eyes. It's fine if you like 'em. That's great. All the power to you. But don't send that stuff my way! I don't have any nieces to pass it on to and my nephews are more interested in cars and dinosaurs! Now, if you want to talk about geometric shapes...
  • I can't draw a life like apple, face, or whatever, if my life depended on it. It's lovely that people say they like my art. But I know my limits and that's one of them. Maybe years of art courses would make it possible, but as of today, well.... On the other hand, if you have clear lines, I can probably copy it. I'm an excellent copier! And that's ok... because I can still be an artist and creative person in spite of my inability to draw life like objects and I can copy until I learn to make it my own.   
And then, well I discovered art journaling. And it's been a love affair that has helped me find my artistic voice more and more. Don't get me wrong. I'm still learning what my creative style is. I don't have a set style yet. But I'm getting closer. And it only took me about 2 years! [insert long sigh]

I'm learning that I am a clean page scrapbooker. I love layered, shabby chic pages but hate the way my photos look on said pages. And well, I just never really know where to draw the line. And my art journal pages are more rewarding when they are layered and textured more than when they are full of images (for me). But there are countless skills that I still need to learn and may alter my thinking.

So I was wondering, where did you all begin? Especially those of you with no formal training. What words of advice would you give to people starting out, looking to find their creative voice? 
 

 
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etsy artist feature: kimyko

Right now I'm studying the Qabala and it's fascinating. According to Dion Fortune, who writes:

If we intend to take our occult studies seriously and make of them anything more than desultory light reading, we must choose our system and carry it out faithfully until we arrive, if not at its ultimate goal, at any rate at definite practical results and a permanent enhancement of consciousness (9).

So while many out there might not choose the Qabala as part of their practical craft development, for me it is an intrical part of my path. It is my yoga, my spiritual core of sorts:

Let it be clearly understood therefore, that I do not say, "this is the teaching of the ancient Rabbis;" rather do I say, "this is the practice of the modern Qabalists," and for us a much more vital matter, for it is a practical system of spiritual unfoldment; it is the Yoga of the West (Fortune 19).

So when I found a bath oil combination set, focusing on Yesod (the sphere of the moon, the unconscious, and the Goddess) I was excited:

YESOD Qabalistic blend by kimyko
Yay for art and crafts that unite spirituality with our mundane rituals, like taking a bath. Gotta love blissful bathing!


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

scrapbooked: astrology 1

Lately I’ve been redoing my astrology chart and rediscovering the secret gems of self information contained within it.

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I think I’ll end up making this a 2 page (or a 4) spread because there’s so much information to include on this subject.

I kept the page itself really simple because the text/info was the majority of the page. The only real nods to scrapbooking on the page: an extra dash of colour behind the wheel and some letter stickers for the title.

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If you can read charts, you may now know all there is to know about me, good and bad!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 8}

this week: realisations

What realisation have you gone through recently?

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I’m on a simple page kick (mostly just simple backgrounds and text). Lately I’ve been reassessing my sense of self during meditation and it has made for some rather interesting self realisations.

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What about the rest of you? What are some of your recent realisations?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

art journaling for the artistically challenged: page basics

One of the things I hear quite often during this project is the idea that I'm not a great artist and I can't draw. But here's a little secret: that's ok. You don't need to be a great artist to be an art journaler or to take your art journaling to the next level.

Another secret: I'm not a great artist either. I have no formal training and I'm building up my skill set as I go. Truth be told, I can barely draw a stick man! I look at what others do and copy things that I admire, pieces here and there, and then adapt them to make them my own. Some days the copy/alteration is closer than it should be and other days I think I manage to deviate enough from the original for it to become my own. In fact, I think that an art journal is the perfect safe place to try out new techniques without worrying about your skill level.

If I can do it, so can you! Trust me. Be bold in your belief in self and you will find your own art journaling voice.

Ok, for those of you who feel like your art skills might not but up to the task... here are some tips that might prompt you to think again!

There are plenty of things you can do to feed your creative artsy soul without having to ever actually have any skill at drawing!

First things first: keep it simple and stick to the basics
ways to fill the omimous, ever daunting, blank page:
  • Find the colour that best represents the theme of the week and just slather that on to a page. Paint the page evenly or hap-hazard (yes, i just wanted to be able to write hap-hazard):
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  • want an ethereal effect? break out the water and spritzed that page:
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  • want the page to have depth and look like a thickly painted palette? break out an old points card (or other card of your choice) and scrap the paint around:
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  • use various shapes you have around the house and mix things up:
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  • then take the page and draw some lines/shapes, what have and start writing:
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  • use the shapes as part of your journaling and write:
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  • or add embellishments like stickers and write:
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Monday, March 21, 2011

etsy artist feature: feywood

Maybe it's the turn of the wheel. Or maybe spring fever? But this morning we're feeling a little feisty over here at Aradia's Cauldron and the esty feature of the week reflects it:

Pan and the May Queen by Feywood


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Friday, March 18, 2011

art journaling reminder: FUN

I just wanted to put this out there based on a comment I just wrote.

Many of you have left comments about being behind.

That's ok.

This is a fun project that will hopefully also lead to a bit of introspection and such, but above all, it's meant to be fun! If it stops being fun and feels like too much work, give yourself permission to stop, take a break, or just lighten things up!

Often we, and by this I probably mostly mean me, take on all these projects with enthusiasm and good intention only to find ourselves feeling drained and overwhelmed by the work and energy they end up taking. But here's the thing: if you don't take care of you, who else is going to? I'm not here to crack the whip or make you feel bad about yourself.

Honestly? I'm just frackin thrilled by how many of you are reading, commenting, and participating along the way. Seriously. As I write this there are 68 of you "following" + 41 of you via Google Reader. And that's just amazing. In the words of Sally Field's earnest Oscar acceptance speech: You like me, you really, really like me! And that touches my heart more than you can know. Especially given that this has happened in less than 3 months. I'm awed by it. Earnestly awed by it. Namaste: I recognize, acknowledge, and bow to the divine in you.

So don't apologize to me. And don't beat yourself up. Cause honestly, I think you're all just amazing in terms of your support and enthusiasm for a project that I started to nurture myself and hoped could maybe be of interest for others. Yeah.

So remember: life is an adventure, paint it in the colours and timeline you see fit!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

names

Ok, something I've noticed... everyone who comments or emails, tends to call me Aradia. I think this is my fault because I never really gave a name here on the site. On the podcast I say Sequana, but I'm going to be changing that too so that everything is consistent. I have a long term goal for this site and in order to realize that goal eventually, I need to make things clear and consistent.

So for those of you looking for a name for me, please use Faye. It is my real middle name & the one my mother gave me as a spiritual/religious name. And since it's already somewhat magical in nature, it's the one I'm going to be using on the internet henceforth! The last name also has a meaning, but just because I so like to be a tease, I'm not going to explain it!
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scrapbooked: meditation

Meditation.

This is something I do on a daily basis and is integral to my practice. In fact, since I started meditating regularly, I’ve noticed such a shift in my temperament it’s almost astounding to me at times.

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So of course I needed to create a scrapbook page in honour of that practice, reflecting on the important role it has taken on in my life.

I’m still playing around with styles, but I think I’m getting closer!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

today i am

Today I am:
Viewing: blogs. lots and lots of blogs via my google reader, comments, & link up
Thinking: diversity & what it means to paganism since it's a tradition that is mainly attractive to WASP s... and wanting to branch out and hear voices of non-WASP pagans (not that it's a bad thing to be a WASP pagan... I'm a WASP)
Creating: just finished episode 2 podcast, phew....
Planning: ideas & outlines of projects I want to develop
Reading: The Witches Qabala: the chapter on Tifareth
Listening: to 80s tunes on iTunes radio
Realizing: that things are starting to settle and cancer moons play havoc on me (this is the 2nd one that I've noticed and there seems to be a trend... and this time my  husband unknowingly noticed it too). a theory is starting to form....
Trying: to catch up on all the blogging stuff that I've been ignoring
Feeling: thankful that scheduled posting saved my ass over the past 2 weeks!

podcast: episode 2 of aradia's cauldron

Ok, it's up, finally! Episode Two of the podcast.

Before you go listen, I'd like to apologize for the audio quality not being as great as it should be... you'll know why when you listen!



image source


Show details that I discussed:

The god I refer to is Nabu (god of writing and knowledge)  though I recently found the following Goddess: Uttu (who is a weaver/spinner) and Enki (who is God of all crafters). Confirmation to follow when I have more information!

Leonard Cohen poem: God is Alive, Magic is Afoot

Exerpt from Joanne Harris' book that I refer to mentioning previously (in scrapbooking) is in this blog post

pagan art journaling {week 7}

This week’s prompt: Water

In keeping with last week’s page, I played with paint in a very similar manner:

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Textured paint and spritzed water (only in blue this time) along with some Indian motif flowers, created with a stamp I have in my stash.

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This one is simpler than the last, but is all about what water is to me. My memories, what it evokes, and the way it merges into my practice. I probably should have started with fire, or the east but it was a very water day when I created the page! What can I say.

Nothing fancy about the page. No embellishments. Aside from the stamp, the page is done in Amsterdam Brilliant Blue paint, White, and Black, + a bit of water.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

things that make you go hmmm...


Image is blatantly taken from Amazon, as you can guess!
Right now I'm working my way through the book, The Witches Qabala, by Ellen Cannon Reed. It's prompted a great deal of thought and in light of recent events in Japan, I wanted to share some of what I've been pondering in relation to the text. She writes:

All the energies represented by the Tree will function as they must. If blocked, they will try to burst through the blockage. With the energies of Geburah, this could result in a war, or some natural disaster.

First things first: I am NOT trying to imply in any way that the Japanese are blocked or responsible for the earthquake and tsunami.

I am however, curious about what this idea of blocked energy means in relation to natural disasters.

Is Mother Earth fighting back? Or is it solely due to global warming's influence? Or is it a combination of the earth fighting back in response to global warming? Is it Mother Earth working through Geburah like an incision, cutting away the sick parts of us in order to re balance? Or to send us a message? From a scientific perspective, it seems like we're seeing a rise in natural disasters because the temperatures are rising. But then again, disasters have always existed so maybe this is too reductive a way of thinking?

Or is this sense that I have that there are more natural disasters in recent a by-product of the global village age of mass media culture? Are there really more disasters or just more news coverage?

But what if it's more? What if it's a question of all of our (collective humanity) blocked energy manifesting itself not only on the astral/spiritual plane, but also the physical? Is our misused energy creating chaos as it forces it's way out? Literally shifting the surface to break free?

Oh, I know that I'm a modern, rational pagan but I'm also a lit geek and metaphors are my trade. So if we extend the metaphor and give our ancestors more credit for being in tune with the earth, maybe there is merit in analyzing our current state through this lens. Often it feels like we shy away from the mythic by rationalizing it all away as a childish world view; an attempt to understand the world based on little scientific understanding of the world. But maybe there's something to be said for putting the 2 perspectives together in order to see a bigger picture of the events occurring in our world.

So while I'm sort of focusing on Japan at the moment because this is our current reality, any natural disaster could be a reaction to the pent up energies we've created. After all, if energy never ceases to exist, merely transforms, who is to say that our energies don't transform. I think this strikes a cord for me even more when I think about how many times I've done visualization exercises that focus on sending energy down into the earth, grounding, exchanging, drawing from etc the ground beneath my feet.

Maybe we (as a collective unconscious) are all a part of the cycle that is creating this chaos, both physically and spiritually? What do you think?

*Quick note: if you've never read this book, you should. It's very thought provoking and I stop every few pages to ponder what these ideas mean in relation to my world view.

Monday, March 14, 2011

today i am

Today I am:
Viewing: videos of the Japanese tsunami
Thinking: about what it means if wicca is a religion vs a path
Creating: invitations for my mother in laws’ 65th birthday
Planning: ideas & outlines of projects I want to develop
Reading: handouts from masterful scrapbook design & The Witches Qabala
Listening: to ambient music on iTunes radio
Realizing: that I’m burnt out & reminding myself that this too shall pass
Trying: to learn new scrapbook techniques
Feeling: the need to shake things up

etsy artist feature: emhevi

Ok, this week... I'm fixated on photography!


Isn't this just lovely? I [heart] it. And it's by a Canadian artist, emhevi! Even better. I'm not sure it's meant to have a pagan theme to it, but isn't it just so fitting? Seriously! It totally captures my romantic vision of the craft!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 6}

This week’s prompt: goddess

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I’m not sure why, but lately the goddess is all about red for me. Ok, I know why but I’m going to pull the eternal, totally annoying line… and not tell you!

I know right? That’s totally mean of me!

Whatever, I already told you all that I was a tease!

Anyways, this page is all about layers. On the right side of the page,under all the paint, is the Charge of the Goddess. Written just above it is a popular chant from a woman’s circle I used to attend years ago & has been on my mind lately.

The paint was layered on over gesso and then spritzed with water to create the textured look you see. I also used washi tape (my latest artsy crush) and some black and white embellishments from my scrapbooking stash.

This might be weird, but the colour combination sort of reminds me of my mom. God, I’ve been talking about my mom a lot on this blog lately! Maybe it’s because I really owe a long overdue email… Guilty conscious and all that good stuff working it’s way into my various endeavours.

Ok, enough blathering, here’s most of the whole page:

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I’m not sure what it is, but this page is very much me. More so than I feel any other page in this collection so far is. From my love of zebra print and striped socks in the band, to the memories of circles, my mom’s colour scheme, flowers (which I doodle all the time) and Asian influences with the washi tape. There’s not a lot of writing, but it’s me. Pure and simple.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

guest posting?



Ok, so far I've been awed by the lovely things you all are creating in your art journals. Part of me would like to just blatantly plagiarise your mad skills and create a new day of scheduled posting (technique tuesdays) but then I thought again and realized that wouldn't really be fair, now would it, if I didn't give you all your due credit. Besides, I'm a teacher, I can't in all good intention, just borrow your technique, do it myself and then blog about it, can I?

No, of course not.

So here's what I'm thinking...

Wanna write your own guest post about one of the techniques you like to use in your own art journals? Or even about one of the techniques you've tried and thought was interesting and you'd be willing to share.

Never written a guest post? Here's your chance to give it a go.

No sure why writing guest posts is good? Here's a few reasons why guest posting can be an interesting thing to do for your own blog:
  • networking (spreading the word about your blog, meeting other bloggers, attracting new blog readers)
  • building your own niche
  • creating links to your site on other sites and linking to other sites on your blog, which for reasons that confuse me, tricks google into think your site is more important, thus is listed higher in search returns.
If this interests you, drop me a line at: aradiascauldron@gmail.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

etsy artisan feature: ancient artizen


ancient artizen


Ok, I have a confession. I am addicted to my iPhone.

It's a problem. Seriously

If ever there's a reason for a divorce between me and my partner, it would be because he feels jealous of the committed relationship he must compete with: my other lover, my iPhone.

So of course, when I went hunting for a new pagan (ish) item to feature, I couldn't help myself... I went shopping for my not so better, but extremely codependent other half: my phone.

And since I'm a big fan of Buddhism, and having visited Sarnath, India, where Buddha gave his first speech, it just struck a cord close to my iPhone loving heart when I saw this little goody!

Come to think of it, I think I'm going to have to name my phone. I named my blue bomber beetle: Lucy, so it's only fair that I name my phone... I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking it might just have to be a Sally. Sally, the iPhone.