Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animals, Back Yard Bird Life, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Wild Play

Playfulness Wins the Day

Cockatoo’s Wisdom Includes:

* Understands the power of the sunrise
* Ability to survive harsh conditions
* Communication skills
* Beauty
* Playfulness

The Cockatoo

The cockatoo is a member of the parrot family. Its most noticeable feature is its magnificent crest, which crowns the top of its head. This crest is used to send signals to other birds in the flock. More than a colourful ornament it represents communication. When raised and used with other parts of the body it can indicate several things from defending its territory or its flock, calling for its mate, showing fear or indicating that something is bothering it. True communication is a complex art. The cockatoo knows of this complexity and teaches us how to understand and correctly interpret messages that come our way.

Beautiful in colour and appearance the cockatoo holds the teachings of self-esteem and confidence. The rose and grey coloured galah teach us spontaneity and fearlessness.

These birds are intelligent, affectionate and acrobatic. Adults take care of one another and mate for life. Cockatoos are social birds and enjoy companionship with others of their flock. When danger appears they will either fly off or become very still hoping to remain unnoticed. They are always conscious of their surroundings and are masters in the art of survival. As pets, they are inquisitive and affectionate as well as unpredictable. Known as great escape artists they will use their powerful beaks to open locks on cages.

Coming into contact with one of these birds in the wild or as a pet can be an unforgettable experience. They are extremely ingenious. Watching them perform is like watching a magician pull things out of a hat, you never know what the cockatoo will do next or what hidden skill it will use to complete its task. The cockatoo is a great teacher. It is reminding us to play.

Yesterday I acquired some wonderful books by Marion Deuchers that promote art play. Back in the day, I encouraged students to create figures on their handprints and then use these to create stories. Needless to say, Duechers work with handprints really captured my imagination.

I plan to use these at a primary school where I will be doing my placement and with a small writing group that I am running at home.

How will you play today?

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Contemplative Practice, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Hasten Slowly

Today the butterfly is reminding me not to rush the process of transformation. I am writing my final essay and I am preparing for a 500-hour placement beginning in June. Butterfly reminds me to spend some time in the cocoon of my home nurturing my creativity and getting in touch with my feelings. Within the cocoon, I can embrace the rapture of transformation and rebirth; trust that a force greater than me has a guiding hand in what I will do when I finally complete this degree in September.

Take the time, within the safety of a special cocoon-like space to read more about butterfly symbolism.

  • Wrap yourself tightly in a blanket for a few minutes and then slowly unwrap it and emerge. Does this seem like a metaphor for anything in your life right now?
Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animals, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Nature Fix, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Wild Play

Inspirational Transformation

You may not spend a week gorging yourself but just unike the very hungry caterpillar, you can undergo a complete metamorphosis and reinvent yourself repeatedly.

Transformation * Change * Celebrating Life’s Miracles * Magick of the Vortex * Lightness of Being * Joy * Understanding * Reincarnation * Seeing Time as an Illusion * Communication with the Spirit World

It’s hard to imagine any creature being so loved by so many civilizations and across so many traditions than the Butterfly. They have captured our fancy since time immemorial. As children, we found our imagination carried away on their painted wings, to the fantastical realms of fairies and elves. And as adults, we are beckoned back to the memories of those magical days, whenever we see these beautiful insects flutter dreamily past.

One has only to think about the miraculous life cycle of these amazing creatures to witness true magick. They begin as larvae in its most basic and vulnerable state, the fuzzy, wriggly form of the caterpillar. Then they enter their self-made cocoon, a time capsule that holds them in what seems like a suspended embrace, but in reality is more akin to a portal of metamorphosis. Finally, the chrysalis breaks, and an entirely new emerging, this one with wings of such ethereal beauty that our minds can scarcely grasp how such a previously odd and rather uninteresting creature, could transform into such a resplendent wonder.

If this stunning insect has chosen to journey with you as a Spirit Guide, count yourself fortunate, for theirs is the Magick of the Fairy realm, the miracle of transformation, and the teachings of one who passionately embraces change. They are a Spirit Animal that guides through the imagination, and imbues their human counterpart with a sense of joy and the ability to celebrate the special miracles we all encounter as we walk through this life.

Butterfly is beside you to teach you that you should always strive to keep your sense of wonder, to find the miracles in the tiniest of places, and to always look for ways in which you can create more beauty in your life, in the lives of others, and in the world at large. She teaches you that time is but an illusion in the greater reality of our immortal souls, whilst simultaneously reminding you that each moment is precious and filled with limitless possibilities.

Source: The Dream Faire

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Wild Play

Capacity to Transform

As an amphibian, frog experiences a major shift in reality as he transforms from a pollywog to an adult hopper.  In this way, frog gets to live two distinct lives in one lifetime. Humans also have this ability to transform, but we can do so multiple times in one lifetime if we allow emotional processes to run their full course in us.  We are not the same person we were at the age of ten or twenty and as our world gets bigger we are constantly finding ourselves, returned to a state of limited resources.

The pollywog has no other resource save his excitement for life. He swims and propels through the stuff of life with a pure and ambitious energy and slowly starts to develop arms and legs and other tools to play with his pond more completely.  There is a frustration in our limitations, but if we allow those frustrations to crush our spirit we leave the very effort that will see us through to greater freedom.

Frog says keep loving, keep hoping, keep swimming with all the energy you have and one day that effort will propel you forward in a great leap upon new shores.

Posted in A Donkey and A Raven, Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Contemplative Practice, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Interpreting Spaces, Lemurian Adventures, Pencil Drawings, Spirit Guides in Lemuria, Wild Play

Life is Adventuring

 

My old school song began with the lines “Life is Adventuring, beyond the far horizon”. I honestly cannot remember the rest of the song but I do know that life is an adventure when you have lots of coloured pencils, and are able to travel through a portal into another universe, prance along with pipers and meet big friendly giants.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Wild Play

Time to Cleanse and Renew

When frog hops into your life the creative spirit is reminding you of the importance of cleansing and renewing. Allow yourself the time to do this. You may need to look at your life in an honest way and ask yourself if you are heading in the right direction. Are there changes that you can make to the path you have followed? You will feel refreshed and will feel new growth when you permit yourself to do this.

One way to cleanse and renew is to spend time creating an ideal scene for yourself. Think of a goal that is important to you. It can be a long-term or short-term one. Write the goal as clearly as possible in one sentence. Underneath write the words Ideal Scene. Proceed to describe the situation as accurately as you would like it to be when the goal is achieved. Make sure to describe it in the present tense, as if it already exists.

Posted in A Donkey and A Raven, Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Lemurian Adventures, Pencil Drawings, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Spirit Guides in Lemuria, Wild Play

Nothing Ventured! Nothing Gained!

Raven: “Nothing ventured! Nothing gained! Right?”
Donkey: “I am hoping we don’t regret following this piper?”
Raven: ” Well if we don’t take the risk we might miss an important opportunity!”
Donkey: “Ben Franklin also said that lost time is never found again!”

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey, Wild Play

The Art of Adaption

Like many animals, bats have learned to adapt to a wide variety of environments and habitats.  The only terrain they don’t inhabit is the Arctic.  There are 39 species of bats in North America, all of which are nocturnal.  Some bats are insectivores, others eat things like fruit and pollen.  Bats are associated with many different cultures and mean different things to different people.

The Mayans had a bat god called Camazote, who was said to have tested human souls with a large sword.  This is slightly negative since the bat is associated with violence.  In Biblical tradition, bats were believed to be messengers of Satan.  The Puritans believed that if a bat flew close to someone, somebody was trying to bewitch them.  The Chinese, however, view the bat as a symbol of happiness.

They are amazing creatures.  Bats can fly in huge hoards while never hitting each other because of echo-location.  This ability is linked with the gift of clairaudience, which awakens the ability to hear spirits in some beliefs.  Because of their echo-location and manoeuvring in the dark, bats represent the perception of things that others cannot see.

To the Indian tribes of the northwestern United States, bats are symbols of diligence; while in the Great Plains, they imparted wisdom to their people.  In the southwest and Mexico, they are representative of death and rebirth, because they go underground in the early morning, and then appear again each night in a noisy hoard.  So they are reborn every night, flooding out from their caves.

Bats often represent death in the sense of letting go of the old and bringing in the new.  They are symbols of transition, of initiation, and the start of a new beginning.

Information from Ted Andrews’s Animal-Speak, Jessica Dawn Palmer’s Animal Wisdom, and Steven D. Farmer’s Power Animals.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Ghost Bat Heralds Rebirth and Renewal

When Ghost Bat wings her way into your life she is urging you to let go of the past and allow yourself to be reborn. You will go through many periods of renewal in life as new cycles are already waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to allow the changes to come into your life, and be willing to let go of what you no longer need, as this is Spirit’s way of telling you there is something greater awaiting your rebirth. Now is the time to take the next step to a new you.

This may feel frightening but remember that the Australian bush needs a bushfire to allow new growth to come forth. Recently I torched my maidenhair fern. The rapid new growth is a delight. Fan a personal fire and encourage the flames to speed a renewal. Remember that meditation is a great way to get in touch with your inner guides.

Posted in A Donkey and A Raven, Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Pencil Drawings, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Spirit Guides in Lemuria, Wild Play

Seeking a Night’s Shelter

When you have not booked ahead you cannot get lost! On the other hand, when you have not booked you have to hope that someone will provide some shelter for the night.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom

Becoming Your Shiny Self

Bowerbird is the common name for any of several species of birds of the Ptilonorhynchidae family of Australia and New Guinea, the males of which build beautiful and elaborate nests of sticks or grasses called bowers which is the central feature of their mating ritual. In 1872, naturalist Odoardo Beccari was the first to record observations of a bowerbird’s bower. He thought it was made by a person because he considered it too artistic and elaborate to be the work of an animal.

Naturalist David Attenborough describes these bachelor pads as “a giant bower woven around a single sapling, carpeted with moss… the ultimate seduction parlour.” The bower is actually a tunnelling structure that creates an illusion of uniformity. These make the males appear much larger than they actually are. Research by Evolutionary Biologist John Endler’s research has shown that the one who creates the best illusions gets the most dates. Are females attracted to magicians? Or does size really matter? Until we can communicate with the feathered females, we can only guess. But one thing is for sure: beauty matters. The Navajo have a concept, “hozho naasha”, which translates as “Walking in Beauty”. They believe that beauty exists within us and around us as the light reflects through a rainbow. They honour the four directions with different colours and objects, just as the Bowerbird lines his home with colour and light; the objects could number in the thousands! The rainbow symbolizes communication between creator and perfection. Bowerbirds are avid collectors of colourful treasures; some species favour objects coloured red and orange while others, exclusively blue.

Bowerbirds live up to thirty years and can spend half a decade building the bower. This models for us the patience, dedication, focus and fortitude of true artistry. Their home decor includes flowers, fungus, deer dung, charcoal, grey stones, bones, feathers, fruit, shells and human materials like plastic, marbles, glass, metals. They are aware, opportunistic and imaginative in their choice of objects: all qualities humans would benefit storing in the bowers of their own consciousness. The birds lay these on top of mossy floors. The bower provides comfort, shelter and safety, along with a place to rendezvous with their lovers. It reminds even the most flighty and spiritual artists among us that we have bodies that need attention and care.

During Spring time escapades, if a female is interested, she will fly from bower to bower, inspecting them from both outside and inside of the avenue. While the female is inside, the male will stand in the court just outside her view and display his prized, brightly coloured objects. He will dance a unique and bizarre dance, another display of his artistry and creativity. If she is impressed with him, she will allow him to approach and dance with her.

Bowerbirds teach us that effort, resilience and innovation is necessary for bringing the beautiful within us out for all the world to see. The Bowerbird shows us how to become a shiny being ourselves, in the safety of a nest we have built with our own two talons.

source: Backyard Shaman Amy Katz

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey, Wild Play

A Central Victorian Bowerbird

Reverence is everything. I feel humbled by the objects I find… or is it that they find me?
Roger McKindley

Situated at the Loddon River Ford at Newstead, Antares Iron Art Garden is an established art and sculpture garden created by Roger McKindley.

Found objects are sited creatively in the space where he lives and works, to form unique and entrancing patterns and images. The whole space is a kind of installation, where visitors are free to roam and explore – finding themselves by turns entertained, beguiled, uplifted and moved.

Roger’s work invites his visitors to engage their sense of play and imagination.  He says, “My art can be interpreted and re-interpreted from every angle and in different environments… different seasons. In the changing light, in shadow and full moon or in rain, however you approach the art I make, you will see it change over and over.”

This is a garden in constant flux, as objects are arranged and re-arranged to suit its creator. Nothing is extraneous. Roger finds beauty in all the objects he finds and the things that others discard – he brings these objects together into an enlivened and creative whole.

A qualified landscape gardener of many years’ experience, a stone worker and self-taught artist and sculptor, Roger has over the past 20 years, created Art Gardens wherever he has lived and has participated in numerous community and art events.

I love visiting Antares! A visit here is a joy to all the senses!