Posted in Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey

Drawn by the Light

Potoroos belong to a small family called the Potoroidae (rat-kangaroos), within the large superfamily Macropodoidea. The rat-kangaroos are small marsupials which hop on their hind feet, dig for much of their food with well-developed forefeet, and have a complex stomach that allows them to extract nutrition very efficiently from their diet. The Potoroidae contains several small genera, including Bettongia, (the bettongs, such as the burrowing bettong and the brush-tailed bettong) and Potorous, containing the potoroos.

The Potoroo has a habit of spending their time in damp pockets of forests, hiding from the eyes of humanity. They nest during the day and at times during the night in bowl-shaped depressions beneath the spreading sedges, generally well hidden beneath the shrub canopy. They come out to feed, at night when most humans have gone to bed. After an extended period of accumulated losses I abandoned much that I did and, while I have not exactly been hiding from humanity, I have kept a low profile.

Life is a discovery of self and, as I complete the last subject of a Masters of Social Work  I have been gifted with fresh insight. I have been affirmed! I have been shown the benefit of the skills I acquired along the way and I can see that it is time to resurface! As I tentatively resurface I am welcoming the fresh insight that comes when you emerge from the darkness into the light and when you can what you have been blind to.

Posted in Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey

Life is for the enjoyment of living

It is not surprising that Kookaburra has flown back into my life to remind me to lighten up. Working at Winters Flat Primary for my Masters of Social Work placement feels like I have come full circle. It is a little like a final jigsaw piece falling seamlessly into place. Nonetheless, I have expended more energy than usual and I am tired and emotionally more vulnerable.

Kookaburra has flown in, not only to remind me to treat myself over this weekend but to suggest that everyone have a good look at this article about using your senses to reduce stress! 

Hearing Kookaburra’s laugh reminds me to remember that life is for the enjoyment of living. Since it is so cold and wet here in Castlemaine today I think I will treat my senses to another hot bath in a room filled with some rose incense I picked up.

 

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Romancing the Creative Spirit

Letting Go

The frilled lizard grows to around 45-90cm in length, about two-thirds of which is tail. It has a vivid yellow mouth and a large extendible frill gathered about the neck and under throat. The combination of the gaping mouth and the wide, brightly coloured frill provide an intimidating sight to any potential predator. It frequently runs at speed on two legs to escape danger, quickly climbing the nearest tree to safety. Their colour can be brown or grey with the frill being lighter and often tinged with orange or reddish-brown. Males are bigger than females and have a more robust appearance. There are two long, pointed canine-like teeth present in the lower jaw, which can inflict a painful bite.

There is so much that we forget to remember. One thing that Lizard has not forgotten is how to let go. Lizard when under threat will let go of its tail as a defence mechanism thereby ensuring his survival, yet we find it hard to let go of the past issues. Remembering these will always be a part of our undoing. If we could only remember to trust and let go our enlightenment would be ensured?

What needs to go! Call on your ability to let go!

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Aussie Birds and Animals, Heather Blakey

Make the most out of every moment

One housefly has taken up residence and has been persistently hovering, determined to attract my attention. I decided I really should take the time to listen to this determined, tiny creature. The housefly (Musca domestica) is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha. It is believed to have evolved in the Cenozoic era, possibly in the Middle East, and has spread all over the world as a commensal of humans. It is the most common fly species found in houses. Adults are grey to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. They have red eyes, set farther apart in the slightly larger female.

The Fly teaches the ability to greatly multiply prosperity, endeavours and ventures at enormous rates. He shows how to be quick to act and respond to achieve results. Fly aids in demonstrating the power of keen eyesight along with expanding awareness in many directions. The fly also makes use of and gains nourishment from things that others see as “dung”. This can point to being able to use that which others pass by and seeing opportunities where others see only a need to clean up. Flies make the most of their environments…whatever it may be. Their short lifespan points to making the most out of every moment and having no time for regrets.

 

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

Setting Intention with Thistle

While walking my dogs I came upon some stunningly beautiful thistles. The thistle has been much maligned. Being a tough plant, the thistle grows everywhere other plants usually don’t. It stands for surviving where others won’t and often this is surviving harsh conditions.

Allow yourself to be seen for your gentleness as well as your strength.

Call in balance and harmony in your emotions.

Give yourself time to grow into your full gifts.

Dive deep internally to fully connect with your hidden gifts and talents.

Forgive yourself and others for not fully appreciating you, and focus on truly loving yourself and what you have to offer.

Read about the symbolism that has been attributed to thistles.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Aussie Birds and Animals, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Self Compassion, Still-observing

Boundary Setting With Bandicoot

By Ravenari Wildspeak

Bandicoot teaches us that one of the most successful ways we can understand the ancient earth is by living a quiet existence, especially amongst times of noise and trauma. Bandicoot comes in our lives to quietly nuzzle our shoulder and point out a little shadowy, sandy track that we missed, and to not neglect it simply because it looks quiet and uninteresting. Like bandicoot, sometimes the quietest places are where we find the most nourishment.

Bandicoot has appeared reminding me to set boundaries and look after my inner home. Bandicoot reminds me of the importance of taking care of myself, providing a healthy environment for myself and not allowing the chaos in the lives of others to dominate. Bandicoot wisdom comes from within and is a reminder, to be honest in my daily affairs and above all, be faithful to myself. To walk my walk and talk my talk will help me feel fulfilled.

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

Communicate Your Truth

The Peregrine Falcon has flown into my world today to remind me of the importance of communicating our own truth.

These days I mentor very small writing groups. However, whether I have two or twenty-two people participating, those engaging invariably draw odious comparisons and think that their work is not as good as the work being presented by others.

When this happens I remind people that:

♣ a voice trained to live in a dark cave has a strong inner critic to keep it there. You learned to judge yourself relentlessly and to be cautious, and now your inner critic cautions you at every turn. It questions your natural inclinations, your spontaneity; and it ensures that you don’t stand out, and judges you when you do.

♣ When the inner critic dominates, self-worth is swept away.

♣ You are actually speaking the words of someone else

♣  It is natural to de-value your ideas and opinions if they are not heard and valued when you are young. You learned to question their worth, and now in adulthood, you continue to question them and struggle to share them with others.

Perhaps you can add some advice about how to be compassionate to the voice that wants to speak its truth!

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 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 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 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