Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Design for New Year

NineRavens_screenshot

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but today I finally sat down and redesigned the web site. I also upgraded to the most recent WordPress while I was at it.

I wanted something really clean with three columns to integrate more social media aspects and this really cool book recommendation widget.

I still need to work on the art gallery section and there’s some text I need to write about my services. But overall, I’m happy with the layout and the look.

What you think?

Wishcasting Wednesday: Holiday Season

Jaime over at Jamie Ridler Studios asks:

What do you wish for this holiday season?

187/365 Plastic Stars by Gibson Claire McGuire Regester.

 

I have two wishes that may seem contradictory. I wish for some peace and quiet, time at home, time to nest, time to sleep in and dream. I also wish for my home to be a place of community and family, a place where our chosen family feels welcomed, loved, and at ease.

We have a huge house in Baltimore that we just moved into at the beginning of September. We are just the two of us and four cats; no children. My blood family lives in Florida and Oklahoma. His blood family lives on the Eastern Shore and on the other side of town, but his parents’ house is the meeting place. Most of my chosen family lives in DC and its suburbs.

I am an introvert who wants family around her during this time of year. I imagine folks bringing a bottle of wine and some cheese and together we fix a meal, and we all gather around the kitchen island, laughing and talking.

I wish for this long weekend to be a mix of alone time and together time.

Photo: Plastic Stars by Gibson Claire McGuire Regester

Winter Solstice Blessings

Snow in the back yard

This is my meditation today on the Winter Solstice.

In the sunlight and the shadows of leafless, winter trees, I walk alone and silent. Hush, child, and listen to the quiet expectantly.

Yes, there it is — so still most miss it — the heartbeat between the waning and the waxing. Just a moment, quick as the blink of an eye and full as an open heart.

Turn off the TV and the Christmas music. Put down the books. Stop the frantic bustle. Just be still in the silence and darkness. Just breathe and listen for the blood pumping through your body.

Wait for it. Do not “do” anything. Breathe into it. The space between — the Solstice.

I’m still snowed in. The city hasn’t plowed our street yet, though some intrepid souls including my husband, have made it out. I took today off from work to observe the solstice alone and quiet.

Many blessings to you and yours. May the fertile womb of the Mother take you in and renew your spirit in preparation for the increasing light.

painting in progress

Mother Nature says SLOW DOWN!

Snow in the back yard

Well, I had plans today. The cats had a vet appointment. I was scheduled to donate blood, then run over to Jo-ann Fabrics to pick up some material for a project.  And we had dinner guests scheduled to arrive around 6:00pm from DC.  Tomorrow, I was going to Becoming‘s Dark of Winter ritual.
None of that is happening. As of 12:30pm, we have about a foot of snow isolating us on our hill from the rest of Baltimore. And it’s coming down rather fast. I’m guessing we’ll have another foot by this evening.

Snow is pretty, as long as you don’t have to go out in it. So, we are staying in. Michael and I are listening to internet radio and working on projects that we’ve been putting off because we “had other things to do!”

So, what am I doing instead…besides obsessively checking Twitter?  I’ve wrapped all the family holiday presents and scheduled dinner with the in-laws next weekend. After clicking “publish” on this post, I will start working on my Hanuman puja workshop for the Sacred Space conference coming up in February. I got some new yard, so I will work on one of three knitting/crocheting projects. Cook a big pot of veggie chili. And maybe read some for work about museum visitor experiences. Oh yeah, and snuggle kittens!
I am already taking Monday off for the Solstice. Quiet, stillness, journaling, and making art. And if I only get to one or two of those things, then I am totally OK with that.

Excuse me, I have to go snoogle my kitten now.

Titan P. Maximus is disarmingly cute!

Announcing “Soulful Intentions” Event

Start the new year with a play date with your artist soul!

SOULFUL INTENTIONS
Saturday, January 2, 2010

In the Flow 

In the dark of winter we look within. We feel the first stirrings of the future within our souls. Often we have no clear idea what our soul desires. How do we listen and communicate with that part of us that speaks, not in words, but in images? How do we know what we want and which way to go?

This day of Soulful Intentions will help you to open up and listen to your soul in its own language. In sacred, safe space, we will set our intention to dig deep. We will let the images from the soul speak to us through the technique of Touch Drawing. We will start the journey toward manifesting our deepest dreams and desires through the creation of a Vision Board. We will share and support each other through this day with laughter and love. We will be energized with new vision and understanding, and ready to step into our futures.

Schedule:
9:00am – 1:00pm: Opening to the soul’s language through Touch Drawing
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Nutritious home-cooked lunch
2:00pm – 5:00pm: Manifesting your soul’s desire through creating a Vision Board

Location:
Private residence near Catonsville, Maryland. Address and directions provided upon registration. If you need or would like to carpool, please let me know when you register. I will connect you with another participant also interested in carpooling.

Cost:
Whole day = $50
Morning or afternoon session = $20
Lunch = $10

Register through my contact page by Thursday, December 31. 

Questions? Email me at angela@nineravens.com.

Living one night

Drowning by Numbers

Living one night as if in a Peter Greenaway film–

Verdant, succulent,
wholely inappropriate,
wild, untamed, unrestrained,
gold, glittering, moistly dripping,
rash, foolish, mad…

Dionysos, make me no promises we both know you won’t keep.

Prospero's Books

Just sweep me into your arms,
Into your manic joy, and
Spin me around like the
dizzying, dancing, divinely laughing
inspired
 stars.

Ah, Dionysos, tell me no lies, but inspire me;
Inspire me.

Pillow Book

**Images from Peter Greenaway films: Drowning by Numbers (1988), Prospero’s Books (1991), and Pillow Book (1996)

Pilgrimage

I carry in my mind a picture postcard of the day you left,
Sepia-toned, faded, and worn around the edges,
Where my eternally seven-year-old chubby fingers stroke,
In devotion–
A pilgrim to an ancient shrine where,
Saints cry blood and the wicked
Are forgetful–missing and ever present.
Truth, lie, or heretical imagining,
This is my story,
This is my psalm to you–
Dead and gone from the world;
Living and ever leaving from my heart.

Written December 2009.
Photo attribution:http://www.flickr.com/photos/freeparking/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Invocation to Kali

Kali is destroying old boundaries

Invocation to Kali

Penetrate me, Kali
Move through my every pore
Consume me in thy fire
Until I am no more.

Melt down my skins of iron
That shield me from my wounds
Break my bones of falsehoods
That would support me to my ruin.

Break my chains of reason
That tie me to my pain
Kick out the excuses from under me
That I lean on for a cane.

Leave me empty, Kali
A vessel to be filled
Leave me broken and battered
A body to be healed

Then come again, Kali
Move through my every pore
Mold me in thy likeness
Fuse strength into my core

Teach me ways of healing
My people’s broken souls
Teach me ways of freedom
Courage to walk through man’s hot coals.

Destroying for creating
Transforming old to new
Kali Ma, Dark Mother
I live my life for you.

Written July 1989, when I was 18. What was I thinking?

Preparing for Company

We had our first party here at the new house yesterday — a bit of a “thank you” for those folks who helped out with the Samhain ritual and their families.  Having the house filled with my family of choice with their kids bought the house to life the way I imagined it when we were moving in.

And bizarrely enough, preparing for company was good, too.  I spent the morning chopping vegetables and making soup, salad, and brownies. My husband helped out with the dishes and vacuuming the house. As I cut each veggie and put it in the pot, I thought about how all the pieces of my life are put together and allowed to stew for a time to make a delicious, nutritious whole — even those ingredients I don’t favor on their own are needed to make the soup flavorful.

Choppin' prep

  

For some reason, I am reminded of an interesting offer I received this weekend. About two years ago, I was looking for something. I tried to bring it about myself, but it didn’t work out. I gave up and set myself to make do with what I had already. This weekend something came looking for me.

Now, I have to decide if I will step forward to take it into my life and if it fits with where I am going now. It also coincides with a new conversation I am having with a particular part of myself that has both great danger and great potential for me and my life. Either this is great synchronicity or I am merely rationalizing.

But I feel like I am preparing for company.