Anticipating Spring
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Seed Dreams and Quickenings

Symbols and Signs of Spring in Waiting

This bitterly cold weather we’ve been having makes it feels like we are still deep in the heart of winter, yet we are well past Groundhog Day and nose-to-nose now with the March lion … or will it be the lamb? For the ancient pagan Celts the festival of Imbolc at the beginning of February (the origins of our current Groundhog Day) actually marked the beginning of spring. A Gaelic word meaning ‘ewe’s milk’, Imbolc was the celebration of Mother Nature’s life-force stirring once again as sheep began lactating in preparation for dropping their lambs.
Winter SheepOur own Wiarton Willy’s accuracy may be in question at the moment but one thing is for sure, the Great Wheel of Life is turning. Nature has been carefully protecting and nurturing the seeds of new life deep within her cold hard soil. As the days now slowly but surely get longer and the sun’s rays warmer, there is a silent and snowy expectation of all that potential preparing to burst forth when timing and conditions are exactly right.
Hands Nurturing SeedlingThis is a dreaming phase for us humans too, a period for going within to germinate the seeds of our own potential as we delve into the farthest recesses of our soul … so the ideal question to be considering right now is: what dreams and plans am I nurturing? What goals and projects am I planting with hopes of a bountiful future harvest?
When we work in rhythm with the pulses, cadences and sequences of Nature we expend less energy and gain far greater results. Unfortunately society today has, for the most part, lost touch with this profound wisdom but it was essential to our ancient ancestor’s very survival as they planned, planted and harvested their crops. On the personal level though, we too can once again make a conscious choice to work with these subtle energies and utilize their power rather than forging ahead and wondering later why our plans don’t’ come to fruition as expected.
Aberlemno Serpent StoneGiving expression to an idea through such symbolism and metaphor is a powerful way of bringing it into manifestation quickly and with more ease. Ancient peoples clearly understood this magic of making ‘sigils’ or power symbols. They encoded pictographic messages layered with esoteric wisdom and knowledge on standing stones and way-markers whose meaning we can only wonder at today … but there was definitely method and intent in their careful carving of such intriguing glyphs which have survived down the years.
So with spring almost on our doorstep, perhaps this is the perfect time for you to consider invoking some symbols of your own. Here are some highlights of experiential opportunities I offer for working with the power of symbol making as well as the abundant ‘quickening’ energy available to us this time of year.
Conception by CJ Shelton“Seed to Seed” – Intro to Sacred Geometry Workshop
This workshop specifically works with activating and developing dormant forces. It is also a wonderful introduction to sacred geometry, the study of the underlying geometric shapes and forms that make up all of creation. In this first part of my Flower of Life series you learn to draw the ‘genesis’ pattern from which all things can be manifested. Many of my own mandalas are based on this simple but powerful blueprint. The Genesis pattern can be a real catalyst if you are in the ‘planting’ stage of an idea or seed dream and need to safely incubate it for a while before it takes form. The next session is this coming Saturday March 7 from 10 am  to 3 pm. I am also offering it again on Saturday May 23. Cost is $85. When two or more register the cost is only $75 per person. 
MARI Mandala“Soul Symbol” Self-Discovery Sessions – a one-on-one mandala interpretation session using the MARI system can also be a real catalyst for change if you are at a crossroads and looking for direction. During the session you create a mandala which I then interpret for you. I also have you match a series of cards with symbols and colours to reveal a visual snapshot of where you are currently on the Wheel of Life. It’s a truly fascinating process. If you aren’t confident enough in your artistic skills to take one of my art workshops in the company of others but want to experience the magic of mandala-making you can book a session anytime by emailing or calling 519-942-2018. The cost is $120 for a two hour session which includes mandala-making, interpretation, a MARI card reading and written synopsis.
“Walking the Symbolic Path”  is a special intro to ‘soul symbol’ work available on Saturday March 28 at Breakthrough Centre in Brampton where I will be giving a free talk. You can also book a 30 minute mini session that day for $30 to consult with me on a particular symbol that keeps cropping up in your life.
Now, a final note about a little seed dream of my own ... I just became a founding partner in Red Tent Ontario with colleagues Debra Jones (, Melanie Cocciardi ( and Krys Jones. If you haven’t heard of the Red Tent movement yRed Tent Logoet it is a wonderfully symbolic idea that grew out of The Red Tent novel by Anita Diamant. Our mission is to create ‘a community of women supporting women’ and ‘serve as an anchor and compass for women to recognize and claim their empowerment’. We will be utilizing sanctuaries such as my studio at the Alton Mill as special places for women to come and just ‘be’, to chat, drink tea or take part in special energy shares, meditation nights, discussion groups, workshops and more. I am thrilled to be a part of this project and to be working with such amazing like-minded ‘sisters’! To learn more please visit and sign up to receive updates. I will also be announcing more throughout the year as our project progresses.
So that’s my news for this month as I wish you all warmth and good health during these final weeks of winter … and much faith and hope as you nurture and cherish all those beautiful seed dreams in preparation for their appearance in the spring sunshine.

May you enjoy the dance!

CJ Shelton
Artist & Healing Arts Practitioner

Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit ...

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THE STORY BEHIND THE PIECE ..."Newgrange Goddess Spiral"
The inspiration for my ‘White’ Collection of mixed media spiral pieces comes from the multitude of mysterious ancient carvings found on Neolithic burial tombs and sacred sites throughout Europe and the British Isles. Many of these symbols pay homage to the Great Goddess whose triple aspect of Maiden, Mother and Crone is represented by this classic triple spiral or ‘triskele’ pattern.
This particular design is also engraved on one of the stones inside the chamber of Newgrange, a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. It is probably the most recognizable and familiar of all megalithic symbols. Although often referred to as ‘Celtic’, in reality it was carved at least 2,500 years before the Celts ever reached Ireland. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 BC) during the Neolithic period which makes it far older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids.
12” x 12” ORIGINAL mixed media pieces on canvas are availble featuring a variety of spiral designs. $120 each with 10% off purchase of two or more.
"Walking the Symbolic Path"
Sat. March 28 at Breakthrough Centre in Brampton
Come out to my FREE talk at 10 am and be sure to book your mini 'Soul Symbol" session afterwards

Alton Mill Arts Centre
Running from Wed. April 8 to Sun. May 10

A special art exhibition will be running throughout the Alton Mill this spring. Interpreting themes presented in Naomi Klein's book "This Changes Everything", various galleries and studios (including mine) will showcase our artistic explorations on the effects of climate change.
Intro to Mandala Making

Sat. March 21

Enjoy a special afternoon of creativity to welcome Spring. No art experience necessary.
Book your own day and time for groups of two or more. Great gift idea or a fun Girl's Day out!
OPEN STUDIO Drawing Sessions - "Seeing With New Eyes"
Sunday Afternoons from 1-3 pm

NOW also offered on Wednesday afternoons!
Build your drawing skills and learn to see the world through an artist's eyes. Newbies and more advanced welcome. Ongoing | Start anytime | Pay as you go.
NEXT Saturday, March 7 OR Saturday May 23
Discover the magical world of sacred geometry as you artistically 'plant' your intentions and watch them grow.
$85 per person
Saturday, April 11

Going in circles ... create and paint your own decorated and 'illuminated' spiral design in traditional Celtic style.
$135 per person
Saturday April 25
What does the tree that you are look like? Join me for a creative exploration of your own personal tree of life and its connections to the greater world.
$85 per person
"The Moon Tree" Pendant
The balancing energy of my signature piece "The Moon Tree" can now be yours to wear. Pendant on 16" leather cord with silver plated bail and clasp $30.00 each. Available for purchase at my studio or can be mailed. Payment accepted by VISA or PayPal. Please email me with your order request.

Moon Tree Pendant by CJ Shelton
Shamanic Consultations
By appointment Wednesdays through Fridays at the Alton Mill and twice monthly at Breakthrough Centre in Brampton

MARI® Mandala "Soul Symbol" Interpretation
Explore the 'language of your soul' in a one-on-one self-discovery session. The MARI system provides a visual and symbolic snapshot of what's currently going on in your life, allowing you to access your own inner wisdom and achieve more clarity. You already have the answers within you. Sessions by appointment in my studio at the Alton Mill. Visit my website to learn more about this fascinating process.
"Some say the creative life is in ideas, some say it is in doing. It seems in most instances to be in simply being. It is not virtuosity, although that is very fine in itself. It is the love of something, having so much love for something—whether a person, a word, an image, an idea, the land, or humanity—that all that can be done with the overflow is to create. It is not a matter of wanting to, not a singular act of will; one solely must."
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
from Women who Run with the Wolves
Copyright © 2015 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.

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