Fall Reflections
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The Journey is a Dance

Transitions and Cosmic Resonances

After a very busy few months I took a much needed break during September to enjoy the beautiful extended summer. I always find it necessary after any sustained burst of creative effort to take a time out to wind down, assess and regroup – the contraction that must inevitably follow an expansion. It’s somewhat like giving birth. For me this ‘birth’ was six new paintings (my Elemental Series) plus a new cover design for In Vibe Life magazine, all created in a few short months - a huge expenditure of energy! But now that the new work has finally ‘arrived’ and hanging in my studio it has been fascinating to step back, take a breather and share them with others.
Whenever we push ourselves to meet a challenge or birth something new - whether that process is self-induced or imposed by outer circumstances - something is bound to shift or change. We often discover new abilities or strengths we never knew we had or that old ways of being or doing things no longer work. Maybe our environment is no longer supportive in the same way it used to or we find many new and wonderful possibilities have suddenly opened up in the process. Our life journeys are a continuous ebb and flow of this push/pull dance of expanding and contracting energies. The journey is a dance.
Cosmic events often have a way of mirroring these journeys. Last month we had a Super Moon, unusually strong solar flares and the autumn equinox, all of which can potentially initiate changes in body, mind and spirt. Full moon energies are well known for causing releases, especially of the emotional kind. The night of the Super Moon I was personally blessed with witnessing the beginning of her magnificent trek across the night sky as I drove home after a day spent on the shores of Lake Huron honouring a recent loss. Every death is followed by a rebirth into a different form so in any goodbye there awaits a transformation or the claiming of something new. On that drive I felt clean and clear, supported by the elements and Mother Nature herself.
The Super Moon was immediately followed by a double solar flare that same week. In contrast to the lunar feminine energy, solar flares bring in male energy, a high vibrating and forceful vigour that triggers change and readjustment. The autumn equinox provided the balance between the two extremes. As the great equalizers, equinoxes are when there is an equal amount of daylight and nighttime making them an ideal time for reassessment, clearing our karma and reflecting on our lessons  - a ‘back to school for the soul’ as it were.

Another big cosmic realignment just occurred with the total lunar eclipse this past week (October 8). It was also what is known as a Blood Moon because of the copper hue the moon takes as it passes into the Earth’s shadow. The total eclipse is the second of four over a two-year period that began in April. This event is soon to be followed by a solar eclipse coming on October 23.

In traditional shamanic cultures times of change like this were marked by ceremony or a rite of passage to honour whatever transition was taking place. These occasions stressed the importance of the individual experience within the bigger context of Nature’s rhythms. Our current society unfortunately rarely acknowledges significant passages anymore although weddings, funerals and retirement parties are actually the remains of these ancient traditions. While some of our changes may not outwardly seem important, taking time to symbolically honour them, even if only in some little way, can smooth life’s transitions, acting like a healing balm for a conflicted soul.

Creating meaningful personal rituals is something I often recommend to clients in my shamanic practice to mark the ending of one cycle before commencing a new one. And it is important to allow for a time of surrender to the ‘neutral zone’, that time between an ending and a beginning. Think of it as similar to a labouring mother’s regulation of her breath before the next contraction starts.
So my question for you to reflect on at this time of Thanksgiving is: what has ended, shifted or is currently under review in your life? What beginnings or changes are you grateful for? For some it may be a breath between contractions as you bring some project to fruition or perhaps the precious time immediately following conception but before the first flutters of movement. Is there a transition point or letting go that needs to be marked in some way?
Nature is our greatest guide for this sort of thing. Her never-ending cycles of life, death and rebirth are played out in everything around us and within us - from the little endings in our daily lives to the grander change of seasons. The release or death of one thing is followed by a time or balancing and re-adjustment, then gradually a rebirth or re-dedication to new energy and life. Ancient cultures living close to the land recognized this vital fact but we too can reconnect ourselves again to this never-ceasing pattern by aligning with Nature’s rhythms, allowing the cycle of release, rest and reactivation to unfold in all aspects of our lives.
You can read more about the meaning of the elements and stories behind each of the individual paintings in my Elemental Series on my website or drop by my studio this fall to experience them in person. Also, be sure to check out events at the Alton Mill and studio workshops I have coming up that can help you discover what is waiting to be born within you.

May you enjoy the dance!

CJ Shelton
Artist & Healing Arts Practitioner

Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit ...

Share the Dance ... forward to a friend
THE STORY BEHIND THE PIECE ..."Birthing a New Earth"
This is the brand new piece I created for the cover of In Vibe Life magazine, produced by local publisher Brenda Winter. It is also the second of my ‘goddess’ series.
The Goddess (in her guise as Mother Nature) has three phases or aspects – Maiden, Mother and Crone or Wise Woman. This piece depicts her Mother energy, nourishing and protecting the new world being created within her. Illuminated by the rays of the potent male Sun, she is supported in her process by the community around her – the trees, the water and the rich nutrients she draws up from the soil that grounds her.
I have been a long time birthing this image but she came to fruition at the same time I was working on my Elemental paintings. The elements are the foundation of everything that is so it is very fitting that I was able to draw on that raw primal energy to assist my creative process.

Copies of the magazine are available for free at local health and wellness practioners and outlets
Alton Mill Arts Centre

Sunday October 26

Its Halloween and harvest time! Try your hand at pumpkin carving, get your face painted or listen to a spooky story at this new event at the Alton Mill. General admission: $5 per person and $10 for families of 3 or more. Lots of fun for all ages.

The Not-So-Run-of-the-Mill Art Show & Shoppe
Alton Mill Arts Centre - Upper Floor
November 12 through December 21

It's Santa's best kept secret... why not treat your list to some not-so-run-of-the-mill gifts this year. As one of the upstairs Studio Artists at the Alton Mill I will be displaying new works in the Falls Gallery on the upper level as well as small affordable stocking stuffers in our Little Art Shoppe. A great opportunity to browse and buy a selection of unique and artful treasures.
**NEW** Symbol Quest
Sat. Oct. 18 - A magical journey around the Wheel of the Elements to discover your own power symbol and tools for balancing life

**NEW** Art Spa - Visioning Your Chakras
Sat. Nov. 8 - Balance and refresh yourself is this visual 'spa for the soul'

Art in the Round Intro to Mandala Making Sessions
Book your own day and time for groups of two or more. Next available date is Saturday November 15
OPEN STUDIO Drawing Sessions - "Seeing With New Eyes"
Sunday Afternoons from 1-3 pm

ONGOING throughout October and November
Improve your drawing skills. Newbies and more advanced welcome. Start anytime. Pay as you go.
The Seasonal Cycle of the Year Workshop Series
Discover inspired and magical ways of engaging with Nature.

Samhain Witches Ladder
Sat. October 25, 1-3 pm
Plus two special sessions during FRIGHTAPALOOZA event at The Alton Mill
Sun. October 26,
11am-12:30 pm & 3-4:30 pm
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.
The journey is a dance between this reality and that. A dance with the universe. The energies that live inside us. Reconstituted stardust. Energies that support or avoid us. The love you offer them, you offer yourself. It comes back multiplied. Often, but no guarantees. A search for answers that may not exist. A journey of faith: faith in yourself.

~ Roderick MacIver, from The Journey Home

Copyright © 2014 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.

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