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Honouring the Earth's Star-Fire
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As the Round Earth Rolls ...
Journeys of Harvest

A Bountiful Harvest by CJ SheltonThe grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”  ~ John Muir
 
We are now in the harvest segment of Nature’s Wheel of the Year with its warm days, cool nights and abundance of rich earthy colours. It is a time of great paradoxes and Blood Moon Eclipsepolarities, energies particularly heightened this past week by a Super “Blood” Moon in combination with a full lunar eclipse the night of September 27.
 
In resonance with this cosmic event my painting “The Stars of the Earth” (featured below) reminds us that everything on our planet contains the remnants of a billion stars that exploded long before its own fiery birth. This releasing and letting go of energy is echoed during the harvest when all that vital sun energy, gathered over the summer by the plant kingdom, slowly releases into the soil on a journey back ‘home’ to the earth's rocks and minerals, the keepers of 'star-fire'.
The Stars of the Earth by CJ Shelton
I feel this painting captures many of the beautiful contradictions we witness while hovering in early fall’s equal balance of night and day. Like the red blush our moon was bathed in a few days ago, the vibrant red square at the centre (an ancient symbol for the Earth element) tells us that while earthy things appear dense and solid, they are actually filled with the strong pulse of life. The tree appears almost skeletal, a hint that all life-forms require ‘bones’ or a structure in which to manifest their individual spark of the Divine. As Mother Nature begins divesting herself of her summer greenery, many tree skeletons will soon be tracing dark lines across the sky with their long bony branches. And while their 'bones' are indeed solid, it is the fluid life-force, their sap, that makes them supple and able to bend with the currents of change. Anchored by strong roots that can easily twist and twirl deep into the ground, the trees will reach for the ‘stars of the earth’ all winter long.

Super NovaThe enormous expanse of years over which a star’s journey takes place – from birth, to fiery implosion and scattering throughout the galaxy – is truly a journey of cosmic proportions. But too often we humans expend all our energy valuing what we see “out there” and completely miss the fact that what we are really searching for is right here, deep within ... and it has been all along, like the stars in the Earth. This is the classic Hero’s Journey in a nutshell, that soul-filled life passage we must each make back to ourselves. And - like the trees, the moon, the earth and the stars - we are all invited to take this journey, simply by being here and being alive.

Initiation by trial and error, waiting for some kind of wake-up call or sign from ‘above’ … sometimes our lives may seem routinely similar to the geese flying their annual loop down south and back north over and over again … until we realize that IS the point of life:  a series of ever-looping cycles. With each spin of the Wheel we do often arrive back at the same place. But yet we know we are different somehow. The real key is in understanding what has changed because it is our choices at these re-entry points that ensure the next cycle delivers us another step forward on our spiraling journey.

Geese Flying SouthThis undeniable truth is something we cannot gift to another … as much as we may want to prevent them from falling and faltering along the same route we too have likely travelled. Because ultimately we all must make the hero’s journey of discovery for ourselves ... by staying in places we know we should leave, going in and out of relationships that don’t work, doing the same silly things over and over again. Eventually we have a transcendent ‘cosmic’ moment that breaks through the dizziness. In that moment when we remember the truth, we can stop, take stock and re-align ourselves once more. Whatever choice we make, in spite of how scared or uncertain we feel, we need the courage to bend and dig deep, like a strong tree, knowing that we will not break as we round that corner or survive that wind-storm.

Some may think Nature’s story lacks the compelling plot line novels and movies depend upon to be successful. But all the ‘elements’ of good storytelling are present in Nature’s ever-turning wheel. At each and every moment, Monarch Butterflysomewhere a protagonist – whether two-legged, four-legged, winged or leafed - walks some edge, goes on a journey, takes risks and fails, but in the end transforms themselves somehow and triumphs over adversity to reach their goal or destination. We see it in the great migratory journeys of the geese and the monarch butterfly as well as the busyness of the squirrel and the release of a withering leaf from the branch.

It is in both the expected and unexpected things, the daily ups and the downs, the sudden beginnings and endings, as well as the more ‘cosmic’ events that, when combined, create the footsteps of an extraordinary journey.  
 
On my own journey I have discovered how creative process combined with the ‘wisdom of the circle’ can help us find our answers. I am honoured to do 1-to-1 consultations that help others get ‘un-stuck’ or help make sense of the challenges experienced on their own journeys. Using processes such as Soul Symbol Sessions, Shamanic Healing and Mandala Making my sessions allow for exploring options, sharing stories and looking at situations from fresh perspectives. To find out how I can assist you please email me at artist@dancingmoondesigns.ca. And don't forget that another way to ‘treat’ yourself this month is by taking a seasonally themed workshop like The Witches Ladder or The Veil Between the Worlds. More workshops for the remainder of 2015 can be found on my website.
 
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 ..."Medicine Path"
This mandala was one of a pair that speaks to the many silent treks made by our four-footed kin as they make their own journeys around the Wheel of Life.

Follow the paw-prints … who do you think made them? Do you see Bear, Wolf or perhaps one of the big cats like Cougar or Lynx? The choice is yours and the message unique to each individual who views this piece. Each and every creature has ‘medicine’, or its own qualities and characteristics that can be emulated as we walk our own journeys.
 
The template for this piece is the Medicine Wheel of First Nations tradition which marks the Four Great Directions of North, South, West and East. Circles within squares, triangles within circles ... just ‘as the round earth rolls’ … this image references the revolving patterns of expansion and contraction we experience in our own lives and in the greater world around us, especially during this season of change.
Original SOLD
Cards with this image $10
NEW MOON RED TENT CIRCLE GATHERINGS
Fri. Oct. 9, 1-3 pm
Sat. Nov. 7, 1-3 pm
Hornings Mills
$10 donation

Please join us in the tent! To learn more about the Red Tent and what it's all about visit www.redtentontario.com
HEADWATERS ARTS FESTIVAL
Now in its Final Weekend Oct. 3 & 4
This year's festival has a new home at the Alton Mill Arts Centre with open studios, a special juried show and more. Be sure to stop by my studio for a visit and to view my new Grace Collection of very 'spirited' horses.
ART IN THE ROUND Intro to Mandala Making
Sat. Oct. 10, 1-4 pm (with a special Thanksgiving theme)

OR book your own session anytime for groups of two or more. A great gift idea or a fun Girl's Day out!
DRAWING LESSONS - "Seeing With New Eyes"
ONGOING Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 1-3 pm

Student DrawingBuild your drawing skills and learn to see the world through an artist's eyes. Newbies and more advanced welcome. Start anytime | Pay as you go.

**NEW** BUDDING ARTISTS Drawing for Ages 10-14

Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 am
**NEW** "THE VEIL BETWEEN THE WORLDS" ZEN DOODLE
Sat. Oct. 17, 1-3 pm
Zen DoodleTake your doodling to the next level creating intricate miniature art pieces full of delightfully tangled designs. This seasonal session explores the Celtic belief that October is when the 'veils between the worlds' allow all sorts of mysterious things to happen.
$30 per person
SYMBOL QUEST
Symbol Quest EyeSat. Oct. 24 from 10 am to 3 pm

Take a magical journey of self-discovery around the Wheel of the Elements to find your own unique power symbols.
$85 per person
SAMHAIN WITCHES LADDER
Sat. Oct. 31 from 1 to 3 pm
Witches Ladder
Begin setting your intentions for the winter ahead as you learn where our  Halloween customs came from and weave your own personal ‘ladder’ from wool, ribbon and found objects.
$30 per person
"The Moon Tree" Pendant
The balancing energy of my signature piece "The Moon Tree" can be yours to wear. Pendant $30.00 each. Available at my studio or by special order.

Moon Tree Pendant by CJ Shelton
Shamanic Consultations & Guidance
Are you in search of answers or experiencing a challenging life transition? 1-on-1 sessions can be booked with me at the Alton Mill or Breakthrough Centre in Brampton to help you find solutions.

MARI® Mandala "Soul Symbol" Interpretation
Explore the 'language of your soul' in a 1-on-1 self-discovery mandala making session combined with a symbol and colour matching component that lets your own inner wisdom shine through. Sessions are by appointment at the Alton Mill. Visit my website to learn more.
Let us join the ages,
The tides flow
The sun rises and sets,
Seasons come and go
The moon and stars
Light the night way
For each of us.
 
What we plant today
Will root and grow.
 
Let us plant a seed,
Love and protect it
Feed and warm it.
 
Sincerely a tree will rise
to take its place
in the sun.
 
Let us plant today
The seed which will be
The tree of us . . .


~ Leonard Nimoy
 
Copyright © 2015 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.


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