May 2016 - Spring in all its Glory
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A Changing Landscape
The Myth and Magic of Spring

Apple Blossom Sketch

All the promises of a new season can be tangibly felt right now as each day the sun gets warmer, the days get longer and the air takes on the scent of freshly turned soil, green shoots and soft rains. SprTrillim Faery Gladeing is a time of awakening, a season of regeneration and renewal as all around us the natural world is sweet and virgin again, like a young maiden.

On the Celtic Wheel of the Year, May 1 or ‘Beltane’, marked the last of three fertility festivals and ushered in the light half of the year. Similar to Samhain or Halloween, it's a time when the ‘veils between the worlds’ are thin and spirits from our world and the Otherworld can freely intermingle. TrilliumsThe months of May through June especially are when faeries or ‘fey folk’ are said to return from their winter respite, carefree and full of mischief. Perhaps you've spotted them cavorting deep in the forest among the trillium or dancing on the spring breezes. And, if you listen amidst the jubilant song of the cardinals and robins, you may even hear the silvery tinkle of the bells on the Faery Queen’s white horse as she rides out each evening ...

FiddleheadAs our own gardens re-awaken, there are many magical creatures raising their energy, right along with the birds and animals now happily mating, building nests and birthing their young. The mythical bird-creature known as the Phoenix is a symbol of regeneration that resonates with the natural magic all around us right now. Legend says that the Phoenix earned its immortality by refusing to eat from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The price it paid though is every 500 years it must build a nest of herbs and spices, rest upon it, then set itself on fire. When the fire dies down, an egg will be found among the ashes from which the Phoenix then emerges, resurrected and born anew.

Dragon Wheel by CJ SheltonAncient peoples understood this resurrection concept well and worked in all sorts of ways with it. They also intuitively understood something mysteriously referred to as ‘dragon paths’, or, what we are more familiar with today as ‘ley lines’, lines of energy that carry an altered form of the earth’s magnetic field. It is believed these lines criss-cross the entire planet creating a sort of net or matrix. Ley lines were termed ‘Dragon Lines’ by the Chinese many centuries ago and are actually the roots of their practice of feng-shui, a system used to guide the arrangement and orientation of things in relation to the flow of ‘qi’ (energy) within the landscape.

Some claim that birds, fish and animals use ley lines as a sort of compass, helping them find direction back to breeding grounds in summer and warmer climates during winter months. Ley lines have also been said to mark vast prehistoric trade routes or straight tracks connecting prehistoric monuments and significant features in the landscape. This is of particularly note in the British Isles where several lines are well documented such as the St. Michael Line that runs from Land’s End in Cornwall to the Norfolk coast. Glastonbury Tor

Where two or more dragon lines cross it is called a ‘node’ and produces a vortex of energy that can be tangibly felt. Several of these nodes have been located along the St. Michael Line including Glastonbury Tor and Avebury where megalithic stone circles were built. Today crop circles tend to mysteriously appear and concentrate around these sites and it is believed that Druid priests used these powerful nodes to ritually ‘summon the dragons’ back from their winter slumber deep beneath the earth, petitioning them to once more spread their energy and vitality throughout the land.

Also much revered in Celtic tradition was the Druid goddess of fertility, Blodeuwedd, the first of a long line of ‘Flower Women’ whose face and hair were depicted as being made of spring flowers. The Celts always knew the path of a Flower Woman by the patches of white clover that bloomed in her wake as she walked the land. To them Blodeuwedd was the goddess not only of fertility but also of magic, innocence, and the early dawn.

Of course, all manner of flowers and new greenery are synonymous with springtime and have been since time immemorial. While the Phoenix is the only creature known to put itself through trial-by-fire for the sake of longevity, perhaps what we are really hearing in its mythic tale is the echo of our own human longing to be able to wipe the slate clean and re-create our world anew, like the resurrection we witness each spring. I think this is truly what makes it such a magical time.

The Philosopher's Dragon by CJ SheltonSimilar to the dragon energy that slumbers beneath the earth, we too emerge each winter and ‘hatch’ like the Phoenix from its fiery egg. Seeing Nature’s first green blush, fresh and innocent as the dawn, we recognize energetically the time is ripe for the growth of new projects, new ideas and all manner of wonderful things we have been gestating patiently. Now, by practicing a little ‘sympathetic magic’ and harnessing the natural rhythms already present in the environment, it is easy to believe we can manifest whatever it is we desire as we dance like the faeries among the flowers in anticipation of a fruitful summer ahead.

Be sure to check out my full summer workshop schedule, especially my Garden Prayer Stick and special Watercolour Sketching Workshops that will let you 'play' and create like the faerys. Don't forget to preregister by emailing me to reserve your spots!

May you enjoy the dance!

CJ Shelton
Artist, Instructor & Healing Arts Practitioner

Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit through
the Symbol of the Circle ...

Spread the news ... share 'The Dance' by forwarding to a friend to enjoy!
This magical ‘faery piece’ evokes the joy and freedom we feel this time of year. I created it in 2009 and the original sold at the very first show it was in. Fortunately I had prints made and it has become one of my most popular designs. Clearly its spirit speaks to others as much as it did when I first birthed it. For me personally this piece marks the transition point and leap of faith I took with my art from a very traditional realistic style to the more whimsical and visionary images you enjoy today.

Although not a true mandala, the signature light-burst at the faery woman’s heart-centre captured how I was feeling at that particular time. I was newly graduated at mid-life from multiple streams of schooling in shamanism, social work, therapeutic art and spiritual counselling and ready to explore and re-imagine a new future for myself. I’m sure this faery spirit had an inkling of what was in my heart and what lay ahead for both of us. Her song is one we both still sing today.
Cards and prints available with this image
"INTO THE MYSTICAL" Learning & Sharing Circle
Moon QuestEvery 3rd Thursday evening of the month

Please join me in sharing spiritual wisdom, experiences and all things of a mystical nature with like-minded souls at this monthly gathering of 'friends on the journey’.


Thurs. June 15, 7-9 pm

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Honouring the Ancient Sacred Feminine

Thurs. July 21, 7-9 pm
In Search of the Green Man - Exploring the New Divine Masculine

Sat. June 4, $10 Donation
Please join us in the tent! To learn more about the Red Tent and what it's all about visit
ART IN THE ROUND Intro to Mandala Making

Book your own custom session anytime for groups of two or more. A great gift idea or fun Girl's Day out!
DRAWING LESSONS - "Seeing With New Eyes"
ONGOING SESSIONS all Summer long!

Sun. Mornings 10am-12pm
Sun. Afternoons, 1-3 pm
Wed. Afternoons, 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.
Garden Prayer SticksSat. June 18, 1-3 pm
$55 per person

Make your own garden art in this magical workshop where you paint and decorate a prayer stick in celebration of the Summer Solstice.
Discover Nature in a whole new way this summer through the gentle art of watercolour sketching.
Watercolour sketchTake just one workshop or all three! $75 per session or all three for $200.

Intro Sessions:
Sat. June 4 (FULL)
Sat. July 9, 1-4 pm

Sat. July 16, 1-4 pm -
Pen & Ink with Watercolour

Sat. August 6, 1-4 pm - Exploring Nature ...

**NEW** “IN PRAISE OF THE GREEN MAN” Zen Doodle Workshop
Green Man DoodleSat. July 30, 1-4 pm
$40 per person

This mystical session of mid-summer creativity will introduce you to the mythical 'Green Man’.
Pendants $40.00 each. Wear the calming energy of one of my mandalas close to your heart. Drop by my studio to make your selection from 10 different designs.

Dove Pendant
Shamanic Consultations & Spiritual Mentoring
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 with interpretation and a symbol 'reading' that lets your inner wisdom shine through. Sessions by appointment at my studio. Visit my website to learn more.
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anaïs Nin

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