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Spring's Glory Days
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A Changing Nature

Births, Renewals and Transformations


Goose Family Mandala
Is there anything more beautiful than when the face of Mother Nature reveals herself as a young Maiden - fresh, fragrant and filled with glorious youth and vitality? Perhaps an overly harsh winter makes this year’s spring seem particularly transcendent, but who can’t help falling in love with all her new life, colour and birdsong?
 
Many cultures personify Nature as a woman transitioning through the phases of her life which is reflected not only by our changing seasons but also the monthly phases of the moon. These natural cycles and yearly transformations echo similar fluctuations of increase and decrease that take place within us. Periods of darkness precede light in the same way that gestation precedes birth and sleep allows for rejuvenation. Honouring the sanctity of rest leads to a revitalized and replenished life, as we now witness all around us in the gifts of the Spring Maiden. She certainly appears to have well-honoured her sacred resting time this past winter.

As I have been walking the woods and side-roads these last few weeks I haven't been able to resist photographing her joyful beauty:
While walking I have reflected on the many symbolic associations of such favourites as the sensuous hawthorn, also known as the ‘Goddess Tree’. As hawthorn blossoms start to fall, the petals bear a resemblance to confetti which is quite possibly the origins of our modern custom of sprinkling confetti at weddings.
 
Apple blossoms are symbolic of love, youth and peace and have long been associated with immortality and legends of the mystical Isle of Avalon (which literally means “Isle of Apples”), the resting place of King Arthur.

The tri-petal trillium symbolizes all manner of ‘threesomes’ ... the Christian Trinity, the three faces of the Goddess, or Mother/Father/Child. Trillium is sometimes called ‘birthroot’ because of its healing capabilities and use by indigenous North Americans as a birthing aid.

Because lilacs bloom so early, they are strongly associated with spring, renewal, and fresh starts. The year-to-year differences in timing of the lilac bloom are said to indicate whether spring will be early or late.

Not only is the Spring Maiden surrounding us with her flowers of adornment but also the inevitable result of her flirtations … babies!

Gosling
I can never resist acting as a ‘doula’ to the Canada Geese that use the pond at the Alton Mill as their nursery. Every spring mated pairs return faithfully to nests precariously positioned a little too close for comfort next to the waterfall or within easy striking distance of the local fox. I often find myself anxiously doing the rounds of the nests and offering words of encouragement to these devoted parents. Whether or not my efforts are appreciated, nothing delights me more than to see them finally hatch their eggs into a gaggle of fluffy goslings.
 
Mother Goose with EggsThe geese’s annual pattern of departure and return announces the turning of the Great Wheel of the Year, reminding us of the sanctity of the cycles of our own lives. There are lessons to be learned from the compliant and communal demeanour of the geese who never leave behind an ill or wounded fellow bird and are the best of animal parents, fearlessly defensive of their young. They know when to lead, when to follow and when to rest. Members of a flock often wisely alternate these roles or join broods to share parenting duties.
 
Their example teaches us that when we are balanced and in harmony with the rhythms of Mother Nature, we too will also know support and cooperation in our own lives. Like the Maiden who always returns in the springtime, true power - our own personal resourcefulness and hardiness - must be gestated in the darkness in order to be born again into the brilliant light of sunshine.
 
Curious to learn more about the many faces of Mother Nature? I am hosting my first Red Tent 'satellite' event this coming Thursday evening May 28 which will help you discover more of the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine. Throughout the summer I will be offering other 'circle' activities where you can make a garden prayer stick or try your hand at Zen doodling and communal colouring-time. And, as always, any of my workshops can be booked to suit your schedule for groups of two or more.

So, as the Spring Maiden matures in her role as Mother I invite you to ...

“Mark the fair blooming of the Hawthorn Tree,
Who, finely clothed in a robe of white,
Fills full the wanton eye with May’s delight.”

~ Chaucer
 

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 ..."Bloom"
In this piece, if you look closely you will see how I have used the iconic sacred geometry pattern known as the ‘Flower of Life’ as the foundation for this mandala.
 
From this simple configuration of overlapping circles is said to arise almost every known physical thing, hence why the Flower of Life is also known as the ‘genesis’ or ‘creation’ pattern.

While it is not known which culture was the first to actually depict it, this sacred pattern has been found on an Egyptian temple in Abydos dating back almost 6,000 years. There is even speculation that the Flower of Life may have ultimately originated in Atlantis …

Original Framed Artwork $225. Cards are also available with this image
"LUNATIONS" Learning Circle
An Introduction to the Moon Goddess

Thursday, May 28, 7-9 pm, Studio 206, the Alton Mill

Cycles, rhythms and phases ... all are welcome at this interactive discovery session on the different phases of the moon, the cycles of Nature and how these energies are reflected in our own lives. $20 per person
NEW MOON RED TENT GATHERING
Friday June 19 from 7-9 pm in Hornings Mills.
$10 donation to the Red Tent Fund

More info or to join our mailing list can be found at www.redtentontario.com
CUISINE ART
Alton Mill Arts Centre
Sat. June 20 & Sun. June 21, Noon - 5 pm

Discover the Headwaters Region's best artisanal food, drink and creativity event. Join local chefs, the Alton Mill studio artists, plus plenty of other 'spirit-makers' for one delicious weekend. The Mill's studios and art galleries will have food and beverage tasting stations as well as special art activities.
ART IN THE ROUND Intro to Mandala Making
Book your own session anytime this summer for groups of two or more. A great gift idea or a fun Girl's Day out!
ONGOING Drawing Sessions - "Seeing With New Eyes"
Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 1-3 pm

Build 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** GARDEN PRAYER STICK WORKSHOP
Saturday June 6, 1-3 pm
Make your own garden art in Native American tradition, just in time to 'plant' your dreams and wishes for the Summer Solstice and Aboriginal Day.
$40 per person
**NEW** COLOURING CIRCLE
Select Saturdays throughout the summer - June 27, July 18, July 25 & Aug 1
Let’s be honest, coloring is fun no matter how old you are! Let your inner child re-discover a new take on  this old past-time. Choose from a selection of some of my designs and colour away! A new design every time.
$25 per person

**NEW** "A TANGLED GARDEN"
ZEN DOODLE TIME

Sat. July 11 & Sat. Aug 8, 1-3 pm
Take your doodling to the next level! Discover the calming activity of creating Zentangles as you find inspiration on the beautiful grounds of the Alton Mill and in the tranquil atmosphere of my studio.
$30 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, $30.00 each. Available at my studio or can be mailed. Please email me with your order request.

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 to help you find solutions.

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.
"Balance requires a center point. Everything unique and beautiful grows out of that place, your own personal still point. A place of rest."

If you are too busy for deep rest, you are saying that your life and work are unimportant. If you are too busy for deep rest, the most you can hope for is work that is only partially complete, work that is not as beautiful as it could be, not as centered as it could be.
~ Roderick MacIver
Copyright © 2015 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.


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