paganism · sidhehound · visual art

Coyote

Photoshop drawing / painting of a Coyote.

“Coyote” 2020

Digital illustration.

Prints, greetings cards, and more in my Society6 Store.

We might be verging into TMI territory. Coyote came to me during one of my shamanic practitioner training weeks, and it was a wild week. Prior to working with Coyote I had considered myself asexual for years, but BAM! I suddenly had a sex drive. It was really frightening and fun at the same time. A few month later, my sex drive calmed down and now I enjoy a healthy amount of sex with my partners. Things also went wrong regularly that week, and I lost many things. Wild times.

I’ve been wanting to draw Coyote, and share this wee story for a while, but I was worried I would be judged for not being asexual when I was so, so sure that I was.

paganism · sidhehound · writing

Story time: Journey to the Great Phoenix

Drawn from a journey undertaken on 11/05/2020

I donned the cloak and antlers of Earth Deer Spirit. Alongside the Blackshuck, I began my journey. 

It was dusk. The pinks bled into purples, then magentas. Pinpoints of light marking the constellations began to appear, and with them the luminous colours of the Starbirds. We were invited to traverse the skies with them. 

Up we went, my edges merging with the night sky. The Milky Way sparkled below us, showing the Starbirds the way. The pale lights and sweet scents of the Upper World drew us in, where the Great Phoenix was burning bright in the topmost branches of the World Tree. 

I had to move through the crowd gathered around Phoenix, being careful not to bump into children who were running around in delight. Falling from the azure sky were Her feathers, and the children were making a game of gathering as many feathers as possible. A feather danced into my hand. 

I was called forward by Phoenix to hear her message. 

I am a creature of all three realms. I am born in the Lower World; my nest of ashes is safe amongst the roots of the World Tree. I die in the Upper World; my burning a spectacle in the crown of the World Tree. My body rises, and my ashes fall, through the Middle World; my forms spiraling around the trunk of the World Tree. 

My cycle is ending. My body has almost burnt up. My ashes are falling through your world, gathering ready for my rebirth. 

It takes time for the dust to settle. 

paganism

Ceremony – Beltane 2020

My intention for this celebration was to mark Beltane, to connect with my spirit allies meaningfully, and to offer prayers on behalf of my community. It was a solitary event because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Due to health reasons it was delayed until Saturday 2nd May. Thankfully the weather was beautiful so I was able to celebrate outdoors in my garden. 

Seperation

I created a sacred space using sage to smudge my garden, before calling in the elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth at each quarter. I then called in my spirit allies and the local spirits using my bullroarer. 

Transformation

While drumming and moving slowly, I undertook a journey with the intention I journey to non-ordinary reality to speak with my spirit allies and ask them for their prayers.

When I returned I made a prayer rag for each prayer from fabric I have stored away.

I approached my prayer tree, a Japanese maple I designated as such during a ritual when I first moved home, and made an offering to him. I asked him to hold the prayers and carry them to the upper world. 

The altar was made when I moved in, and is simple. A pair of red deer antlers I acquired while I was at art school, and a piece of slate that I bought for 50p from a kid who was chancing his luck in the local park. 

The offerings were collected from my garden: a dandelion, a bluebell, and a rhododendron, along with a tealight.  

Using a blend of incense made by a friend, and some sage, I mindfully cleansed each prayer rag and attached them to my prayer tree. 

While drumming, I undertook a second journey with the intention I journey to non-ordinary reality to shepherd these prayers to where they need to go. I do not feel it is appropriate to share the events of this journey yet.

Incorporation

Upon my return home I sat in silence for a time, and to borrow from Dr. Seuss my heart grew three sizes as I contemplated what I had bore witness to.

To ground myself back into ordinary reality I spent some time creating affirmations and intentions which I burned. I waited for my incense to burn down before giving quiet thanks to all who attended in spirit, then I went to enjoy a late lunch with my partner.

Blessings from under the unfurling ash trees. 

paganism · visual art

Sidhehound

“Sidhehound” (2020)

Digital art

*

I’m still having fun playing with Photoshop. Today I thought I’d try to create something that looks like my recent canvas paintings. This is far from perfect, but I love it. This is the representation of my shamanic clan name, Sidhehound (Hound of the Sìth). I will draw her again.

paganism

Join us for the Winter Solstice!

The Winter Solstice is soon approaching, and I invite you to join us in a ritual exploring the two sides of Wolf – The Lone Wolf and the Pack Wolf. Together their magic will see us into 2020.

The ritual is taking place with the support of Green Tree Remedies, and will take place at Strathleven House, Dumbarton on Sunday, 22nd December at 10.45am. It’s free, but ticketed. Tickets are available at Eventbrite [click here].

We will be outside for the duration, which will be around 2 hours, so dress for the weather!

other arts · paganism

Roses and Thorns – w/b 13/05/2019

It will come as no surprise to you that I am not very good at blogging. I spend too long overthinking topics and eventually the inspiration leaves me. To keep me writing regularly, I am going to try and write a bit about what happens during my weeks. Roses (the good stuff) and Thorns (the meh stuff).

Roses

Land healing WIP

As some of you may know, I am training to be a shamanic practitioner and that involves a lot of work. One of my tasks is to perform land healing at the Notre Dame Convent Chapel in Dumbarton. It is an abandoned chapel, formerly a listed building, and was linked to a teaching order of nuns. I spent an afternoon there conversing with the spirits of the land, trying to understand their needs.

First soul retrival

Another part of my shamanic training is to offer services to friends and family. This week I was able to try out my soul retrival technique for the first time away from my classmates. My friend suggested we work outside, which was a wonderful idea. She chose a beautiful spot amongst some trees and bluebells.

Trace

Another friend was performing in a work-in-progress puppet show called TRACE, which explores the long-term impact of childhood abuse. It was harrowing, but shares an important message. that could benefit people (if a group discussion followed). I hope to see it fledge into a full show.

Thorns

This week’s thorns are the same ones I experience near constantly: pain, fatigue, and depression. I had great experiences this week, but aside from these few hours I spent the majority of my time bedbound.

paganism

Trix

Staring into the gaping jaws of the ancient matriarch, a cryptic message was delivered straight into my heart that I have yet to decipher.

My friend invited me to the T.rex in Town exhibition in Glasgow, and I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to be in the presence of “Trix” – a tyranosaur discovered in Montana. Glasgow is the last stop in her European tour before returning to her main residence on the Netherlands, and it is was real privilege to be able to see this incredible piece of natural history.

After walking around her, I needed to sit for a moment and really grasp the reality of what I was seeing. I squeezed onto a bench right in front of her, and tried to comprehend just how far apart our lives are in time and space. I couldn’t. And then I had one of my moments, where I think I blanked out and then felt this incredible expansive energy in my chest – a gift from the tyranosaur.

paganism

Reintroduction to Shamanism

Entrance to the Earth Lodge at Anam Cara

I have been practicing some form of neo-pagan shamanism on and off for the past decade, but chronically feeling lost in my experiences. I made a breakthrough this year though!

It began when a friend recommended a local shamanic practitioner who was taking on clients. Tiffany has had such an amazing influence on me over the past few months. With her guidance I have come to a better understanding of what makes me tick, work through some toxic relationships, and finally have the confidence to pursue the path of a shamanic practitioner myself.

I’ve half-heartedly tried to become a shamanic practitioner in the past, but I had to work through a lot of issues of confidence and ego. I still have to work through a lot of issues of confidence and ego, but I have an awareness of them now. I am now in a place where I can step forward.

One of Twobird's drums.

The universe recognised that, and finally, I found a teacher who I felt was the right fit for me.

I am just back from an amazing weekend of training with Tiffany’s teacher, Twobirds. I joined her Introduction to Shamanism course at Anam Cara, an amazing retreat centre in Inverness. I cannot find words to express my joy and gratitude for my time with Twobirds, and my amazing fellow students. Being able to share such powerful experiences with such wonderful people has left me feeling truly blessed, and I am ready to keep walking this path.

This is who I am and what I do.