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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Art is Temporary, As Are We

"And they painted on cardboard, because it was new, cheap, and affordable. But they didn't know it wasn't archival, so very little of that work remains intact."  -The words of one of my art history professors, talking about a group of abstract expressionists or similar genre of artists from the 40's-50's. 

It sounded like some sort of moral failing - that these artists had abandoned expensive, time-tested techniques of canvas or wood panels to try something they could afford and was plentiful.  

Having been in art school for a good chunk of my life, as well as a professional high-end picture framer, I have come to see how much museum-culture of the last 300 hundred years has had an effect on the modern art-making process.  That we must work with archival materials, watch out for UV light and dampness, preserve, preserve, preserve.  Think about the future of your work.

The other week while finishing up my book tour, we stopped at Mt. Rushmore, as well as watched the 15-minute film about the making of it. I believe it was in part of a speech from FDR where he talked about the world 10,000 years from now, and what future generations of Americans may think when they see the monument, worn by the weather and time.  In that moment I was thinking two things: if there are even human beings on this planet then - and the condition of the giant sphinx in Egypt.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Well said and thought provoking! Thanks for posting. I have forwaded this to a few artist friends. Namaste, Tasha

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Revenge of the Druids

Treat others as you would like to be treated. Such a simple phrase, yet so hard to comply with when we've been hurt or wounded in any way. Our first reaction is to hurt back, to wound in return. Yet is this how we would like to be treated? What if the person who hurt you didn't even know that they had? What if it was completely intentional? Is it then justifiable to perpetuate the cycle of hurt? How do we, as Druids, work with anger and wounding in today's society? How do we work with honour?

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  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Intentional action, as opposed to reaction
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is so well written, Joanna. I have a similar approach to responding to personal injustice; I ask myself, "What is the right

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Prayer to Create a Haven

Whatever difficulties occur in my life, tragic or minor, I can get too caught up in them, so I need a haven.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting anyone bury their head in the sand about awful facts, forsake people whom those terrible facts impact, refrain from action to keep one's situation from worsening, or ignore difficult feelings. I am saying I can dwell on awful situations to the degree it hurts my mental, physical, psychic, and spiritual health really seriously. I need an inner haven to maintain well-being. 

So I try to focus on the moment, which is where I find the Goddess, Her power, and Her care for me. The present moment is where I can find peace, beauty, magic, and laughter—laughter even amidst tragedy.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    And thank you - for you. I will share your prayer with my wife Ravyn. She's having a little trouble reading just now, so I will
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Hi, Ted, bless you. Thanks for your support. Give Ravyn my best.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Claim Your Power

I know I've been quiet over here - really got leveled by a nasty cold that wouldn't go away, then as soon as I could, I was back in the studio making artwork and finishing the first draft of my second book, Sigil Witchery.  I'll be sharing with you some insights into the artwork I made recently, but for now, I wanted to share a new colored variation of the Power Sigil.  

To read more about it, please visit this blog post - which will also get you back to the original post on the Power Sigil.  You can also read about the Power Sigil more in this blog's archives.  This version follows all of the same protocol I released on the original one - so you can save it, print it out, tattoo it, making cross-stitch of it, etc - as long as you don't use it in such a way to make money off of it. Thank you! 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Working with Power

While writing up my notes on an "Ethical Leadership" presentation for our next weekend of Druid College, I've mused over issues regarding power and working with others. Unless you are a solitary hermit, you will have to work with others. There will be a barrage of egos, wounded or whole, with which to interact. Fragile or strong, dealing with other human beings is not necessarily the easiest of tasks. Even though we may speak the same language, we might not be able to communicate with them at all, whereas we may not speak "cat", but can understand what a cat is trying to tell us. When working with others, we have to let go of notions of "power over", as activist and author Starhawk has written about, and instead work on "power with". In her book, Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery, she distinguishes three types of power: “power-over,” referring to domination and control; “power-from-within,” meaning personal ability and spiritual integrity; and “power-with,” pertaining to social power or influence among equals.

Power-over is all about control. It is firmly rooted in a wounded ego, that seeks to dominate another in order to feel better. For whatever reason, and there are many, many reasons why people behave the way they do, this seems to be the standard view of power in the Western world. In our capitalist society, in our dog-eat-dog world, we seek power-over another in order to get our way. What we need to desperately do is extract ourselves from this way of thinking, and into a more holistic view where we are not only looking to benefit ourselves, but to benefit the whole, the entirety.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Wow, thank you Joanna. What a great and useful distillation of Starhawk. Both of you should be required reading for everyone asp
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Thank you, Ted, for your kind words and support! I haven't had the chance to read Fifth Sacred Thing - it's on my huge list! I do

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Ritual: The Power to Persist

If you’re a heart-led individual, you know it’s hard to be an agent of love in a world where vision is often scorned by those who prefer greed and narrow-mindedness. Sometimes, we just want to give up.

When hate tramples you, Gaia, and the lives of others—whether they are people you know or strangers—suffering can be so great that you feel too broken to keep on going. 

But love and the forces that oppose it have battled throughout all time. So we need the ability to continue fighting the good fight over the long haul. Here is a ritual that helps you persist, with the support of your Gods, ancestors, and All Your Relations.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Day After Election

Today I will not give up.

I acknowledge my terror,
but I will not give up.
I acknowledge my anger,
but I will not give up.
I acknowledge my sense of hopelessness,
but I will not give up.

I will feel my terror, anger, and hopelessness,
but I will not let them be my permanent home.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I say my prayers alone.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thank you. Yes, I say my morning prayers alone too. And I have prayers I say later in the day with other people. Everyone is so un
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    yessss
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Aw, thanks so much, Carol!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you so much for sharing this. If I can get my printer to work I will print out a copy and add it too my cycle of morning pr

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