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Dear Readers, I wish to introduce two dear friends in the next two posts. The first is the photographer Dennis Sheehy whose beautiful silhouette of owl and branches appears above. He takes one-der-ful photographs, illustrating a dedication to catching those moments that sparkle, that illuminate, that open a crack to see behind the veil of ordinary human perception. To this end, he spends hours walking, looking, noticing and skillfully recording those moments of illumination. Nature photography is a kind of meditation and a kind of channeling, making visible what ordinarily goes unnoticed.
Usually I illustrate my posts with photos I take myself… a quick shot of a moment I observe in the ever changing beauty around my country home, but I have thought for a while of including some of Dennis’ photos as a way of sharing his meditation and his talent with my friends on-line. He was once very involved in making gnome-homes, so clearly has a feeling for the aesthetics of faerie and the elementals (see also http://www.gnome-home.com ). Dennis is also a very dear brother to me. I recognized him as that immediately, I’m happy to say, and it turns out, he is the twin flame of one of my sisters. I first met him in the 1990s, when I arranged for him to teach a gnome home workshop at the elementary school in Freeport, Maine where I was teaching art.
I chose the owl for the first post, from all of his photos, because Owl is a personal symbol of wisdom and sight in the darkness, and a messenger between worlds, which we as channels are also. I do not resonate with the superstition of the owl as a harbinger of death, this is based in fear of change and transition. The Greek goddess Athena, renowned for wisdom, has an owl as her symbol. I have had an owl totem and spirit friend for at least thirty years.
When my son was seven, we went to a Native American tipi set-up demonstration, with a subsequent shield-making activity within the tipi. The Penobscot man lead us on a journey to find our spirit animal, and draw it on the shield with crayons. I still have the cardboard circle with the white and silver owl in flight. This is the first experience I had with clairvoyance, as I realized how easy it was for me to follow a guided visualization, and saw/felt the owl fly to me so vividly. I was in college at that period studying art education and later used guided imagery a lot with my students, who, as children, were closer to their non-physical senses than most adults.
My name Jennifer comes from the English name Guinevere; the original Cornish form was Gwenwhyfar, meaning white shadow, white phantom, white fairy, or fair one). The white owl on my shield feels like a phantom or spirit owl, not a physical one. My parents didn’t know the etymology back in 1951 (they didn’t have baby -naming books then)… I discovered it later in high school when I became enamored of the Arthurian legends. Pondering on why I have the name I do, another level of meaning came clear in meditation a year or so ago. Jenn ( Gen- root word for race, kind, or simply, the people) and fer (or, pher- from the Greek to love, as in Christopher = lover of Christ), which all adds up to Lover of the People, or All of Us! YAY! I’m so grateful for my parents’ intuitive wisdom!!
Multi-dimensional Blessings to all of you on this magical Hallow’s Eve, when the veils are blown away and we can all travel between worlds like Owl, and sense/see/hear/feel the Other Side. No fears– All is well– Always. Love to All the People, Gwenwhyfar
My lawn is full of Queen Anne’s lace this year! I just mow pathways through and let what grows happen, and this is the first year that, toward the end of August, it was solid Queen Anne’s Lace … I just have to celebrate it!
I’ve struggled with “cutting the grass” for years, because it seemed to desecrate the life that was present in that habitat: the wildflowers, crickets, moles, toads, healing wild plants and so much more. Just because we are “supposed” to have short lawns in our culture. Just because everyone else does it. My yard looked messy for years, as I would delay for weeks at a time, waiting and watching, and finally – feeling the pressure of judgement, dreading the extra hard work, I would capitulate and MOW it all down! with great sorrow, blood, sweat and tears… then the cycle would start over again…
The breakthrough came about ten years ago, as I was first awakening to my spiritual path… I got the inspiration to mow a pattern in the lawn and leave a part of it wild. The symbol that was awakening in me I called “the Hand of God”; it was showing up in my clay work, drawn in bowls, or as slab handprints, arranged and interpreted.
One, showing a path to a cave by a brook, with a figure (me) seated in meditation, symbolized my spiritual journey, and it has been largely a journey of surrendering judgment and allowing Flow. From that period on I have felt fully supported by Source/Mother/Father God… The huge handprint in the lawn that year was beautiful, until the grass got so tall that a heavy rain made it look like a hairy paw, which spooked me, and I mowed it all down!
The next year, I tried another symbol, the cross inside a circle, a personal symbol of great resonance. It was showing up in my art work, especially in a long series of mandala paintings. The very center was often a little circle, crossed top to bottom and side to side. I didn’t know why I put it there, it just seemed “meaningful” and right. I began to explore the history of the symbol, and learned that it was, among many things, an ancient Mu symbol, a Medicine Wheel, the Quartering of the Universe, the Astrological symbol for Earth, and the Gnostic cross. The Gnostic belief in the divinity within us was just beginning to resonate within me.
I was just beginning my apprenticeship with Jeshua in 2005, and I asked him about the symbol that was occuring in my paintings and he told me that Yes, I had in fact been a Gnostic priest in one life! The pattern in the lawn became a place to greet the sun, to pray, to sing, to walk and dance the pattern of reverence for all of life.
Anyway, my lawn has carried this symbol with all its levels of meaning for all these years since. As the grandbabies got bigger, they have used it as a place to play, so I began to close off some of the paths to make it more of a maze to challenge them and add the element of mystery. The lawn has become a place of enchantment!
Seeing the brilliant delicate beauty of the masses of Queen Anne’s Lace was a surprise to me, and it felt like a bold statement of gratitude from the devic realm for allowing, blessing and celebrating my wild and beautiful lawn!