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Posts Tagged ‘ancestors’

"Innocence Lost"  - Digital Art ©2008 WildGoddess

"Innocence Lost" - Digital Art ©2008 WildGoddess

I created this using an old vintage photo.  I am always taken by these boys piercing stare; they literally burn.  Should little boys even be this intense?  I guess if you were a slave, you would be, too!  Nevertheless, it remains one of my favorites.  It’s also for sale as a giclee print in my Etsy Shop.

"Omega" - 5" x7" watercolor ©2009 WildGoddess

"Omega" - 5" x7" watercolor ©2009 WildGoddess

Another watercolor from my sketchbook………….

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When I first saw Cedric Smith’s paintings, they left me breathless.  This highly creative Savannah artist and photographer creates works that are reminiscent of old, classic billboards and signs, yet they literally burst with political and sociological meaning and allegory.

Cedric Smith with one of his artworks

Cedric Smith with one of his artworks

You see, in my opinion, America’s past with it’s black citizens hasn’t yet been healed in the hearts of those whose ancestors suffered underneath the lash, and in the hearts of those unnamed persons who participated in slavery in either a positive or negative way.  And even within more recent times, there is a rich, rich gumbo of African-American history still waiting to be mined.  I sense there are so many untold, hidden stories yet to be told that we need to hear, so many unknown ancestors lost forever, so many unshed tears held in so long they’ve become concrete . . there is so much more to be uncovered and revealed to the light of day via the creative expressions of art, music, dance, and the printed word.

As an artist I long to participate, I open my heart as much as I can to hopefully catch just a wisp of my ancestors’ voices, whispering, whispering to me . .

"Kool Aid" - 48" x 36"  ©Cedric Smith

"Kool Aid" - 48" x 36" ©Cedric Smith

Yet I feel that Cedric Smith, in his own unique way, is doing that. He’s offering to every one of us an opportunity to re-discover a moment in time in African-American history – what it felt like, what it smelled like and, most importantly, what it meant to those disenfranchised individuals who lived during those times.  Go there.

 "Be", 36" x 36", mixed medium on canvas  ©Cedric Smith

"Be", 36" x 36", mixed medium on canvas ©Cedric Smith

I invite you to visit Cedric Smith’s website and check out all of his stunning artwork.  And then, think about your ancestors, how they lived, what they endured and what legacy they left you.  What can you add to their legacy – as an artist, as a person of this culture and this world?  What will your legacy be?

You can also visit Cedric Smith’s blog, “Vintage Blood” here.

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess are protected under copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, contact WildGoddess to obtain her permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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What is our obsession with belief?  The general assumption is that if something is tangible – if we can see, smell or touch it, it is real, and therefore we can now “believe” in its veracity.  We then judge it “real.”  But how valid is that?  Think about it.

Questioning the nature of reality is a daunting task, but many of the world’s greatest thinkers have been brave enough to tackle it.  And I’m certainly not about to do that!  However, through years of deeply introspective consciousness work I have come to realize that just because I can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not “real.”

The Forest Sage ©2008 WildGoddess - Digital Art - 11" x 17"

The Forest Sage ©2008 WildGoddess - Digital Art - 11" x 17"

So I’ve developed my own yardstick of measurement about belief systems as they pertain to me – I call this my “So What” consciousness: if I have had a direct experience of something, then to me it’s real.  But if I’ve only “heard”or “read” or been “told” about something, then I keep it in a less involved position in my life – it’s something I’ve “heard” about – it is not impacting me in any direct way and therefore should not be allowed to upset or shift my equilibrium unless absolutely necessary.  I just don’t go there.

If I haven’t had a personal, direct experience of something, then to me it is simply speculation, an concept, an idea.  (Read: Heraclitus.)  Yes, it may be “real” to someone else – I would never, ever dare to question someone else’s experience, but for me, it’s more important to deal with what is currently before me.  For I always have the power to choose how I want my life to look – moment by moment.  I invite into my awareness what I want to live and breathe as much as I’m able.

I admit that I’m not always able to maintain this awareness all of time, of course, but I keep on returning to it, over and over.  This is not an attempt to live in denial, simply my way of staying clear and focused in the moment as much as possible.  And when I live this way, I tend to be more peaceful, less fearful, more creative, and more open, engaged and loving to my Self and my environment.

"Hannah"  - 5"x7" collage on wood  - ©2009 WildGoddess

"Hannah" - 5"x7" collage on wood - ©2009 WildGoddess

This may sound like an simplistic, naive outlook, but do we really, really need all of that excess emotional and mental clutter blocking our creativity?  What good is it?  How is it serving you?  Could it be that we’re simply addicted to “drama”  in an attempt to feel engaged and involved?  That’s food for thought…

I’m saying all of this, so that I can begin to share some of the deeper experiences I’ve had; experiences which someone may not be able to be quantify as “real,” but nevertheless have impacted my life and changed my day-to-day existence in a very “real” way.  In my experience, there are deeper levels of personal perception if we’re open to the experience.  Maybe this is where our own personal creativity springs from; accessed through visioning, dreamwork, meditation, yoga . .

"Sarah Mae" - Digital Art ©2007 WildGoddess

"Sarah Mae" - Digital Art ©2007 WildGoddess

There is the peaceful world of nature, all around us, which has the ability to draw us out of our literal mind into our deeply quiet, open mind. There are our beloved ancestors and wise teachers who are so willing to support us, if we’re open enough. And there are time-tested tools – prayer, affirmation, mantra work and meditation – which offer keys to entering these subtle levels of consciousness.

I invite you let go of fear, and to begin to explore these tools – and the first step is to just be curious. Become interested in what you can’t see, instead of what you can see.  No matter what you are engaged in on a daily basis, begin to wonder what’s behind it; what’s going on around it that you may not be aware of.  (Believe me, there is always something going on in consciousness!) Being curious is your direct key into the wondrously creative state of self-discovery. Question everything!

What do you think?  Talk to me!

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess are protected under copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, contact WildGoddess to obtain her permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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"Raven" - 18" x 16" by WildGoddess ©2009

"Raven" - 18" x 16" by WildGoddess ©2009

Above is one of my depictions of a shaman’s Power Animal.  In most shamanic traditions, a practicing shaman usually has at least one power animal that guides and protects the shaman as she/he moves between worlds to do their healing work on behalf of a client.

For some unexplained reason, a raven or a crow tend to be one of the more popular power animals.  Maybe they have a mysterious or mystical quality?  After all, one of spirituality’s paradoxes is that there can be no light without the darkness.  Never forget that, folks!

How can you determine if you have a power animal?  Most of us do; simply look around when you’re outside and begin to notice what animals tend to hang around you.  Or possibly you have dreamed about an animal several times.  Or you’ve always had an unusual attraction to a particular animal.

Nevertheless, supposedly if you begin to call on your animal, sacred teachings say that it will begin to appear more often to you, especially in cases where you may be feeling unsafe, insecure, or frightened.  It is a guardian, it is a guide through the darkness into the light.

Calling on your power animal means to wake up and pay attention; begin to look for its presence everywhere you go and in everything you do.  Your power animal might appear in a book you’re reading, or on the label of a carton, on a piece of your favorite jewelry, or in a poster on your living room wall – who knows?  And if you’re a person who prays or meditates, you can call it forth during those sessions.

However you might choose to invite your power animal into your life, allow the Mystery to reveal new truths to you. Invite it into your life and watch it begin to shine!

Next time I’ll talk about the power of honoring our ancestors, something the Western World should definitely pay a lot more attention to.  Blessings, ya’ll!

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Yes He Can!

Oh, no, You Didn't! Oh, Yes he Did! (Photo: The Huffington Post)

This blog is not going to be only about politics, folks, but please bear with me for a while – these are important times that must be documented!

We now have a new President-Elect and First Lady – the brilliant, brilliant Barack Obama and his accomplished wife, Michelle. This is pure Destiny at work, and I, for one, am absolutely over-the-moon – not just for myself and all Americans, but also for all of my Black and Native American ancestors – glory, glory day!

Now we will see positive change come to our country, after decades of neglect.  Yes, glory days have now arrived in our society, and an Age of Humanism will replace the previous Age of Greed. (Of note: the name “Barack” means “one who is blessed” in Swahili…..)

Out of all of the moments during this history-making event, the one that moved me the most (not counting Mr. Obama’s inspiring acceptance speech in Grant Park), was when he and his wife visited the White House to meet with the Bushes.  I don’t know if you knew this, but slaves built the White House – every brick, stone and mortar. And now, two hundred and eight years after the fact (why did it take so long), a brilliant black man is climbing up those same stairs to enter it as the President-Elect.

I wonder what his thoughts were…..and then on top of that, Mrs. Obama wore screamin’ Red!  To the White House!  That color says so much to me – I remember when I was a child, my mother wouldn’t let us girls wear that color, because she said it made our skin look too dark (that was a long time ago, folks!)  Well, Michelle Obama certainly meant some serious business when she wore Red to the White House – You Go, Michelle! Wear It!

The Obamas at the White House - Nov. 10, 2008

The Obamas at the White House - Nov. 10, 2008

I never fully bought into the so-called “American Dream,” because sadly, I finally realized that it really was for the lucky or privileged few who either had a lot of discretionary income to play with, or were in the right place at the right time.  Many, many black Americans, like my parents, literally worked their fingers to the bone for themselves and their families for years and years, to no avail.

However, for the first time since Martin Luther King, there is Hope.  I find both Mr. and Mrs. Obama inspiring, because now I, and other Americans have an new ideal to look up to; a new dream to aspire to.  If they did it, then, really, just maybe, we can, too!

So I raise my glass to Barack Obama; I am behind him one hundred percent! (and Oprah, I thank you as well, for steppin’ up behind the brother like you did with your support!)

Camelot, 1963

The Kennedys at the "Camelot" White House, 1963 (AP Photo/FILE)

When you have a chance, go check out The Huffington Post – they’ve posted a great story called “Bamelot, A New Style For The White House” (A clever title – it’s a play on the Kennedys’ “Camelot White House.”)

p.s.  I promise to post some exciting new artwork soon – here.

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"Sarah-Mae" copyright ©2007 WildGoddess

"Sarah-Mae" copyright ©2007 WildGoddess

Re: Hurricane Katrina

In the midst of all of this devastation, desperation and horror, I’m asking myself, “Can I give of myself right now? And am I able to pray for someone else besides myself right here and right now?

“Can I find a way to love?”

I can and I will. And I know this for you, too.

Blessings.

American Red Cross
Operation Blessing
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund

For current information on what’s going on in the Gulf States, try these links:
Gulf States Disaster Updates
New Orleans post-Katrina Dissemination Wiki

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