Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Triple Goddess: Crone in Santa Fe


As you may already know, in September, Greg and I moved from Los Angeles, California to the high dessert in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It's been a bit of a wild, Mr. Toad adventure which has presented many challenges and interesting (to say the least) characters (Crazed Tesuque lady) along the way.


A few weeks ago, along the dirt road that leads to our new temporary dwelling, we met a crone that walks with a tall staff. After passing her on the road and waving, Greg and I turned to each other and gasped, “Female Gandalf!”

"In Joseph Campbell's classic work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the first encounter of the hero on his journey is with a protective figure who provides him with amulets or magic devices against the dangers he will face. The crone is one of the most common of these protective figures"

Then as we returned home, just before making the turn down that same dirt road, I spotted about ten bee hives to the side of a house with a little sign that said "Earth Nurse". I gasped and pointed it out to Greg. We started wondering who the “Earth Nurse” was.  ???
🐝

On another day, heading back from town along that same dusty and bumpy dirt road, we spotted the “Female Gandalf” once again. We choose to stop and say hello, assuming that she might be the "Earth Nurse”, after all she certainly embodied an Earth Nurse by her outward appearance and great staff. Her answer to the question was, “Well, the Earth nurses me.”

Indeed she is the "Earth Nurse" and in my opinion the community crone, a facilitator of balance in our little neighborhood here along the Santa Fe River. As we dialogued I learned that she is hosts many gatherings at her home and planning is to create a "closing" event for the Counter Culture exhibit currently at the New Mexico History Museum. Since the Counter Culture tribe is alive and well, particularly here in Santa Fe...meaning Holy Faith. Perhaps you have heard me mention that Santa Fe is the city of the retired hippie?


Despite the constant challenges, Santa Fe continues to enchant and surprise daily. In many ways she herself is the crone, an ancient city with a very bloody HIStory which may be being healed a bit by the creative presence found here. Woof!

Here is a link to the Counter Culture show here in Santa Fe just in case any of you are local or come for a visit in the next few weeks.

(1)  Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (orig. pub. Princeton University Press, 1968; 3rd ed. 2008), p. 57.
(2) Fine Art America, the Crone

Chamisa photo along the Santa Fe River and text ©Roxana Villa
I couldn't find attributions for the two pieces of art used in this post, if you happen to know who the artists are please leave it in the comments or send me a note. The second image says Wheel of Life, oil on canvas 1998 (?) with an attribution that is hard to read ©maiana.de perhaps?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Strike a Pose



Greg has been featuring a few of his models and associated imagery via social media and his blog. Here are a few pieces where he used me as the model.


1. CU opera poster detail) for “Susannah,” an adaptation of the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders set in the 1950s in rural Tennessee.


2. As a Faerie. Sketch for the “Lotus Faeries” poster


3. “Lotus Faeries” poster



4. Blue Mage special edition, signed print inside The Art of Greg Spalenka book

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, New Moon, New Opportunities


Santa Fe often feels like a place that exists out of time with a very vibrant conscious community. As mentioned previously, I pay attention to patterns, one of the names that keeps being shared with me is Sandra Ingerman. This evening I took a moment to explore her world and came across the Transmutation News of January 2018. In it she shares insights from Katharine stating "We start the
18th year of the 21st century with a Super Full Moon on the 1st day of January, the 2nd in a set of 3 Super Moons.  And we end the month with a Super Blue Moon and lunar eclipse on January 31.”

She also shares that this lunar cycle presents us with a test supervised by the "guardians of deeper mysteries”, hence the opening painting The Valkyrie's Vigil by Edward Robert Hughes.

For all of you interested in greater clarity and aligning with higher frequencies I highly recommend reading her newsletter, other writings, following her wisdom and meditations.

I'll share about the the inner journey I've been on here in Santa Fe with some of the insights into some of the archetypes that have been presenting themselves. It's been quite an adventure that just keeps getting more and more interesting! Have any of you read any of Carlos Castaneda's books or Medicine Woman by Lynn V. Andrews, well then get yourself Sandra's book Soul Retrieval.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Emerging Light


Welcome Yule! Warm blessings to each of you in whatever hemisphere you may dwell. Whether we call today Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia or Sol Invictus it is a reminder that our inner flame burns brightly despite what may appear as dark times.

Here is a verse by Susan Cooper from her series the Dark is Rising in both words and a little video to celebrate turn of the great wheel once again as we shift into the light half of the year and honor the return of the sun.

"And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year."
- Susan Cooper


The opening image is the illustration I use to illuminate Aurora, it is a detail of Snow Faerie, created by Greg and featured in the 2009 Calendar titled Divine Nature. The image is available on his site in a set of postcards.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On the move, again!


Tomorrow, Sunday, we are moving from Tesuque to the old ranch area here in Santa Fe that is turning into the new arts district. No one in the area has told me what the district is called, so I'm referring to it as "the new arts district" until someone corrects me. Tesuque is just north of historic, downtown Santa Fe, where as the arts district is south. Both areas have a very different vibe, Tesuque is more like Santa Barbara where as the arts district has a bit of an edge, like the surrounding areas of downtown LA. Although I will miss Tesuque very much, the new homestead is better in many ways. I'll post more about that once we are settled.

There will be a delay in sending out orders as I unpack and set up once more. Our new space is on our friends property, it's a bit of an art compound with musicians and visual artists, and now an "aromatic" artist being added to the mix of creatives.


The landscape is quite different from the Pinon wood lands we have been inhabiting the last three months. While packing to move last night I found a jar filled with dried plant bits from my California garden. The cowboy pure fume of oak, artemisia and different sages all preserved and ready for inhaling deeply. It’s a very different scent imprint than we have here in the high desert of New Mexico.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Figure 1 Noir Solid Perfume is back!


While searching through moving boxes filled with essential oils I discovered a big bottle of the synergy for Figure 1: Noir solid pure fume. I just listed the mini compacts in the brass, diamond pattern. I will list the other two designs shortly. If you would like Figure 1: Noir in another container and are cool with limited packaging embellishments contact me.

Here’s a descriptive paragraph I wrote about the fragrance a couple years ago:

Figure 1: Noir contains notes of the wet mossy earth found in an ancient cemetery in Prague where the bones of alchemists lay restless and waiting. Leaves, roots and woods thickly braided with enchantments invoked amongst creatures roaming wild. Lush, mouth watering fruits picked just before ripening when a hint of the sour is a perfect contrast to the impending, yet hidden sweetness of human skin.

Shop for the mini compact of Figure 1: Noir at my site or on Etsy. Read and see more about Figure 1: Noir at the Lookbook Greg and I created. Find the illuminated image Figure 1: Noir or Noir Woods at spalenka.com.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Movie Monday: Epic


The 2013 animated film Epic, by Blue Sky Studios, is loosely based on the children's book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce. Why the marketing department at Fox choose to go with Epic as the title instead of The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs or just plain Leaf Men is difficult to understand. But alas, most marketing decisions are archiac to those of us who dwell in the land of imagination.


Writer/illustrator William Joyce has authored over fifty children's books, received an Academy Award for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and three Emmys for Rolie Polie Olie.


Although the Epic film received mixed reviews from the critics, I thought it was absolutely wonderful, crafted with a rare beauty seen in American animation. This little gem, in my opinion does not contain the over stylization of humans and over the top songs, seen in so many animated features these days. The creators did add an annoying pop songsat the end—but at least one can turn the volume down when watching from the luxury of your home or device.

The critics main challenge with this viscerally rich film was that they'd already seen this story, citing Fern Gully and Avatar as examples. I read a few reviews which felt the characters appeared very "plastic-y and doll-like", where as for me they looked so much better than the plasticine-like characters that Disney churns out of their profit driven animation factories.


I was captivated with the depiction of the wee fairy folk in the forest, particularly the leaf men and their arch nemesis, a Boggan named Mandrake. The lighting of the scenes, character textures and costumes, and the fantastical depiction of nature in all her glory, including decay. Perhaps the critics are correct, this is a story that we've heard told over and over again, but humans are dense, slow moving creatures who need to hear things over and over again, particularly when the subtleties of nature are competing various forms of technology and an onslaught of loud, gore driven media.