Mapping Your Winter Star

Light pollution. It's everywhere. We can no longer see  the stars overhead, from where we came, of what we are made. The stars stretch out across the bowl of the night sky, turning, charting, keeping time and rhythm but we can no longer see them. Fainter and fainter grow the stars and so too our eyes grow dim as we can no longer see our map and we can not remember in what direction to sail our ship.


star lines - watercolourWhen we are outside at night and look to the stars, it allows our own dreams and thoughts to expand, to ignite and to finally coalesce and fall back to Earth. These shooting stars we see are truly our own dreams falling back to us.


So. It is important to look up. Look up when the cold winter air makes the stars shimmer. Look up at the end of day when you get out of your car. Look up when you let the dog out before bed, or look up even if it is just through your window. Pick a star and track it through the month of January. Where in the sky is it? At what time? To reconnect to the movement of the heavens is to reconnect to the eternity of nature and ultimately to reconnect to the eternal nature of self.

(from the newsletter)

Snow Moon Teachings

Snowfall. A time of peace and stillness. Snowfall changes time and space. There is more room, more space for silence to expand. It cloaks and hides the details. Your eye is allowed to range further and there are less distractions as they are hidden under a blanket of white. Your horizon is swept away, flake upon flake until the edges of where you are and where you came from are lost in white.

My best advice is to seek out where woods meet a field, in the country or a city park, it doesn't matter because when you walk out you will be changed by the snowfall.

The trees of the forests will be your guardians.


Walk to the center of that field and listen.



You won't be the same after.

Aurora Borealis

Standing half-way up Mt. Erskine, the first thing that came to mind was the incredible sweet smell in the dark air. Long grasses, Douglas Firs and Cedars, all mixed in the warm air. Then, as our eyes adjusted to the dark, more and more stars appeared until the Milky Way was so dense above us, we could see the shadows left amongst the stars. I had not noticed these before until a Peruvian friend pointed out the negative shapes. In the Andean heritage, the shadow shapes were as important as the starry shapes. These shadows, the Andeans call "The Llama, the Fox, The Toad and Snake."

We were up on the mountain to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis and we were not disappointed. Although it was a 'diffuse aurora' and not a 'discrete aurora' with all its wave-like curtain formations, it was still a stunning sight.


Over the orange glow of the city, a faint band of green could be seen. It grew stonger as time passed.

Off to the north-west, out of the glow of the warm city lights of Vancouver, a more ghostly green illumination backdropped the fir trees.

Auroa borealis


Read More

May Full Moon Fire

It is always good to remember to have a fire and a full moon is a good reminder to do so. Jupiter joined in the party, so brightly shining it made your head hurt thinking about what you are really seeing... there in Space... and yet here I sit on my log by the fire. Smaller than small. Boggles the mind it does. Mayfire

The dog, after much coaxing joined us. She does not trust fires. Sensible creature. It is a tricky element to be sure... but in this case she was no doubt concerned for our fur. Why would we sit next to something that could spark our fur? She didn't get it. Reluctantly, she shambled out and sat behind us, ducking down behind the log. She conceded to be wrapped up in the blankets and managed to stay put for about thirty minutes. Magsbyfire

She couldn't wait to get back in her for reals bed in the closet. The Paleolithic-hunting-dog companion-to-man gene does not dwell in this one.

Read More

April Full Moon - The Full Fish Moon

Here we are again with another full moon. I wish we used proper names for our moons- it is far more interesting to call a full moon in April, a "Full Fish Moon' or "Full Sprouting Grass Moon" instead of...well... a full moon in April.  It was made more spectacular for it happened during the Lunar Perigee, that is... when the Moon is closest to the Earth during its monthly orbit. So the Wow factor was huge for us here without clouds in the sky.

An evening walk along the beach was of soft pastels


and then, coming down the path...the moon, already a glowing golden lantern in the falling twilight.



We walked home and after supper, lit a fire in the garden...well, in the firepit...not in the garden.



And watched as the moonlight filled all the shadows with silvery light.

We watched Sirius, the Dog-Star, putting on a show of its own with amazing twinkles, flashes and sparkles.

Read More

Ravens and Trees

Yesterday, between rain splashes, we built the planter boxes for the raised beds. We were kept entertained by the comings and goings of four ravens.  Lots of raven-talk going on with all their fluting, popping and quorking and metallic boinging noises. We wondered what they were saying. They kept flying into our Grand Fir, literally crashing into it, with wings all akimbo, having a good discussion and then flying off to another tree and doing the same thing. (It reminded me of kids canonballing each other in a pool.) There were two sets of ravens and I wonder, now that they are paired up, if they are getting the rules of territory under their belt and deciding which couple was getting what neighbourhood.


And on another note, here is the Grand Fir with stars.

Read More

The Moon was a Ghostly Galleon....


Last night, the walk home reminded me of that poem, "The Highwayman" by ...errrr...whatispickle...... I will look it up... Alfred Noyes. ( Funny, that name Alfred has come up three times in two days. Hmmm). So, where was I? Yes, the moon, the moon was indeed a ghostly galleon, albeit, there was no moor, just your typical neighbourhood streets.

    THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
    And the highwayman came riding—
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

I do love using indigo for moonlight paintings. It has just the right amount of mood without dominating the painting with darkness.

Read More