Last month, in the Rituals class with Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd, we got downright witchy with a magical botanical dyeing process! Underneath the rock in the picture below, my bundle of plants and papers is bubbling away…
I could not believe my eyes when I removed the papers from the bundle. The plants had left incredible imprints and images on the pages. This first one became the basis for the Harvest Queen in my solar spread:
I couldn’t take my eyes off these papers. Each time I looked, I saw new images emerging from the configuration of plants, flowers and turmeric stains. At first I didn’t want to alter them at all. They reminded me of parchment, they felt ancient, and seemed to carry so much depth within them. I think I could get addicted to this whole process!
The theme of the month was harvest and this lady in my solar spread is the Harvest Queen:
She is holding an apple which is symbolic of the Jewish New Year and also looks a bit like a heart. I’m not sure who all those other ladies are. I just saw them amongst the botanical prints so I drew them in. Maybe I will realise who they are later.
The turmeric left a golden colour on large areas of these papers, so I added some golden gesso to bring this out and also to help bring some focus to the Harvest Queen at the centre.
My lunar page for August was on the theme of what happens when there is no harvest:
My starting point for this page was the figure I could see enclosed by two long leaves. She looked so separate and shut off from life. This felt like it very much fitted with the feeling of no harvest.
I was drawn to separate out all the elements on the page, like they were specimens in a museum or something. It made me think of the approach I can sometimes have to life where it’s like a to-do list. That way, even if the things are good and nourishing, everything is separated out and I don’t feel the flow and joy of life.
I enjoyed this month tremendously. It wasn’t without its challenges, though! There is a lot of waiting involved in this process: waiting for the mordant to brew, collecting all the different elements needed for the bundle, waiting for the papers to soak and brew and dry. Quite a challenge for impatient types! But so worth it. In a way these papers were like an artistic harvest.
Wishing you all a happy September and an enjoyable start to the season of Autumn,