Rituals class – July

‘The magical forest’ — my solar spread for the July Rituals class with Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. The theme for this month with was ‘Spirit’. When I am in the forest, I feel connected to nature, to myself, to magic, and to a bigger sense of the universe. When I am surrounded by the trees, I feel included in this big something, as if I am being hugged by it and brought closer to the heart of things.

The thin gold trees reminded me of Gustav Klimt, especially as I had just seen Rosie Rain‘s lovely posts about the Klimt class she is taking. This inspired me to continue with all the circles and triangles.

I used Liquitex gold ink for my gold. It’s an interesting ink because it can look quite flat, like a yellow ochre, but then when you shine the light on it: wow! A bit like the trees in the forest, when the sunlight catches them at a certain angle and they come to life in a whole new way.

‘Illumined by stars’ – my lunar spread for July. I loved this part of the class so much. As a teenager I was obsessed with medieval art and literature, particularly the Arthurian legends. To make a self portrait in the style of medieval icons was like a dream come true. I love how this ended up combining with a cartoony style. Old and new together! (I used Winsor and Newton gold ink for my gold).

I googled Medieval fonts. I drew letters inspired by the ‘Mael’ font and love how it adds to the medieval manuscript atmosphere. I meant to write the word “illuminated” but then ran out of room (as I often do). Fortunately “illumined” is a word!

The pages from both this month and last month feel like they are very much connected. I revisited the same places  – the forest and the starry sky – but from a slightly different angle.

The Rituals class is such a beautiful way to move through the calendar year. Each month there is a chance to reflect whilst also learning new techniques and trying out new materials. I am enjoying it tremendously!

Wishing you all a beautiful August!

These are my woods now

I always had the feeling
this was not my place
but someone else’s
as if I needed permission
to walk these paths.
I will take my place
among the trees
that sing to me,
and call me my true name.

The Women

Though the Borough of Camden has no forest,
when the moon goes dark I hear the call
and my heart feels sad for lack of women.

I unwind myself towards the women.
Like a thread, they pull me to the heart of the forest.
From the elder and hawthorn and birch trees they call.

I shake off the world as they send out their call
and clothe myself in the fire of the women.
Together we dance in the deep of the forest.

From the forest they call, the women, the women.

* * *

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write a tritina. The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.”

The repetition in this poetic form goes well with a movement towards something simpler, wilder, more primal. The first line locates us in the modern urban world. After that, the tritina takes us into a realm more like ballad and myth.

I wrote a second poem today, also a tritina, which you can read here. I wrote two poems because I don’t know if I will have the chance to write one tomorrow. Because I am going to the forest to join the women!