An interviewer speaks with Eva Green about her role on Penny Dreadful and more. A stage writer best known for his work in the Harry Potter universe aims to bring the His Dark Materials series to the small screen. And tattoo artist Damien Echols talks about mixing magic and art. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in pop culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Do you know we are all on fire? Life is literally a fire burning in our bodies. Our biology magically takes in energy in tiny increments so we don’t ignite. Still, it’s a wonder more of us don’t just spontaneously burst into flames! Beltane is a traditional time to renew, reawaken our fire—inner fire, hearth fire, community fire, sexual and fertility fire of people, animals, plants, the land.
What about when there’s way too much fire everywhere: in wars, in forests, in collapsed nuclear reactors, even freak fires in the arctic? What about depression—not enough creative fire, soul fire, wemoon fire, to bring balance and healing to offset the devastation? No way to get there from here? Today is our holy moment to quantum jump over the impossible and make love to the Possible. (If your head can’t do it, let your heart try.) Newborns of the body or imagination conceived on Beltane are “Merry Begots,” full of enough aliveness, love, joy, humor to confound the toughest logic and direst doomsday predictions.
A great meeting of the gods was called for a certain day. As the various statues of the gods arrived from all over the world, the gatekeeper directed them.
Gold statues in rows 1 to 3, silver statues rows 4 and 5. Bronze statues in rows 6 through 10; marble statues, rows 11-20. Wooden statues in rows 21 to 40.
Now it so happened that Socrates was in attendance that day. He approached the gatekeeper.
Come, come, my friend, he chided him. A work of art cannot be judged merely on the basis of what it is made from. Some of these bronze and marble statues—even some of the wooden ones—are great masterpieces, made by the finest artists of their day. By any reasonable standard, we must hold them to be of greater value than statues of lesser craftsmanship that merely happen to be made from gold and silver.
Not long ago I had the whole-body urge to locate an artist whose profile I'd read years ago in a magazine that's regional to Asheville and Western North Carolina — WNC Woman. The magazine, founded by Julie Parker, had featured my Honoring Your Belly article in its first issue. It's been a strong force for women's writing, art and entrepreneurship ever since.
But I no longer remembered the woman's name. I did remember that Julie had described her as painting from her hara — the Japanese word for both belly and the source energy concentrated within the body's center.
Searching on [wncwoman + hara], I found Julie's interview with Joyce Metayer. The April 2004 profile begins:
Joyce Metayer stands in front of and facing her work, feet planted firmly and powerfully on the earth, hands on her hara, as she explains how she births her work — how her inner vision emerges into three dimensions. Literally three dimensions, for these pieces are intricately-constructed canvases of mind-boggling complexity. She explains how she projects her sketch for a piece onto the wall to determine its appropriate size, then moves forward and back until the size is just so — until she literally feels it in her hara. This visceral connection to her work is so strong it seems almost visible ... a cord from womb to work, as it were.
I surprised Joyce with a phone call and had the pleasure of speaking with her. Our conversation included this exchange:
LS: How did you develop this process?
JM: I didn't. It found me.
LS: How do the images arrive? How do they enter your awareness?
JM: I see the image as a holograph, a shape in three dimensions. Then the color plan comes to me as a bodily sensation.
With Joyce's permission, here are three images of her work. For titles and larger versions of these images, plus additional images and more information on each piece, click here.
Autumn Skye Morrison (Powell River, BC) In creating art I find my stillness and rhythm, my teacher and passion. Each painting offers a reflection of the light and shadow of our humanity, our sublime geometry and our timeless divinity. May we celebrate this fantastic adventure, inspire and be inspired. autumnskyemorrison.com
Miss Ascentia (Stewartville, MN) is a Priestess of Poetry & Song, Professional Plant Spirit Advocate, Vision Quester & Sundancer adept in the High Technologies of Prayer, Craniosacral Therapist and Educator, Birth Doula and a Devout Student of Metta. firstname.lastname@example.org
At a recent occult meet-up, the topic of the discussion was "Goddesses" and we had gotten to the point where we were discussing our experiences and perceptions. Perhaps because there was a light focused down directly where I was sitting, I was especially talkative at that meeting.
During one of my ramblings, the following description dropped out of my mouth: "With my art, versus my personal practice, I can't say that I'm specifically aligned with any certain deity or pantheon. Rather it's like there's this mystical psychiatrist's couch in my studio, and They line up to have a lay down and tell me Their problems and what They want for art." Up until that moment, I had never really voiced it, but that's exactly what it feels like to make my art.
1-2 years ago, when friends and clients told me I should come out with a coloring book of my art, I must confess I was rather perplexed, and the thought conjured up images of newsprint booklets for children, full of cartoons.
Which mind you, it didn't seem like a terrible idea, as I have thought of writing and illustrating children's books, but I wasn't confident that my regular art was entirely child-appropriate. Heck, my work tends to unsettle most adults who are not of an esoteric persuasion, I didn't want to be responsible for freaking out small children.