The Original Sun Worshiper; Ring Tailed Lemur

 I hope everyone had a brilliant midsummer and you're staying as cool as possible or splendidly sweaty upon your preference and locale. 
 If you didn't have time to celebrate or it slipped your mind, remember that midsummer was celebrated around July 5 before the Gregorian calendar was adopted. ;) Another reminder that  cultures have tried to track time for millennia, and it's all a human construct anyway, btw making numerology a largely culturally subjective and egoic practice. You can visit this site to see a list of some in descending accuracies, with the Persian calendar introduced in the 2 C. BCE being the most accurate.
 Sooooo, back to the star of the show; the Sun. Funny enough, the center of our solar system doesn't have an official name, according to the IAU. Solis is obviously the Latin for sun, from Sol, the Roman equivalent to Helios, Greek god of the Sun. For that matter, neither do any of the inner planets nor our moon. This is where culture and human anthropomorphizations get involved.

 One of my very first memories is of having one hand on a sturdy sapling, swinging my body weight around and around it as my hand slid over the smooth bark. I pivoted on one foot, looked up and swung. I let the brilliantly blinding gold light enter my eyes and what felt like my entire being, again and again. And I sang. I sang songs to the sun. I was barely three. Most of my early vivid memories are just this. The sun and me gazing on it. I didn't have a name for it, That feeling. Jubilation? Bliss? I guess I didn't need one. I think that feeling is what humanity chases and gives a personhood in a god. A warm stillness. On the solstice it is with us the longest.
 We love to name things. Our meat computers have adapted perfectly for this. The dance of visual cortex and frontal lobe to Broca's area is something we can't get enough of- if you're at all interested in the psych & neuroscience and want to dip your foot in this, read this article and then hit me up for more- as a RH artist with crossed aphasia during migraines, I love this topic! Not being able to communicate or place words during auras was a scary and frustrating thing for decades. Once I studied it more and began to release the need to label, riding out the waves of non-verbal time has been fairly enlightening.
 Amaterasu of Japanese mythology
(Amaterasu of Japan)
 The Sun, whatever you want to call it, him, or even her. Yes, her. In Japan, the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikame was the queen of heaven and earth. In ancient Mesopotamia she was Arinna. This theme crosses into Anatolia, where Hecate has her origins as a sun goddess that mediates between the upper and underworlds. (With no mention by Hesiod in Theogony of all the witchy traits later attributed to her.)  It can be Ra or Helios, who eventually gives way to Apollo, then Sol, and today we come back to another son that has a birthday celebrated in December and I think you get the point. My point? Every. Culture. Is. Different. And. Evolves. (Buuuut really doesn't if it thinks it's the "correct" culture and there's nothing new under the ...)
Our constant across the globe? The sun! Need warmth? Need food? Need light? Vitamin D? Serotonin? Awesome, me too. There's a star for that! 
 According to each group of people and their location, climate, etc., the folklore and resulting pantheon therefore religious ritual is going to vary, but without it there will be no life. Period. 
  That's why I chose to honor the solstice by visiting the ring tailed lemurs on Friday. I had the opportunity to see them in the Safari Park lemur encounter a couple of years ago during their sun-worship and it was a very cool experience. So against my better judgement, I brought one bottle of ice water & my sketchbook out into the 100+ heat index of the Central Florida Zoo. What followed was sweaty, sad, highly entertaining, but worth it.
-I have an unpopular stance with some fellow animal lovers-
One- Zoos can make me sad. Like really sad. Two- I still support zoos by being a member. Conservation, endangered species breeding programs, and education can make all the difference for a young person. Environmental protections aren't in place to save our animal brothers and sisters, so someone has to be the "bad" guy. Deal with it and or get to fixin' their habitat, my friend.

  Next to the spider monkeys (omg, you guys, we saw an actual monkey in the wild this weekend by our house but that's a whole other story) the ring tailed lemurs exhibit was obviously the biggest in the primate section. I'm betting this is because they are "famous" due to the movie Madagascar. That's where they are from, the southern end of Madagascar, along with 60 other species of lemurs throughout the rest of the country. I haven't seen the movie, but I've seen clips. Idk. I have thoughts that I'll get to at the end. anyhow- All lemurs are endangered due to habitat destruction.
 Back to the ring tailed lemurs- I was hot and dragging by the time I got back to their area, but they were fairly active. Active to the point it was a little difficult to sketch them. They were jumping about and eating leaves, then trying to find a comfortable position to sit, squat, nap, nope, climb, sit, squat, nap, nope, jump, hop, sit, etc. I was enjoying observing them and sketching croquis when a couple walked up (and after peering over my shoulder to see what I was doing) began watching them with me.  
 The two lemurs had been engaged in a mutual grooming session, and one was now trying to move to the seat the other had held. A bit of roughhousing ensued which very quickly broke off with the two running to separate areas of the enclosure. One of the lemurs began stroking his very long striped tail between his hands repeatedly.  The woman beside me began to comment how much, "He just loves that pretty tail of his! Show it off!" Then she laughed, walked off, and it got me thinking about one of my favorite (here read triggering) topics anthropomorphization in animal symbology. 
 What this lemur was actually doing by caressing his luxurious, long, striped tail was prepping for a "stink fight". The scent glands located on his upper wrists (and chest) secrete a strong pheromone that is unique to him.

Instead of engaging in violent spats, ring tailed lemurs waft their tails toward opponents and mark areas they want to stake as their own claim. What we were witnessing wasn't just grooming, and certainly not vanity- a uniquely human trait. It was a behavior that helps enforce boundaries and keeps confrontation from escalating to dangerous levels by using your very unique essence, so to speak. More sciencey details on stink fighting here.  I think that's a behavior to meditate on, don't you?

 The woman's comments, along with the lemur's unique homeland made me wonder what would happen if I looked up "lemur spirit animal" just for kicks. I personally don't believe in catchall copy paste guidelines from self proclaimed spiritual gurus, because honestly most of them are full of more bullshit than the rhino exhibit and don't know much about the animals they are talking about. Go figure. When I did, I unfortunately wasn't surprised. Most sites seem to copy and paste from each other and were a hodge podge of wishful thinking that works well with the Barnum effect and other cognitive biases.
These two were oft repeated to people searching for meaning of their "totem" & got me the most-
 "Spirits (sometimes creature) of the night" - Yeah. Lemur species are varied and most are actually diurnal, like the sun-basking ring tail. :) 
"Superficiality...manipulative" . 

free download for patrons
 Again, these are human traits projected onto a prosimian primate. I'm wagering the tail stroking and grooming behavior along with characterizations from a certain animated movie sparked this judgement. Let's maybe not put human traits on animals. Learn the animals, then glean what you can from how they behave on a personal and introspective level. If we're going to mash meaning into everything (and we are, it's how we roll) just be informed. I doubt the Malagasy people of Madagascar who thought the lemur was their sacred ancestor and had a soul would think they were superficial manipulative creatures. Oh, unless it's the Aye-Aye , a tiny species of lemur that  they thought cursed them with death if it pointed its weird elongated middle finger at them so they hunted it almost to extinction. Just an observation.  (Daaaaaamn, humans. Stop that already.)

You know about stink fighting. Here are some other basic facts.
They greet the sun every day in lotus like position, exposing their bellies. This warms them from the chilly night, prepping them for a day of foraging leaves, small insects, socializing, hopping about, etc.
They are matriarchal. Holla.
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Prosimian (strepsirrhines)
They can learn patterns, be taught tool use, and simple arithmetic. 
They are good swimmers and can travel by raft, i.e. floating debris & vegetation. This is probably how most lemurs got to Madagascar from Africa and proliferated so successfully due to the lack of other primates.
Their name is from a Latin word for a type of specter, or scary restless ghosts, lemures.  
"I call [the creatures in this genus] lemurs, because they go around mainly by night, in a certain way similar to humans, and roam with a slow pace." -Taxonomist Carl Linnaeus- When he had discovered small lemurs and also classified the loris as a lemur.
Ring tailed, Brown, Indris, etc. lemurs are diurnal, it is mostly the smaller lemurs that are nocturnal.

 Ok? Basics down? I recommend going to observe them if you can. Then you can decide what the lemur is to you. As humans, we will absolutely find meaning in any and everything. Life has the meaning you give it. Cookie cutter meanings make cookie cutter lives. Just like all animal guide meditation/intentions, the focus should be personal. 
 I sketched a few poses. I had a nice time observing them and thinking about how we think about them. By the way, the lemur didn't get his spot. He found a new one. I sketched him trying to nap on it before he moved.
 The watercolor artwork featured on this post is a ring tail in his sun worship pose, with a circumpunt for the sun, upward equilateral for fire, and various intersecting lines at points for my own as a reminder of balance, harmony, and flow.
 It is a reward for tier 3+ patrons. If you're not a patron but dig it, you can purchase a print here. 
 You'll see in the other reward downloads based on the lemur that my idea of sun worship and recharging isn't as fire as everyone goes on and on about. What I got from my meditative time after the lemur solstice; 
There are no formulas for something that hasn't been yet. No wrote ritual or pose. No expectations from others of what it should be. Breaks are goods, naps are even better. No need to oust another or compete. You don't ever need another to give you permission or direction.
 download on Patreon

 That perfect spot, your place in the sun, it will be yours and yours alone. 

That said- excuse any typos, s'il vous plait. It's hot af and I need a swim break. It's pretty hot.
All tiers of Lemur solstice rewards are up for supporters on Patreon, and the July moon phase calendar for Tier1 +will be up Sunday.
See you soon, 
~D. Renée

Poppies will make them sleep...

 The bright red flower (and the white) has symbolized death, dreams, and oblivion for many thousands of years before Flanders Fields made it ubiquitous in modern culture.

 A field of poppies was said to stand before the entrance to the gates of the underworld realm of Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams and son of Hypnos. The poppy origin in Greek mythology is said to have come from Demeter/Ceres. Hypnos/Somnus, god of sleep, created it for her when she needed rest while searching for Persephone. The name corn poppy comes from this, as she was the goddess of grain. They have compounds that ancients used for a sleep and grief tonic and are still used in modern medicine.
Minoan "Poppy Goddess" c. 1300-1250 B.C.E.
 The poppy has also been associated with several other goddesses, among them Nyx, Aphorodite, and the Minoan poppy goddess.
 In Asian legend, (white) poppies sprang from the battle fields. This is noted in historical writings on the battle fields of Ghengis Khan, and also on fields after the Napoleonic wars. The fields John McCrae wrote of after WWI were covered in the red blooms. Was it a sign from Morpheus of the journey they were taking? A gift from Hypnos?

 Chances are, there wasn't a magical or divine presence making poppies grow after the war. The activity of battle likely churned up soil, stirring already deposited seeds and even adding nutrients like iron and sulfur that poppies require for germination and blooming. Imagine looking across a bleak battle field littered with casualties. The uniforms and equipment are almost always a neutral color, blending into surroundings by design. Now, take into account that solid, bright colors are easiest for human cones to detect, with red being the color most strongly detected. It is also the color humans will notice psychologically before any other, as it is the color of blood. It warns us of danger, and contrasts with most of its natural surroundings.

 It was a beautiful poem that gave solace to those in deep grief and to honor many taken by war.
As you see, poppies have a very long history of solace.
downloads for Patrons here

 Today the red poppy is almost universally known as the symbol for honoring fallen soldiers.
There are other colors you can use to recognize groups in memoriam.

Black- African and Caribbean descent soldiers
Purple- War Animals (often overlooked!)
White- honoring those fallen and a commitment to peace.

 The language of flowers varies throughout cultures, but the poppy has a fairly strong theme. Comfort, sleep, imagination, dreams, death, and lovers. Humans are pretty great at figuring out handy correlations, especially when it comes to our opiate receptors.

Why is the Pink Moon Pink?

Why the Pink Moon & Phase Calendar
  Rabbit, rabbit!
I'm sure at least some of you say this on the first (we will save the history for next month's Flower moon on Patreon- and in some traditions the Hare Moon) 
This month I'm working in the Hare early because of his ties with the Pink Moon and Easter's date, as well as the Trickster energy kicks off the entire month. (I hope you weren't fooled badly by anyone today, but if you were, Jistu was probably happy.)
Moon Phase Calendar

 If you can, listen to *this recording of award-winning Cherokee storyteller Robert Lewis telling a traditional Cherokee Jistu story. Trust me, his voice and delivery is beyond compare, and he has quick a bit of trickster energy himself. Me writing about it would not do the rich oral tradition a lick of justice.
 ( *Start at 8:00-13:45 for the first story about how Creator challenged rabbit & he got his long ears, and 17:48 to hear about rabbit's trouble outside the council meeting and what his true talent is if you don't have 20 minutes to hear the entire Lewis segment.)
Jistu is rabbit/hare in Cherokee, and he is the traditional trickster in most Eastern tribe mythologies. Coyote is the trickster for Western tribes, like Navaho and Apache.

 April Moon / Pink Moon : This month's moon is called so because moss phlox is one of the first flowers to bloom and spread color in the spring. Another name is the Sprouting Grass Moon, and the Cherokee called it the Kawoni or Flower Moon although many others use that name for May's moon. There are a multitude of names for every moon within various cultures. Pink is fairly widespread, and I'm guessing it's because phlox is native to most of the Americas.

 Phlox is in the Polemoniaceae family and there are 60 odd varieties of phlox. Phlox coming from the Greek for flame, its color is bright and vibrant against the new spring grasses.  
Traditional medicinal uses for phlox included steeping the whole plant in a tonic for indigestion and using dried leaves as a detox tea, as well as topical application of a root tea for skin ailments, eye washes, and even venereal diseases. (Again- I am not recommending these applications, especially for the STIs. See a health care professional.)
 In the language of flowers, phlox means; Our souls are united. or We think alike. 
Using phlox in your garden to foster those harmonious warm and fuzzies seems a no-brainer, pink is always good for that 4th chakra whirl. The phlox flowers are susceptible to spider mites, eelworms, phlox bug, and powdery mildew (so probably whiteflies, too- bane of my existence) but so goes it with growing. Circle of life, get some green lacewings or ladybugs and watch them feast.
More things to come soon- just wanted to get the calendar link up for you to mark your moons if you wanted it. A full size downloadable print & PNG of the Pink Moon artwork will be coming to Tier 4+ soon, and a downloadable print of Hey, Jupiter is coming to Tier 3+ with the next line art upload when it's ready to scan.
Thanks for swinging by,
May the Pink Moon shine on new growth for you and yours,
May your heart sing like Jitsu's, even in the face of the Eagle,
May you teach others to dance to their heart's song.
~D. Renée

Weird Sisters Deciphering the Cauldron: Potion Bottle Project

I'm back with the next Deciphering the Cauldron post and potion bottle project!
I'm going to post more about the ingredients after my upcoming festival show, ArtoberFest/ Winter Springs Festival of the Arts, this weekend. So look for more of those posts over on Patreon after I've hauled everything back home and had a chance to get a few winks.

If you're a Patron, you know what the "eye" of a plant is from our last post.

And you also know there are several plants that have their own folk names that refer to their looks.
I've drawn the blossom that the plant is from, and it's one that humans have used for millennia. 

~Brassica nigra~
black mustard

Nope, not a real newt, but the eye of the plant does resemble a newt's eye. Teensy tiny and black when dried. Black mustard has varied use in folk medicine from colds to inflammation. It can relieve edema by stimulating the kidneys but it can also induce vomiting, so don't try it without an herbalist. 

But the question I come to with each ingredient;
Why "eye of newt"?

There are a few ways to go with this, and I think they are all correct.
It has to do with which side you're on concerning the role of the sisters, and the perspectives the author was simultaneously coddling and leaving open.Are they meddling hags, truly supernatural beings like the Fates, or are they a manifestation of Macbeth's inner demons?

  • Black mustard seed is widely believed to be the seed Christ spoke of in His parable, and even that parable's meaning is debated within religious circles.  
  • Black mustard seed holds a great deal of potential, energetically speaking, and its seeds germinate incredibly quickly. Once they drop, you'll almost certainly have a plant. 
  • Black mustard seed is used in conjure work to confuse one's rivals.

This latter fact is the one I'm leaning toward, and also why I was early convinced that the author was not merely using gross sounding rhymes. This herb/spice is straight up used to sew confusion in enemies in witchy work, and the visions in Act IV are right in line.

 Whatever option you choose, it's an ingredient that is meant to crank the faith and potential of whatever you throw in after it.

Up next-Toe of frog.Any guesses? Now, on to some light fun. 

Snape approved Potion bottles for easy Halloweeny decor 

Start collecting bottles~
I gathered a box and instead of throwing them into recycling, I stashed them in there for a while. Another inexpensive option is the Dollar Tree or the dollar bin section of Michaels. I already had a few of these little containers, like the green bottle to the left, that I got for buck or two.
 It has a seal and everything, so storing actual herbs/flowers/seeds is an option, or even your loose crystals and beads.  I lose the hell out of those, so cute containers are fantastic. But tbh, the seal makes it perfect for making large watercolor washes and not needing to worry about them drying out. If you paint in washes, pick one up for that alone.

Sand paper will rough up the surface so that paint can stick to the plastic. With some plastic bottles, like this orange rx bottle, it looks kind of cool with just the sanded surface.
Craft paints are fine for this project. I made some washes to create a dirty, drippy effect.

 If you have sticky labels that won't come off- leave them! IMO, the more texture, the better.
 A couple layers of craft paint...

Glue for oozing drips and sticking on your cap adornments.
Things like rocks, twine, beads, etc. to make them look as bog witchy or sophisticated as you please.

If you're not a Patron and want to design your own, there are so many options!
I love parchment paper, but make sure to use a waterproof pen, or even better a pencil. Otherwise the glue could smear your drawing. 
The pdf page is a free download for level 2 Patrons. Individual jpgs will be available for level 3 Patrons soon.

(I'm especially fond of this one, b/c the beads I used resemble the hounds tongue flower and a real tongue <3.)

After you print out your labels, cut them and either use scrapbooking tape (great option if you don't want to leave the labels on year-round) or an all purpose glue and apply with a brush on the back and edges. If your glue was too watery and the ink smears a bit, lightly brush it around for an aged look.
OR you could print it out and start again. Patrons can print their downloads at home as often as they like. 
Allow the labels to dry, add any extra decoration you think it needs, and you should be good to go. 
My artemisia seeds are going in my Blind Worm's Sting jar, which is good, b/c those things are tiny and were going to get lost in my seed drawer. 
Put things inside;

the office kitty, secrets you'll take to the grave, etc.

I have my bottles on our hearth. Probably to stay. Fun Christmas with the family...

Visit my Patreon to support nerdy stuff like this & art projects and get weird printables like these.
 Toe of frog is up next!

What potion are you making?

~D. Renée

In the cauldron boil & bake...

The MOST wonderful time of the year is here! October may still be muggy and lush here in Florida, but it's always Samhain in my soul. 
I was born in the autumn and Midwestern fall was my season.
Perfectly cool days, cracking leaves underfoot, woodsmoke in the air and chilly nights. A Harvest or Blood Moon in the clear, twinkling autumn sky makes it easier to hear whispers through the veil.

  The one thing about Florida "fall" I'll give it, we can still plant and grow things. Gardening is my grounding go-to, so I'm okay with this trade off. These are crazy times. If I can't have a long walk in the cold, autumn air, I might as well be able to get down and dirty with muh plant babes.
 For my spooky autumnal Patreon project, this has worked out quite well.

Deciphering the Cauldron; Finger of birth-strangled babe; Foxglove. (It's only visible to the public for a limited time, so hurry over if you want a peek. It goes back to Patrons only this weekend.)
I go into what's actually behind all those weird and seemingly gross ingredients of the Weird Sisters witches brew in Macbeth. Hint- not really body parts. It's plants. Some are highly toxic. (Shocker!) Some are used in modern medicine, and a few are favorites of witchy types like Shakespeare (-cough--Francis Bacon-cough, sneeze, I have a cold, sorry) for astrological, folklore, and other various correspondences.

 I'll give you a taste of what's coming next, but fair warning- it's a toxic one. Even touching this ingredient can result in blistered skin. Most definitely don't eat it...

Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the cauldron boil and bake

Macbeth, Act IV, S. I

Gross? Not exactly. As I've explained in the Foxglove post, most ingredients used in potions and brews by wise women were coded due to the secretive nature of their craft. This was for a few reasons, but the danger of laypersons fiddling about with potentially toxic plants was one of them. Also, King James hated witches, and Shakespeare really kicked up the nefarious a notch to pander to ol' Jimmy's disdain for the ladies of lore. 

Let's get down to it. 

Fillet = Filet = Meat
(Brits don't like to pronounce things the French way. Think Claret.)

Whenever an old Hedge Witch/herbalist/wise woman or even an alchemist  said to use the meat of a plant, they were referring to its fruit or berries.
We go over the corresponding secret code names for plant parts on the Patrons only post.

Arum Maculatum
 Okay, then...
Wtf is a fenny?

It's nothing more than an archaic term for a boggy, wetland-ish area. Fenny = bog

So, we know we're looking for a plant in a boggy area that looks like like a snake and we need its "meat". Oh, wait! There's totally a plant that already is called "snake's meat" colloquially. Dang, Shakespeare made that really easy.
Cuckoo Pint / Arum Maculatum
aka; Lord's & Ladies, Naked Boys and Naked Girls, Arum Lily, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Soldiers Diddies, Starch Root, Adder's Root, Adam and Eve, the list goes on and on but, hey one more Cheese and Toast because that one's great, and heeeeere we go-
Snake's Meat

The plant obviously has quite a few names, and most of them refer to couples and doin' the deed, because of the spadix and spathe formation. It's pretty. It's cool. It's a plant. Humans are weird.

The entire plant contains raphides, calcium oxalate crystals. 
(Raphides under 600x magnification)

This means that if disturbed, the plant will produce these crystals, which will get onto you if you touch the plant. They are a skin irritant, and if eaten, your throat and airways can close.
That's just the rest of the plant. We need the berries.

 berries of Cuckoo Pint

Cool tidbit about these plants, they are little tricksters. To get a pollinator, they disguise themselves with a fecal scent and higher temperature than the surrounding air. This attracts owl-midges in particular. We'll come back to the owl-midge flies!
The bottom ring of female flowers is topped by a ring of male flowers on the spadix. The male flowers are then surrounded by a ring of tiny hairs that act as an insect trap. This keeps the insect stuck inside for a while. They eventually figure out ho to escape through a tiny hole, and they repeat the process on surrounding Arum plants, this time covered in pollen. 

The roots of the plant are large and hold a great deal of starch. It was actually used to starch the collars and ruffs of nobility and was the only way to make communion linen. You can imagine how hard that was on the hands of the women that had to do the work.
This was written in 1597 by John Gerard, 

Right. All for stiff collars? Jeesh. The root could actually be used for medicinal use and flour if cooked properly, but it was risky. 

Okay. So now that we know what a fillet of a fenny snake was,
Well, what do you think?

Owl Midge photo from Cabinet of Curiosities
 We have the toxic aspect down, but keep in mind this is the first ingredient for the cauldron in this scene of Act IV. The sisters are kicking it up here for the visions/apparition prophesies.

I'm going to remind you that when they first said "Something wicked this way comes" at the beginning of the play, they certainly weren't talking about themselves. 
It was the overly ambitious and now murderous Macbeth. 
Macbeth who is represented within the play by an owl, Duncan by a falcon, and the Macduff family birds.
Macbeth the "obscure bird", or owl, that has killed, and plans to keep on killing. 

 If you want to see what's in the rest of Deciphering the Cauldron series, 
what's behind the printable line art page I came up with for Fenny Snake, or you want in on the upcoming potion bottle printables and  tutorial, head over to Patreon to pledge support and get access to more posts and free printables art & svg files.

 Thanks for stopping by, and be careful in your gardens. Always know your plants, and don't work with it if you aren't comfortable. See you pretties later!

I have to go catch a frog. Literally. There's tree frogs and toads all over the plants in the pool house. 
Frog poop everywhere. Tis the season!

 ~D. Renée

Singing Down the Moon

"Men say you can even sing down the moon from heaven,
And make the holy stars to falter and run backward, against the purpose And current of nature. Ha?"

These were the words spoken of Creon as written by Euripides in the play Medea. We can argue that in different dramas and tellings, Medea actually helped Jason (she did kill her brother for him) but only in Euripides' version did she intentionally kill her children.
While we work our way into the witchy season, a little snippet background into the Greek pantheon is probably appropriate for those of you that might have forgotten the witchy roots of the classical tradition, which are referenced in Macbeth. (If you haven't seen the Deciphering the Cauldron series on Patreon, head over to that post to check it out while it's still public.)
Medea = Niece of Circe Circe = First Sorceress Hecate = Goddess of Magic (Titan/older than Olympian Gods) also adopted as Crone aspect of Triple Goddess
Medea = Priestess of Hecate, Macbeth witches are considered priestess of Hecate, (but Hecate was a later addition to the play, most likely from Thomas Middleton's The Witch, 'nuff about that.) BUT, like we talked about before, the Macbeth witches are also more likely to be a personification of the Fates, or Wyrd Sisters. Wyrd being a the Anglo-Saxon word that corresponds with fate/personal destiny.

Back to Creon, King of Corinth, and his fear of the witchy, bitchy, Medea-
He's letting her know why he's banishing her. She could do harm to his daughter if she wanted to. People say she's maaaad powerful, and, well, she is. A princess of Colchis, her grandfather is Helios, the sun god. Her aunt is Circe. She was trained in pharmaka, the herbal healing and sometimes dark magical arts.
To rewind- Medea is losing it because Jason of Argonaut fame, whom she had given up everything for including murdering a sibling, ditched her and their kids for a new, younger, Greek wife. (As aforementioned, Medea was foreign. Greeks could be pretty mean about that once they were back home.) Medea is now being banished, which is pretty damn near a death sentence for her and her kids.
It's a very moving and interesting take on the role of women in relationships. Not just in romantic relationships, but also from the aspect of the chorus to Medea. For being written in 431 BCE, I'd say the people crediting it with being one of the first feminist works. I'll just paste this little Medea monologue to the women of Corinth right here-

"Women of Corinth, I am come to show  My face, lest ye despise me. For I know  Some heads stand high and fail not, even at night  Alone—far less like this, in all men's sight:  And we, who study not our wayfarings  But feel and cry—Oh we are drifting things,  And evil! For what truth is in men's eyes,  Which search no heart, but in a flash despise  A strange face, shuddering back from one that ne'er  Hath wronged them? . . . Sure, far-comers anywhere,  I know, must bow them and be gentle. Nay,  A Greek himself men praise not, who alway  Should seek his own will recking not. . . . But I—  This thing undreamed of, sudden from on high,  Hath sapped my soul: I dazzle where I stand,  The cup of all life shattered in my hand,  Longing to die—O friends! He, even he,  Whom to know well was all the world to me,  The man I loved, hath proved most evil.—Oh,  Of all things upon earth that bleed and grow,  A herb most bruised is woman. We must pay  Our store of gold, hoarded for that one day,  To buy us some man's love; and lo, they bring  A master of our flesh! There comes the sting  Of the whole shame. And then the jeopardy,  For good or ill, what shall that master be;  Reject she cannot: and if he but stays  His suit, 'tis shame on all that woman's days.  So thrown amid new laws, new places, why,  'Tis magic she must have, or prophecy—  Home never taught her that—how best to guide  Toward peace this thing that sleepeth at her side.  And she who, labouring long, shall find some way  Whereby her lord may bear with her, nor fray  His yoke too fiercely, blessed is the breath  That woman draws! Else, let her pray for death.  Her lord, if he be wearied of the face  Withindoors, gets him forth; some merrier place  Will ease his heart: but she waits on, her whole  Vision enchainèd on a single soul.  And then, forsooth, 'tis they that face the call  Of war, while we sit sheltered, hid from all  Peril!—False mocking! Sooner would I stand  Three times to face their battles, shield in hand,  Than bear one child.-- "
Euripides, Medea
Daaaaamn. I hear ya, Medea. You right, girl. Totally justified in getting revenge. (That's basically what the chorus says back.)
That's when Creon stomps over to let her know she's outta here. Part of her reply regarding his daughter, Jason's new bride-

"But I wish her well, my lord!
I wish her all the happiness.
I hope that Jason may be as kind to her-=
As-- to me."
At this, King Creon loses it. He knows Jason treated her like garbage, but she talks him down, appealing to his sensibilities. She gets a day.
In that day, she gives the princess a killer gift. I really can't give more away. You need to read this play or at least stream a great production. Even better, go support a local production when it comes around. It's worth it.

The artwork shown will be available to my level 3 & up Patrons as a download within the next day or so. Patrons, look for the post notification in your inbox.
The original artwork will be going to a Patron in a random drawing in November!
Each $5 on a level gets one entry.
Level 2 = 1 entry
Level 3 = 2 entries
Level 4 = 4 entries etc.
Everyone else can purchase unsigned, open edition prints or apparel through the shop section of my website,
Enjoy this full Harvest Moon tonight. Anyone going to try to sing it down? It is an Aries moon. It might sound kind of metal.
Let me know how it works out if you do.
Love you all!
May you be kind ;)
D. Renée


In another installment of illustration & poetry collaboration between the brilliant Quirine Dongelmans and myself; Wave.

Dreaming shadows.
Never cease to exist.

Wave; watercolor, D. Renée Wilson.  

There is quite a lot I could say about the undercurrents of this piece, no pun intended. How thoughts, emotions, and action are seamlessly linked in the cycle of creation with stagnation being an illusion, but I've already written about it on the Patreon page, and I think Quirine's piece sums it up quite nicely. I don't discuss the meaning with her before she writes, either. Funny how that works, out. 

 What kind of waves are carrying you?

What waters lift you into action?

Can you change the swells of the tide?

Is your mind the turning of the globe or own the Fates your winds?

Whatever you need for your next piece of wandering, may you find fair winds and following seas.

~D. Renée

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