Earth Air Water Fire – by Sophia Breillat

This issue's cover image is by Sophia Breillat, a writer, artist and astrologer. Named Earth Air Water Fire the painting is from Sophia's "Glimpses of Nature" gallery, in which she writes about this image:

Earth giving sustenance and fertility
Air giving lightness of being
Water giving softness and fluidity
Fire giving vibrance and warmth
All giving life

Earth, Air, Water, Fire, by Sophia Breillat

More about Sophia

Sophia is a wise woman who lives, writes and paints from the heart... Through the enriching inner transformation given by her life experiences she helps many women all over the world to accept, enjoy and and trust the intuitive wisdom and mysterious depth of the feminine psyche.

Through her many inspiring articles Sophia encourages women to align with the inherent ebb and flow of the female mystery and the inherent rhythm of the earth... She offers wise guidance, mentoring and counseling for menstruation, adolescence, lovemaking, relationships, pregnancy, birthing, parenting, menopause and beyond.

Her unique art embraces the sacredness of the feminine spirit and the spirit of the earth... Her beautiful paintings are alive with a glorious profusion of flowing lines, vibrant colours and ancient symbols... These powerful images emanate a mystical and mythical quality that reflects a deep sense of stillness, joy and peace.

Sophia’s website is a sacred space of loving truth and wisdom that supports women during their journey into wholeness and healing... It is a creative offering of inspiring words and powerful images that nurture the awakening  of the female essence and embody the earth’s transformational cycles of life, replenishment and renewal.

Sophia is widely acknowledged as a powerful, courageous and honest writer who dares to bring unspoken words and hidden secrets into the light for healing... Many people are challenged, inspired and deeply touched by the perceptive insights of her writing, which brings the ancient truth and mystery of woman and the earth into the marketplace of contemporary society.

Sophia creates natal horoscopes for adults, newborn babies and children of ages... These readings are beautifully illustrated and intuitively aligned with the spiritual essence of her clients... Her perceptive astrological counseling consultations and her wise woman menopausal mentoring consultations offer deep insight, conscious guidance and the opportunity for real transformation.

Her training includes reconnective healing, intuitive massage, primal therapy, counseling skills, astrology, writing, art and design, instructional skills and training program design... She has facilitated many inspiring and creative courses and workshops that embrace a vast array of subjects.

Sophia is currently writing a series of books that nurture and honour the natural rhythms of the female body and psyche... They are an inspiring offering of wisdom, support and healing that invites women to enjoy the power of female wildness, the depth of female wisdom and the sacredness of female truth.

Her articles, paintings and poetry are featured throughout many websites and magazines in the U.K., U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada and Serbia... An expansive selection of her prolific art, writing excerpts and poetry can be viewed on her website. You can email Sophia by clicking here.

West Kennet Long Barrow – Womb of the Goddess

by Peter Knight

West Kennet Long Barrow - photo by Peter KnightMagically standing on a ridge just south of Avebury, West Kennet Long Barrow is one of the most magnificent and oldest of Wiltshire’s ancient monuments. Archaeologist Aubrey Burl described the site as, ‘… the finest megalithic tomb in England and Wales…’ and as such it is included in the Avebury World Heritage Site.

It is the best preserved, and almost the longest, of all long barrows, comprising hundreds of tons of chalk and earth in a 100m long mound, plus a passage and five atmospheric chambers at the east end, guarded by large sarsen stones. The whole monument was designed to impress from the outside, and to transform once within. Continue reading "West Kennet Long Barrow – Womb of the Goddess"

The Truthful Bounty of Cerridwen’s Cauldron

by Carolyn Lee Boyd

CauldronSummer is the season of truth. In New England, summer always begins when the sun melts the layer of snow that has given the illusion of our world as a unified and peaceful white landscape, revealing the artifacts of daily life dropped and covered over by each successive storm. The chocolate muffin that fell out of my pocket on the way to work, homework, make-up, keys and more all return and must be disposed of or reintegrated into our lives.

As I putter in my garden, pieces of 19th century broken dishes and bottles constantly rise and make their way into the top layer of shifting soil. These objects had been tossed out the back door by six generations of former occupants and are now coming back as reminders that our ecological misdeeds will always be found out. Beyond these seasonal metaphors for revelation, in summer many of us are outside and with others much of the time. We can see and be seen in the clear light of day for all we do and all we are. And so, I think summer is the perfect time to contemplate Cerridwen’s cauldron.  Continue reading "The Truthful Bounty of Cerridwen’s Cauldron"

Quench Your Thirst with Herbs

by Susun S Weed

linden teaAs we slide from summer into autumn, the sun seems hotter and fiercer than ever. And the summer's heat makes us thirsty. What shall we drink? There are so many choices. Since 2003 the number of new drink products on the market has tripled. How are we supposed to choose the best drinks? Does it even matter?

I think it does. The liquid portion of our diets is as important as the solid portion. That's why I drink herbal brews, nourishing herbal infusions to be exact, instead of juice or water. Some herbs are powerhouses of nourishment, energy, and health-promoting factors. By choosing those herbs as my drink, I increase the amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in my diet without consuming extra calories, and at a cost of only pennies a day. I'd rather drink nourishing herbal infusions than any other beverages. I drink infusion in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, too. Continue reading "Quench Your Thirst with Herbs"

My Church

by Jan Foster-Bartlett

Loch ViewMy church has many doors. I open my front door and I am there. I access my place of worship from the door of a shop, door of my car, door of my neighbours’ house, my friends’ house, even the dentist has a door that leads out into my huge and beautiful church.

There are no medieval tiles on the floor but soft damp turf, sometimes shingle, pavement or scrubland. My favourite flooring is the crumbly soil mixed with leaf mould. The roof of my church goes on and up forever, blue with exquisite patterns painted in white, cream and grey. It changes colour constantly. There are times when it is black and dark and then it is illuminated with an array of sparkling jewels. Continue reading "My Church"

Excerpts from SACRED HOUSE: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth

by Carolyn Hillyer

Moon in WaterThis book is written as a spiral that spins in both directions; stories gathered and hung upon a non-linear structure, memories and textures threaded around a circular loom, words spilled across the earth floor of an ancient sacred women’s house. Here are some fragments from the loom …

The Weaver’s Daughter and Other Yarns

She collected looms. The first was a rug loom, a simple frame bolted and braced and bound with twine, as tall as a tribes woman in her middle years and twice as wide. She came to this loom by chance or destiny or both. She had crept into the weavers’ monthly council because her fingers itched and twisted whenever she passed near their door and she wanted to know why. Continue reading "Excerpts from SACRED HOUSE: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth"

Flowing with Music, by Sanndi Art

bellydanceSanndi has always had an interest in the mystical realm of mermaids, goddesses, angels, etc. The mystical side of life and the beauty of nature often served as muses for her art. Then a few years ago when Sanndi discovered bellydance a whole new muse was born! Sanndi felt it needed to be expressed through painting due to its vivid colors, exotic costumes, and the passion and mystery that emanated from the dance. Not only was bellydanceinspiring to paint but very soul fullfilling as well. Sanndi found bellydance gets you in tune with your body and all of the fabulous curves we have as women! Many of the moves focus on the abdomen muscles and the hips and are very empowering to experience. Sanndi feels the art of bellydancing really gets you in touch with your own inner goddess, most definitely! This ancient dance continues to inspire Sanndi with many creative images for future paintings.

Other subjects for Sanndi's art include mermaids or other ethereal-type women depicted in nature. Sanndi often enjoys sitting outdoors to paint, where she can feel the spirits of nature in the flowers and plants surrounding her. Her choice of medium is often watercolors or markers.

Sanndi started her company, Sanndi Art, in 2009 and began selling prints of her art online and in person as a vendor at various bellydance shows in Atlanta, Georgia. Aside from her prints she also incoporates her art on hand-crafted keepsake boxes and on Christmas ornaments.Future projects include her own line of greeting cards and possibly a Tarot Card Deck. SanndiArt has been featured in several dance magazines in the U.S.

Sanndi hopes her art will inspire women to feel joy within their bodies and maybe even take a dance class! It doesn't matter what kind of dance class, JUST DANCE!(it truly is good for the soul!) Sanndi is a long-time native of Georgia, (a true southerner!). She currently resides in a small town away from Atlanta where it is quiet and she can paint outdoors and commune with nature.

To view more of her work or to order prints of her art, please visit her at www.sanndiart.com or you may contact her at sand518@netzero.net

Reclaiming Nonna: Forgotten Goddess

by Becky Thomas

Nonna's WellOn the cliff-top peninsula just outside St Davids lies the ruined chapel of St Non. Here, at this wind-swept sacred place, the sense of the goddess is strong and it was at this place that I began to hear Nonna whisper to me, began to sense her calling me to dream her alive and reclaim her once again from the mists of time in which she has been lost for a thousand years and more. Here I will tell her story.

The coastal area of Pembrokeshire, the county in which St Non’s Chapel is found, was part of the pre-Roman tribal area called Demetia. This remote western region of Wales was never fully settled by the Romans and was difficult to defend from the constant bombardment of attacks coming from the sea so Magnus Maximus, Emperor of Britannia, shrewdly invited the Irish Deisi tribe to settle the region and to defend it on behalf of Rome. The Deisi claimed direct descent from the sun god Beli Mawr, who according to the early Welsh Christians was the spouse of Anna “The Prophetess”, who was said to be either the daughter of the Virgin Mary, a cousin of Mary or daughter of Joseph of Arimathea by his first wife. However the pagan population considered Beli Mawr to be the consort to the Welsh mother goddess Dôn who is one and the same as the Irish mother goddess Danu. The Deisi brought with them the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Irish pantheon which would eventually amalgamate with the native belief system. Continue reading "Reclaiming Nonna: Forgotten Goddess"

Holiday in the Land of the Moon

by Laura Gee

Golden Butterfly - photo by Luigi ManzoTimes are hard, holidays are becoming shorter. The need then to find a place which, in a short space, will offer rest, relaxation, food for the body and for the spirit is pressing. We all hope for a special place that will furnish the balance of rest and stimulation, fun and interest to see us through the working year.

Of course everyone has different aspirations. Perhaps you’d like to see new places, enjoy blue skies and clear seas, would hope to eat healthy, tasty food and still find something more, something that will nourish the inner essence; away from the sameness of crowded resorts with their ubiquitous ‘global village’ approach? Continue reading "Holiday in the Land of the Moon"