Explorations Into Liminality
“and there came an arm and a hand above the water and met it and caught it, and so shook it thrice and brandished it, and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the water.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Sap Moon, The Crow Moon

The Sap Moon, one of the many names March's full moon goes by, heralds the return of the sap to the trees in North America. Imagine the life blood rising slowly and sweetly, up the trunk and reaching outward to the branches, touching the new leaf stirrings with amber magic.
The sugar maple has the sweetest sap of all the trees, and it only runs for a very short time from the first thaw til the first buds (just 4-6 weeks).

The Crow Moon is another appellation for the moon of March, the black birds cawing out tidings of Spring. Crow, the shape-shifter, trickster, clever corvid of transformation. Collector of shinies, omen-laden, cackling in a murder.

The Fantasy Artists of Etsy (FAE team) host a monthly dare for it's members to create according to the theme of each month's moon. Here are the incredible items my fellow team mates were inspired to bring to life:

My own Snake Priestess Earrings. I wanted to use amber, for the sap, and had a completely different idea when I first started to make them. They manifested themselves, answering a chthonic call from the down-deeps with the moon as their witness. Amber, jet, moonstone, and snake vertebrae.

Raven Moon Neck Ruff by NightLilyDesign

Raven Crow Moon Statue by PhenomeGNOME, who also has some cool fairy checks you might want to check out!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Think Greek

I've had Ancient Greece much on my mind of late- ok, it's often on my mind but significantly more so recently. There is such rich archaeology to be studied and discovered that it holds me spellbound. I was graciously gifted with a bounty of serpent treasure by my friend Erika at Kika's Fancy and though I felt like I had a thousand ideas, I was having a terrible time putting anything "right" together. Then a muse smacked me in the head and I had it. Inspired by the Snake Goddess figurines uncovered at Knossos, Crete, snake vertebrae ear adornments heavy with imagery... Minoan Relic Earrings.
Shortly after I finished another pair in this series, I came across two archaeology articles about Crete, both stunning and spectacular in their own right.

It seems that recent excavations have provided evidence of not only very early habitation of the island, but also the ability of pre humans to have used sea travel incredibly earlier than previously thought. The earliest maritime voyagers were placed at 60,000 years ago, but these stone tools on Crete have been dated to at least 130,000 years ago, and possibly much earlier than that. (Click here for a wonderfully bookish article on the subject.)

Additionally, deliciously, new areas have been excavated at Eleutherna, Crete which have uncovered enormous urn burials and a monument tomb of a dynasty of priestesses. These womens' remains are familial; there was a 200 year matrilineal bloodline interred and a wealth of grave goods, including ritual implements of enormous value even at that time, the 8th century BC. This was touted as one of archaeology's top 10 finds for 2009.
This is a Greek terracotta applique of a Gorgon, found at Ancient Touch. She has wings and snakes on her head, pink pigment on her lips and blue on her eyes. Only 3.4", from the 2nd century BC.

Minoan Snake Goddess, 1600 BCE, Knossos, Crete

Monday, March 22, 2010

She Walks Among Us

Celebrating the return of The Maiden, of Kore, She-Who-Comes-Again. Persephone returns to the above world, trailing flowers in her wake, smiling warmth and radiant youth on the land.

She is one of the most spectacular deities in her dual role of balancing life and death, the One who walks the circle and leads us in ongoing transformation. I dispel the myth of her raped-and-stolen story and allow her to embrace her destiny as the Sacred Bride, not to have her sacrifice be diminished by rumors of victimization. She is not running home to her mother, crying upon her forced return to the world below. She rises with Spring and flings her arms wide, and then descends with Winter all-gathered in her dark embrace.  (for more on my murmurings on Persephone's mysteries, read here...)

And so, I hail the Ineffable Maiden, and welcome her footsteps, with "Persephone Rising".

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sometimes She Sank, Sometimes She Swam

For long and long have I been captivated by the murder ballad of The Miller and the King's Daughter. There are many and more names this story goes by; The Twa Sisters, The Wind and Rain, The Cruel Sister, The Bonny Swans, and on. It is first known to have surfaced in 1656 and over time and geography has many varied versions. Passion crime, wicked siblings, impossible enchantments...the perfect story to share on a day celebrating Irish heritage!

A jealous elder sibling drowns her fair young sister over the want of a man, allowing her to wash away down the river. Her body, water-borne, seems to be a dead swan upon the current. She is found and transformed into an enchanted harp, which sings of a sister's treachery.

I believe the first I heard of this song was a version by Clannad, but I am not certain it wasn't the Jerry Garcia Band which introduced me to the tale. There are so many artists who have performed one of the traditional versions, but some have re-written the themes into their own version, which is what I share today from Loreena McKennitt. This video is glorious; rich with medieval and fairytale imagery, and Loreena's haunting voice.

So here I present my Steampunk assemblage interpretation of a tragic tale, but one full of magic and gorgeous imagery.

Steampunk Fairytale Bonny Swan Necklace, by Mermaiden Creations

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weaving Words for Wednesday

                                            Steampunk Pink Spun Spider Collar

Weaver of beauty, designing the day
With splashes of lavender, shading to blue,
How lovely the pattern your fingers portray;
You weave with perfection the color and hue,
With corals you fashion the tint of the dawn
And stars lose the luster that silvered the night;
With amber you jewel the dew on the lawn,
Your shuttles are flashes of radiant light,
You brighten with opals the rain in the air,
While boisterous winds toss the warp on your loom;
At evening you spangle the heavenly stair
And crimson the shadows that enter my room.
I love you, Weaver, designer of art,
For tapestries hung on the walls of my heart.

~Unidentified poet, included in Golden Bridle Poetry Patterns