Sacred Marks- Personalised Art for you Altar

Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar
Your altar is a sacred and precious place in both your home and your life. It is both personal and steeped with meaning and sacredness, perhaps a feather or two, a gift from nature, a keepsake from your ancestors, embodiment of the stone people, plant people.
Perhaps you are working with an animal totem, perhaps a goddess or deity keeps watch over you.
Perhaps your altar is fluid and ongoing or maybe you set up a dedicated new altar for the new moon cycle or a particular thing you are working on, either way, altar art can embody and call forth, ask, declare your intentions or whisper messages to your soul.
Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar, word of the year

I will work with what you have, whether you know what you wish to call into your life or whether you want me to intuit some magic on your behalf.

Available here: ETSY

Perfect for:
Setting a new intention
Honouring something
Word of the Year
  Your piece will act as a touchstone, a talisman of sorts, for the magic you wish to surround yourself with, a visual reminder of your intentions, of your allies, of your work. A physical representation of your guides and the work you are doing, of your daily practice, of your bigger picture.

Whatever I intuit your piece will be customised and very particular to you at this time in your journey.

Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar
What you will receive:
Within 4 weeks (depending upon how the moon shines) I will pop your altar piece in the mail for you. It will be roughly 20x13 cm or 20x26cm (depending upon which option you select) on fabric and plaster (both organic and homage to the frescoes of altar paintings) and will be a mixed media piece using whatever the muses whisper to me while I consult your guides and listen to spirit. This could include collage, ephermera, acrylics, water colours, silver or gold leafing, inks, pastels, pencil, crayon, words, quotes, symbols, sacred marks and often encased in encaustics (bee medicine) to hold the magic for you. You may also receive a suggestion or two for your altar such as a crystal that might want to be on your altar or a piece of poetry or any other tidbit that comes to me in the process of creating your unique piece.

Please note that because of the nature of this work I will only be doing limited pieces at any one time and only while spirit wishes to play in this way.
This is an intuitive process where I will open and hold space for you and your intentions and allow spirit to guide me on your behalf. The result will be alchemical magic of one sort or another and most definitely the right magic for you at this time.

Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar, word of the year
Once you have decided that your altar needs some of this Sacred Mark magic to honour it and treat yourself in this way, I will send you some brief questions which will be up to you how much detail you wish to give or not i.e. if you have a particular intention or whether you are working with a particular guide or whether you feel to leave it to me to intuit on your behalf.

This will be a collaboration between you, me, spirit and both our guides, and as collaborations go, it will be truly transformational and magical.

Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar

Please note these pieces can take up to a month to complete as sometimes, depending upon your intentions, the cycles of the moon may be consulted in the creation of your piece.

I may also draw an oracle card or consult the tarot when tapping into your piece and you may receive some suggestions for which stone people may like to work with your altar.

Galia Alena- Sacred Marks for your Altar

Once you receive your piece you may like to create a symbolic ceremony around placing it on your altar, imbuing it with your own magic and intentions.

Available here: ETSY

Love letter from the sun

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus

I have a theory about autumn, about those glorious golden leaves, red leaves, burnished leaves exploding with light. At this time of the year the sun is low and in the afternoon, when its light is golden magic, kissing and caressing everything with its glory, its angle is so oblique that it gets trapped in the leaves. It is this trapped light that turns the leaves yellow, red, orange, sienna. This beautiful light trapped and burning bright. It is too much beauty for the fragile leaves to endure and they must fall to the ground like Icarus having got to close to the sun, too close to pure beauty...
Galia Alena Photography

Best of 2009 Challenge

So in Australia we are normally a  day ahead, but I guess in this one we are a month behind. While the rest of the web community is busy with new projects and so on, for me it is holiday time with the kids on school holidays, so not a lot gets down. Here is my rather belated Best of 2009 Challenge started by Gwen Bell. Some of them were instantly obvious and others required some thought and deliberation. It's been such an interesting and new year that in some cases it was impossible to narrow it down to a best. It is so late that Mr MckLinky is closed. Perhaps I should start on my 2010 list now.

Best Trip: This one is such a tough call as 2009 heralded the beginning of much travel but of course it was January in Vancouver which put on a stunning show of snow with its 40 year record of snow fall. We were so lucky.

 Best Restaurant Moment: Five Islands Restaurant, Koh Samui, Thailand, for my birthday. A magical day and night that started with a long boat trip, snorkeling, and ended with a banquet and a magical light show from the setting sun.

Best Book: I will not die an unlived life” by Dawna Markova, this one surprised me. I have read many books along these lines over the years but this one really touched on some truths at a time when I needed to find them. Will be read and re-read, quoted and turned to as needed.
May we all find the courage to offer ourselves fully to what has heart and meaning for us... May we all find the soil in which the seeds of our dreams can germinate...                     Dawna Markova

Best Night Out: The Stanley Park Train through the snow and Christmas magical display. This night brought all the magic of a childhood Christmas to my children as the snow flakes fell on my eyelashes.

Best Workshop or Conference: Unravelling with Susannah Conway. Susannah is a joy to unravel with, as are all the friends that I meet along the way.

Best Blog find of the year: Well this would just have to be blogs in general. Until 2009 I didn’t have time at all for finding and exploring blogs so a whole new world has opened up to me, filled with kindred spirits, new friends from all around the globe and much joy and inspiration. Thank you.

Best Moment of Peace: Early in the morning while the rest of the house sleeps and I can potter around quietly in my own thoughts and dreams. Bliss.

Best Challenge: Downsizing the studio was definitely the hardest thing I have had to do for along time.

 Best Album: Bliss Baby If you work with babies all day like I do (or if you have a newborn baby) you will  understand why. Anything to help settle a baby.

 Best Place: Snow, under the snow: British Columbia.

 Best New Food: Caper’s Pumpkin Pie- although technically I discovered it at the end of 2008, I searched for all of January for more of it and have been obsessing over it ever since mmmm….. Should come with a warning- "Is addictive and requires copious amounts of cream."

 Best Change made to the place where I live. The best and worse change made to home was to bring the studio back home. Still have such mixed feelings about it.

 Best Rush: Discovering traveling without children again.

 Best Tea- I don’t know about tea, I’m a coffee girl. But I do like the idea of tea so I’m always buying tea cups. Here’s the favorite of 2009

 Best Word or Phase: Without a doubt it was a quote which I took on early in the year and kept reappearing throughout the year all over the place, in case I hadn't paid attention the first time:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  Anais Nin

 Best Shop: Etsy. Like blogging this is a whole new experience. My aim with my own Etsy shop is to somehow sell enough to cover the things on Etsy that I buy, so far I'm losing. Love having beautiful handmade things and the bonus of finding surprises on the doorstep- Christmas all year round.

 Best Car Ride: and the scariest. Sea to Sky highway in British Columbia.

 Best New Person: So many new people, all wonderful, have come into my life this year. I guess the best one is the old/new me that has returned allowing room for all these other wonderful people.

 Best Project: Back to me. This year has seen the start of many new projects, but all of them are part of the larger project of reconnecting with my own artistic voice, one that has been stifled over the years or motherhood and mortgages. So glad to see it coming back. So curious to see where it might go.

 Best Web Tool: Flickr. You’d think as a photographer I would have discovered this sooner but I was always too busy. Now I am enjoying connecting with other shooters around the world and being inspired by so many wonderful images and artists. It's a full time job exploring Flickr.

 Best Learning Experience: The process of downsizing the studio and all the space that opened up as a result.

 Best Gift: Our families Christmas gift to each other- a month in Koh Samui together.

 Best Insight or aha Moment: It was a year of insights, mostly about finding an authentic me and following my bliss and energy and a lot of it was fueled by this quote which was quite an aha moment (& a proverbial kick up the butt- thank you). I know I am always going to be my own worst critic and never know if what I am producing is any good, but still I must keep doing the work and (armed with the Nin quote) be brave enough to put it out there.
My love of music, words & creative expression... is the morning songbird at my window saying "Wake up & get moving. The world won't wait for you to decide you are brilliant. Get up and work anyway."  Stephaine Lee

 Best Social Web Moment: Secret Santa with my unravellers.

 Best Stationery: Journals, for writing, painting, playing, pasting, discovering.

 Best Laugh: Teary teary laugh with Haneka in my art class- thanks girlfriend.

 Best Resolution: 300dpi of course, perfect for printing.

Something Darkly This Way Blows

Something darkly this way blows, echoing in my mind. I'm not sure what but I feel it about at the moment.
This week I have found it very hard to get motivated and drag myself down into the dungeon to tackle the growing pile of work. On Tuesday I wasted half of the day not accepting the fact that no work was going to get done- if I had just admitted it sooner the day could have been spent elsewhere, as it was it was squandered in denial.
Sometimes when you work in the creative field, the muses pull you elsewhere or they slumber. It's hard to keep the flow even, it wants to ebb and flow but the demands of work require that the work gets done. It is expected that you will show up inspired, and sometimes your not or else your inspired elsewhere. I find it hard to balance all the pieces that pull at my attention, so many balls in the air, a few get dropped and roll away unnoticed by me while I am distracted by some new and shiny ball, I reach out to grab it, I want to reach with both hands but if I do all the balls will be dropped. And later when I collapse in a pile on the floor I glance under the couch and see one I've dropped, hidden in the dark under a layer of dust. Too tired to pick it up I just blink and stare "oh you, I'd forgotten, I should get back to you." The ball I haven't sustained in the air lately is the physical. It hasn't found it's way into the new routine of working in a home based studio and all the personal projects I have undertaken at present. If I don't move, the energy blocks and the body rebels.
I want to pause the moment in the morning when I awake and my life still slumbers. A few more hours here and I would be content. But those stolen moments only go so far. If I write I don't have time to read, if I move I don't have time to process. If I dream, I don't have time to focus.
It's raining here, a melancholy mood which suits me fine, and much needed to wash away the cloud of dust that landed on us over a week ago. I feel some childhood blocks I've carried for decades shifting, drawing attention to themselves. Heavy they have weighed silently, today they feel like a darkness that requires some light to be shed on whether I like it or not. I know that I will feel lighter if I can leave these weights in the past where they belong. Am I ready to deal with them? Am I ready to shed them? Extra weight offers a lot of protection. I am going to need to be strong in order to shift them. So today I will try to move my body, to shift some stagnant energy, to resume a routine of Chi Gong and dance. I am reminded of a quote that inspired a lot of new projects recently and I bear it in mind as I move forward:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin

Self Portrait #1

Self Portrait #1

Who am I? Depends on the day, the way the light falls, where your looking from. In some cliches I am a rebel mother, rambling mad woman, lush in training, inconsistent perfectionist, queen of the microwave, Mac wrangler, domestic t** (I did want to put something here that might have raised some little flags in some little cyber code that couldn't discern how far in my check my tongue was wedged), a Jed Bartlett supporter, {photo}shopper extrodinaire, pixel duster. I also support the separatist movement for the independence of chocolate as it's own food group.
What do I believe in: contradiction- this I know to be true.
As I ponder on the truly important questions of our time, like why does the first cup of coffee always taste better than the second but the second glass of wine tastes better than the first? & why is it that every time I open the fridge a block of chocolate comes flying out and shatters across my kitchen floor?
My eleven year old son keeps asking me what I'm going to be when I grow up. I just look at him and shrug, and answer him honestly- I don't know. Perhaps it doesn't matter what I'll be when I grow up, perhaps what's important is the who I am, or how many who I ams along the way.
I'd call myself an artist if I knew what that meant or what one looked like, but I don't know anymore. I make images, sometimes with pictures, sometimes with  words. Are they art? I couldn't say. What I do know is that sometimes the muses whisper to me and sometimes I'm lucid enough to hear what they're telling me. Sometimes its just me and all myselves. As I don't know what art is I just have to make images that I like, that speak to me or of me, to put words down that are mingling in the recess of my mind, clambouring to get out. Like children, all I can do is birth them and nurture them, after that they're own their own, hopefully finding their own wings. It really has not much to do with me. I can delude myself that it does, that I am somehow important in the process, but really I am merely a vessel. When I am proud of them I have to remind myself that they are independent of me.

On Inspiration

I'm starting to feel the pull of so many directions again. Have I taken on too much? And, possibly more importantly, why have I taken on so much? On this quest to find something, was it necessary to search all avenues at once? Or do we keep ourselves perpetually busy in order to avoid the void? How very unzen.
Always wanting to throw myself into a project whole heartedly, fully immersed, and always somewhat resentful to the daily demands and obligations that might take me away from whatever inspiration I might be following.
Some inspirations need to grow. Quietly, at the back of your mind, in the depths of your unconscious, they blossom and grow, despite being deprived of light. They don't emerge until fully formed, needing only light to be shined on them, for you to pick them up and examine them, turning them around slowly but excited. Seeing them from all angles you declare with satisfaction "Here it is!" as if you had something to do with it.
Others are laborious, they come buried deep within a block of stone. You know they're in there, hidden, dormant, yet you have no idea how to get them out, to release them, to realise them. So, like a sculpture, you start chipping away, holding your breath and hoping not to destroy it along the way. Slowly it emerges, you sense it forming, but your still not sure, still tentative, still struggling and searching. You chip more, is it done? Is there more to chip? Perhaps a bit here? Sometimes, when all chipped away, you can stand back and see it. Perhaps its a shock, you weren't expecting that, perhaps its better, magic, though quite often it's not. You thought there was something there but maybe you were wrong, maybe you've been chipping away all this time on the wrong block.
Other times, the muses dance around the corner of your subconscious, teasing and probing. A glimpse of an idea here, if only you could grasp it. A hint of a dream there. You're sure its good but its just too far too reach. You wait, maybe it will come closer, maybe it will alight again if you sit really still, like a butterfly brushing its wings ever so softly against your cheek. Trickster that it is, it waits until your once again preoccupied elsewhere and then dances boldly past and into the far recesses and by the time you've turned your mind, gone again. Oh, it so shiny but you've forgotten and its like a dream you can't quite remember.

Then there's the trance, when your in the "zone". You move freely with energy, almost watching from above as you work. You know the idea's yours, and it's not, you're just allowed to borrow it, channel it for as long as your open to honour it. Time fades, demands fade, space fades. Or maybe space emerges, opens. It doesn't matter, you must keep going, don't stop, don't break the spell. The energy's there, your energy, the work's energy, all else falls away. Your ego can step aside and all that is required is just to show up and trust.