word of the year

Ferocious beauty, New Year and a Giveaway

Mama Bear mixed media painting Galia Alena
Mama Bear
to the ferocious beauty
of this wild world,
This is the last painting finished in 2014, although there are several WIP floating around both the studio and the rest of the house. It feels like it sums up 2014 in many ways (as does the painting I'm working on today sums up the feelings for 2015 which will be the first of the new year).

Mama bear is available here

Galia Alena Photography Do you believe in magic

2014 has been a good year, seeing us ensconced back home in OZ, nestled into the mountains, a delight of natural wonder and a gorgeous community. (Some highlights: Notes from the Garden, Paris and Course Correcting).  Babies are happy. The muses are singing. The mangoes are plentiful. Life is good.

Thank you 2014
And 2015 is going to be better (after all it will be filled with EASE).

Galia Alena PhotographyTo celebrate I am having a little giveaway- A Word of the Year Sacred Marks customised painting for your altar.
Galia Alena altar piece giveaway
To enter :
∞  tell me how your year is going to be fabulous or about your word of the year is.
For additional entries please share this around (facebook, instagram, blog, google etc etc and be sure to let me know in the comments).
If you purchase one extra extra entries and a refund if you win.

I'll be pulling a name from the singing bowl in a week.


With Ease and Grace

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
- Sylvia Plath
My word for 2015:
Galia Alena word of the year
Last year, after a trying time which resulted in us moving back home to OZ, I had thought my word of the year would be Gentle. I sat with it awhile but it never quite rang true. Then LUMINOUS came to me with such determination that I had to go with it. It has been an interesting year and I am still with the subtle yet deep ways in which Luminous played out.

This year, in a similar vein to "gentle" only with more precision to what I want to call in, I am going with the word EASE which feels perfect as it should. I've never really opted for the easy path and I'm not saying I'm going to now, just that things are going to go more smoothly on that rocky and less traveled path.

Galia Alena word of the year

I found Ease allusive to define. When I look at all the definitions for it they are all termed by what it isn't, not by what it is and I wanted to position it in the positive, not the negative (since I certainly don't want to invite the opposite in and as the universe can have a wicked sense of humour- be careful what you wish for and all that), so I've had to try to define it for myself:


Galia Alena word of the yearI'm thinking that the simple little mantra that will go with it is:

"With Ease and Grace everything falls beautifully into Place"

And so it is...

What is your word of the year?

Galia Alena word of the year altar

If you are wanting a little touchstone for your word of the year to sit on your altar, I am offering custom pieces here in my Etsy shop. Or if you are looking for a way to work with your word more deeply perhaps you might like to do an art journaling ritual with the word. Pop over here for my Journaling as Sacred Vessel ritual I did one year with Generosity (a free gift to you).

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

Luminous- Mantras & Words of the Year

Luminous Galia Alena Photography

Right now
Cicadas are the soundtrack of summer
Gardenias it's scent
Mangoes it's taste
It's touch
the constant movement
between the blanket
of warmth which pervades all
the Southerly that gently unwraps
mama ocean cooling my toes.
A gentle laziness
of friends and picnics,
of familiarity
of coming home
& new beginnings dreamed

I love having a word of the year but more and more I'm finding having a mantra of the year works even better for me. In 2012 my mantra was "Go Deep, Stay Light",  inhale, exhale, a gentle reminder to dig deep into the core of all, of authenticity of both self and life while still remaining slightly detached (something I am not so good at) and whimsical. As a Scorpio my natural tendency is for intensity which can lead to drama and loss of perspective, this gentle mantra brings me back to the moment and some perspective. While not shying away from the real work I try to stay carefree and light.

I don't seek out these mantras, they just seem to find me. I found myself whispering with my breath "Go deep, stay light" while out on a walk in the forest one morning. It came up from the earth through my soles and found itself lodged on my psyche and it stayed. I traveled with it for the whole year. The following year I tried to find a new mantra to work with but it never stuck. Then looking back over the year I realise that at some point I started  working with a mantra that just found me. "To pay attention, this is how we pray". I carved it into bowls, I wrote it onto journal pages and I lived it in the moments. At first I thought it was a quote I had read somewhere that I couldn't get out of my head but then I came to know it just as mine. The word pray is one I avoided for the first 40 years of my life, brought up outside religion the word held only connotations of institutions whose dogma cause much grief. A broadening of my understanding of religion allows me to see my walks through the woods as visits to the temples of divine spirit where the mottled light coming through the trees far out shines any light through a stained glass window.
So in any moment, I stop and pause, I notice the shadows moving across my walls, the way the light shifts with the seasons, the soft curve of my daughter's cheek, the warmth of my coffee cup nursed in my hands, the million greens on my favourite path, the shape of a pebble picked up, a treasure, everything. The sheer beauty within a moment paused…
This paying attention, this noticing of the beauty all around in any moment, holds infinite gratitude. This is how I pray. I breath in the beauty all around, I take it deep into my cells, I exhale gratitude.

I wonder what mantra will find me this year...
I have a suspicion it has found me already. We will see, I watch, I listen and I will know.

As for a word of the year...
I've enjoyed the embodiment of a word of the year over the last few years, its always amazing what unexpected gifts they bring forth. My word for 2013 was Generosity and one of the surprises that came out of holding that word was all about receiving, allowing others and the universe to be generous to me and to accept this with grace. As women we don't always remember to be the receivers, we align more often with giving of ourselves. However, receiving is tied very closely with the feminine and it was quite the lesson to learn how to sit in this.
The other aspect of generosity which also surprised me (although it shouldn't have, it just hadn't occurred to me when I had chosen the word) was it's strong connection with mothering. Mothering, and the generosity of that, was a huge huge huge part of my year (turned my life on its head, again).
At the end of the day, Generosity proved to be very much about being open to the flow, to both giving and receiving. As I put it on a blessing bowl I made for myself "GIVE WITH  ABANDON, RECEIVE WITH GRACE."

How did your word for 2013 hold you, what surprises did it carry?
I still feel generosity spilling into 2014 as I sit by the waters edge typing from a boatshed that I couldn't have dreamed up a few weeks ago. And I feel the generosity of family and friends, of home, of place, of trusting in the unknown.
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
Office for January
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
View from Here
I've been musing on what word I want to walk through 2014 with, and I thought for awhile it might be "Visible" but something someone said to me shifted that to "Gentle". Neither really stuck in a way that made me claim or pronnounce them fully. And then last night it came to me, so clear, so perfect and so definately. My word for 2014 is LUMINOUS.

LUMINOUS- light filled, light from within, light giving, radiating, clarity, of comprehension, of wisdom and enlightenment.

If you are looking for a way to work with your word more deeply perhaps you might like to do an art journaling ritual with the word. Pop over here for my Journaling as Sacred Vessel ritual I did last year with Generosity (a free gift to you).
And there is still time to throw your name into the bowl for one of two places on 21 Secrets an Art Journaling workshop in my previous post.

Love and Luminousity

One Little Word- A free Gift

Welcome 2013!!!

art jouranaling, journal as sacred vessel, one little word, word of the year, Galia Alena, mixed media
Unfinished page

My word for the year is GENEROSITY, what's yours?

To celebrate the new year, and as a symbolic act to the universe and my word, I am offering up this free Journal as Sacred Vessel workshop/ritual for you. Please enjoy and share if you like. And I would love to see any work you do if you want to share (optional) a link below for us all to look at and oohh and ahhh over ;)

Click here to download the Worksheet

Word for 2012- OPEN

Galia Alena photography, word, yearly word: Open

“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”
Mary Oliver

My word for 2012 was going to be grow, but that soon grew into expand. Expand than expanded into OPEN which is now my word for the year. I love this word, it has such beautiful meanings on so many levels and encompasses both grow and expand along with blossom (my word on a previous year) with just a touch of vulnerability (just to be clear universe, can I please have that vulnerability without pain or hurt, thank you) and visibility and a lot of bravery.
Here's to the wonderful flow of good things both ways.