Galia Alena

Keeper of the Ways

Keeper of the Ways- Galia Alena
Keeper of the Ways

She is Grandmother Spider who weaves the web that holds our communities together. Taking rituals and traditions she spins them into her intricate web while singing ever “Remember where you came from” a question spiraling in layers… 

How far back do you remember, how deep, how high?

this body, 
ancestors, 
community, 
earth, 
the stars.
 

What sort of stardust are you made from?


She weaves it ever inward, ever stronger, ever richer- 

Remember, Remember, Remember-

Beneath it all ever the reminder that you are more, so much more & if you live those rituals instead of just doing them, then you will be pulled into the moment, the expansive sacred moment where all the strands meet. 
I walk with these ancestors when I remember what was taught, what was given, when my grandmothers stand by me and see me bake, sew, create, grow.
 Slowly, being present, stitch by stitch, the ritual brings you back always into that moment, that slowing down that allows the quiet breath to speak in silence and you listen to all that is, all that was and all that will be again. You see it all, quiet and rhythmic, like breath, like pulse, like ritual- and so she weaves. 


Heirophant, Grandmother Spider, Crone, Wise Woman, Medicine Woman, Medicine Keeper, Ancestor, Elders, Record Keeper, Keeper of the Ways

Life as Medicine

Galia Alena Mixed Media Listen- Dream Express
The way home lies in your imagination,
In your dreams,
In the whisperings of the Winged Ones and the Ancestors
Hear the truths floating on the currents
And the breeze through the trees
Sing the stories you've forgotten.
Waiting in the unseen that enfolds,
Lies pure potentiality
and Magic
and all that is too precious to hold
I’ve been humbled these last few weeks.

Over the Solstice break, the shift of the polar energies, in that still point as the pendulum swings back, I got clear messages that it was time to make some changes in the work I do, to step forward and offer up my gifts. This is no easy feat for some of us who do work that is hard to define, that has no easy labels and doesn’t fit neatly into a category. I’m still not sure but what I do know is that I clearly understood that I needed to offer up my medicine. If you are on my winged love notes list then you would have received a video where I talk about this, about offering up what heals me, and allowing that to heal others. Even this was pushing my edges since  I am completely comfortable behind the camera and not in front of it- some of you who know me well will know how deeply that one runs.

There is this real sense of ease that comes with this work, not that its easy but that there is a natural flow to it- right livelihood as my friend would call it. So following that, and just listening to what was coming up for me I am still painting the paintings that are birthed in dialogue with the muses, spirit, dreamtime and myself, always a journey and always a conversation. I also stepped out bravely to create my first circle. I’ve sat in various circles for years, and I’ve taught and facilitated workshops both in person and online, but a circle is different. A circle meant not knowing, trusting and listening, a circle meant guiding not teaching, a circle meant holding space, a circle meant doing the work alongside and being vulnerable and open, a circle meant inviting in women who could do their own work but who would appreciate and grow from the power and strength of being held in circle.

And Kuan Yin... she came forward to work with this circle, and work with us she did. It was heart expansion good work where we were cracked open for such growth, such vulnerability and such strength. We cried powerful rivers, we connected our power centers to our heart centers, we acknowledged the softness and the strength as one, we touched our own divinity. We practiced compassion on ourselves and radiating out from the heart. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Through it all was life, front and center, offering me opportunity after opportunity to walk the walk and practice what I was preaching (not that there was any preaching but I’m sure you know what I mean), bringing me back again and again to that heart space, the infinite heart space that has no boundaries. Oh we put a shape, a design, symbol for our minds to hold it but can not be contained, it is endless and the practice is to stay connected to it, to be expanded by it. I believe in this work, I believe it is foundational to all the rest we do.

And the humbling, beyond the work I did myself in circle, was the women who showed up, the messages I received about the life changing experience they had (you can read a few here). I couldn’t even have imagined, I’m tearing up even thinking about it now. So humbled and grateful, I’m still integrating all that magical work, that circle which we will never be done with, that circle that will be circled back to again and again. And I’m still listening, and allowing the next one to step forward, the next goddess to whisper to me “its time to work with me, its time to explore my gifts”, and naturally, life is supporting this exploration.

Life as Medicine

We begin with the Full Moon in Scorpio- how perfect. Find out more here Xx

http://www.galiaalena.com/circling-with-the-goddesses/

30 Faces in 30 Days- a new challenge

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 1 & 2
I'm here, again, knee deep in the middle of another daily challenge/practice. I didn't plan to be here so quickly, but there it is, the energy drew me in and I began. I'm a third of the way through, learning lots, making mistakes and growing from them and wondering how to sustain the energy that kick starts these challenges- a practice needs to be a marathon not a sprint in order to build the muscles needed to sustain a practice and the growth beyond the challenge- because none of it is about the challenge, its about stretching, pushing edges, and sustaining that growth into a real challenge.

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 3
So the Rules:
  • Rule 1- there are no rules ;), only guidelines, an opening, an opportunity, a container for mark making and growth
  • Guideline 2- Paint a face a day
  • Guideline 3- Try new things, different ways, different palettes, different brush strokes, different feels.
  • Guideline 4- Try the same painting again, this time pushing it further, past that point you stopped at last time out of fear of losing it.
  • Guideline 5- Stayed aware and observant but detached.
  • Guideline 6- Offer them up daily (facebook & and in my shop) as part of the detachment practice, all of them and at a reduced price- release them, let them go.
  • Guideline 7- be kind to yourself, some days will be harder to show up, and then, of course, there is life, allow for life.
That's it- want to play- #30facesin30days  -I'd love to see Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 4

I'm loving playing with colour, under painting and accents and glows, using colours which don't usually make it onto my palette like the magenta below, so I want to play with that some more. It is the brush strokes that I really want to get more comfortable with- being more confident with their application and just leaving them, not blending,




Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 5 & 7
They are all available here, in my shop, $45 each, perfect if one is calling you or if you are after a unique and original artwork for Chissy presents.

And a big shout out to inspiration from Flowrsinherhair, who is on the home stretch for a Face A Day for a Year challenge, I can't even begin to imagine, and Gillian, who is always inspiring but specifically did her own challenge a few months back and planted the seed for my own. Thank you ladies for shining brightly Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 6
Let's see where the next ten take me- back in a week and a half :) Xx

Galia Alena 30 Faces in 30 Days Challenge, mixed media portraits
Day 8, 9 & 10

Sketch a Day, week 3 and I'm still here

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

There's a constant pushing through that comes with the practice of daily showing up to these sketches. It's not necessarily that they are getting better but there is this space and freedom created which means that new things are tried, techniques, marks, mediums are all expanded out. Maybe it just comes from the sheer boredom that would come from doing the same thing for 30 days, maybe its from the accomplishment of having created "X" already so why not move on.

There's also an intimacy with oneself and process that comes from the daily practice, an exploration of themes and marks in a way that seems random until the daily practice stacks them on top of one another.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

The preciousness is also removed. If I'm only doing one sketch every blue moon then there is this desire for it to be "good". When I do one everyday, that pressure is removed and replace with curiousity and experimentation. In a way the intensity of the challenge like this, one a day for an extend period, brings gifts that the spread out regular practice can not. I am keen to see this challenge through and then start the next one I have planned for later in November.

Sketch a day, mixed media Galia Alena

Week 2- Sketch a Day Challenge

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, mixed media
Week 2 and I'm managing a drawing/sketch a day, although I am not keeping up with Gillian and all her wonderful exercises. As you can see we are mixing it up with a variety of mediums, subjects and methods, although it is the face that draws me in again and again. I'm loving that these are just sketches, exercises and explorations- in letting go, in mark making, in form and tone, in looking, including and leaving out and on and on. No pressure to make anything, just an opportunity to grow, to watch and see. Already I can feel the growth from the daily practice.

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, Drawn to Expression


One of the sketches found its way onto a page in my journal tarot, my favourite book to work in lately. How I  just love to while away the hours working and exploring in here:

Tarot Journal, Galia Alena, mixed media

And I thought I'd share a little out take from shooting for Camera Craft- Into the Light, the blossoms are just so pretty...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Cherry Blossom, Galia Alena, Camera Craft, e-course, online photography workshop

When petals fall...

sketch a day- Drawn to Expression

I have this tendency to focus on just one project at any one time, even though there are always a dozen or so on the go. It will either be the project that has the most energy around it, that's piquing my curiosity and has the muses showing up for it or it will be the one that is most current (i.e. time frame driven). I always circle back to the others...eventually, but this usually means life is somewhat "unbalanced". This is where practice steps in. Practice for the sake of practice. Practice for the virtues of just showing up, no agenda or inspiration needed, just a sprinkling of discipline.

I'm not very good at discipline, and so I allow myself wider parameters around this knowing that anything else will get the rebel in me offside. And besides who wants to set themselves up for failure. So I just start and see where it goes. I've done these before. Here when I was doing a face a day and although I didn't get far I saw some definite changes in the work. Here when I tried writing a paragraph a day (quite frankly I bored myself with this one). And here when I was sick with fevers for a week or two so I committed myself to just one quick painting (around an hour) a day to balance all the foreign films I was watching which became my Fever Ladies- Trail Blazers. Ooohhh, and there was the Water Colour a Day one I started last year until Spring came and paralysed me with her beauty.

So while I am knee deep in Camera Craft, working on future lessons and diving in with the students in the classroom (loving all the work by the way, so inspiring) and dreaming up another little project (teaser here) I thought I would set myself a challenge to do so that I could keep my hands moving whilst my attention was else where. I had planned something a bit different but then Gillian's class Drawn to Expression popped up and offered the perfect container for a challenge (she is a wonderful and generous teacher, and she will be joining us in Camera Craft as soon as her own class finishes). So drawing everyday for the next moon cycle is the plan (although you can see I am already 5 days in). Let's see how far I get and even more importantly, lets see how the work develops. I will post weekly in an attempt to keep myself honest ;)



Lotus - Galia Alena Photography
When petals fall
Seeds scatter, loosened from their fragile dream
birthed from dying beauty & spilled against the light.
Tiny tiny seed, what mysteries do you clasp,
When petals fall...

My moon sister Maya is weaving together some magic over at Empress Tides, part of a project raising money for some orphanages over in Nepal and I am doing monthly readings from my paintings so head on over if you are feeling the pull of the moon.

A Wild and Glorious Dance


Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing- e-course, online photography workshop
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
The Alchemical Magic of Photography- I've been thinking about this of late as I piece together the final pieces for Camera Craft. There is such an element of magic and mystery with analogue photography and moving in the digital world of photography takes some seeking to find but it is there in many many magical ways.

So much heart and soul has gone into putting this together by both myself and all the wonderful contributors. It is a glorious dance between rooting down with the bones of photography and soaring to creative heights with soulful inspiration- a wild and glorious dance.
If you're feeling the pull to be part of this dance of play, inspiration, rich content and joyous images then take your place in our creative circle- there is magic to be found.

I am loving (and surprised by) how many pieces of mixed media are being offered up, the intersection of the digital and the tangible, adding that tactile element to the digital, allowing for the raw and the real while still holding all the magic (who wants to live in a world without magic right?) and turning visions into touchstones. Yesterday I was adding Misty's lessons to the classroom and, as always, she has inspired me yet again. There are always ways to spiral in deeper with your craft, to find new inspiration and see things fresh, like a child, to see the magic and to hold it tenderly for even just a moment, a split second of grace ...

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." Ansel Adams

And a sneak peek from Camera Craft-Into the Light:
Camera Craft- Into the Light- e-course, online photography workshop
To find out more visit here:


Or to sign up:

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439372&cl=226019&ejc=2

Camera Craft Guest Contributors



With less than a week until we begin I wanted to introduce all the amazing creatrix and photographers contributing to Camera Craft. Take a moment to sit back and drink in all the beauty they create. EnJoy...

Misty Mawn Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

 MISTY MAWN

If you haven't already fallen in love with her and her work as I have, then start with this video and then head over to her website: http://www.mistymawnart.com/
Studying photography many years ago, she has dedicated her life to growing as an artist, leading her to play in many mediums, like me that's means they all call to her to express her soul through them. Photography is one that allows her to hold the beauty of her family, her travels and her days, honouring both her love and life through her lens and heart's eye.
Everything she touches is steeped in soulful beauty, I can't wait to take her lesson myself where she will be sharing on portraiture.

 
Danielle Cohen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 DANIELLE COHEN


Danielle Cohen has a sweet and gentle way about her yet her images hold depth and power. In her own words,"Mostly, I help people fall in love with themselves and their lives." Her work is all about helping people be seen and fall in love with themselves.
To learn more about her and see some more of her work visit here http://www.danielle-cohen.com/

Danielle will be sharing some of her lighting  techniques.



Ashley Fincham Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 ASHLEY FINCHAM

"I want to make images that resonate deep within...I know this life is like a lightening bolt; beautiful, electric and dancing. However it is fast and fleeting. I believe wholeheartedly it is worth every bit of documenting." Ashley takes beautiful images, but beyond that she is a creative through and through. When I look at her images I see soulful interpretation, I see the world as if through her eyes, I see her vision. She also is the curator of a wonderful series of creative INterviews over at her on line home A Global Walk, where you can read interviews on many inspiring creatives, exploring idea’s about sacred living, what helps with mending and what rhythm looks like, including other contributors like Danielle Cohen , Erin Faith Allen and myself.

ERIN FAITH ALLEN


Erin Faith Allen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
Erin and I first met many years ago when we were both active in Female Photographers of Etsy (fPOE) . I was particularly drawn to the intersection of her photography and her mixed media work. Over the years it has been my great pleasure to watch her work blossom and her creative practice become richer and deeper. I love her work and her soul that shines through it. If you are not familiar with it make your self a cup of tea and settle down with this video here http://www.erinfaithallen.com/about-erin/ and then explore some of her wonderful short films on inspiring creatrix, Soul Shakers, such as Orly Avineri and Jennette Nielsen. Its all good stuff, juicy stuff, inspiring stuff.




Stacy de la Rosa Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop STACY DE LA ROSA

Stacy's work is all about rising women up in their power and how they see themselves, working with story and archetypes. In her own words "I'm a photographer, advocate and instigator for creative women. I am a woman awakening her Queen within. I take photos, write words, and offer courses designed to reflect back to women their unique brand of beauty, magic, and joy. My greatest passion is to bear witness to women who rise into their power and create the life of their dreams."

She shoots like a girl... 
Ivy Newport Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop 
IVY NEWPORT

Ivy is a mixed media artist who is doing amazing work on the intersection of photography and painting in pixels. And she is such a generous soul that she has put together two gorgeous lessons for you, one on post production (making your images beautiful after shooting them) and another on encaustics and photography ( I love love love encaustics and it adds such a wonderful and tactile effect to photos). You can find her and all her wonderful work over here: http://ivynewport.com/

Eileen West Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop EILEEN WEST
Eileen is a photographer and a life coach, she use photography to explore her everyday world and she helps others to develop their own intuitive photography to express their inner creativity. You can find out more about her and her photo a day challenge here: http://www.westofwhimsy.com/

Believer in the universe…
 
Jeannette Le Blanc Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
JEANNETTE LE BLANC

Jeanette LeBlanc is a writer, photographer and inspirationalist. She believes in chocolate and the ocean. She also believes in the artist in EVERYONE and the beauty in EVERYONE. She will be sharing a piece on the intersection of photography and words and will be doing so with a surprise guest. To find out more about Jeannette visit her here: www.peacelovefree.com & www.jeanetteleblanc.com/blog/ 


PEACE LOVE & CHOCOLATE


Liz Morgan Lamoreux Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 LIZ MORGAN LAMOREUX
"Self-portraits are one way I invite myself to feel deeply seen. How I give myself the gift of knowing that I’m not alone. How I remind myself that I’m not disappearing into the roles I play.
Through my lens I capture joy, grief, silliness, quiet, fear, exhaustion, stillness. I capture all the pieces that make up me. This is how I practice self-care and how I reach toward an understanding of who I am..." Liz, excerpt from Camera Craft
 Liz shows up fiercely vulnerable and true to herself and strives to give other women permission to do the same.
Have a listen to her talk about her own work. Be warned though, she may just make you tear up like she did me.
You can find her here



To find out more about Camera Craft visit here or  to try a sample lesson visit here. And, of course, to sign up, you can do that below :

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439374&cl=226019&ejc=2

Savouring Life Intensely- A Giveaway Xx

 “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
- Ansel Adams
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Photography is one of my first loves. I love the way it holds moments tenderly and how it can express what is precious, I love the way I am able to open a book of photos and suddenly I am holding my new born child again, I love the way I can be looking for something on my computer and am suddenly swept back to a magical day. I love the way it speaks that which has no words while leaving room for the mystery. I love the way it allows me to breathe in the moment, to drink it deeply, to savour it...

Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft


I've put together an e-course to honour that love of photography and share it with others. It's part technical, part inspiration, and fully soulful AND I have some amazing collaborators joining me sharing their love for the medium (pop over here to see who these wonderful women are). To celebrate I'm giving away a spot in Camera Craft.
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft
To enter, all you have to do is tell me how photography has touched your heart, pop it in here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.
To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform
☆ subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you
☆ subscribe to this blog
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck. And if you want to join in this amazing journey click  HERE. We will be starting at the end of the month and I can hardly wait :)
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

The Wheel

The Wheel of Fortune, Galia Alena, tarot

What will you do with this one wild and precious life. Mary Oliver

There are two things I’ve learnt to rely on in this world- one is change and the other is contradiction and this card embodies both.

This card may throw up questions of destiny and fate vs free will, it may question your existential beliefs, it may have you wondering where your free will fits in and about your dharma and whether you have any control at all or whether it is all an illusion. You could chase your tail for a life time on those questions, many have, but what you can’t question is the cyclic nature of it all- of the days, the months, the seasons, the life times.

This card has such a feminine quality to it- the energy of divine timing. What this card embodies, women too embody. The ability to cycle and change and to let go is part of what it means to inhabit a woman’s body which ebbs and flows with the moon, which creates and nurtures life and then releases it into the world and which eventually ceases to release that monthly life force to turn it inwards towards sovereignty and wisdom, the stillness at the centre.

The wheel turns and what was is no more, there’s no stopping it, there’s no freezing those precious moments, those full to exploding moments you would like to inhabit forever like that moment when your baby girl, wet from being lifted out of the birthing pool and laid to rest on your bare and expectant chest, looks up at you with dark eyes as deep as lakes holding all the wisdom of the universe. You can’t hold onto that moment, you can only embody it and tuck it away in your heart just as it slips away. You let it go because this precious baby in your arms is destined to become herself.

So the wheel turns and sometimes you hold on so tight and sometimes you just allow it, going with the flow. That’s where you come in, choosing how you will live this change, these cycles, gracefully allowing or fighting, or both at once. Will you slip into the expansive calmness of the center or will you try to hold onto something which is already gone just as it arrives?
How will you walk your own medicine wheel? How do you embody your cycles?
What I learnt today is that even the act of writing itself is an act of letting go.
Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Fever Ladies- Trail Blazers

Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelo, Virginia Woolfe, Dorothy Parker, Anais Nin, Georgia O'Keefe, Billie Holiday Painting Galia Alena

 These are my fever ladies. I call them such because I was running a temperature while I painted them. For the last 2 weeks or so, I've been unwell with a flu like thing. Since I'm not very good at resting I decided that I would stay out of the studio and do a few quick sketches with paint. That was the compromise to bed rest- to take over the dining room table, and to paint these. I did one of these a day and after that, still not getting any better, I decided to take rest a bit more seriously.
When my children are sick, rest and sleep is my go to remedy yet not a gift I find easy to give myself. As a few friends pointed out, it was fitting to include Frida Kahlo in the collection as bed rest never kept her down. So, without any further ado, let me introduce you to some HERos:

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.

Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolfe, Mixed Media Painting Galia Alena

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, Painting Galia Alena

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.

Amelia Earhart

Dorothy Parker, Painting Galia Alena

The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker

 I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.

  Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Painting Galia Alena

 Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

 Anaïs Nin

Anais NIn Painting Galia Alena

 Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

  Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keefe Painting Galia Alena

If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.

  Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Painting Galia Alena

I made a little frame for Frida, out of plaster and Christmas baubles shattered thanks to my cat. She will serve as a reminder of all that can be achieved and expressed no matter what. Thank you Frida you are truly inspiring. A couple of the ladies have been snagged but if there is one here that interests you please let me know in the comments (they are roughly 5x7", I don't think they will get listed in Etsy.

Frida Kahlo Painting Galia Alena
Who are your HERos?

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
Manifestation
  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

Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 1

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Walking the streets worn smooth with stories
Leaves slipping to the earth
I feel a crack in my life open,
It's always this way with travel...
Something pulses through
wants more
I hear the stories dance with mine
"Where do you belong on this tiny blue planet"
Impossible seed
Soft and longing
Demanding more and less
Precious seed
When and how you'll bloom I couldn't say
Nor what kind of fruit you'll offer,
Only that you'll stir the stardust in my well
And whisper to my soul...

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Paris first appears as both quaint and familiar, a cliche on every corner but soon I am walking in step with the rhythms of her stories. I feel the stones beneath my feet and glimpse the flicker of a past disappear around the corner ahead.
Our apartment is on Île de Saint Louis, right next to Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame sits regally, and a short walk to a fabulous food market where the quiches and pastries call me back. Through the night I am kept awake by the christmas lights that flicker outside my bedroom window as the Boulangerie directly across the way prepares croissants for my morning coffee. 

Every day we walk. Miles and miles through the streets where there is ever the sensation that not only do I walk through the city but also through the centuries. Lives past whisper to me between the constant sirens. Ghosts surround me with their tales of revolution, of poetry, of commerce, of art, of wars, of occupation, of liberty, fraternity, equality. I feel as if I could slip through a portal to another time (Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris feels totally plausible). The stories tease me, perhaps because they are in French, perhaps because I am not here long enough to grasp their fleeting breathe, perhaps because they are meant only to taunt as is often the way with ghosts- a reminder of the speck of sand that is our time, our lives. Raven is ever present, in case I should ever forget, reminding me of magic and voice, of story and song- you never know what you'll find when you travel, an element of lost which opens doors to finding, seeing, hearing. "Are you listening? Are you ready to sing" she caws.

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

I've been back for less than a week now, shaking the mist of surrealism that travel can bring from living outside normal reality, settling back into routine, snuggling with my babies (one of whom managed to get herself sick so she could have a whole day of snuggling on the couch with me and movies) and marking the end of year portfolios for my photography students.                  Grateful to have the cast removed from my arm days before flying out, it healed enough that I was able to journal while I traveled. How magical to slip into a rhythm of walking, eating, browsing, shooting, looking, absorbing, listening and journaling. The days filled with sights, inspiring galleries, stone stories, weary feet and then collapsing by night to good food, company, wine and the blank page only to rest up long enough to do it all again the next day. And the company I kept- Gogh, Picasso, Nin, Rodin, Monet, Cezanne, too many to list, too many to even begin to absorb, I just have to trust that somewhere my subconscious is holding tight to what they shared with me. Only time will tell.
Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena






I still have photos to download (having only looked at the ones I took with my phone so far) and more journal pages to share over the coming weeks as well as my time in London. Until then I will sit with the memories as they wish to unfold. 

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Butterfly Song

Butterfly Song- Galia Alena painting, butterfly medicine and throat chakra
Butterfly Song
"When you do not speak, the thousand stars that lay upon your tongue slide back down your throat only to be swallowed one by one, jagged, pointed and weighing more than planets. When we swallow the truth, we turn our bodies into graveyards." Tama Kieves

Butterfly medicine is about transformation but also about joyfulness and here the lightness around speaking your truths and the transformation that those truths can herald. This painting speaks of the voice chakra and its connection to creativity when we find our sacred voice and the inner peace from allowing our sacred voice and creativity to merge.


This original painting is available in my Etsy :)

Today is a Perfect Day to just Be...

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

"This morning I'm composed after the wild day and night that was the pull of the full moon in Scorpio. I sit quietly in the garden nursing tea, still amongst the busyness that is always going on out here. The bees buzzing along their familiar routes, the chit chit chit chit of the birds cracking gum nuts, the tiny insects that dance in the autumn light. My garden is always a flutter of winged ones and I in rhythm with the gentle breeze that meanders through the grasses. I commit to nothing today but rest and gentleness. A bath, some chi gong and yin yoga sounds pleasant, perhaps a walk, perhaps I'll not move from this spot where I watch the sun rise through the trees. The blank canvas shall make no demands on me today but I steep in the rush of downloads the muses sent with the moon. Today is not a day to do, today is a perfect day to just be..." excerpt from the journal

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

Course Correcting

 On Christmas Eve, my family and I flew home after a few years living abroad. We bought a house on line and were waiting to move into it. Many said it was a brave move, buying a house off the internet. I had heard that before, that it was brave to pack up your family and move to a new country with no real plans. For me it didn't feel brave, it felt like the only thing to do when that itch to break out of one life and try another, to jump- not jumping wasn't really an option. Buying a house on line wasn't brave either. What was brave was admitting that the move wasn't working, that the children were not happy. What was brave was releasing a dream (sometimes we hold them too tight and dreams are fragile things) and doing what needed to be done to bring harmony and make room for new dreams. What was brave was risking failing, and leaping anyway, and then doing it again. Course correcting.

Luminous Mandala word of the year journal page, Galia Alena
Luminous Mandala- word of the year page
We didn't go back, there is no going back, as the saying goes "you can not step into the same river twice". So we didn't go back- we made a conscious choice to go forward, to find a place where we could all flourish. Course correcting.

View from Couch Surfing
 So on Christmas Eve we flew out of the land of the Long White Cloud and returned to the land of OZ. We arrived, with no plans but in time to spend Christmas with family and friends. After a few days couch surfing with family and then at a friends place near the beach luck dropped a little boat shed to rent for a month and we spent a few weeks with the ocean lapping at our feet.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed
Scenes from the Boat Shed
 Literally an old boat shed which was down several flights of stairs into the rocks, the old boat shed had been converted into a studio flat right on the water, so much so that if you were a sleep walker you would be in dire trouble in the night. In the mornings I was woken by the wake of the passing ferries and would then dangle my feet down into the water at the end of the bed while nursing my morning coffee. We reacquainted ourselves with old stomping grounds, caught up with friends, enjoyed the warm weather and outdoor concerts while waiting until our new house would be available for us.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed

 When the month was up, it was time to move up the mountains so the children could start their new year, and a little furnished house serendipitously fell into our laps until we could finally move into our new house.

Picasso Inspired Journal Galia Alena
Picasso Inspired Journal
 So many elements of luck and trust were at work in our move home. I made the decision to bring my family home sitting in a sweat lodge at Esalen surrounded by my beautiful sisters all supporting one another in our truths. In the dark hot tent, to the singing voice of Pixie and others I knew what needed to be done. It took awhile from the initial knowing, to the later hearing and then the final breaking of the camel's back at which point having none of the details sorted or the means to do it, I threw myself at the mercy of the universe, opened myself to trusting and declaring the intention of going home and left so many of the details open. In so many ways I/we were supported by friends, family, chance, luck and serendipity and while all the details are still unfolding it has been a pleasure to watch the pieces fall magically into place. With gratitude I sit here and type from my new home where my children are again happy (I will share more on the new home in another post, although if you follow me on Instagram you would already have had some sneak peeks).

Fleeting Altered Book Galia Alena, mixed media journal
Fleeting Altered Book
Of course, while in between lands and homes, there was light sketching and playing in little journals, a different way of working for different circumstance, an extended travel kit and inspiration from Misty (fleeting altered book and Picasso homage journal) and Jeanne (pattern journal). I hugged my children, worked in my books, listened to the whispers of the muses and let things fall where they would.

Pattern journal, Galia Alena, art journal sketches
Pattern Journal
A word on course correcting, we should all always be doing it, looking at our lives and seeing what is working, what isn't and what is missing (what's still needed as my friend Maya says), risking mistakes to find our own way, making glorious and brave mistakes, and being brave enough to course correct, sometimes a few degrees, sometimes 180, always with quiet listening and fierce abandon for life.

With Gratitude

Are you Free-falling or Flying- A give away

A story is the difference between free-falling and flying.
I've heard this saying before but was remind of it (or should I say shaken by it) recently during a sweat lodge when our water pourer was telling us stories. A reminder of both perspective and how we frame things for ourselves- are the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives framed in a way to empower us or do they enforce the victim myth? In Claiming Our Mythos (the class I will guide for 21 Secrets 2014) we will be taking an event or situation in our own lives and mythologising the story in such a way to give us heroine status and to find the hidden gift in a story that might otherwise have weighed us down. We will be working new life into an old story. Pop over to 21 Secrets 2014 to read more about this class and all the other wonderful offerings.

"Thank you for the experience, and get me through the experience, help me appreciate the experience but most of all don't let me judge the experience. Don't let me leave my spirit in the experience. Give me the guidance, give me the visionary insight so that I can go through this experience and never leave my spirit behind" Carolyn Myss
We will be empowering our spirits within our stories, not leaving our spirits in our stories!!

And to celebrate the New Year I am giving away TWO places in 21 Secrets 2014 :

One I am giving away to a random draw: To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.

To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
  • share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google or facebook page
  • subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
  • like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
  • subscribe to this blog  
The second I'm giving away based on your comments, I will be picking one that I am drawn to from your comments, that I intuit should be in this class. I love reading your comments.
  • Tell me why 21 Secrets is calling to you
  • Tell me a story you would like to reframe or one you have reframed
  • Tell me do you fly or free-fall
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck.
 “I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

From the Earth and the Fires

It's been a long while since I've paid my Etsy shop any attention, but I reopened it two days ago with a few original paintings and some of my blessing bowls (including custom made ones). And I'm loving how well my bowls are being received. They are perfect to sit on your sacred altar holding your sacred herbs or flowers or just your intentions.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

Working with the clay, the wait while things dry, or go through the kiln, the mystery and alchemy of glazes doing their magic in the fiery darkness, the christmas morning feeling when you finally get to remove them from their final firing. It reminds me so much of when I first started photography. The mystery of images lying dormant and mysterious until you processed them then magically coming to life on the film or paper with the blending of alchemy- predictable yet mysterious and magical.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

This week I look forward to shaping some more clay, marking with sacred symbols and mantras. Each bowl takes a few weeks to complete and I can only do a couple at a time but the muses have been whispering to me so marks must be made. When I went to the states, I made some personalised bowls as gifts, intuiting what to put on for each individual and I loved how they turned out and am really looking forward to seeing what people might like on their own bowls.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I've also added in a few original paintings. These are acrylic, ink and pastels on plaster and fabric. Each would look fabulous in a shadow box frame or hung raw to give a rustic look. It is the first time I have put any originals up for sale, and it kind of comes with a bitter sweet sensation, sending my babies out into the world. I'm sure they will find good homes.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I would love to hear what you would like to see me put in my Etsy shop next. I'm also working on my next e-course and would love to hear what you would like to see included in that. I've had many request to do a journaling course so I'm working on that- what would you like to see included?
Galia Alena mixed media painting of an angel and a mary oliver quote




Sanctuary of the journal page

Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena
 The chaos of life with a family (or I should say with a teenager) has put a stop to my Face a Day challenge as well as pretty much every other creative project I was juggling. Somehow, though, I managed to find my way back into the sanctuary of my journal pages where I found much creative solace and release. Here are some recent pages. I would love to hear how you manage to stay on path with your creative urges when life has other plans...
Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena

Art Journaling mixed media journal page Galia Alena
 I also have the first test batch of bowls back that I've been working on, still waiting for the right clay to arrive, but in the mean time I've been taking a lot of frustration out on some stoneware clay, pounding and pounding. Hopefully my supplies will come this week and I will have time to make and fire some gifts for many friends I will soon be seeing. Less than a month until I head off on my adventure... HOLDING ON TIGHT
Clay bowl, Galia Alena