tarot

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

Medicine Sphere- mama earth


Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year

Today I sat in circle. It was a warm Summer day and we took our Chai outside and sat on the soft grass in the shade of a tree to share. On returning home I walked through my garden alive with the vibrancy of summer and heady with the scent of Star Jasmine. Today is the day the family gathers to decorate our Christmas Tree. I walk in the front door and I’m engulfed by the smell of ripe mangoes, the smell of Christmas and I hear Christmas carols - “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. The house is shut up to the heat of the day and we drink champagne while I place a Christmas display upon the wood burner, we won’t be using that for awhile.


The days are getting longer as we head towards Summer Solstice. I walk in the cool of the evenings, and the children’s dinner is later and later as I’m drawn to watch the setting sun linger in its swan song before dropping behind the horizon and I finally head home. I tell clients in the Northern Hemisphere that its time for turning within, for shadow work and facing the Great Bear in this darkest time of the year as they move closer and closer to the longest night, Winter Solstice.

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year, Earth Medicine


Not long ago I celebrate both Beltane and Samhain.  Both with a strong presence around me, existing simultaneously in my world. One present in the physical world around me , in my garden, in the bush I walk, the seasonal food I take into my body, in the birdsong that is the soundtrack to my days. Mama nature holds this, the land around me. The other which is energetically just as true, in my bone wisdom, in the traditions of my ancestors handed down through rituals transmuted. The collective unconscious holds this, the psyche of my culture. I celebrate both- the thinning veil and the fertility. Roots digging down deep in the earth, wings soaring ever higher to spirit.

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year

You would think that these contradictions would throw me off kilter as I try to reconcile what is in front of me, what I live, with the traditions of our unconscious collective and I think for awhile it did while I tried to reason with it and find the logical solution. I felt a certain disconnect, and a longing. However as I've delved deeper into the study of the medicine wheel, the wheel of the year and the lunar cycles, I am able to hold these two dichotomies and contradictions at once. Polar opposites yet inextricably tied together.

I’m taught in a Medicine Wheel tradition that starts in the East and goes around clockwise South, West and North. East the time of new beginnings, of air, South the fiery time, of activity, West a watery time of emotions and North, of Earth and the ancestors. When I walk the medicine wheel in my garden I don’t even think about it twice, I instinctively start in the East and move to the North (fire) and then around to the West (water) and finally to the South (earth). I’m tracking the sun. The circle I sit in physically here moves in this direction as well, the direction of the land we sit on, land of the Gundungarra and Darug tribes, although the elements and energies are different (west is earth and north is water). Here  it is called the Dreaming Circle. I am of the moors in Scotland where my people were displaced and I am of this land I was born to that has be in the care of other tribes. I grow where I am planted, here, on mama earth, one earth whole.



Galia Alena, Wheel of Fortune


When I conceptualise the medicine wheel, draw it, think about or talk about the Medicine Wheel, I still do so clockwise, in the tradition of the Northern Hemisphere, this is my symbolic and mythical reality. Yet my body in this land knows that it is exactly how I hold it in my mind I just move through it physically differently, like walking through a mirror. There is this moment of unconscious outward and physical interpretation. There is also this part of me that understands that its not a circle at all but a sphere where polaric points hold each other in perfect balance, as they should. I am completely happy standing in the midst of contradictions and I understand that truth is always a plural. It has taken me awhile to integrate this, to step out of the head that wishes to make logical sense of it all. Impossible, we are talking about bone wisdom and spirit. So I hold these opposing energies gently and in balance with consideration to my ancestral lines that head back to pagan times and celtic traditions, to the people that walked this land for millennium with their dreamtime, to the many Native American tribes whose traditions have taught my teachers and my understanding of the medicine wheel and to all the ancestral traditions that have come down and influence the traditions of the culture I sit in such as the Siberian Shamans whose traditions inform how I understand Christmas. All of these many traditions, so different and so varied and yet so much the same, come to me to be practiced in my own way, with my own School of Wisdom to navigate and honour and what I see and honour is the interconnectedness of it all. And so it is…

Galia Alena Medicine Wheel,  wheel of the year, 13 Moon Readings, tarot

I am currently offering 13 Moon Tarot Readings for 2016. If you feel called to see how the cards would like to guide you through the year then have a look over here. Moving through the year with awareness of the moon cycles is a beautiful way to connect with divine feminine energy and honour your path. It also a beautiful way to connect in with the energy of each moon cycle and the seasons. These readings will look at each moon for the year, drawing two cards for each moon cycle to sit in dialogue with each other and with the energy around that moon. Together they will offer insight to guide you throughout that lunar cycle.

http://www.galiaalena.com/offerings/#/13-moons/

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.

It's in the Cards

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena

 I had so much fun with this over on Facebook this week, and a little shocked by how many people played along and shared with me how much it resonated with them, so I thought I would share it here too.

Have a look at the cards above and use your intuition to see which one is calling to you right now, and then scroll down to see what that card has to share with you :)

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Peacock Cloak
1.  This card is about shedding your past feathers to allow your own true beauty, your individuality to cloak you. Wrapped in this protective shield of inner beauty unique to only you allows you to walk your walk and to show your true colours. Yet remember not to take things, including yourself, too seriously. The gift of laughter keeps you grounded while the white feathers sweep you up. That she has shown up today suggests that there may be some past life experience you need to be checking in with, some karmic story which needs clearing. You are supported in this work and guided to looking through to the past and into the future.
Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Flower Raven
2.  Step into the moonlight, there is work to do and Raven is here to help you bring your magic into this world. By the light of a full moon her magic and the blossoming seeds of creativity join forces to bring to fruition a seed planted in your deepest dreams. Call on Raven, and the power of the moon to help you realise into this world something that is dear to your heart. Trust that you are supported by the magic that slips gently between the veils and that a seed already planted just needs the nurturing support of you doing your creative work.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Cry me a River
3.  This card speaks of emotions that are not felt. What is it you do not want to feel that is sitting stuck, attached to who you have become. Dive in deep and allow those emotions to wash over you, feel them, unleash the well of tears that have not been allowed to flow because you fear this it too deep to unleash, too painful, too scary, too unknown. Once you allow the deep feeling of this emotion you will unleash the flow and restore some balance that you didn’t even know was stuck. Sit quietly and ask your body “what is it I don’t want to feel?”, remind yourself that you are safe and that unacknowledged feelings can sometimes hurt you more than allowing them, they are not you and your gentle enquiry will help release you from them washing them away.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Night Eyes
4.  This card is about allowing your intuition to help you see more clearly. One sees not just with the eyes, and the other senses, but also with intuition, imagination and memory. Sometimes we see clearer in the dark than we do in the bright daylight. Listen to all those messages that are coming to you through your dreams, signs through out the day and messages in nature. Let your inner knowing guide you. What you see with your third eye holds much power for you.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Heart Speak
5.  This card relates to the throat chakra and speaks of truths waiting to unfold. There is something you are holding onto which wants to help you spread your wings in your becoming but you need to speak it and not let it stay silent. There is much unfurling of self that come only from being able to stand in your own truths.

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Lily White
6.  Lily White is here to remind you that it is the pure light and passion that holds us steadfast to our dreams and desires giving us the perseverance necessary to actualise our destiny. Whatever is truly yours will be but it is not always easy knowing what is really meant for you with so many shiny objects to distract you. Sit quietly and check in with yourself about where you are putting your energy, is it into what you truly desire at the deepest level?

Oracle Readings, mixed media, Galia Alena
Let it Be
7.  This is a time to go slowly and gently, to let things unfold as they will at their own pace. You may feel like things are not happening as fast or in the way that you might think you want. Trust that all is as it should be. Exercise some patience and allow yourself to rest in ease knowing all is unfolding perfectly.

Let me know in the comments how that went for you, I'd love to hear and if you would like a full reading you can visit me here: http://www.galiaalena.com/dreamstorming

Bowing to the Tarot

Galia Alena, tarot the One Who Hangs
The One who Hangs




 “It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.”
  Charles Williams
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media
I bought my first tarot deck when I was 12. I remember clearly going through all the decks they had and picking the one that spoke to me the most. When I took it home and unwrapped it, it had two of the cards that represented me at the time, the Page of Cups. That has been the way with decks I've owned, both tarot and oracle, they have often had a multiple card in them, one that represents me. In Pixie's deck it is the Good Mother card (which my daughter always smiles when I draw), in Gaia deck it is the Eternal Dance and so it goes.

Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the fool
 Lately the cards have been working much more closely with me, from my paintings ( the Fool, the Death card, the Empress, the World, the Moon and the Hanged Man have all shown up in recent paintings) and journaling to explorations of myth and story, of archetypes and life paths.

Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media star moon
At a Paris flea market last year I picked up an old book to journal in and it soon became clear that it wanted to be my tarot art journaling exploration book. It has become my favourite journal to work lately. The richness of merging words and images, symbols and archetypes- layering story upon story, weaving myths and cultures in dazzling ways. I'm always surprised, and yet not, about what shows up on these pages.
 
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the Tower Kali
 For instance it wasn't until I had finished the painting at the top "The One who Hangs", that I realised that I had her hanging from Yggdrasil, the mythic tree that holds Asgard home to many of the Norse gods and goddesses. She hangs over the Well of Urd whose depths hold many secrets of the Cosmos. And it all showed up mysteriously on my canvas, woven into the symbols of the One Who Hangs as she gazes within releasing stars to the Well. Who knew, I guess I knew, and the act of painting and exploring the cards this way is an adventure in re-membering that which is written on all our bones, our inner wisdom. The cards have so much to show me and I am loving this journey...
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media Wheel of Fortune
 "Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them." Joseph Campbell
Galia Alena, tarot journal, mixed media the Death Card
Galia Alena, tarot reading





If you are curious about having me read the cards for you follow the link for more information here

La Folle- all who wander are not lost

La Folle, Galia Alena mixed media painting
La Folle- all who wander are not lost...
 "In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself within in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost." Dante 
This one took awhile to finish as I had started her before I broke my arm and then, appropriately, I did a bit of my own wandering...

This painting speaks of the journey and the possibilities when we risk getting lost, when we take a leap of faith into the unknown and allow ourselves to fly on wings of imagination. She is homage to the tarot's Fool.

She's available here in my Etsy
La Folle, Galia Alena mixed media painting