Friday, January 29, 2010

Brigid: Igniting the Inner Fire



Brigid, whose name means “fiery arrow”, was beloved of the Irish Celts, and survived Christian conversion by becoming a Catholic Saint who is still revered to this day.  For the ancient Irish, Brigid was the goddess of all things lofty and elevated, such as high rising flames, upland areas, wisdom, perfection, intelligence, creativity, poetic eloquence, blacksmithing, healing, mystical knowledge, and warfare.  She was the daughter of the Father god, the Dagda of the Tuatha Dé Danann.  Some stories suggest that her mother was The Morrigan, the dark goddess, and with her birth she brought light from the void.


She was considered a solar goddess, and stories of her birth recount her rising from the earth into the sky along with the rising sun with rays of light emanating from her head. With every step she took flowers sprouted and birds sang and soared in the air.  Though she was associated with the sun, it was not the physical sun she represented, but the healing energy associated with it.  Snakes are sacred to Brigid, symbolizing  regeneration and the rising of the kundalini energy that exists and rising within each of us when we are healthy and balanced.

The blackberry is sacred to Brigid, and serves to symbolize her strong protective nature with its defensive thorns, and arching, tangled canes, as well as her healing nature by providing nourishing berries and herbal healing remedies.

Throughout Ireland, one can find shrines built over or near natural springs where people go to pray and receive her healing energy through her sacred waters. 

Imbolc was a significant holiday associated with Brigid.  In the ancient times this was a time to acknowledge that spring was not so far away, despite the tight grip winter still had over the land.  For the ancient Gaels, this time of year was particularly harsh.  It was considered the dead month.  But, despite the harsh winds and icy rain that fell, signs of spring could be found.  Ewes began to lactate, Cows gave birth, Ravens started to build nests, and green buds started to appear on branches and poke through the dirt.

Imbolc was important because it fell on an in-between time, a very powerful and sacred time for the Celts.  Brigid, if properly respected, brought the warmth of the sun, the flame of spring, healed the dead-time, and brought words to the poet’s lips.  Her miraculous powers could change water into ale and stone into salt. With boundless generosity she fed birds, animals, and the poor, and they all loved her in return.

Rabbits and Hares were also ancient symbols of spring.  The hare was an emissary of the Otherworld and a symbol of the in-between time, which made Imbolc a such a sacred time.  It is also the time of year that the footprints of rabbits and hares can be seen in the snow, as they search out the tender green shoots to eat and court their mates.  The snowshoe hare, with its ability to change its coat through the seasons, symbolizes the creativity embodied by Brigid. 

In modern time, Brigid can teach us to look bravely into the darkness and bear witness to the growing light.  It is a time of renewal, of re-affirming those resolutions we took at the beginning of the year to better ourselves. Now is the time to understand that no matter how difficult and dark things may appear to be, it will pass, for in order for darkness to exist light must exist as well. 

She asks us to apply creativity to our lives, to live with passion and in accord with our spirit.  A life that is full of passion, creative and healthy is blessed and burns with Brigid’s fire.

Brigid’s fire is the spark of life.

DoAn


Prints and Greeting Cards are now available at my Print on Demand page: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-brigid-doan-art.html

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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2009 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brigid: Sneak Peek



From the outside it may seem all is quiet here at the  DoAn Art Studio.  I have been painting, however, and to prove it, here is a sneak peek at what I have been working on.  This is a detail from Brigid, the next painting in the goddess series.  I am nearly finished and will be bringing the painting to get scanned this weekend.  In the meantime, I will be writing a short essay to go with the painting based on my research and personal observations.

The completed painting is 18 x 24", ink on canvas.  It is already sold, but prints and greeting cards will be available as soon as I get it back from getting scanned.  If you are interested in being notified of when prints are available. You can send me an email.  I expect the final reveal of Brigid will be  before or by February 2nd!

DoAn
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2009 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gratitude

Today I am grateful for the snow that blankets the land in veils of white and blue.

I am also grateful for the trees, which dance and twist in the wind, even in their cold winter slumber.

I am grateful too for the warmth of the fire, the food in my stomach, and the shelter around me.

I am quite grateful for those who take the time to look at my art and read my words.

Thanks to the snow, the trees, the fire, the food, the shelter, and you!

DoAn
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2009 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year: New Possibilities

Today is the first day of the modern calendar year of 2010.   Happy New Year!

I am back in Central New York now and on this snowy, but mild day, I spent my first day of 2010 reading, moving slowly from one room to the next, knitting a little.  I also baked banana bread, played with my dog, and read some more.  I will end my day reading until my eyes grow too weary to properly see the words.  This was a good day.  I created every moment and savored the passing of time like it was delicious and sacred.

I am facing a new year.  A year of possibilities spreads out before me.  I have no idea what is ahead of me.  The past is still fresh, but it will not be a weight dragging me down, instead it will support and guide me, while I build each day.  And within each day I build, a dose of creativity will be an essential ingredient. Sometimes creativity is in NOT making something.  Sometimes creativity is in how daily life is constructed.  My focus this year will be on strengthening this skill. Art and life are becoming one.

My art is changing.  This change is altering my life.  New possibilities are unfolding.  This year will be about nurturing and allowing this change to take place.  In this year, I will be sharing my reflections on my time at OAC, my discoveries, and my insights.  There will be words, drawings, paintings and other surprises.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

DoAn
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Donate now!

DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2009 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

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