Posted tagged ‘postcards’

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 4: Grateful

March 15, 2017

Oh, that blue in the upper left corner! I’m not sure what this object is on the card. It looks like a drying rack, maybe for fish, I don’t know.

GRATEFUL – Okanagan Oracle
WISTERIA LAMP – Curtis Freshel, leaded glass on bronze base, designed for Tiffany Studios c.1900
SERENITY – Graven Images Oracle
21. THE DESTINY OF ONE – Messenger Cards by Sandra Kunz
NITYANANDA PRABHU – DELIVERER OF THE MOST FALLEN – Gods and Goddesses Deck
QUEEN OF SWORDS – HAWK’S EYE – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
ELECTRICAL DISTURBANCES – Deep Sleep Deck by Chronicle Books

OkanaganColour4

The subtlety of colour in this deck is pretty good to work with. There are a lot of earthy colours, browns and taupes in many of the photographs, but small details of other colours seem to leap out at me, providing lively interest.

So, be grateful for ice and snow and blue sky peeking out from clouds. Serenity, light, lots of reflected light in ice, and The Destiny of One looks like the world spider from mythology. As an introvert, I’ve always found the concept of global oneness with all people difficult to embrace, but there it sits with circular cascades of ice: heal one and you heal all, the web binds us all.

Nityananda Prabhu is the embodiment of compassion and empathy and love for mankind, distributing the holy names of God to all. The electrical disturbances refer to electronics and not having TVs, radios, or computers in your bedroom, as they can contain radiation, and more importantly to me, way too much light, disturbing sleep cycles. Also a suggestion of being boxed in, bombarded by disturbances.

The Queen of Swords is most definitely my personal card. Yeah, she’s not embracing tonglen today, more’s the pity for her rock hard heart. The Hawk’s Eye is a blue-grey Tiger Eye in its original unoxidized form, which has quartz crystals running through it. Lustrous bands of light and sheen much like ice crystals, Hawk’s Eye is for spiritual challenges, accepting change and death, perhaps a factor for me after my Father’s death recently.

A focus today on the light of others and how pleasant it makes the world if you are open to it: gold serenity among blue skies and light.

 

 

 

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 3: Spirit

March 14, 2017

This is one of my favourite cards from the Okanagan Oracle. I’ve often come across steps and logs like this in woods. Look at all the colours! Brown and taupe, gold, beige, green, sage green, black, black-greys, everywhere small details of colour.

I had a hard time stopping myself from picking cards for this.

SPIRIT – Okanagan Oracle
SUMMER TO FALL – FLYING WEST – Eartheart Wisdom Cards
COVER FOR SCRIBNER’S FICTION NUMBER AUGUST 1897 – Maxfield Parrish, Pomegranate Postcard
THE EVENING STAR – JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER – National Gallery postcard
PALLID CARRIER 5,  AND VOLCANO LIMPET 142 – The Ocean Oracle
KNIGHT OF WANDS – IRON – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
RABBIT – Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards

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Autumn leaves, and the end of summer, the quiet tones of earth and rock, the evening of day and seasons. Rabbit is out under the moon, the sacred hare of lunar cycles and seasons of life. Fiction under the trees, the heat of August and iron thrumming under the earth, steps to the Underworld of coming winter. Relieve the tension says Limpet, and what came easily requires hard work says the Xenophora pallidula.

Seasons mean power, you must look harder for it, the Spirit is there under your feet and waiting in the woods, reflected in the sky with the evening star, making way for the moon, the tension of the day becoming a different light.

 

 

 

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 2: Release

March 11, 2017

This is a great exercise to do when you have insomnia. These cards remind me of Beverly King’s Lojong for the Layperson cards in that there are some wonderful close-ups of plants and trees.

RELEASE – Okanagan Oracle
THE LOVERS – RUBY – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
FREE YOUR MUSCLES – The Perfect Calm Deck
BESPOKE LAMPSHADES – Bay Design UK
PEACH BLOSSOMS (momo no hana) – A Year in Japan Postcards
Stones: Rhodonite (left) Rhodochrosite (right)

OkanaganColour2

Free your muscles and release says this montage. Apart from chronic pain, I am burdened with chronic muscle tension. Self-massage of the tight muscles will help them open like roses and peach blossoms. The lampshades are beautifully and tightly finished but there is still room for fun and frills within the framework, the skeletal body of a lampshade holds things together but the skin opens like a blossom at the bottom.

Ruby bring energy and vitality, it encourages a love of life and keen passion, blood flow. Rhodochrosite brings healing but of a more spiritual and emotional kind; it allows the release of emotions. Rhodonite is also good for emotional healing and good for gaining equilibrium after challenges in life.

 

 

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 1: Devotion

March 11, 2017

I was slightly disappointed that 12 of the 58 cards in the Okanagan Oracle deck were black and white photographs. I like black and white photography but I bought this to work with colour so it startled me at first. Wouldn’t you know that the first card I drew from the deck was a black and white one. The Universe laughs and says “Roll with it Judith.”

Cosmic Jude they call me, always ready to embrace universal humour.

I have several decks out for this. I wanted to avoid the obvious and not use my Secret Language of Colour Cards so I used other things to pick cards with matching colours. Suzy often shows crystals or gemstones in pictures of the cards and though I have a few stones I thought I’d use the Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals to augment this deck as well as random postcards from my collection and the Dreaming in Color Luman Deck.

I first did this exercise back in about 2005 with the Power card in the Dreaming in Color deck, which is a strong gold colour so I went through 20-odd decks and picked gold cards that matched the them and then wrote essays about them. This study will be a simplified version of that.

DEVOTION – Okanagan Oracle
DEPRESSION – Dreaming in Color Luman Deck
FOUR OF CUPS – MAGNETITE – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
DEATH – The Sandman Postcards
FLAMES OF JUDGMENT – American Radiance Postcards, Artist unidentified, 19th century, painted wood.

OkanaganColour1

The root word(s) of Devotion mean “to vow completely” in Latin. So this is not just a gentle, little love, this is a deep, ardent, zealous sort of love. Much like the flames devouring the woman on the postcard.

The Four of Cups is the Ennui card as I call it, paired with Depression and Death, this montage speaks of getting too wrapped up in the darker things of the mind. I have had a struggle with that for several months but the Devotion card reminds me that we always have a choice about what we devote our thoughts to. The flames can envelop me or I can raise my arms to devotion of another type.

Magnetite is one of the oxides of iron, and being magnetic is used for many things including ancient compasses. If we have it in our brain, which apparently we do, does it allow us to navigate? Who knows but this also reminds me that you set a course with your choices about what you think about.

 

 

 

Plummy Daydreams

February 12, 2017

PLUM
(blue leaf kallima)

plum_postcard

I was browsing through my Botanical Postcard Oracle and decided I liked these colours for today. They remind me of the Damson plum tree in my backyard which was surrounded by 4 feet of snow last week. No mail or driving for three days as we were snowed in. Finally the plough came and we were able to get to the grocery store.

When we lived in Ontario, this sort of weather was usual for the month, and they had the equipment to deal with it, but out here where they rarely get more than six inches of snow it has been interesting to see how things come to a standstill. I ordered a Kindle Paperwhite to better read classic books, and it would have been here Friday but for impassable streets, and I shall have to be patient until tomorrow.

So, a much-needed break to contemplate plums. According to the blurb on the postcard, domesticated plums are hybrids, and thus have many variations. Plums have delicate white blossoms that attract butterflies like the Blue Leaf Kallima which is the South Indian blue oakleaf (Kallima horsfieldii) according to Wikipedia, and this colouring seems to be one it sports in the dry season, it’s a bit more subtle but still with lovely gradations and spots.

That’s it! I’m having a dry season, dreaming of summer.

 

Leeks and Curly Parsley, Pollinated by a Black Swallowtail

September 14, 2016

During yet another bout of insomnia worrying about pain I found myself reading a quote online from Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart, but I could not find my copy of the book. In the morning I eventually found it after looking at my other blog where I’d talked about buying it to make sure I did buy it and seeing the colour of the cover.

Since I couldn’t find it last night I opened up The Wisdom of No Escape at 6 a.m. and found a gem of awareness about the precision of feeling the breath go out when breathing during meditation. I never really thought about it, but after you let your breath out, there is a pause before respiration starts again with an in-breath. And during that pause which lasts maybe an eighth or a quarter of a second there is letting go. It all just goes out with the breath and during that pause, there is this soft space, this gap, and you can see letting go.

Brief, but such clarity, so that was my lesson last night. Today I found Pema Chodron’s book The Wisdom of No Escape, so I’ll read a bit of that. Something important is trying to get my attention, something about pain and suffering.

LEEKS
COMPANION PLANT – CURLY PARSLEY
POLLINATOR – BLACK SWALLOWTAIL

leeks_botpostcards

This is from a set of six postcard books that I call my Botanical Postcard Oracle. The artist, Helen Buttfield, has taken old engravings of plants and paired them with her own drawings of attendant plants and insects.

Leeks remind me of making homemade soup as they make the best base for soup, and curly parsley adds flavour to soups but is most often used as a garnish as it seems prettier than the flat-leaved variety. Black Swallowtails have two broods annually, so the postcard makes me think of nourishment and self-care and the idea that it’s never too late, there’s time for another brood this year.

I suppose the other obvious correlation is that pain makes you a better person, the experience of it, of sitting with it, feeling it. Pain is like other illnesses, it leaves you cut off from life, feeling out of it, in a bubble, unable to participate. That’s still an experience, a way to move toward something else.

You feel boiled in pain, make soup, and then add the garnish, then fly off to breed again, birthing.

Leeks are chatty fellows, eh?

 

 

Churchill Contemplates Varied Creativity in Libraries, Gardens, and Small Rooms

July 7, 2016

It’s been a strange week with our back fence torn out for repair and the neighbour needing help shifting wood, and our contractor coming by to put in a temporary downspout and measure windows. We got a tremendous amount done one day as I finished my studio organization, hung six pictures, patched some walls, washed a bunch of fabric, and bought the final acrylic paints and medium for my abstract diptych that I’m painting for the living room.

It went on and on. I cleaned the kitchen several times and cleaned all three bathrooms and made a rhubarb/strawberry/cherry crumble. It didn’t leave much time for cards, but amid the unknowable result of negotiations between the Union and Canada Post, I received a parcel from across the pond.

Ah, the magic of postcards from National Trust properties. A heartfelt thank you to my friend Steve Bright, who knows how to choose just the right postcards and art for me.

Postcards_Chartwell_Sissing

Winston Churchill’s studio at Chartwell, and the library off the writing room in the tower at Sissinghurst. Up Vita and Harold!

These are people that had some grief in life. I remember reading about Churchill building the garden wall at Chartwell during the time he was in political limbo in the 1930s. It must have been hard for him, but he wrote books and painted and built this incredible wall during those awful years. I imagined it as a three-foot wall, nothing special, but in a garden documentary I was amazed to see the height of it.

Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson lived at Sissinghurst. It is actually a medieval castle and must have been rather gloomy and needed constant repairs but they liked it and built a garden that influenced many others and still does today. I’m not sure that I like Vita’s poetry, it’s of its time and seems a bit stagey today, particularly if you hear recordings of her reading it. Still, she forged on writing poetry, essays, biographies and I’ve always been fascinated by the tower at Sissinghurst which was her writing room, her private eyrie. The tower is Elizabethan, and looks damp and cold, but what a place to create. When the mind tires of ideas, you can look afar, bring yourself out again with your eyes on the land.

A reflection today on how to surround yourself with pleasurable things and yet get things done, create, regardless of what the world thinks of you, their lack of respect, or your isolation, or poor health, or your house needing repairs.

It’s about doing and challenging yourself amid the turmoil of life, and the fundamental ambiguity that plagues the mind. Regardless, there is THIS, these rooms, this art, these books.

I close with a favourite quote by another hero of mine, Kenneth Clark. I was struck by this sequence in Civilisation, Episode 7: Clark is discussing the Baroque and exploitation by relatives of the popes, clothed in nepotism and housed in palaces of greed. He ends by saying this as the camera pans out and shows him walking down an enormous arched corridor that is thick with ornamentation and carving, and a sense of huge, whistling coldness and emptiness that goes on and on.

“I wonder if a single thought that has helped forward the human spirit, has ever been conceived or written in an enormous room.”