Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sisters Of The Red Moon

(click on pics to enlarge & see the detail)

I've been working on this piece over the last few weeks... the words were written by Mel in this post over at 'weaving the moon'. I chose a 56x76cm 210gsm handmade 'Khadi' cotton rag paper (this is a great company for quality eco/ethical artists papers &  sketchbooks). This is a tough, durable paper, which I knew would take several layers of colour & this rough one is really textured... oh boy, did I set myself a challenge!? Several blacks, of varying shades and surfaces to write on from matte water-based to shiny acrylic, rough paper AND red on black.... red is not as solid a colour as you may think! This is the price to pay for getting carried away with the 'look' of the background without thinking about the practicalities of lettering on it... so, this is the first version, i'm sure I will work with these words again...& again no doubt!

As well as the lettering, it's also been pretty impossible to get accurate colours in the photographs. The red is not really orangey at all. I've tried in different light & playing with the editing programme, but this is as close as i'm going to get for now 

we have met before, you and i
somewhen, somewhere.
in time out of time, the space between,
the space where the veil thins and the mist floats across
moonlit oceans.

in the swirling chaos of now,
tendrils of light flicker in the darkness.
reminders of a lost tribe,
of ancient ways where blood was holy
and wisdom shared.

reaching across the chasm of time.
over expanse of space and the shackles of fate
there is hope that in the dreaming
of this and other things, we shall meet again.
somewhen, somewhere.

Although the most feminine of subjects the image reminds me of the red planet...mars.... usually associated with ‘masculine’ qualities... but both the soil of Mars and the haemoglobin of human blood are rich in iron, and because of this they share its distinct deep red color. Astrologically Mars is associated with confidence and self assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition, and impulsiveness. I wonder, how closely linked is Mars to the Moon & our ‘moontime’?
I started thinking about pmt & the issues that are usually thrown up for myself. It’s usually been what ‘someone doesn’t do’ vs ‘what I always do’, things I haven’t done ‘because of someone else’ or what I think other people’s expectations of me are... all relationship stuff with various people, me putting on my ‘victim/martyr’ suit. I know I’m being ‘unreasonable’ even as I think it & knowing I’m pre-menstrual usually helps me cope. 
At one point I started thinking that maybe these are my real feelings, not irrational, but signs I should be out of the relationship or have a head to head with whoever.... why else would the same feelings keep coming up?
Actually, as I looked deeper, I realised that they kept coming up to give me a chance to recognise their underlying causes. My issues tend to stem from situations where I don’t assert myself... to say “actually I’d rather not” or “I want to do” or “will you do”... along those lines, where I haven’t had the confidence to express my needs or ambitions (notice the connection to the astrological associations of Mars?)  I’m not sure how much of this is due to my natal chart & how much is part of a greater moon/mars connection, but I think many will recognise a familiar pattern.
My point is, that there is a great healing opportunity that arises time & again in our cycles... if we let it. Instead of expecting a time of tension, maybe we need to re-verse the way we look at it to something like pre-menstrual tenderness. i.e. to give ourselves some understanding & compassion, to invite the healing that we need. 
Maybe we could meditate on the darkness that surrounds our own red moon.... go into the moon’s vortex.... into the darkness,.... stay there until the darkness feels comforting rather than threatening, feel the comfort of the eternal sisterhood.... acknowledge your darkness, your dark thoughts, those dark feelings....listen to them, ask their on the ancient wisdom from the centre of womanhood and begin to unravel the threads that bind in a repetitive, destructive cycle....

bronze powder is sprinkled into the wet acrylic for 
a lovely reddish moonlight gleam, streaks of enamel look 
wet even when they are dry

I wonder if any research has been carried out into how the moonphase affects pmt? My cycle is fairly short, so my moontime moves through the moonphases. I don’t get particularly bad pmt, but I know about it when it falls at dark moon. I haven’t thought about looking at which sign the moon is in at this time, (until now) to see if there is a larger pattern to the severity of my moods. Has anyone thought about it themselves? It’s something to watch... maybe the moonphase affects people differently, depending on our birthchart or the sign the moon is transiting... or perhaps there are broad similarities.... I’d be interested to know. Perhaps any astrologers out there can shed some light? 

So, Mel’s words stirred up some thoughts as I wrote, even though they weren’t to do with interpreting their meaning.... my interpretation is there... visually for all to see & take as you will.... read again & see where she takes you.
I’ll end with some words from Mel when she saw some earlier photos...
“This is extremely powerful.....and the black background lends some of the power...that women's mysteries are often born in the Shadows and the Dark.”

(if you came from suzi's scribbles click here to return)


Mel said...

Oh, JOY!!

Lovely, lovely, lovely...

My moontime is very much governed by the moon and my moods fluctuate according to Her phases...

Miranda Grey (sp?) has some interesting thoughts on how our moods are affected by the moon relative to our moontime....

Thank you for this...from the bottom of my heart...


Anonymous said...

I always know I can count on your blog for a bit of eye candy =D. Yet another lovely piece, and I think your choice of colours are right on.

There was a wonderful anecdote in 'Women who run with the Wolves' that I've just finished reading, that basically said that she finds it funny that history always talks about women being exiled from the village or community during their bleeding time, and the women looking all forlorn and hard done by so the men feel happy, until the village is out of sight - where/when they can laugh out loud, dance for no reason and connect with themselves in solitude in a way that replenished their spirits. Just wanted to share that with you for some reason, lol.

It'sso tragic that so many women feel that they can't assert themselves, that it is the quality of men. When we spend the time considering our won power, perhap we can break those (self?) imposed barriers and show the world just how powerful we really are!

Suzi Smith said...

No, thank YOU mel for writing it in the first place! T'was a pleasure m'dear.... keep writing, I need good material to work with!!

I remember that one Hayley... lol, keep meaning to read the book again! I know my barriers have been self-imposed.... yep, we can be assertive without shouting & beating our chests... now i'm reminded of a quote... about the power of the world working in a circle (Black Elk).... which leads me to think of womens circles & power shared... the power we have to initiate change.... hmmm

Sue said...

Wonderful and as always well written too. The photos are great but as you say, the piece looks so much better in real life! Glad I was there to see it.
Sue xxx

Lisa said...

beautiful, thank you so much

La Dolce Vita said...

just awesome texture! wonderful piece! very powerful!

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