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And this is what the shaman said …


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She pressed her soles into the soil

She raised her arms above her head

With two eyes closed, the other opened and this is what the Shaman said

‘Brothers, sisters, take my hand, feel the pulse beneath the land

Sisters rise to your tired feet 

Brothers shoulders sunken in defeat from tireless work, worry and woe, just waiting for your time to go

I, say, No

Use the thunder that cracks your heart

The cracks are where the answers are

Don’t put things back to how they were

You are in pieces because it is time to learn

Look within your eye that feels the truth

Do it now there is too much to lose’

And with that, the rain began to pour and wash them all to their very core

The Shaman then softly kissed her kin

Moved back and made space for their healing to begin

art by Steffi Goddard              Poetry by Chloe Watts Goddard

 

What is a Goddess ?


A Goddess is a woman who is totally beautiful inside and out.  In the past she has been worshipped by ancient religions like the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.  She has the power to help, heal and elevate other women around her.  She is a nurturer, is peaceful, and has a purity but is also strong. She passes on wisdom.  She has beauty, grace and appeal and is a leader of women.  She is admired and adored by other women.  When you meet a Goddess you never forget the feelings you have when in their company or the way they inspire you.

A goddess invents her own life, and lives according to her own vision. This quality requires the companion qualities of imagination and courage.

A goddess is autonomous. She seeks no one’s approval, but listens to her own counsel. She answers to no one. She does not try to impress anyone. Her work speaks for itself. She never makes excuses and rarely offers explanations for her actions. She is not defensive for she is not threatened by what other people may think of her. She is the queen of her own life and this is reflected in her demeanor.

A goddess is passionate, she has a palpable energy and enthusiasm that is contagious and beneficial to those around her. In esoteric terms, she raises the vibration in a group situation. She inspires others.

A goddess is continually learning and evolving.

A goddess is authentic. The mask she presents to the outside world is the same as her innermost heart. She has learned to express her emotions cleanly and healthily. What you see is what you get. A goddess knows her own truth. She does not impose her truth on others, but will share her wisdom when invited to.

A goddess takes care of herself. She does not expect others to take care of her. She treats herself as well as she would treat her best friend. She is compassionate and forgiving with herself and others. She gets enough rest and gives her body the right fuel, both in oxygen and in food and water. She knows what she needs. She feeds her soul.

A goddess is committed to healing the earth and works towards peace and understanding, whether it is on a large scale or simply within her family and closest circle of friends. She contributes to cleaning up the environment and teaches the next generation to do likewise.

A goddess sees her body (and the earth) as sacred, and is in tune with natural cycles. She is comfortable with her sexuality.

A goddess has learned balance and patience. Flow and ebb. Waxing and waning. A goddess does not freak out during ebb or waning times. She uses it wisely for rest, reflection, and planning.

A goddess has learned to trust her intuition and inner knowing. She has learned to tap into this source at will.

A goddess has learned to let go of the need to control the flow of the river. She has discovered the futility of trying too hard. She has learned to ride the wave and go with the flow, to ask for and accept help when required. She is flexible, fluid, and adaptable. She has given up the need to control or manipulate. She does not pout or whine when she does not get her way.

A goddess communicates her boundaries. She is gentle but firm when her boundaries are violated. She respects others’ boundaries. She asks for clarification when necessary.

A goddess recognizes and honors other goddesses and gods. She lends her support to the work of other god/desses. She does not feel competitive or threatened by other goddesses and understands that what is good for one is good for all, and that when one shines, the light benefits all. A goddess knows how to share and is generous of spirit, but she knows her limitations and does not give more than what she can afford – emotionally, financially, physically, or energy-wise.

A goddess’s natural state is one of joy and gratitude. She is also at home with her shadow, and will honestly mourn her losses and explore her fears. She understands that everyone experiences pain – it is part of life on earth. Therefore she works through her own pain with courage and dignity, not trying to sidestep it, or numb it, but to get through it and learn from it.

A goddess is comfortable with death, and has learned to let go…. of relationships, concepts, and material possessions that are worn out, or that no longer serve her growth.

Pintura Rapida – Speed Painting


 

During the Summer months in Spain, a regular event is held in various towns throughout the country where artists are invited to participate in a competition called ‘Pintura Rapida’ or ‘Speed Painting’. This event is open to professional and amateur artists where they are to paint, in a given amount of time, either the landscape, city, streets or people of the area. My local town called Alcaudete hosts this annually and this year I decided to enter, along with between 70-80 other artists from all over Spain.

It was an extremely hot dusty day in August and I arrived early at the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to have my canvas stamped and registered to prove I had not started the piece previously. I was given my complimentary breakfast and lunch vouchers and set off to find a quiet and hopefully cool spot to begin my painting.

I found a lovely solitary place which had some shade and set up my canvas ready for the challenge that lay ahead. It was so peaceful being alone amongst the nature with only the strong smell of fennel and a few cats for company. I made quite a promising start, I knew I had to get the paint on to the canvas quickly as we were only given until 6pm that day to finish, it was already about 11.00 am. The view I had chosen was of Alcaudete Castle in the distance with the landscape cascading around it and so the paint flowed onto the canvas.

However as morning became the afternoon, it was more and more difficult to concentrate as the heat started to affect me and made me light headed as my chosen spot was now in full sunshine. I am quite used to painting ‘en plain air’ but not in the intense heat of August, and as the minutes flew by I knew I probably wouldn’t have my painting finished by 6 pm.

The promenade in ‘El Parque’ was filled both sides with artists and their work displayed on easels and I tentativley place my unfinished piece amongst the most incredible paintings. The judging then took place and the winners were announced and they collected their substantial prize money which had been mainly donated by local companies. It is an amazing experience to see an outside exhibition with so many talented artists work on display.

At the end of the evening I took my painting back to my studio and completed it the next day. I realised there is certainly a technique to speed painting which I don’t have. My work is based on layering and has an emotional reaction to what I am painting. There is no formula to my style as I paint what I feel as well as what I see. I also need a certain amount of drying time before I apply the next layer or textures, this tecqnique doesn’t really work when speed painting.

So I definitely need to ‘skill-up’ if I am going to enter again next year and maybe find somewhere with a bit more shade ! I finished my piece back in my studio and I am actually quite pleased with the finished painting, it certainly gives the impression of a hot day in August in Southern Spain.

IMG_9038Finished painting – Contemporary Landscape, Alcaudete, Spain

Goddess Art


I have just recently said ‘adios’ to my two very special friends who spent a week with me at Cortijo Las Salinas painting goddesses.  It was such an amazing week as we meditated, danced the Five Rhythms, laughed, created body maps and cried, did some creative writing, Haiku, told stories and painted life sized goddesses.  As our stories developed so did our imaginations and we began what became a 5 day ‘lock-in’ to my studio as we began the painting process and our goddesses emerged.

After our meditation and story telling session, we began by drawing around each to get our own life sized body shapes, then the paint went onto the canvas and the goddess journey began.

First layers are always interesting and its important to clear as much of the blank canvas as possible.  Using the intuitive process painting technique, we allowed our intuition to guide us, along with our meditations and story writing.

The paintings developed and flourished as our goddess painting became a part of our personality.  My goddess was Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, beauty and eternal youth.

We even used ourselves as the paintbrush !!

Details of the finished Goddess Aphrodite.

It was so sad to finish our paintings as the whole experience was so intense and emotional for us all.  However the next goddess ‘paint-in’ is in the planning already !

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l-r      Goddess Tanit, Goddess Aphrodite, Goddess Hathor

by Alice Mason, Steffi Goddard and Terre Cerridwyn

January in the Studio


I love the new year.  January is a time for a good clear out in the studio ready for another year of commissions, exhibitions, workshops and art holidays.  Its amazing how the clutter  grows without me even noticing throughout the year.  So a tidy studio is a ready to go studio ….

So far I have 6 commissions to be getting along with, including 4 large canvases for a beach house in Ireland, 2 exhibitions coming up in March and April, 2 art holidays planned which need to be co-ordinated and the usual stream of workshops for the visitors to the cortijo and my studio.  Hope to see you here in Spain soon.

 

 

 

A Planking variation – Purvottanasana


Try this as an alternative, or in addition to, your daily plank – the Upward Plank Pose.

Begin by sitting with your legs out straight, place your hands behind your back and press your palms down against the floor with your fingertips towards you.  Lift your pelvis and straighten your legs whilst driving your toes to the floor. Press your shoulder blades against your back and look up and smile !

Upward Plank Pose
Upward Plank Pose

Namaste and enjoy your day !

Steffi