Here is the third painting in my new Everyday Magic Collection. Spells to reawaken your sense of wonder and enrich your life.
This is a Spell for Perseverance. For the quiet carrying on when things are tough. To inspire you to see the where holding your boundaries and directing your energy can get you. Use this painting to create a station for contemplation in your home. Schedule a daily check-in with this painting when you feel like giving up, and feel your reserves of energy topped up by the elements full of quiet strength and success.
The spring twig in bud, still holding its autumn cones and tassel- like catkins is from a beech tree. Known as the mother of the woods, it was said that no harm could befall a lost traveller who sought shelter under the branches of a beech. Prayers uttered under a beech were said to go straight to heaven and slivers of beech wood and leaves were once carried as talismans to bring good luck and increase creative energy. A nurturing anchor for your efforts.
The skull and claw (drawn in Cambridge Museum of Zoology, read more here) and feather, all come from a barn owl. A ghostly spectre that files at dusk, with its blood curdling scream. A traditional symbol of wisdom, insight, death and re-birth. Qualities that can help us learn what to let go of and what to persevere with. Their iconic other-worldliness and silent flight mean seeing them is a rare treat. The feather is also from a barn owl which I found locally under another the ancient oak.
The beautiful sculptural pin-cushion- like cidaris fossil is a deep sea creature. This is a was drawn on location in the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (read more here) and connects us to deep time, dating from 161-157 million years ago. In spite of millions of years of evolution, this life-form perseveres and quietly continues its mysterious seabed activities from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Each round bump would have held a long pencil like arm. This one is pictured upside down, so you can see the delicate mouth parts that are beautifully and unusually preserved.
The two moths are the Rosy Footman and the Red Necked Footman. Drawn in Cambridge Zoology Museum (read more here). Both have seen an increase in their range and abundance. They feed on lichens and algae on broadleaved trees and fly at dusk. A success story demonstrating that sometimes persevering leads to proliferating. The rosy footman has exquisite colouring, a mini sunset, modest and simple in its design. And the red necked footman’s red scarf makes an unexpected pop of colour against its dark brownish wings.
The lace is an exceptionally complex insertion of reticella from 16th Century Venice. An early needlepoint lace derived from cutwork and drawnwork and made by buttonholing geometric patterns on or over a fabric foundation and cutting away the foundation. Lace is an industry that has not persevered. This is a complex human web invested with meaning and value which is largely lost to us now. Not everything lasts, and it doesn’t serve us to persevere with all our hopes and dreams. The skill is learning to recognise and let go of what won’t serve us and hold on firmly but tenderly to that which will improve life for us and others.
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