Thursday, 24 December 2015

Sensing the Sacred

Dear friends,
More and more I find very simple things makes my heart sing….
After the busiest shift at work in months… me and my man escaped into the woods to feel the chill air in our lungs, drink in the restorative pure energy of the trees and be as far from the hustle and bustle of consensus society as possible.
As the sun painted the clouds with the last color bursts of the day we headed into the wilds…
Slipping in the mud and clambering up hills as the golden orb of the moon rose behind the lines of skeletal trees on the ridge…
Two crows calling to each other as they fly low overhead, cutting stark silhouettes against the sky, heading home to roost.
Enjoying my other senses strengthening as my night vision picks out the trail through the gloaming, darkening woods by moonlight. I had a perfect Jungian fairytale moment, surrendering to being in the 'Underworld' {of the deep dark, woods} totally expecting the woodcutter or wolf to step out from the trees any second. This is my kind of Christmas Eve.
Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas and the magic of the untamed Soul,
Catherine Athena xo

Friday, 18 December 2015

Worthy Vessels and Soul-sailers on the Stormy Seas

Dear readers, 
I felt called to share these words from one of my guides and teachers, and author of one of my all-time favourite books "Women Who Run With The Wolves"  ~ post-trauma specialist, Jungian Psychoanalyst, Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

More than ever now we need to keep the faith and hold tight to the mast as we navigate the high tides and stormy seas we see in the World. 

May wish is that her words remind us of our strength, grace and our own power.
Catherine Athena xo

We Were Made For These Times
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
~ By Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Return….

“Some day, if you are lucky, you’ll return from a thunderous journey trailing snake scales, wing fragments and the musk of Earth and moon. 

Eyes will examine you for signs of damage, or change and you, too, will wonder if your skin shows traces of fur, or leaves, if thrushes have built a nest of your hair, if Andromeda burns from your eyes. Do not be surprised by prickly questions from those who barely inhabit their own fleeting lives, who barely taste their own possibility, who barely dream. 

If your hands are empty, treasureless, if your toes have not grown claws, if your obedient voice has not become a wild cry, a howl, you will reassure them. 

We warned you, they might declare, there is nothing else, no point, no meaning, no mystery at all, just this frantic waiting to die. And yet, they tremble, mute, afraid you’ve returned without sweet elixir for unspeakable thirst, without a fluent dance or holy language to teach them, without a compass bearing to a forgotten border where no one crosses without weeping for the terrible beauty of galaxies and granite and bone. 

They tremble, hoping your lips hold a secret, that the song your body now sings will redeem them, yet they fear your secret is dangerous, shattering, and once it flies from your astonished mouth, they, like you, must disintegrate before unfolding tremulous wings.” 

"The Return" by Geneen Marie Haugen

Thursday, 5 November 2015

It's Here! Intuitive Painting Workshop

Dear readers, 

This beautiful book by Alena Hennessy is out now in the States and is getting rave reviews from those who have received it already. 
It'll soon to be released on our shores over here in Europe too!
My Buddha Painting in the book

It feels incredible to have a couple of my paintings featured alongside the work of other artists I know and adore.  So exciting to see these photos coming through today…I couldn't resist but share them with you. 

It's a spiral-bound Hardcover book to spark your intuition over a year, with painting prompts for each month and season. 

Here is another sneak peek...

Monthly Projects step-by-step

You can purchase on Amazon over here > Intuitive Painting Workshop. It is color-rich and packed with ideas and examples to inspire your own process. 

Blessings of beauty and creativity!
Catherine Athena xo

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Syzygy (Soul-Zygosity)

Dear readers,  Here is a little Syzygy (Soul-Zygosity) sketch I've just finished… I wanted to make a visual representation of my Creative Twins within, which I spoke about in last weeks blog post (which you can read here.)  It was a big realisation, that thing that will open up a new door for me. 

Blessings of mystery and Sacred twin-ship,
Catherine Athena xo

Syzygy ~ Ink on Paper © Cat Athena Louise 2015

Friday, 16 October 2015

I should have listened… (Honoring the inner voice)

Hi my art-friends & readers,

I'm currently taking part in a Creative Accountability Group being hosted by the wonderful Stacy De La Rosa and with the daily checking in, a bit like noting small diary entries I'm getting to see some things changing in me already and some unexpected breakthroughs too.  And I'm all about the breakthroughs!

I'm finding that the deliberate act of showing up and giving yourself the gift of time to do your creative 'thing' daily somehow lifts the lid on the subconscious and allows other dreams and whispers to bubble up to the surface… wanting to voice their presence and be heard.   A bit of a realisation (quite a big one actually) has suddenly happened for me overnight without any prompting other than just the showing up for myself and my creative process…  

And BOOM! I get this moment of absolute crystal clarity around a creative dilemma I've had going on, haunting, taunting and troubling me for several years.

You see I have these two vastly divergent styles. It's like I have two completely different artists within me both seeking outward expression and I've been struggling to reconcile these two halves of my artist self.

As an example, it's like my Natal Sun and Moon signs being played out, for want of a better way to explain my two distinct artistic "personalities".  There is the cautious, more conservative Capricorn me who loves clean lines and the refined application  -and gets a thrill from-  a finely detailed watercolor approach, clear, structured and perfectly clean (a no-mess illustrative style 'me')

……..and then there is the wild, easily-bored, rebellious Sagittarius me who wants to splash acrylic, ink and gesso all over the place, charge across it with scratchy charcoal lines, cover it in beeswax and cut into it, in wild exuberant abandon, messy and deplorably badass delicious. A style I have always admired in others, but due to feeling conflicted, had never been able to allow myself to surrender into and have for myself too.

I love them both equally ~ and somehow between these two, I have felt myself become trapped. Frozen in amber. Unable to move because of my own false perception of how other people might respond to these two faces of me.

How did this happen… How did I get so stuck between these two inner artists?  It sounds really silly… but… well it's all down to this unhelpful dialogue, a lie that runs around in my mind perpetually that I have believed to be true, and it goes like this… You have to stick to one thing. Your style needs to be recognisable.  You cannot have these TWO vastly different approaches (at least not publicly)

I even allowed myself to listen to Benny's words in the movie "Basquiat"...
I first saw this movie back in 1997 and somehow I have taken on board what Benny says to Jean-Michel about creating a name (fame) for himself as an artist… (just before he met Andy Warhol and became infamously well-known)

At 2minutes 20 seconds in you'll hear him say: "Then you've got to do your work all the time…. But I'm talking about the same kind of work, the same style so people can recognise it and don't get confused, you know?   Once you're famous, airborne, you've got to keep doing it the same way, even after it's boring, unless you want people to really get mad at you, which they will anyway…"

But no… I don't think it has to be that way for me anymore. I'm going to erase that old file from my hard-drive! Well the bit about doing the work all the time is definitely true. 

However I CAN find a way to allow both halves of me to express themselves fully.  And I finally know how, I've finally figured out how I'm going to do that and I give myself full permission.  

I really should have listened to my own inner-voice all along, that whisper of disquiet that kept bringing this annoying little 'two-halves' thing to my attention in hope of finding some sort of resolution.  Digging a little deeper down I realise I truly can have it all, I really can… despite myself.

It's so healing to have these awakening realisations, they can change everything.

I feel an art journal and some dark messy charcoal coming on… 

Blessing of mystery, Catherine Athena xo

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Times They Are A Changing

Dear readers, 

I always find this time of year very wonderful…and powerful. There seems to be a magic charge and excitement tangible in the air, all kinds of possibilities are swirling around in the ethers, laced with a certain divinely-guided element of chaos and spookiness too.

I personally think it has much to do with Samhain coming up at the close of this month, and the sort of party-spirit revelry and mischief that comes with that, coupled with the hallowed-edge of mystery as the veils between the Worlds thin.  Our departed Ones and Ancestors draw in closer to the hearth fires that warm and gladden them and the food offerings we share in remembrance of those who hold us and guide us from the other side. 

Jack'O Lantern at Samhain ~ North Wales 2006 ~ Cat Athena Louise ©

Today I've really been feeling it. The mystery, the charge.  In the starry-skied heavens above Mercury has gone direct at last, and the vibes are distinctly similar to that of a New Moon energy flowing in and just generally lifting the mood and making things easier. The new Moon is now just days away too.

On the flip side, there is so much change going on in my personal world, it is almost unparalleled. Of course it is happening on a wider level too, being played out all too clearly on the World stage, globally for us all to witness.  There is a lot of fear and confusion, turbulence and uncertainty resulting from that for so many people right now.  

My astrologer friends tell me that these remarkable 'realignments' that are taking place collectively for humanity, this awakening, this bringing in of the New Paradigm that is being birthed on our planet, is going to be unfolding for some time yet… It started in earnest in 2008 and will continue through to 2024, as the Divine Feminine and Masculine come back into eqilibrilum and balance.  This patriarchal time of control and systems that do not nurture the planet or ourselves in a sustainable way, are dying away.  The transition is underway to return harmony and co-operation both inwardly and outwardly. A huge healing is taking place.  

Anyone who has ever done a juice cleanse will know that things often feel so much worse before they get clearer (better). You just can't clean a house without stirring up some dust!     

As this unfolds I draw inward. More and more I am deepening into a full body-mind-spirit understanding that truly "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." (thank you Albert Einstein)… 

If we really want change in the World, it has to come from within first….through loving and healing ourselves… actively engaging our shadows and wounding so that we are no longer projecting the pain and hurt into the mirror-world that manifests as if by magic outside of ourselves.  It starts with us… Never before has it been more important to truly do the inner Soul work on ourselves and "be the change we wish to see in the world." 

I write these words as a reminder for myself and for anyone with the courage to journey beyond the obvious.

Bright Blessings ~ Self Portrait ~Cat Athena Louise © 

May your October be filled with joy and Light,
Blessings of beauty, 
Catherine Athena xo

Friday, 25 September 2015

A Little Share of some Great Work

Dear readers,
So today I thought I'd do a little share of some Great work that a couple of friends of mine are putting out into the World.

I love hearing recommendations from others myself and then following these trails of virtual breadcrumbs to discover something wonderful or unique that I might not have chanced across normally…and so I have a couple of my own secret delights to share today (and now no longer a secret!) of folks I love to follow online.

First up is Dan Nyne's blog… this is one I enjoy reading that some of you may also find helpful on the path…

I find his posts and articles interesting, informative, and often very thought provoking… He covers a wide range of different topics such as esoteric teachings from the Western Mystery tradition, Archetypes, Tarot, Shamanism, Paganism, Faerie contacts, Nordic traditions etc … and he shares some really good book reviews too!

You can find his blog over here >>

The next one is mixed media artist Carissa Paige, whose wild and exuberant bohemian painting and drawing style is really unique and colourful and directly mirrors her life both on and off the canvas!

She currently has an e-course going, now available as a self-paced class, so it's not too late to join in the fun! For those who would like to learn to paint loose and free and may help them to get in touch with their own unique style and voice.

Here is the preview trailer >> 

If you haven't seen her art yet, seriously check it out! The link to her blog >>
You can also find her wonderful paintings on Etsy >>


Blessings of beauty and mystery,
Catherine Athena xo

• • •My journey through the senses• • •

taste:: Crispy Autumn-ripe Apples… the scent as you bite, the juiciness…… yeah, I know.
smell:: Wood smoke at sunset, as the weather turns and the fire places in the town ignite.
touch:: keyboard, frenetically but purposefully.
see:: A view from my office window of the world passing by…so many interesting characters.
hear:: Still listening to older Clannad tracks, that evoke so perfectly the mood of the season.
think:: I'm going to film something soon.
feel:: Alive from evening walks, in-deep discussions on archetypes, brainstorming, note taking on our discoveries for a future project. Strange, and wildly exciting.
read:: Alejandro Jodorowsky's fascinating introduction, in his book "The Way of the Tarot; The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards"…. so many synchronisities while working with Marcel Marceau in Paris and Mexico and collecting his 1000 tarot decks, to how he uncovered and re-covered the original art and symbolism of the Tarot of Marseille.
intuit:: It's going to be a phenomenal Eclipse and Full Moon this coming Sunday! (27 September)
Fasten your seat belts! 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Autumn Equinox

Dear readers, 
Blessings of the Autumn Equinox to you! 

I love this time of year so much..... We sit on the final balance point (Libra) that hereafter tips us over into the dark half of the Wheel of the Year.  It's such an evocative season, full of sights, scents and little pleasures that quicken the blood. 

My shamanic sight sees inner sanctuaries and harkens imagery to mind of the long cold months ahead and the bright lights of bonfires that gladden the greying skies... The pumpkin soups and snuggling down in cosy blankets, firelight, long walk through piles of crunchy fallen leaves, sewing and weaving projects, warm socks and gloves, long dark nights for dreaming and resting. 

I have some very clear practical goals to see me through this 'drawing in' time... I find having a focus always makes the time fly by. 

Blessings of beauty and mystery, 
Catherine Athena xo 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Published -- in New Book

Dear readers,
So the cat is out of the bag and I can finally spill the beans.

I'm delighted and excited to announce that I am one of the featured contributing artists in magical artista Alena Hennessy's new book "Intuitive Painting Workshop; Techniques, Prompts and Inspiration for a Year of Painting" … It is available on pre-sale already over on Amazon!

It takes you step-by-step through a month-by-month, season-to-season, Intuitive Painting workshop, exploring through using a range of glorious mixed media supplies.  I am happy to say that I am very blessed indeed and lucky to know many of the other artists who are featured in this beautiful book alongside me…and I know it will be lush, colourful, and very, very inspiring!  

Blessings of beauty and mystery for your own creative journey,
Catherine Athena xo

• • •My journey through the senses• • •
taste:: Relaxing Camomile and Liquorice tea…seems to really hit the right note.
smell:: Sandal Darshan incense cones leave a heady, exotic fragrant imprint in my studio space ~ the day I burn it, and the days after too.
touch:: My heart. The inner Soul work of late has been intense. Exhale and onward.
see:: Through new eyes the many ways my body messages me about what I am really feeling and thinking.
hear:: Clannad. I'm having a bit of a Celtic revival as the Year Wheel turns to the darker, colder more introspective months.
think:: I need to get out into the woods today and imbue some Greenwood energy from the Tree people! The scent of leaf-mould and crunch of new fallen leaves is invigorating!
feel:: Calm and prepared, ready for the coming Full 'Blood' Moon eclipse next week.
read:: Clarissa Pinkola Estes' classic 'Women Who Run With The Wolves' -- just takes me deeper and deeper on each and every read.
intuit:: Change, Change, Change up ahead, on the home front, the work front, and the creative art front. I am well seasoned at riding these continual waves by now. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Recipe Time: How to make The Honey-Spelt-Chocolate-Banana Cake

Dear Readers,

I have very recently felt called to start baking things... like Cake (but without the added refined sugars)

I was completely out of practice, having been sugar-free for a couple of years, and very much in need of some guidelines to help me get my groove back and remember again what it was I was meant to do! 
I found myself digging out a bit of a cult classic (in New Zealand) recipe book; the 'Edmonds 'Sure to Rise' Cookery Book'
 (for those interested in knowing my inspiration for this particular *wildly-altered* recipe)

I am so over refined sugars. I needed to come up with something different, and used the 'Banana Cake' recipe on page 44 to get me started. 

I guess I still don't always realise how completely alternative and non-conformist I am, till my husband laughed and pointed out, after the cake came out of the oven, that I had actually only stuck to 4 of the original ingredients, and I had substituted everything else completely and added two extra components. Ha! Yes, that's very me and the way I do things. 

Anyway, without further ado... (for Ann Marie who requested this) 

Cat’s Crazy Delicious Honey-Spelt-Chocolate-Banana Cake:

* 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil 
* 2 Eggs
* 4 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
* 3 or 4 Generous Desert spoons of Honey
* 3 teaspoons Fairtrade Cocoa powder
* 2 large cups of Spelt flour (white gives a softer texture and flavour, Wholemeal gives a very full-bodied texture and flavour -- similar to if you’ve added Wheatgerm)

* 1 flat teaspoon Baking Soda (aluminium free)  
* 1 heaped teaspoon of Baking Powder
* Half a cup of Hemp milk (or other plant milk : Rice milk / Coconut / Almond / Soya etc) -- this amount can be adjusted to make the batter the right sort of consistency. 

* 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence (one that is as natural as possible -- without added sugars or artificial sweeteners)

First I place the Coconut Oil in a large saucepan and allow it to gently melt on a low heat (if it is solid) 
I then let that oil cool (it will still be liquid) and add the mashed bananas and vanilla essence. 

Beat the eggs in, and add the cocoa powder. 

Dissolve the baking soda into the plant milk (of your choice) in a separate cup and then stir this well into the mix.

I add the Honey and stir it in completely. *Note: Because honey has a real high water content, it will make a moist cake and you won’t need quite as much plant milk as you would if it was a recipe that included refined sugar in the mixture (white or caster sugar) and you can intuit how much you put into the mix to make the batter the right sort of consistency.  

I then add in the Spelt flour and the baking powder and use a whisk to make sure the only textured lumps are from pieces of banana. 

Line a nice big cake tin with greaseproof paper (or “Deli paper” for US artist-bakers) ... Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius till the oven light goes off -- showing you it’s ready to rock.

Place cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 50 minutes at 180 degrees C, or 350 Fahrenheit (for my US readers)

This will be a dense, deliciously moist cake that needs no icing. I really like it just like that. The honey means it is subtly sweet, and gently flavoured with banana.  If you want a more indulgent sweet desert , you could of course always try adding your favourite yoghurt or dairy free ice-cream as a topping. 

We were celebrating last night and ate it hot straight from the oven. My goodness it was SO good!  #artistswhobake !  
-- find me on Instagram :

Catherine Athena xo

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Blog Banner Commission

Dear Readers, 

I was given the honour of creating a new blog banner for "When the Wild Hunt Rides" at, the blogsite of writer Dan Nyne, who is a Shamanic Practitioner and Western Mystery Tradition student… and the banner has just gone live on his site today. 

He asked to put together something in my style around the imagery of the Wild Hunt in mythic folklore traditions. I think it looks suitably mysterious and evocative. 

Dan's articles are thought-provoking and go into the deeper aspects of magical and shamanic practice, group work, ethics, mythology, wheel of the year celebrations and also ancient paganism (and how it relates to modern paganism) and covers reviews of books that may be of interest to seekers on the path.

Please stop over and take a look, and you can see the image in the full black banner >

Blessings of beauty,
Catherine Athena xo

Monday, 17 August 2015

New Studio Space

There have been some big and very necessary changes going over here to my work space….

I ended up moving my studio room to another part of the house completely, when neighbour noise was preventing me from getting anything much done at all... We are talking neighbours who are complete TV addicts and have their TV set on for up to 14 - 16 hours a day through sub-woofer speakers. This was going on right underneath my work room / art making space. I just couldn't think straight. It's not so good for maintaining a creative head space in any way or any how.

After trying to negotiate with them, reason with them, talking to the landlord to try find ways to make it workable, it just wasn't working out.  I even found myself retreating to the bedroom in the evenings and using our King size bed as a painting surface to have some much needed respite from the constant pumping bass and have a quiet space to paint! You really do have to do whatever you have to….
On Instagram at the time : 

Me at work last night. When the need to create becomes stronger than the "not having the appropriate space to work" And i bring the 39"x 39" canvas to my bedroom. #crimsonphoenix #ipaintwhereverican #gottapaint #yangenergy #bornyearoftherooster  

So our self-initiated Moving Day came around.  I shifted the entire flat right around -- like a complete 180 degree flip over,  so that what had previously been our storage room become my studio and vice versa.. and this complete move around happened via the kitchen and our bedroom. It was all-out chaos. Basically just like moving house all over again!   

But it was so worth it… finally I was settled in a quiet room and could actually get something done…a wave of instant productivity descended rather suddenly upon me, as I realised you can't take anything for granted -- least of all a space to paint in -- and THREE days later my new website was launched! {}

And so here I am now in a small space that feels almost like a quirky little dorm room with bookcases lining most of the walls…and my desk, and the painting table Viking shields, and more. 

I love it. This feels good. 

It all comes back to this little mantra…. 
……whatever that may be, and however that might look for you. 

Till next time, 
Blessings of beauty, 
Catherine Athena xo

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Knock Knock… It's Time to Launch!

Dear Readers, 

It's Harvest time and everyone is talking about the '888' energy that is pervading the Astrosphere today. The Mystic Mama & Elephant Journal blogs both had a features talking about it too… and it really does feel like a wonderfully dynamic and powerful time to be alive! 

It's a good day for the launch of my new website also…I'm giving it a Leo birthday (I've always loved that expansive, exuberant energy those Leonine people embody… so here we go. 

Knock Knock... has landed at last on a glorious golden early Autumn day! Please click on the link above to call over and visit… You'll find photography of elemental sites from my travels that have inspired me and stream of consciousness poetry to match, my paintings, articles…lots of new things to explore. I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know what you think.

Blessings of Light and beauty,
Catherine Athena xo


Friday, 10 July 2015

Quintessentially English Summertime

I've noticed that nothing quite says Summer here in Britain like hanging a string of bunting! 

I thought I would have some crafty make'n'mend time this week with a little bit of DIY home decor. And so I found myself rummaged through a few local charity stores ('op shops' we used to call them back in the '70's) to find some colorful fabric I thought would be perfect to make some bunting for our home. 

It's amazing how a couple of pairs of secondhand Italian trousers, one floral and one bright magenta-crimson, upcycled into little flags can so easily bring some fun color and joy into a space….but it really can! 

 I made a cardboard triangle 'mask' as a pattern, then placed it on top of the fabric and used dressmaking chalk to mark out the flag shapes and then cut them out with pinking shears. 

Here I am sewing them onto a white cord for hanging.
 And the finished result - across side walls of our kitchen….

Ending above the sink, with my painting inspired by 'Women Who Run With The Wolves'. 
{Prints of this painting are available over here.}

The whole project was £7 pounds and was an enjoyable way to spend a summer afternoon and evening. 

Wishing you many reasons to celebrate and be creative this Summer! 

Blessings of beauty,
Catherine Athena xo

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sequoia Talking Stick & Summer Solstice Enchantments

It's the morning of the Solstice and I can hear a blackbird singing sweetly in a country garden as a cool, gentle breeze blows across my face. It's the longest day of the year and I'm enjoying this energy at the height of Summer and celebrating today as we circle back around the Sun.

Sunrise at Lanyon Quoit © Cat Athena Louise 

A few days ago, I had left a prayer and an offering, while holding out my hand and touching the beautiful Sequoia (Redwood) Tree in the centre of town. I sensed the warmth of its soft bark and the power of it grounded deeply into the Earth and reaching high, high up into the sky above me.  I asked the tree if it would please grant me the gift of a piece of its wood, a small branch perhaps, something I could use to make a talking stick for a community project I have in mind to develop here.

This morning while I was out walking down the street near to the tree again, I chanced upon a man out walking his dog. I was intrigued by the dog and how it had long, sparce silver hairs, amid the black, all over it… silver streaks like the kind you see more often on people rather than dogs.   

The man came by and suddenly began a conversation with me, completely out of the blue said he was leaving the town almost right away, moving to Poole in Dorset today. I told him I had just arrived.

He said his name was Gary and he asked if I "Could do him a favour and promise him something? look after his friend the Sequoia tree" he said, pointing across to the huge tree.

Giant Redwood (Sequoia) Tree © Cat Athena Louise
I had to lie on the grass on my belly, with my camera touching the ground and I still couldn't get far enough away to capture fully the height and magnificence of this tree. I needed to use a panorama feature instead and it still doesn't do it justice! 

I smiled as I told him I was certainly the right person to ask, how I adored the magical tree too, enjoyed being beside it and had only the other day been over with it asking for the gift of a branch to make a talking stick for a project I am involved in.

He said his dog Merlin had picked up a number of sticks from under the tree, "He always knows the ones I like," he said, and they had taken them all home.  If I would follow him, he would take me there right away to get one.  He chatted away happily about the tree as we walked, telling me the latin name for its genus and about the gentleman who had originally bought the tree over from America.

There at his front door he handed me a big branch he had varnished all ready to go!  I just love the red heartwood I can see at each end and the intriguing knots and markings on it. As I held it in my hands carrying it home, it reminded me of something …… and then suddenly an image flashed in my mind, of Kevin Costner as John Dunbar in the movie 'Dances With Wolves', fire dancing with a stick about the same size as my talking stick branch.   

And so I now have the Sequoia's gift, all ready to be decorated with feathers, beads and colored twine. A special delivery from the Tree by way of four-legged and two-legged friends. 

There is an enchantment in this place… I've felt it before in other spots I have lived where veils are thinner between worlds, when we lived near a Faerie Hill in the wilds of North Wales and in the shadow of the Tor at Glastonbury. Strange synchronistic happenings and chance encounters take place quite unexpectedly. 
And here it is again.   Magic is very much afoot! 

Wishing a very happy Mid-Summer Solstice to you all!

Blessings on the Beauty Way,
Catherine Athena xo

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

New Moon Musings

The Pisces New Moon sees me thoughtful and in an introspective mood. Realisations rising to the surface and renewed clarity.
This little video of Patti Smith kinda sums it up for me today…

Catherine Athena xo

Friday, 13 February 2015

Valentine's Day Paper Hearts

Perhaps it's because I'm a hopeless and (happily) incurable romantic….
Or maybe it's the little powwow I had with the Saint when I was in Dublin back in the Summer of 2005….

There I was, wandering the city with a tourist map in hand and noticed that Whitefriar Street Church had a shrine and casket with his bones on display.  After a string of disastrous relationships (romantic learning curves) I was keen to pay him a visit.  Let's just say we had words. I met someone just 6 months later. That was 10 years ago now.

Anyway, for the above reasons and more, I adore Valentine's Day.

This year, the lead up feels very celebratory and nurturing in a self-empowering kind of way. Lots of my artist friends are creating art to mark the day, and talking about acts of self-care to promote Love and self-respect. Really looking into the mirror with eyes of kindness. After all, the most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves!

I will be doing the same….as well as celebrating the day.

And here is a mixed media painting I have created featuring collaged Paper Hearts.
"Paper Hearts" ~Mixed Media collage and paint on paper 11.7" x 16.5"

Have you heard about Courtney Walsh's novel of the same name?
Here is the trailer for her new book >>

Yes! Here's to starting our own traditions!

Wishing you all a beautiful Valentine's Day celebrating your own sovereignty and strong self-worth while flying solo or together. 

Catherine Athena xo

• • •My journey through the senses• • •
taste:: Italian pizza lovefest
smell:: Rose petals and Lavender buds
touch:: Scissors, paper, glue
see:: Sex & The City box set
hear:: Santana ~ Black Magic Woman
think:: Good thoughts :-)
feel:: Love
read:: Filofax journal pages (my own)
intuit:: Mercury powering forward once more!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

One Little Word 2015 : Enjoy!

It's time… for welcoming in the New Year with my One Little Word for 2015!

Origin: Latin ~ gaudier (rejoice) > Old French ~ enjoier (give joy to) / enjoïr (enjoy) > late Middle English ~ ENJOY

1. Take delight or pleasure in (an activity or occasion)
"I enjoy watching Tim Burton films"
synonyms : like, love, be fond of, be entertained by, be amused by, be pleased by, find/take pleasure in,  be keen on, delight in, appreciate, rejoice in, relish, revel in, adore, lap up, luxuriate, savour, bask in, wallow in, glory in; informal fancy, get a kick out of,  get a thrill out of, get a buzz out of, go a bundle on.
1.a  Have a pleasant time
"I know I would enjoy myself completely if you were there with me."
synonyms : have fun, have a good time, enjoy life, be happy, live, live life to the full, have the time of one's life, make merry, celebrate, revel. informal; have a ball, have a whale of a time, groove, whoop it up, let one's hair down.

2. Possess and benefit from.
"I enjoy the ease of iCloud on my iPhone 4s"
synonyms : benefit from, have the benefit of,  reap the benefits of, have the advantage, have the use of, have available, avail oneself of, be blessed with, be favoured with, be endowed with, be born with, be possessed of;  have, possess, own (own it girl!)

A word like this, at this time of my Life was just begging to be chosen! It's part of my Mindfulness journey, and remembering daily, moment by moment, to embody joy.

And there is not a moment to lose… With my birthday now just days away, marking the ending and beginning of a cycle (it's our own personal New Year's Day so to speak) I find myself wanting to really deepen in to enjoying my life more… switching that on and turning that dial up...setting a path of clear intent and allowing that intention and love to pour into all my creations!

I'm looking forward to learning new things, experimenting and playing more with my art. 

I've just gotten some calligraphy nips, archival carbon ink and a dip pen holder ready to try out some hand lettering…and I had my first try at some brush-y lettering with a Japanese Sumi-e brush and ink to create a little quote that is popular and oft spoken in my house (above). 

So here we go…. there's never been a better time!

Blessings on the beauty way,
Catherine Athena xo 

• • •My journey through the senses• • •
taste:: pancakes for breakfast!
smell:: roses and mountain sage
touch:: icy fingers to keyboard
see:: "Big Eyes" - Tim Burton's latest cinematic creation - it's good!
hear:: Lana Del Rey singing the theme track "Big Eyes" (I totally love it!)
think:: everything is going to be alright
feel:: positive and extremely hopeful
read:: "Paris" ~ An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart"
intuit:: nothing short of an INCREDIBLE year ahead (personally and creatively)