I was very excited and honored to be informed that my entry ‘Capilano’ was one of the 35 pieces accepted into Dimensions 2019 . Dimensions 2019 is the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s biennial, open, juried, touring exhibition which encourages and rewards excellence in hand crafted work.
#skcraftcouncil #rughooking #dimensionsSK19 #textilesdesign #textiles #fibreartist #fibreart #rughookers
On this one day, the sun stands still in the sky, and everyone on earth knows that change is coming. The sun is beginning its long journey back towards earth. It is a time of celebration for rejoicing in the knowledge that the warm days of spring will soon return and the dormant earth will reinvigorate life.
Fomalhaut, one of the four Royal Stars of Persia, is the Watcher of the North, ruling the winter solstice bringing the god of light into alignment with one of the great stars of the sky. Known as the ‘Solitary One’, it holds a lonely position as the brightest star in its region and a brilliant beacon in an otherwise unremarkable night sky. While Fomalhaut is the alpha of Pisces, its name literally translates to ‘mouth of the fish’ and is often depicted as the fish drinking up the waters of Aquarius pitcher.
Stars are vastly evolved and conscious beings, and their influence is associated with eminence, fortune, and power. Fomalhaut will infuse Jupiter’s energy with added power and compassion, presenting a longing for utopia and a search for the ideal forms of human relationships. This star’s power, combined with Jupiter in Pisces, may offer a glimpse of heightened wisdom, giving us a chance to sense what is best for humanity. Like a flash of lightning in the darkness, it can reveal the path giving us hope and a sense of direction.
As we approach the longest night of the year, it is helpful to remember that we too are being called into our deepest dark. where we hide from view, where we store our grief, where we brace and hold, and where we may be unforgiving. When we speak of the ‘returning of the light’, it isn’t just the physical grace that this season provides, but a call to our own revealing. The Winter Solstice is a time to acknowledge our untruths, to surrender our silences, to dethrone our inner tyrants and bare our stories in the open, exposing the wholeness of our truth.
Many prefer to attune themselves to the inward silence from which all wisdom springs to be with yourself and reflect on your own passages. Consider preparing a ritual bath for yourself, with essential oils of rosemary, pine, and orange. One larger Sun Candle and several smaller candles and your Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll.
As you light the candles, contemplate the lessons of stillness that the winter goddess embodies. This is not a time of outward growth but a time to bask and reflect in the light of your candles. Acknowledge the fertility of this dark time and what the return of the sun means to you, what you need to let go of in order to be fully yourself, and what needs to die so that new life can be born. Listen for the stirring seeds of your dreams and record them in your journal. Have the courage to look at your own thoughts and actions, and determine if they are in harmony.
Blow out the candle like you are blowing out your fears! Sit in the dark for a few moments in silence. Embrace the deepest, most courageous parts of yourself, then light a single candle, the Sun candle. Like the plants tucked deep in the earth, we too are summoning our strength, gathering a plan, and preparing for our emergence.
Winter Solstice is momentous and should be marked however you choose to celebrate. If you need a Loa Voodoo Doll to enjoy this ritual or others, they are available here!
The Mekabre Team
Reverse Glass painting on clear glass with enamels.
La Chasse-Galerie also known as “The Bewitched Canoe” or “The Flying Canoe” is a popular French-Canadian tale of Courreur des bois who make a deal with the devil, a variant of the Wild Hunt. Its best-known version was written by Honoré Beaugrand (1848–1906). It was published in The Century Magazine in August 1892.
According to French Canadian Legend, La Chasse-Galerie tells the tale of a group of voyageurs in a remote lumber camp. On New Year’s Eve, while drinking rum at the lumber camp, they start missing their sweethearts, who live in a town 300 miles away. They hatch a plan to visit them, by running the Chasse-Galerie, which involves making a pact with the devil so their canoe will fly through the air, getting them to their destination quickly. The only stipulation is that they cannot mention God’s name, touch the cross of any church steeple in the night sky and they must be back before six o’clock the next morning. If they fail, the devil will steal their souls.
They make a pact to not touch another drop of rum and keep their heads clear for the voyage. They take their places in the canoe on the ground, and start to paddle, and very soon they are lifted into the air. Below, is the frozen Gatineau River, the villages, church steeples and the lights of Montreal. The canoe eventually touches down near a brightly lit home, where music and dancing is underway in celebration of New Year’s Eve. They are embraced with open arms and are soon dancing and celebrating with their sweethearts and friends. It soon becomes late and the men must leave to return to camp so that they arrive by 6 am.
As they fly through the night, the navigator appears to have enjoyed too many spirits and steers the canoe dangerously and unsteadily. While passing over Montreal they barely avoid a church steeple, and soon after, the canoe is ultimately stuck in a deep snowdrift. At this point the drunken navigator begins swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Terrified the devil will take their souls, the men bind and gag their friend and elect another to steer. The navigator soon breaks his bonds and begins swearing again. The crew become more and more shaken at the possibility of losing their souls, and they eventually steer the bewitched canoe right into a tall pine. The men spill out of the canoe falling into the deep darkness are are never seen or heard from again.
Every New Year’s Eve though, near Montreal, over the frozen Gatineau River, there are sounds coming from the night sky. Men are heard shouting wildly. Wood thuds like paddles against a wooden canoe. As one looks up into the sky, a wooden canoe with paddles is seen furiously paddling through the winter moonlight.
This is the tale of the Chasse-Galerie !
Four Royal Stars also known as the four Archangels of the sky have been prominent in astrology. The Persians believed the four royal stars guarded the four districts which were representative of the four seasons.
As the Watcher of the North, Regulus is associated with royalty and high position, indicating one who is trusted and reliable, welcoming the Summer Solstice.
Regulus is the faintest of the first-magnitude stars brilliance but not of importance. It is found in the constellation of Leo and means ‘Little King’ or ’The Heart Of the Lion’.
Ancient Customs of the Summer Solstice in England were to light large bonfires to provide light to revelers and ward off evil spirits. It was known as ‘setting the watch’. People jumped through fires for good luck and wandered from bonfire to bonfire. Traditional players dressed as a unicorn, a dragon, and six hobby-horse riders and participated in dances. Many rituals consisted of divining a future lover.
We encourage you to try our ritual to make a Flower Essence:
What you’ll need:
• Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll
• clean glass bowl
• glass jar
• flowering plant
• brandy or vodka
• tincture bottles
With your Loa Voodoo Doll nearby, Take your glass bowl and fill with spring water.
Find your flowering plant growing in nature and ask the plant if you may use its essence for plant medicine. This will prolong the power of its bloom and give it extended life in this special purpose — they almost always say YES! Cut 3-5 full blooms from the plant and return home.
With Loa nearby, trim the plant stem just below the head of the flower. Place the flower temporarily on Loa. Then transfer the flower to a bowl of water.
With your Loa Voodoo doll, bless this water and state your intentions for this essence out loud. Set the bowl in a sunny area for 3-6 hours. Strain the liquid into a glass jar. Fill a tincture bottle approximately 60% full with your flower essence, topping it off with Vodka or Brandy until full, preserving your flower essence. Enjoy and use daily. Plant medicine is powerful, as it bonds you and your Loa voodoo doll with nature, and brings you closer to your highest self.
Need your own Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll to bring you closer to your highest self? Start by ordering yours today! click here.
Royal Star of the Vernal Equinox
The four Royal stars, Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares, Fomalhaut, are the brightest stars in their constellations, appearing to stand out from the other stars in the sky and among the 25–brightest stars in the night sky having a magnitude of 1.5 or brighter. The Persians considered these four stars to be the four guardians of the heavens. They marked the seasonal changes and marked the equinoxes and solstices. Aldebaran, whose Persian name is Tascheter is the watcher of the East, and is the Royal Star which marks the vernal Equinox.
A pale beauty and the “Follower” of the Pleiades and the dominant star in the Taurus constellation. The Taurus constellation, containing notable stars and clusters include the Hyades and Pleiades, fixed the Spring Equinox from approximately 4,000 to 2,000 B.C. During the Age of Taurus, a central form or ritual activity were the cults of the bull. The Apis bull of ancient Egypt was an actual creature chosen to serve as the earthly vessel of the spirit of Osiris.
Aldebaron marks the red eye of the bull and is probably linked with the term, “hitting the bull’s eye”, and was equated with the Persian god of light, Ahura Mazda, and is said to endow integrity and to engender the test of honor. Aldebaron marked the Vedic lunar mansion which, as Na’ir al Dabaran, the BrightOne of the Follower. In astrology, Aldebaron has been thought to be eminently fortunate, foreshadowing future riches and honor. Try the following ritual to invoke riches and honor!
Loa voodoo doll
3 white candles
Incense of Jasmine or Rose
Take a cleansing bath, imagine yourself in the ocean, the womb of all creation. After your cleansing bath, light the incense, and three white candles.
Stand facing the east, the place of the rising sun, saying this
“Welcome element of air, fountain of insight and inspiration.
Let the creatures of the air surround me with clarity of dreams.”
Imagine yourself in a field of green wheat, the wind making waves through the standing stalks. Smell the air and notice the freshness of spring. You might feel a physical gust of wind, or see the candles flicker as the element of Air surrounds you.
You may have a vision of a presence that comes to share in your experience, consider this your totem. Set your Loa Voodoo Doll beside you, to represent this totem, as you reach out to touch her. Feel the companionship. Sit in a spot facing the East and meditate accessing your dreams. Remember things you truly crave and the creativity you have lost or the love you need.
Say a few words of gratitude to the elements and send them back to where they came with love. Thank your Loa Voodoo doll and let out three breaths of gratitude and ground yourself. Set a few pieces of dark chocolate next to your Loa Voodoo Doll as an offering. Blow out all your candles before leaving the room. Blessed Be your journey into the green, fertile ground of your aspirations. So it has been written, so mote it be.
Needing a Loa Voodoo Doll for this ritual or others? Get one here !
Peace, Love and Light
The four Royal Stars are one of the twenty-five brightest stars in our skies. It is believed that each one rules over one quarter of the night sky, and was held that within each one there is good power and evil power.
Their names are Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares, and Fomalhaut. Each one is synonymous with the changing of the Seasons. This Winter Solstice, on December 21, we look to Fomalhaut – the watcher of the North – who rules over the Winter Solstice and stands alone in Pisces.
This star’s name literally translates to ‘Mouth of Fish’ and is the solitary brightest star in the region and is often depicted in the Pisces constellation as the fish drinking up the waters of Aquarius pitcher.
What you will need:
• Journal and favorite writing instrument
• Large White Candle
• Essential Oils of Lavender and/or Frankincense
• Favorite Cocktail
• Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll
On the shortest day of light, a befitting celebration would be to stay up all night, welcoming the next day’s sunrise which ushers in lengthier days to come. Make some quiet time for yourself by preparing a cup of wassail, or a special cocktail. Write in your journal, meditate and enjoy the quiet comfort of your surroundings with your Mekabre Loa Voodoo doll.
Place a few drops of Lavender or Frankincense essential oil on your index finger and gently rub it into the heart of Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll. These oils help decrease anxiety and quiet the mind while providing a tranquil and spiritual energy. Close your eyes and let your mind wander, allow whatever enters your mind to be present. Take a moment to acknowledge it and then release that thought.
Light the candle and record your thoughts and dreams in your journal. Let go of past mistakes, negative situations and people and make room in your soul for new endeavors and creativity.
With your favorite cocktail, toast the Royal Star Fomalhaut! Thank him for brightening the sky and becoming the beacon that led you into this special time of celebration!
Need a Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll? Get your complete kit here!
Peace, Love and Light,
During the Sagittarius Full Moon of December 3 and 4, the moon is reflecting the light of the Sun in Gemini and it is the last Supermoon of 2017.
The full moon in general symbolizes a polarity between masculine and feminine forces. As these two forces oppose each other, you can expect inner tension from outer sources which can lead to conflicts and/or crises that drain your energy.
But you are in luck! With this December Supermoon, in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, it will advocate freedom, leadership, and adventure!
And with the Sun in Gemini, it shouts communication. So you may contemplate how you communicate with others. There is power in the spoken word. Words carry great weight for those to whom we say them. However, the words alone are not what make them powerful. It is your intention, your tone, your inflection, and your desired outcome of speaking those words that give words their greatest power.
This full moon will be a great time to take a deep look inward to check if your thoughts nourish & nurture or if they are hurtful & harmful or angry.
The best advice at this time is to stay under the radar. Maintain your integrity in all social and business endeavors and counter the deceptive influences of this full moon.
The full moon is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge and release pinned up emotions. Use this ritual to recharge yourself.
Moon Bathing and Crystal Charging Ritual
You will need:
– Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll
– Smudge Stick
– Crystals and Gemstones
– White Candle
Smudge yourself and environment to clear away any negativity to allow the healing energy of the full moon to work its magic.
Surround yourself with your crystals and gemstones. Light the candle and hold your Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll close to your heart. Visualize the moon bathing you and the Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll in a protective circle of light – filling your space with pure white energy.
Stand facing the moon with your arms above your head and palms facing the moon. Feel the power of the power of the moon penetrate your being. Draw your hands to your heart. Ground yourself.
When you are ready, bring your hands to your sides, palms facing the earth. Visualize that you are sending your energy deep into the earth. See this energy take shape as a massive root system and feel yourself become more grounded and one with Mother Earth. Then feel yourself slowly coming back into your body. Relax in this peace until you are ready to return to your normal routine, fully charged and grounded.
Remember that with the Sun and full moon, you are tuned in to the forces of Sagittarius and Gemini. These signs are devoted to knowledge, truth, understanding, and communication. If they are out of balance, they bring righteousness, gossip, judgment, confusion, and lies. So be sure to keep yourself grounded this month and repeat the ritual if necessary.
There’s something extra special about this Supermoon, it seems to fully open our hearts and our minds to be relaxed and more accepting of others. Maybe it’s just the general aura of awe and wonder at the beauty of the moon or the holiday season.
Do you need the Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll? Get the Complete Kit here!
Icelandic Sagas recount the struggles and the conflict of family history. Conflicts over wealth, power and prestige which took place in the 9th or 10th centuries and the resulting accounts were later recorded in the 13th or 14th centuries.
Literature created a social differentiation between classes, and was later used to maintain or reconnect links with well known kings and heroes in Nordic countries to trace their origins. Nordic tales emphasized ethnic characteristics conducive to literary culture, an activity which was not banned by the continental kings of Europe. This helped pass the time during the long winters and cattle farming provided the necessary parchment materials.
They wrote of pillaging and plunder, of which the tribute and conquest accumulated wealth and a vast store of goods to trade.
They traded furs of badger, bear, boar ermine, fox, hare, lynx, sable and wolf. Skins, bones, fleece and feathers of falcons, walrus, duck, otter, whalebone, ivory and amber as well as honey, tin and wheat. These goods in particular, the wool and fur from these animals were made into clothing, bedding, sword scabbards (sheep fleece). They were used in blankets, capes, hoods, gloves, scabbards and grave offerings. Basic hats made from felted animal fiber’s or plaited plant fibers. Some leathers found were cat skins which were used in burial, boar bristles were found on brushes, beaver testicles were used for medicinal purposes. They traded beaver fur to fashion as trim on king’s cloaks and fur headdresses for the rich. Fur trimmed cloaks of fox, hare, bear, otter and goats.
Clothing is still fashioned from these early beginnings. The Icelandic people were self-sufficient and traded in Scandanavian centers. Wool appeared to be the most important trade good to them. From sheep, they gained wool, meat and dairy. All aspects of fibre processing including spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing was performed mostly with wool or linen. Wool came from sheep, while linen came from flax called Linum. Knitting was not known in the Viking lands and articles were constructed using a technique called ‘nalbinding’ which is creating fabric by knotting woolen yarn together. Brightly colored clothing was a symbol of wealth and power due to the expense of multiple fabric dyeing operations.
A narrative which describes the history of Icelandic peoples also gives insight to the beginning of fiber art. The tales which described in detail what people wore to events and to war had a purpose. The Icelandic Sagas often told of great warriors and the clothing that those warriors wore. Clothing that made the man was created by the women !
Porthole by Nicole Cote
To boldly go where no one has gone before-
I have a fascination with space and the celestial – planets, stars, lunar bodies, (Star Trek.. cough).
This painting is an original acrylic painting of a reddish/purple planet on a celestial background, framed with white.
Measures 9 inches by 12 inches.
The planet is detailed by outlining the random curls and tendrils of the ink as it is applied to paper. An art teacher told me that you can’t fight the ink- It has a mind of it’s own. In my art, I choose to celebrate this and to accentuate the beauty of the ink with outlining.
Ingredients: India Ink, High-flow acrylics, gesso (as paint), acrylic paint, ballpoint pen