Enchanted Academy – Videos!

Thoughts from the Fey – Introduction and Thought 1

Hello Feylings!

In celebration of my upcoming publication and continual love of all things faery, I have discovered the Record function on my phone! Long have I bemoaned the lack of a pagan voice on the ‘Thought for the Day’ type programs (or at least the ones I’ve encountered, if you’ve heard a pagan ‘Thought’ on a BBC channel, do let me know) and so I was partly inspired by those… but being pixie-led means I might be slightly less linear.

Anyhow! This post is to announce a new game. 1-2 minute musings on all things faery, from the Fey that is I (and, hopefully, guest feylings? Get in touch if you want to play!)

Starting now! Enjoy!

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Discover your Faery Magic – Upcoming Book!

Exciting news!

This month I signed a book contract with Moon Books, an imprint of John Hunt publishing, for a book of Faery magic which encapsulates my philosophy of Faery.

It is based on my earlier work The Faery Heart but much expanded, revised and improved. For anyone who feels that they are a little ‘other’, a little ‘fey’… this books explores the nature and philosophy of faery and how you can develop your own faery magic.

As a result, The Faery Heart will soon be completely unavailable… Which is a farewell to that chapter of my life and hello to new, published author status! The first book in a long line I hope… I already have designs for a non-fiction sequel, and several novels in mind. One step at a time though, right? Faery Magic and finishing my stint in academia first.

Time to celebrate with a chocolate cake, lots of custard and a manic happy dance!!!

In the meantime, alongside growing the Goblin Circus, which is the manifestation of my philosophy in creative form, I’m developing a series of mini audios for you called… “Thoughts from the Fey” ūüėČ Watch this space for more.

Brighid’s Blessings; the Spirit of Brighid Conference 2015

Last weekend, on the waves of Imbolc and the rising spring that washed away the snow, I travelled to Penarth, on the edge of Cardiff, to a Pagan conference dedicated to Brighid as the maiden goddess. It was fitting that she was there, as a Goddess of Inspiration, for the launching of The Goblin Circus as a show.

What is The Goblin Circus, you ask? It is a multi-platform artwork, a world, centring around a one-woman-many-goblin theatrical-storytelling circus show. Which is a mouthful, so I mostly think of it as just ‘The Circus’. It’s online home is growing here

My friend Wendy and I were escorted to the venue by her partner Mike, and we set up a table for her books and my art/books/oracles/stuff. The talks were fascinating, with topics ranging from the history of Wicca, Gnosticism, the Ogham and “Meeting the Great Anaesthetist” i.e. how we as pagans can live a good life and a good death.

We met lots of people, I spent most of the breaks re-learning how much I enjoy the company of five year old faeries, and then the talks were over and it was time for the room to clear (hunting for food, mostly) and the sound-checks to take over. I bounced on stage to make sure I knew what not to touch whilst I did my thing… and was greeted with friendly, supportive hugs (Damh the Bard had been informed that I was nervous!) and help getting my head around the mic! Blanche Rowan very kindly made sure the mic would be in a good place for me and told me she’d move things back round when they began so I didn’t need to worry about it (and wouldn’t accidentally drop something, not being used to tech on stage!) and I trundled off to find food and breathe very deeply…

7pm rolled around. Folks were settling down for the evening. I straightened my jacket, pulled on my top hat, and stepped into the wings.

The crowd were silent. A friend later described them as “spellbound”. All I could do was share the Circus and take a bow when I had done my fifteen minutes. It felt good,

It wasn’t until there was a break later in the evening that folk told me they’d enjoyed it and I could finally relax. (And it wasn’t until hours later that I realised… no-one had talked over it… I had their complete attention for the entire thing. Now that was an achievement! Also goes to show just how respectful that audience was ūüôā )

Then there was music and dancing! While I danced I let the energy rise, in honour of the gods, in honour of my work, in honour of the community of cauldron-born pagans who supported me, and in a blessing on all these things.

Blanche Rowan and Mike Gulston were enchanting and Damh the Bard was inspiring! He was both talented and kind, even inviting the five year old fairy onstage to dance while he played (her very first gig!) I escorted her into the spotlight and felt very honoured to be her back-up dancer.

Finally the evening wound to a close, we packed up and left, talking the entire journey home.

This was a wonderful space to launch the Circus as a performance, as a circus, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to do so. This was organised¬†as a one off event but I hope, very much, that it returns again next year. In the meantime, I’m looking to take the enchantment of the Goblin Circus on the road this summer… so we shall see what magic the Cauldron Born brings!

On that note, if you’d like the Circus to come to your event, do let me know ūüôā

Art and Prints For Sale

Hello Lovelies!

I have some beautiful artworks and they’re looking for homes… do you know someone who¬†loves¬†beautiful art? Are you such a person? These would make lovely gifts for yourself or for someone else this winter-holiday time…

Each of these (and most of my designs here too!) are available as cards or prints (without the watermarks), just fill in the order form at the end and I will send you a paypal invoice with the correct shipping for you! Any questions? Comment below!

  • Cards: ¬£2 each or 6 for ¬£10
  • A4 Prints on smooth card: ¬£7.50 each or 3 for ¬£20

Rough Postage Guide:

  • 1 card: 70p UK (1-3 days)
  • 2-12 cards or 3 prints: ¬£3.20 UK (1-3 days)
  • 1 card: ¬£1.50¬†outside of UK (5-7 days)
  • 1-3 prints or up to 6 cards: ¬£5 outside of UK (5-7 days)

Originals also available, and I take commissions! What would make you smile?

ORDER FORM:

CALL FOR MODELS: Healing Hearts

Something I’ve come to realise is that I paint more lifelike pictures when I paint from reference pictures than when I paint from memory. It is surprising that someone as bright as I am would take so long to work out something that I’ve been straight-out-told since primary school, but there you go. (I think perhaps it is less that I didn’t realise this and more that I was too stubborn to accept it.)

My attempts at creating reference photos of specific poses to use for the Healing Hearts oracle, however, are rather unsatisfactory!  For example:

This, then, is a plea for help! Or an invitation to add ‘model’ onto your CV, however you’d prefer to look at it.

I’m looking for people in Aberystwyth (or Lampeter, though we’ll have to find a space) with a spare hour or afternoon to meet me, in which I’ll ask you to pose (clothed!) so I can create some reference pics for the Oracle deck paintings. In return I can offer you a basic print of one of the paintings that I make from your modelling and your name in the acknowledgements when the deck is finished, if that interests you.

So, consider this your invite to Art Alley Studio… comment below or email me and we’ll arrange a time to play!

Art Alley Studio pic
My humble, slightly sparse studio space now has a table!

UPDATE – Healing Hearts: Y Mabinogi

If you’ve been with me for a while you’ll know I’m in the process of developing a multi-cultural, multi-gendered deity Oracle Deck called ‘Healing Hearts‘. I’ve been wrestling with how to start such a huge project. The crowdfunding fundraiser brought in enough for me to get started with materials, so that’s great, but wasn’t quite enough to support me in the time it will take to make this happen so, sadly, I’ve not been able to do what I’d hoped to and dedicate a day or more each week to working on it exclusively. Cue the combination of gratitude and disappointment that is so familiar in life.

Ready to Paint! At the studio...
Ready to Paint! At the studio…

As a result of the longer stewing time, however, something more fascinating has grown… my many passions are combining in a delicious, bubbling pot and a vast, sprawling, beautiful creation is emerging. And I find myself looking at something so huge and wondering how I can approach it and allow it to support me whilst I bring it into reality… which has lead me to break down Healing Hearts into several projects, starting with a focus on the Welsh stories woven into the land I live upon.

I suppose I should share what I’m talking about!

I have a list of deities that are likely to be included in the final deck, ranging across many cultures, and each culture’s tales are an entire world of magic and meaning, connection and crisis, divinity and drama. To do them justice is a vast work! So whilst I paint the deities that arise, I shall be focussing on specific cultures for several months at a time, weaving through their stories and unravelling the threads so they can be spun into new tales and perhaps shared as theatrical performances. As I live in Wales, I’ve begun with the tales of Y¬†Mabinogi, the mythology of the land. The stories speak to me of our relationship to the land and the environment – important topics right now, given the impending doom that is climate change – and so the four branches of Y Mabinogi and transforming themselves into tales of our connection and disconnection to the land and the wild within our hearts.

As I paint and explore the stories they are weaving themselves into a performance piece… so I’m looking for a venue to share it in next year!

Works in progress rarely look like they'll be any good... raw and unedited, a foundation to be worked upon, not really meant to be shared... but seedlings only grow when given enough light.
Works in progress rarely look like they’ll be any good… raw and unedited, a foundation to be worked upon, not really meant to be shared… but seedlings only grow when given enough light.

I’ve resisted sharing about this because it feels like I’m taking on something far bigger than I should and I worry folk will judge me for being so easily tempted. I’m worried it *is* simply too big and it will fail. I’m worried that I don’t have time and I’m putting myself under vast amounts of pressure if I commit to it.

And I find myself scrawling notes at bedtime, being inspired by conversations, facing open doors. Who am I to deny the magic that leads me forwards? Who am I to turn down the demands of a tale? Who am I to say no to the Muse?

It will all work out. I have faith…

Storytelling at the Confucius Institute

RabbitYesterday afternoon I laid out my twelve Chinese Zodiac animal paintings, donned a beautiful Chinese jacket and told animal tales for 45 minutes to an audience of about 25 people.

There was much nodding and smiling and encouragement all the way through.

I did attempt to film it but for some reason ended up with a dozen 2 second clips from the first few minutes instead of a continuous recording. Such are the joys of Mercury retrograde, perhaps. I have, however, been promised photos, which will be shared soon.

DragonIt was so much fun to see a whole set of stories come together and to get such wonderful
feedback! This was my very first completely solo set and I can’t help thinking that this is one particular show that will return again…

Anyone fancy hosting a session of animal themed storytelling?

 

Thank you to Krystyna who opened the door to me and the wonderful Chinese workshoppers who made me feel very at home in that room… not to mention the rest of the audience who, upon hearing that there was to be storytelling, immediately (and literally) pulled up chairs and sat waiting patiently for silence to fall so the tales could begin!

 

View the Paintings Here!

A River of Animals

Sometimes you have an idea and you just have to offer it to the universe to see what happens.

I heard about the anniversary of the Confucious Institute in Lampeter and thought… why not? So I visited the Lady in charge and offered to do some paintings. During the conversation I mentioned that I’m also a storyteller and her eyes lit up! It was settled.

This month I had the go-ahead and have since been painting furiously and pulling together Chinese folklore about the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, weaving together a set of tales to entertain, educate and inspire.

Today’s¬†challenge? How to transition from tale to tale, woven within a bigger story. And how not to get distracted by all the other delicious fairytales that keep peering through the window, knocking on the door… What is your biggest storytelling challenge right now?

I’ll be performing A River of Animals in Lampeter on Saturday 27th of September, see you there!

The tides, they are a-changing

I’ve been feeling the changing of life’s flow for a while now. My love of enchantment and the Fae is still strong, but I discover more and more that storytelling and performing is filling the space around my PhD work – which must take priority!

Alongside performing I’ve begun painting every day, preparing for the birthing of the Healing Hearts Oracle deck. Between the tales and the colours I find myself expanding.

The offerings I’ve worked hard on over the years are no longer¬†what my heart longs to share with the world and so I find my focus drawing inwards with the dark of the year. Now is a time to birth some new beauty, some new magic!

With some sadness and more than a little excitement I am here to announce that the School of Enchantment here will be closing on the 21st of December, to re-open at some point in 2015, when my thesis is solidly on the page, the stories have settled and I have the energy to do you all justice, with new offerings!

I do not yet know what these will be but I hear¬†the dreams of them in the air… My muse is plotting, waiting for just the right time.

This website will stay up, and as the plot thickens posts will appear, but I make no promises as to the nature or timing of the most fickle and constant of companions, Inspiration. I will say this, however, when we return, it will be magnificent!

With much love, happy thoughts and pixie dust,

~Halo x

PS: If you were called to enjoy any of the offerings I have created over the years, now is the time. They won’t be around for long and I don’t know which, if any, will return when the tide turns again!

Manifest Your Dreams

Exhibition at the Mulberry BushLast month I facilitated at a retreat in Spain and had my first solo art exhibition… where I¬†sold a painting to someone whose dream it was.

Next month I travel to Budapest to present an aesthetics paper at a week-long philosophy conference, using the funds from the sale of said painting.

Last year I had an essay on Rhiannon published in an anthology, I’ve got short pieces coming out in three books this year and then, in December, Girls and Philosophy comes out – with one of the chapters written by me.

My dreams have always included travelling, teaching, books and art… looks like the magic wand waving has paid off!

Over the last few¬†years, I’ve manifested these dreams for myself (with the support of my fiance and friends). It hasn’t been complicated, but it has been hard work. Here’s my map to success:

1. Decide what you actually want.

Not what you think you might like, but what you actually, really and truly want. Visualise it, feel it in your body, imagine you are living that dream. How does it feel? If it feels right, even if it is scary, then make the choice now that this is what you want. I wasn’t clear on how exactly it was going to look when I saw myself standing, talking to a large room of people on a subject I’m passionate about, on an adventure across the world… but I knew that was what I wanted to happen. So Hungary happens next month.

2. Commit to it.

Fully commit to it. Even if you don’t know the bigger picture. Even if you don’t know the how. Even if you don’t know anything other than this is what your heart desires. Commit to it totally.

3. Step forward.

Open yourself to opportunities. Apply for opportunities that look good. Sign up to mailing lists on subjects related to your desire. When you see an opportunity to manifest your dream; take it. Say yes. Ask for the place on that course, the time-slot on the schedule, the work-placement in your field, the lift to a faraway place. Send off the application to speak at a foreign philosophical society’s conference…

4. Follow up that lead!

Once the door opens and you step through it, follow that white rabbit all the way to the other side of wonderland. Follow up that email, complete the application, write that rough draft and hit ‘SUBMIT’. Then when they say ‘Yes, we want you’, confirm that you’ll be going!

5. Trust the Universe.

Trust it. Don’t dig up the seeds you’ve planted to see if they are growing yet. Follow up on leads, definitely, but don’t poke them till they die. Don’t worry about the How-exactly it will all work out. Let the solution come to you. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t balance your books and explore the possibilities, definitely do that. This may be precisely where the Universe has hidden your key.) Maybe that exhibition that got delayed by two months will be perfectly placed to unexpectedly cover the costs involved…

6. Follow it through to the end.

There’s no point writing half a book if you want to be a novelist. You’re not a world-wide traveller if you hang up your hat after the first trip out. And you probably shouldn’t call yourself a professional artist if no-one ever sees your work. BUT if you finish the manuscript ¬†and get it out there – you’re an author. If you wrangle¬†one trip a year and really explore the places you get to, you’re living the dream. If you get your paintings in a local cafe, you’ve succeeded in gifting the world with more beauty. Don’t give up until you’ve finished it. You deserve more than that! Book your flights and get on the plane, let it take you to your dreams. And while you’re on the way… have a dream about what the next step you truly desire might be…

When I get back, I think I’m gonna get stuck into painting for the Healing hearts Oracle (and my next exhibition.)

***

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AND if you really want to learn more about manifesting your dream life, using the Elements of Magic, the class is open for registration right now!