Summer Passion and Spring Tumbling

Hi Everyone,

My apologises I’ve been a somewhat absent from blogging. A round of flu’s has primarily taken up my time of late, but I have still been working as best I can. 🙂

Below are two new flower portraits which are for sale through The Stationmaster’s Art Gallery. I hope some of you enjoy them. 🙂

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Summer Passion © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

Summer Passion

Acrylics

10cm x 10cm (4″ x 4″)

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Spring Tumbling © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

Spring Tumbling

Acrylics

10cm x 10cm (4″ x 4″)

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Art Diary, Paint and Craft, Sunday 12th July, 2015

I have one more flower portrait waiting in the wings.

Flowers in Progress © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

On the left hand side. It’s a bunch of wattle flowers. Well it will be very soon. 🙂

I have also started making jewellery for the Stationmaster’s Art Gallery gift shop. They are nothing fancy, just what I hope will be nice little pieces. I’ve always enjoyed being able to work with beads and make items like this. Unfortunately for the last few years most of my beads have sat getting dusty. I was gifted a whole stack of beads, then I was asked if I’d like to make some for the gift shop. Well that settled my plans to get back into it! I have plans for more and I’ve no idea how these will evolve but I intend to keep them simple. I like simple. 🙂

Necklaces 1 © 2015 Tikarma VodickaNecklaces 2 © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

I have also finished 5 more designs for the next Minutiae Series, which will be ready to be painted when I finish my wattle flower. This week I will be returning to the domestic bliss of housework. 😉 I make no promises to myself that I will be able to find the time to paint, but sometimes miracles happen and an hour or two can go a long way with a small painting.

Wishing you all a creative and beautiful week ahead.

Tikarma. Xxxx

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September Surprise and A Puff of Spring

Hi Everyone,

below are two new flower portraits. They are not for sale just yet. When they do become available for sale I will blog about it. 🙂
I hope some of you enjoy these flowers.

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September Surprise © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

September Surprise
Acrylics
10cm x 10cm (4″ x 4″)

A Puff of Spring © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

A Puff of Spring
Acrylics
10cm x 10cm (4″ x 4″)

Art Diary,September Surprise/Puff of Spring, Sunday 17th May 2015

September Surprise, deviated quite a bit from the original reference photo. Mainly in the background. The plants stems are actually an awful mess and it was growing in gravel by our local football oval. It’s not strictly a conscious decision to change things around. I’ve always had this issue. I do think in part it is my brain taking the design of painting into an account.
Especially when painting at a small-scale, a space can quickly become too busy. I don’t want the focus taken away from the flower. If a background is too busy it just look a mess or dulls a flower. I don’t sit down and plan it out. It happens as I’m painting the flower and feeling that the background needs to change.

I deviated with Puff of Spring as well. The background was rather dark in the reference photo. The flower was photographed in the prior house I lived in. It was quite unusual with the dark purple and white. I have no idea what it is called, only that it belongs to a very bushy tree and come spring that part of the garden would be full of purple and white puff balls. 🙂

I was asked at the beginning of the week if I’d like to put my work in the gift shop at the Stationmaster’s Gallery. I’ll see on Tuesday how this will work for me and the gallery. I think my art will work better in the gift shop, than the main gallery.

I’m just not the kind of artist who can look 6 or 12 months ahead and paint for that theme and period of time. In that respect I’m incredibly undisciplined. I paint what moves me to paint it. I’m not very good at sitting down and planing out 6 odd paintings to fit a theme. I can’t even stick to my photo reference. Inevitably I will wander off and the painting will not be like the photo at all.

It’s something that stopped me from painting for a very long time. I could draw a tree, a perfectly good tree, it just wasn’t the tree in front of me *sheepish grin*. This led me to believe I couldn’t draw, and if you can’t draw you can’t paint. I’m so glad I got over that erroneous belief!
So to come back to being on topic, with more flexibility in the gift shop maybe it will be a good idea to give my paintings a first run in the gallery before selling them from my studio and online. We will see. 🙂
I have a third flower in the works

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Flower portrait in progress © 2015 Tikarma Vodicka

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It doesn’t look like much right now, but it should hopefully begin to take shape over the next few days.
Next week sees me in my housework work week. I have no idea if I’ll be able to find time to paint at all. It’s just motivation to try to keep on going and try to get everything done!
Until the next flowers
Wishing you all an inspiring and creative week ahead.
Tikarma
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Perspectives

Hi Everyone,

This is part 3 of my catch-up. Just 2 more blogs to go! The painting below is quite the departure for me. I hope some of you enjoy this painting and my art diary.

Perspectives ©2014 Tikarma Vodicka.

Perspectives.

Acrylics

12 panel painting.

Each panel is 8 cm x 10 cm (3.1″ x 4″)

Painting framed is 52.5 cm x 42.5 cm 920.6″ x 16.8″)

Painting unframed on backing sheet is 31.5 cm x 36.5 cm (14.6″ x 12.8″)

Perspectives In Progress©2014 Tikarma Vodicka

Perspective In Progress.

Each panel was signed and then stuck in position with blu-tak and it’s position on the backing sheet marked and then each panel was glued into place.

Perspective Detail 1 ©2014 Tikarma Vodicka

Perspectives

A close up shot of the top right hand side of the painting.

Perspectives Detail 2 ©2014 Tikarma Vodicka

Perspectives

Close up shot of right hand side panel #6.

Perspectives Detail 3©2014 Tikarma Vodicka.

Perspectives.

Close up shot of panel #9.

Art Diary – Sunday April 19, 2015 Perspectives.

I greatly dislike blogging like this. I feel once a week is more than enough of me for anyone. It’s important for myself though not to have gaps in the record of the work I’ve done. It seems to defeat the purpose of having a blog of my work to just ignore what I’ve done. I hope I’m not annoying anyone?

With that out-of-the-way…

This painting was included in the Summer Exhibition “Mini Things – Everything Under The Sun” at The Stationmaster’s Art Gallery last December. It was included with a selection of some of my other artworks.
Each canvas panel is 7 cm x 10 cm so they are quite small. I had a whole stack of them and I was not sure what to do with them all.
With this exhibition being focused on miniatures it was obvious that these canvases would be a good to use, but I just wasn’t certain what to do. Several ideas played in my mind of creating a singular piece in which each panel was a painting in itself. The problem with that is you don’t really want the pieces separated and should someone buy one it would ruin the whole.That idea was thrown out the window and I decided instead to be cheeky and create a “large” miniature. I’ve never done a panel painting before. This appealed to me more because it also gave me the chance to paint a larger painting while still loosely adhering to the theme.
It also appealed to me to paint something incongruous. The hills browned by summer, spring blossoms and the falling of autumn leaves.
I didn’t want anything to complicated, because you can easily make these small canvases too crowded and I didn’t want anything too abstract, as that isn’t really me. I also wanted each panel to still remain its own image while also being part of a whole.
Matching up each panel wasn’t quite as tricky as I thought. Painting the edges was a small challenge though. I couldn’t leave them unpainted as it would ruin the effect of the main painting.
The most difficult part was getting the spacing right. If you space them too close together you lose the point of them being individual but connected panels. If you have them too far apart then the effect of the whole image is lost and each panel becomes isolated.
Once I found the right spacing the most difficult challenge was finding the right frame. Ironically Ikea ended up having just the right frame in size but also colour.
I don’t like to frame as a general rule because it is such a personal issue and it’s so vital to get it right. The wrong frame can ruin a painting. With this piece though framing was unavoidable. So I was very relieved when it all came together just right.
I’m very happy with it. It currently sits next to my computer desk until it finds a home. It is very different but for myself that is part of its appeal.
My next blog will be completely different from anything I’ve done before. Geometric designs.

Until tomorrow I wish you all much inspiration in all your creative undertakings.
Tikarma
Xxxx

Flower Portraits- Gazenias

Hi Everyone,

I know I’ve fallen off the face of blogging and blogging consistently this year. I will be making a concerted effort to get back on the blog wagon, of my own blog as well as keeping up with others.

In the spirit of this. I have this week 3 finished flower portraits. For those who have been following on Face Book you would have seen the progress photos of the last painting being painted. Now you can see it finished. 🙂 Details are below each painting.

I hope some of you enjoy them.:-)
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Pocket of Sunshine © 2013 Tikarma Vodicka.
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Pocket of Sunshine
Unframed flower series 2 #5/5.Acrylics on canvas board. 10.2cm by 10.2 cm (4″x 4″)
Available only through the Station Master Gallery, Strathalbyn, S.A. Can be purchased with or without a display easel
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Amber Dawn © 2013 Tikarma Vodicka.
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Amber Dawn
Unframed flower series 3 #1/2. Acrylics on canvas board. 10.2cm by 10.2 cm (4″x 4″)
Available only through the Station Master Gallery, Strathalbyn, S.A. Can be purchased with or without a display easel
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Spring's Dawn © 2013 Tikarma Vodicka.
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Spring’s Dawn
Unframed flower series 3 #2/2. Acrylics on canvas board. 10.2cm by 10.2 cm (4″x 4″)
Available only through the Station Master Gallery, Strathalbyn, S.A. Can be purchased with or without a display easel
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These three are the last three paintings that I am submitting to the Station Masters Gallery. The gallery will their home for next 3 months. I will be beginning a new series this coming week and they will be able to be bought directly from me through my Facebook Studio page for those who may be interested.

Ravenwood Studios’ Face Book Page

I wish you all a blessed week to come. I’m looking forward to catching up with blogs and my apologies again for my inconsistencies this year. It’s been a bumpy year for me. 🙂

I wish you all a blessed week to come.

Tikarma. xxxx

Touch of Spring

Hi Everyone,

This weeks blog is a photo of my latest miniature flower painting ‘Touch of Spring’. I hope some of you enjoy it. 🙂

They’ll be more to come next week. 🙂 Feel free to skip the art diary if that isn’t your thing. 🙂

(Click on image for a larger view)

Touch of Spring

Touch of Spring

(Acrylics, 10.2cm x 10.2 cm (4″ x 4″)

Sold to private buyer )

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Art Diary… Big steps in miniature

I am currently working on series 2 of the miniature flowers, this painting is number 1 in this series. I’ll have all the miniatures up in a blog together when they’re all finished. 🙂

This painting is rather apt in its title for me, in so much as spring is a time of new beginnings. Series 2 marks the beginning of a new phase of working for me. I had no idea what to expect when I had the idea to do these paintings. I didn’t go in with expectations except to do the first series and see what happens. So I’m very grateful that it’s all going well and they have been well received.

All of series one is finished and have all been sold.  Series 2 and part of series 3 will be for the Station Masters Gallery. I have no idea what to expect. The last three of series one were bought a week after they went into the gallery. So who knows how the next series will go. I’ve found it un-predictable. Some sell before they’re finished other sit a little while. I suppose each time is as different as each flower. 🙂

It’s all happened very suddenly I really haven’t had time to think about it much which is probably a good thing knowing me. 🙂  I’m  just head down, on a steep learning curve working hard to make the most it. 🙂

Whatever happens I am just very grateful and I feel very blessed that I am able to pursue what I love in the capacity I am now. I’m having to learn how to juggle home, friends and two completely different modes of painting (miniatures and large paintings) but I am content in the fray of it all and I’m sure this initial burst of activity won’t continue to be as intense as it is now.

Then again if you don’t grab the opportunities when they come and run with them you sit and wonder..what if…and I have no intention of sitting and wondering about what could have been. 🙂

Until next week, wishing you all a bright and lovely week ahead.

Brightest blessings to you all.

Tikarma. xxx

Solar Dreams

Hi Everyone here is this weeks blog,

It’s sentiments are slightly premature, but is it my fault the sunshine came early!? 🙂 Even though the calendar insists Spring begins September 1st, the keen observers, here at least will note it has already arrived. There’s another reason not to believe everything you read. 🙂  I hope some of you will enjoy it. 🙂

Wishing you all a beautiful week to come.

Tikarma.xxxx

(Baby Tikarma enjoying a nap in the sunshine)

Solar Dreams.

Ice still forms under the eaves
thinner, fragile.
Still ice evaporates from the fences.
Rises,
Caressing the air with its chilling fingers.

The earth sodden with winters breath.

But…
This morning clouds part for a brilliant sun.
Patches of blue emerge growing larger
With the elevation in temperature.
Spring has barely started
On my skin I feel it though,
That growing warmth that speaks
Summers coming.

Today T-shirt
A day for mowing lawns, but not lemonade.
No need for wooly hats,
Umbrella at the ready.
There’s full sun, clear skies
and a radiance that brings memories…

…Nostalgia through the growing years.
Many have abandoned you
For the temperate climes of
Autumn and Spring.
I still love you…

…Your clear crisp light.
Your heat
The scent of balminess, water and mown grass.
The taste of brine with its clinging sand.
Tantalising.
Ice cream, hot nights under air conditioning.
Water on hot concrete
A sin these day
Yet the memory seared in recall forever…

…Bare foot at morning tea,
Sponges, mops,
Brooms and dusting cloths.
Rooms half empty in a cleaning frenzy.
Dust and grime of winters rain and chill
Swirling in scented steaming buckets of
Eucalyptus and pine.

The birds can feel it.
Spring drives a fever that has them singing,
Their chatter sprinkling the air
Louder, protracted.
The light knows it,
Stretching itself for another half hour.

In my bones a surge of energy emerges.
Summer.
Its long hot days still a thing I ache for.
Its heat a taste I still crave.
Makes me itch
makes me restless
Makes me want to
run
and
run
and
run.

For now,
Like a shy cat peeking around the corner
Summer.

There’s still cold days to come.
Rainy days.
Still a night of frost or two.
But…
There’s a surge of life.
The thermometer each day climbing higher.

Soon you will emerge as the dog running
Tail high wagging,barking with HELLO!
Summer…

…Anything is possible in Springs first warm light
All the world before me once again.

© 2011 Tikarma Vodicka

New Harvest (Imbolc)

Hi Everyone,

This weeks blog is about Spring, which has officially come to pass here in Australia. For myself that means celebrating Imbolc in my tradtion.
This was first published on MySpace but that profile and blog now being defunct I wanted to add it to my archives here on WordPress before writing new material for the seasons.

As always if Paganism is not your cup of tea, then you’ll want to skip this blog.

For those of you who will be joining me, make yourself a good cuppa and I hope you enjoy the poem and following impression.

Wishing you all an invigorating and productive week to come.
Tikarma.
xxxx

New Harvest (Imbolc)

Beneath winters’ carpet of snow and ice.
Protected from her wailing blasts.
I have lain hidden.
In the darkness of
A deeper warmer earth.

Waiting.
Waiting for his gaze to fall upon me.
His light, his warmth.
Come.
Come fill me with life!

Shielded from a lesser light.
Blind and deaf to the greater world.
I have lain hidden.
Known only to she
Who holds me gently
In the folds of her black nurturance.

Waiting.
Waiting for his warmth
To permeate my hardened flesh
And warm my core.

I have lain hidden.
A secret.
A treasure.
I have no name
I though, have a purpose.

Through her gentle embrace
Through his resurrecting gaze
I am re-born into a new life.
Emerging into this greater world
Still harsh and cold
Still wrapped in snow.

I glisten bright with melted frost
As I first behold the glory of his shining light.
I hear her whispers from deep below
“It is safe now my little one.
“It is time grow.”

In this New Dawn
By this first light
In silence born of deep sleeping still.
I emerge.
I am
The New Harvest.
I am
The First.
I am
Springs herald.
A trumpet blast in the early light
For all to wake!
Take bloom!
Re-embrace life!

© 2010 Tikarma Vodicka

 

Poetical Impressions-Imbolc-Creative Spring-New Harvest August 1st 2010

Imbolc for our ancestors was a time of firsts. The first uprising of joy after a long winter. The first morning of a lesser chill. The first evening the sun lingered upon the horizon, for just a while longer.

Spring had arrived.
It’s first stirrings in the air which herald the first thaw.
Ice was beginning to melt. Snow was forming into puddles on the harder ground. The first bubbles from the creek as it began to flow again. There was the first day the sun’s light also contained warmth and following from there the first blossoms and leaf buds, the first blades of grasses and wild flower.
Pine cones that had clung tightly to their branches through winter were now beginning to fall with the snow from the pines branches.

Imbolc was a time when the barriers of snow, cold and ice gave way to the creative wellspring, the New Harvest.
Where was the Harvest?
In the houses. Belts, clothing and mats that had been woven through the winter now would have their first airings. Tools that were carved and decorated would have their first trial runs. Bows and arrows, spears, skinning knives would be tried and tested on the forest and field animals that now were emerging to feed on the new shoots of grass and wildflowers.

Imbolc  emerged as a time of great activity. Snow still lay upon the ground but it was evaporating with each new day. In the growing light, fear, darkness and the unknown could be cast off and aside.

There was real hope now as the land began its slow greening. Domesticated animals like goats and sheep were pregnant which meant a fresh food supply and fresh supply in trading goods in the wool, milk, and meat. Migrating herds that were soon to arrive meant more variety in the food supply. The ground would soon thaw and that meant grains of barley or wheat could be planted.

The New Harvest came out of the minds of our ancestors. In their plans for the future and in their actions over winter pent-up now to be released.
The creative wellspring of Imbolc was also in the mind. New ideas, plans, optimism, enthusiasm. Inspiration was at a fever pitch.

Soon work could resume in the mines that bought forth the material needed for metal working. Often these tools were ornately carved and no doubt many hours were spent thinking about their design. Semi-precious stones too would now be mined and cut and polished in such a manner that their beauty in the sunlight could be admired.

Plans were everywhere. From the livestock that would soon journey out into pastures thick with grasses, many heavy with kid and lamb and our ancestors full in the belly. The women carrying the next generation.

They too were planning. Not just for the babies to comes but the stock built up over winter. Trading goods like mats, belts, clothing, ornaments had to be packed in anticipation of the first markets. Animals that had boarded with the family over winter had to be moved outside which meant repairing and building fences, the house which had held animals and generations of a family had to aired and cleaned. The last of winters food stock had to be prepared; Food for now, food for a feast of thanksgiving with the first community gatherings.

Real hope for the future returned. Hope for the continuation of life and an easier living returned. Imbolc was probably celebrated with the first rabbits or hedgehogs that were trapped and the last root vegetables under a new and warmer dusk.
These were the days of community and communal living, our ancestors who forged their way through winters blanket of icy darkness that we may be here this day.

Here now in Strathalbyn. The dawn will be slightly warmer, a light haze of fog but the frost will be absent. I know this because the almond blossoms have begun to bloom in profusion. They mark Imbolc for us. Soon spring flowers will begin budding and new vegetables like tomatoes can be planted. The greening that erupted in winter will peak as the warmth spreads over fields and paddocks.

The spring calving and lambing season will soon begin. Grasses are long and nettles high and they’re beginning to form seed. Magpies sing their soul lifting warble for longer stretches and Kookaburras can now be heard laughing in the mid-day sunshine.

Shafts of light reveal skinks warming themselves. The sparrows that roost in my studio rafters are spring cleaning their nests. The smoke from neighbouring fires fills the air for the last time.
Imbolc is a season of transition.
Cold lingers but is waning with each new day. It is agricultural only in part as there are a few bitter days yet to be had.

Imbolc is a time of birth and renewal. The first stirrings of mental and physical activity. Imbolc is a time to prepare for the abundance of Springs’ bloom.

Imbolc celebrates the creative mother, the nurturing mother, the mother of life. Many goddess were revered at this time. In the west probably the best know is Brighid or St. Brigid. Goddess of poetry, smith craft, home crafts and the well amongst others. Brighid is a Goddess who survived the New Religion. The aspects of her nature and her blessings upon those who worshipped and revered her epitomise Imbolc and its significance for today.

The higher mind is at play at Imbolc and the driving force to create and manifest our dreams in the physical world. Imbolc is pure hope, from the fragile bloom on the almond tree to first stirrings of a new idea. Imbolc was and still is a time to shake of winter, emerge from our homes and embrace new opportunities.

Wishing you all a blessed week to come. May the turning of the season whether it is Spring or Autumn be full of inspiring beauty for you.

Brightest Blessings.
Tikarma
xxxx

For more information of Brighid please follow the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigid

Bealtaine

Hi Everyone,

Here is this weeks blog. It’s Pagan in it’s theme and sentiments so if that isn’t your cup of tea you may want to skip this blog.
For those you who will be reading, you may want to make a cup of tea and get comfy. It is a little on the long side. *sheepish grin*
My poem reflects my Bealtaine celebration this year…we were rained out! The impression (optional as always) is looking at the origins of Bealtaine as far as anybody is able to determine.
I hope some of you will find it interesting.

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere and would prefer to read about Autumn you can read my blog about the autumn celebration Samhain by clicking the link below.

Samhain

Have a great week all!
Tikarma
xxxx

Southern Bealtaine

Bluebells line the streets.
Birch now are in full leaf.
Almond kernals are growing
Downy green, bobbing in the breeze.

Daisy and chrysanthemum
Dazzle in the sun
Jamsine scents the air
Along with orange blossoms and pollen.

Black cockatooes return
Red warblers fight for the last grevilleas.
Sago bushes and golden wattle trees
Sway heavy with flower and buzz with bees.

Piping Shrike fledgings learn how to catch a worm.
Honeyeaters mark out the best budding bunches of grapes.
Huntsman and centipede begin their night prowl.
Mosquitoes emerge to drive man and dog wild!

The sun rises now with warmth and
Streak of crimson.
The pastures fields are thick with grasses
Filled with herd of sheep and cow.

La Niña spreads her lliclla wide
Covering the land in haze of late spring rains
Cooler days.

This is the last day for fires
Before the ban from their
Temper and danger takes force.

This year we must move indoors.
To the hearth to
To our ovens and stove tops.
Warmth comes from family
From cooking and talk.

In closed community
We welcome the fire of domesticity.
It brings us the feast of prosperity.
Light emates from the oven
Rich in flavours and scents.
Dancing in the livingroom
Jostling round the table.

Rain dampens and nourishes the earth.
Yet it cannot quench the fire.
The fire of blessing
The fire of life.

La Niña sings her rain song
Cows bay in the distance.
The smell of woodfire drifts overhead.

We delight in candlelight.
We dance in joy
Warmed by a contained fire.
With strains of uilleann pipes and bohdrán drums.

The message remains the same.
Through sun or rain.
Life will persist.
Life comes anew.
In death is
Springs re-birth.

Within Bealtine’s home fires
We remember the sun
The life it brings
The warmth it gives
The prosperity we harvest
The fullness of living to come.

Blessed Bealtaine!
Blessed Sun!
Blessed sacred fire!
It’s creation
A blessed gift to us.

 

© 2010 Tikarma Vodicka

 

Poetical Impressions, Origins, Bealtaine, October 31st 2010
 
Early one morning, sometime just before May, a little boy came running from the fowl enclosure. His arms outstretched hands clasped. Running deftly between the vegetables, under the washing and airing mats to the back of the round house where his mother and older sister were preparing grain to be ground into flour.

Startled they rushed from their work to see what the commontion was.
Very slowly the little boy opened his hands to reveal a newly hatched chick.
They all smiled and admired the chick, then the mother led her son back to the fowl enclosure explaining along the way that baby chicks needed their mothers so they could grow up to become strong cockrels.

As the son bounded off to tell his father the good news. The mother looked up and over her son to men working in the fields.
Each year the fields were getting larger and the harvest was taking longer. The men worked backs bent from sun up to sundown their sickles occassionally glinting in the sun.
Their pace had become feverish as the last sheafs were collected. This afternoon the harvest would be finished.

After monring chores the women finished their flower and leaf garlands. Some to wear and some to hang around the houses. The older unmarried girls made their dresses more attractive with feathers, small painted stones and even a few semi-precious beads that had been traded last summer.
Bread was baking over a small cooking fire.
blackberries and strawberries were beginning to produce their berries and pears had started forming in the small orchard planted outside the house bounderies.

The grass was green and soft and blossom petals had now all been shed from springs first spurt of growth. Bluebells and honeysuckle dotted wild meadows and bluebirds, starlings and sparrows darted through the air.

The time of Beltaine had arrived. True spring.Valued cows stood with their calfs and ewes with their lambs. Beltaine (pronounced: B’yol-tinn-uh) is a truely agrarian festival. It celebrates not only the value of the seasonal change into high spring but also the first harvest. This is a true late neolithic celebration in its origin.
 
Wheat, barley, hops, livestock, fruits and vegetables were all domesticated and harvested in a quantity to feed several families who would have lived in a small community of three or four houses. The community would be connected by other communites, ensuring through trade and good relations everybody effectively had what they needed and maybe even some to trade. 
Bealtaine’s origins from my research mark the time when argricultre began to change the landscape of the British Isles and Ireland about 7000 years ago. The Scots would have called this time of year Bealtuinn (b’yal-ten) from which we get the the more well known day of May Day.

These ancestors would also gather as a larger community to make the first wooden and stone hendges that would eventually become the huge monoliths like stonehenge.
The first hendges though marked the transitions in spiritual focus, fixed spritiual leaders and fixed positions within a society.
No-one knows for certain what happened in theses places but not far from them lie the barrows and passage graves of their loved ones. So it’s reasonable to assume in ritual the honouring/rememberence of the dead would have coincided with the rituals/celebrations that were held at the henges.
because we can’t know for sure what significance these places held for our ancestors I’ll move along to the fields…

The men who had been working since sun up past meal time in a fever to finish harvesting, now stopped. The last corner of the last field was all that was left, but no-one wanted to touch it for fear of invoking the ire of the spirits that dewlt within the crop.
The elder male held aloft his sickle and then took a swing at the last patch of wheat. Each man in turn took his sickle and threw it. Some stalks fell, but by the time they all took their tun a small tuft was left for the spirits to dwell and the fallen wheats stalks were taken up as kindling for the great fires.

Boys and men carried logs, branches and kindling supervised by their community shaman/priest just in sight of their new wooden henge.
The fires to be built would help to drive away sickness and disease and bless their animals and their families.
A lamb and calf were taken as sacrifice for the fire and as thanks to the fire God and Goddess.
Hares, hedgehogs and a yearling  lined the boundery of the celebration area. They had a seperate fire upon which they would be cooked. There would be much to eat and beer and cider to drink!
The women, young girls and children arrived carrying small baskets with the first blackberries and strawberries and bread.
Girls flirted with boys, men chatted and women gossiped, younger children played simple dancing games.
The pastoralists who lived on the edge of the community arrived with their herds of cows and sheep.
 
All were silenced by the priest/shaman as they were led to their wooden hendge probably for a simple form of prayer and thanks and to ritually slaughter the lamb and calf.
As these we taken back to the fires to be cooked the priest/shaman and male elders told the stories important to their survival and understanding for this time of year. Hunting and gathering stories, stories of how their Goddess and God bought fire to man, stories of fire spirits.

Sometime close to dusk the priest seeks higher ground and seeing pillars of smoke rising into the air from other communities he signals the male elders to light the two large fires. With the priest/shaman incanting, the fires rise higher and higher prolonging the light as the sun slips belowe the horzion and then another signal is given.

The herdsmen lead their bulls and rams inbetween the two fires followed by their cows with the calves and the ewes with their lambs.
Sheafs of wheat are thrown onto the fires as offerings, and then men followed by the women walking and running between the fires.
In the heat between the flames they are cleansed and blessed of all ill and bad omen.
Then the young girls and boys pass through the fires some for the thrill and others with a wish to their Goddess and God for marriage. Then the children run through with older siblings and parents carrying their newborn.
 
There is laughter, joy and relief. Life can continue. Hope and faith have served the community and they have been rewarded with plenty for all.
There is singing, dancing and feasting, around the fires and in the fields.
Some meet intimately under a May Eve moon to kiss for the first time. Some get lost in hegderows upon carpets of honeysuckle…
Life has won!
This is the heart of Bealtaine. Our ancestors, who planted and ploughed and herded their way forward to the life we have today. Their invoations and creativity have allowed us to eat plenty to breed new plants and raise new kinds of animals.
Their first gatherings with spiritual matters in mind paved the way for structured religion and faith that still echoes all over the world to my home here in Strathalbyn today.

I wish you all a bright and bountiful week to come. May it be filled with moments of happiness and the joy of nature in all her spring or autumnal colour.

Tikarma
xxxx