The fence of mourning

At the moment, I feel to live behind the fence of mourning. My father passed a week ago and since then I’ve been moving in kind of parallel reality.  Even though I can’t cry yet, I would say it’s the beginning of a mourning phase.

There is no guaranteed recipe for mourning, because it’s an immersion into deep layers of heart and soul, which are highly individual. Of course, it will help if you are part of some religious family, that have funeral and mourning rituals rooted for millennia.

But this is not the case. I was born in the sixties in that part of the world, where believing in God automatically meant being against the ruling regime. My dad kept the unbelief until the day he passed. I found my own spiritual path, which I need to follow in my mourning, even though I feel that my father does not agree. So, I am trying to find “neutral” ways of mourning, which makes the situation worse.

Drawing and painting help me release trapped emotions. I grab the purple and green all the time, perhaps they mostly fit to my grieving mood. The mystery of purple accompanies my inner voyage to the realm of souls, the green somehow contains the earthy truth about the cycle of life. There are neither fans nor enemies, only pure truth that one has to deal with.

When I painted the barbed wire fence above, knitting rows of memories back and forward, I realized, that what looks like painful thorns today may appear like a blooming shrub in a few years. And what looks like a heavy burden today may become the seed of a future treasure.

Mourning cannot be skipped or cheated, I’m sure of that. We can choose the way, including the hope and light in the end of the mourning tunnel.

Thanks for reading, I needed to share my heart with you.

Love, Ivana

P.S. The picture is watercolor based, with final touch of black liner and colored pencils.

Mistletoe

When I was a small girl, we didn’t keep many traditions in our family. But having a Christmas tree and mistletoe was a must. I loved colorful lights and gifts, as well as the scent of fresh needles, but I didn’t care why people cut trees and moved them into their homes.

However I was curious about the mistletoe. Where does it grow and why does it look like a bird’s nest? What are the white mini-balls? And why people paint the mistletoe with gold or silver color? Isn’t green good enough for holiday’s decoration?

My mother patiently explained to me that the mistletoe grows high in the trees, so it’s not easy to get it. It symbolizes happiness, health and prosperity, which is also not easy to get. And some people are painting mistletoe silver or gold to increase the probability that it happens.

Much later I learned that mistletoe belongs to the medicinal plants and that people from ancient times attributed extraordinary and even magical qualities to it. I always felt great respect for the mistletoe, but my curiosity was always stopped by the knowledge that this plant is poisonous. Plus there were plenty of other plants I could play with.

Of course I noticed several nests of mistletoe in my neighborhood – high in the trees, difficult to access. Exactly how my mother said. But recently, I found mistletoe on the path, fell down in windy weather. It reminded me, that although happiness or prosperity seems to be far away, sometimes the opportunity falls down right under our feet. Then it depends if we catch it and make use of it.

I picked it from the path, brought it home and drew picture of mistletoe with the bird, responsible for spreading seeds of it. I hope you like it, and I double hope it brings you happiness, health and prosperity as my mother promised 🍀

Happy holidays!

Ivana

Smudging with Mugwort

For years I fully appreciate healing skills of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), especially in the area of digestion and hepatic activity. Mugwort is warming, astringent and bitter herb, one of those that helps women and knows their secrets. And perhaps this is why Mugwort belongs to the basic herbs used in magic and witchery.

There is a lot of Mugwort growing wild in my neighborhood, so I had a great source for tincture, vinegar, salve and even capsules every year. But until last week I closed my eyes before its magical power.

Generally, I am on guard for rituals because I know how much power they have and how easily they can be misused. And even a good intention may not protect us from disaster because our Ego is masquerade master and likes to present itself as a pure heart.

But I got into a situation where I needed to call my herbal allies into a gun, ask them for protection from evil. I used other options before.

Mugwort volunteered first and I didn’t hesitate for second. Bitterness was our common language and I knew it had to be burned. Despite tiny living space and high temperature outside, I decided for smudging. With no previous experience, I succeeded!

I wanted to make safe smudge sticks, producing minimum smoke but accomplishing the purpose. With a lot of patience, I reached the goal and got Mugwort smudge sticks, looking like homemade cigarettes with burning time nearly one hour per stick. So I was cleansing my home, feeling the move of an old energy out.

I also feel a necessity to do similar procedure inside of my body. I mean kind of burning therapy to cleanse my body before Mugwort starts to protect. I am sure my “cigarettes” might be used for moxa treatment, but is it safe if I don’t have enough knowledge of the meridians etc.?

I’ll keep you updated, in the meantime I welcome any advice or recommendation.

With love, Ivana