Fire Dragon (Part One)
I realised that I've stopped posting about process around my art work and I think that's something that's a massive part of how I work. So I wanted to share a bit about why I plan to work on a fire dragon image of series of images and some of the whole journey and other work that is connected to this.
So the fire dragon came up for me in a reading from druid animal oracle cards. It felt very significant and seemed to be about channeling anger and power to set boundaries and create. I didn't do anything with it at the time because the environment was very chaotic and full but it came up again when I read the Alder month in my tree book. In the old celtic alphabet the Ogham, each tree has a corresponding symbol, which also represents a letter and a set of qualities or energies. This time of year is the time of the Alder. One of the totems of the Alder tree is the dragon. Dragons as I found out reading Brian Bates 'The Real Middle Earth' can be understood as symbolic of epochs. Periods of time. They guard the 'kingdom', or spiritual era and when the dragon is killed or the treasure is stolen, it is symbolic of the end of an era and a change in the cosmos as well as the social realm. I remember thinking when I read this that I must go and find some Alder wood and make a disc marked with the ogham symbol. I had made three ogham discs from Alder last year but I lost my one. Interesting as the ogham is connected to personal power, material wealth and the having a self. I think it's telling that I lost this one out of all my discs! Anyway I ignored this very clear instruction and continued on with my day to day drawing and working and chaos but the fire dragon was not done with me.
I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I've developed some confidence in my creativity and done a lot of work to integrate the challenges of being autistic in this society but the thing I really struggle with is the bridge between creating and focussing my creativity and getting it organised/translated and out into the world in such a way as to get it seen and hopefully makes a difference. Interestingly, Alder wood was nearly always used for bridges. This is partly due to its ability to withstand rot when it is wet. Alders often grow near water. I've been faced with my money issues and material instability a lot lately and it may not be possible but I have set an intention to have some sense of material security and a place for my expression to be received and connected with that also earns me a living. In order to support me in that direction I started taking time out each day to meditate and connect with my dreaming body on this topic. The idea being that my dream body has access to more of the collective wisdom than my logical mind! SO, the second time I met my dreaming body it appeared as a fire dragon in my belly. It had some very clear messages. See journal entry above. My logical mind was unimpressed and wanted like proper do this do that instructions. However, it came again the next day with a similar energy of a fiery earth snake and similar messages: a lot about slowing down, recognising the enormous wealth inside me, celebrating achievements and also about being still, strong, stable and stopping the doubts and constant search for external validation or direction. The message felt like you have a root, you're held, you can always find stuff to look at and get inspired by, or fired up by, or to distract you, you're really good at that, however where your attention really needs to be is inside you. I felt this as a visceral feeling of warmth, pleasure and power in my belly, ovaries and lower back! Nice but also a little threatening in the challenge and clarity of the message. The colours around this were very clear and loud - bright green, red and yellow. For me this is the fear of trusting life and trusting being in my skin and practising being with myself where I am - not easy if you have experienced violence and disconnection and also when you feel it all around you.
So this morning, I started out slowly and got an urge to go over to the woods on the other side of town and collect some alder from beside the river to make my disc. It came so gently and simply and easily. I went out with my little pruning saw and felt a little anxious that I wouldn't be able to identify the tree in Winter. Of course those of you who know Alder will know that it has lots of tiny little pine cones or catkins at this time of year. They are really beautiful. I was just telling myself the fire dragon would say relax and stop obsessing and just enjoy each step. Immediately, I was easier and looked up to see an alder tree right there. Even better, a branch of the perfect width for making discs had snapped off and fallen into the river, within easy reach of the shore. I gently pulled it out and sawed off a length to take home. I prefer not to cut branches from the trees if I don't have to. I also cut a little whip-sucker from the side of the trunk to make some Alder ogham sticks. I felt very clear that tonights drawing will be fire dragon fun to celebrate my achievements so far, thank the fire dragon and the Alder tree and hopefully celebrate the beginning of an end of an era of greed and hoarding and the beginning of an era of connected personal power and love and compassion for the world and all beings. The process felt rounded off when I notice the little catkins appeared to have scales and were a kind of reddy colour with gradients of yellows and greens! Wow! I love it when the metaphysical and physical come together so beautifully and it really helps me to value my imagination as very much part of the real world. In my next post I'll share the picture of the ogham disc and the fire dragon images and maybe some of the making process too.