Sacred Darkness

Heavens_Birds_Original_Art_by_Montanna_Black

Heaven’s Birds; acrylic on framed panel / Montana Black

Raven Sermon

Raven Sermon; oil, acrylic, gold leaf on framed panel / Montana Black

I love these pieces because I was able to speak about the Sacred Darkness that each of us must face as we transition from this life to the next. This darkness is not cold but warm and nurturing, rather like the womb we emerged from to this world. Ravens are the perfect symbol with which to explore this.

Ravens are portrayed as powerful spirit beings in many cultures throughout time. They are seen as bringers of magic, tricksters, healers, messengers, guides, teachers and even the Creator of the Universe.

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest see Raven is a symbol of the Creator and a powerful protector of man. He is thought to be the one that made the Universe and discovered and protected the first man. Raven is the bringer of light to the darkness for humans. He stole the sun, the moon and stars from Grey Eagle who hated man. Raven put them in the sky thus making the world habitable for the people.

The European myths have Raven as messengers, or as alternate shapes for deities and spirits, the most well known are Bran and the Morrigan. Odin of Norse myth had two ravens: Muinn (Memory) and Huginn (Thought) that would fly about his realm and report back to him what they see. Raven is the symbol of Nantosuelta, a Gaulish goddess of the nature, fire, fertility, and death, who’s image appears in a relief at Sarrebourg, France.

For the purpose of these paintings – Heaven’s Birds and Raven Sermon– I am concentrating mainly on Raven’s ability to go between worlds and his function to act as guide of souls to those other worlds.  Raven is a being who resides in the “in–between” of things. He can come and go from the Void–the source of creation from which all emerges and into which all will go back to.

When Raven appears in your life, you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Raven is the guide of transitions from this world to the next, from this dimension to the next. Raven tells us to be still and know that this is not all there is.  There is more to life and death then we have ever imagined.  When transition time comes, we do not go to the next place alone. Raven will guide and protect us on our journey.

I painted this image help you to set the intention to always know that this is but one stop along a journey that stretches far into space and time.  When the time for letting go comes, we are never alone.

Affirmation: This life is but one stop on a journey that spreads far across time and space. I release my fear of endings knowing that I am loved and guided through all of life’s passages.

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Everyone Wins When Everyone Wins

Meerkat_Ex_Voto_Original_Art_By_Montana_Black-533x1024

Meerkat Ex-Voto; oil, acrylic, wrought iron on wood panel by Montana Black

Meerkats are such delightfully intelligent and social creatures. As animal guides, they have much to teach us about feminine power, social dynamics, and watchfulness.

Their home is in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, a very harsh environment. Survival for these creatures depends on cohabitating together in a community called a “mob”. These mobs can contain 30 or more meerkats. Good group dynamics are very important in order for all of these meerkats to make this work. Meerkat teaches us how to live within the dynamics of a group, even to sacrifice oneself for the good of the community.

Their society is matriarchal – female leads. Because their society is matriarchal this is a wonderful totem animal for women to be reminded to tap into their feminine power and draw strength from it. For men, Meerkat teaches them to respect and honor the women in their lives for the good of the family, culture, and country.

Meerkats forage for food everyday in a group with the matriarch leading the way. Everyone takes turns as sentries. One or two guards will stand on higher ground or a tree to scan the area while the rest forage and eat. They watch for signs of danger in the area and bark a noise if there is a problem. Again, everyone is doing what is needed for the greatest benefit of the community.

Ask Meerkat to guide you to be mindful of your innate power to engage in thoughts and behaviors that are for the highest good for yourself and the community you live in.

Everyone wins when everyone wins.

Intention Affirmation: I am placing my attention daily on what the needs of my community are and doing my best to fulfill my role in seeing they are met. When I do this, my life and lives of those around me bloom and grow with love and abundance.

Peace and Light,

Montana

Giraffe Days

Giraffe Bees

Giraffe Bees; Mixed media/ 12×12 / Montana Black

Forest? How do you expect me to see a forest with all of these trees in the way?

I can’t tell you how many times I have worried myself into an anxious ball over situations that with a little higher vision on my part would have saved me a lot of precious energy and time. My mother–brave, beautiful, smart and crazy–was always the first person to jump on what my family jokingly calls “the panic train” over something. This is usually right after she has advised my sister and I not to get too previous (don’t get ahead of ourselves).

I have to laugh at that now. And on my good days, or what I like to call my “giraffe days,” I can laugh at my habitual tendency to jump on that “panic train” over life just being life.

It is a response that comes from only seeing my very small part of whatever the perceived problem is. When I am able to lift my mind to a higher view, that always does wonders for putting concerns into a more manageable perspective.

That is what I mean by giraffe days–when I am able to have a giraffe’s perspective. It is very easy to get bogged down in one point of view. When I take my queue from this tall, compassionate, higher-visioning creature then my world can encompass more and I am able to gain valuable insight that would have otherwise escaped my understanding.

Even if I am unable to “see” that higher view myself, I take tremendous comfort from the fact that there is one. I am not running this show. There is a higher power orchestrating   a larger unfolding drama of which we are a small part. Giraffe reminds me not to take myself and my concerns too seriously. I am not suggesting that we cease to strive for our goals, dreams, and aspirations, but do it with a perspective that includes a larger view. This takes the pressure off of yourself and those around you so that joy can be experienced in the journey.

So when you need a little help to release anxious feelings and a reminder to “look up” knowing there is a higher, wider view, ask giraffe to stop by for a visit. They really do wonders for one’s morale.

Peace and Light,

Montana

Free to be…

Free with copyright
Free; oil, acrylic, pencil on canvas / 24×36/ Montana Black

To feel free is to feel empowered, joyful and able to respond fully to every moment of life–to every moment of love. The ability to respond comes from a place of love. Reacting generally comes from a place of fear.

My painting “Free”, and all of the inspiration for birds in flight, comes from a life long desire to feel free. To feel alive and able to soar to the highest and best my life could be. But for the most part, I have struggled with feelings of lack. Feelings of less than and powerlessness have been more the norm for me than freedom. Being truly free requires taking risks, answering the call your heart makes and taking leaps into the unknown. Saying the thing that should be said because it is truth for you, or going after the experiences your heart desires the most. I marvel at people who can do that.

Freedom is the right to occupy our own space, for that is the only way to eliminate fear. There can be no freedom where fear abides, for in fear we are driven into non-conscious behavior.

Cie Simurro

The birds featured in this painting are two seagulls flying from darkness to light. I didn’t learn that gulls represented freedom in the animal spirit world until after I painted it.

There is a wonderful story by Richard Back called Jonathan Livingston Seagull where a gull named Jonathan learns about and embraces his true magnificent nature from a great teacher after being outcast by his flock.

You’ve got to understand that a gull is an unlimited idea of freedom. You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

I want that and so I painted it–my soul painted it. More than anything, our souls want to express themselves fully, to fly and live this human experience in full Technicolor and out loud. “Free” is hanging in my office and I am looking at it as I am typing this. I began creating “Art With Intention TM” images first and for most because I need them to remind me of what I choose to focus on in my life. What we focus on is what we attract and manifest.  Once I realized how powerful visual affirmations are in helping to remember and align with what is most desired, I began offering them to others to help them on their journey to freedom, love and joy.

Whether it is this painting or another image of seagulls you resonate with, find one and put it up in a space visible to you with the intention of reminding you to put your focus on freedom  – the path to true love and the right to occupy your own space.  You have that right, and the Universe is willing and waiting to support your flight to your true self.

I wish you happy flying!

Montana

Ancient Heart – Black Tortoise in Feng Shui

Ancient Heart

Ancient Heart: oil, acrylic, joss paper on framed wood panel / Montana Black

Black Tortoise is the Heavenly or Celestial Animal of the North and rules the Northern side of the home and work space. There are four Heavenly (Celestial) Animals for each of the four directions. Red Phoenix is guardian of the South. White Tiger is the guardian of the West. Green Dragon is the guardian of the East. Tortoise of the North is also the element of water and the season of winter. They carry the energy of serenity, stability, perseverance, longevity, well being, protection and wisdom.

Tortoise can live to over 100 years. That requires some incredible perseverance and strength. They are highly respected for their powers of longevity and stability and their likeness has been used in the practice of Feng Shui to enhance the beneficial flow of good chi – life energy- in personal and professional spaces since the early days of this practice.

The ways one can use Tortoise energy to enhance your life are many and here a just few to get you started.

Placing Tortoise in the Northern sector of your home or office will create smooth, grounding chi for your business and career. This is a stabilizing energy that blesses you with a more solid foundation for building sustainable wealth and longevity. She will also protect your business interests and career from undermining behavior of others.

Tortoise energy is wonderful for grounding and stabilizing the energy in your home and work space. I have a Phoenix hanging by my front door (career sector) to fire up and enhance the chi in that part of my life. It works beautifully, but too much fire is not the best thing. So I have “Ancient Heart” (my black tortoise) hanging next to it to create balance. Balance is very important in achieving good flowing chi. Tortoise ensures that the power generated by Phoenix is sustainable and not out of control so that my business grows with wisdom and lasts a long, fruitful time.

Displaying Tortoise in the Eastern sector of your home or office will enhance you health chi thus blessing you and those living and working with you tremendous well being and longevity.

To use the powerful protecting and energy strengthening aspect of this magnificent being place her likeness in the back of the house or office. There she is in the best position to “watch your back”.

This is just a taste of what this great and wise Heavenly Animal of the North and bring to you. There is much more to learn and many more ways to use Tortoise energy. If your interest has been piqued and you wish to know more there are many books on the subject of Feng Shui to check out. Also it is always a good idea to consult with a Feng Shui practitioner to further ensure your “cures” are placed properly and doing what you intend them to do.

I wish you happy chi.

Montana

Mind the Raven

Raven the Elder

Raven the Elder; Oil and acrylic on canvas / 12×12 / Montana Black

Ravens are portrayed as powerful spirit beings in many cultures throughout time. They are seen as bringers of magic, tricksters, healers, messengers, guides, teachers and even the Creator of the Universe.

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest see Raven is a symbol of the Creator and a powerful protector of man. He is thought to be the one that made the Universe and discovered and protected the first man. Raven is the bringer of light to the darkness for humans. He stole the sun, the moon and stars from Grey Eagle who hated man. Raven put them in the sky thus making the world habitable for the people.

The European myths have Raven as messengers, or as alternate shapes for deities and spirits, the most well known are Bran and the Morrigan. Odin of Norse myth had two ravens: Muinn (Memory) and Huginn (Thought) that would fly about his realm and report back to him what they see. Raven is the symbol of Nantosuelta, a Gaulish goddess of the nature, fire, fertility, and death, who’s image appears in a relief at Sarrebourg, France.

For the purpose of these paintings – Heaven’s Birds and Raven Sermon – I am concentrating mainly on Raven’s ability to go between worlds and his function to act as guide of souls to those other worlds. Raven is a being who resides in the “in–between” of things. He can come and go from the Void–the source of creation from which all emerges and into which all will go back to.

When Raven appears in your life, you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Raven is the guide of transitions from this world to the next, from this dimension to the next. Raven tells us to be still and know that this is not all there is. There is more to life and death then we have ever imagined. When transition time comes, we do not go to the next place alone. Raven will guide and protect us on our journey.

I painted this image help you to set the intention to always know that this is but one stop along a journey that stretches far into space and time. When the time for letting go comes, we are never alone.

Affirmation: This life is but one stop on a journey that spreads far across time and space. I release my fear of endings knowing that I am loved and guided through all of life’s passages I must make.