As an Artist I have worked with lots of different mediums over the years. Two Tarot decks in using Oil paint as my preferred tool of expression, change was knocking gently at the back door of my brain, and nudging me to begin something new.
Working with clay has been a completely instinctual and unplanned process that has taken on a life of its own. Or should I say, it has become a medium through which the Gods and Goddesses have begun to speak to me in a very clear voice. This last winter was one of the darkest I have experienced yet, in my years of being. Seasonal Affective Disorder can become something of an unsurmountable challenge in the depths of a long dark winter. Coming out of the cave of introspection has illuminated a stronger connection with gods and goddesses, deities and spirits speaking to me through the land. And especially those of the wilds frequenting sacred streams and waterfalls of nearby rivers. I am so blessed to live within walking distance of forest, rivers, and the sea, and only a short drive away from many sacred sites in Cumbria.
During the first lockdown in 2020, on a daily walk to the shore, I was graced with a vision of the Sea God Manannan Mac Lyr, who emerged on to the canvas that hangs on the western wall of my creating space. To my absolute horror my creative urge completely vanished, for the first time ever, at the outset of the second lockdown in January this year. I had a panic stricken moment in which I wondered if it was ever going to return!
Being a mother of twin boys has challenges of its own, let alone during a global pandemic. The many roles of mother, teacher, friend, cook, cleaner and guide, keeping them happy, healthy and sane was my primary focus during that time. When the children were sleeping that left just enough time for devotional worship, and to send prayers and healing for those struggling, so you can imagine, that didn’t leave a great deal of room for artistic expression.
The creative genius didn’t return until the stirrings of the spring tide. Winter is always a difficult time of year for me, and even with careful planning and measures in place, it is still a real struggle to keep a hold of the vision of the light returning in spring. But it always does return. This year on the Spring Equinox I was guided to go to Castlerigg Stone Circle in Keswick to perform a ceremony for all those that had passed during the winter months.
During this ceremony, when I went into meditation, I saw a vision of the Barge coming to take the souls of the dead to the otherworld. This had a profound effect on me and I was truly honoured to witness this event, and travel as a companion on the journey, seeing those souls back to the otherworld for healing and preparation for their next life.
Many years ago I had dreamed of sculpting white goddess statues, long before the days of traipsing around museums with the boys to look at these stunning beauties in glass cases. Like lots of dreams, this slipped into the unconscious again, only to resurface during the celebrations of the Vernal Equinox. Reading through old journals I came upon the dream which gave me an idea for something that I could do to honour the gods and goddesses.
I ordered some air dry clay and began to create sculptures of some of the figures that I have encountered during my meditations. Some from time spend in contemplation in sacred spaces outside, and also those I have encountered during journeying with my drum. Then a friend asked me to make her a Medusa so I spent some time in contemplation with that archetype, reading her story and connecting with her before creating a Magical Medusa Mirror for my friend to use in her own sacred practice. Since then have been asked to make Altar figurines of Gods and Goddesses for the hearths and shrines of other deities.
These Clay Gods and Goddesses have found their voice and speak to a place of primal awakenings within those who have connected with them. I feel very honoured to have been given the chance to birth these into the world. If you would like to commission a par of God / Goddess Altar Sculptures please email Jade
©Jade Melany 2021
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