In addition to a forty-year intellectual fascination with data and information that I've gathered at sacred sites, the older I get, the more interested I am in developing ways for me (and others) to have experiences in these special places that can help us to connect to the spiritual. One technique that I have used in the past to do this is to make small water colour paintings when I am at places like Avebury, Glastonbury and Iona - a sacred isle in the Inner Hebrides.
The Glastonbury Tor
I make no claim to being an "artiste." That is not the point here. It is to capture what catches my attention about a sacred site. I had seen the over-arching branch of this tree framing the Tor every time I went to the nearby village of Butleigh, and I finally sat down at the edge of the road and created this little image.
Avebury is one of my most important teaching sites. It seems that every time I go there, I learn something new. In this instance, I found that clumps of trees on the horizon in this case the dark green one (on the Ridgeway) directly behind the stone in the centre invariably contain a round barrow or two. Here I was feeling that connection.
In the Cove,
an inner ring at Avebury
This stone hides behind a tree in the Cove, one of the two rings inside the big ring at Avebury. But it captured my imagination because of all of the different markings on it.
The Inner Hebrides in Scotland
No more proof is need than this crude effort that I will never compete with any professional artist, but that wasn't and isn't the reason for this endeavor. It is the painting's impact on me. When, over twenty-five after I painted it, I see that Celtic Cross, the holy well, and the door to the Chapel, it takes me back to my earliest experiences on that sacred isle.
?Broch of Birsay
The Orkney Islands hold a special place in my heart, and I spent many hours in the Brochs (defensive homesteads) that are there.
Getting the gear necessary to make these small water colours is not particularly expensive. Recently I went to Dicketts, a stationery store here in Glastonbury, and a tin of dry water colours, a pad of water color paper (8x5 inches), a couple of brushes, and a container for water will cost less than £20 ($30± US). I also use water from holy wells to make these pictures.
But not all holy places are ancient:
Glastonbury Tor Goddess
in Greensboro, Vermont, USA
This is a goddess that was made here in Glastonbury by Philippa Bowers that I shipped back to my old home in Vermont to have in my garden. The darker circular patch in the foreground with the lighter dots are English Daises that marked a crossing of two veins of water - a yin/Earth Mother spot, and a good place to get rid of thoughts and emotions that I no longer needed.
Painting sacred places I visit helps me to tune in and to experience the sacredness directly, after my visit, it also makes it easier to "be there" again and to connect with the sacred space even decades after I painted it. Photographs usually just don't have this power for me.
Water colours in Sacred Space. Try it. You'll like it.
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE
Sig's only workshop in the USA this year that is open to the public:
09 November - 11 November 2012 - Dowsing, Labyrinths, & Intuition: Tools for Connecting with Spirit. Sharpen your ability to have “Intuition On Demand.” This is knowledge that can help you open up your sixth sense, your intuition and creativity. Learn to use tools that can help you experience the Spiritual World. Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Massachusetts, USA. For further information.
You can see all of my past MAG E-zines and Tip o' the Weeks in my Archive Section.