About a month ago, I painted piece below hat used the traditional elemental symbols, the four animals in the druidic tradition, the directions, and the astrological symbols of the four elements. I posted this a few places, and people were really receptive to it.
After the success of that painting, I decided I wanted to do a much larger correspondence painting. I want to post what I have so far so that I can get some feedback from the community before I start the actual painting. I’d really like this chart to be quite thorough, and to include information on phases of the moon, holidays, elements, animals, directions, magical work, activities, growth phases, astrology….and maybe more. I’ve been studying the connections between these various things and how different traditions use them, and I hope that this material will be useful to others. This chart is compiled from a variety of sources including material from the OBOD’s website, the Druidry Handbook and Druid Magic Handbook by John Michael Greer, the OBOD East Coast Gathering Community, our Grove’s rituals and as well as my own experiences and practices. WordPress doesn’t seem to let me create a big table, so I’ll do it in list format and I hope its readable.
If you, dear blog readers, have any suggestions for improvements or changes, I would be most happy to hear them before I begin painting this piece–which might be one of my most ambitious paintings ever (I plan on painting it at 22″ x 30″!). Am I missing information? Should I include material in other places? Does the magical and activity information fit? The hardest thing about this list was the moon phases…..there aren’t quite eight of them, so matching them up to the wheel of the year and the directions were a little difficult. But I think what I wanted to show was that the seasonal cycle of the year can be linked to the phases of the moon and to particular activities that we could do on both a yearly basis but also in line with the moon.
So without further explanation, here’s my current working list.
- Element – Earth
- Animal – Bear
- Holiday – Winter Solstice / Alban Arthan (usually Dec 21st)
- Growth phase – Seed/stasis
- Moon phase – Dark moon (2nd day of new moon)
- Magical activity – Focusing inward, working on self or inner worlds, earth magic
- Other Activities – Reflection and rest
- Astrology – Capricorn / Sagittarius
- Element – Earth/Air
- Animal – Spider (ok, not an animal, but perfect. The alternative is the flying squirrel or fox)
- Holiday – Imbolc
- Growth phase – Germination/Sprouting
- Moon phase – New Moon (3rd day of new moon)
- Magical activity – Healing, refreshing, rejuvenation, insight
- Other Activities – Rejuvenation, reading and study
- Astrology – Aquarius
- Element – Air
- Animal – Hawk
- Holiday – Alban Eilir / Spring Equinox
- Growth phase – Seedling
- Moon phase – First quarter / waxing crescent
- Magical activity – Air magic, initiations, dedications, seeking inspiration
- Activities – Raising energy/awareness of projects, gaining knowledge, planning projects, balancing
- Astrology – Pisces, Aries
- Element – Air/Fire
- Animal – Bee
- Holiday – Beltane
- Growth phase – Budding
- Moon phase – Gibbous waxing
- Magical activity – Growth/nature magic, dance, raising energy, fertility
- Activities – invigoration, progressing, bringing forth, creativity, bardic arts
- Astrology – Taurus
- Element – Fire
- Animal – Stag
- Holiday – Summer solstice / alban hefin
- Growth phase – Flowering
- Moon phase – Full moon
- Magical activity – awareness, high energy, empowering, full moon magic, fire magic, expanding mind, otherworld travel
- Activities – progressing, being present
- Astrology – Gemini and Cancer
- Element – Fire/Water
- Animal – Salamander
- Holiday – Lughnasadh
- Growth phase – Fruiting
- Moon phase – Gibbous waning
- Magical activity – connecting with spirits, gatherings, removing negativity or negative influences
- Activities – cleansing/removing, harvesting (1st harvest)
- Astrology – Leo
- Element – water
- Animal – salmon
- Holiday – Fall Equinox / Alban Elfed
- Growth phase – Harvesting
- Moon phase – Waning crescent / last quarter
- Magical activity – honoring spirits/deities, giving thanks, making offerings, water magic
- Activities – reaping rewards, celebrations, balancing
- Astrology – Virgo and Libra
- Element – Water/Earth
- Animal – Turtle (or seal, beaver)
- Holiday – Samhain
- Growth phase – Composting
- Moon phase – Old Moon (1st day of new moon, usually invisible)
- Magical activity – walking between worlds, exploring past lives, spirit journeying/astral travel, working with otherworld, ancestor magic
- Activities – meditation, stillness
- Astrology – Scorpio
Ok, I just realized that I could also add magical plants associated with each holiday. And I obviously need to think about colors too…..
I had a little think about the colours. The AODA has the four cardinal colours – yellow, red, blue and green for east, south, west and north respectively. The other four, maybe I’m going too colour wheel here, but I like the idea of orange for southeast as May is such a vibrant time of the year, and purple for southwest, as it speaks to me of a slow calming of the heat, and the very tasty plums and other fruits of the first harvest. I am a tad stuck for the northeast and northwest though. White may be good for northeast – given snow and so forth at that time of year, and the little snowdrop peeking through at the beginning of February, and maybe a brown for northwest, to signify the resting of the soil after the harvest and the colour of the compost?
Wow, this is beautiful. I don’t have suggestions but just wanted to say that I was pretty much blown away by it! Do you have any plans to offer prints or anything similar?
Yeah, I’m going to pretty soon (maybe through Cafe Press?). When I’m ready I will post about it here. That’s a sample of what I want to do with the larger correspondence piece ;). But more detailed and much larger. Thanks for the comment, Skyllaros.
This is beautiful! I will think about the list, but as far as I can see you have set it up really nicely. 🙂 I look forward to seeing the end result of the project. I wish i had your talent. I absolutely love your artwork.
I’m curious to know where you came up with Salamander for the southwest animal. 🙂
Well, this isn’t the elemental salamander from ancient hermetics, but rather the one who lives in the stream behind my house. This little guy, who lives under rocks in streams – http://salamandersinniagara.comoj.com/salmander_overview.htm
But I’m not sure about him….I could put a dragon there, but a dragon is mythic and everything else isn’t.
That is a truly cute little creature. 🙂
Spiders are animals! They’re certainly not plants, fungi, or bacteria.
Beautiful & inspiring! Thank you for kicking-in my creative surge to do pyrography plates as Elemental representatives for Circle.
I would love to see those, Kim! Do share when you have them done 🙂