Sunday, March 25, 2012
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6x6 relief carved Celtic tree of life ceramic tile

The Ash tree, also known as the world tree or tree of life figures prominently in both Celtic and Norse mythology. In the Druidic tradition it is known as the cosmic ash, associated with the month of March       and the link between inner and outer exsistance. To the Norse it was the world tree, with thick strong branches supporting the universe, earth at it's center and deep roots in hell. For the Celts the Ash tree represented the connection of the three circles of exsistance, confusion, balance and creative force, a continual rebirth as passage is made from circle to circle untill the land of the blessed is finally reached. Historically the ash has also been used to remove spells and hexes, cure warts and repell snakes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Decorative relief carved ceramic lily fairy tile

4 x 10 Relief carved ceramic Lily tile.
Some of the oldest traditions of mankind revolve around the rites of spring, celebrating growth and the renewal of life. Ostara, celebrated around the spring equinox, 20th-22nd of March in the northern hemisphere and around the 23rd of September in the southern, is one of the eight major Wiccan holidays.
In Welsh mythology it is the time when the god of light, reborn on the winter Solstice is now strong enough to defeat his rival twin of darkness and mate with the great mother goddess who every year at Imbolc ( February 1st) returns to virginity. The indigenous Mayan people have celebrated a spring equinox festival  for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox,  the great ceremonial pyramid,  El Castillo in Mexico, is bathed in late afternoon light. The lengthening shadows on the long staircase of the pyramid give the illusion of a diamond backed snake in decent. This is the return of the sun serpent to the land.
Most ancient rites of spring revolve around goddesses, many returned to virginity for the event and resurrection. The earth mother goddess Asasa Ya is honored by the Ashanti people along with the sky god Nyame at the spring festival of Durbar. Eostre is the ancient teutonic spring goddess who's name is the root of the present day spring celebration of Ostara. The Roman goddess of spring flowers Flora was honored at the festival of Floralia, April 28th - May 3. The Norse fertility goddess Freya returns every spring with her magical necklace representing the fire of the sun. Each spring in India the Hindu goddess of art, wisdom and learning , Saraswati is honored with prayers and music at the festival of Saraswati Puja. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Handmade relief carved ceramic wind man

The stormy March has come at last
with wind and cloud and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast
that thorough the snowy valley flies.
Ah! passing few are they who speak
wild stormy month in praise of thee,
yet though thy winds are loud and bleak
thou art a welcome month to me.
For thou to northern lands again
the glad and glorious sun dost bring
And thou hast joined the gentle train
and wearest the gentle name of spring.
And in thy reign of blast and storm
smiles many a long, bright summer day
when the changed winds are soft and warm
And heaven puts on the blue of May.