Saturday, 7 September 2013

Medusa - The Snake & The Mask - Part 2 - My Medusa Painting!

Copyright Laura Daligan 2013

Hail Medusa ~ Serpent Queen
Goddess of Life
Goddess of Death
And the Roads In-between

Force of Nature
Door Keeper
Snake Healer
Blood Bringer

Mysteries Unfold
To those who Dare to See
Behind your Mask of Old
The Keys to Restore the World.


So here She is my painting of Medusa! I hope you like Her, and I hope you feel inspired and empowered by Her. The paining is 16.2 X 11.5" Acrylic on wood.

Thanks for everyone's comments and interest, on here and on facebook. I always love to hear your ideas, meditations, knowledge and feelings.

Last night I went to the National Gallery here in London with a friend, and whilst looking through some of the old masters, and some of the frankly weird religious icons and themes,  I saw a painting by Luca Giordano, entitled 'Perseus turning Phineas and his followers to stone':

There's no denying it's a classic, masterfully created. But let's look a bit closer at Medusa's death mask -  Her disembodied head being carried around as a defence weapon. Head: using intellect without bodily power. The oracular head, living on after death is quite a common theme in many myths. Bran the Blessed -  which basically means Blessed Raven, but that's another story - kept on chatting way after his head was removed from his shoulders.

Medusa's head was carried around by Perseus for a while - turning his enemies into stone, before She was returned as a gift to Athena, who placed it on a shield, to protect Greece from it's enemies.

Returned to Athena -  like we were talking about in my last blog, Athena and Medusa were once thought to be two parts of the same deity.
This is Perseus's poem about the affair...

'Medusa was once an exceedingly beautiful maiden,Whose hand in marriage was jealously sought by an army of suitors,According to someone who told me he’d seen it, her marvellous hairWas her crowning glory. The story goes that Poseidon the sea godDefiled this glorious creature inside the shrine of Athena.The daughter of Zeus screened her virginal eyes with her aegis in horror,And punished the sin, by transforming the Gorgon’s beautiful hairInto horrible snakes.”                        - PERSEUS RECOUNTS THE TALE OF MEDUSA

But more from her African - Libyan - Egyptian past, She was thought to be one of a triad of Moon Goddesses, collectively called, Anatha.

Medusa representing the dark moon aspect, (this painting was done over the waning to dark moon). Anatha's maiden/new moon aspect was called Athene and the Full Moon/Mother aspect was Metis.

An ancient African inscription from this Moon Goddess is meant to have reads: (I have only seen this online, so I need to do research to find out more!)

“I have come from Myself. I am all that has been and that will be, and no mortal has yet been able to lift the veil that covers me.”

Would lifting that veil be death/turned to stone for the uninitiated? Medusa's scary mask was thought (again in her pre classical self) to be there for those who were unready and uninitiated to see her true self?

I'd love to read your thoughts and findings. There will be a Medusa video when I have my research more solidly in place!

Back to more worldy issues, if you would like a print of my painting to inspire, empower and to speak to you they are now available in my etsy store.

Thank you for reading and looking :)

Friday, 6 September 2013

Medusa: The Snake and the Mask - Research Behind a Painting

Where to start with a painting whose research has taken me into ever complex attitudes, global relevance, and a well weaved web of myth and lie?

Medusa first came to me a few years ago, shortly after I'd had the pleasure of attending a Snake - Kundalini workshop with the lovely Kwali at 3 wishes Faery Festival in Cornwall in 2010.

In this workshop we did some yoga and breath-work, and when we were all prepared, Kwali placed her beloved Snakes upon us. This was the first time I had touched, held or even been particularly close to a snake, but a love affair with them was born that day. Some people were scared and getting over deep phobias and so this experience with these gentle snakes was deeply healing for them. For me, I was amazed by their warmth and presence, such beautiful, strong and sensitive creatures. One of the first snakes I'd held, gently wrapped him/herself around my arm and didn't want to leave! I now have a tattoo of a snake curling around this arm.

I remember I'd had an on going RSI neck complaint,and  at the end of the session a small Boa Constrictor gently curled around my neck, OK, I can hear some of you squealing out there, but it was far from scary; I felt a deep sense of calm, of slowness and peace. These ancient beings slow your hectic human vibration down to a deeper level of calm. The lovely snake stayed there for about 20 minutes, and when I had to leave and give her back, I realised that the constant ache in my neck had gone, and it didn't come back for a good couple of weeks. Snakes can heal on many levels.

The photos below top to bottom are: after Kwali's Snake healing Session at 3 Wishes in 2010, with India the Boa after my Halloween Fire/Bellydance performance in 2012, my snake tattoo curling around my left arm, and dressed as Medusa at the Avalon Faery Ball in 2011.

As a disclaimer before I start these blogs, this is all from preliminary research, which will be continued, I'm more stating ideas and personal feelings, rather than setting down 'facts' about this mysterious Goddess.

Medusa is at a first glance, one of the 'great Monsters' and Gorgon sisters of Greek mythology. Most of us have grown up with films showing us this hideous monstrous woman turning people and animals into stone. (Something to research is the relevance of stone, petrification, and the turning of the life force to stone). So if we are brought up to revile this aspect of Womanhood (as we have been brought up to fear 'Witch' and 'Hag') we are at it's base looking at a part of our rejected psyche when we look at the triple Medusa.

Most Goddesses have triple aspects, which relate to the moon phases, waxing, full and waning, which in hand relate to the 3 aspects of Womanhood, Maiden, Mother and Crone. Three sisters/aspects are a common theme with Goddesses, such as the Morrigan and Hecate to name but two of many.

I always want to question those who history have defined as hideous, monstrous and feared, they were usually the most powerful creatures whom the newer 'patriarchal' society couldn't quite control or contain. The powerful Goddesses of an older age were pretty much buried, disfigured or forgotten by the time we turned BC into AD.

Well we have the first challenge in the name itself. Medusa or the Greek Medousa, stems from 'Guardian', 'Protectress' or to 'Rule Over'. I have read other versions which mean 'to plan' or 'to contrive', which doesn't sound quite as awesome really, like someone said: ''quick we better put less powerful meaning out there for Her!'

Also Medusa is from a pre Greek background, the classical myth does not own Her, although it's done it's best to destroy Her! There are statues of Her in Egypt and Libya, not as a hideous monster, but as a beautiful woman, with dreadlocks -  not Snakes for hair. In Africa she is thought to have derived from a powerful and healing Snake Goddess, who appears to have similarities to the Creator/Destroyer Goddess, Kali. She is also linked to an Amazonian Snake Goddess. More on this another time.

As we've seen, Medusa seemed to be everywhere before her fall from pre-eminent earth/snake goddess to feared monster. Her beauty was great and world renowned, there are even depictions of Her in Europe too, as a gentler blond, fertility goddess! She was seen in calm pastures, surrounded by nature, with a belt of snakes, or snakes coiling on Her limbs. This, apparently, was the initial view the Classical world took of her until the world changed and there seemingly wasn't room for this kind of feminine power in the new world order...

The Greco/Roman myth went on to state that Medusa was' raped by Poseiden on the steps of the temple of Athena' (another long story is that in pre Greek myth it would seem that Athene-Medusa were one and the same... oh the mystery thickens!). So horrified was Athena at this sacrilege that she turned the ravishing beauty that was Medusa into the monster we now know.

So this has good morals doesn't it?  (Groan)

a) If you are raped then, well it's 'obviously' your fault and you deserved to be punished! Seriously disgusting.
b) In a way She was raped, all her power taken from her by the new way of the world, demoted from Goddess to Monster...
c) Medusa was born from a primordial Sea God and Goddess, so what's Poseiden got to prove here?
d)Did I mention Athene and Medusa were meant to linked-  so this is a messed up turn of events!

I believe all the Deities here are powerful and awesome in their own right. The ways stories have been told, in my opinion has twisted their meanings and identities.

So it's easy with Medusa for your (or my!) blood to run high at the pure injustice of it all,  yet another story we've probably all been mistold. However what I have discovered is that She isn't easily beaten or broken, she was around waaaay before the word 'monster' was uttered near Her, and She lives on in our passions, our blood and in our healing. In further Medusa blogs, I'll be sharing my new painting of Her and I'll also on my Witchcraft Diaries blog be looking more into her via a Video if you'd like to see that, let me know.

Thank you for reading and do let me know your thoughts and opinions are.
Many Blessings X

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Full of Colour and Life...

She begins to appear...
Work continuing progress.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Day 3... My head, heart and soul says Please - STOP THE CULL.

Tonight's small writing and small paintings come from my love of all animals, and particularly my love of Badgers. I know so many of you out there feel the same -  I was on the march where the news said 'a couple of hundred people turned out', and there we were in a peaceful and passionate crowd which numbered over 7000 people. Some of whom had come from abroad just to have their voices heard.

It's been about a year now that I've actively been involved with campaigning against the cull. I can't believe that this inhumane slaughter is now taking place. There are so many reasons why this cruel and barbaric cull is wrong.
In this blog post I'm not going to discuss details about the cull, and how it affects the Badgers, the Cattle and Farmers too, so please follow the links at the bottom of this blog post if you would like some more information.

I made some ACEO's (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) of Badgers earlier this year, and I'm going to paint some more for an auction later this week.
Here are some of my Badger ACEO's... most of them have Badger loving homes now, but there will be more coming soon.
Save Me used the Scapegoat image on their facebook page.



'Smell the Flowers'

'Moon Badger'

'Look into my Eyes'


If you haven't signed the Petition yet please sign here.
For more info please visit: 
League Against Cruel Sports
Save Me

Please do what you can to protect our wildlife, and to find a more humane and effective way of dealing with Bovine TB.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Art Blog Day 2 - Etsy and WIP

Evening all. Well there were some drawing plans for today that have as yet gone astray, but I'll hopefully bring them into tomorrow's blog.

Firstly today was beautiful, sunny and bright, and as we are in September I feel it's important to make the most of the last of the Summer Sun, as Winter feels a long time grey. I took a nice amble on to the Heath and got some inspiration from the Trees, which I'll talk more about tomorrow.

As now we are in the Ogham Tree Calendar month of Muin -  the Vine/Bramble I spent some time connecting with, and munching on the Blackberry Brambles...I sat and meditated by a large area of Bramble that was shaped like a mound or a lodge, with a small doorway in it. I'll post my thoughts and sketches on this tomorrow!

The afternoon was swept away with photographing Pendants and updating my Etsy Shop -  it does take a long time, but it was worth it! Popped some of my newest Pendants on there, so do take a look if you get a mo! :)

So the photos today are more progress on my Medusa painting... still a little way to go, but I'll share some of the images. The photo quality is not that great as they were taken on my i phone in all different lighting.

Medusa without her mask...

Sunday, 1 September 2013

New Painting and Day One of September Art Blog!

One of my plans for September is to do an art blog each day of this month... so, paint brush in hand, here we go.

In order that I don't put too much extra pressure on my self (which I'm pretty good at!) if I don't have a new piece to blog about each day, I'll show the progress of some on-going work.
But by hook or by crook there WILL be art here - every day! 

Today I started painting a drawing which I've been working on for a couple of days now. It's been quite a challenge but when you see which Goddess She is you may know why!

I am passionate about the true origins of this beautiful and powerful Goddess; She has been portrayed as a 'monster' for an age. I remember watching films, where we were supposed to reel back in horror, terrified of Her 'Ugliness'. I always remember feeling a little sad for Her... these big guys coming in and chopping off her head...
Far from ugliness her true origins are in power and beauty, in a strength that may have been warped, but has not died. Always question what you are told about good and evil, black and white, monster and hero; those demonised ones (monster, whore, witch) are often mistreated in history and have the oldest story to tell.

Have a clue who She is? Much more about Her origins and myths to come! Here is a sneak peek at the beginnings of the painting. This is very much a work in progress!

The Medium is Acrylic on Wood Board.

Goddess of the Starways

The Goddess

This blog is themed around a painting I have recently completed. And a painting I have loved creating, truly and deeply. There have been some deeply magical and transformative experiences over the past few weeks, ones which have taken me to the core. These experiences have not always been comfortable, often confusing, sometimes disheartening, but highlighted with moments of brilliant clarity, connectedness and healing. A process of shift and change.

There are many things I'd like to tell you about Her; Her name, origin, how She makes me feel when I gaze into the stars of Her eyes, the meditations and journeys undertaken. But these things perhaps are not fully realised. 

Names come to mind, Ishtar,  Elen of the Ways, and in this case, the Starways.
She is distant and otherworldly, yet I sense with her a great compassion, a guiding light through the upperworlds, the stars, the forests and straight through to the heart.

Sometimes She looks at me from my easel with compassion, sometimes with frustration, but always gentle. Other times with the keys to a bigger brighter world if I just care to look and take the time.
She also has her eyes on a beautiful ornate frame, which will happen when funds allow!

Here She is:

She leads a dance of star~fyre 
On pathways carved in silver ice 
A wise web of being
All things. No thing.

Her places are the old woods
Upon shining stellar wheels
And in the depths of your heart.
Aching, loving,

Lay your tears at Her altar
Let there be no barriers to love
An offering of Transformation
Blessed. Always.

I've had some beautiful feedback already, and some have brought prints as they felt so connected to her, so 'Thank You' so much for your interest and your support. XX