Full Moon Horse of Emotion

Hop on the horse of emotion alongside inspirational American adventurer, philosopher and jeweler, Claudia LaGuardia on her quest for higher learning, Sag-style!

Full Moon in Sagittarius May 27, 2010 4:07 pm PDT

Spotlight on Sagittarian Artist, Adventurer ~ Claudia LaGuardia Shop: Crafty Earthling Blog: To Bablyon and Back

Throughout my life I have always been the adventurous type who would go for a walk in the forest by herself or save up every extra penny in college while eating beans and rice for months on end in order to make it to Europe for a month during the summer. People always ask how I had the courage to do these things, and whether or not I'm scared of what might happen on my adventures and I tell them that I'm lucky. The truth is that I work hard for things to work out the way I'd like, and I always have a long list of goals to accomplish on my “list of things to do before I die,” from skydiving to eating chocolate covered grasshoppers at a fancy restaurant. I am always working on achieving something and things usually manifest because of this strong, focused intent.

Right now my boyfriend Gregor and I are hitchhiking across the country. He is the photographer and navigator and I have dubbed myself the jeweler, explorer, and philosopher. We sell our wares on street corners and trail heads in order to continue on this epic journey. Today we are in Cortez, Colorado at a The Spruce Tree Coffeehouse where he is nose deep in a book about Ayurveda and I am finishing up my homework for the two online courses I am taking.

What's Your Name Sailor - hemp necklace

I am a Sagittarius and it is kind of funny how well I fit into that category; always looking for new adventures and hungry for the wisdom contained within the tree of life. I am very open minded and am willing to listen to anyone despite our differences. Although I may not agree with someone's opinions I love learning about why they think the way they do and what life experiences may have led them to those conclusions. I am a student of human thought and behavior and try to look at challenges to my way and view of life as reasons to question my own motives. Recently I was introduced to Dr. David Hawkin's “Map of Consciousness” and as it was explained to me, all of us have the ability to rise past our current state on this map and even achieve enlightenment in this lifetime. We can find where we fall on this map by using a pendulum or simply by asking ourselves how we feel about life most of the time and making an estimate of where we fall on the map. One idea which struck me recently was that although it is great to try to climb as high as we can on the ladder of consciousness through meditation, mindfulness, and movement (eg. Yoga or Tai chi) not only for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of the people who may encounter us, it is also important to notice what triggers us to feel shame, desire, apathy, guilt, fear, anger, grief, pride, and any of the other emotions below the 200 level. All of us experience these feelings at some point or another during our lifetimes and it is important to objectively observe what it is that causes us to feel these emotions in order to ride the horse of emotion instead of getting dragged along the ground as it runs away with us trailing behind.

As a jeweler I find that I like using bright colors and making jewelry out of found or bartered items. Throughout our travels I have bartered jewelry, beads, stones, patches and clothing for pieces to make jewelry with. I am often just given things such as old pieces of jewelry that people no longer want or I find treasures like pieces of jade or rocks with holes made by ocean water while walking down the coast. I love taking old pieces and giving them a new life through my jewelry. For instance, while in Morro Bay I was given a necklace made of pieces of abalone shell. The necklace would have been perfect for a mermaid, but was a bit gaudy for my friend so I took it apart and used some of the shells to make a pair of earrings, incorporating pearls to go with the sea-like feel. Each piece of jewelry has a story behind its creation, from the gold findings I received in trade for a strand of amethyst chips at the “Spirit Garden” in Big Sur to the hematite necklace I was given by a friend in Tempe, Arizona, which was promptly taken apart and reconstructed as a pair of earrings and a choker.

Hitchhiking around the country throughout the past eight months has been an incredible experience that has led me to learn more about myself. I am blessed to be able to have this experience. One of the things I have learned throughout this journey is the power of intent and how important it is to have a positive outlook on life. I really believe that if you are in a positive mood you will attract like-minded people and if you are in a bad mood you will likewise attract people with the same mindset. No one wants to pick up an angry hitchhiker, nor should they, and no hitchhiker wants to be picked up by an angry driver. Another thing that I've learned is the power of a smile. Even if someone doesn't pick you up hitchhiking, a smile can do wonders for their day and make them rethink their judgments or even just infect them with love and cause them to smile at the next person they see, restarting the cycle.

Adventures in Aventurine

As far as jewelry goes I'm going to continue making bright, eccentric pieces along with up-cycled treasures. Yesterday I bought some turquoise beads from a shop in Colorado. It excites me how inexpensive turquoise is here as compared to my home back in Maine where we have more amethyst and quartz. I love finding the local stones in each state and passing along those deals to my customers on the other side of the country. I hope to be able to continue to travel for decades to come and collect small treasures to pass on to others throughout my journeys.

You can read more Full Moon Artist features here.

Wise Woman Radio: Susun Weed Interviews Me

I was recently interviewed by Susun Weed, herbalist, author and founder of the Wise Woman University and just had to share! Wise Woman Radio Interview

Susun Weed, also known as the Grandmother of the Herbal Renaissance in America is an amazing and strong woman who has developed her healing practice in honour of Wise Woman Wisdom. She has written many books and offers all kinds of classes both on her land in upstate New York and through correspondence.

Early in 2010 Susun Weed started an online university called the Wise Woman University where I am offering a lunar based 4 week course which begins each New Moon and is called Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul. Susun and I discuss my course (which had not yet started at the time of the interview) and my soon-to-be published eBook titled The Goddess Zodiac Playbook.

The print above is titled Beebalm and comes from my Fairy Herbal Healing Series which I later developed into a deck of 89 oracle cards that I incorporate into Soul Readings.

The DragonLady Speaks – Taurus Style

New Moon in TaurusMay 13, 2010 6:04 pm PDT

Taurus Inspiration: - ground your energy in Mother Earth - be cautious and reserved about money - continue or finish projects - stay at home with your family - appreciate the bounty and beauty of Mother Earth

Spotlight on Taurus Artist: The DragonLady Wickenburg, Arizona, USA

I'm a Taurean, and a watercolor artist - those two things are almost mutually exclusive as watercolor requires a lot of artistic gambling, but Taurus isn't a gambling type. We don't take big risks in any part of our lives, and art is no exception. We marry the nice guy next door that we've known forever, rather than take a chance with some dashing stranger. We start a career with one company, and stay there 'till they kick us out. We buy a house made of real bricks and real hardwoods that will stand forever, no matter how the climate may change. We love our creature comforts and surround ourselves with things we think are beautiful or important, but we don't trade stability and rock-solid performance for flash, glitter or the latest fads.

Only a water-colorist can turn a $5.00 sheet of paper into trash in less than two minutes. Watercolor pigments are often very staining, and a mistake can only be removed by scraping away the upper layer of paper. Every step of every painting has to be planned in advance. Hues used for big washes have to be pre-mixed because there's no time to mix more before the paper starts to dry and waiting too long will make streaks. Once a wash has been applied it can't be touched again until it is completely dry or it will make streaks. An accidental splash of a staining pigment like permanent magenta will ruin a beautiful expanse of ochre beach or a delicate butter-colored blossom.

Many watercolorists love the exciting, unpredictable, wild and wacky things watercolor paints do. The "happy accident" is a major element of their techniques and looked forward to. Not this Taurus! I want total control! I want precise lines, areas of flat color with no back washes or streaks and delicate transitions of color. I want a huge value range - the lightest lights, the darkest darks, and I want the highlights to be right where I put them. I won't settle for unintended splotches or scribbles.

Geologist's Breakfast - Watercolor - 9 x 12 in.

"Geologist's Breakfast" was inspired by a group of geologists who used to meet every morning in a cafe I worked at. They usually didn't eat, just drank coffee that looked like mud. Each of them carried a case filled with specimens and samples and they would share them around the table like plates of cookies. © The Dragon Lady

For me, just picking up a brush is a gamble. I spend days on my drawings, working out every detail of my composition. I draw in every detail from the largest shapes to the smallest highlights and because I won't gamble a drawing I've worked on all those hours, I trace every single line before I transfer it to my watercolor paper. If my painting is ruined, I still have a "backup copy" so I can start over.

Sometimes, I make several smaller drawings to test colors and values. I'll try these out with cheap paints or watercolor pencils to make sure my composition is going to turn out the way I want...I leave nothing to chance. I've done a lot of the work in my imagination long before I ever pick up the brush and sometimes I start losing interest in the whole project before I really get started.

After the drawing is done and the local colors have been chosen I choose my palette - usually only three or four pigments and test the color mixes I can make. Sometimes that takes a few hours while I decide whether I can make a large enough value range or mix enough variations of a color to make the painting work. A garden scene might need twenty shades of green, and I want to be sure I can mix those with my chosen palette before I start painting. So I'll make mixtures of all the pigments in different rations and paint small test swatches. Once they're dry I can compare and make changes.

But once I've begun I'm usually able to let go of all the fears and anxieties. I know that if I do make a serious mistake I can start over. So with that in mind I reach a place where I'm comfortable enough to begin. By that time most of my decisions have been made and nothing is left except the physical act of putting the paint on the paper.

When I'm finally done with the work, I'm really done. I'm able to look at it and decide if I like it or not. Either way, I'm able to let it go and move on to the next thing, and that is where my risk-taking and sense of adventure begin to show. I'm willing to take risks with my subjects. I'm willing to tackle a huge range of ideas and I know almost no boundaries or limits on what I'm willing to portray. I'm equally comfortable with very pretty pictures that everyone likes to see or dark, erotic, esoteric and troubling images that no one likes to see. My next painting may portray a pretty vase of flowers on an elderly woman's porch or a pair of dead birds being devoured by flesh-eating butterflies, or something so erotic and passionate the finished work will never leave my workspace.

My unlimited artistic freedom keeps me sane, allows me to soar, shows me new ideas and inspires me to push every boundary. It gives me the means to examine every preconception and to purge myself of outmoded or untenable opinions. I am always changing, evolving, spiraling toward a destiny I do not yet know. It doesn't bother me in the least that I'll arrive there in the same car I was driving ten years ago or wearing a sweater I bought for my honeymoon.

You can read more New Moon Artist posts by clicking on the link.

PS What I'm curious to know is how the 'DragonLady' got her name!

Taurus New Moon Musings

New Moon in TaurusMay 13, 2010 6:04 pm PDT

This month the New Moon enters the sign of Taurus, the Celestial Cow and a fixed, earthy sign represented by the crown of Isis (the symbol or glyph for Taurus). Try to picture Taurus the Bull munching contentedly away in a field of clover and then ask yourself, “What can I do this week to reward and pamper myself in a sensual way while giving thanks and acknowledging my strengths and values?” (Think of it as a Taurean pleasure bath for the soul). Is there a special source of strength that you can draw upon when necessary? What is it? Have you ever healed yourself by connecting with your power source? Wouldn’t that be amazing?! When the Moon enters Taurus on May 13 get ready to:

- ground your energy in Mother Earth - be cautious and reserved about money - continue or finish projects - stay at home with your family - appreciate the bounty and beauty of Mother Earth

Taurus – The Bull

Time of Year – Spring turns into summer, May Day Quality – Fixed Element – Earth Planetary Ruler – Venus Anatomy – Neck and throat Natural Sign of – 2nd House Color – Pink, green, earth colors Gemstone – Chrysocolla, green emerald, moss agate Tarot Card – Hierophant Goddesses – Demeter, Flora, Gaia, Hathor, Hera, Nokomis, Olwen, Rhea Taurus Meditation

I am of the earth, Gaia feeds me, I worship her body as I worship my own. Introducing The Moon Muses

The Moon Muses are intuitive guides and question askers that offer insight and wisdom along with exercises to heal and inspire you. They are creative leap takers forming a glowing moonlit bridge between your rational self and your higher self, a self that dwells in pure intuition, clairvoyance (clear seeing), meditative reflection and dreaming.

This month you will meet a Gemstone Muse called Emerald and a Lefty Oracle Muse by the name of Song. I encourage all of you to create a Moon Musing Journal to record your monthly moon explorations (more about this in my eCourse Awaken Your Divine Feminine Self).

- lose yourself in music - appreciate and indulge in life’s simple, sensual pleasures

A Message From Emerald

Emerald encourages you to define your values especially in relation to money and possessions.


How much is enough, too little, just right?

Does the work you do express your values? Tell me more!

Emerald is a wishing stone and works especially well with this New Moon in Taurus, so that means it’s time to make a wish, but with 1 stipulation, that instead of releasing your wish into the ethers, Emerald wants you to plant it, tend it and watch it grow.

Take a moment now to envision that wish of yours spreading out and effecting 100 other folks, then 200, then 300 then 10,000!

My Green Wish is _____________________________________________________

My Version of Taurus

“Song” is part of a series of left-handed drawings I created over a period of five years. These drawings were later turned into an oracle card deck that I use for soul readings.

“Song” asks you to write a song from your heart!

To begin, list 3 words that fill your heart with joy, perhaps relating to their meaning, or even just to the sound that the word makes. Think fast, don’t dwell on this too long! What are the first 3 words that pop into your head? Write them down!

1. 2. 3.

Now, write down a symbol or something concrete beside each word.

Allow these 3 words to act as a talisman or touchstone for you this month. Try turning them into a collage or collect them as actual objects that you can carry around with you. Ponder them, bring them to life, because they will teach you about the way of joy, the way of heart and the way of soul. Think of them as your Heart Song of Joy and let their magic work it’s synchronicities and healings into the very fabric of your life.

I am currently teaching “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Self” at the Wise Woman University. “Celebrating the lunar cycles is an important part of building a spiritual framework. Each month we can tune into her cycles to keep ourselves on track. At the new moon we plant our intentions for the month ahead, at the full moon we watch them flower, and at the waning moon we release and share our wisdom with the world. As women we are naturally able to resonate with these cycles in deep and meaningful ways.”

Full Moon Divine Feminine Snake Power

In honour of this past Full Moon in Scorpio and as part of my Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eCourse I've chosen the incredibly powerful Minoan Snake Goddess from 1600 BCE, Crete to grace my collage with her powerful sexuality.

The Cretans saw the supreme divine power in terms of the feminine principle, and incarnate in a woman whom they portrayed exactly like one of themselves ... comfortable with her beauty, her body and her power ... Fertility and abundance were the purpose and the desire, sex was the instrument, and for this reason its symbols were everywhere. ~ Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future.

More Images Within My Collage:

1. The seal - which represents protection, something that we as women need to be especially aware of when working within the realms of the deep subconscious.

2. Aquarius the Water Bearer - this was the first image I painted during my first silk painting class back in the early 1990's at Wild Fiber Studio in Santa Monica, California. My Moon is in the sign of Aquarius in the 11th house (the Aquarian house) and during this current New/Full Moon cycle I am really getting in touch with the mental/thinking side of my emotional nature. The placement of the Moon in our natal chart is where we feel comfortable in our skin, and for me, that involves some detachment and the ability to connect with all my Moon friends on a universal level which is perfectly suited to the internet. In fact, computer technology is ruled by the sign of Aquarius!

3. Susanne Bier, Director of the Danish movie After the Wedding - A wonderful movie! I especially enjoyed the interview with her after wards. I felt as though I was seeing a strong woman not afraid to express her thoughts and feelings in a very forthright and compassionate way and I honour that and imagine her to be one of my soul reading clients as well! I especially liked this comment referring to something she learned in film school, "Kill the darlings and focus on the ball" (meaning, 'let go of the not-so-hot creations to make the really good ones stronger, which is so difficult for artists to do!) Within her films she is able to bring her characters into emotional and intimate eyesight with the audience and often with a sense of humor. It's humor that I feel is missing from so many spiritual practices, how about in yours?

4. I've included the astrological symbols for the sign of Taurus and Venus (which is the ruling planet of Taurus) - the ankh (or Venus glyph) literally represents a circle of spirit balancing on the cross of the earth's 4 elements as a rainbow of peace pours out of the diamond center of the heart. Remember that Venus is also known as Aphrodite and as Ishtar, the wishing star. The symbol or glyph for Taurus (with a crescent moon balanced on her head) reminds us that "Thou shalt live in blessedness. Thous shalt live glorious under my protection."

5. The background of the collage comes from a painting I'm working on and you can follow along with it's many stages of development (it's not done yet!) here on my blog: Art Mystic Post 1 and Post 2

If you are interested in signing up for the next term of Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul - the Taurus term, which begin on the upcoming New Moon in Taurus on May 13 you can do so here - Sign up.

Divine Moon Muser, Elizabeth Mow posted her Full Moon Collage here - Peace Joy Creativity.