Welcome to the Laburnum Art Project.
If you are landing here, you have probably come across our families monthly art installation - inspired by life, nature and community.
As a word weaver and nature enthusiast I see art as a portal, a window through which we can see and feel a story unfold. As a seasoned licensed NLP Practitioner, Tarot Reader and Somatics Educator, I have spent decades specializing in trauma-informed care work across multiple disciplines and as a mother to a beautiful child on the spectrum - these are glimpses into the creation of our world, as they unfold. We encourage you to learn with us and reflect on how the colours, images, words and stories weave with your own life story.
the stories we weave
Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.
This is a time of harvest. Samhain is the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, taking place at the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. A time when the veil between worlds is thin, it is a time honoured practice where one can speak to their ancestor and loved ones who have passed on from this realm.
As it was expected that ancestors might cross over during this time as well, villagers would dress as animals and monsters so that these unwanted fairies were not tempted to take their souls. Because this barrier could be breached, villagers prepared offerings and left them outside their villages or in their fields so that unwanted spirits would not breach their door.
Mythology surrounding Samhain, includes a shape-shifting creature called a Pukah that receives harvest offerings from the field and The Lady Gwyn, a headless woman dressed in white chases night wanderers and was accompanied by a black pig.
TRANSMUTATION OF THE WITCH:
Wicca celebration of Samhain takes on many forms, from the traditional fire ceremonies to celebrations that embrace many aspects of modern Halloween, as well as activities related to honouring nature or ancestors.
In today's language, we would say that the soul or spirit, which is embedded in the body, needs to be released through an increase in consciousness and a dismantling of conditioning. As advances in science began, humans looked less to the mystical and energetic and more towards logic and what could be "proved." These advances in science were accompanies by a profound alteration in man's perception of women and death.. It was around the 1400s where death began to take on an erotic meaning in art and literature. Man's split perception of women manifested itself most clearly in the witch hunts.
This split grew more and more intense during the Middle Ages until it erupted into paranoia (1300s -1600s). This was also the time that Mariology reached it's greatest heights of theological definition and refinement with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception - which in turn saw an outbreak of witch hunts that took the lives of upwards if one million women between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Many of these women were elders, women who fought for independence, reproductive freedom and embodied their Lilith (wild woman psyche).
Sound familiar? Witch hunts may be in the past, but the foundation they were built upon are very much the same rights and freedoms we fight for today.
Photos Displayed: Stop in to Kits Beach Coffee at 1945 Cornwall Street and read more from the book "Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica by TASHEN.
FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD:
Fête Gede, or “Festival of the Dead,” is one of the most important celebrations in the Voodoo religious calendar.
In Haiti the celebration, which is commemorated yearly on the first and second days of November (All Saints Day and All Souls Day respectively), is marked by converging on cemeteries to honor Haitian ancestors with rituals and sacrifices.
In Haitian Voodoo, the Gede is a spirit related to death and fertility. It is reassuring to know that those who have passed are not gone, and that we can come together in community to honor and visit with them. In return, our memory of the Dead keeps their spirits alive and present.
The Mexican Days of the Dead are the days when the veil separating the Living and the Dead is at its thinnest and spirits can visit – children visit on Oct 31st, the familial adults on November 1st, and the unremembered Dead, on November 3rd.
In Mexico, elaborate displays transform graves into altars and thousands of candles illuminate the path between the worlds and give warmth to the returning spirits.
At a time when the world places emphasis on fear and intolerance of the other, it is important to experience, share, and de-mystify diverse cultures.
Festival of the dead