Friday, January 24, 2020

The Evolution of a Healing Hand

If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.
Excerpt from “The Sisters of Mercy” by Leonard Cohen

On the 9th of January these words sang themselves to me as I picked up a copper leaf among my scraps. I had been thinking about the convergence of Saturn and Pluto together with the Sun, Ceres and Mercury all at or about 22 degrees of Capricorn in a few days. I have a minimal understanding of the art of astrology, but I do subscribe to the universal gnostic hypothesis that “As above so below.” When practiced by someone devoted to its depth and complexities I do consider astrological evaluations a powerful tool of insight. With the state of the Earth, the World, this country, and individual lives that I care about have given me cause for grave concern the skies were confirming a pivotal extreme of disconcerting news with regard to self governance and world governance. We are desperately in need of healing.

How might I be part of a healing? After hearing the words of Leonard Cohen’s song I felt an instruction, to create a “segulah, a “treasure”, a musical incantation to initiate healing of the World and all Her inhabitants; restoring Balance and Integrity to all systems, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

It’s one thing to make an amulet, it’s another to make one that does not rely solely on a placebo effect.

The musical healing I’m most familiar with involve flower essences. Each essence sets up it’s own unique resonant frequency which entrains with the rest of the cells of the body, plants and animals included. If there were a way to infuse an amulet with a flower essence with the healing definition above, that would indeed be worth a song.

I enlisted a most remarkable friend, the shamanic healer Barbara Barnett, to create a RIFUAH resonant essence. She agreed to come on Sunday morning, the 12th of January to convene in a ritual space at 9:59am MST, the exact moment of the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, i.e., when the immovable object was met by the irresistible force. It was also the 17th day of the moon, which, according to a correspondence I had back in 2016 with Jules Cashford, the London based Jungian analyst and author:

...the Waning Moon is often seen in earlier times as an emptying of light and life (which is filled in the waxing), and the word ‘wane’ lies behind  many of our words for being empty of something: ‘wan’, want, vanity, wanton, and in earlier centuries wanhope etc. And 17 was the lunar number of days when the waning could be seen – after the two to three days of the full – Osiris was slain and began his journey into the darkness of the underworld  on the 17th day of the month, and so a beginning of inwardness we might say, where a Question might come towards us.

As the ritual moment struck we lit a candle and recited the prayer for Tikkun Olamot, Healing of the Worlds, in Hebrew and in English.  Barbara went into trance to engage with what I called Gaia and she refers to as “the Earth Beings.” The question was asked. While she was in that receptive state I was muscle tested her for essences. Each essence tested for went both into her mouth and  into a prepared bottle. After receiving the drops Barbara spoke to where and how she was feeling them in her own system which was a conduit for communicating how a human body would respond to that particular element of  Rifuah.

When we finished, three drops of the potion went into a jar of blue ink that I would paint into the etched down areas of the hamsa amulets. I had been directed to use the hamsa hand form for this “segulah” as

 “...the hand... serves as a conduit for blessing and interaction between the heavens and earth, the human and the Divine, the transcendent and the imminent.” see The Hamsa in Jewish Thought and Practice by Daniel Sayani

So far I have been able to complete 8. They are about 2” high without the bail. Each hand is cut, filed and covered with asphaltum. The letters of the Hebrew “Rifuah” carved down through the asphaltum in order to etch them down to receive the ink.  The Resh, Pei and Vav (which travels down through the Hei) are written concentrically, followed by the Aleph and Hei. After etching, the segulot are sanded and flamed and then the etched letters are inked. I needed to add some xanthan gum to the ink to get it to adhere to the copper. I suspect that the raised points you see around the perimeter of the hand hold in the vibration, which also resonates from the copper now.

If you are called to one or two of these (maximum 3), contact me at . I am to make no more than 50. They are not free but the minimal cost is in token.

In love and hope for contributing to restoring balance and integrity to our World of Hurt,

בְּסִיַּיעְתָּא דִשְׁמַיָּא


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Telling of the Bees

Divora is the word for bee in Hebrew.  Both the word for bee - divora, and the word for Holy of Holies - divir, derive from the same root verb Dalet Bet Resh, concepts abuzz with "communication".

In medieval Europe, bees were considered to have a special intelligence regarding the mysterious unfolding of the universe.  They were revered as messengers between the Divine realm and our own.  Celtic mythology has held that since bees were the link between our world and the spirit world, if you wanted anyone to stay informed who had passed over, you could tell the bees and they would pass along the information.  To this day there are bee keepers who still practice the old Celtic custom of "Telling the Bees".  Important events are told to the bees such as marriages, births and deaths. 

In Telling of the Bees, the other side of that equation is represented.  Here a confluence is taking place between 5 angels and a bee regarding life on Earth.         

It is the bee who appears to be relating something of significance about the comings and goings, the doings and happenings of the earthly realm to five angelic forces.

Surely a bee can report on many issues regarding water, soil, seasons, winds, weather and relationships of balance and imbalance.  

Whatever is being reported is clearly something of consequence since one of the angels is assigned to take action.

It has been some time since I was first instructed to create this copperwork illumination.  Before discovering the practice of "Telling the Bees", I had referred to it as Flight for Life, A Love Song, as it feels potentially benevolent.

Having assigned it a new name, I felt it time to try, once again, to capture its essence in a photograph. Up until now, this illumination has eluded my arduous photographic efforts.  The wing on the right side (from our perspective) was always disappearing when shot from a full frontal position.  As you can see, even now that I have a newfangled camera and a very cool set up to take images which can illuminate both the back as well as the front, that wing is still elusive - albeit almost capturable.  What is the mystery of that ephemeral wing?

Let me know what you think.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Crane

Cranes may be the oldest bird on earth. There is fossil evidence that they have existed more than 60 million years ago. There is a legend that the crane’s legs grow before its wings do, making for a bird with strong ties to the earth.  They are, symbolically, creative creatures, being particularly famous for their extravagant dancing and the sandhill crane in particular, is known for it's singing, producing a range of vocalizations, from a sing loud warning call to the synchronized calls of a breeding pair and a low, soft call to maintain contact while foraging. Male and female birds incubate eggs and parent together and find nourishment according to what they find available in the environment in which they find themselves.  

This illumination this called "The Crane."  It has been maybe 9 months from conception to completion, which was just this last weekend.  The crane depicted here is not in it's original ancient form but has been augmented by a new infusion into the reality of Earth.

There are 6 seed rays encountering the Earth. Each ray is led by a hand.

There is an internal calligraphy to each of the 6 hands - the Hebrew word YESH -"there is" - spelled yud shin.  Here is an example of the word YESH made into a cufflink: 
If you notice, the hands at the helm of the 6 rays don't quite match the YESH above.  It is a 4-branched shin along with the yud that forms the hands. The name of the 4 branched shin is Ha Ot - "the letter". 

The 13th-century mystical text, the Sefer HaTemunah speaks of a single letter of unknown pronunciation (such as the four-branched shin on one side of the head tefillin box) which is missing from the current alphabet. The distorted nature of the world is related to the absence of this letter.  Its eventual restoration will bring reparation to the world.

The theme of "six" is recurring.  The Earth herself is composed of a six-fold geometry, an expression of "as above so below".  Behind the cutwork is a piece of fabric with a watery photo of the earth taken from space.  Water is another recurring theme - the seminal droplets of the rays, the Earth, the crane.

As I mentioned in the beginning, despite the simple elements of this illumination, it took an exceptionally long time to come to fruition.  It wasn't until silver was added to all 3 elements that it came alive. That was somewhere around 2:30pm February 16 MST.  May it signal the triggering of a new order and release of energies required to see us into a new era.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


It's been a year since my last post.  I submerged myself in my garden this year as a means of getting through the demoralizing news cycle.  Being winter I took refuge again in my studio and was provided with a most wonderful assignment, which I describe here.

Judith has recently designed, built and moved into her new home in the Baca. She hails from New York but has been looking for somewhere that would resonate for her as a true home.

She has loved my work for sometime and asked me to create a ceremonial homecoming piece for her that celebrates her home as a sacred space.

Judith has been coming to a group that meets at my studio on Friday afternoons to do Hebrew chant. She is not Jewish, nor for that matter are any of the other participants outside of myself, but she is a singer and loves the sound and mystery of the chants. She’s even teaching herself the Hebrew alphabet. Consequently, she wanted a Hebrew word included in her piece that meant “Sanctuary.” That word transliterates as mishkan. Mishkan (in Hebrew) appears in the central cutwork backed by turquoise mirror.

We talked about other elements she equates with a personal sacred home space to develop a highly personalized symbolic self-portrait. Those symbolic elements included a Sri Yantra, something verdant (gardener that she is), transformative animal totems (the peacocks and dragonfly) and a chicory flower, which she particularly loved in her New York garden.

Despite the quantity of disparate elements and the size limitation of 18”x18” with an arched roof, the design flowed together easily, the patina that developed was fabulous, flaming brought life to the sri yantra as did the small drill points of light.

Somehow the chicory and dragonfly danced together and was brought into resonance with the rest by means of some iridescent enamel. I am sooooooo pleased and she is too.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Call and Response

She, who sits in the gardens
Friends hearken to Your voice
Enable me to hear You
Song of Songs 8:13

Call and Response 
Acid-etched copper with ink oxides, mounted on mahogany

After coming out of the acid, it took some time to re-find and polish the intricate arabesque patterns.  I had no sense of how to proceed from there.  About a week later my hand picked up a sanguine ink pen which began outlining the forms around that very busy, verdant outer world of AsiahIt looked like the inside of the design wanted a color so I began with phithalo blue (don't you  just love the name of these colors?), which also moved into the next inner layer of Yetzirah. The flow was right but the color of the Asiah level was not right.  I remembered my heat gun and blasted the inks that were laid down to keep them in place, then overlaid the blue of Asiah with a verdant  leaf green. That was "it".  Here's how it started to look:

Wonderful.  I also began to see the emerging color relationship between the flow of worlds all embedded in the world of Atzilut, the copper spaciousness.

As you can see, the points of light encircling the center (the world of Briah) are outlined in sanguine, then Briah itself is saturated in sanguine, with the letters outlined in phithalo blue.
A bit hard to tell, you'll have to trust me on that.  I really was there.

After a good flaming came the piercing of the lights.  It all began to move.

A subtler reflective glow comes from brushing Everbrite sealant over all but the Atzilut expanse. 

There is much for me to learn and feel around this illumination.  The original Hebrew words can be unraveled in a myriad of ways.  I have placed it now above my kitchen table to feel more of its Call and Response.

As always, happy for any response of your own, either personally or in the comments of this blog.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Apples & Roses

Apple Rose Plate - $400

Just completed.

Gardener that I am, I was thinking of all things garden when this design dreamed itself up. What you see is a food functional brass plate with an apple tree and a rose - symbols from the Song of Songs of love and union

I could see it filled and placed on the table for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot,  TB'Shevat and all joyous occasions that combine food with love and celebration.  

A 14" diameter brass plate (easier to come by and considerably more affordable than copper) served as my canvas for this etching.  Colorful metallic waxes give it a kind of folk-artsy feel.  I did seal the surface with a clear shellac to preserve those colors and then added a removable glass plate that fits into the center section (not seen in the photo), to keep usability pretty simple.  The glass can be washed after use and the brass plate can be lightly cleaned with a soft damp cloth.

The Hebrew verses around the raised border come from Shir Hashirim and Shir Hama'alot (126): “As an Apple amidst the trees of the forest (right); "As a Rose among thorns”(left); “those who plant in tears" (lower);  will harvest in joy” (upper).  These sweet references speak to earthiness - of  our being both planters and that which is planted. They speak of envisioning ourselves as uniquely beloved and they point to the sacred nature of life that conspires for our happiness, carrying us through trials of tears and hard work towards wholeness and fulfillment.

May your plates be filled to overflowing with a joyous new year and a fruitful harvest.

L'Shana Tova!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Love Tokens

The more I considered the Yizkor candle settings I was creating the more I began to focus on life.  To be honest, I wasn't getting much pleasure out of focusing on death, grief and the initial moments of being torn apart.
There needs to be incorporated, not initially perhaps but down the line, a sweetness of remembrance that evokes the stories of connection - the living part of a relationship that doesn't cease when one side of the bond steps over the boundary of physical existence.

When my father died, even decades later, people would find out that I was his daughter spontaneously tell me their most beloved stories about the life he shared with them.  I searched out his desk after he died and found a whole page of sayings that he had assembled like "An atheist is a man with no invisible means of support." Of course I've updated that one to be somewhat more inclusive but continue to delight in having one in my back pocket.

I have my mother's recipe for Passover popovers, the seeds from a Cinderella pumpkin that my beloved buddy Yoanna brought back to me from a roadside farm stand in New Mexico, the silk robe of my dear friend and mentor Jacob Goldberg, z"l , falling apart after all these years.  Legacies. Stories. Love tokens.

A woman named Wendy Rosen, whose husband died four years ago, told me recently that she's come to the conclusion that what really matters after someone has passed can easily fit into a small box.  I was bewildered at first, but the more I thought of it the more joy it gave me. I started to make a list of the sorts of things of real significance I could fit into a small box.  Here are some of the things I came up with, though each person I have loved would have chachkis included that would be particular to themselves:
  • tickets from a ball game or Broadway musical which we attended together
  • a snippet of fabric from a favorite dress or old tee shirt
  • a favorite recipe
  • some idea or thought written on a paper napkin 
  • a word or phrase from a magical moment that would bring it all back
  • a dried flower from a garden; a seed
  • stories written on a sheet of paper and folded small from those who were compatriots
"one rubber band, a hand full of sand and even a rusty nail" are song lyrics from Bruce Kates about the stuff of stories that he packed up in his valise.

I'd love to hear what you'd add to this list and the story that goes with it.

As you can tell from the top image, I have redesigned the Yizkor candle settings to include a box - a Living Memory Yizkor box.  I changed out the base as well and am making it from aromatic cedar, which in many cultures is identified with the Tree of Life.  With the help of a 1/2" square of plywood wrapped in copper foil it now serves as the lid for the memory box.  I also updated two of the copper backplates to include the word "L'Chayim" - "to Life."

I've finally gotten these as well as the Tikkun Olam settings up on my Etsy store: Moresca   Since they work so beautifully on their own, I'm also offering just the lids of the boxes as candle settings. 

I've changed the base of Tikkun settings over to aromatic cedar as well: