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Tui as Totem by Ravenari Tui as Totem by Ravenari
'Have you ever wished to understand the secrets of synchronicity? How serendipity happens in this world of ours? When people shake their heads at the universe and say, 'timing!' I am a singer of these true connections between us all. Let's follow the threads together to the loved ones, the pathways, the landscapes that sing to us best.'

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Watercolour pencil / pencil / ink / metallic and iridescent acrylic -> Crescent cold-pressed illustration board -> 18.5 x 20.5cm (or 7.4 x 8 in).
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:iconamuletstar:
AmuletStar Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love that the gold curls are almost like feather plumes~
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Heh I'm always really happy when that comes across!
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:iconamuletstar:
AmuletStar Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(:
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:icontsahel:
tsahel Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
great !
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much. :D
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:iconravenroseserpent:
Ravenroseserpent Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Student General Artist
Oh my favourite New Zealander bird next the Fantail I just love their songs and coloring
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh man I nearly drew the Fantail! :D
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:iconravenroseserpent:
Ravenroseserpent Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Student General Artist
really that awesome. then are you still going too
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:iconshadowwright:
Shadowwright Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Lovely. It is wonderful how you used whirls (symbols in celtic old ways that symbolize the otherworld) to create texture/pattern for the background. I love the way that you choose small parts of your pieces to outline in gold with scroll work to draw the eye to and emphasize the subject. The details work on the feathers around the ruff (sp?) of his neck is fantastic!  I love the dappling of color in the background as well.
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
*nods* spirals are so sacred to many cultures. I mean do practice Druidry, but actually even in Vilturj, the Russian shamanism I practice, the spiral is very significant. So they tend to be found in most of my works. :D
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:iconshadowwright:
Shadowwright Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
It is extremely difficult to find anything on legitimate Druidism because they were all about oral tradition. There may be many books out there that claim to be real Celtic Druidism but they are not. Druids just would not have been much for writing things down. The Celts had the use of their language (Gaelic) beaten out of them. Welsh and Scots Gaelic was spoken in secret until those who could speak it died off. Irish Gaelic still survives today. Even today, Irish Gaelic is taught as a second language among families. Some years ago, I did find a website where lessons in Irish Gaelic had been posted. Your best bet to learn Celtic Druidism would be to travel to Ireland and go looking for it out in the country. Gaelic is very animistic and inanimate objects are spoken of as though they were alive. Unfortunately, this may be why the effort was made to stamp out the different dialects...that and it was not the language of the conquering culture.
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I know it's extremely difficult to find anything on Druidism as it was practiced before Roman invasion (is it only legitimate if it's ancient and traced through unbroken lines? What a sad world we'd live in, if innovation was always truly illegitimate as your words seem to imply). It's also a fundamental misconception applied to many animistic practices. Innovation side by side with respect for what has gone before (where it's available), but there's a reason that say, in my own Russian shamanism practice (which is familial / generational), tales are constantly retold and adapted per storyteller. One of the integral benefits of an oral tradition is that you *can* innovate, and a tradition that embraces innovation, is one that doesn't rely on the 'legitimacy' of only ancient reconstructionism. And thank the gods for that. But anyway, I am talking more about Vilturj now, Druidry is and has long been a mess, but that doesn't mean its wisdom is illegitimate. Perhaps just illegitimate for *you*, which is another matter entirely.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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:iconshadowwright:
Shadowwright Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017
   My intent was not to suggest that the wisdom of Druidism was illegitimate.  I do know that there are some people who will put anything in a book to sell it to make money. Some of these individuals want to promote the idea that there are no dangers in magic, which I believe is grossly irresponsible.  Some of those books can wind up being just as dangerous as the Anarchist's handbook.  Magic or Magick (for high magic/summoning) is real and if it is not practiced right, then someone can harm or kill themselves or others, depending on what they are doing with it- especially with invocation or evocation.  For example, 'you should not summon what you can not unsummon and what you can not contain correctly.'  

   I remember a horrible nightmare of an account that a Ritualist I knew in college shared with me, where an apprentice summoned something he did not correctly contain in his Master's absence and it is not a story about an overflowing spaghetti bowl or mops that won't stop fetching water.  The Master was nearly killed upon his return home and there wasn't much left of the apprentice, who had died violently and messy over a week ago.  That being said, I think you might be able to understand why I would find it a little unnerving when someone starts talking about getting innovative with the practice of magic of any kind.

I do not personally practice. I know that there is a difference between shamanism and high magick.  I got the impression that shamanism was more about asking the spirits to do something for you versus demanding.  Also, that certain spirits like certain things done certain ways.

Druidism can not be fully recreated as it was because Druids were the Judges and the Executioners of the law of the celtic people.  They executed criminals.  They were not just medicine men. Today, the only other law that the United Kingdom seems to want to recognize outside of their own is Shi'ite law...which is really scary for any woman married to a Shi'ite or raised in a Shi'ite family in Britain. What is really disturbing is that the idea that the UK may have allowed for Shi'ite law within their realm only out of fear of I.S.I.S., which would have been a horrible mistake. Anyways, I'm starting to get off on a tangent. I think there is something wrong when the UK will not allow celtic peoples like the Welsh, Scots and the Irish to have their law and their judges within their kingdom but Shi'ites can have theirs.  

Someone you might consider contacting about Druidism is the author Stephen R. Lawhead.  He has done a tremendous amount of research about Druidism and he is one of the reason that I like Druids.   Also, if you do have an interest in Druids, then you might consider taking up playing a musical instrument.  From what little I have been able to find on Druids, all of  them seem to have been Bards before they were Druids- Taliesin, Myrddin (i.e. Merlin, not a Wizard but a Druid). King Arthur was a Celtic King and not an Anglo one.

There are tons of stories in Celtic mythology that teach that the beings from the Otherworld are not safe.  These tales are suppose to be based off peoples' experience with Faerie and I do not believe that the experience of someone else should just be disregarded. Information isn't always lacking in value because it is old.

By the way, can you tell me some tales about Koschei, the deathless?

Stories are where memories go when they are forgotten.
                                                                              ---Doctor Who
 
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I completely agree with your points re: the practice of magic, or invocation, your impressions of shamanism (i.e. it's not about demanding, it's more about interfacing respectfully / cooperation and so on) etc. (And irresponsible practitioners definitely go the money-making route by either sanitising practices 'it's always safe' (ugh) or alternatively scaremongering 'it's never safe, so pay me so I can make you safe').

Druidry doesn't actually have to involve magic as you've described it, which you may know already. Nor does animism - or at least, not the ones I've encountered so far, there's always exceptions. Since most animism is based in philosophy and not necessarily by everyone learning how to go to the otherworlds (thank goodness), a person can go their whole life practicing animism and never have to deal with say, invocation/evocation. I've read Stephen R. Lawhead. The Pendragon Cycle has brought so many people over to OBOD and ADF, heh. I play multiple musical instruments. I have taught on the otherworlds/spirits being dangerous for years, and was one of the first online (with the advent of the internet) to publicly state / write articles like a column with Axis Mundi etc. / run courses re: the subject matter, especially as there is a lack of knowledge or understanding how to work with vili (spirits), perevrjni (spirit helpers), czuciki, djajajyk (...impish spirits but that's not really the right translation) and more. I was way more active back in the 90s and early 00s, these days I don't really see as much of a point writing about it for others.

I think you'll find that there are tons of stories in *any* Indigenous or animistic culture that has otherworlds, that teaches that the otherworlds aren't safe. The only 'tradition' I know of that has stated that the otherworlds are safe is Core Shamanism, which I think says a lot more about Harner, homogenisation and money-making, than it does about the actual practice of different forms of shamanism or animism.

As for Koschei, he's not part of our tradition, as he's not a part of all Finno-Ugric or Finno-Permic traditions. There's not a *ton* of cross-over between Finno-Ugric and Slavic indigenous cultures / ethnic groups - indeed there have been some pretty major clashes; but people often assume they're strongly connected across the branches. I mean sometimes they can be because of cultural permeation and so on - we do have a 'Baba Yaga' like figure in Vavale, for example. But she's also not strictly a Baba Yaga. Then again there are hundreds of Baba Yagas that vary throughout different Slavic practices too, so /shrugs. I mean I *can* tell you tales about Koschei because I'm interested in folktales and fairytales in general, but it'd be no different to anyone else who has researched Slavic fairytales. Generally, Slavic practices are found on the steppes/forest-steppes towards the south of Europe / Russia (sort of, that's very generalised), and Finno-Ugric is more likely to be north and then as you go east you're more likely to encounter Tatar etc. If you want to know about L'yuvona'ma or Azah Pyitak or something that's an entirely different matter. But you possibly know about them already?
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:iconshadowwright:
Shadowwright Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2017
No, I have not and I would love to hear about them.

I have loved mythology, folklore and faerie tales for most of my life. 

I do appreciate you writing such a well thought out answer. While I was online back in 1999 and 2000, I really wasn't writing a blog or anything similar.  If you have some links to your material, then I would love to have a look.
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
The only site I keep up now is wildspeak.com which has been up in some version or another since about 1998 (Geocities first, and then has migrated). I took quite a few articles down because I felt they were too esoteric so now it's just mostly some very basic journeying/soul healing articles and a lot of totem information, but I also have a bunch publicly available at my Dreamwidth account at Moonvoice. I think they're publicly available... *checks* I have an early laws of the otherworlds (which is culturally specific and rules vary from place to place) that is available here though - moonvoice.dreamwidth.org/33544… and a three worlds overview here: moonvoice.dreamwidth.org/10423… I'd write some things differently now, but that was 12 years ago so...time kind of weirdly flies when you're on the internet for a long time!

As for L'yuvona'ma, oh, I adore her. There are so many different types of rain, but she is bitter and angry, and she will make anyone and anything yield to her and the way she thinks. The only person she loves is her brother, L'yuvotn'r, the gentler, nourishing rains, and he adores her. Born at the same time, side by side, as twins, everyone saw L'yuvotn'r and celebrated at his nourishing rains, and then heard the pounding of the squall and looked up in fear, to see L'yuvona'ma. Even as a baby she would create flooding, the earth not yet strong enough to soak up her passion and fury. L'yuvotn'r wanted his sister with him, but instead, people petitioned to the gods and they were sundered. For a long time, L'yuvotn'r only appeared on his own and was worshipped as a god himself, and L'yuvona'ma was seen as her own; some demonic thing come from somewhere else, to smash crops and destroy homes, to make the ways too treacherous for even reindeer as they pass.

But L'yuvona'ma's passion is so strong that she beat the land and the people into submission. Great floods followed, as she chased L'yuvotn'r around the world. First he would come with his gentler rains, and then she would follow on his heels, seeking him. He had to look forward, but he could feel her at his back, and for the first time was able to look away from the worship of others to the truest love he'd known at birth. It made him colder, harder to reach, but it was the way it needed to be.

Now, for the most part, L'yuvona'ma always appears with her brother, or just after. Sometimes they play together, and there will be soft rain followed by torrential downpour. But when there is both at the same time, even if the plants are destroyed and the ground becomes so sodden the houses flood, there is some joy that always remains in knowing that family is best united with these conditions, and not split apart.

Not as lengthily or descriptively told as it could be! But it gives you an idea. Tbh I love torrential rains as a result. It is like...people talk about the element of water and sort of forget about glaciers remoulding mountains, or hail destroying crops, or torrential rains killing people in floods. The high emotion of it is a kind of life, but a dangerous one. I love it, but I also prepare my house before a severe thunderstorm warning when I know she'll be visiting.

As to the Azah Pyitak, they are our firebirds. There's less specific stories about these, but they are both loved and feared. Unlike some Phoenix myths, the Azah Pyitak doesn't always live forever, and so it is very very careful about when it chooses to burn itself up. Once, they were ruled by rage, and they burned themselves up frequently and did great damage to the land. But with time they learned wisdom, and keep their fires banked back in their eyes. They can be very dangerous to encounter in the otherworlds, but often associated with great pilgrimages too; and this idea that wisdom can be hard won, and that we can literally end up burning many bridges before we discover other ways of doing things. Though the advice of an Azah Pyitak is almost always 'it's not worth it, take a step back' hahaha. There's a saying:

Azah Pyitak je turjataij r’da vilkani. Czorkyinah!

Which basically translates as 'the Azah Pyitak is going to tell you what you already know anyway, so go back / it's not worth it.' In other words, don't bother seeking spiritual advice in dangerous places, if you deep down already have your answers and are just seeking external validation. Like the idea of talking to 'firebirds' is cool and all, but why do it unless you know it's going to be safe? And a lot of journeying to the otherworlds revolves around this - a lot of people want to do it because it seems cool. That's...a nice reason, but it also seems cool to pat a very hungry shark, and most people will generally think 'yeahhhh...it's still a very hungry shark, I might just give it a miss today.' Lol. I mean people are still gonna do it, but after a while of writing about this stuff more publicly, I began to feel a bit like a shamanism troubleshooting service and felt like I'd strayed really far away from what I feel my personal service to my perevrjni is - which is mostly acting as an interface/mediary between people and non-people via art. So...yeah, shut a lot of stuff down. Articles still float around. I believe the column might still be up at Axis Mundi magazine. But these days Pia Ravenari pretty much brings up art results, which feels like the way it should be? I joined OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) mostly to get away from the isolation aorund what I practice in the day to day, and to find some more community, since I'm isolated from the people who initially taught me some of this stuff due to personal choice around abuse. It was kind of accidental that I actually really ended up enjoying the syncretic nature of a reconstructed practice that has been augmented with Jungian psychology and other belief systems; though I think it helps that my general 'pagan' grounding is...ahhh...not more serious, that's not the right word. Perhaps just more bedded down into fundamental rules of animism as I was taught them. I see legitimacy in it, even if it's not an unbroken lineage and has had to be augmented / added to

Perhaps, because I have also had to experience this bodily (I have a rare genetic disease that makes me grow rare tumours - I have two right now actually, and I've needed a vein graft in the past to deal with the removal of another one due to fundamentally broken genetics lol) - I am a lot more relaxed about syncretism and spiritual augmentation when it's done respectfully. Innovation has literally kept my body alive, and I see how it has stopped some traditions from dying. As for people who use it to be disrespectful and are only there for money/glorification; those people are gonna be in the faithful reconstructionist practices too. They'll be everywhere. Which sucks. I've lost count of the amount of pagan bigwigs that have made BIIIIIG bank off of paganism. That you can pay $12,000 for a weekend course on how to be a shaman is something I find kind of revolting, honestly. The only thing you'd learn from that experience is how to give away a great deal of money to someone very charismatic, lol.

Anyway, wishing you all the best! Hope I didn't bore you with all the rambling.

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(1 Reply)
:iconkiarastudios:
kiarastudios Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love my New Zealand birdies! :D
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
They're incredible
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:iconbgerr:
bgerr Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow - great work - lovely colours! :w00t:
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much. :D
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:iconmoonymina:
MoonyMina Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
gorgeous!!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconwhollyjeff:
WhollyJeff Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I had to look at everything you've displayed here! Each piece is a jewel in its own right. I made this a favorite in order to remind myself to revisit in the future to see what you will have done. Thanks very much for sharing your work. Please don't stop.
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh wow, thank you so much!! <3<3 What a lovely comment, seriously thank you.
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:iconviintagedreams:
viintagedreams Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
This is amazing!!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconregnoart:
regnoart Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Student General Artist
This is EPIC! :D :D :D
I'm from New Zealand and I sometimes have Tuis come round to get nectar from a flax bush! :)
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh that's so awesome. I'd love to encounter them in person some day. :D
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:iconregnoart:
regnoart Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Student General Artist
You'll have to come to New Zealand to see them :XD: You won't see them anywhere else in the world!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
That's the same with a lot of our endemics here in SW Australia! :D
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:iconregnoart:
regnoart Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Student General Artist
Awesome! :D
I also like crocs :)
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:iconoreoorca:
OreoOrca Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Student General Artist
this is really nice :)
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconaquamu:
aQuaMu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The amount of detail really makes this a treat to look at. The colors are also stunning!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! Colouring this was a sheer joy. :D
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:icontibetador:
tibetador Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017
Love those colors!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconlupsiberg:
Lupsiberg Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconnagualdos:
nagualdos Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
Pretty good!!!!!
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:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks :)
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