Yet another mandala…number 6 of the month!

August Mandala 6 © Angela Porter 2013

This is approx. 17.5 x 17.5cm and was created by me using UniPin pens, Zig Art and Graphic Twin pens with water as a wash, coloured fineliner pens and coloured pencils on acid-free bristol board.

Art is my solace, even though at times I’m doing the work through tears.  Today was one of those days.  I’m really struggling with the inner critics who are beating me up so badly at the moment, and despite me trying my best to quell them, to soothe them, they are currently stronger than I am and are winning.  Art has soothed them a tad…just a tad.

Some days it’s hard to find anything to be proud of about myself, to feel I am as important and matter as much as every other person on this planet, that I’m a good person, a kind person, a caring person and so on.

On days like these, days like today, creating something pretty through my art reminds me that there is something in me, about me, that appreciates pretty things and can create pretty things and so there must be something pretty or even beautiful within me.

This one is ‘pretty’.

Astrologically pinks and greens belong to Venus, the planet of love, beauty and harmony, romance, relationships the urge to empathise and unite with others, pleasure, joy and sensuality.

The lilacs and sea-greens belong to Neptune, the planet of dreams and fantasies and helps to dissolve boundaries and change existing rules.  Neptune can also result in confusion, and confusion is often experienced during profound and/or subtle changes in thinking, rules, beliefs.  Change is never easy.

Interestingly, both planets are related to artistic pursuits and aesthetics and our own personal tastes.

Now, I’m a scientist as well as an artist and all round oddbod, so why the astrological meanings of the colours?  I find it helps me to understand the art that I create intuitively, especially the colours.  Perhaps the colours are telling me to allow the old rules of the inner critics to go and to change them, to let the boundaries they have created dissolve and in so doing let love into myself, first for myself …

Maybe … or maybe it’s just pretty!


Greetings Cards

Dream is the message on a three 6″ x 4″ greetings cards I’ve made over the past couple of days.
DreamCard3©Angela Porter 2012

DreamCard1©Angela Porter 2012

DreamCard2©Angela Porter 2012

Each card measures approx 4″ x 6″.  The card blank is made from brown kraft paper card.  The little artwork on each has been created with the use of Sakura Glaze pens, watercolour paints and metallic pens/paints.

The lovely purples, blues and greens relate to Neptune, the planet associated with dreams and visions.  The flowing forms in two of the cards related to the flowing energy of this planet, astrologically speaking that is.  The saying ‘Shoot for the Moon; even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars’ has inspired the use of Moons and stars.

I’ve also made some with Thank You, Joy, Peace and Love on them, as well as quite a few with abstract trees on them.  They, along with the dream cards, are available from my shop at Etsy.

JoyCard1©Angela Porter 2012

ThankYouCard1©Angela Porter 2012

PeaceCard1©Angela Porter 2012

LoveCard1©Angela Porter 2012

I’m trying to find my ‘style’ with this kind of thing.  It’s an interesting kind of thing to do, exploring something new and finding my way along with them.  I’ll eventually work out exactly how I want this to work, in fact I’ve just had an idea now as I am tip-tapping away at the keyboard.

I want to create artworks with inspirational words within them, and this seems to be a good way to do that…or a good way to start to do this…


I’ve been making a home for my art and craft works on Etsy over the past few months, and it’s an interesting kind of place for lots of reasons.

There are an incredible number of gifted arts and crafts people there whose works are a great source of inspiration.  I can spent way too much time just browsing through the listings …

What is a cause of concern for me is pricing my wares there.  It’s a very difficult idea for me to grasp – that my artwork has value.  What value it has is still beyond me, and trying to price things sensibly is … difficult.

I have had two pieces of work purchased through Etsy – one a custom ordered auragraph/mandala, the other a piece of my textile jewellery, so it has, from that point of view, been a successful venture.  It also means that I am not out of pocket in the great Etsy Escapade.  I’m hoping it will be a way for me to share my art with others, for others to own a little bit of my creativity, to share in the pleasure that creating art gives me.

Having said that, I have had a request from someone on deviantART for a listing for a torc to be placed on Etsy, so that is something I will need to get along with.  First find the photos of the torcs I have created in the past!

Cards for Pisces and Aries and a big dose of procrastination!


Pisces Card A © Angela Porter 2012

Pisces Card B © Angela Porter 2012


Aries Card A © Angela Porter 2012

All these cards have mandalas on them that are approx 9cm in diameter.

The Pisces cards were worked with Derwent Colorsoft pencils, Sakura Glaze pen and Derwent Metallic pencils on black card with metallic watercolour paints providing the highlights.

The Aries card was worked with Rotring Rapidograph technical drawing pens and black ink, Derwent Inktense pencils, Zig Art and Graphic pens and Derwent Metallic pencils on cartridge paper.  This card needs some extra work on it to fully reflect the nature of sun-sign Aries.


Writing this post is a bit of procrastination.  I have to sort out some artwork and frame it, work out a price for it, and do the same for some pieces of textile jewellery to place in a coffee shop.  More about this later on.

I’m actually having a mug of tea after clearing off the table in the back room which I’ll need to cut the mountboard for the artwork on.  I’ve also cleared a chair which has been piled high with stuff since I was writing the two archaeology books a few years ago now – “Digging Down” and “A Road to the Past”.  I can be really, really lazy about clutter.  I have so much more to clear out, but I’ve started now … so …

I’ve also changed the voile curtains in the back room – that’s needed doing for a long while, and the ones that were hanging are now in the washing machine.

I’ve been signed off work for nearly three weeks.  I completely lost my voice due to laryngitis just over two weeks ago.  As my voice still isn’t fully back, the doctor has signed me off work for another week.  As a teacher, my voice is important, and when I can barely be heard sat in the quiet with friends then there is no way I can be heard over a class of 30 or so teenagers!

Right, so about the artwork.  I’ve visited a local coffee shop a couple of times while I’ve been off work – O’Callaghan’s Coffee Shop.  They have art by local people on the wall, all for sale, as well as other bits and bobs.  I bravely mentioned, while knitting and chatting to the owner that I did art, she wanted to look and well … one thing led to another and I said I’d get some of my art framed and some of my jewellery sorted out to go there.

Yes, knitting.  I have decided that it’s about time I made myself a fiery throw!  I’m knitting squares in lovely warm fiery colours to make a cuddly blankie just for me.  I’ve started this many times over the years, but have never got anywhere, but this time I’m determined to do so.  I plan on it being the ugliest but most lovely cuddly blankie in my home.  I think then I may have to work on one to have in my future hypnotherapy office … for clients …

So I may be procrastinating a tad, but the shock of actually clearing clutter, albeit a small amount of clutter, requires me to have a mug of tea before I retire to do some arty things!

Oh happy days!

Sunday wittering


Anyone would think Mercury is retrograde with all the transport problems I’ve had lately!

Today it  continued.  I had a talk to give in Cardiff around 11am.  I’d checked train times and there was one from my local station at 10:09 that would get me there by around 10:30am – perfect!  I also have a talk in Merthyr this evening, and so was going to travel by train there.   I wandered down to the train station for around 10:00 to give me time to get tickets for both journeys.

I got there to find that all the trains between Cardiff and Treherbert, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Rhymney had been replaced by buses.

Wouldn’t have been a problem except the bus journey takes twice as long as the train and I’d be too late for the talk this morning.  So, I phoned the organiser (thank goodness for mobile phones!) who was gracious enough to say not a problem she’d sort something out.  I think phoned the organiser for this evenings talk, and she said she’d come and pick me up and bring me back again afterwards.

Its no one’s fault really.  I knew I should have checked for engineering works over the weekend, and didn’t.  Ho hum!

Personal Progress

It’s at times like this, when I recognise how I would have reacted in the past to these kinds of situations, that I realise how much positive work has been done through the counselling sessions I have.

In the past I would have been blaming myself, really taken myself on a guilt trip that would lead to a dark place.  I wouldn’t have slept, would have worried myself stupid, found it hard to organise myself or do anything by myself.

This time, and this is not the first time I’ve had a car die on me, I’ve coped really well.  I do need to find my insurance details so I can arrange the insurance for the Corsa. I need to find the log-book for the SmartCar so I can arrange for it to be sold for parts/breaking/scrap.  And I need someone who can take the radio out of the SmartCar and install it in the Corsa for me.  I’m fact, I’m quite pleased with myself, and that in itself is a big step forward for me too.


I have a couple of premature baby wraps and funeral gowns now made to send to Cuddles.  I have, and am, enjoying the process of knitting.  The book on Mindful Knitting arrived on Friday, and I’ve quickly scanned the introductions and some of the sections about how knitting can be a mindful practice, and I recognise much of it as a process I enter into when I find myself lost in art, not that I’ve done much art lately – wool, knitting needles, patterns, finished items and other paraphernalia of the craft cover the table I usually use to do art upon.  Today, though, I got a small wicker laundry basket that has a linen liner  to keep the yarns and stuff in in an attempt to have them easily to hand but also neatly in one place instead of scattered all over.  That purchase was one of the good things from not going to Cardiff this morning and walking through my town to do some shopping.  I don’t think the basket is big enough on getting it home, but it will help to organise things, so long as the puss-cat doesn’t decide they are there for him to mess with!

Trains and seasonal stations

Riding the rails

Sir Nigel Gresley from

Yesterday was a bit of a day.  I have a weekly morning appointment that often leaves me feeling very emotional.  I’ve been travelling there and back by train while I’ve been on holiday.  However, next week I return to work and the early morning train journeys will cease as I will have to get to work asap after my appointment.  I went to the Forum Coffee Lounge in Merthyr Tydfil for a pot of tea and some cake – I settled on a flapjack this week.  It has to be said, the Forum has the most gorgeous home-made cakes and traditional puddings, and they are very reasonably priced.

After enjoying the tea and nibble and recording my thoughts in my Luddite-journal,I decided to get a Day Ranger ticket,  and travel around South Wales.  The day was turning out to be a beautiful late summer day, the world lit with a soft golden light that presages Autumn so wonderfully.  I thought it would be nice to just to watch the world go by and for nothing more than the joy of moving from place to place, a chance to get my thoughts and emotions back into order, and to take a day out.  And so I did.  And it was lovely and relaxing.  I wish my train had been a steam train, like Sir Nigel Gresley, an A4 Pacific.  But the haulage by various diesel units was adequate and did the job of allowing me to relax.

I do find train travel relaxing.  I can’t run away from what I need to examine internally or work on creatively while travelling in such a way.  I have my journal with me, I write in it as I need to and work my way through things and find my balance once again.  Steam engines I love, but any locomotive will do in such circumstances.

Changing seasons

Rosebay Willowherb

The world is certainly moving towards Autumn in these here necks of the woods.  The quality of the light is changing, becoming more golden as the Sun’s strength wanes as we move further away from the Summer Solstice towards the Autumn Equinox.  There’s plenty of strength in the Sun to warm the Earth during the day, but the early mornings, late evenings and nights have that wonderful chill that heralds the coming of the magnificence of Autumn.

It really is my favourite time of year.  I adore the glowing warm colours and I start to eagerly look around me for signs of the changes, and yesterday I saw them.

The profusion of red haws on the hawthorn trees like seeds of the fire that will blaze soon.  There were the very occasional flash of  bright yellow leaves on the beech trees.  My ‘flame’ trees (some kind of maple or sycamore I think) were crowned with darker green leaves that had hints of a deep burgundy in them.  Ferns were beginning to turn yellow and then brown after being baked by the Summer Sun.  Fluffy seeds from rosebay willow herb.  Just hints, promises of the beauty of the colours yet to come.

The cycle of the seasons

I’ve always felt a close connection to the cycle of the seasons.  Without knowing why, I’ve always felt a deep ‘attachment’ to the solstices and equinoxes and have had an understanding of how they link to the cycles of human life and experience.

I have my own way of observing these astronomical (and astrological) stations of the year, ways that have developed over the past few years since I started to explore and find ways of expressing my spirituality and beliefs.  It has always seemed natural to me to acknowledge these stations of the year in some way.  As I’ve developed, so have my practices, sometimes I feel guilty about not spending as much time on them, having abbreviated them to the pure essence of what they are about, but I work hard on reminding myself that as we change, grow, develop, so must our practices and the way we do things.  When we learn something new, we do it with great attention to all the details, learning from this, but as our understanding and skill develops, we learn what is truly essential and leave out those parts that are superfluous to ourselves, our individuality.  Of course, they may be incorporated once again later if they are found to be required once again, but I do believe that by cutting away a lot of the faff and fluff you get to the core of the practice and the focus and intent is greater as a result.  The more in tune you are with the process, the less fuss is needed to make the connections that are needed.  But that’s me …simplicity wherever possible.

Morning musings…morning meanderings

What is this blog about?

I’ve just been doing a bit of Luddite-style journalling – pen and paper that is! And I was musing about why on Earth I’d want to blog when I keep a journal, and this perhaps seems as a doubling up of work.

However, much of my Luddite-journal is very personal and I’d not share with anyone, no matter how close they are to me, and no-one will have access to them until I “have shuffled off this mortal coil”.

I suppose that this blog is a vehicle for me to share with anyone who wishes to read about my fairly random thoughts, research, insights, questions, perhaps even little stories, poems and some of my arty-crafty stuff. In other words things I’d like to share with others, but don’t really have the opportunities to do in my ‘real life’, and I think the relative anonymity the blog affords me may allow me to do so.

Like so many, there are parts of my life that are kept fairly separate, for instance my ‘day job’ and my spirituality and spiritual practices. My spirituality is with me always, but I can’t talk about it, my practices, or express it openly in my job, with those I work with, although I do get away with meditation during my working day when I begin to feel stressed or upset! The people I interact with spirituality are good souls (mostly), but generally have a fairly narrow spiritual view, and I tend to be a searcher looking for more, trying things from different traditions, working out what sits well with me, what works for me, what helps me find words for what I instinctively feel inside of me, finding ways to express to express this inner knowledge and understanding, changing and adapting things, melding and moulding them into something that is uniquely me. I do not, and would never, profess to be an expert, to have the one right answer, I’m just a seeker looking for what is right for me.

Along my way some of my musings, discoveries, thoughts, practices may help others also seeking their way, whether they agree or disagree with what I may write. Indeed, it is often through a disagreement that you can arrive at a better understanding of what is right for you. I sometimes think you can only find out who you truly are by finding out what it is that you are not (and that may be what others have told you to suit their own conscious or unconscious purposes/needs).

Spirituality is just one thing it’s difficult for me to share with others. I find the same is true of my art (to a much lesser degree), writing (about the same degree), and my interests in so many things, including folklore, folk-medicine (ethnopharmacology or ethnobotany), archaeology, history, etymology, self-help, counselling, forensic psychology, cookery, nature, astrology, astronomy…and that’s just a few things!

I’m very much a ‘random’ and sporadic researcher/reader/student of all the things I’m interested in. The cycles of interest wax and wane randomly, depending on whether something has sparked an interest in me. I tend to dive into that interest wholeheartedly for a while – a few weeks or months – and as my interest is beginning to feel quite sated, some other spark comes along and re-ignites another flame of passion and so off I go.

It must be frustrating for those who know me, who must think I’m quite shallow in my interests and passions as I seemingly flit from one thing to another.  I know I’ve often questioned how serious I am and how deeply I get into things, but I know I dig as deeply as I need to into whatever is my current passion (or passions), and that interest/passion never entirely departs, it just becomes somnolent for a while…until I’m ready to continue digging deeper!

A dear friend of mine always said he was determined to turn me into a polymath (see or Wikipedia) Much more difficult to do in this day and age of so much information and knowledge. Polymaths were far more common in the past – Isaac Newton for instance. I think it’s quite clear, if my prior ramblings in this entry are clear, that I love to learn! If I didn’t have to work to pay the bills and keep a roof above my head (and keep my pusscat in Purina food!) and could afford it I’d be a perpetual student! As it is, I read, I browse the world weird web (with that sack of salt by my side!), listen to others, and soak it all up, processing it in my own internal way.

A cute tale about me being a sponge for knowledge is of a young person I worked with. They were discussing with another person what they’d like to do for a career and asked if they knew what qualifications they’d need. The person listening said that she didn’t know. The young person then suggested ‘Let’s go and ask …, she is the internet after all!’. Praise, maybe, though I would never, ever claim to be such a thing!

I can be a ‘mistress of the art of the Google’ when others fail to find what they wish while trolling around the weird wide web. So, perhaps another use of this blog will be to keep a record of my wanderings as I come across things of interest, or otherwise, in a way my Luddite-journal doesn’t! No doubt a series of wanderings that are unique to me.

It may turn out interesting to see how this blog evolves and develops.

Morning meanderings

I love alliteration – you have been warned!

Anyway, my morning meanderings through the world weird web included a search for moon-phase information to go into my Luddite-Journal, and that led me to an Astrological Diary that I will almost certainly be purchasing to use next year. My only whinge about diaries is that they rarely have a full year planner for the next year, and as one of my evening activities involves taking bookings at year in advance then I really need it! I guess I’ll just have to go looking for something I can stick in the back of the diary to accommodate my needs.

I did find a moon phase table for 2010 that suited my purpose (without me having to type it all out from my ephemeris!) and it’s a shame I couldn’t find one for 2011 at the same website. However, the search did lead me to the diary I found, and will be ordered very soon!

I do have an interest in astrology – but not your newspaper astrology, the ‘proper’ stuff. I’ve found my natal chart and the analysis of it to be most helpful in understanding myself and helping to heal myself from the wounds of the past, and much more than that. When done properly it can really help to understand what is going on in an individual’s life at any time. It is my experience that it can be incredibly specific, detailed and helpful, but only when done well. It’s not something I rely on and live my life by, but I do find it interesting to study. Perhaps it’s because science pooh-poohs it that I find it so fascinating – I can be terribly rebellious in such cases! I may be a scientist by education, but … it just fascinates me! And it is something I feel I ‘should’ spend more time on, but when I start I get so engrossed that nothing else gets done…