Seeding the dark at solstice

Seeding the dark at solstice

Winter returns us to ourselves. Distractions fall away as the nights grow long.   We spend more time inside — inside our homes, and inside ourselves.   Winter is a soulful season.   We are remade as we drift into our depths. We encounter what has been...

Is Mother Nature angry?

Is Mother Nature angry?

    Samhain/Kiwi Halloween, has passed, and we are entering the season of reflection and rest.   I find myself shifting into a quieter mode, as I contemplate the slips I witnessed on another west coast beach. A beautiful valley, with a stream, nikau...

Ancestors, Samhain and Matariki 2024

Ancestors, Samhain and Matariki 2024

    Every Sunday my Aunt Jessie would visit the graveyard. The graveyard lay on the other side of town, a little further out than our house, so it became a natural thing for me to join her at our gate and run alongside. This is how I came to explore the...

Hecate’s place, Te Henga

  HECATE’S PLACE, TE HENGA, APRIL 1983   It is April 1983. I am drawn to making a large pit in the sand, big enough to lie in. I dig a deeper hole within it; add shells, seaweed, sticks and a feather. It feels like a shrine, something secret. I add water to...

A ritual for the equinox

A ritual for the equinox

  Happy autumn equinox/Ngahuru! And to you in the northern hemisphere, happy spring equinox!   At equinox on March 20, light and dark, day and night come into balance. At equinox, our two hemispheres of this planet come into balance.   We are together,...

Summer’s end

Summer’s end

We are reaching summer's end, and it's time to contemplate how to hold the goodness of the season.   At a Summer Retreat I led on Waiheke some years ago, we imagined our own personal containers for summer's gifts, then made these containers on the beach. Some...

Balancing extremes at First Fruits

Balancing extremes at First Fruits

  As the season changes and shifts on February 2, how do you balance extreme realities —   such as the inert face of the parched earth with the juiciness of ripe stone fruits and berries? If you are in the northern hemisphere, read on, because extremes can...

Can it be summer without sunshine?

Can it be summer without sunshine?

    How do you lean into the gifts of summer when it is rainy or cloudy and not very summery?   This is what a reader from Tauranga at the end of last summer. Sarah wrote to me, wondering, 'Many of the summer blessings you describe in Dancing with the...

Taking the sand work to San Francisco

  TAKING THE SAND WORK TO SAN FRANCISCO 1982 In 1982 I received a grant from the NZ Arts Council for a two-month trip to the west coast of America. For most of that time, I was in Berkeley, studying Feminist Art at Berkeley University. I also made many networking...

Art in Nature: Openings to the sea

Art in Nature: Openings to the sea

    OPENINGS TO THE SEA: Summer Solstice 6/1/1983   Once again, I was returning to sand rituals at summer solstice, a pattern that would continue. When my son travelled to stay with his father for the first part of each summer, I took up residence in...

How to approach summer solstice 2023

How to approach summer solstice 2023

  Summer solstice, te maruaroa o Hine Raumati, is approaching. The longest day will be here on December 22nd. Is it on your calendar?   Is it in your awareness?   Why am I drawing your attention to summer solstice?   This, the most glorious festival of...

Art in Nature: Beginnings

Art in Nature: Beginnings

    BEGINNINGS   In May 1978 artist Allie Eagle came to live in the studio behind my bach, and on the weekends when I came to visit from the city, we shared the bach living space. I was intrigued by Allie's trips to the sea, where she dug into the sand...

Make way for Beltane — again!

Make way for Beltane — again!

    I was surprised. She didn't want to be Persephone in the school play. I thought all the girls would have lusted after the part of the maiden, dancing with her friends amidst the spring flowers, her head crowned with a ring of blossoms. But not...

Art in Nature blog: Introduction

Art in Nature blog: Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO THE ART IN NATURE BLOG   Working with nature: elemental artworks by Juliet Batten     I am creating this thread in order to document and honour the artworks I created in nature from the late 1970s onward. At the time, much of this work...

Breaking the shell at equinox

Breaking the shell at equinox

    Have you heard how sweet and clear the bird song is now — especially in the mornings?   Birds are busy mating and nesting as spring equinox approaches on September 23. The pīpīwharauroa has returned from its winter pilgrimage, singing 'Kui, Kui,...

Finding stability in spring

Finding stability in spring

    Do you struggle to find stability in spring?   Don't feel there is something wrong with you. The nature of spring is change. It's a season of uncertainty, and for most of us, uncertainty is not easy to deal with Spring is full of contrasts: on the...

Opening to First Light

Opening to First Light

    Are you noticing a shift? — subtle but unmistakeable?   It happens every year around six weeks after winter solstice. Yes! The returning light (despite kickbacks of chill) begins to bring warmth with it. It can feel like a long wait for this relief....

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