Healing Tides – The Sea Witch, the last piece in my Healing Series completed September 2020.
In April this year, I received request from a lovely lady in America who had recently lost her mother. She wished for a healing painting to both honour the feelings of grief and loss for her mother, and as a visual focus point to allow feelings to release when they may start to well up and overwhelm.
As 2020 unfolded the piece also emerged and became a catalyst for my own acknowledgement of grief and my need to process it. In this year of pandemic and the previous years of environmental collapse and wild species decline I have felt frozen by my grief at the horror unfolding around me, and if 2020 has taught me anything, it is to let the grief go and galvanise, to move like water, to look beyond the storms and know even if life changes around us the rhythm of nature, the cycle of life, death and rebirth remain the same. Even as our tears for what has been lost fill the oceans, those tears are drawn up into the skies and become the clouds, then rain to fall and nourish the earth to bring forth new life again. Tears of our memories of loss, fall to give life and bring rebirth. Thus the healing is complete.
May the healing tides calm the waves of memories filled with grief and loss,
so they gently lap at our feet and not tumble and overwhelm us.
Let the ancient waters wash over us cleansing and soothing
as we face the challenges of life here and now, hearts filled with hope and joy.
I began with the sea witch in the centre, who for me was a mixture of mature wise woman in her prime and feared hag of the waves. Both mother life giver and crone life taker, she is the nature of the oceans, the ancient deep waters. With her arms out stretched she holds space for us to grieve. The young mother with her babe in arms listens to her wisdom carried on the sea winds.
A calico cat sits at the mouth of the sea cave, connecting us to our loved ones, holding the liminal space between land and sea, life and death, love and grief. Opposite is the maiden of the depths holding the silver chalice/bowl and pouring those feelings of loss and grief, into the deep waters of ancient oceans, knowing the waters will hold and honour those feelings forever.
The chest is there to remind us that even if we lock up our grief or hide our eyes from the storms… literal, emotional or existential… does not mean they are no longer there and can no longer effect our lives. We must let go, let it pour through us or we will be filled up so there is no space for growth and change.
Many Thanks for the wisdom and insights of the beautiful and magical wise woman Michelle Mari Elliott, founder of Wytchwyse and the Cauldron of Changes.