Meditations with Myths – February 2022

These Materes are those of the Bessus Nouigalation tradition, and the invocation written on this image is here. It is an invocation I say to the Materes a few times a month- this is a devotional piece for them. I don’t have too much to explain about this piece other then whenever I look at it I feel like they’re looking back at me.

I had recently connected with the deity Rigonemetis, whose name means ‘King of the Grove’. His presence breathed new ideas into me of what entails the domain of a grove. I was reading World of the Druids by Miranda Green at the time which goes into the groves. These paintings made it in to a short story I wrote about Cunomaglos meeting Rigonemetis. I didn’t go forward with using this style in the coming months because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, but I think I should have given it more of an exploration and probably will in the future.

Braciaca’s piece came to me very suddenly while I was at work. I had come across her name and then read an article on goddesses of intoxication. So the idea of an intoxicating goddess was very inspiring to me, and while I researched the root of her name (braci can mean ‘malted grain’) the image of a woman adorned with seashells and the animals of the hunt came to me. She held a vessel.

I was nervous about it- we don’t know for sure Braciaca’s gender or name meaning. It could derive from braci, malted grain, or be a location. Scholarship is divided, but I see a goddess of intoxication who has a connection to agriculture and the active force within (Mars is invoked on the same altar).

I hadn’t done a lot of marker work and kind of fell out of confidence with it so even though I was almost finished this piece I set it aside for now.

These were two vent paintings I did that included a poem I never developed, because it was mostly to express the fact I could only find peace when I was asleep. Being awake was painful most of the time, but not much came from this spell of depression other than lamentations.

I await, hoping for night’s sweet slumber
To see grass green, sky blue, and earth umber
I toil with comrades, enemies, and ghosts:
Come morning, vanish to ether with hosts. 

With no clarity I can’t quantify
What stirs up pressure and darkens the sky
Plummeting, tumbling, reckless bedlam
A cavern in which safety is seldom.

How longingly do I wish for sweet air
To run through meadows in Ialonus’ care
Instead miasma, begetting sorrow
I toil in vain for peace on the morrow.

The story I was writing about Cunomaglos came to an end and so I drew a piece for him. Anthropormizing a god is not something I take lightly, it’s something I’m very self-conscious about. Because how they present to me can be so different from how they present to another. But I have to trust that I am doing my best.

I don’t know why at the time, I was so commited in Cunomaglos’ appearance. Other than that subconscious link to Apollo and Maponos, I don’t know what made me decide initially that he’d take the appearance of a young hunter with oily-dark canines. The theme is chalcolithic fantasy.

This is probably one of the favourite paintings I’ve ever done. When I looked into his golden eyes, it felt like he was greeting me.

Rigonemetis, Protector
Blight of the creeping pestilence
Which dares deprive bees of nectar
And foster war’s malevolence

In this wintery forest, you guard
Against our enemies within
Every cut of wood, fresh or charred
Is known, accounted, to your kin

Rigonemetis told me a story. It was a story about Hafgan and Arawn, and I wrote the first and second part furiously. I couldn’t type fast enough and I tried some new methods using watercolour pens and pigment powder. These were the sketches, but overall I wasn’t super happy with how they turned out. I was struggling to find a painting style I was comfortable with.

I slowed with my progress on my illustrations. I felt I was reaching a plateau where my creative perception was emerging faster than my technical understanding. But I was in no mental space to do anything about it, with my depression having worsened significantly by the end of the month. This time though, unlike earlier in the month, I would not get reprieve from it. Medical intervention would eventually be needed.

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