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Visual Arts

December, 06, 2004

The Critical Edge will introduce important Artists within the Pagan Community.

Each month I shall introduce an artist whose work is essential to the pagan arts community. If you would like earthwizard to review an artist please feel free to contact him at: eartwizard@earthwisdom.info

Current Artist of the Month

Sharon George: Visions of Fantasy and Goddesses

Previous Artists of the Month

Marc Potts: The Elemental Visions of Nature

Sabrina: The Art of the Ink Witch


Sabrina: The Art and Crafting of an Ink Witch:

The ancient art of using pen(stylus) and ink to illuminate papyri began most likely in Egypt. Its grand lineage can be traced down through the ages until it flowered into such magnificent illuminaries as those of the Celtic Book of Kells. Walter Pater once said that art was always striving to become "independent of mere intellignece, to become a matter of pure perception". Our next artist, Sabrina, the Ink Witch, uses the ancient techniques of pen and ink to infuse her magickal paintings with an empowerment of visionary splendor right out of the indomitable Celtic World where, - for many of us in the post-modern pagan community, we can trace the roots of our personal and religious heritage to the Old Religion of the Earth.

Sabrina is a Solitary, Irish Witch living and crafting in Pennsylvania, USA. Her pen and ink craftsmanship has been perfected over the last 30 years.

Sabrina clings to the "Old style" of dipping into the ink well as her ancestors did so long ago. She is considered a "Purist" by the art community and upholding tradition just mirrors her beliefs and love of the craft.

The emergence of her artwork upon the Pagan Community completely coincided with her own emergence from the Broom Closet. Who else to create your magickal artwork than an "old religion" and "Old style" ink Witch?

In "Witching" one feels the primordial power of the moon as it is being drawn down by this Wise Woman of the Craft of the Wise. Plutarch related that the Egyptians styled the moon as the "Mother of the Universe", and that "having the light which makes moist and preganant, is promotive of the generation of living beings and the fructification of plants." The Gaulish tribes of the Gaels named her: "gealach"; meaning, Gala or Galata, Moon-mother of the Tribes.

Among Witches to be "moon-touched" or "moon-struck" by the Moon Mother was to be one of her chosen ones. In this painting we see the enactment of the ancient rite of "Drawing down the Moon", which can be traced back to moon-worshipping Thessaly, centuries before the Christian era. Thessalian priestesses also prefigured "witchcraft" by laying cures with "moon-dew," said to be the first menstrual blood of girls gathered during a lunar eclipse. It was Virgil, the Poet of Rome, who related that the moon-priestesses of the Dianic Cult were able to draw down the moon and use this magickal power to stop rivers in their courses, turn back the wheel of the stars, or bring trees marching downhill. In "Witching" this moon priestess of the Old Religion subtly breathes in the spiritus of the power of the goddess: breath and breathing be a measure of the inner power and balance between witch and moon.

Who has not been touched by ancient myths of King Arthur, Merlin, Morgana, and Viviane. In "The Lady of the Lake", Sabrina invokes the moment of discovery and betrayel; the moment the great Priestess of the Goddess rises from the depths with Excalibur, symbol of the power given to the Tribes as keepers and protectors of the Lands of the Goddess. Jessie L. Weston once iterated in her famous text, From Ritual to Romance, that the fate of the Land was tied to the fate of its leader, the King, who represented the Tribe as keeper of the mysteries of the goddess. Myths have been much maligned in the past sixty or more years, with the advent of Post-modern ideology that would deconstruct all Grand Narratives that define a culture. But there was a time when mythic symbols not only guided the inner psyche of cultures, but gave it an aesthetic and empowering stance in beauty and grace. For it is the great artists that allow us to see and know the powers of our own hidden earth: revealing to us the magickal forces that surround us on all sides if we would just, as William Blake once said, "Cleanse the doors of perception, and see all as it is: infinite!"

The hand of the old Crone is open palm facing up, her one eye blind, looking inward toward the ancient light of the goddess mysteries; the other, channeling the light of her power into her staff: she is the Wise Woman who commands the words of power, the ancient hekau or "words of power" of the most Sacred Mother goddess of all, Hecate, Queen of Night. Ruler of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld. This dark Crone was worshipped at the place of crossroads where three roads met: here her initiates and witches practiced the primordial arts of magick, divination, and necromancy: consultation with the dead. In Greece she was called Hecate Trevia, "Hecate of the Three Ways." Offerings were left at her roadside shrines on nights of the full moon. As a deity of magic and prophecy she was invoked by those who set out on journeys, like the biblical king of Babylon, who "stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images"(Ezekiel 21:21).

Porphry wrote of her, saying:

"The moon is Hecate, the symbol of her varying phases... Her power appears in three forms, having as symbol of the new moon the figure in the white robe and golden sandals, and torches lighted; the basket which she bears when she has mounted high is the symbol of cultivation of the crops which she made to grow up according to the increase of her light" (Robert Briffault, p. 605)

During the early Middle Ages, Hecate was known to all as the Queen of Ghosts, or as the Queen of Witches. We can see in Sabrina's taut deft line the power of this goddess in her aspect as Crone: the old woman whose wise ways speak of a life held in troth of the Old Ways. She has lived, borne children, overcome the power of men who would enslave her, and walks abroad, freely instructing her chosen priestesses in the deep ways of the goddess.

As one begins to gaze upon the art of Sabrina one begins to understand that she, too, is deeply in tune with the old ways of the earth, with the magick at the heart of the mystery from whence all gods and goddesses portend. As she states, eloquently:

"My artwork should never become so popular a product that I loose sight of its true Magick! The Magick that I conjure in each and every piece of artwork I create, craft & complete (including the signing of a limited edition print) is spiritually directed to the owner of my work. If I cannot know each purchaser personally, I can connect with him or her through his or her retailer or vending outlet. The Magick must be passed through each and every channel to keep the passing of the magick theory alive. My goal is to know my customers and touch their lives with Beauty & Goodness from which all life springs. If beauty & blessings are something I can transmit through this gift from the Goddess then I am truly blessed in this lifetime! I am completely convinced that should I ever loose sight of my purpose or loose the magickal connection with those who would own one of my images. Then my art will die. For it is only through giving fully of my skills & talents & the passing of the blessings that I am free to create and prosper."

Long may this Ink Witch of the Old Ways of the Craft carry on her honored tradition.

Please visit this indomitable Irish Ink Witch at Mystical and Magickal art by Sabrina

essay by Earthwizard �January, 13, 2004

Previous Artists of the Month

Marc Potts: The Elemental Visions of Nature

Sabrina: The Art of the Ink Witch


enjoy the ride: eartwizard@earthwisdom.info

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