Monday, August 30, 2021

Valley of the Giants

 

The Valley of the Giants is located in the deepest forest I have ever been in.

The drive there was dangerous being on a one way dirt road with tons of logging trucks speeding around the corners. 

Plan on a long drive and take supplies in case you get stuck over night.
Logging gates can close and the whole land here is unpredictable. 
It is easy to get lost on the unmarked roads. There is no cell service.

This was such an amazing, beautiful place and you can just feel the ancient energy.

For more info see: https://www.blm.gov/visit/valley-giants-outstanding-natural-area


We found this cool guy!



Deer














Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Eternity Knot by

 




 

Mairi has been shown the future and knows humans must change their ways. Continuing on their path of disconnect with Nature will cause the destruction of human life. Tasked by the Seelie Fae to save the human world, Mairi and friends seek out ancient wisdom in the stories of old. The Queen of the Unseelie Fae decides humans have to prove themselves worthy of the Earthly Realm, or die trying. Dark magic makes Mairi push harder to find the answers she needs, but the Undersea Faerie Queen is weighing in and Mairi is uncertain whose side she is on. When young people representing cultures from all of the continents share their knowledge, Mairi finally feels the seeds of hope. Deadly faerie magic is working against humanity, but humans and faeries are working together like never before. As humans begin seeing the earth through ancient views, they are waking up to their dormant powers. Now Mairi must put all the pieces together before time runs out for human life on Earth, and for once she's starting to feel worthy of the task. Join Mairi and friends in this exciting conclusion to the Celtic Magic series. 
 
 
 

 
 
The Celtic Magic series is a unique tale connecting modern day California to the Scotland of centuries ago. Join Mairi during a life-changing year in this eco-heroine's journey, following the Celtic wheel of pagan holidays through the seasons and time as she meets druids, witches, and faeries of both Light and Dark. Discover what role mythic stories play in saving the Earth from imminent destruction, and what happens when the world is inclusive of all people. This series includes The Trinity Knot, The Witch's Knot, The Faerie Knot, and just finished is book 4, The Eternity Knot! 
 
 
This book is perfect for teens and adults of all ages who enjoy a 
modern take on myths and fairytales! 
 
 
 
Publisher:  Independently Published (June 12, 2021)
Genre:  Coming of Age Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Pages:  329 
ASIN:  B096TTR9PK
ISBN-13:  979-8700673150
 
Purchase The Eternity Knot on AmazonWaldorf Books, and/or H.R. Conklin's website: Wild Rose Stories. Be sure to also add this to your GoodReads reading list.
 
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eternity-Knot-Celtic-Magic/dp/B096TTR9PK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=celtic+magic+h.+r.+conklin&qid=1625601403&s=books&sr=1-2
 
Waldorf Books Online: https://earthschooling.info/thebearthinstitute/product/celtic-magic-book-4-the-eternity-knot/
 
Wild Rose Stories: https://wildrosestories.com/shop
 
 
 


About the Author H.R. Conklin 
 
H. R. Conklin grew up in the rural mountains of Northern California where her mother gardened and her father played the bagpipes, as well as spending long hours in the theater where her parents were a dancer and an actor. This undoubtedly led to her overactive imagination and love for nature. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband, two adult children, and three dogs. She used to teach kindergarten at a public Waldorf charter school in which she told many fairy tales to the children, and made up stories in her spare time. Now she is a Story Circle Leader and guides parents in homeschooling at a private Waldorf school.
 
 
 Keep in Touch - Sign up for Conklin's Newsletter! 
 
Find out more at: 
 
Website:  https://wildrosestories.com/welcome
 
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/wildrosestories/
 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wildrosestories
 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildrosestoriesandcircles/
 




Symbolism in Sleeping Beauty By H. R. Conklin

Symbolism in Sleeping Beauty

By H. R. Conklin

(author of The Eternity Knot in the Celtic Magic series)

 

Sleeping Beauty has long been my favorite fairy tale. I first heard it on the little toy record player my grandmother gave to me. The record set came with several classic European fairy tales, both as an illustrated book and a corresponding record. I was preschool-aged when I first listened to Sleeping Beauty, and I thought the story must be about me. After all, just like Aurora, I lived in a small cottage on the edge of a sunny meadow and a deep, dark wood. My house was even surrounded on three sides by a dense blackberry bush we could not penetrate. It was enough to cause me to fall in love with the story. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to grow into a teen during the late 1980s and hear that the popular fairy tales were being considered anti-feminist. Was I really expected to turn my back on the fairy tales I loved so much if I also wanted to demand equal rights? As it turned out, no. Fairy tales are actually full of empowering feminist symbols.

I came to learn that Sleeping Beauty is about the societal forces at work attempting to keep the young girl a maiden, never to grow into womanhood. This is the story of an overpowering masculine force, the king/father, trying to keep his daughter a little girl forever. He does his best to keep her from ever pricking her finger, symbolic for experiencing her first blood or menses. But the menstrual cycle is a journey that not only do most women go on, it is a journey that we go on alone. We might be, and hopefully are, surrounded by a group of women we can turn to with questions (i.e. our fairy godmothers), but ultimately, we are on a personal journey of transformation from maiden to woman.

Let’s look at the twelve fairies (in older versions of the story than Walt Disney’s) who are invited to the christening of baby Aurora, served dinner with twelve golden plates. These plates symbolize the twelve full moons of the year, golden and round. But the king and queen have left out the thirteenth fairy, just as the thirteenth moon was left out of the solar calendar.  Thirteen is often considered an unlucky number, and while I was growing up I often heard that a woman’s period was “the curse” and not to be spoken about. This version of the story comes out of an austere era of chastity belts, corsets, and long skirts to hide the women behind. We are only just stepping away from such an era. It was less than sixty years ago that a girl had to wear skirts to school. So, when the thirteenth fairy is not invited it is a lot like women not being invited to the table of men. Because there are only twelve plates (the solar/masculine year) the thirteenth fairy (the lunar/feminine year) cannot attend. Yet, the thirteenth fairy shows up anyway and curses the girl. She will prick her finger, she will have her first menses. Kind of like when “Aunt Flo” shows up when we least want her to. But is it a curse or a blessing?

We know that growing older can’t be avoided, but the father especially struggles to fathom letting his daughter grow up, so he reacts to the thirteenth fairy’s curse by burning all the spinning wheels. Spinning wheels in fairy tales represent fate, and he is determined to change his daughter’s fate. Even in the Disney version of three fairies, who are the three old women raising Briar Rose (Aurora’s pseudonym) out in the woods, they represent the three Fates common in many a story from the Norse, English, and French. Fate cannot be changed, at least not in a myth or a fairy tale, and certainly not when it comes to the coming of maiden blood.

Aurora returns to the castle and climbs the stairs, symbolizing attaining knowledge, pricks her finger on the spindle or spinning wheel and falls asleep. Her age varies with different version: thirteen, fifteen, seventeen, but coincides with the age girls often get their first blood. Some as young as eleven, but not usually so young in this fairy tale. This is another clue to what this story is really about.

With the whole castle and the entire countryside fallen into a deep sleep (symbolic for blindly following a norm, in this case “keep girls young,”) a thorny hedge grows up around the kingdom, protecting them. An interesting thing about the teenage mind is that teens are known to need more sleep. There is actually a physiological response going on that this story accurately depicts in metaphor. Their rational brain, the frontal lobe, is still developing so rational decisions are not readily available. Their Limbic system is firing so their emotions are extreme. In essence, the young teenager is asleep, not yet an adult. Aurora, a young teenager, sleeps as she waits to grow up, and society sleeps with her, unwilling to let her grow up. Society, after all, prefers young humans over old humans, as often advertised on television.

While Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) sleeps, she is given a gift. We aren’t told what happens to her as she sleeps so we often assume nothing at all happens. She must simply be waiting for her prince to come and kiss her awake. This is where this particular fairy tale gets in trouble with feminism. However, if you’ve read The Myth of Inanna (a Sumerian myth) or Persephone (a Greek myth), I believe we get a hint to what is taking place while she sleeps. In these two stories, both women travel into the depths of the world and must overcome a trial. Inanna triumphs over death while Persephone embraces death, both journeys culminating in a more complete woman in these two stories.

The gift for Aurora is completeness; in essence, womanhood. In stillness, sleep is bringing alive Aurora’s imagination on her way to becoming a woman. Rational thoughts, which are still under the influence of the emotional brain, are maturing. When she awakens, she is a woman with a well-rounded, rational, emotional, and imaginative mind. She has had her first menses, (remember when she pricked her finger.) The king cannot stop the natural cycle of Aurora becoming a woman. The thirteenth fairy made sure of this.

Yet, something else also took place within the princess while she slept. Her feminine and masculine sides came together in her. The original story of Sleeping Beauty is “Sun, Moon, and Talia” from 1634 in which Sun and Moon are the twin children of the sleeping maiden, who is raped while she sleeps. This is a harsher metaphor of her coming into womanhood. The 1697 version of this story is “Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” by Perrault and it, too, has a rape bringing about twins. As harsh as this metaphor is, the sun is often seen as masculine and the moon is often seen as feminine, as we saw with the cycle of the year. Disney removed the rape scene and the twins (Sun and Moon) and placed instead a prince that penetrates the hedge and awakens the sleeping princess. The hedge, like a forest, symbolizes darkness, or an unknowing. With the arrival of wholeness (masculine and feminine coming together) the roses bloom, something the philosopher Carl Jung considered to represent the integration of male (thorns) and female (flower.) Again, higher knowing is gained by the girl who is now a young woman.

Through understanding the symbolism in fairy tales, my favorite childhood fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, is saved. A person with a well-balanced mind, one with rational thinking, emotional thinking, an imagination fully blossomed, and the feminine & masculine energies intertwined is, indeed, a happy person. The “happily ever after” has nothing to do with the marriage between two humans, but a marriage of the mind of a complete and whole woman, in spite of her father trying to keep her young forever. The feminist in me rejoices and it’s still one of my favorite stories. I have shared it in my Women’s Story Circles.

For more about my circles, check out my website www.wildrosestories.com. For more about symbolism in other fairy tales, read Marina Warner’s From the Beast to the Blonde and her other writings. https://www.marinawarner.com/book/from-the-beast-to-the-blonde-on-fairy-tales-and-their-tellers/ I have found I enjoy reading fairy tales even more now that I know they contain sacred symbolism. I thoroughly enjoyed researching the fairy tales and myths I used in my Celtic Magic series for this reason.

 

  

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Paper doll update

 Paper dolls will be available very soon! Stay tune!

In the mean time here is a video of the creation process:


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Your Next Level Life by Karen Arrington

 

Book Summary
 
If you’re a Black woman in business and feeling stuck or trapped by other people’s expectations of what you can achieve, it’s time to stop playing small and start redefining what success means for you. It’s time to get that upgrade.
Channel your black girl magic. Karen Arrington―author of Your Next Level Life, founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant, creator of the Next Level Women’s Summit, and mentor to thousands of confident, successful young black women―is your guide to getting to your next level life. Build a legacy of black excellence.
How big do you want to live? With the seven simple rules in Your Next Level Life, you’ll learn how to bring your career, income, and lifestyle to that next level. Don’t settle for a life of invisibility and mediocrity. Set ambitious goals, reach for bigger opportunities, and know that you are brave enough to get what you deserve.
Give the gift of confidence. Looking for inspirational gifts for aspiring black women in business? Your Next Level Life is unlike other self-help books for women. It’s a guide to opportunity that recognizes and celebrates the true magic of ambitious black women.

Adopt the 7 rules of power, confidence, and opportunity and you can find success:
  • Create all the money you need
  • Position yourself like a star
  • Connect with other powerful women 
 
Print Length: 73 Pages
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Mango 
ASIN: B07N8FWXCN
 
The Checklist Book is available to purchase online at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Be sure to add this to your GoodReads reading list.
 
About the Author, Karen Arrington
 
Karen Arrington is an award-winning author, women’s empowerment expert + global philanthropist + winner of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

Karen’s coaching, mentoring + philanthropic work spans over 100,000 hours of service — including her position as a Goodwill Ambassador to Sierra Leone, her work as the co-founder of the first Diabetes Awareness Day in West Africa, and her role as the founder of The Miss Black USA Pageant.

She won a 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for her book, Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence and Opportunity for Black Women In America. She has also been honored by The Lifetime Network, Jones New York + other major media outlets for her tireless advocacy for women’s health, success + empowerment -- including a Red Dress Award from Woman’s Day Magazine for her efforts in the fight against heart disease, the #1 killer of women.
Over the past 20 years, Karen has helped over 1,000 women step into powerful careers in media, business, medicine + law — transcending hardship, abuse + financial limitations, and transforming their lives + communities. Today, Karen offers private coaching + global service retreats around the world for ambitious women who want to live their best lives -- only better.
 
Find out more about Karen by visiting her website KarenArrington.com, follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram
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