Category Archives: Uncategorized

A break from bad news – Pig/Sow Animal Spirit Guide

This month has delivered punch after punch to those who dream of a world in which all women and men can live together in peace.  My work as an artist has generally been about presenting images which show a world of love and beauty. In these times that intent can seem lacking. But then I remember that energy is part of the equation here on Earth.  So in the spirit of remembering and honoring the beauty and joy of life,  I offer my newest Animal Spirit Guide painting for your inspiration today.

Pigs, who were called boars in the wild, were the first animals to be domesticated. Pig domestication occurred about 9,000 – 10,000 years ago in two places – central China and Neolithic Anatolia in modern day southwestern Turkey.

Around 7,000 years ago when the Anatolians moved into Europe with their domestic animals and plants, they interacted with the indigenous Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and facilitated an interbreeding of their domestic pig and the local wild boar. The European swine descends from this interbreeding.

The mythical and cultural associations assigned to Pig in all its forms is very contradictory – sacred and beneficial to some, demonic and unclean to others. For our purposes here, we will concentrate on the positive associations.

Pig is associated with fertility, regeneration, death, inspiration, magic, knowledge, good luck, prosperity, transformation, Earth.


The female pig is a sow and has a slightly different connotation from the male pig, a boar. Sow is associated with the Goddess and Mother Earth in many cultures around the world.

The ancients believed that Pig, grounded in Earth, favors us with fertility, life and abundance. A multitude of artifacts from all across western Europe show Pig in strong association with the Great Goddess.

Read more about the symbolic meaning of Pig and see more images from around the world on my recent post at FAR.


Goddess Oracle Cards – Coming Soon

There are only 2.5 days left in my crowdfunding campaign which raises the needed funds to produce my deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle cards. It is currently 105% funded! I’m sending a HUGE THANK  YOU out to everyone who has contributed and/or shared.

Here are a few cards from the deck.
Aine in Celtic Goddess Oracle deck by Judith ShawBoann in Celtic Goddess Oracle Deck by Judith Shawthe Cailleach in Celtic Goddess Oracle Cards by Judith Shaw

Aine, Sun Goddess, indicates certainty of purpose, illumination, fertility, abundance, healing – Aine calls you to claim your own power and to experience true joy. She offers aide with love, fertility, health, and prosperity.

Boann, Goddess of Knowledge and Creativity, clears negativity and mental debris allowing space for spiritual insight and divine inspiration. She calls you to take time for your own creative expression.

The Cailleach, Dark Nature Goddess, calls you to embrace the quiet darkness and the oneness of being; to release the old and allow space for new light to emerge.

The campaign ends at midnight on October 19.  I’m asking for your help to push this project even further into the world.

If I reach $3000 ($1000 over my goal) I’ll be able to double production numbers and offer every backer a free gift (one of my greeting cards, signed personally) with their chosen perk. It’s a stretch with only 2.5 days left, but with your help I know it’s possible. A big huge THANK YOU to all. Pre-order your deck here

Andee: the non-gods of Ireland

Here’s an interesting blog post on yet more confusing elements found in Celtic mythology.

We Are Star Stuff

In the Irish myths a mysterious phrase crops up: the gods and the non-gods (or un-gods). We all know what a god is, but what is an non-god?

View original post 1,921 more words

Were There Women Poets in Ancient Ireland?

Source: Were There Women Poets in Ancient Ireland?


One of the things I have loved learning about in my studies of Celtic mythology is the mystical, magical nature of the Celtic worldview as reflected in their stories. The most ancient of their stories, those of the Tuatha de Danaan, belong to eternity whereas the heroic cycles belongs more to the earth but all of their tales are imbued with magic.

I find the magic of the shapeshifting goddesses to be compelling in many ways. Swan Goddess-Swan Song,painting by Judith ShawThey show the relationship between the human and animal world and the need to understand our animal nature.  Horses, seabirds, swans, deer, reindeer, butterflies are a few of the creatures you could meet which might actually be a Celtic Goddess.

Read more about the shapeshifting Goddesses in my most recent post on the Feminism and Religion blog.

Corrales, NM – Where the Past and Present Meet

Long before the Spanish arrived on the banks of the Rio Grande, the Corrales area was occupied by Tiguex Indians. Pit houses dating back to 500 A.D  have been found above the valley floor.  Yet by the time the Spanish settled, the Tiguex had moved elsewhere.

In 1710, the Spanish king awarded the Alameda Land Grant to a Spanish soldier, Francisco Montes Vigil.  Vigil, unable to fulfill the condition of settling the land, sold the land to Captain Gonzáles. Both Casa San Ysidro museum and Casa Vieja restaurant were Gonzáles family homes.

The early inhabitants of Corrales settled two areas along the river –  26 families along the rio grandefarmed the floodplain of lower Corrales and 10 families lived where the current center of Corrales is, considered inferior for farming.

Life was not easy for these settlers. First they had to dig ditches (acequias) for irrigation. The land was divided into long, narrow strips, providing equal access to acequia water.  In each narrow strip of land, the more fertile part close to the river was used to raise crops, whereas the sand hills in the west were used in common for pasturing livestock.

Major floods were recorded in 1864, 1868, 1879 and 1904 which destroyed many original buildings, the village church being one.  A new church was built on higher ground farther west of the river. San Isidro Church is still used for many local events.

Ethnic diversity entered the valley in the 1860’s with the immigration of Italian and French farmers to New Mexico. By 1900 Corrales had become known for it’s vineyards and wine thanks to these immigrants.

The 20th century brought more changes to Corrales farming traditions.  In 1924, 55,000 acres of grassy mesa west of the village, held as common grazing land for over 200 years was purchased by Robert Thompson, a cattle rancher.

Prohibition put a damper on the winemaking vineyards of Corrales. In the 1930’s the vineyards were further affected by the rising water table which increased soil alkalinity lessening the quality of the grapes. By the late 1930s most of the vineyards had been replaced with orchards, pastures and cornfields.

After World War II, a new bridge constructed over the river made Corrales more accessible to the population boom from Albuquerque.  In the 1960’s the Thompson ranch was sold to develop Rio Rancho.  In response to this threat of suburbanization, the residents worked to incorporate the village in 1971.  After incorporation, Corrales maintained its rural character while growing from 3,000 to about 10,000 residents.

Though few residents make their living from the land now, rural traditions still define the community’s character.  Many maintain urban farms and gardens including commercial tree nurseries, flower gardens, and apple orchards. The vineyards of the last century are making a comeback with new vines added each year.  Tourism is important also.  Visitors and residents alike can enjoy galleries, unique shops, and fine restaurants and wineries all set in a beautiful rural landscape with true New Mexican historical roots.   

This article was originally published in the 2016 Balloon Fiesta, a publication that highlights Balloon Fiesta activities and vendors.

Kiss the Leaves

O Sun
Wondrous Mother,
Glorious Father,
daily you march steadfastly across the sky.

As we turn, turn, turn ourselves away from you,autumn tree top painting by Judith Shaw

And in one last radiant moment
you kiss the tips of the leaves,
Leaving us to slip again through the magic of twilight into the ever changing night sky.

Now dark, filled with an infinity of jeweled stars.
Now bright, with the soft, white light of the moon.

A special thanks to Elizabeth Cunningham whose marvelous novel, Magdelen Rising, the first in her 4 novel series, The Maeve Chronicles, re-awoke me to the wonders of our glorious natural world, a world which was slipping away from me under the duress of the daily struggles of life.