Art · Poetry · Writing

New Patterns – New Pathways June, 2021

Full Flower Super Blood Total Eclipse Moon arrived on May 26, 2021 at 7:14 a.m. EDT! She made quite an entrance and I decided to imagine this bold lady as the fierce, independent artist Frida Kahlo. Who better to fire up the imagination of how this New World might look as we move into New Patterns of living post-pandemic, post-isolation, post-the way we used to view our world…

I have taken the opportunity of being home to partake in many webinars, seminars and Summits regarding the Path of the Priestess/Goddess. This Path has been calling to me for years now, I suddenly realized: at first in whispers, and now more loudly. These online programs kept popping up and I kept signing on until I no longer desired to even watch movies on Netflix or Prime altogether (I stopped watching mainstream TV 3 years ago) and committed to ‘living my life in ceremony’ as Shaman Fredy Puma from the Andes mountains has inspired me to do. In my artwork new Goddesses and Priestesses have been showing up, emerging from the collaged backgrounds as I build layer upon layer over old paintings. A metaphor for the New Pattern of my life? Seems reasonable…

I have been studying the teachings of St. Hildegard of Bingen – An amazing 12th century Benedictine Abbess who could have been writing about today! Reading and learning about alternative stories of Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, Hathor, Isis, Circe, Cleopatra and many more powerful ‘ancient’ women whose stories are coming back to light. This has prompted me to  write ‘Herstory:’

History is marked by wars, Herstory by peace.

History recounts dates and facts, timelines of kingdoms and kings.

While Herstory flows through time and space riding on angels’ wings.

Male energy drives the war machines, Female-the looms that weave.

Women create a Sisterhood that sails above men’s turbulent waves

entwining the threads of our inner strength

telling stories of how we were saved

by one another’s whispered tales

that now we can share by choice.

Together we stand side by side as

Herstory gives them a voice.

Art · Poetry · Writing

One year later… March 15, 2021

It is difficult to believe a year has cycled around since the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had returned from my vacation in Florida on March 13th, 2020 and it was in the airports that I realized something momentous was taking place. The terminals were eerily deserted, my flights re-scheduled and  gates changed several times while I was at the airport. The planes were pretty empty also which was disconcerting, even as I enjoyed having extra room in my row. I arrived home safely which is more than can be said for people caught in the worldwide desperation to ‘get back home’ wherever in the world that happened to be. Everything was changing. The world was becoming a new place, reinventing itself daily.

As the days and weeks and months stretched on with more closures, more restrictions, more rules to now live by I became more content to stay home finding a daily rhythm that suited the new lifestyle I found myself in: awaken early(the cats took care of this step), yoga, tai chi(cats ‘helped’ with these practices too), coffee while checking emails and text messages(cats sat on the keyboard to ‘help’ with my typing), paint and/or collage in my art journal or on a tile or canvas, spent time outside in any kind of weather and especially sitting by the lake either in flip-flops or bundled in a winter coat. I also stopped listening to, watching and reading ‘news’ which was depressing at best and alarming at worst. I began to pay more attention to the phases of the moon, the planetary line-ups heralding in the long awaited Age of Aquarius, the cycling of the constellations, the angle of the sun as the seasons changed. I wrote haikus, kept little journals to record these celestial events and sketched and painted images to go with my writings. Below are my sky-watching journal page and collages of January Full Moon in Leo and February Full Moon in Virgo.

When 2020 turned into 2021 I decided to challenge myself to learn new technologies and methods of expressing myself through art. It’s not like I need more challenges than are presented in the world each day. These are personal to my life and will not sound like challenges to most other people. I started an Instagram account in January – pattycarley50 – in order to share my artwork and writings. It has been a fun project and I have already connected with people I haven’t heard from in quite some time.

Then one morning in February I woke up with the idea to have an account for my son John’s artwork. I believe he suggested this to me in a dream.  You can find his artwork at heart2heart_artworks.

So…2 technological missions accomplished! My next challenge is to submit my writings to publications and contests. No grand prizes yet but I plane to continue submitting my work. The practice of reading poems and stories keeps me focused and dedicated to writing each day. Following is a ‘non-winner’ containing the word icicles.

icicles on eaves

tears that freeze while spilling down

plash into my heart

Over the past year I have participated in many online art classes, spiritual enhancement courses, goddess/priestess rituals, seasonal practices. Each has shown me something I need to learn, a new way of looking at life and people, a new way of expressing myself.

I have loved them all!

Goddess Brigid is celebrated on Imbolc, February 3rd.
Nimue is my Lady of the Lake.
Art · Poetry · Writing

2020 is drawing to an end…what a year!

This is the Happy New Year doll I made last year when I thought 2020 was going to be an exciting, enlightening, happy year filled with clear 20/20 vision, new adventures, new pathways to explore in my artwork and writings. I couldn’t wait for the clock to strike midnight and the shiny, new year to begin! See how fun and sparkly she is? Dressed for Mardi Gras celebrations too!

Well…we certainly got new adventures-staying away from loved ones and our work environments for the most part; figuring out how to use Zoom, Skype and Facetime on our electronic devices so we could still see people and do our work from home; trying to get our money back from the airlines, vacation places and Amtrak for trips not taken; and finally understanding this pandemic is not going away any time soon and it is a dangerous, insidious little bug.

Gratefully, I live near a lovely lake and I was able to sit on a dock each morning and again at sunset as soon as the weather permitted in the Spring, and watch Nature unfurl while furry and feathered creatures were hatched/born near me. I wrote and sketched and painted, consulted my Goddess card decks, performed rituals, had fires in my backyard, watched the stars, planets and moon wax and wane at night.  As it became colder and darker in December and I could no longer be outside for any length of time, I found it more difficult to stay optimistic about the future of this planet and Her inhabitants.  However, I signed up for several online Advent and Solstice retreats involving rituals, artwork, music and  celebrations which gave me renewed hope and an eagerness to say goodbye to 2020 and look ahead to 2021 and all this year has to offer me. During one of the retreats I was reminded of a poem I wrote many years ago – in 1993 as it turns out – that captured the Christmas Spirit back then and does again today.

The Gifting

I did not see at once he sported angel’s wings.

He stood on a street corner in busy downtown Troy

dancing and singing to his own private band,

asking for spare change from the passersby

who answered with polite refusals, heads hanging down.

I approached him with coins in hand and smiled into sky-blue eyes.

‘Have a beautiful day, lady!’ as he danced a happy jig,

threw his hands into the air.

An angel he was in blue jeans carrying his halo in his smile.

He blessed my life from that day forth

in exchange for my spare change.

Poetry · Writing

October, 2020 – A Time For Clearing Away and Welcoming In the New

It seems like I zoomed right through September. Although I am a Summer-baby (September 8th) I have always loved Autumn with her cool evenings and crystal clear skies day and night. The constellations are easier to discern and planets stand out against a dark canvas backdrop. It has been too chilly some mornings to sit by the lake so I have sat in my backyard sipping coffee and watching the various creatures zoom about: scurrying squirrels, chirping chipmunks, buzzing bees, darting dragonflies, swooping songbirds. They are either getting ready to fly south or are gathering food to hide around my yard for the Winter months.

I also ‘caught the fever’ to ready myself and my cottage for the months ahead. I participated in the town-wide yard sale earlier in September by displaying 40+ pieces of my artwork on tables, fences and trees around my yard. It was a glorious 2 days. My neighbors and friends showed up along with several people I did not know and all but 4 pieces have now found a new home. I gave everything away for free.

I’m now waiting to see what new art ideas come to me to fill the blank walls and newly empty floor space in and around my Enchanted Cottage.

The Full Harvest Moon on October 1st is also known as the Artist’s Moon so while preparing my ceremony to welcome artistic ideas into my life I created a Medicine Wheel in my side yard where an old deck was recently removed. I can see it from my kitchen window as a reminder each day to walk my Path as best I can while staying mindful of others’ paths and to treat them with kindness and compassion.

Each day I choose 2 Animal Medicine cards to guide me. Following are some haikus I wrote connected with the animal spirits that chose me.

like the tiny ant
patience is my keyword too
and I want it now!

playful otter sister
goddess of rivers, streams, lakes
share your dreams with me

salmon, swim with me
take me upstream and downstream
back to my future

keeper of secrets
knower of your desires and dreams
I am the lynx

in water, on land
turtle embraces them both
I strive for balance too

Art · Poetry · Writing

Thoughts, Haikus and Sketches as August 2020 Ends

I spent most of July and August out-of-doors either by the lake or in my backyard. I immersed myself in Nature learning to sit quietly and welcoming birds and wild creatures of land and lake, water and airborne bugs to come near to me. I luxuriated in the hot sunlight, cool breezes coming off the lake and the smoke of my little backyard campfires. The clouds held messages for me in their constantly shifting shapes while the hummingbirds sent whispered salutations on their wings. Many Goddesses and Native Priestesses came to me in visions and dreams and found their way onto my canvases and sketchbook pages.                                                                                       


blue heron squawks past

landing at her fishing spot

frogs and fish beware!

daily dockside dance

ducks, drakes, dragonflies and damsels

dive, dip, delightful

water bugs madly swirl

form perfect rippling spheres   

Hummingbird Spirit

Nature’s preferred shape

little hummingbird

flits from flower to flower

seeking sweet nectar

searching high and low

for an answer to my prayers

hummingbird zips past

acorn drops on head

wake up and look around you

Nature is calling     


orange/black butterfly

floats among herbs and weeds

stark contrast to green

monarch butterfly

sails betwixt weeds, grasses, blooms

filling tank for travel

one butterfly’s wings

beat African winds into frenzy

hurricane hits here

Butterfly Maiden

how does Miss Spider know                       

in order to catch my dreams

she must weave a web

spider’s web is strong

yet delicate as fine silk

trapping flies and dreams

Art · Poetry · Writing

More Musings From My Lakeside Retreat – July 2020

On July 17th I decided to do a silent retreat day at my Enchanted Cottage. I dedicated this one to Mary Magdalene since she has been appearing to me in my thoughts and daydreams, maybe in my night dreams also, but I don’t remember those. The first set of Haikus are for Mary and the second set from my musings lakeside and in my backyard the same day.

a plain name, Mary

it holds the whole universe

she is the Beloved

think, say what you please

she cares naught for your thoughts

she knows her true self

the rose, the lily

symbols of Mary’s pure heart

abide in my garden too

raindrops pelting down

each one a whisper, a word

Heaven’s telegraph

hawk screeches: Listen!

salmon gulps: Trust inner knowing!

wisdom from my cards

squirrels everywhere

zigzag across fence and yard

mirroring my thoughts

wind chimes dance on breeze

water ripples on bird bath

incense wafts on wind

Art · Poetry · Writing

Greetings From My Lakeside Retreat – July 2020

I have always loved this quote of Einstein’s:

‘There are two ways to live life – one as if nothing is a miracle and one as if everything is.’

As I have had enormous amounts of time to contemplate my life, and Life in general, over the past several months of enforced Retreat I have come to believe life is ‘both – and’ as far as miracles go. Life since mid-March has been filled with anxiety, fear and eventual surrender to what is happening around the world right now. So, any little thing that is beautiful or sounds enchanting or sails by my vision into the heavens seems like a miracle. And it is! On the other hand, everything in the world is appearing and happening and evolving as it should so is not a miracle but just Life rolling out in front of me. And it is!

I feel it is a Miracle I am alive at all in this wondrous, random universe and also perfectly reasonable that I Am here. Why not be here now? I have my part to play, whatever that might be, and I pray I can be a source of strength or solace to someone else on this Path we collectively find ourselves on. Everything that transpires now is a miracle and also natural: a paradox, the Great Paradox (as I am learning through the Shamanism teachings  I have been listening to online).

So…as I sat by the lake each morning at dawn’s early light this summer I started writing about the ‘miraculous wonders of Nature’ surrounding me. These flora and fauna don’t know I see them as miracles, they just Are:

Lakeside Haikus

lake is a mirror

reflecting sky and trees

ducks paddle past me

eagle, heron, hawk

gliding with outstretched wings

I sit in silent awe

silently she glides

eyes and ears alert for foe

mother duck on patrol

splash and flash of hooves

frolicking on  yonder shore

teenage deer show off

ripples on lake surface

turtle, fish or leaping frog

stir the water’s soul

flap, flap, flap, flap, glide

paddle, paddle, paddle, glide

I alone don’t glide

bird stands on a rock

wings outstretched to catch a breeze

lovely fan dancer

ghost moon riding high

paused betwixt new and full

luminous halfling

sun peeks through trees

lotus petals open wide

greet the day smiling

Then I wrote about my human experience as contemplated lakeside during my personal silent retreat July 5th:

my words drop like stones

how will they ripple out-out

open your ears and heart

sitting in silence

thoughts flit like butterflies

by noon they cease

time and space are one

pay attention to your dreams

they whisper the truth

life is illusion

dip your toe in the waters

stir your reality

Art · Poetry · Writing

Summer Solstice Is Upon Us

Summer Solstice – (a poem in the Pantoum form)

My legs are lolling over the arm of the Adirondack chair

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

My book forgotten on the grass

I stare at the leaves overhead as they sway in the air

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

Wondering, dreamily, what this day will bring

I stare at the leaves overhead as they sway in the air

Will it rain today?

Wondering, dreamily, what this day will bring

My hands brush the tops of buttercups at my sides

Will it rain today?

Or will the clouds just drift apart and vanish?

My hands brush the tops of buttercups at my sides

I sip lemonade through a pale green straw

I think I must look like a painting of summer

My legs are lolling over the arm of the Adirondack chair

Dragonfly Dreams

You come to me in lucid dreams

In that magical space betwixt awake and asleep,

Flitting in and around my fantasies,

Weaving your medicine

Like a spider weaves her web.

You glide along on the winds of change

Bringing to me the wisdom of the Ages:

This earthly life is all illusion!

Lift me, transform me, into

My true Spiritual self.

Art · Poetry · Writing

Treasure Island, Florida 2020

I traveled to Florida from February 28th to March 12th. Luckily was able to enjoy the sun, sand, water and sea breezes before the spread of the coronavirus cancelled or delayed events and flights, etc. I enjoyed many walks along the Gulf beach. Found many treasures washed ashore and stood one early morning between the full moon setting and the fierce sun rising.

This photo is of the page I created in my journal of treasures that washed up on shore one morning.

waves crashing on sand

slip back into ocean’s fold

leaving sea treasures

Busy little birds along the shore at sunset.

sandpipers scuttle

surveying sand for supper

spy savory snails

Another day in paradise winds down…

magic hour at dusk

lone bird flies across the sun

accent mark on sky

Poetry · Writing


sunlight through window
dawn is the rise of morning
a cat shivers by

dandelion blossom
beneath the stand of birches
summer weed harvest

yellow moon dog
barking beneath our window
walks between my dreams

fish listen to the wind
spring laughs when winter leaves
I dream of thunder

a small child is crying
her wet eyes windows of rain
a song for evening

journey to mushroom fields
a walk through green shore grasses
I stand in the wild

listen to the wind
howling through snowfield
cold spring shivers

purple clouds above
black night falling up through light
thunder whispers beneath

shell woman walks wild
her wet skin shivering ice
owls cry up in a tree

concrete road beneath
I sleepwalk through a morning dream
cold raindrops whisper

yellow housecat howls
cold autumn evening has come
harvest moon above

happy garden water
trickling beneath plant and grass
a song of summer

an early spring snow
falling on small green blossoms
freeze the weeds

she whispers a song
the wind investigates her sound
laughing at this moon

a dandelion dream
standing by a garden stream
wild flowers bloom green