Category Archives: Art

Prayer-Book Making, And Update

First, the Update …

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Here’s a brief update on other writing I’ve been doing.

I’m finishing a draft of a children’s fantasy novel called Because Of The Red Fox, and am posting chapters of this work-in-progress on my kids blog, FoxTales. Characters from the book speak about what’s happening in the novel, as well as comment on the goings-on in their lives on an island called Yonder. I invite you to check it, and share it with the kids in your life!

My website Wise Child Learning is devoted to herbal learning and nature’s magic adventures for kids of all ages. I’m posting about plants, my own herbal adventures, sharing herbs and nature with kids, and more on the blog there. If you’re at all interested, check that out too!

… And now, Prayer- Book Making:

Another project that’s up are Prayer-Book Making  workshops that I am presenting with book making artist Julie Shannon.

As part of that project, I’ve decided to dive into an experiment in prayer-book making, which I’ve begun right on this blog.   Prayer-book making can look and feel like anything with which you might experiment with creatively, from your heart.  It is an expression of your journey with the Sacred, and how that looks and feels in your life.  Really, (I’ll repeat!) that can be expressed in anyway you like–as a scrapbook, a journal, a collection of quotes, photos of loved ones, some mix of all of those or none of them!

In upcoming posts I’ll share some past prayer-books I’ve created, and glimpses of prayer-books that speak to me.  But today I’ll just start by inviting you to view my new prayer-book, a web-prayer-book,which I’m calling Jane’s Book Of Deer.

Please don’t think that this web-book is any kind of expression of “how” one should create a prayer-book! It absolutely isn’t. But what I hope it does is invite you to view your life, your imagination, your heart,  through the lens of the Sacred–something more than yourself, however you experience that more/beyond/forever-deepening.

I invite you to step into your conversation with the miracle of existence, and begin crafting your own prayer-book, a whirl of that magic, in whatever form flows from your being. A garden can be a prayer-book. So can a dance. Our lives are prayer-books. How do we celebrate and honor this conversation with the Divine, the Universe, the beyond-ourselves that lies within and around us and includes us? Let your prayer-book be that  curious wandering and wondering!

Prayer Book - art by Jane Valencia (c) 2003

A Forest Mass

So it’s Christmas Eve, and I have a yearning to attend a midnight mass … but in thinking this urge through I realize that I have no desire to attend a Catholic mass or any other church service. I grew up Catholic, and my medieval mind has a yearning for something like Gregorian chant … but my wild heart yearns for the forest.

Yes, I may head out into the woods at Midnight, light a candle, sing and improvise a few songs under this dark night (it being the New Moon, there will be no moon in the sky; it being cloudy today, stars are not likely to be here either). But what sparked into my heart was an old idea of mine, newly remembered: to create a “Forest Mass” — ignited by Celtic soul and sprinklings of song and poetic word, and the wisdom of the trees, stars, earth, the Light that returns (harp too!).

So this is my quest for the next year (in addition to completing my novel “Because Of The Red Fox”) — to discover and create this Forest Mass, a quiet song and celebration woven of the trees and earth, the stars and true things. Breathed in by dreams.

I’ll share my journey with you here. Please join me.

And merry everything to you, in this Season of Miracles. May you know blessings and beauty, and the holy light that burns in your heart!

Snow Forest - photo by Jane Valencia

Enter The Wild And Woolly, Breathtakingly Beautiful World Of Herbs!

If you are at all interested in herbal medicine making, and the traditions of Western Herbalism, and what is alive and hopping in the realm of herbalism, you absolutely must check out this stunning journal Plant Healer Magazine.  The full-color quarterly publication is available in pdfs, and for viewing online.  Also, available to subscribers, is the Plant Healer Annual–over 700 pages in black-and-white of the first four issues of this journal.  I’m honored to have my kids herbal comic, Paloma And Wings, plus accompanying essays  included in both the journal and the Annual!

The following is information about Plant Healer Annual.

Do check it out!

~ yours from greenwood and garden,

Jane

“Plant Healer is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, bar none. It’s right up there with National Geographic in its use of color and natural landscapes and plants. A true feast for the eyes!” -Phyllis Light

Presenting: THE PLANT HEALER ANNUAL BOOK

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After its introduction at the Traditions In Western Herbalism Conference, the new 700 page long Plant Healer Annual is now available for general distribution… an 8.5×11” softcover book in affordable Black & White, featuring a complete year’s worth of articles from the tree-free, color digital Plant Healer Magazine for herbal students, practitioners and plant lovers.

Plant Healer Annual features in-depth and highly personal columns and articles on subjects of interest to folks at all stages of learning, students and practitioners alike, including plant profiles, therapeutics, foraging, medicine making, botany, herbs in midwifery, articles for and by kids, marketing, whole foods cooking, herbalist art and culture, philosophies of practice and pertinent issues, exclusive book excerpts and interviews.

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Contributors to Plant Healer Annual include many of the leading voices in folk herbalism and wildcrafting, such as Paul Bergner, Matthew Wood, Aviva Romm, Kiva Rose, Phyllis Light, Samuel Thayer, 7Song, Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed, Jim McDonald, Kristine Brown, Virginia Adi, Todd Caldecott, Sean Donahue, John Gallagher, Rosalee de la Forêt, Robin Rose Bennett, Ananda Wilson, Christa Sinadinos, Margi Flint, Katja Swift, Dale Bellisfield, Susan Belsinger, Jane Valencia and Henriette Kress.

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“It is a huge honor to be a part of the Plant Healer Magazine, and I absolutely treasure the book. The magazine is an absolute treasure for the herbalist world. The breadth of articles is so diverse and the contemporary nature of the publication creates a unique snapshot in time.” -Rosalee de la Forêt