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Virginia, United States
MOONbow ARTworks was established in 2002 by Jen Otey in Girdwood Alaska following shamanic training she recieved while living there. Since that time the studio has moved and traveled where Spirit guides her to go...Cripple Creek, Alaska, The Big Island of Hawaii, and a few points in between. She currently splits time between interior Alaska and Southwest Virginia. Jen's art focuses on the empowerment of womyn and men through the Sacred Feminine and the spiritual and intuitive aspects of birth. She is particularly interested in helping womyn and men look deep within for their own truth, beauty, faith, strength, compassion for themselves and others, a deeper connection to the feminine aspect of The Creator and the balance of masculine and feminine energies. Over the years she has developed her intuition as a tool for creating works of art that speak to people on a deeply personal and intuitive level.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Rings....

So, I had made these rings...kind of rough around the edges...but beautiful, rugged and earthy...kind of like myself.....for my wedding with my Son's father. They were silver with a band of copper soldered to the outside of the silver band. I had hammered the copper to look like the birch trees around our property here in Fairbanks, Alaska.

There were some things about these rings that did not sit well with me. The first thing that bothered me about the rings was the fact that they were not closed. I had cut them a bit too short. The other problem was that my ring, in particular, had major difficulty with putting the two metals together. It seemed no matter how much solder I put on it the more the copper peeled away from the silver. My friend who is the metalsmith that helped me with making these rings...told me to bring them with me to Bisbee when my son and I came down for a visit. She had an idea for fixing it. So, I flew 4,000 miles to see my friends and to repair this ring I had yet to wear. We ended up drilling holes into each end and then closed the metals together by hammering a small brass tube into place....

now on to the metaphorical stuff...

For the last 5 years I have been in this particular relationship I have tried so hard to keep things together...going out of my the point that I started drilling holes into my heart. The relationship never has come full circle with commitment from either of us...other than the commitment to raise our son. It's so mysterious how life presents us with what is happening to us and within us in and we often don't see it or take notice of it till things get to a point where it is painfully unavoidable.

Two weeks ago, we went to the Tanana a spot where we have often taken his kids to throw rocks in the river and hang out. We said a prayer asking Spirit to purge the past negativity by symbolically taking away those rings so that we can forge ahead in full trust that all will be as it is meant to be....healthy and whole. Then we pitched them into the river to wash them and the past away. It felt so good to let them go. I have learned so much about myself and my past in this relationship....what needs so desperately to be healed and let go of. It has been challenging and often times heartbreaking...but, I am so thankful for it all. It is kind of like birth...or in this case I birth myself in to being...experiencing that ecstatic pain...trusting that all will be perfect as long as I have faith.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Four Elements

As long as I have been spiritually aware, the Elements have played a significant role in my day to day living. As an Earth sign, sun in Capricorn, I am bound to this planet. My roots run deep and the thought of pulling them up is often a challenge for me. This makes transition and change often hard to except. I have been working with the other elements in my life for some time to alleviate this discomfort with change. Each one has helped me along the way…either combined or through their own unique qualities.
I love the Earth with so many parts of myself….The way it smells after the rain…clean and green with newness, the way it tastes, especially in the summertime when life is bursting forth from the soil, the way it feels as I run my hands along the rough bark of a tree or how my skin prickles as I roll in the grass, how it sounds as it mimicks itself audibly in the trees as the wind blows or when as ocean wave crashes upon her, and of course its visual beauty…regardless of the season.
The Water calms me as I allow myself to be supported by it as I float. Water is fascinating to me, how it can take on any shape it is poured into and it can create and carve out any shape in anything it passes over, through, or around. The sound of water can lull me to sleep or it can inspire excitement, fear, and trepidation. It is an unpredictable force when it is free to move…calm and placid when it is held gently.
The Air as wind breathes new life into my lungs on a brisk winter day. It clears and cleans with its movement. It creates momentum through its capacity to change things. Air can be welcoming and it can slam the door closed with an alarming BANG! The wind can cause us to brace ourselves in life’s storms or to sigh with relief when things become stagnant and stale. Air, like Water is an unpredictable force in our lives…but, like change it is constant as it envelopes us and fills us. It is ever present.
Fire…probably the most challenging element for me, as I dislike getting burned, be it metaphorically or literally speaking…is such a big part of my life. In a lot of ways it is the Fire inside of me that inspires my creative process…working hand in hand with my Earthy soul. It transforms matter directly, quickly, and efficiently. Fire is a means by which we can let go…tossing that which needs transformations in it...whether it is a ceramic pot or an intention written on a scrap of paper. It is Fire’s speedy process that inspires me to make clear and focused intentions for that which is to be changed. But, it is Fire’s unpredictable nature that reminds me not to be attached to how I get to that state of change and what it looks like in the end…trusting that it is perfect and beautiful, no matter the outcome.
So many aspects of our lives encompass any one of these elements or any combination of them. During major shifts and transitions in my life I will often find myself gravitating to one or more of them specifically…as they help me to understand where I am in life’s process, how I can most resonate with where I am and how what I am going through is connected to the greater whole…the bigger picture…the macrocosm. This in turn gives me a greater sense of oneness with the world, Nature, humanity, and God/Goddess.
Blessings to you all….In Joy!


I am a member of a womens empowerment circle....we had some questions that I answered via e-mail the other day about motherhood....I thought I'd post my responses since it's Mother's Day today.

1. How do you honor children in your life?
I honor my son by giving him my time and my full present self at some point everyday. I make sure to make time for that...even on my busiest days there is always at the least a half hour of devoted time where I make myself fully present and available to him. I also speak to him like a person. Some people baby talk or speak to kids as if they are clueless or inhuman...unfeeling and incapable of having an opinion. This really irritates me. Even at the age of two I believe in giving my son options and choices. I allow him to express his opinion ( preferrably without whining....hee hee) about things and I encourage him to share his true feelings.... It is important for a child...just like anyone else to feel validated. I also try to make sure to let him know each day how much I love him and how inspired I am by him and thankful for him I truly am.

2. What does it mean to mother?
To be a mother is not to martyr means nurturing and supporting your children and loved ones....including often we forget to give to ourselves as mothers. To be a mother is to be in a place of giving and sacrifice...knowing that the sacrifices are so worth it...because it makes a difference in the world and because what you get back (not that that is the encentive to be a mom!) is so amazing. There is nothing like looking into the eyes of your child and seeing that depth of unconditional love staring back at you!

3. What are you mothering in your present life?
I am mothering my Son Oscar and I am mothering my little girl self....the wounded little girls within me...ages ranging from 5 - 18. I am mothering those parts of me...not just for myself and my own healing...but for my that he doesn't have to deal with the cyclical funk that has been swirling from generation to generation in my family...the buck stops with me...if I can help it by being strong, standing in my power and staying focused on healing myself and my hurt places in my heart. This is the gift to the child from a mother who is awake. Thank God/Goddess I am AWAKE!

4. Where might you feel fertile and what do you intend to plant?
I feel fertile in my path of decision making and my intuition that is guiding me on my quest for healing. I am so thankful for that fertility and abundance there and thank God/Goddess each new day for another opportunity to grow in strength, peace and love!
More than anything else in my life, I love being a mother. It encompasses every aspect of my fulfills me and gives me a sense of completeness in my life. I am so blessed by the gift of my son.