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Friday Feature: A Cosmic Incantation

In short time, less than two hours from now, the world will fall beneath the moon’s shadow. This day marks a full lunar eclipse, albeit one that will not be visible from this hemisphere. Only the southern tip of that sister land now known as “South America” will be able to see it, and then only in part.

Here, that’s not likely to regarded as a bad thing: For many of our traditional cultures, eclipses are times for staying indoors, out of the altered light and shadow, spending one’s time in prayer or contemplation or otherwise demonstrating quiet respect for the power of such cosmic forces.

And for this day, for this celestial event, there is perhaps no better way to spend one’s time than in prayer for a healing of the earth, in contemplation of the old ways and what they have to teach us about how to survive in the earth’s new extremis. Perhaps, too, such activities lend themselves naturally to access to the spirits: a cosmic incantation to unlock the mysteries and medicine of the ancients, a path to wisdom through visions and dreams.

Today’s featured work seems to embody such efforts, and such talents, too: a summoner of visions, a singer of dreams, a master of mysteries, of incantations and enchantments and the medicine of the spirit world. He is himself summoned from brilliant golden cedar, an elder’s elder as bright as the sun, hair tied back and face lifted skyward, wrapped in a blanket and bent with age, yet still standing tall and strong on a polished piece of earth shimmering with light. From the work’s description in the Other Artists:  Sculpture gallery here on the site:

This traditional sculpture by carver Paul Dancebow (Taos Pueblo) is done in classic Pueblo style.  Carved of cedar, his upturned face is finely detailed, as is his long hair, tied back in traditional style.  He’s wrapped in a blanket, and his body curves gently, following the natural line of the wood. He stands atop an alabaster base, golden in color with silver-white matrices throughout. Another view shown below.

Cedar on alabaster base
$225 + shipping, handling, and insurance
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In a season when drought is as fierce as the sun’s own fire, when our world is scorched as yellow as the cedar from which this ancient one emerges, we need the wisdom of his kind more than ever before.

His face is lifted, his lips pursed to speak. Listen closely. A cosmic incantation may not itself protect our world from the power of the eclipse, from drought or weather, light or time. But if we listen, if we heed its lessons, it may show us a way forward — for our world, and for ourselves.

~ Aji










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