Daniel has recently been working on a series of illustrations exploring the western zodiac.
The zodiac itself is made up of twelve signs, each with a unique energy or feeling. Every sign has one of four elements and a ruling planet/planets. These affect the signs in various ways.
When you observe the zodiac as a whole it reveals a complete narrative, initiated by the fiery spark of Aries and completing with the transcendental power of Pisces. As the narrative progresses there are moments of light and darkness, expression and introspection… All are necessary aspects to drive the narrative forwards.
After Pisces, we jump back to the beginning with Aries. However, this is always with a greater level of experience and awareness!
Autumn is part of another cycle. A cycle of seasons. As we move into autumn, consider taking some time for yourself to self-reflect. The zodiac is just one of many cycles that can affect our daily lives. Cycles like the zodiac allow for growth and expansion by their design (if you allow them).
Unfortunately, some cycles can be destructive. It is up to us individually to use discernment to identify these cycles and to disempower them. This, as always, begins with awareness…
What cycles are you currently participating in? Are they serving you? Take some time to sit with those questions and see what answers come to you.
If you are interested in exploring astrology further or booking a reading, we can highly recommend Soul Sloth Astrology with Colbe Barrett.
Daniel spent time meditating with all of the signs individually before bringing their energies onto paper. You can visit Instagram to see the completed set of illustrations.
“I’ve been working on a series of channeled drawings exploring the different energies and aspects of the zodiac. (Featuring our cat, Moo!) I had a lot of fun working on these and experimenting with various compositions and colours. I also used a mix of traditional and digital media with a technique I hope to explore in future artworks.”
I have decided to put together some of the info that Moo has given us about his life after cat! Remember that this is only his perspective. It is not to say that everyone will experience it exactly the same, but it gives an idea of what is possible.
He has told us that he is often formless, but that he can take any form as and when he wishes. Although he had many lives as a human, he enjoyed being cat very much and occasionally, when we have been out and about somewhere rural, he has enjoyed taking that form and prowling round the area.
However, what he has done to let us know of his presence is to create a smell. This is quite a common phenomenon. For example, after my husband died I smelt Germolene! And the reason for that was, he used to put it on his face and I’d tell him off for using it like a face cream! But it was something that I immediately connected with him, which is why he chose it.
For Moo, as a cat, it was a bit more difficult to find a smell we’d connect with him, but he told us it was one of his favourite flowers. It doesn’t exist on this planet, which is why we don’t recognise it, but it’s very distinctive, so we always know it’s him.
I got to wondering how he spent his time, although he has said he is mostly working on us, with us, or on our behalf! This was his choice and part of why he has stayed on. He’s still a very close member of our family – just not a physical one!
However, he does have a few hobbies. He loves to learn and is finding out more about the way that energy works so that he can, in turn, help us in our healing practice. Don’t think for a minute that knowledge of a subject is finite! Quantum physics, for instance, is a great example of the more you learn, the more you realise there is to learn!
Moo also enjoys singing and attends choir practice. As you might imagine, it’s not quite like choir practice here on earth! The music is very different, as there is a greater tonal range available in the non-physical. Also, music is much more than sound; it is also light and colour.
This rather ignited Dan’s imagination, and before Moo could say – ‘DON’T!’ – he’d drawn Moo, in his cat form, in a little choirboy outfit looking very holy. We rolled around laughing! Moo was not quite as impressed… although, as you might guess, he’s pretty used to our sense of humour by now. In fact, he has a great sense of humour of his own. It was evident when he was around physically as cat, believe it or not, and is very obvious now when we talk to him. So, for anyone thinking that the afterlife turns you into a bland, emotionless light-being that never has any fun – think again! 😉
Another thing that people assume about the afterlife, is that since you’re no longer in a physical body, you don’t need food and drink. This is true. However, it has crossed my mind how someone like Gordon Ramsey, for example, would find ‘heaven’! – assuming he’s not going to end up in Hell’s Kitchen. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that terrible joke!). 😉
When you’ve spent your life involved with food; creating textures and flavour combinations, what are you going to do in a place where no one needs to eat? Well – I have news for Gordon. Turns out, our Moo loves to cook. Which means, people DO eat in the afterlife. Who knew? I think the idea is that since you don’t need to eat 3 times a day, it becomes an experience, and you choose to have that experience as and when it suits you.
The other thing about cooking and eating is – where do you do that? Does Moo have a house?
Well – apparently, he, personally, doesn’t need one. The Universe is his ‘house’ and he can create what he needs when he needs it – but he does have a place that he has created from various rooms in various houses, from different lives that he has lived.
His last human life was in China, a few hundred years ago, so he has a few Chinese-style rooms. He also likes to use the lounge from the last house we were in (which was a beautiful, period property with beams and a fireplace). Also the kitchen from that house, which is interesting, but I guess he did spend a lot of time in the kitchen when he was a cat!
He often tried to jump up on the counter when he knew he wasn’t allowed. Moo along with a lot of other cats, didn’t enjoy boundaries, but, who knows, perhaps some part of him remembered that as a human, he liked to cook!
So, from what Moo has shared with us – and remember this is from his perspective and experience – it looks like you get to have a house; whatever house you like, even if it is a mishmash of many houses! You also get to cook and eat if you want. It’s not necessary to cook if you want to eat though, as you could create it through the power of intention and imagination – in the same way that you would create a house.
You can spend your time how you like. Moo has chosen to do a lot of work with and for us, to help us with our life purpose, as it is also his life purpose! But he also gets free time. He spends time with friends, and has hobbies, such as singing – but that’s just his preference. He chooses what he wants to experience in each moment.
Trouble is, he also has us! 😉 And being who I am, I often try to broaden his horizons. Not that they need broadening, but I may have mentioned that he is very patient – and that he knows what we’re like! So, occasionally I’ll set him a challenge such as: have you ever played a game of Croquet? No? Well, go off and try it (imagine Moo’s eyes rolling here). Ha ha! Just imagine what I’ll think of next. There is no peace for some in the afterlife, I can tell you! 😉
There are a lot of people these days who fear coming out of the closet, one way or the other. Whether it’s for their beliefs, their sexuality, their politics or their reluctance to conform with society’s latest rules.
As a healer, I fit in with the closet busters, under the ‘woo’ heading and agree it can be a bit scary out there! I think there are a lot of healers/energy therapists out there, who fear coming out about what they do because of lack of public acceptance and understanding.
That’s a real shame because there’s a whole raft of people with holistic and alternative knowledge on how to heal the body and they are probably not reaching a wider audience, for fear of being misunderstood – or let’s face it, fear of abuse!
Well newsflash – given the world we currently live in – abuse and trolling are where it’s at. ☹ While I don’t condone it, I have to be realistic about the fact that it happens. So, one thing most people, whether they’re in the ‘woo’ category or not, have to accept is that by going online and inviting a larger audience they are also going to get haters.
Yes, I know it doesn’t make sense. Why don’t they just scroll on by when they see something they don’t like or don’t agree with? Why do they feel they have to personally attack someone’s ideas or character, when they don’t even know them?
Well, most of it stems from fear. By lashing out at what is different or unknown they can feel a bit better. Perhaps they even see it as defending themselves against things they don’t believe in that, if they don’t take action, might subtly infiltrate them and suck them in?! They might also, just be feeling really snarky and having a bad day, like we all do. But the point is, it happens.
We just have to man (or woman) up and get out there anyway! If you’re in the business to help people, then that’s what’s really important. Not what someone thinks of your clothes, your ideas or your beliefs.
With that said, it’s time to go a bit more ‘woo with Moo’ on this blog! I’ve posted before about our cat, Moo, who we communicated with while he was alive, and who, after passing on, actually didn’t pass very far, as he stayed on to help us in our healing work. Well, it’s actually a lot more than that.
Firstly, he wasn’t ‘just a cat’ (no offence to all those felines out there!) he was also a human soul in a cat body. And yes, that is a thing that happens. It’s a great way for a soul to be close to, help and build a link to a person, or people.
After all, think about the people that are in your life ALL THE TIME. Children, if you have them, (until they leave home) and your partner. That’s pretty much it! Not a lot of openings available!
Moo came specifically to be with us and to re-establish a link that already existed between the three of us. So now, instead of having some nebulous sort of guide figure that might turn up in a healing session, we know exactly who is there and can interact with him on a much deeper level. Basically, we get more Moo– hooray!
So, there’s shocking idea no 1: that some animals are not animal souls, they’re human – or even angels or other beings. The magnificent Bob the Street Cat for example. Anyone care to take a punt?! Because, no, he wasn’t a cat soul if you hadn’t already guessed.
Animals like that turn up with a mission! And that mission is often a person – or people in our case! 😉 Because Dan and I have met Moo before. I didn’t immediately know it though. It actually took me an embarrassingly long time to get the memo! It was a bit of a shocker too when I realised he wasn’t a cat soul, but it made sense once I was able to open my mind to the possibility.
In fact, when Moo was ill, we had to do a bit of digging into his past lives to find ways to help him, as he had some patterns running from previous existences (just like humans do!) that were causing him problems.
Although we do talk to Moo a lot, we haven’t gone into detail on his past lives, as there is always too much else to talk about! However, we do know of a few. He had a couple of lives in Egypt – very, very long-ago Egypt! One as a little boy who was trying to save his father (I have covered that in my book, ‘There’s More to Your Cat’) and another more spiritual life working in a temple of some sort.
His most recent, and final human incarnation, was a couple of hundred years ago in China. He lived a very spiritual, more reclusive sort of life, which rounded off his experiences so he didn’t need to return.
I am obviously very attached to the idea of Moo as a cat, because that is how I consciously remember him. But I was also rather curious about what he might look like as a human. Being Moo, he was keen to help us out and asked Dan if he’d like to be shown. Dan decided he could handle it, so Moo showed him, and then, being simply too curious to stay in the dark, I asked Dan to draw him as best he could.
So…drum roll… a possible blogging first?! I don’t know! – but here is a picture of our ‘cat’ in his last human incarnation, with apologies from Dan as it was hard to translate accurately onto paper, but I think he did a great job!
Yeah. So… if that isn’t worth a least a couple of trolls, I don’t know what is! 😉 But seriously, mine – and Moo’s! – message to all of you healers and helpers out there, is – if there’s nothing else stopping you, then don’t hold back! Go for it anyway.
One day, people will learn how to communicate peacefully with each other when they disagree. If you’d like to see that in action and you also want to learn a shedload more about healing in all its forms, then look up Healers Rising, a paid community online. It’s worth every penny!
But don’t wait for the world to change. Get out and help the people that need you – they’re waiting for you to step up!
We had a very welcome break this month. Just the two of us away from it all – for the first time in 2 years! We wanted somewhere away from everything with nature all around us and we couldn’t have picked a better spot, in the grounds of Castle Hedingham in Essex with sweeping lawns, forest and even a lake, on our doorstep.
To say nothing of the amazing Norman castle of course! How that is so well preserved is a mystery. Although – perhaps not? The energies in the grounds were amazing and we discovered one or two big energy portals there.
Portals aren’t intrinsically good OR bad, it depends on what’s around them, how they are used and which type of energy comes through them. In this case it was very good energy! The whole energy of the grounds was the same and we felt restored walking among the trees and round the lake.
There were also plenty of nature spirits (some might know them as ‘tellurics’) about. Look at this tree, for example. It was abundantly obvious that ‘something’ or ‘someone’ was living in it!
On our walks round the grounds we also found the most enormous gnarled tree, which turned out to be a portal. In fact, I felt rather light-headed approaching the tree, and was told afterwards by Moo that two dragon energies had spotted me and started working on my ‘stuff’, hence the light-headedness. If you look carefully at the close up of the trunk it is not difficult to imagine that dragon energy might enjoy hanging out here!
Although we were desperate for a complete break, we were also looking forward to creating a space for new ideas to come in – which tends to happen when you are in different surroundings. And while we were soaking up the special energies of the place, that was exactly what happened. Dan was struck with inspiration and producing one channelled drawing after another. All cat based of course!
So we can now unveil a new series of prints (that may, in the future, also go onto become an oracle deck) called “Space Cats!”
Moo has informed us that there are different codes in each drawing. If you look at them without expectation and just allow yourself to notice how you feel looking at each one, you will get a sense of what is there for you.
Different people will be drawn to different ones, but if you are, then there are ‘codes’ there for you, hidden in the print, that you can absorb at leisure.
Channelled drawing is new for Dan. At least, he has always done a form of it but these are different. There is lots of information there, as well as something very pleasing to look at.
The first five are now available on Etsy so here is the link in case you want to claim one for yourself.
Considering the global pandemic, and the emotional and financial devastation it has caused, Dan and I have been let off lightly. Fortunate enough to be working from home already, with a business that could be managed over zoom, we escaped many of the worst effects. Instead, our year was about starting an entirely new project that staked its claim on our every waking hour – which given world events proved a welcome distraction.
In February, I had the innocent idea of getting my books into print, as they’d only ever been in ring binders! I’d approached publishers before, but it was obvious that my ideas and stories were so outside of the box and publisher’s expectations that it wasn’t really worth the effort. It seemed the obvious answer to print and sell them ourselves, particularly as, at last count, we had 14 books between us.
At that point, we had absolutely no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. As far as we were concerned, we’d done the writing, so all we had to do was find someone to print them. Cue hysterical laughter from all those who know better!
After we’d returned from Fantasyland, what actually happened was, we started editing the books. Then we edited them again, followed by learning how we should have edited them in the first place, followed by rewrites. Then we had to investigate the confusing and contradictory world of punctation – how you should punctuate fiction, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on and which camp you’re in concerning the placement of commas and speech marks.
Next came formatting. Where should the page numbers sit? Where should they start? How should the text be laid out? Which font and size was right for which age group? What kind of line spacing should we use, and had we got the right dimensions for the page size? To say nothing of footnotes, which jumped about every time we made an alteration anywhere in the text.
This, I might add, was all done in Microsoft Word, which is not set up to produce books. You can do it but it’s a pain in the proverbial, which part – the proverbial, that is – was left to Dan as I am not technical. So, he spent many happy hours trying to find out why the page numbers started on the title page, or why there was a line at the bottom of every page that was impossible to delete and so on. It’s a good job he has the patience of a saint! Mastering InDesign should eliminate most of those problems, but that’s a learning curve for another year!
And did I mention books need covers? That was, of course, also Dan’s department. Being new to the world of cover design, we had to reluctantly scrap a beautiful cover he created, when we realised we needed something that would work as a thumbnail when viewing online, catch the eye, tell the story, and quite possibly make the tea too!
Luckily, he’s extremely talented, and after soaking up all that feedback produced the perfect thing (see cover for Are Rabbits Bears)! He also had to produce covers for all my OTHER books, plus his own, AND illustrate the 40,000 word Are Rabbits Bears, along with its Companion Guide which needed him to create specialised fonts for every type of bear.
Illustrating in black and white was also a new thing for Dan, so again another learning curve, which ended with some fantastic illustrations I might add. I think there were over 40 for Are Rabbits Bears and another 20 or so for the Companion Guide – plus the fonts of course.
Still, it wasn’t like he had his own stuff to do. Well… that is to say, he’d actually already completed 3 graphic novels (18 months work) although the third still has changes waiting (I might say, ‘queuing up’) to be made.
His comic ‘The Wildy Exciting Adventures of Citizen 34825’ is only the first in a series – which will be coming as soon as he finds the time! Plus, there is his new venture. Or rather, Moo’s new venture! The wonderful ‘Moo and the Search for Tuna’, – a 50 page colour graphic, suitable for all ages, nationalities and reading abilities. How very ‘Moo’! 😊 Dan’s very excited about that one, or at least, he is when he actually gets time to work on it…
Then of course there are 2 more Beastly Bear books for him to illustrate (he’s done one already, although I’m not sure where he found the time) as well as REDRAWING all the Moo cards he’d developed for our Redbubble shop – see some examples below.
It turns out, that when Dan went to draw Moo again, after he’d passed, he couldn’t draw him the same, as the energy had changed. And the new Moo was good – he was very good! Just – whoops – redraw all the cards and put them up for sale again, along with overseeing our THREE websites plus his own Honeybadger Mountain website and the Etsy page which handles all the sales.
Yes, that many websites. We started the year with one. Then realised we needed another for Mooniverse Books. Then another for the bear books, or ‘allthingsBearDimension’. We have used WordPress, which I am starting to get the hang of and which Dan already knew, although they decided to change their editing process partway through the year, which meant, yes, more learning!
Along with the other things there were to absorb, it was time to take on marketing. This led to the need to make videos for our websites and to promote individual books. At first, I used Windows video editor, but it quickly became too limiting so I had to switch to Adobe Premiere Rush. Another learning curve! We also started following some rather talented writers and self-publishers (thankyou David Gaughran) where we found out about mailing lists, how to write newsletters, create ‘reader magnets’ and on and on.
After our first delivery of printed books, we tumbled to the fact we were also going to need suitably sized, reasonably priced and ideally, environmentally friendly packaging, (so no plastic envelopes!).
We are currently knee deep in the world of e-book publishing. We are still working out, how to publish, where to publish, and why. Then there is how much to charge, what the profit margins are and how we are going to record it and divide it up into illustrator versus writer royalties (yes Dan does get paid – woo!) plus reimbursement of postal charges.
It was only last week I realised that, although I have lots of hobbies, I don’t indulge in any of them. Except one – learning languages. I have, thanks to that pestilent owl from Duolingo who nags me from my phone every day, somehow managed to keep up with Swahili, while going over some French and Norwegian during those times when the Swahili got the better of me!
So hey – that’s something isn’t it? On top of that, quite apart from the little matter of living in a new ‘Covid world’, we’ve been working very hard on ourselves, removing old ‘rubbish’, and energy blocks that were getting in our way. We’ve also managed to fit in a few clients at our healing clinic, or more recently (from about March!) zoom sessions.
Having got 7 out of a possible 14 books, into print this year, we feel, (apart from absolutely knackered and mostly brain dead) triumphant, virtuous and willing to allow ourselves to take a break over the holiday season. We hope to return refreshed and ready to get more books printed and expand our little ‘empire’ further into the world.
Exciting times ahead – and hopefully a better year for everyone!