There’s a scene in “Eat, Pray, Love” where Elizabeth Gilbert is in her bathroom on her knees asking God for help and to her surprise she hears an answer. It isn’t a great big boom or an earth-shattering revelation. It is a simple, firm but quiet instruction to go back to bed. But that simple, quiet instruction becomes the moment everything in her life changes.

My life happens to be peppered with those simple, quiet instructions from God and Spirit. These instructions always come in the exact way as Elizabeth Gilbert describes it. Short, blunt but peaceful sentences that set my life on an entirely different course than it was previously on.

The first time it happened I had flunked out of my first year of University. I was lost and heading into a depression. I laid in my bed, looked up at the ceiling and said, “Now what?” to no one in particular. To my surprise, I actually heard a one word answer; “Victoria.” That was it. No explanation. No insight; just “Victoria.” I had never thought about Victoria before. I had no real knowledge about the city  of Victoria other than it was a city in British Columbia, my neighboring province. It was a completely random, out of left field answer. I didn’t realize this until just now but I didn’t even think it was odd to hear that voice and I listened to it without questioning it for a second. I went downstairs and told my mom I wanted to go to college in Victoria, B.C. to try and get back into University. With my parents help, I enrolled and moved away that summer.

In Victoria, I healed and found myself again. I received top grades, was in the best shape of my life and glowed with happiness. It was an extremely pivotal year. After the year, I moved back to my home town, graduated University and assumed I would become a teacher but that firm but loving voice returned with other plans. One day, after putting down the phone, I heard the words, “Write this down.” I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and I wrote what the voice continued to say. The voice went on for a while describing a woman and explaining a message she needed to hear. Then, as suddenly as the voice came, it stopped with another firm but loving instruction stating, “Your mom will know who this is for.” I showed my mom the message and she did indeed know who it was for. We hand delivered the message I received and from that moment on, I pivoted on my career path from teacher to messenger for the angels. (You can read more about that story here.)

Years later, that same voice chimed in one day with the simple instruction, “Go here”. I was roaming the internet for something unrelated and landed on a page of an Advaita teacher who was unfamiliar to me. I live in Alberta, Canada. He lives in Sedona. He was an Advaita teacher. I had no idea what Advaita was. I had no intention of traveling but I couldn’t ignore the voice so I booked a flight and enrolled in a satsang he was hosting. Despite not knowing what satsangs were, I listened to the voice and my spiritual life was never the same. During a break in the weekend satsang, I went on a solitary sightseeing walk. At one point along my walk, I stopped and looked over to the red mountain scenery and time stood still. All thoughts fell away and my mind felt like it was no longer confined to my brain. It felt like my mind was the wind and the sun and the mountains. I was everything and everything was me.

The moment came with a sense of peace that has never left. Regardless of whatever drama, emotion, worry, depression, illness has come and gone since then, this tiny center of peace has remained and I’ve been able to witness everything I experience from that center. I’ve been able to observe my thoughts from that center. I’ve been able to watch my emotions crash, fall and rise from that center. And it’s given me this overall sense that no matter what is happening everything is going to be okay because that center is really where I am. The rest is just dramatic moving pictures.

I’ve had a few other pivotal moments in my life when the voice returned with specific instructions but the one I want to write about today is the one that interrupted a quiet moment I was enjoying with my friend. We were sitting on the couches in my living room reading. It’s a secret joy of mine to read with people. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much. It’s not like reading is a team sport but my heart just lights up when I get to do what I love with someone I love beside me. While we were quietly reading, I heard the voice interrupt my silence with a question this time, “Will you devote the rest of your professional life to Divine Mother?” This was the oddest request of all. Divine Mother? Who is Divine Mother? Something in me must know because I said “Yes!” without thinking about it and spontaneously burst into tears.

This brings me to my latest art ritual. I’m at the very beginning of my spiritual journey with Divine Mother. I don’t really feel like I know who Divine Mother is. I have a general idea and I know I relate Mother Mary to her (I was raised as a Catholic) but much like when you’ve been set up on a blind date, I only know minor details.  That’s part of the reason I’m writing this blog. I want to share my journey of learning who Divine Mother is. I suspect the journey to discovering who She is will inspire another series of life-changing moments. If the journey inspires life-changing moments for me, perhaps if I share my story, it will inspire life-changing moments for someone else.

It’s really hard to share my journey publicly since it’s such a private, sacred kind of journey. I’ll have to expose my vulnerabilities and ignorance. I’m sure I’ll write things that I’ll later want to take back because I’ve learned something more. It’s different sharing the journey as you walk through it than writing about it at the end when all the pieces have fallen into place. I’ll have to let myself be imperfect and that makes me feel worried about being judged. But I’m going to do it anyway because I’m trying to be a braver person. So if you’re here to witness my journey, be gentle and kind. I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I did decide that solidifying my decision to say yes to Divine Mother was important so I created an art ritual to commemorate it. I came up with this handmade paper invitation on which I wrote my request to have Divine Mother grace my altar.

inviting divine mother to grace the altar

As I was creating my invitation, I realized Divine Mother had some words she wanted to share with me. This is what I received as her words to me:

The world is starving for Divine Mother energy. Energy that nurtures. Energy that protects. Energy that gives selflessly. Energy that sacrifices for the family – the Earth family.

Many moons ago, in your white Western culture, the Divine Mother was murdered on the altar and replaced with the shadow of the Father – not even with the Divine Father but instead, a power-hungry, murderous father who would banish his children to suffer in pain for all eternity! It is time now to return the Mother to the altar. Return the Divine Mother and the Divine Father to lead this family to peace. 

The Divine Mother should be held in the arms of Divine Father. She should be supported and ready to birth Love into the world.  A devotion to Divine Mother is a devotion to caring for everyone – including yourself and the planet. This is what your culture is missing. Other religions, faiths and cultures have it but yours, the consumerist Western culture, does not. This is what your culture needs to make more room for – the simple act of caring; the simple act of divine mothering. When you care for someone or something you take an interest in them. You appreciate and enjoy them. You are concerned about their well-being. You are attentive and tender. You worry about their needs and you do what you can to help them meet their needs. You listen and try to understand. You provide a safe space to be heard. You provide a warm space to be held. You communicate your affection and you are sensitive to their wounds. You are kind, thoughtful and gentle. Even if they are different.

World peace is no more complicated than that.

But the shadow image of the Father judges, rejects, banishes, punishes and attacks. This leads to conflict. This leads to war.

Who sits on your altar controls your heart and rules your mind. Who are you devoted to? Are you devoted to Love or are you devoted to Attack? Make no mistake about it. If a judgmental, punishing, fearful God sits on your altar, you, my child, are devoted to Attack and you will attack the earth, the animals and your brothers and sisters. And you will feel justified in your attack because you will be living in the image of your god.

Dana, it is time to bring the Divine Mother back to grace your altar and your celebrations because the Mother within you and the Mother in the planet wants to heal the suffering. She wants to soothe the pain and comfort the wounded. She wants to wrap all her children in her arms and return them to Love.

I sat with her words and realized I’ve never believed in a judgmental God. It just never rang true for me. But it did ring true for the religion I grew up in. And I do worry about being attacked by other people, I do carry a lot of guilt and I do have a voice within me that secretly believes everything is always my fault. All of this does cause me to act protective and defensive and many opportunities where I could have acted with Love, I reacted with an ugly combination of attack and defense. And I do believe that if I can’t explore how to move from these attack/defense tendencies in my personal relationships then I will never understand how to be the peaceful change I want to see in this world. I’ve studied A Course in Miracles for years and co-created a therapy approach based on it’s principles so although I would not have worded it the way I received it from Divine Mother, I definitely welcome her to teach me more about putting Love in action in my life and in my world. I guess only time will tell where this goes.

As for the invitation, I think it’s a pretty way to keep a handwritten letter on the altar. This particular letter, I imagined as a scroll invitation being delivered by a man on a horse that would read…

You are hereby cordially invited to grace the altar of one Mrs. Dana da Ponte.

I didn’t write it that way but I liked the formal quality of creating the scroll.

If you would like to create your own handmade paper ritual to invite Divine Mother (or any other spiritual deity) to grace your altar, this is how I did it.

I collected scraps of paper from my recycling bin.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

I searched the internet to find instructions on how to easily make handmade paper. I liked this site’s clear instructions so I followed them and asked my husband to make the frame with screen stapled to it. My husband, being the kind man he is, gladly obliged. Next, I put my scraps of paper in a blender and filled it with water.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

The next step was more ritual than craft. I tuned in and decided which oils, plants and flowers I wanted to mix in with my paper. I chose to add as many flowers as I could, especially roses since I associate them with Mother Mary. I also added specks of gold because it felt regal to me and like I was honoring the Queen of Love. I added Lavender essential oils because I thought it should smell peaceful and floral.  With each plant, flower and oil, I prayed, invoked Divine Mother, spoke to her with my own ideas about what our relationship might be and told her about the special place I was making in my heart and on my altar for Her and Her mission of Love. This step was as pretty as it was sacred.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

After this meditative step, I turned the blender on until a gooey mush formed. I poured the gooey paper mush in the screened frame my husband made.

inviting divine mother to grace your altarI then removed the frame from the tray and soaked the water up from the paper with a paper towel. A note about environmentalism here, I should have used a sponge. It makes no sense to recycle paper only to create more paper garbage by using paper towels. Duh, Dana!

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

I then removed the frame and continued to soak up more water.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

It didn’t take long for the paper to be dry enough to remove from the screen. (Those are my husband’s hands. He wanted to help and see how his paper making frame worked.)

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

One blender full of gooey paper much made three pieces of paper. Once the pieces of paper were mostly dry, I placed a thin towel over them and ironed them out flat with my clothes iron.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

I only needed one piece of paper for the remainder of the ritual so I chose that one piece and wrote my invitation to Divine Mother with a nice fountain pen a friend shared with me.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

After my heartfelt letter was written, I gathered two sticks and some ribbon and turned on my glue gun. I glued a piece of ribbon in the middle of each stick and I glued each end of the handmade paper to a stick.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

I love the way it turned out and it smells as pretty as it looks.

inviting divine mother to grace your altar

Here are the easy-to-print instructions if you’d like to recreate this ritual for yourself.

with love,

Dana da Ponte

Handmade Paper Invitation for the Altar
Moon Phase: Disseminating
Suggested Month: Any month
Prep time: 
Performance time: 
Total time: 
A handmade paper invitation ritual to invite Divine Mother, or any deity of your choosing, to grace your altar.
  • recycled paper pieces
  • blender
  • water
  • mould & deckle (a screened frame)
  • tray
  • sponge
  • clothes iron
  • 2 sticks of relatively the same size
  • 2 pieces of ribbon
  • hot glue gun
  • lavender essential oil (optional)
  • rose petals (optional)
  • dried lavender (optional)
  • gold leaf specks (optional)
  • grains of paradise (optional)
  • basil (optional)
  • dried chamomile (optional)
  1. Fill your blender loosely with recycled paper pieces. Don't compress them as they will bind up your blender.
  2. Add water to cover all the paper.
  3. Add to the water and paper whatever elements you want to ritualistically infuse in your handmade paper.
  4. Blend it all together until it's a watery gooey paper mush.
  5. Place your mould and deckle at the bottom of your tray and pour the paper mush into the tray until all parts of the screen are covered.
  6. Remove the mould and deckle from the tray and pat the watery mush down with a sponge removing water carefully until the paper feels flat, compressed and damp.
  7. Remove the overlapping frame and pat down the paper some more releasing more water.
  8. When the paper feels ready, remove it from the screen and place it somewhere to dry. You may have to allow it to dry overnight or to speed it up, you can blow dry it.
  9. Once it is dry, place a thin towel over the paper and use your hot iron to flatten the paper.
  10. Your paper is now ready to write your letter inviting Divine Mother or your deity to grace your altar.
  11. Glue a piece of ribbon to each of the two sticks you collected.
  12. Glue each end of your letter to a stick.
  13. Carefully roll your paper on both ends to meet the sticks in the middle. The paper will rip if you go too quickly.
  14. Wrap the ribbon around your scroll and tie a bow to seal it.
  15. Place your invitation in a special place on your altar.
Thank you for honoring my work and creativity. The photos of this craft and/or ritual and content above are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos without prior written permission or without a link back to this blog post. If you wish to share this art based ritual, please provide a link back to this post on my blog. And if you like this art based ritual but want to make changes to it, please do so in your own words and link this post for credit. Thank you!

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First Quarter Moon Card Holder

This week, my moon magic art ritual is inspired from an online course I’m taking from Susannah Conway.  The course is called Daily Guidance and at one point Susannah invites us to do a reading with our oracle or tarot cards by choosing three cards based on how the imagery appeals to us in the moment. I loved the way the exercise inspired me to sit with my deck and go through it slowly card by card. I usually sit with my deck face down and I shuffle and draw the cards in a variety of random ways that make me feel like spirit is choosing the cards for me. This exercise was different. I was in charge!

It felt a little naughty at first, as if I was going against the Tarot gods or something. But I loved Susannah’s suggestion because I lingered with my deck far longer than I ever do and I just sat and enjoyed the art and imagery of each card. The exercise was also empowering. It felt as though I were choosing my fate and claiming my destiny. I decided to incorporate that empowerment into a ritual for the First Quarter Moon.

The First Quarter Moon is, to me, symbolic of being at a crossroads or choosing between two different realities. In the First Quarter phase, the moon is half light and half dark. It’s a time of shadow and truth, ego and spirit, littleness and divinity or in a word, duality. In that space of duality, I like to exercise my power of choice.

My mind, my emotions, my words and my actions are under my domain. I wanted to create something for my altar that allowed me to showcase whatever card I picked to represent the energy or intention I was choosing for myself. Not a card to represent a message spirit had for me but a card to say, “I CHOOSE THIS. I want to act like this or be like this or believe in this or dream about this today.”

I knew I wanted something to hold my card of choice but I couldn’t think of what to create until I saw a kid’s project for a clay hand dish. I knew that was it. A clay shape of my hand was the perfect idea because, to me, the shape seemed to hold the same conviction as the idea of putting my foot down. I imagined myself slapping my hand down on the table and making a declaration.

The first thing I did was make some clay out of baking soda and glue. You can see the recipe I used here. The batch I created didn’t work very well. I suspect it may be because I didn’t have any regular glue so I had to use Mod Podge. That may have affected the recipe. Either way, although my clay was dry and hard to mold I decided it was good enough for this particular creation. Next, I found some wire and my pretty purple wire cutters.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

With the wire, I created a shape similar to what you would see in wire photo holders. In fact, if you would like ideas of different ways to shape your wire, do a search for wire photo holders and you’ll see an amazing variety of ways to bend wire to hold your tarot or oracle cards. I chose to create a simple and easy design from scratch. It’s not fancy but it works.

With every twist of the wire, I repeated my intentions to stand in my power. I thought about what that looks like in my life. I thought about all the places I haven’t been doing that and all the areas in my life that may challenge me in the near future. Repeating the intention to stand in my power infused the process of creating this simple design with energy and purpose.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

I then tried to add paint color to my clay but that didn’t go as planned. As I mentioned, the clay was hard to work with. Although the paint didn’t evenly mix throughout the clay, I ended up liking the marble look of the pink paint so I once again decided to stick with using the clay despite my initial disappointment.

I chose a strong pink color intentionally of course. I’m tired of apologizing for my emotional and transparent nature. As I kneaded the color into the clay as best as I could, I thought about how I wanted to integrate love for my personality flaws and especially love for the aspects of myself that have been the hardest for me to accept and appreciate.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

My next step included adding the herbs and spices that symbolized the intentions I wanted to infuse in my altar oracle card holder. I added roses to invite the fairies, basil to invoke my personal power and lavender to remind spirit that I like my growth to happen with ease and grace. I rolled the basil and flowers into the clay with my craft rolling pin while thinking about my intentions and sending gratitude to the fairies for all the magic and connection they’ve gifted me with lately.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

I then rolled out the clay and traced and cut the shape of my hand.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

It was time to insert my quirky little wire card holder into the palm of the clay hand. I also decided to add a few extra herbs and spices. I placed a black pepper corn in each finger tip for power, a circle of cloves around the wire holder to represent angelic assistance and one Star Anise to invite psychic insight when I choose my daily tarot card.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

The end result wasn’t as refined as I thought it would be but I ended up loving it. It reminds me of a bowl of rose potpourri. And truthfully, with rituals and ceremony, the end result isn’t as important to me as the magical process.

first quarter moon tarot card holder

If you’d like to re-create this ritual, I’ve included the step-by-step instructions in this easy to print recipe format. Enjoy!

First Quarter Moon Card Holder
Moon Phase: First Quarter
Suggested Month: Any month
Prep time: 
Performance time: 
Total time: 
A ritual to stand in your power and claim your right to choose and/or a clay holder for your tarot and oracle cards.
  • 16 or 18 gauge wire
  • wire cutters
  • air dry clay
  • acrylic craft paint
  • clay knife
  • marker
  • rose for fairies (optional)
  • lavender for ease & grace (optional)
  • basil for personal power (optional)
  • peppercorns for strength (optional)
  • cloves for angel assistance (optional)
  • star anise for psychic awareness (optional)
  1. Cut the wire in a length that is long enough to form the shape you desire to hold your oracle cards. Don't forget to form a wire base so you can easily insert the holder into the clay.
  2. Choose enough clay to create a wide enough square of clay to fit your hand.
  3. Add a drop of paint to the clay if you wish to tint the clay and knead the color into the clay. If your clay is soft and pliable, the entire ball of clay should be tinted.
  4. Knead the rose petals, lavendar and basil into the clay.
  5. Roll out the clay to a one inch thickness.
  6. Trace your hand with the marker and cut the clay to the shape of your hand.
  7. Insert the wire card holder into the palm of the clay hand.
  8. Press the cloves, peppercorns and star anise into the clay hand while thinking about your relationship to your personal power.
  9. End the ritual in gratitude and let the clay sit to dry.
Thank you for honoring my work and creativity. The photos of this craft and/or ritual and content above are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos without prior written permission or without a link back to this blog post. If you wish to share this art based ritual, please provide a link back to this post on my blog. And if you like this art based ritual but want to make changes to it, please do so in your own words and link this post for credit. Thank you!

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New Moon Wishing Tree

The New Year may be in January but personally, I feel like the spirit of it lives in the fall. Bare trees, crunchy leaves, harvest and the mystical time when spirit feels near all signal to me a time to retreat and contemplate my next steps forward.

During the last New Moon, I decided to make a wishing tree as a way to help me visualize my intentions for the coming months. My knowledge of wishing trees is very limited and basically comes down to my seeing them on Pinterest in the various wedding ideas that pop up in my feed. I’m not getting married since that knot has already been tied but nonetheless Pinterest appears to assume my interest in ceremony and ritual is nuptial so it keeps me abreast on all things bride. I don’t mind because there are some amazingly creative designers out there who dream up beautiful ideas. The wishing tree is one I fell in love with.

I loved it so much I chose to make it the center of my New Moon ceremony and it was a perfect fit. The textures and smells were rich and soulful. Painting simple symbols was cathartic and pulled out a primal connection to imagery and my subconscious. Holding the wood connected me to the earth and made me feel as though I was whispering my wishes to Mother Nature herself. The earthy scent of the moss mixed with the sweet and bold aromas of the oils and spices pulled me right into the moment and held me there with warmth and magic. Even tying my wishes to the branches was enchanting.

You could create this tree as a simple craft or you could do as I did and make an entire ceremony out of it. Either way, you’ll be left with a pretty tree where your wishes happily hang to remind you there is always room in life to dream.

I will show you the steps I took to make my wishing tree but bare in mind that near the end of this post I’ve included a handy dandy ‘recipe’ you can print.  My very lovely web designer, Katy Martin of Tall Poppies Design, just added this recipe feature to my blog and I love it. If you want an easy to print step-by-step summary of my art based rituals and ceremonies, I think you’ll love this new feature too.

The steps to create the tree were simple but they did take a bit of time. After gathering all my materials and setting my spiritual space, I painted my intentions on wood rounds that my wonderful husband cut for me from fallen branches in our back yard.



I then painted a terra cotta pot white so I could write my prayers and intentions on it.


Next I filled the pot with pieces of a dry foam brick and inserted some branches I picked up in the woods near my home. I wasn’t too persnickety about placing the foam. Perfection is not really my thing. Capturing the feelings is more important to me so as you can see, sometimes I’m a little messy about it.


 After the branches were firmly in place, I added some moss. I like the look of moss plus I thought it would be a great base to add my herbs, spices and oils to.


After all these preparations were completed, I gathered the herbs, spices and oils I wanted to use in this Wishing Tree.  In the instructions you can print below, I included the spices, herbs and oils I would use as a base for the Wishing Tree but if you want to make your own Wishing Tree, you’re going to want to add your own magical elements depending on the wishes/intentions you are making. For instance, if your wishing tree is relationship centered, you’ll want to use elements that symbolize and inspire a harmonious love life. If your wishing tree is prosperity centered, the elements you include will obviously be to attract wealth and success.

There are tons of sites and books that describe the magical properties of different plants, oils, stones, herbs etc. so you can easily find elements that will work for you. I would also include elements that are meaningful to you. The whole Wishing Tree ritual is, to me, a way to dig deep in your soul and pull out what you really want and a way to slowly and mindfully tap into the emotions your wishes evoke. For that reason, choosing stones, oils, charms, plants and flowers that mean something to you is just as important as choosing elements that have a magical history.

If you’re not magically inclined and would prefer to create this as an art ritual, you can simply skip this next step.


This was one of my favorite parts of creating the Wishing Tree because it made the room smell so good. I added things like pepper and Frankincense and Star Anise and the scents engaged me body, mind and heart.


When I was done adding all my magical elements, the base of my tree looked as good as it smelled.


The final step was to tie my wishes to the tree. With each knot, I prayed and communicated with spirit. This was the most magical and therapeutic step for me. I received some helpful insight from my spirit helpers and felt their support as I cried and moved through some emotions the ritual was evoking.


I tied all the wishes at the same height simply because I liked the look of all the wishes hanging together but I just as easily could have tied them everywhere around the tree.


When I was done, I sat in prayer and gratitude and thanked spirit for being with me. The tree has now become a representation of not only my wishes but the conversation and healing I shared with my angels and God. Now it sits in my home and every time my eyes happen to glance in its direction, my heart immediately feels warm and cherished.


I shared the idea of painting our intentions or wishes on wood rounds with my Moon Sisters Art and Ceremony Circles. Although we didn’t make the tree, they each decided they will hang their wooden wishes in their gardens, yards or on their Christmas trees. Here’s a look at their pretty wooden wishes.

Here is the New Moon Wishing Tree ritual and step-by-step instructions.

New Moon Wishing Tree
Moon Phase: New Moon
Suggested Month: October or January
Prep time: 
Performance time: 
Total time: 
A ritual to affirm your New Year goals and/or a craft to hang your wishes and intentions on.
  • wood rounds
  • white paint
  • black paint
  • terra cotta pot
  • moss
  • branches
  • dry foam brick
  • string
  • black permanent marker
  • Cloves for protection (optional)
  • Frankincense for manifestation (optional)
  • Peppermint for luck (optional)
  • Sandlewood for renewal (optional)
  • Ginger for joy (optional)
  • Dried dandelion for wish fulfillment (optional)
  1. Paint your terra cotta pot white.
  2. Decide on the number of wishes you would like to hang from your tree and choose that amount of wood rounds. I chose 12 wood rounds to paint and I found 3 additional wood rounds that had naturally occurring images in them already which felt like spirit's way of making a few wishes for me so I included those also.
  3. Light a candle and journal with spirit about your intentions then paint a resolution, goal, intention or wish onto each wood round.
  4. Write your prayer or letter to spirit with permanent marker onto your white terra cotta pot.
  5. Fill your pot with dry foam.
  6. Insert your branches in the pot.
  7. Add moss over the dry foam.
  8. If you are creating this as a ritual or spell, now is the time to add your magical elements. You can include the ones listed above or include your own. You can also add charms and crystals.
  9. Tie your wood rounds to the tree. As you tie each knot, visualize your intentions and concentrate on the feelings they evoke.
  10. End in gratitude.
Thank you for honoring my work and creativity. The photos of this craft and/or ritual and content above are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos without prior written permission or without a link back to this blog post. If you wish to share this art based ritual, please provide a link back to this post on my blog. And if you like this art based ritual but want to make changes to it, please do so in your own words and link this post for credit. Thank you!

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new-moon-wishing-treenew moon wishing tree ritualnew moon wishing tree ritual

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New Moon Vision Board

I made a vision board that smells a lot better than it looks – but it feels more magical than any other vision board I’ve created before. I painted the background with sugar and spice and with each layer I prayed, spoke my desires aloud, talked through the internal garbage that was standing in the way of what I want and pushed myself to imagine more for myself and the world.

It was cathartic. Aromatic. Sticky. Soulful. And a perfect art ritual for the fall.

If you’re like me and you like ceremony, art and using vision boards to help you clarify your heart’s desires, you might want to try this messy but sugar-coated spell. I did mine with a friend. Here’s how we did it:

spicesStep 1

We prepared all our “paints” – which were simply spices and herbs that we mixed with a bit of water. The spices and herbs we chose were ones whose magical properties align with our intentions for the painting – prosperity, adventure and business success. We referred to this article for a list of the properties of herbs and spices. Here is a list of the herbs and spices we used:

  1. Ginger: draws adventure and new experiences, promotes prosperity and success and adds strength and speed to any mixture it is part of.
  2. Cinnamon: draws money, attracts things, stimulate psychic power and success
  3. Paprika: use to add energy
  4. Nutmeg: attracts money, prosperity and good luck
  5. Sugar: attracts what you desire to you
  6. Cloves: attracts money, cleans the aura and raises the spiritual vibration of the painting
  7. Coffee: helps to dispel negative thoughts, helps overcome internal blockages and is grounding
  8. Gold: Attracts money
  9. Mix of Grains: symbolizes abundance
  10. Sesame: money and passion
  11. Pumpkin Seeds: abundance


Step 2

We prepared our work space, lit a candle and pulled some tarot cards to try and tune into what spirit might have to say about our visioning and our businesses.


Step 3

We applied our ginger paint as the first layer of the painting. As we painted, we each took turns talking about what kinds of adventures we wanted to experience in our personal and professional lives. Time slowed down as we allowed ourselves to really reach deep within our hearts and communicate what was authentic and real. Praying and painting is what it felt like to me.


Step 4

The next layer was cinnamon and we loved the way it made our canvas look and smell. As we painted, we each took turns talking about how important following our intuition was as women entrepreneurs and we shared how we could trust our inner wise woman more in our work.


Step 5

Sugar came next and we loved the way it helped the spices stick to the canvas. As we lathered the canvas with coconut sugar, we tried to get a little more specific about all the sweet experiences we wanted to call into our lives. This is when I wanted to lick my canvas.


Step 6

We added paprika, cloves and gold flecks. Again, with each layer we took turns speaking our prayers aloud.  I think we both like the bling because we got pretty excited putting the gold on and we just kept wanting to add more.


Step 7

We glued on our vision board images. They were a collection of images that represented our prayers for our personal and professional lives. Once our images were glued on we added layers of coffee and spices to blend everything together. And again we applied each layer while we communicated our intentions.


Step 8

The seeds and grains were glued on next. We chose to glue them in mandala shapes. Following the same procedure as the last layers, we were intentional about it and spoke our prayers as we set the seeds and grains in place.


Step 9

We finished the piece off with metallic paints to keep in theme with prosperity and abundance.


It’s not the most beautiful work of art I’ve created but it definitely is the most aromatic and powerful.




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“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you and it will always be here.” – Ram Dass

In the past, I had a unbalanced need to be loved so I easily clung to friends as a way to comfort myself. Secretly I believed I wasn’t able to stand on my own two feet in this world and I had deep empty spaces in my heart I was looking to someone else to fill. Some people look to love relationships to complete them, to define them, to fill their empty spaces. Luckily for me, I approached my love relationship with a lot more wholeness. Unluckily for me, I did not approach my friendships this way. I became a needy friend – an empty friend who constantly needed filling. This NEVER worked.

In the end, this was a really good thing.

The joy of seeking someone else to fill your emptiness never working is that eventually you go through enough heartache to realize that holy shit, it’s my job to do that – not theirs.

Once I started doing the work that was always mine to do, something interesting happened.  People came into my life who love me in a way I love to be loved. By becoming my true whole self, I started to attract my tribe…and this tribe lifts me up. It fuels me. It comforts me and holds me in a way I like to be comforted and held.

I think our needs are all very unique. I think our values are different, our passions are different and what lights us up is unique. So how I love to be loved, what I prefer in a relationship and the values that are most important to me in friendship are going to be entirely different than someone else’s. My desires and preferences are no better than anyone else’s but the joy of finally loving myself and taking care of my needs is I am now calling into my life people who vibe where I vibe.

Again, my vibe isn’t better than anyone else’s and other people’s vibes are no better than mine. It’s not about a hierarchy here. It’s not the new age idea of people vibrating higher or lower than you I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is people you don’t have to struggle with because they want and value the same things.

This is such a different experience for me. I sometimes have to step back and really take it in.

Broken, Messy and Lovable

I think that’s one of the beautiful joys of sisterhood.

When you find your tribe, they lift your vibe because in their reflection you see yourself and who you are is okay.

Now when I walk into a circle of women, instead of fighting for love and belonging, I try to be myself and trust that by being myself, I’ll attract other women who appreciate my qualities, share my needs and express love in similar ways.

This has been so much harder to do than it is to describe because it requires trusting that my way is okay. It requires believing that the way I’m made isn’t a giant mistake. It requires trusting I have value and worth even in my empty and broken spaces. It means showing up honest and being open about the things I don’t always like about myself…the things I tried unsuccessfully to hide to be loved in the past…like my neediness, my transparency, my insecurities, my bossiness, my sometimes thoughtless nature, my forgetfulness, my harshness, my sensitivities, my ego…all my secret shames. But instead of these traits causing heartache, now when I reveal them, I meet people who aren’t affected by them or who actually embrace me for them.  And I no longer give all this weight to the people who don’t get me or who don’t share my same values. I no longer look to them to be loved and appreciated…at least not as much as I used to.

That’s the kind of sisterhood circles I like to create- sisterhoods where you are loved for who you are, not who you try to be to earn love. This lifts our vibe. This energizes us. This feeds our hearts and helps us bloom. And that’s the kind of sisterhoods and love relationships I hope we each find because it will mean we are loving ourselves for who we really are NOT who we wish we were.  That secret perfect version of ourselves we strive to be is NOT better than the honest, vulnerable and flawed versions we naturally are.

Broken, Messy and Lovable

I host two sisterhoods. One is for my online tribe – those who want to experience my sacred sisterhood but don’t live near me and one for my local tribe – those who love the idea of driving out to the beautiful forest and sitting in sacred space with women who share their vibe. For an entire year we journey together to the depths of ourselves, greet our souls and learn how to love ourselves for who we already are.

To find out more about my online sisterhood, click here.

To find out more about my local (Calgary, Alberta) sisterhood, click here.

Whether or not you join a sisterhood this year, promise me you won’t push yourself to be the shiny, flawless version you think is better and more lovable. And promise me you will love yourself for the human, broken mess you can sometimes be…because girl, we are all broken, ugly and messy too.

with love and deep appreciation for who you really are,

Dana da Ponte

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Category: Sisterhood