Early Travels . . .
I was born in the north of New Zealand when Sagittarius was coming up over the eastern horizon, a position said to indicate the striving of our soul in that particular lifetime. Sagittarius is the archer, a centaur or a man astride a horse, aiming his arrow high and far into the distance. It’s the sign of the traveler and the seeker of higher knowledge. No surprise then that journeys have been a keynote of my life: physical, mental, artistic and spiritual travels. It’s natural too that I instinctively set down this little autobiography as a series of journeys.
By the time I was two, my parents had moved to the other end of New Zealand’s North Island to Wellington, the capital city. At five, I found we were off again to the Pacific Island nation of Western Samoa, a lush green land of hilly rainforest, coconut palms, beaches and well swept villages decorated with hibiscus blossom.
Three years later we were back in Wellington. After high school at Wellington East Girls College, I studied at Wellington Polytechnic, then Victoria and Massey Universities coming out with a social science degree. At the end of the sixties I married and within three years I was following my husband to England and Europe for a couple of years for his study and work experience. By the early 1980’s, our two young sons were in school. It was time to decide on the direction for the next big journey.
The Art Journey from Photography to Illustration . . .
I began to draw in childhood, as most of us do, getting a little more serious about it in my teens but I was actually more focused on photography. It was primarily black and white in those days. Watching an image materialise from a blank piece of paper lying in a dish of liquid is a most magical thing. Now in the digital era, I still love photography as you can see on this website.
I was thirty-one when I embarked on art as a profession, choosing it over several other career options.
Blessed with a wonderful watercolour teacher, I soon made good progress and before long my work was being accepted by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and by commercial galleries. Life drawing, then porcelain and bronze sculpture followed.
It had always been my intention to work with oil paints but having discovered watercolour I found there was so much to learn and experiment with in this versatile medium it was sixteen years before I got around to doing an oil painting! The Children of Gaia further honed my art though it was a natural transition from the botanical paintings I had always enjoyed, to the forest flora of the story.
Why choose art over other more obvious (and better paid) options? For the twists and turns of my art journey plus some early works check out ‘On Becoming an Artist’.
The Writing Journey . . .
Although I had written articles, papers and the occasional short story, The Children of Gaia was my first novel. It’s an ambitious work that took a decade to research, write, illustrate and craft into its final form.
The interface between science and metaphysics, where reality shifts beyond its normal limits, is where I am most at home. Years of esoteric studies and experience combined with personal research on forests in nine countries to create what has been described as ‘An exquisite fairy tale about reality.’
Creating The Children of Gaia was an extraordinary personal journey that has taken me on many adventures and led to many more. I grabbed my husband and sons for a back-packing adventure through Central America. We rode a bus through Guatamala with young soldiers cradling sacks of hand grenades at their feet and one with his finger looped through the pin. For hints of more of our author adventures check out The Authors Journey under The Children of Gaia menu.
The following year I traveled to Eastern Europe with Swedish foresters and saw acid pollution where the trees were burned from the inside. Even these tough men could not hide their tears.
I had to learn new skills on the ‘inner planes’ too, more about deva—the intelligent builders infused into substance at every level of our Solar System—and how to communicate with that kingdom. Though we journey alone in some sense of that word, the very focusing of our attention on something evokes responses from that intelligence within Life itself and if we are open, we quickly find people and circumstances that tend to support our endeavour. Of course if we are seen to be attacking a well-defended status quo of out-moded thought forms, we can quickly meet resistance. I was very fortunate to meet so many people who were willing to share and foster my journey with The Children of Gaia and the personal growth has been greater and more far-reaching than I could ever have imagined.
In 1995 I illustrated Once in a Blue Moon, a delightful children’s story by Julie Leibrich (pub. Random House NZ Ltd), an experience which I very much enjoyed. Julie has gone on to publish a number of other children’s books and poetry.
For over a decade I was a member of the Society of Authors (UK), exchanging that for membership of the New Zealand Society of Authors when we resettled in New Zealand.
The Inner Journey . . .
In 1995 I began to take down the series of writings that form the three books of This World of Echoes. I had been writing during deep meditation for about eight years. A friend had read about the practice, tried it and suggested it to me. I had been meditating daily since around 1975 so it became easier and easier to hold that higher state and write at the same time.
I had been studying spirituality and metaphysics seriously for a long time, beginning with religious studies and philosophy at University, and then later absorbing the New Age and Metaphysical literature and New Thought that was proliferating in the post hippie era. I particularly enjoyed some of the earlier writers as well; the pioneers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century who were bringing Eastern teachings and their adaptations into the West.
For me a belief system must adequately account for the way I experience life. It cannot just be theory or ritual. It has to prove itself to me on many levels. I have always seen true knowledge (as opposed to mere belief) as being a synthesis. If something is true we should be able to see it in a number of different areas of life, as multiple expressions of the same principle. I know many scientists balk at the idea that they may be doing metaphysics, but to me there is a rapidly closing gap between some branches of science—especially ecology and quantum physics—and some schools of metaphysics or esoteric philosophy.
The Bigger Journey . . .
Having visited dozens of countries around the world, for short or longer periods and having lived in six, I have seen enough to know that in the process of our collective evolutionary journey we humans have created huge problems for the multitude of non-human lives that share the planet with us, yet from tiny bees to giant trees, we depend on their thriving for our own well being.
However, I feel that the collective resources that exist within our human kingdom are equal to the challenge, provided the social and political will is there to overcome self-interest and tyranny regardless of the guise in which they appear.
What a range of choices we have! In every arena of human endeavour—science, technology, art, music, literature, finance, business, healing, philosophy, religion—wherever we look there are resources and opportunities for positive, life-promoting changes in thinking and leadership.”
Underpinning it all, sits that vast highly energetic integrated life system we call ‘Nature’. Without it we have no physical existence here. People often tell me that the inner life of Nature is becoming more and more accessible to them, almost as if it is approaching them. It is clear that the more we open our hearts to the needs of the world around us the more it responds and comes to meet us half-way. There has never been a better time than now to climb out of the tiny boxes of our old limited thinking.
After twelve years of wandering, my husband and I have settled in New Zealand again. With a non-fiction on the Deva kingdom now written and about to seek a publisher and other projects in the pipeline, I still have plenty to share.
It has been and still is, an extraordinarily rich and varied journey and now that I’m in what is euphemistically called the ‘third age’ phase of life, it’s time to share the harvest of all that experience and learning to help and encourage others along their own journeys, their own quests, hence my books and workshops. Impressed by the skill and experiences of those who join my workshops, I always learn a good deal from them too.