Harp Circle on Vashon!

Harp Circle on Vashon! - Art
Illustration by Jane Valencia

What: Harp Circle on Vashon!
When: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2-4:30
Location: Home of Jane Valencia

Contact Jane here for location and to RSVP

Please bring: your harp (if you have one), snack or beverage to share (or feel free to just come!)
If you wish: you’re welcome to bring another instrument or a tune to share

All harp players of any kind of harp (including lyres), all levels including absolute beginners

Folk who are harp-curious
Folk who have a harp but haven’t played in awhile, even years (or decades!)
Musicians who love playing music with harp players
You love the harp and are happy just to listen to it

…. You are all welcome to this gathering!

The intention of this gathering is to share our love of the harp, or curiosity and interest about this beautiful instrument, to meet and to support each other wherever we are in our harp journey or in how we happen to be with the harp that day!

What we’ll do:
We’ll meet each other and the harps. I (Jane) will lead some group harp playing, designed for everyone present to be able to participate in the music-making. Even if you’ve never played the harp, you’ll be able to play! We’ll use the harp in a variety of ways in our music making. We will also have a “works-in-progress” time, where all are invited to share a tune they are working on and be fully supported in their playing. If you want to bring a tune, song, or poem to share that we might play with as a group, please do. I love to improvise ways a whole group can musically adventure together. If you want to lead a group music offering yourself, you are welcome to do so!

You love the harp but have no wish to play? You’re welcome to listen and enjoy!

Any questions? Please contact me. Feel free to share this information with others who might be interested!

Yours with harp and song,


Harpers Hall Gathering - photo
What a Harp Circle looks like. Pictured: a Harpers Hall Monthly Gathering.

Farewell to Forest Halls Celtic ~ Hello, to …. !?

Greetings, Friends,

This is a little note to let you know that Forest Halls Celtic is no longer airing, not even as a replay. A few reasons exist for this decision: the shows weren’t created to be “evergreen,” so they have some very dated information in them is one reason. The other, weightier reason to me, is that the show feels … complete.

I am working on a new kind of audio (and more) series that I’m eager to bring forth to you. But it’s not ready yet. I’m on a learning curve with the tech, and I feel like this show is just beginning to find its own life. When the series is ready, you’ll experience how in some ways it is Forest Halls Celtic, the Next Generation. But it won’t be called that.

In any case, now that I’ve officially ended Forest Halls Celtic, I’m understanding once again how closing one door opens another, and that the life force of FHC is now free to fully find its new form.

Dancing with a Dragon - excerpt - Illustration
An excerpt from “Dancing with a Dragon” – illustration by Jane Valencia

Welcome to my Library and Hello to your Dragon Nature

I’ve started a personal library! It’s called the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls. The first book I scanned into the collection was the children’s herbal fantasy, Wise Child, (wise woman Juniper also plays the harp!) and the first book loaned is Flowers and Fables: a Welsh Herbal (both pictured here). You’re invited to browse the library. I’ll be adding many more items over the coming weeks — so easy to do with the app on my phone! Loans are available to on-islanders and other local folk. If you live out of the area (as many of you do), I hope this library will point you to some of the great resources that are available out in the world.

Greenwood Library "Firsts"
First book  entered into the system, first book loaned. Bookmarks are serve as reminders that these are library loans.

My 11-year-old self is in heaven. As a sixth-grader abandoned at the start of the school year by my until-then best friends (who, during the previous summer, had embarked on a mission to become popular), I deepened my friendship with the girl across the street. We spent  many recesses, lunch hours, and after school hours reading and imagining together, and much of that time was in our school library. My best friend Jenny had been helping the librarian with the circulation cards. When Jenny shared this part of her world with me and I started helping too, well, that opened the door to a new kind of awesomeness!

With my library, with its online catalog linked to the global world of books, my twenties self is in heaven too. The jobs I loved most as a young adult were the years I worked as a Library Specialist in Interlibrary Services at the Stanford University’s Green Library. My work involved tracking down and retrieving books and making photocopies of articles from the myriad campus libraries and from Green Library’s mysterious stacks and labyrinthine regions (some so little used and remote that you had to snap on the lights when you entered some  areas, and snap them off when you left).

And quite happy too, thank you very much, is my inner dragon and voracious lifelong learner self who has always loved books, gathering information, and prowling the long shadowed corridors of the anima mundi, nudging open the compact shelving of the heart with secret words, and discovering the hidden treasures that nestle within each one of us and which glimmer and ring with the true nature that is the world.

It seems that with the opening of this library, I’m saying yes to my imagination. So here is fair warning to you, and an invitation. With the opening of this library, I dedicate this blog to fully expressing my magical life and peculiar take on this world, and to welcoming you into a story of myth and medicine, true nature and kindness. This walk through the woods and words, however, isn’t a one-directional path. It, I hope, is a conversation, a polyphonic and polyrhythmic musical improvisation, a reciprocal sharing of resources in terms of tales and imaginings and illuminations, such as is enjoyed in book and article form by the research libraries for whom I once served.  I look forward to hearing your stories, your ways of perception, the heart of the world as it expresses within your singular and beautiful dragon nature.

Water Snake Wonderings - art
Wonders at the Heart of our Nature – art by Jane Valencia

How is magic and sweet surprise alive and well in your world? How do you live it out in your daily life with family, friends, community, and with nature? How does your unique take on life and your way of being nourish the children, help heal culture, and better our world? How do you experience yourself as Nature, as a child of the earth, imagination, and the Sacred? How can you and I grow our magical nature — our medicine selves — in service to living out our responses to questions such as these? What are your dragon nature questions?

These wonderings are the waters from which this blog springs.

I invite you to record your musings in the comments box below.

Visit the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls here.

Books Are Magical Doors