issue 2 : Earth
issue 2 : Earth

Lunar Maria

Words by Anne Greenwood.

Photographs by Courtney Frisse.

I began a stitched diary using materials  repurposed from a wool blanket that I’d turned into nursing pads while mothering my baby daughters. The cast aside wool blanket nursing pads became the forty-four hand-stitched oval pages which I completed in 2018 at the Icelandic Textiles Center. These have become the oracle deck pictured here.

I grew up on the high plains of North Dakota and return every year to visit my mother.  As I wander in different landscapes, the seasonal colors, native plants, migration of birds, geological features, and landforms all take me away from linear time and I find patterns of connections between places. 

As an artist and horticulturist living in the Pacific Northwest, I split my time between designing and maintaining gardens and working as an artist in my studio.

Most of the dyes I work with are derived from tree heartwoods, plant leaves or roots, fungi, lichen, and insects. Natural dyes have helped me to develop the deeper connection with plants  that is inherent to my creative process. 

Imagine the moon, the crow, the butterfly wing, the mother-of-pearl, and see this colorful iridescence as it changes and expands both time and space. 

I have created a deck of 44 cards for meditation, which can be used as a tool for insight, for discovering the self. I named it The Lunar Maria, after the Plains of the Moon, large dark basaltic landforms on the moon’s surface. They are oceans, lakes, bays, and marshes, named after states of mind and conditions of water. In my research I learned that four billion years ago, the Earth collided with an asteroid, and some of the collision’s debris accrued to form the Moon, so the moon is made of the earth.

Indigo, cochineal, and fustic natural dyes were used to color the original forty-four oval-shaped wool cards. Each card contains symbols, imagery, shapes and textures to invite reflection, memory, patterns and experiences.

Each poetic phrase is a charm, rune, or recipe for invoking elemental, emotional, or energetic associations. These can be used to harness power, attract or banish energies and can be used in combination with the current phase of the moon to access portals in time.

I don’t see the earth without the moon. I see its ever-changing shape as part of the earth’s landscape. And I approach the moon when I am searching for a bigger perspective, or when I need to be reflective, or when I wonder how to accept the constant changing nature of time. 

To learn more about the work of Anne Greenwood visit