Wings of Spirit

July is always a very hectic month for us. The Markets and craft shows are busy with eager customers looking for our handmade jewelry, and many of my patients and clients are “up at the cottage” for the holidays and want to see me , discuss problems or learn a little more about the Medicine ways.

For the last few days it was a mad rush at our house, to get “everything ready for the Muskoka Arts and Crafts annual Summer Show, that will take place from Friday to Sunday in Anny Williams Park here in Bracebridge.

Apart from numerous bracelets, pendants and earrings I also managed to work on 3 large smudging fans.

One is a large Heron wing fan, the other 2 are Ruffed Grouse, a wing feather fan and a tail feather fan.

It usually takes about 5 to 7 hours of work for each of them to get “dressed”

OK, first of all you have to expertly prepare them and let them dry properly – for anywhere between 3 and 5 month. ( You also could send a wing of to a taxidermist and have it done in about 5-10 days for upwards of $ 100.00, but I do not have that kind of money to spare…)

Anyway

Here they are:

Heron Wing Fan for smudging

This wing comes from a beautiful Heron who met a tragic end on Hwy 11; flying into an oncoming truck. I carefully and lovingly took the wings and feathers, preserved them in order to give this majestic bird a new life and transform its wing into a ritual tool infused with love and respect.

Materials:
Gichi Mooshka, the Heron -stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the Medicine Circle
For Celtic People Liilh the Heron laid the first ever egg = the egg of creation. She is the guardian of life and incarnation as well as for secret knowledge of longevity. A so called “Crane bag – a druidic medicine pouch was made of the feathered skin of a Heron or a Crane.
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force, black= West bridge across the void of fear
Hand carved bone Turtle with beads = Mother Earth
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle

Feathers:

Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron – see above
Hawk = east, discernment, independence
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Parrot = blue – truth

*****************************************************************************************************

Ruffed Grouse Wing Feather Fan: 

There she was! In the middle of the road. and there was NOTHING I could do.
Other than gently pick her up and carry her home. Her Spirit had long since left…
but left behind were her beautiful tail feathers and one perfectly intact wing. I decided, to preserve these pieces and bring honor and meaning to her life and her species. For Month I hmmmed and haaawed as to how best to mount the wing – then there was this bit of Fox fur and the idea was born….

Materials:
Spruce Grouse Wing: Grouse stands for drumming, dancing, Spring ceremonies
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force,
Hand carved bone face of Kikeebik, the Hawk with beads
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Midewiwin medicine lodge mnemonics
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle
Lattice grit = trance and visions
Turtle – Mother Earth, long life, patience

Feathers:

Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron = Gichi Mooshka, stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the
Medicine Circle
Hawk = East, discernment, independence from a cooper’s hawk I found a few days later
– on the same road…  😦
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Great Gray Owl = Wisdom of Night, dreams and visions – guide to the shaman who heals and knows how to traverse into the land of the dead to call back a lost Soul

**************************************************************************************************

Ruffed Grouse Tail Feather Fan:

Since this is  the tail of the same Bird, I dressed it with much the same attributes and accompanying feathers.

It however has a different Hawk design for a Center piece.


Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Wings of Spirit

  1. Wonderful Mi-Shell (not the road-kill) rather what you were able to do with it!
    Congrats on some well done work.
    And thanks for letting me know there is at least ‘one other person in the world who also gathers from the road (long after their spirit has left… I liked that & think it is ‘extremely’ important.)

  2. I guess it’s too late for me to say how beautiful they are since it’s already been well said, and you know it’s true.
    I’m impressed how much thought and work you put into your creations. Wonderful work. I look forward to seeing more of your work. Have you considered making a video of your work?

    • Ha! 🙂
      I know how to make these fans and quite a few other treasures, but I have NO clue about how to make a video……
      It also would not look too cool – me full of glue, beads all over the floor, leather scraps and feathers sticking out everywhere….

      • You are right, even Martha Stewart has assistants, cameramen, and the whole nine yards… but if you do make a video, like she said, “it’s a good thing!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s