Smudging fans:

This time of year, late February, we should be having beautiful cooooold winter weather, but instead of that it is raining into our formerly 4 feet of snow that now is quickly melting away, especially because it also is +11 degree centigrade. 😦

All our outside chores like going out into the bush and getting our wood are on hold.

So I am sitting in front of a pile of feathers, furs and recycled leather and give new life and meaning to a few of the wild Bird wings I accumulated over the last few years.

Remember this post – about how to pin and dry Bird wings?

https://shamanicdrumm.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/a-box-with-wings/

Here now is a nice Merlin Wing Smudging fan, just finished 🙂

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 Another wing pinned in the box in the above mentioned post is this following Sharp Shinned Hawk wing.Now it too is dressed up and ready to find an owner 🙂

 

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And as always, to maybe go with these 2 treasures there are 2 Sweetgrass baskets dressed up and filled with Sage, Cedar, Juniper, some incense, some crystals and 2 different large shells suitable for smudging.

One of them is a LARGE clam shell found at the beach of Kouchibouguac NP in New Brunswick. The local Micmac people consider shells from there as powerful “Gebmeg” = good Medicine.

 

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Medicine Pieces

From now until the Winter Solstice we have 3 craft shows coming up and then Bearpaw will be in hibernation until next year mid May.

I am not a big fan of Christmas Craft Shows with all their bells, angels and carols. We do not celebrate Christmas and I always feel quite awkward participating as an artist in the shopping frenzy before the holidays. We however celebrate the Winter Solstice- which incidentally happens to be my birthday. And we neeeeeed to make a living and so – out we go. Our booth will probably be the only one not decorated for Christmas and the Medicine Pieces I created over the last 2 weeks will have to suffice as decorations – until such a time, when they are sold – and most probably been given away as Christmas presents.

What a conundrum!

Anyway; Here are some new Treasures:

Smudging Baskets containing Sage, Cedar, Juniper Berries, Arthemisia, Frankincense, Usnea, charcoal and a smudging shell.

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Then I just finished another Hawk Wing Smudging Fan.

This one is from a female Northern Harrier, that hunted too close to the highway.

I have the other wing still unfinished downstairs and it hurts, to separate the 2 forever…….

But nobody ever would get both of them……

So here this wing will start a new life as a powerful Medicine Tool.

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Last but not least i made another Wolf Medicine Pouch – this one for someone on a bit of a budget and not quite as elaborate as some of my previous ones.

I am sure, this one will be “adopted” fairly quickly.

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As I now prepare the Family Altar in order to smudge and invocate these pieces, I wish you all

a Blessed and peaceful Full Moon! 🙂

Hawk: Soar forever

Coopers in flight

We do not know, why it happened 😦

But there he was, on the road to Huntsville, a magnificent Cooper’s Hawk

He must have lived a looooong good life, but by the shape his feet – and his talons were in – and the fact, that he was kind of emaciated and had little breast fat – he was an older Hawk.

Maybe the harsh breezes caught him off guard.

Maybe he was just tiered…

We will never know…

We took him home.

I sang and drummed for him. There is a special “spiralling drum rhythm”

It sends the spirit home….

I drummed, until I “saw him rise up and out” and of into the trees behind the house….

Then it was OK, to make use of his feathers – to the very BEST of my ability.

Feathers are carefully sorted and cleaned. Putting them into the freezer for a few days will take care of anything still living on or in them.

Wings have to be spread out, to dry, the bone needs to be cleaned up and sealed up.

Talons also need to be cleaned up, then carefully spread out and pinned onto a sturdy board – then left in a save insect free place for several month.

Then, on a New Moon, it is time to start the work

Set the wing into a sturdy piece of wood and then dress it up with accompanying feathers, fur and beads to create a smudging fan or dance fan.

For one of them I used white Fox fur, for the other Wolf fur:

with white Fox furwith Wolf fur

Ad some bone carvings and a few “tail feathers” from other birds and then it is time to smudge and invocate them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a Spirit invocation ceremony check this post:

https://shamanicdrumm.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/alkysch-i-bless-you/

 

 

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

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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

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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.