This page is a dedicated space to document insights into some of my custom commissions, shared with permission from each recipient...
SPIRITWEAVER - THE MESSENGER
The invitation to intuitively bring through this SPIRITWEAVER was an absolute pleasure, and being very close with owl, fox and reindeer myself, I have to say I am totally besotted with this one...
Details of this SPIRITWEAVERs intentions and the medicines in its belly are for the recipients eyes and ears only, so this post focuses on the importance of timing in the overall birthing process as this particular one was both very clear and fascinating to observe.
This entire process was guided by Willow, Celtic tree of Imbolc. Willow is ruled by the moon and the element of Water. The birthing of this SPIRITWEAVER began over the Autumn Equinox, the high point of the Water element in the Celtic Wheel of the Year where seasonal themes include emotional wellbeing, balance, healthy boundaries, flexibility and adaptability in chanageable situations, deepening intuition, perspective, and courage to navigate new waters.
The wool I work with for all SPIRITWEAVERS is sheeps wool gathered each Autumn from the brambles along the hedgerows of West Cork (Ireland). Once collected, the wool is picked over, washed several times, carded, and pre mordanted before dyeing. Over Samhain, seven plants and trees came forward for me to work with as sources of botanical colour; seven shades - one to invoke each of the seven directions: east, south, west, north, center, above, below. I found this to be poignant given that Samhain celebrates and marks the death of the old and birth of the new. The pigments lovingly coaxed from these botanicals form the unique colour palette of this SPIRITWEAVER and represent each of the seven plant and tree allies that came forward for the person that commissioned this.
Over the Winter Solstice full moon, Owl and Optical Calcite came forward as guides and directed the creation of a 'navigational staff'. This staff was made with Hawthorn, a Clear Quartz crystal from Bantry Bay, and Azurite which was gathered here in the Alps. The Azurite was ground into pigment and delicately painted onto the staff. The staff also acts as a 'sun dial'. Note that the Winter Solstice marks the longest night and celebrates the return of the light. I found it a beautiful synchronicity that a wise bird with stealth and excellent night vision came through on this darkest night, along with a crystal that was traditionally used to navigate at sea.
The Solstice also saw the birthing of this mini needle felted owl companion to the SPIRITWEAVER, it's very own medicine drum (ecodyed with willow), and a needle felted sounder for the drum. The little owl can stand on its own, and the medicine drum can be played too as it's fully functional. The person that commissioned this SPIRITWEAVER also plays the drum.
The new moon after Solstice is when the birthing of the SPIRITWEAVER itself took place, it revealed itself to be a changeling and that it would need 'a cloak'. It then revealed itself as part owl and part human, so the cloak doubled up as wings. The owls wings are movable, they can be extended for flight or draped around its body when in resting position. It's human hands hold the navigational staff, play the drum, and are a perch for it's little owl friend.
The SPIRITWEAVER then requested a reindeer fur neck shawl. Reindeer represents the earth element and direction of north, but is also a direct reference to the indigenous reindeer herding nomads of Siberia and Inner Mongolia. It's worth mentioning that the first image I received when I began this process was directly connected with the medicine peoples of these very tribes. Being a lover of both practicality and functionality, this shawl is of course, removable. It is held in place with a button carved from reindeer antler (with a hand carved ruby inserted in the center), and nettle cordage with a bell attached. The bell is a reference to the air element, a sound tool for ritual purification, and also to appease the spirits/warn of danger.
Fox revealed itself as the third aspect of this shape-shifting SPIRITWEAVER and is represented through the ritual headdress and the SPIRITWEAVERS hair.
On its shoulder this SPIRITWEAVER carries a midnight blue felted messenger bag. Blue directly references both the deep winter midnight sky, and the colour of Mercury/Hermes - the mythical messengers. Within this bag are seven moon discs of plant parchment, to carry prayers and intentions to each direction. There is a white healing spiral embroidered onto the bag, and mini key attached beneath it (the key to healing). This bag doubles up as a medicine satchel and is also removable.
I've found myself laughing alot with this one ~ it's been very specific with direction and it's needs ~ for instance, it woke me up in the middle of the night to say it wanted eyelashes, something that I found hilarious at the time. But you know, if you consider it, eyelashes are needed by owls too. Their vision and ability to see clearly and precisely is everything, so of course it needed eyelashes. I never would have thought of that though if left to my own devices. A note that fox is a joker too, and I felt it's playful energy alot during the birthing process.
This SPIRITWEAVER currently resides with it's human on the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Thank you to ST for allowing me to share these images and insights, and for the invitation to bring this incredible beauty through on your behalf. It's been an absolute honor to do so.
For further information on my SPIRITWEAVERS, or to commission your very own, click here.
SPIRITWEAVER - THE WEAVER
I am sharing this story as a reminder of the magic and beauty that unfolds when we trust the process and gift space for things to reveal themselves, in their own good time...
I was invited to bring through this SPIRITWEAVER with a very specific purpose - to serve as a guardian and protector of this young family and the home they were in the process of building. However, it became very clear soon afterwards that this SPIRITWEAVER was for this young mother first and foremost as it was she that was in need of support. Trusting the information that was coming through, and knowing how clear she was about the role she wanted this SPIRITWEAVER to have, I carefully consider the best way to let her know. What she wanted and what she needed were two very different things.
When I contacted her, she was relieved and felt seen, and confirmed that she had been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and isolated for months. We honored what was truly being called for. She was so focused on holding together the multitude of roles in her daily life that she was completely neglecting herself and her own needs. Like so many others, she had melted into the roles of mother, wife, worker, homesteader, cook, cleaner, planner, doer, and all round superhero, that she had made herself invisible and her needs unspoken. Focus was placed on supporting her to weave herself back into being, and back onto her own picture. To cultivate the ability to recognize and communicate her own needs, reclaim her voice, and get past the patterns convincing her that her needs did not count. With this, The Weaver was born.
The birthing process of this SPIRITWEAVER was guided by Hawthorn, the tree that relates with the festival of Bealtaine in the Celtic Wheel of the Year. It's berries are a wonderful tonic for the heart, it's leaves fortifying for the overall constitution, it's blossoms ethereal and uplifting (it is after all, the tree of the Sidhe!) and it's thorns reminds us of the need for healthy boundaries.
The process began with planting a Hawthorn berry in her honour over Samhain. This berry was gathered from one of the Hawthorns growing at a stone circle a short walk from my fathers home in West Cork. As the berry took root and grew, so too did this SPIRITWEAVER, revealing details of it's filaments, layers, and medicines along the way.
As the Hawthorns came into leaf the following Spring, I gently coaxed leaf colour onto the sheeps wool. This wool was gathered from the West Cork hedgerows, and it's twirl in the colour cauldron revealed a soft green hue. Over Bealtaine, I gathered the blossoms to dye the wool, and it gifted the most delicate shade of yellow. That Autumn I gathered the berries, and the result was a warm peachy shade. Over Samhain, I gathered the thorns and bark from some wind fallen branches for the dye vat, and worked the wood into both a lifesized crochet needle and coiled basketry needle to accompany this SPIRITWEAVER. With this, the air, fire, water and earth aspects of the tree were represented and woven as one.
During this time, Dandelion revealed itself as this SPIRITWEAVERS plant ally and really solidified it's purpose as a Weaver of connection. The colour cauldron came out again and I extracted colour from the roots which served as the basis for this SPIRITWEAVERS dress. Dandelion stalks were gathered, dried, and woven into cordage. Using the coiled basketry technique, and thread dyed with Dandelion blossoms, the cordage was then woven into this mini vessel. Dandelion was chosen for its virtues of cleansing and moving stagnant energy (especially residual anger) from the liver. I got a rainbow of colour from last years stalks, but purposely chose the gold ones for this to bring in a symbolic solar fire reference (note that there is a strong solar/fire reference with Hawthorn too as it is ruled by Mars!). The Dandelion basket is filled with little balls of hand spun sheeps wool. These colours are the results of botanically dyeing with wild native medicinals, specific to LR's needs. There are five balls of wool, one for each direction/element on the Celtic Wheel of the Year, and our native medicine wheel. For size reference, this basket is 3.5cms in diameter. There is a drop spindle fashioned from a poppy seed head, on which the SPIRITWEAVER hand spins her wool. The fibers serve as filaments of connection.
This SPIRITWEAVERS dress is adorned with all of the Hawthorn shades that were created throughout process. Over her heart she wears a beautiful piece of local quartz and agate that I gathered, resembling an eye - this represents her own heart's eye, the ability to see (and honor) her own needs, and recognize patterns that could do with her loving attention.
Over her third eye she wears a droplet of gemmy Kunzite, to assist her with releasing old patterns with grace, compassion, unconditional love, and (self) forgiveness. I chose a droplet as a symbolic reference to crystalized tears - a reminder that it is a sign of strength (not weakness) to ask for assistance when needed, and that it's deeply healing to release pent up stress and stagnant water (aka emotions) through tears. This speaks to finding the courage to allow yourself be vulnerable.
It was important that this SPIRITWEAVER incorporate the beauty, gentleness and grace of Rose, and as a BEing of Air (and Venus), she needed hair that would move with the wind. For this, individual locks of wool were dyed with both rosa canina and rosa rugosa and these soft curls are swept up to frame her peaceful smiling face while she sings.
For additional nurturing, warmth, and comfort, this SPIRITWEAVER wears a two tone Hawthorn leaf and Dandelion leaf dyed wool coat with a nice collar to keep her snug while journeying the wind of change and new beginnings. The back of her wet felted coat has a Hawthorn leaf needle felted onto it, along with the ancient Ogham symbol for Hawthorn. The front of her coat has a Hawthorn berry over the heart, and the Hawthorn coiled basketry needle serves as a removeable clasp. The Hawthorn crochet needle is carried in her hand. Both the basketry needle and crochet hook can be used by LR for fiber crafting.
She revealed her name to be 'Gaoithe' (pronounced 'gwee-ha', the Irish word for wind), and she was completed over the Spring Equinox, the high point of the Air element in the Celtic Wheel of the Year. She sings songs of connection, songs of belonging, songs of change, songs of healing, hope, potential, and songs of new beginnings. She sings the songs of the east, and the wind speaks through her.
If you remember, I mentioned that a Hawthorn berry was planted at the beginning of this SPIRITWEAVERS birthing process, and seeing leaves beginning to bud on it over the Equinox, I knew it was time. I contacted LR to let her know her SPIRITWEAVER was ready. She laughed and told me that they had just arranged to visit family nearby and would arrive the following day.
Gaoithe allowed me to photograph her portrait the morning her human arrived. She stood beautifully poised on a backdrop of swirling plant fibers, in the eastern (air) corner of the house and totally in her element. She looked regal, serene, and appeared to gently sing out the window, to the sky. The ringlets of her hair seemed to dance, and the corner of her coat lifted as if the Spring breeze magically came indoors. Out of nowhere, big billowey snowflakes began to fall outside and I stood there speechless at what was unfolding.
After a pot of Hawthorn tea and several slices of banana, chocolate and hazelnut cake, LR and her SPIRITWEAVER went home with not just the little Hawthorn sapling that grew from the berry, but also a hand carved Hawthorn wood eating spoon (to mindfully nourish herself with each day) and a custom Hawthorn tea blend. It was absolutely perfect, and she said it was exactly what she needed. I already knew, before she had even arrived.
This SPIRITWEAVER, it's tree and tools, currently resides with it's human in Austria. Thank you to LR for allowing me to share these images and insights, and for the invitation to bring this incredible beauty through on your behalf. It's been an absolute honor to do so.
For further information on my SPIRITWEAVERS, or to commission your very own, click here.