This doll has been such an incredible journey to create. There is so much meaning in every aspect of her. The assignment was to make her simple and basic, like the doll makers of our grandmothers would of created. With this doll we are invoking the skills of the ancient ones. So within the belly of this doll (picture below) , I included a key, this was a symbol of the ancestors opening up the doors to the old ways of creating, the ancient knowledge of the world and the connection with the land and materials that they worked with. Along with the key is an Alder branch, the same wood used for her staff. The Alder tree represents strength, protection, determination and confidence, these are the things I’m looking to the ancestors to bestow upon me. I once again included dried flowers of roses, lavender, chamomile and hops to represent the women of my linage. Mint collected from my yard from last year to connect this ancient one with the land that I live on. Last in this special bundle is mistletoe. When I think of my female ancestors I think of the Goddess Frigg. To me she represents the ancient Germanic women and the meaning of her and mistletoe is one of sorrow, but also beauty. It is the mistletoe that kills her beloved son, but she found it in her heart to forgive the mistletoe, so it has become a symbol of love, hope and forgiveness, and that is what I want to infuse in my art, love and hope and for people to be able to heal and forgive.
As for the doll itself, I used very bland colors, her skin and dress all one color. I feel by doing so it truly highlights all of the little details of this doll. I wanted her shawl to look hand woven, so I knitted using the linen stitch to get that affect. Her belt is made of 5 braided strands, representing the 5 elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Hanging from her belt is a ruby in kyanite double terminated crystal, which removes energy blockages, enhances intuition and amplifies manifestation. It is wrapped in copper wire. Copper is believed to provide harmonic connections between the physical and spiritual realm. The small stone on her shawl is magnesite, which encourages creativity. The stone on top of her staff is agate, this is a grounding stone, and one that enhances spiritual awareness. I also adored her staff with yellow flowers, which symbolizes creativity, and happiness. There are also feathers on her staff to represent the guardians and angels of my ancestors.
And last is the 3 Elder Futhark Runes. I picked these three specifically because they spell out OMA, or grandma. The idea of this doll is to invoke the knowledge of the ancestors and doll makers and to me that would be the grandmothers. When broken down each Rune has a specific meaning which made this an even more powerful symbol to bestow on this doll. The first symbol is the Opila, it represents heritage, heirloom, legacy and land of birth. The second symbol is the Mannaz, this represents humankind, the self, the friend, sense of morals and values and relationships with self and others. And last is the symbol of the Ansuz, this one represents insight, communications, wisdom, inspiration and true vision.
So much meaning in one 8 1/2 inch doll. She will stay here with me, to help guide me in all of my future creations.
For the summer solstice I began a course with a very talented Spirit Doll creator. Actually my journey into Spirit Dolls started months ago when I signed up for this course. Right after signing up I was sent a list of supplies. I decided to order my supplies right away and of course once they arrived I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the wool and see what would take shape. I never imagined that I would be creating and selling Spirit Dolls before I even began the course, but its been a beautiful journey and one I think that will become even more amazing as I continue to learn.
Our first project was a rather simple project, at least for me, since I’ve already sculpted so much already. It was an egg, however because I knew I had the skill to create the egg, I focused more on the spiritual aspect of the meaning of the egg. In the meditation created for this first class we were taken to meet our grandmothers, its an almost guarantee that at some point in our family history that there had been doll makers and here we began the journey of asking for that guidance, asking our grandmother to hold this egg for us as we embarked on a journey of learning and creating.
The assignment was to first pick objects such as herbs, flowers, trinkets, etc that would represent what we were looking for in this journey. I started with a mixture of shamanic herbs to represent the shamanic journey I’ve been on, and will continue on during this time of learning. On top of these herbs I placed a charm with the letter H. As I deeply felt the presence of my paternal grandmother in the meditation and her maiden name begins with H. She comes from a family of artist, so it truly is perfect for her to be the one to come forward at this time. I then placed 6 camomile flowers around the charm, camomile tea was one of the stories my dad told me about her. As for the number 6, that represented me and my 5 siblings. Then there is 3 pieces of burdock, representing the spirits of this land, that also guides me in my creations and last was the sprinkle of lavender and rose petals to represent the feminine ancestors of my lineage. The 4 petals specifically representing my Grandmother, her daughter, me and my soon to be granddaughter. My goal for this course is not only to be able to create better spirit dolls, but to truly bring forth the spirit within them. To connect with my ancestors and the spirits around me so that I am able create dolls that truly captivate others and stir up feelings that bring forth joy, love and healing in all those that look upon them.
Intuitively I felt the egg needed to be the colors of a peacock, this spirit animal is very new to me. Our connection began last month and I felt it needed to be incorporated into this project, because I feel its message has been one from the ancestors, a connection deeper than I realize at this moment, but will come to the forefront in the coming months.
The last aspect of the egg is a sigil. In the meditation grandmother drew a symbol on the palm of my hand that was to go onto the Dream Egg. This is a symbol of both protection and inspiration, and a key to open new doors in this journey. As you will see on the picture the symbol is of two spirals, that form an S, with two lines drawn through the middle of it, that form an H. The spirals represent the continuation of all things, the circle of life and the seasons, because we never truly begin again exactly at the same point of the circle we started at, instead it spirals out. There are two spirals to represent both her and my own journey, yet here we are always connected. The side ways H representing Grandmothers maiden name, where our journey in this life time started and the S representing my married name, where our journey has taken us too right now.
I’m not sure what will become of this egg, it truly is beautiful, yet a part of me feels like it needs to be an offering to this land around me, that will be providing me with special elements for the spirit dolls to come. A way to connect my linage to this land. However for now it will sit on my altar, reminding me that Grandmother is holding it as I go on this special journey with her.
I’m truly excited to see what the next assignment will be.