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.