One of the first things I made in my needlework class at school was a short petticoat, I was very proud of it.
Not that I wore petticoats very often, they didn’t fit under denim jeans, nevertheless I had used a sewing machine and that felt like a great achievement.
I also made a small green dog out of felt, that I embroidered on. This I gave to my mother, and I’m glad I did because she kept it. Had I kept it for myself, no doubt, it would have disappeared by now. It’s losing some of its stuffing, but nevertheless it now sits on my dressing table in my bedroom, my mother long passed this realm.
Stitching and sewing has always been something that I’ve enjoyed, something about the meditation, the focus it takes to weave those little stitches into the fabric, to create something quite beautiful and to be so connected to materials in this way. I love fabrics, especially natural ones, like fur, feathers, skin, things found in nature, bones, and anything animal. I love buttons and buckles, and little bits of broken jewellery, pieces of embroidery, old bits of ancestral clothing even tablecloths or mats.
I like making things from these ornaments and so I have always collected interesting pieces, keeping them in boxes and containers for a time that I would need to make use of them.
So it hasn’t surprised me that over the years of offering creative workshops and what some people would call shamanic offerings, that I now call Soul-Work, I began to understand what it meant to stitch and sew our own medicine bags.
I actually really like bags, I have quite a collection, many of them I’ve made myself, these bags always intrigue me. I remember once my husband saying he wanted to make a documentary about what women kept in their handbags. I thought he would be greatly surprised, particularly by my own, I won’t go into detail here about what I keep in some of these bags, but it would make a fascinating documentary!
I realised that by creating these medicine b
ags there was a a deeper connection to the shamanic world as I began to understand the importance of them. Especially as so many of them hold our ancestral stories, so many of them even created from our ancestors belongings. And as I spent time with this process, I started to receive information about the traditions of medicine bag weaving and how this was so important to create them ourselves, that they were much more about the process of the making, than what they looked like or what lay deep within their crevices and linings.
I understood the singing and the importance of our voices within this process.
How fascinating that was, almost as if my ancestors were speaking to me, by sharing their voices, their songs, their medicine.
I’ve learned so much through this craft, such a deep meaningful experience and how I love to share it with others. And this coming week we begin once more after so many years of offering this journey around the world, in South Africa, in Germany, in Czech Republic, in North Wales, in special retreat places where we combine the creations with nature. To now find that I will be offering this so close to home in a venue just a short walk away from where I live.
Once again we set sail on the Oracle of Medicine to weave and to stitch, to sing and to dance, to understand the deeper meaning of what it means to create from the story of our own Oracle.
We have a special group coming to craft within this journey to visit the landscapes that I walk upon everyday, to sit in prayerful meditation together, to weave the fabrics, to share experience, to remember the spirit of our own songs.