I got to make a friend a Shillelagh this past week from an oak in our grove. A special gift, I empowered it using shamanic techniques, some taught by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and some by Tom Cowan. The best power objects come to me spontaneously, arising out of my life and relationships. When they fulfill their purpose they shine so much more brightly than an ordinary gift. What a treasure it is to give such a gift.
Spontaneity seems to be a preferred ingredient when I’m making a power object. By “power object” I mean making an object that by its very nature is designed to bridge ordinary and non-ordinary reality, bringing necessary spirit here for healing, empowerment and transformation.
During my graduate years I made a mask to work with in ritual. Its shape and materials came to me in a vision, but nothing prepared me for the first moment I put it on. I’d shaved my head a week or so before, a tiny stubble dotting my scalp. When I secured the eyeless black velvet hood the hairs meshed immediately with the fabric, it stuck to me like a second skin. I was imprisoned momentarily in a powerful, transformative darkness.
A power object sometimes has truly surprising impact on people. It knows well ahead of time, sometimes years, what its purpose and placement will be, if its truly the work of spirit. It is the right medicine for the right moment, often with unexpected results. Each gift is a teaching.
This harvest moon has special meaning for me as a maker. I’ve always made stuff: food, databases, art, clothes, etc etc. Throughout my life the maker in me has crossed over into sacred objects, often without knowing what it was doing (is it any wonder one of my teachers is Santa?) I’ve made fetishes from model sports cars, and straw men/women effigies to transform suffering made from neighbors tall grass.
With this harvest moon I feel that special convergence of skill and maturity. I’m able to embody my skill from a grounded place, respectful of its sacred nature. I’ve become much more conscious of my materials, how to approach a tree and grove for materials to work with. I’ve got some great helping spirits to guide me, who have special skills in this area. Most of all I have patience and the wisdom to listen. Perhaps all this is best symbolized by the workbench I felt compelled to build recently. I’ve built my altar, to hold the space between the worlds. This past week it worked its first magic.
This holiday season, may the gift of giving be yours. Its the BEST!