“Shamanic Fox & Snake Goddess Rattle”

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Fox fang, snake bone, rattle snake tail, driftwood, fox, deer & snake skin, crow & rooster feathers and crow blood and menstrual blood rattle.

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

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I completed this rattle in July 2016.

It was constructed for my personal use, and to be used during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan).  Nicola Hunter is the feisty artist behind the acclaimed “Raising the Skirt” projects.

This is her latest work celebrating grief as a strengthening process for the soul, a metamorphosis and a labored fight in the darkness, answering the call of the Wild Woman. This was a deeply moving and inspirational performance of an actual transition, assisted and held shamanically by me.

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Lost Bodies

“Lost Bodies” was performed on The Day 3 Evening of Tempting Failure – at Theatre Utopia, Matthews Yard, Croydon.
23 July 2016

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The Goddess Rattle…

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Goddess driftwood handle with Deer skin “Fox” shaped rattle head, filled with mixed Snake vertebrae bones.

Bound with white (Mr Stinky) Fox leather around a pair of Fox fangs (roadkill).

Stained with Crow blood (roadkill) and my Menstrual Blood.

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The opposite rattle is a Rattle Snake tail (my sons first ever baby rattle) bound with Mr Stinky white fox leather.

Decorated with Crow (roadkill) and white Rooster feathers, sewed onto blood red ribbon.

Base bound in white Python skin and Mr Stinky white fox leather.  

Stained with the same.

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It is important to me that I know the history of everything that I use in as much detail as possible, and that it is ethically sourced.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work, mostly roadkill.

However….

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Mr Stinky was not roadkill…

In 2012 I participated in a TV programme for the Discovery Channel – it was called “FORBIDDEN”. I hand-picked a group of like-minded friends and we called ourselves the “Roadkill Collaborators” and we hosted the very first UK “Roadkill Food Festival”.

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(Our contribution, Episode 7 was called “FREAKY FOODS” – first shown 11th November 2014)

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The producers wanted fox on the menu. Fergus had one in his freezer, and he became the “Flying Fox” as the show had paid for him to be flown up to Scotland from London where he lived, but he was frozen solid with ‘dry ice’ when he arrived. We said if we found one on the road we would happily have it on the menu.

The producers had one shot!…

We were really pissed off and threatened to cancel the rest of the filming. Shooting the fox for entertainment was the absolute antithesis of the message we were trying to convey. The film crew were incredibly embarrassed and apologised profusely on behalf of the producers.

Mr Stinky Fox as we affectionately called him did not appear on the show, but when the filming was over and the crew left, I processed both foxes myself, respectfully and peacefully.

I promised Mr Stinky that his death would not be in vain and that he would be honoured.

And I kept that promise 💜  he is both part of my new DRUM, RATTLE and also the BEATER for my drum.

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This beautiful white “Mr. Stinky” leather was made using just water and salt.  I didn’t intend to make leather as his pelt was so plush (and stinky) but his fur slipped unexpectedly during tanning.

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mr stinky leather

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Basic Fox Symbolism

* Physical and mental responsiveness, increased awareness
* Cunning; seeing through deception; call to be discerning
* Ability to find your way around, to be swift in tricky situations
* Affinity with nocturnal activities and dream work

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Basic Deer Symbolism

* Gentleness, Being Sensitive and Intuitive
* Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace, ability to change directions quickly
* Being in touch with your inner child, innocence
* Vigilance, Magical ability to regenerate, being in tough with life’s mysteries.

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Basic Snake Symbolism

*  Sense of allegiance, Very earnest.

*  Perfectly patient, Highly tolerant.

*  Looking to renew everything, Making everybody equal.

*  Cleaning the environment, Immune to heat.

*  Acute perception, Highly protective.

*  Out of the ordinary, Overtly resourceful.

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Basic Crow Symbolism

*  Life magic, mystery of creation.

*  Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy.

*  Intelligence, Higher perspective.

*  Being fearless, audacious.

*  Flexibility, adaptability.

*  Trickster, manipulative, mischievous.

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Basic Rooster Symbolism

 *  Eccentricity, Uniqueness, Ego

*  Lack of Fear, Curiosity, Sexuality

*  New Beginnings, Sun Energy, Voice finding.

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These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

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Treading Lightly on the Earth.

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There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of this DRUM, RATTLE,BEATER and SMUDGER as well as the obvious symbology attached to each animal used.

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“As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to journey inwards and question preconceptions/ socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

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Additional Notes…

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The Deer rawhide was purchased off Lynne Cowley – as well as this fox head rattle this hide was used to make the lacing on my new drum as I didn’t have enough fox to cut into strips… (and the Deer added the strength and grace I wanted).  Anyone wishing to make their own rattle, or drum, can purchase sustainably sourced leather and rawhide directly from Lynne and Phil Cowley of Shamanic drums and rattles. I have visited their place years ago, and I have to say that their hand scraped and brain tanned rawhides and suede are the best quality I have ever seen anywhere. They truly are masters of their craft ❤ theirs is the only outside source that I trust.

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“Visceral and graphic yet tender and beautiful. Most importantly it was positive and affirming and showed power and perfect honesty”.

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If YOU are feeling the call to strengthen your own growth process, shed your old skin and follow the call of the Wild Woman, this raw, deep-diving and deeply inspirational performance is not to be missed

‘LOST BODIES’ that was performed at TF2016 Day 3 is now a three event tour…

next showing in LEEDS (UK) on the 24th September (venue TBA).

If you comment below I will keep you posted…..

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“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The wildish nature comes to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped” – (Clarissa Pinkola Estes).

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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