“Shamanic Fox, Deer & Bat Drum”

 

Fox hides and tails, deer rawhide, bat-cave crystal from Cambodia and a Scottish oak drum hoop.

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

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I completed this drum on my birthday this Summer 2016.

I had a total stinker of a cold, even to had to cancel my birthday meal out because I couldn’t taste bugger all, lol, but I had a lovely, slightly quarantined, indulgent day, full of love, family and dear friends 💜

I also scraped enough energy together to finish my new Fox/Deer/Bat Shamanic drum.  It felt important to make it on my birthday.

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This drum has been waiting to be birthed for many years…

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Time for a quick story…

I had 5 salted foxes in storage.

I tend to use personally foraged animal medicines and material in my work.  I use a lot of roadkill.  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.

Two of the foxes I had in mind had specific and significant meaning – Mr. Stinky & The Titchmarsh Fox.

These were to form the main body of my new DRUM and BEATER, and is also used on my new GODDESS RATTLE

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The Titchmarsh Fox…

The Titchmarsh fox was roadkill.

I was asked to cook on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in September 2014.   I didn’t have much “unusual” roadkill stock in my freezer and they wanted something sensational.  I gave them all the information and recipes they were after and we started to plan the date for the show.  They still however wanted a ‘show-stopper’ and during one particular phone call I told them that the next ‘unusual’ thing I found on the road I would cook for them… I just happened to be covering a lot of miles that day.

Then on the way home that very eve I found this FOX on the A59.

Something just didn’t feel right.  I decided to sleep on it.

Next morning I told them that I hadn’t found anything despite feeling under pressure.  I was adamant about not straying away from the ethical message and didn’t want to cut up a ‘dead dog’ on daytime telly for an unappreciative and non-understanding audience.

They were not happy with pheasant, squirrel or rabbit.  Anyway…. in the end the job didn’t happen.

Part of him became my drum head.

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Mr Stinky…

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 also wanted FOX on the menu. Fergus had one in his freezer, and he became known as the “Flying Fox” as the show had paid for him to be flown up to Scotland from London where he resided in a friends freezer!

…but he was frozen solid with ‘dry ice’ when he arrived and un-skin-able!

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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The Bat Crystal…

The Bat Crystal has its own amazing story.

The Cambodian trip in 2007 was a solo trip that immediately followed a huge fight and subsequent breakdown of a relationship and business partnership.  I literally threw my passport, a pair of knickers and my credit cards into a bag and drove to the airport.  I was at my tethers end.

It was necessary at the time to throw myself to the mercy and wisdom of the Universe, alone and accepting.  I was in great emotional pain.  I wanted to re-find myself, to rediscover my TRUTH,VOICE and COURAGE and begin my life all over again.  I discovered a lot in Cambodia, about life, me and my path.

(read more here…)

Anyway….

As well as working with an independent mobile medical unit that delivered first aid and medical attention to the displaced refugees in a camp just outside the Cambodian capitol, I did a bit of sightseeing, lol.

I hired a moped and visited some ancient caves, in a protected eco-system in the countryside around Phnom Sampeou that were famed for its bat population.

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At dusk millions, literally millions of small bats come bursting out of the mountain forming a steady stream toward the countryside, where they spend the evening stuffing themselves with insects.  Towards dawn they retire back into the mountain.

I went caving with a local guy, who, equipped with a torch and a few wide brimmed hats took me deep into the caves, squeezing through tight gaps and exploring huge caverns.

On approaching the main bat cave he handed me a hat with instructions to look ‘up’ very carefully!  The reason for this became apparent when I entered the cave.

It was ‘RAINING’.

But it wasnt rain… it was millions of bats clinging to the cave ceiling – PISSING!

It was incredible!  The noise was intense!

Where ever we shone the huge torch we saw seething masses of little furry rodents with wigs… families of bats, babies, copulating couples… it was quite something!

The guy shone his torch to one of the walls.  I was mesmerized!  The walls glowed!  Most of the interior of the cave was made of CRYSTAL!

It was a CRYSTAL CAVE!

For millennia these crystal walls had been absorbing the sounds, smells and essence of BAT day in, day out.

On the floor, which was now many meters deep in Guano, were chunks of these crystals that over time had fallen from the walls… and I put one in my pocket and brought it home.

I knew I would one day make something special out of it… and it now forms the center piece of my drum.

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This entire process was deeply informative and transformational.  I have been working closely with Fox energy now for many months and I have been wearing handmade (by me) fox bone beads in my Elf Locks for the past three years!

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 Working so intimately with these animals enables me to absorb and transmute their special essence into an energy I can work spiritually with.  Dear Fox has been a very special ally.

Thank you FOX ❤

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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 Bat Symbolism

* Shamanic work, Hidden knowledge, Hidden work
* Active dreaming, Past Life Journeys, The Underworld
* Instinct, Perception, Vibrational Sensitivity
* Beginnings (Initiation

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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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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 FOX DRUM”, “GODDESS RATTLE“, “FOX BEATER” and VULTURE 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 question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive”.

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Additional Notes…

andy woodwrightHoop lovingly made by Andy Hurst – Woodwright made in a traditional manner from Scottish Oak fastened with copper boat nails.

Feels gorgeous. Thanks Andy. xxxx

https://m.facebook.com/AndieCraft/

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shamanic druidryThe 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.

visit

Shamanic Druidry

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“LOST BODIES”

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

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“The Shamanic Fox & Snake Goddess Rattle” was completed 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

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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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“FORBIDDEN” airs on British TV!

forbidden snip

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On September the 30th this year the DISCOVERY CHANNEL broadcast the series we took part in last year…

Originally called Extreme Worlds (working title) the series launched with the episode “Double Lives”.

 

“What is a delicacy to some can be disgusting to others. Adventurous eating is a growing fad, but these foodies take exotic to a new level. Standard fare just will not cut it for these appetites – they prefer roadkill, insects, and in some cases, dirt.  In the picturesque farmlands of New Zealand, rams’ testicles are gulped down at a food festival. In Japan, a culinary revolution is unearthed when a chef cooks with topsoil. In Scotland, a foraging family chooses a diet rich in foods from the wild – berries, mushrooms, and roadkill”.

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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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