Archive for September, 2016


“This is a WILD WOMAN” 

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She is a medicine woman, full of laughter and mystery and a wide open heart with sacred boundaries that she fiercely protects.

She wears beautiful, comfortable clothing that allows her to move with ease and grace.

She is full of laughter and light, and she carries an energy of sacred abundance and receptivity with her wherever she goes: she has a strong, solid energetic container for receiving abundance, and allows money to be sacred to her.

It is sacred nourishment to her, and she is grateful for all abundance received, and expresses this gratitude in spontaneity and ritual.

She embodies the balance between ease and structure, function and flow. She is beautiful from the inside out, magnetic, radiant, and masterful at relationship and connection.

She also takes care of her need to be alone and in communion with the divine through nature, the lunar cycles, and plants.

She is reverent in the presence of the cycles of nature and brings this reverence into her everyday life.

She is a healer, a leader, a confidante, and a mother. She is a friend and a passionate lover.

She is enchanting and knows her own enchantment, but does not let her ego get involved – she simply recognizes that she, like all women, possesses an inner radiance that she can tap into at any time.

She is a walking bolt of laughter and music, and brings her healing medicine wherever she goes.

She is a bit of a rogue, a rebel, an innovator, a catalyst. She doesn’t worry about conforming to social norms; she doesn’t disrespect them just for the sake of disrespecting them but simply follows the beat of her own drummer.

She is fully alive and feels everything. She is full of scars, but knows that the scars are the places where the light gets in. Her scars are the places that are filled with gold.

She has fully claimed her own beauty and does not ask for anyone else’s permission to shine. She is not afraid to look herself in the eyes.

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Alas, this one not one of mine, but I do love it ❤

Here is the source.

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“Spinning & Weaving The Web – Shamanic Drum Palm-Cushion”

I learned an amazing new and ultra simple skill the other weekend thanks to the gorgeous and super talented Gitta Cooper.

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I was lucky to be with my Tribe at a favourite annual festival.  It is always held at Lime Tree Farm, a stunning Nature Reserve near Grewelthorpe, Ripon, Yorkshire (UK).

This is a family Pagan camp and is always held at LAMMAS (or LUGHNASADH) commencing on the last Friday in July.  It is a thanksgiving that marks the harvesting of the crops and fruits provided that year, and is symbolised by the baking and offering of bread.  Today it is still very common to find agricultural fetes and contests taking place all over the country.

There is a strong spirit of community.

 At this camp we share skills, hold workshops, share food, sell our hand crafted wares, sing Songs, dance, play music around the fire, basically anything that feels good, fits in with the camp ethos and others want to share!

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This year I learned how to spin wool, make yarn and create something special from what I had made, all in the same weekend!

Gitta taught me how to spin wool directly from RAW, unwashed fleece, the kind you pick from the grass in a field, or from a barbed wire fence onto a SIMPLE STICK!!

You could use any type of wool however!

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This can be done anywhere, it is so simple!  It can be done whilst walking, talking or chilling 😀 and it’s a great thing for kids to do.

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I was Spinning & Weaving The Web that holds us all together!

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  It occurred to me while I was winding the fleece around the stick that I was actually singing the songs around me into its creation.  As soon as I became aware of this I did it with conscious intention.

Very soon the finished product contained so many Goddess and folk songs, healing chants, love, sisterhood and reverence.  I pondered on and contemplated the symbology of the Spider, of all the mythological stories, archetypes and related Goddesses.

Spinning and Weaving are such magical acts!

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I wanted to make and complete my creation that very weekend, to seal the magic in.

Gitta reminded me how to crotchet a soft, round circular piece which ended up finding its own purpose that evening becoming a hand cushion to protect my palm from the sharp BAT CRYSTAL of my Shamanic Fox/Deer/Bat Drum whilst drumming intensely around the large communal fire.

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I love it when a cosmic plan comes together, lol, thank you Gitta 💜

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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 Spider Symbolism

* Patience and Receptivity
* Weaver of life’s fate and Creativity
* Feminine Energy and Vibrational Sensitivity
* Shadow self, dark aspects of life or personality

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

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This latest shamanic tool is one in a series I created in the summer of 2016

The common threads running through all of them are:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

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Treading Lightly on the Earth.

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The story of these can be found by following the relevant links below.

 FOX DRUM”, “GODDESS RATTLE“, “FOX DRUM BEATER and VULTURE SMUDGER”

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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…

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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.

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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’ was performed at TF2016 Day 3 in Croydon, London and is next showing in

LEEDS (UK) on the 7th October 2016 at

LIVE ART BISTRO

Doors – 8:30pm Performance – 9:00pm

£6 in advance.

Bookings – http://buytickets.at/liveartbistro/66598

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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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“Shamanic Ceremonial Bone Choker”

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Crow skull mounted on a sacred wood disk stained in Menstrual blood.  Crow and cow pipe beads.  Fox leather cord ends, tassels and spacers.  Snake vertebrae, recycled wooden beads and Tigers Eye.

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

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I made this new choker in response to losing my Big Cat Warriot Tribal Bone Choker recently at a festival.

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cow bone cats teeth choker 4

Well, whatever happens to this old choker is just meant to be…. here is my new one!!

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It’s a lot more kick-ass in the Shamanic department! Lol. I have grown and moved on a lot since I made this ceremonial choker nearly ten years ago.

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The skull is crow (roadkill obviously, lol) as are 18 of the pipe bone beads hand crafted from wing and leg bones.

The thickest pipe bone joins the other handcrafted bone dread-beads in my hair.

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The wooden disk is a small section of a Horse Chestnut tree that dominates a very special spot down by the sacred spring at Lime Tree Farm  in Yorkshire.  My fathers ashes are scattered around the base of this tree, as are many others – it is a place where you can get in touch with the spirits of the ancestors, as well as the spirits of the stunning nature and energy of this amazing land.

Anyway… this huge, ancient old tree was struck by lightning a few years ago and I asked permission for a section of branch to make wooden disks.

The tree survived perfectly and continues to be a scared place for many.

I always visualise this tree when I do shamanic journeying.

The disk has been stained red with my menstrual blood.

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The white divider beads are snake vertebra, again processed and handcrafted by me years ago.  This snake was one of about 5 that was given to me courtesy of two friends many years ago when someone they knew bought a pet shop and one of the freezers had a bag of dead snakes in it!

“Ali, can you make any use of a bag of frozen snakes?”

lol…. I get the best text messages ever!

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The white leather choker dividers, cord ends and tassels are made from Mr Stinky Fox white leather.

This fox in particular became a mascot of sorts, a stand against going against ones principles… and a reminder to speak ones truth.

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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 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.

He is now part of my new ceremonial choker too.

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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 beads are black and brown recycled wooden beads and the center beads are faceted Tigers Eye, recycled from a necklace gifted to me by a dear old friend as a birthing gift.

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Lots of BIG medicine in this one!!

Very excited to test drive it!!

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NOTE

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.  Everything I use has specific and significant meaning.

 

 Working so intimately with these animals enables me to absorb and transmute their special essence into an energy I can work spiritually with.

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As always, this entire process was deeply informative and transformational.

I have been working closely with Fox, Crow and Snake energy now for many months and I have been wearing handmade (by me) various bone beads in my Elf Locks for the past three years!

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Dear Fox especially has been a very special ally.

Thank you FOX ❤

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Basic Snake Symbolism

The snake is powerfully connected to life force and primal energy. In many cultures, it is revered as a powerful totem representing the source of life. It has the ability to shed its skin and metamorphosise.

When the snake spirit animal appears in your life, it likely means that healing opportunities, change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting.   It offers spiritual guidance about life changes and transitions, whether they are happening at the physical, emotional or spiritual level.

Pay attention to how you use your energy, and where you draw it from.

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*  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 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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I have had a good old shufty in my medicine bag this year and subsequently made an entire set of new tools.

These new Sacred objects are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

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There are also far more personal meanings attached to the birthing of these objects.

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”.

.

Additional Notes…

.

“LOST BODIES”

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

.

“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.

.

Lost Bodies

.

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…..

.

“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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