“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

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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 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”.

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Additional Notes…

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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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