Tag Archive: painting printing in blood


“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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“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)

.

“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

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”.

.

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

.

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.

.

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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14192718_10153895296786464_7630672378955163054_n

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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.

.

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!

.

Dear Fox especially has been a very special ally.

Thank you FOX ❤

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fox_face_eyes_grass_66412_1024x1024

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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.

.

*  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.

.

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.

.

.

.

.

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.

.

“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).

.

*******************

.

“FORBIDDEN” airs on British TV!

forbidden snip

.

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”.

.

*******************

.

.

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 Vulture & Snake Smudger”

Eurasian Black Vulture Feather

Eurasian Black Vulture feather, recycled leather lacing and ribbons and Burmese Python vertebrae

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

The goal of smudging is to make a place (or person) clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space.

Using smoke and burning herbs has been used for this reason for thousands and thousands of years.

The use of a smudging tool not only directs the smoke where one wants it to go, but also introduces the particular essence and/or intent of the piece used.

Any conflict, anger, illness or unhealthy intent is absorbed by the sage smoke for the duration, and beyond, at the time it is used.

Smudging is ritual alchemy — changing and shifting the air element, and transforming our current experience to a mystical one.

The sage ceremony lifts the veil between the everyday and the sacred.

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I completed this Smudger in July 2016.

It was constructed for my personal use, and to be used during the “Lost Bodies” performance with artist Nicola Hunter.

 Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan) 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” was performed on The Day 3 Evening of Tempting Failure – at Theatre Utopia, Matthews Yard, Croydon.
23 July 2016

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“Shamanic Vulture & Snake Smudger”

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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.

In this case neither was roadkill…

the Vulture feather was found by me, and the Python used was gifted but skinned and processed by me also.

.

 Basic Vulture Symbolism

The vulture is what it is, and could care less about what you or I think about its appearance.   It moves with grace in the skies.  On land it moves with authority, as if all things are within its rightful ownership.

The vulture represents birth and death as well as new beginnings, it is effective and positive.  It represents energy – all year round.  The vulture has been connected with prophecy of the future, Love of the Mother goddess, new visions, and of course, protection.

The vulture symbol reminds one of smart work and not hard work.

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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.

.

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.

.

*  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.

.

The Python bones are threaded and knotted onto orange and yellow ribbon tassel.

Colours can have different meanings for every person, but in this context they symbolise:

ORANGE

The colour of the Sacral Chakra, creativity, emotional expression, productivity, optimism.

YELLOW

The colour of the Solar Plexus Chakra, personal power, logic, lightness, humour, intellect.

.

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

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

.

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

.

Additional Notes…

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

.

lost bodies 5

.

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).

.

.

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 Fox & Deer Drum Beater”

Fox and Deer Drum Beater

Fox leather, deer leg, fox fur and recycled leather lacing.

 (Completed in 2016)

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“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

I completed this beater at the same time as my new Shamanic Fox 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 and beater.  It felt important to make them on my birthday.

.

I normally use deer legs as beaters.  as well as the obvious shamanistic attributes, I find them both beautiful to look at and comfortable to hold.

.

.

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

.

making the drum.jpg9

.

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.

Titchmarsh Fox became my drum and Mr Stinky became my Beater…

.

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”.

.

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

.

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.

.

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.

.

White fox leather

.

The leather formed the beater head and it was stuffed with his beautiful fur.

.

.

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!

.

 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 ❤

.

fox_face_eyes_grass_66412_1024x1024

.

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

.

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.

 .

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

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.

.

“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”.

.

My drum beater made its public debut 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).

.

*******************

.

“FORBIDDEN” airs on British TV!

forbidden snip

.

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”.

.

*******************

.

.

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 Fox, Deer & Bat Drum”

 

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

 (Completed in 2016)

.

“All creation is sacred.  All that exists is alive

.

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.

.

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

.

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

.

making the drum.jpg9

.

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.

.

.

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”.

.

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

.

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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fox_face_eyes_grass_66412_1024x1024

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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.

 .

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

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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**********************************

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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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**********************************

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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…..

.

“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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*******************

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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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*******************

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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 Fox & Snake Goddess Rattle”

H8790048

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)

.:

“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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

mr stinky leather

.

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

.

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.

 .

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.

.

Basic Rooster Symbolism

 *  Eccentricity, Uniqueness, Ego

*  Lack of Fear, Curiosity, Sexuality

*  New Beginnings, Sun Energy, Voice finding.

.

.

These new Sacred Shamanic tools are about:

Respect,

Honouring,

Speaking Ones Truth,

Standing up for Ones Principles

and

Treading Lightly on the Earth.

.

.

.

.

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.

.

“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”.

.

Additional Notes…

.

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.

.

**********************************

.

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

.

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).

.

.

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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“Plain (Menses) Sailing” – PMS

Artwork by Alex Alice

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Don’t believe the head chatter
And it’s all Plain Sailing
A calm and uneventful crossing
A ‘breeze’
A gentle navigation
Through the Cyclic waves
Hardly noticed

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Some occasions are a bit chillier
A bit choppier
Choppier of waves and winds
Choppier of heads
All have been known to roll

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Once in a while there’s an all out Storm
In the darkest of nights
HUGE waves
Tossing you this way and that
Walls of blackness
1000 feet high
Veils of impending velvet doom
Like giant Nosferatus
Menacingly loom over you

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Tremendous crashing
Bashing and slashing
Picking you up then smashing you down
To drown
Sails are torn and tattered
Nerves shattered
Flung far into the unknown
Uncharted waters
Totally lost

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No respite
Hulls are ripped open
Black liquid pain
Leaks from the cracks that have appeared
Cracks that are new
Cracks that are old
Patched up cracks
Smoothed over and glossed over cracks
Forgotten
Until now

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Just to keep afloat
To save this boat
To keep sailing
To keep smiling
Keep working
“WARNING!!”
“IMMINENT DEATH APPROACHING”

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The vessel Explodes
Medusa speaks her Truth
I pray for survivors
Then a watery demise
A bursting of tears
A river nesting in an ocean
A surrendering to despair
“PLEASE!! Is there ANYBODY out there?”

.

Just as quickly as it arrived
The storm breaks
The wind knocked out of sails
The sea of salty tears slows
Ebbs and flows
Then stops

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I am Beached
The wind is now a breeze
A new calm fills this aching, exhausted body
Warmth on back
Pretty turquoise sea
Tickling my toes
Fingers sift soft sand
I am back
I am me

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Stillness
Deep gratitude
A new level is reached
No one else was wrecked
But the hull is still breached

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Old junk and gunk still leak
Now just flotsam and jetsam
Bit by bit
Washed away
With each new breath
Each new wave

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The sun shines again
Shines a light on the darkness
Breaks the brooding clouds apart
Warms a broken heart
Gives you what you need
To stay strong
To stay sane
To return to the mundane
To navigate another storm
Another day
Next month say…?

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By Alison (Tribal) Brierley

(2015)

 

“Sheela-na-gig”

Placental Blood Lino Printing

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“SHEELA-NA-GIG”

Placental Lino Prints – Block printing using a carved lino tile and placenta blood with optional black food colouring.

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 A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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  Earth  Air  Fire  Water

 Self portrait of the archetypal image of Sheela-Na-Gig in B/W, Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

 

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“The Sheela-na-gig is a figure from medieval stone carvings of the British Isles (mostly Ireland), of a grinning woman holding open Her vulva. She is regarded by some as a gargoyle-like figure meant as a medieval allegory of lust, or as a magical figure meant to cure infertility in women, but others have seen in Her an echo of the ancient Irish earth mother.The vulva as holy symbol of birth and life is a very ancient idea that symbolizes the life-giving and regenerative powers of the Earth Mother”

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Sheela Na Gig at Kilpeck church

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More Placenta experiments…. read on!

To date I have done the following with Placenta…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”
  11. I added the umbilical clamp which still has attached to it some of Max’s dried umbilical cord – I added this to the other charms/ tokens inside “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT
  12. PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING – with Hare’s Tail & Foot.  The Tail and Foot are from the same animal that made the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

 

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print  in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View see through placenta ket ring

umbilical clamp added to the harey purse placenta skin keyring and hares tail ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVEPLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKY Placenta cookery in Olive, Nomadic Village 2012

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 Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.

 

Lino Prints

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Block printing using a lino tile and placenta blood. Nomadic Village 2012.

I then made some block prints using a lino tile I had cut just days before the birth.  The image was that of the Sheela-Na-Gig image that helped me through labour.  I made pencil rubbings of the tile and created thank-you cards for my ‘Blessing-way Sisters’ who had nurtured me beautifully.

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PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

       

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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.

.

.

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

“YUMMY MUMMY” 

My Experimental Adventures Lacto Fermenting Using Raw Breast Milk

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First step, seperated breast milk into curds and whey

– “MAMA MOOLI” –

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nourishing-traditions I had been trawling the web for ages looking for a local raw milk supplier so I can start lacto-fermenting foods.  We had recently bought the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ and I had been building up courage to experiment with lacto-fermented vegetables, cultured dairy products and fermented beverages like kombucha.

To begin I ideally needed to make “WHEY” – as in ‘Curds and Whey‘.

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Finding good RAW mlk turned out to be quite a challenge as there are many laws regarding the selling and comsuming of unpasteurised milk.  A lot of the information out there is trying to convince you that drinking raw milk was DANGEROUS!

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We did the research.

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The benefits, in my humble opinion far outweigh the risks.  So I kept looking for a local supplier, preferably of organic ‘Goat’ milk.

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Then a penny dropped… “DING!”… “what the feck, Derrrrr!!”

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surprised goat

We have a live organic goat living with us already… ME!!!

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Why didn’t I think of it before?  Was it simply because of the cultural conditioning  and belief that drinking your own breast milk is a bit, well, “Eeeeeewwe” ???

Really?  My god!  It is barmy when you think about it.  Human milk is designed for us, but we drink, and feed our new-borns and children, milk from another ‘species’, often rather than our own!!!  A species that is factory farmed, sometmes in terrible conditions, regularly pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics and fed pesticide enriched food stuffs?  And THAT is totally socially acceptable?  How weird is that?  “Eeeeeewwe”!

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Well, MY milk tastes bloody yummily lovely thank you very much, lol, and it is clean, chock full of antibodies and completely free!

That was it.  Didn’t need any convincing.  Time to get pumping!

 “MOOOOOOooooooooooo”

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happy mad cow

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Soooo, I started pumping!!! … and pumping!!!

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Unfortunatly me and the pump… we don’t like each other (long story) so didn’t get much out.  Thanks to copious amounts of Green & Blacks chocolate I eventually got a few fluid ounces out.

It was enough however to make my first jar of lacto fermented “MAMMA MOOLI” using my own milk!  And it was great, Yayyyyy!!

 (if a little salty… I used too much salt)

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The process was the same as the one laid out in the book for normal fermentation using whey and I will provide a link here  to the recipes rather than type the whole thing out (busy mum needs to find short cuts and solutions, lol)

I hope the pics are enough of a visual guide and I am happy to anwswer any questions personally using the comment boxes provided with this post.

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Since originally drafying this page ages ago I have weaned my little one.

I could have happily extended the breast feeding, but my partner and I are trying for another.  At 44 years old I need to maximise my chances.

Sadly, breast feeding is one of those things that can inhibit conceiving.  The process of weaning was (sometimes still is) actually harder for me than it was for him.  I still get a little emotional at times, my hormones are taking an entire cycle, at least, to return to normal.  I am content that our little ‘Mooster’ was given the very best start in life and had his ‘booby’ for a good 18 months.

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However…. the story does not stop there!

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One of my dear lactating friends, Eirene, upon much encouragement by me, has begun pumping for the Milk Bank.  How fantastic is that!!

She is now a breast milk donor for the poor little premature babies who do not get the chance others get.  She has an abundance of rich, nourishing and much needed milk, and now she saves lives!  I am so proud of her.

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Caitlin, another breast milk donor fed my little one when things got tough for me at one point in the early days.  I saw her personally at her home and was lucky enough to get her milk ‘raw’ and unpasteurized.  She even wet-nursed my baby, which was a huge experience for both of us.  We are quite close now, a bond was formed between us that can never be broken.

Eventually I pumped my milk back and continued to feed my baby for another 15 months,

 ‘

Soooo, Eirene with regularity has a freezer full of bags of lovely milk.

All the milk that the bank cannot take, she is giving me… so my lacto fermenting veggie adventures using breast milk continue…. Yaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!

….but using someone else’s milk…. lol.

Now that raises another eyebrow doesn’t it!!

raised eyebrow baby

………………..O………………..

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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.

.

Feel free to explore my site and other posts such as…

 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

 “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

12 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

.

Other blogs on ART projects –

SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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………………..O………………..

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A Wild Woman’s Joy at being able to DANCE again

after pelvic injury and birthing.

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tumbleweed-at-the-edge-of-a-sand-road-on-the-way-to-route-40-argentina

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“We Have Come To Be Danced”

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The year before I became pregnant I had a slight injury to my hip whilst out hiking in beautiful countryside.

Wasn’t that much of an injury I thought, but things got worse over the coming months, and, convinced that I had somehow manifested it myself and that my body would heal naturally, I did nothing about it.  In fact it took ages to relate the two together.  I continued to dance, despite the discomfort!

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Nine months after the injury I realised that hoping it would get better on its own was futile and I sought the help of a physiotherapist who confirmed that my pelvis had had an anterior rotation for sometime – no wonder I had been in considerable pain.  My pelvic floor had deteriorated and various muscles were not firing as they should.  Other muscles had taken over, my body was way out of balance and it needed much work, as did my self-esteem.  I was relieved to begin physical treatment.  It was an education to learn just how important it was to maintain flexibility and good posture.  For someone who was an enthusiastic dancer and considered herself pretty fit, I was shocked to lose my strength and mobility so quickly!

Only weeks after starting said treatment I found out (thanks to the ‘Cosmic Sock Monkey’, lol) that I was at last pregnant!  Whooohoooo!!  I was soooo happy!  We had been trying for so long!

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Unfortunately the NHS do not treat pregnant women, so my condition was left to deteriorate again until after the birth.  It got much, much worse.  I no longer danced.

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I still continued to enjoy life, we even bought a van in the States and did a huge road trip which included the iconic BURNING MAN festival, albeit at a more sedentary pace and constantly consciously aware of the unique little person growing inside me.

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We did everything we could to make his entrance into this world as easy, enjoyable and enlightening as possible.  We did a lot of reading together. We even moved areas to one that was less inclined to suggest elective caesareans and not be so fearful and protocol based.  I was thrilled to be so fecund, I was going to miss this feeling.

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Natural Birthing, Rites of Passage & Primal Behaviour.

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However, at the age of 42 pregnancy knocked the stuffing out of my body, despite being enchanted by my pregnancy.  I was finding it excruciating to walk, sit and sleep.  I found an amazing chiropractor who helped keep everything together while my body was flooded with the hormone ‘relaxin‘.  This hormone was not helping me stabilise my twisted, and now floppy pelvis.

Bernette Van Kal based in Harrogate at Montpellier Chiropractic, North Yorkshire is a miracle worker, was incredibly gentle and reassuring.  She continued to realign my body so that we could have the birth we wanted.

I can not thank Bernette enough, she has since become a close and cherished friend, and I managed to have a wonderful home-birth and beautiful son, Maximus.

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H1730011

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After being semi-disabled for nearly two years, I can at last dance (for a while) without pain.  I have made up for the lack of self-expression through movement by focusing on my other artistic practices.

Now, the worry and challenge of losing my mobility and being uncertain of its return has transformed how I want to move my body, especially in public – basically, I didn’t give much of a feck before, I care even less now what other people think.

I still have some degree of discomfort every day, I keep popping out little abdominal hernias because it has taken 18 months for the stomach muscles to knit back together, but my continued Pilates classes twice a week with the lovely and whip cracking Claire and Louise  (of Heaven & Hell Fitness) and the physiotherapy exercises are improving my level of fitness and stability all the time.

Eckart Tolle helps me to see the bigger picture and keeps me mentally on track in an insane world, and David Deida’s daily ‘Bluetruths’ remind me how to keep the flame in our relationship and sex-life burning.

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I can’t wait to be dancing again this summer… and jumping up and down without peeing myself!  lol.

This powerful poem that I love by Jewel Mathieson sums up how I feel.  Every woman would benefit from …

I HAVE COME TO DANCE!!

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We have come to Be Danced

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Not the pretty dance
 Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the Belly
Of the Sacred, Sensual Animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box Dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
 But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The Blow the chip off our shoulder Dance.
The slap the apology from our posture Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two Dance like you
 One two three, Dance like me Dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open Dance
The rub the Rhythm Raw against our Soul Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, Voodoo Mama
Shaman Shakin’ Ancient Bones Dance
The strip us from our casings, Return our Wings
Sharpen our Claws and Tongues Dance
The Shed Dead Cells and slip into
The Luminous Skin of Love Dance.

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We have Come to Be Danced
Not the hold our breath wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the Meeting of the Trinity, the Body Breath and Beat Dance
The Shout Hallelujah from the top of our Thighs Dance
The Mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant Leaps Dance
 The olly olly oxen free free free Dance
The everyone can come to our Heaven Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Where the Kingdom’s Collide
In the Cathedral of Flesh
To Burn Back into the Light
To unravel, to Play, to Fly, to Pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to Be Danced

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We Have Come..

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~ by Jewel Mathieson.

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………………..O………………..

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

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