The great wheel is always cycling, if ever so slowly. It never stops, always in movement, like the moon waxing and waning and disappearing. As a doll maker I take my inspiration from the natural world, from the great archetypes our ancestors minds shape shifted into characters embedded in myth and legend and psyche. I take my inspiration from the qualities of these figures, and within that ancient tradition of doll making, of image making, of pulling the divine from the otherworld and into form.
The Three Sisters of Brighid
At this time of the year with the land frozen, frost shimmering and shining under the rays of a late rising sun with a mornings waning crescent hanging in the sky we prepare for Imbolc. As the cycle brings us through this holy threshold we turn to rites and ritual of the great Brighid. She who took many forms for many people’s as she travelled with us throughout the years. She is the great bear mother, she is goddess, Saint and a very special place of Mary of the Gael in Celtic Christianity – the mother to the new religion, foster mother of the Christ.
One ritual I perform is in the making of the Brideog doll. To invite Brighid as she returns from the otherworld to be present within this configuration of wool and cloth. To honor that doll throughout the year as if the very goddess was present herself.
And so I am gathering wool and materials for this annual ritual, offering space to explore the shamanic qualities of this great goddess in an Imbolc retreat. But there are also other figures on the periphery wanting to be made – the Morrighan, Elen of the Ways and a challenge to create the great warrior Scathach.
So I’m curious, what great figure would you like to see honored with a doll?