New Dolls – Keening and Antlered Women!

The Keening Woman – click to view in online shop

These are the last dolls of the season before we shut the shop next week and get ready to pack our bags and head to Scotland for the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland Retreat! 

The Keening Woman

The keening woman was employed in Ireland and Scotland to grieve over the body as part of a death rite. Her role was to lead the communities grief for the person they were grieving and also to show the way home to the otherworld for the person that had died. Keening was always a woman’s role and goes back to an earlier pagan tradition and a shamanic role. Traditional keening (in the presence of a dead body) has long dies out yet has begun to flourish in an age where grief is taboo and is used in modern ceremonies for an entire host of reasons in which we see fit to release our grief not just for those who have died but for the state of the world. Click on the image above to view in the online shop.

 

She Who Whispers to the Deer – click on image to view in the online shop

She Who Whispers to the Deer

She comes from a time of ice, a time when great herds of reindeer crossed from mainland Europe across land to Britain. She is that energy of the reindeer running the ancient migratory paths. It was she who ran with the very first herd, guiding the leading female. She is protector of the reindeer and the long line of priestesses who followed. Click on the image above to view in the online shop.

 

Elen of the Ways – Click on the image to view in the online shop

Elen of the Ways

Elen of the Ways is an ancient British shamanic folklore figure. Elen wears antlers, which female deer do not have although female Reindeer do which links her back to the early people who followed the reindeer herds from Europe over to the UK before the great ice sheets melted and created the North Sea and resulted in Britain becoming an island.

Elen is the ancient Deer Goddess, an archetype of the land. The deer followed their pathways made over generations of migrations, often running along leylines. Elen offers insight into other worlds, to see between the worlds and to be that communicator between the realms. Click on the image to view in the online shop.

Wings or Not Wings?

Bee collage

 

In my preparation for the Blessed Bee workshop (now full) I have been exploring the story of the Melissae (latin for bees), the priestesses at Cybele’s temples in Greece and Rome. Bee’s have been familiars for the Goddess for thousands of years and Cycele’s priestesses were prophets or oracles who entered an ecstatic trance enduced by preparations that included honey. Interestingly the Greek word for this state of transfigured consciousness is enthusiasmos — ‘within is a god” which is the root of our word enthusiasm.

‘In the center of the world, a fissure opened from the black depths of Earth, and waters flowed from a spring. The place was called Delphoi (“Womb”). In its cave sanctuary lived a shamanic priestess called the Pythia—Serpent Woman. Her prophetic power came from a she-dragon in the Castalian spring, whose waters had inspirational qualities. She sat on a tripod, breathing vapors that emerged from a deep cleft in the Earth, until she entered trance and prophesied by chanting in verse’.     Max Dashu

I’m not sure about the wings. I liked the idea of bee’s as messengers between the worlds. Maybe she needs a different style of wings? Somehow hinting at that element of prophecy?

References: 

The Pythias excerpted from Secret History of the Witches © 2009 Max Dashu

 

Guardian of Lion’s Gate

Final image

 The Guardian of Lion’s Gate


I’ve been thinking for a while now about trying a new way of making dolls. So I found a wire coat hanger, chopped it up, twisted and moulded

coat ahnger

Basic shape from a wire coat hanger


Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 10.36.35 PM

wire

Wrapped some wool around the wire & shaped, then added some hair


pattern making2

pattern making

doll dress

Dress making

almost done

Dress fitting

silk

Silk embellishments
detailDetail


She was made in the middle of the Lion’s Gate astrological alignment played out. Now I know nothing about astrology but I did notice some different energies occurring about how I was viewing certain things in my life – and a great unfolding of what is next. And as I pondered these energies my hands created Lion colored dreadlocks and this Guardian was born!