This blog started as an extension of my Etsy Shop, where I hoped to bring my Craft, irrevocable drenched in the spirits of Land, and unique in that regard, to a larger community. I’ve enjoyed it, and in recent weeks as I’ve had more time, I’ve been able to get more of the things I’ve been wanting to out both here and at the shop front.
One of those things is to begin offering larger ritual tools, specifically rattles. There’s no small part of me a little shy about sharing this aspect of my work, there are after all many lovely things available all over the world, and now directly to you, thanks to the internet, and it’s always daunting.
What we do, as Witches, is storytelling. A story that is old and long and has many twists and turns. We purposefully, intently tremble Wyrd, pull Threads of Power, shake the World Tree. Turn pages, open doors and weave new ways of being, understanding. We do so in many different ways. With words, with pictures, with craft. What is it that I do? Make stuff. No, it is much more than that, in the same way to write a book about witchcraft should be more than demonstrate a knowledge of other peoples theory. I have made mention before of Fateweaving. It is not a mistake. Ours is the task of weaving together past and present to drive the narrative of our human story forward. It’s not a mistake. It’s Art. And it’s conscious connection with where we come from, what we are and the possibilities that lie before us. We’re contradictory, on purpose, stagnation is our antithesis. We are not the only people to do it, we all participate in one way or another, some more than others. Artists, and people actively involved in social and environmental concerns, are all doing the same. Driven by their rattling bones, that deep hidden Mystery that asks for more and more depth, more understanding, more wholeness, always.
When I think of it like that, I guess I should not be surprised that it is this item that should have caused my hesitation.
This is my rattle. She is hand made, and was the first ritual tool I made that I felt a real connection too. Like something of myself was in it, as if somehow I had pulled together certain threads that actually became more then the sum of it’s parts. Well beyond how well it’s made, which I am very proud off, but there is something else about it, it reflects something that is in somehow deeply personal.
Inga’s Rattle; sound recording.
It occurred to me after I finished the rattle that I had to to have had something beyond the skill to make it, something more than the materials that I’ve used, but a real connection to the reason I was making it, and the ability to express that reason in the tool itself. I find it to be very beautiful, as a Venusian item it should be, but something about how I feel about it took no small amount of encouragement from my friends to overcome the revealing of it.
This is a tool I use, in ritual. Ritual is a sacred time where we are at once most vulnerable to and most active within the story. The sound of my rattle is part of the voice I have there, it is part of the voice of spirits I work with, and the landscape in which I do it. I believe it is this aspect of the rattle that that makes it so beautiful too me. It’s a place in which, through which and around which I am more than the sum of my parts. In this way it was a teacher, and I didn’t completely appreciate that until I began working my drum, crafted for me in Europe. The only tool I have that is not native I might say, and specifically made for me, reflecting my desire to have a European voice to honour my ancestry, by a most wonderful Artisan, Tamás, whose work you can see below.
But we are not all artisans, and in the case of my drum, it was something other than what I could do myself, since it is something more, an object link to a different land. I am so grateful that there was a person so able to understand what I needed, why I needed it, and appreciate that he was crafting for me something that would become part of my voice, as it is when it is a voice of land and spirit and body at once.
But I realise now that the vulnerability in revealing this voice, and the self doubt that comes with openly declaring myself able to do that work not only for myself, but on the part of others, is an obstacle to the story of my craft.
Lee Morgan has a wonderfully insightful post about the nature of Ritual Art here, and I highly recommend it, it touches on the idea that these tools and rituals are not only for ourselves, but for others, and speaks of raw power. As I write this I am reminded of it, because there is something of exposure in rawness, and that raw power is at the very heart of the Art of the Witch. With it comes a sort of beauty that is very distinctive to Ritual Art, and the tools of ritual.
In the future I want to offer already made rattles as I am inspired to create them (she says with a small collection of things in the corner which has long been taking shape in her mind). In the meantime, I am able to make custom made rattles for you, according to your Craft, your needs and practices, and the currents and powers you work with.
Time for me to listen to my own rattling bones, and continue with new projects and new stories as part of my own.