I regret to inform folks that at this time I have suspended my work making items to be used alongside Shamanic work. I am hard at work on other creative projects I hope to launch soon though, so stay tuned or join my mailing list for updates.
I didn’t have the heart to remove the examples of some of the items I’ve made in the past though. I hope they will inspire you to make your own spiritual tools.
EXAMPLES OF CUSTOM WORK
Rhythmic noise – such as drumming, rattling, or tapping sticks – is know to alter brain waves in such a way that humans can more easily connect to spirit (sometimes referred to as an “ecstatic state” or in more modern terms a brain wave theta state). These rhythm sticks were made from alder wood. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. The symbols on the sticks were burned in, a reminder that fire is transformative. The majority of the symbols chosen are ancient and familiar to cultures on all seven continents. Each stick is a reverse image of the other, reminding us that there is no light without dark and representing balance in the universe. When you use these rhythm sticks let them serve as a reminder that we are all connected and let this knowledge guide your intentions.
The crow, from the corvid family of birds, is known to be one of the most intelligent beings on earth. There is no shortage of meanings attached to this bird, however when this rattle was made it was with the understanding that this bird has carried itself forward with man and flourishes in its environment. No matter how inhospitable the landscape may seem we have the wisdom, as does the crow, to change our circumstances for the better.
The head of the rattle, made from elk skin, is painted with the silhouette of a crow about to land. The head is attached to an alder stick. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us.
The following symbols have been burned into the handle:
- 7 circles representing 7 sacred ceremonies
- an eye representing the all-observing ability of the crow and the ability to see and find lost objects (i.e. the gift of foresight)
- the symbol for the constellation Corvus, whose name derives from the latin word for crow, which is one of our brightest stars lighting our night sky (i.e. illumination)
- an arrow, so that what you seek may be found swiftly
Dangling from the neck of the rattle, wrapped in leather, is a feather; at the top of the feather is a hand made glass bead (torchwork), that I made to be reminiscent of the night sky and the mysterious cycles of the moon, something the crow is also known to be associated with.
EAGLE TALKING STICK
This talking stick is made from alder wood. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. Burned into it is the image of the eagle representing the highest of ideals and honor – a bird that touches the skies and those beings that reside there. On the left hand side of the stick, which is wrapped in red leather, are three beads in earth colors and tones – metallics reminiscent of the minerals in the earth, the red and orange colors reminiscent of the core of the earth and the ground itself. On the right side of the stick, which is wrapped in blue leather, are three beads with colors and forms reminiscent of our sky, the constellations, and the vastness of the universe.
When you hold this talking stick let these symbols and images guide you to speak only the truth, and to form your thoughts and words with the utmost sincerity and with the highest of ideals that are for the greater good of all. Let it serve as a bridge between you, on earth, and the benevolent spirits that honor you by listening.
This journal was hand bound using a coptic binding. Coptic bindings are some of the oldest known bindings (from as early as 2nd century AD). The beauty of this binding, besides its simplicity and lack of glue, is that it allows the journal to lie flat. This makes it ideal for not only writing in, but drawing in too.
Some of the symbolism crafted into the journal:
- Green linen chord, a natural fiber in the color of natural things in the world, used to sew the binding
- On the front, the image of a white bison, with the hope that what you write/create/paste within the pages of this journal will contain all things, as does the bison
- On the back, the image of a wheel, representing knowledge
- The cover, made from blue-sky seed paper, has wildflower seeds infused into it along with their potential for beautiful and untamed growth
VARIOUS OTHER RATTLES (all SOLD)
CUSTOM CELTIC RATTLE FOR KAMERON
This was a wonderful collaboration between myself and Kameron. She knew a bit of what she wanted, the symbol on the head of the rattle for example is her personal symbol for the healing work that she does. She requested a green head and also wanted feathers incorporated. Then she led me to her personal website to get a feel for her, and her work, and wanted the rattle to have a Celtic feel. After that, she was happy to let me stretch my creativity and come up with a design (which I loved). I know a lot of people associate knots and geometric, interlocking shapes as being Celtic, however for me it has always felt more organic – referencing nature. Celtic shamanic practice is one that I have personally studied and have an interest in, so I hit my reference books (not to mention my own photos from trips I have taken) to come up with inspiration for the design on the handle. This was a true collaboration and was a really fun experience.
The head is Elk hide dyed a rich green reminiscent of rolling, Celtic landscapes. The handle is made of Alder wood. Alder wood has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. The design on the handle was inspired by a carved stone ornament, end of first century BC., found in Turoe, Co. Galway, Ireland. It was burned into the handle representing transformative change. The feathers are cruelty-free flight feathers from golden pheasant. The beads are handmade by me – glass torch-work – and the handle wrap is made from natural deer hide. The head is filled with dried beans and hold the energy of life, sustenance, and growth.
CELTIC DANU RATTLE
This rattle was made to honor the Celtic Goddess Danu. She is considered a very ancient God/dess and represents knowledge, wisdom, abundance, and wealth. Some lore counts her as the mother of the Tuatha De´ Danann (translated to mean the people(s)/tribe(s) of the Goddess Danu). Keeping these things in mind, the head of the rattle (made with Elk hide) has been dyed with a vegetable dye made of a deep, mossy, earthy green. The symbol painted in gold, an ancient metal, is a Spiral of Life; a symbol which has been found in old remnants of ancient temples in Ireland. If you trace around the Spiral, there is no beginning and no end. The handle, made of Alder wood, has the image of a cauldron with steam rising on one side – representing, hearth, home, abundance, wealth, and care-taking – and a transliteration in Ogham of Danu’s name on the back. These have been burned into the handle which is made of Alder wood; fire representing transformative change. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. The rattle is filled with small stones representing the bones of the earth. The head has been attached to the handle with soft white deer hide, representing purity of thought and good intentions.
This rattle almost vibrates with the deep and mysterious power of the earth, nature, and all of its animal creatures. The symbols of Danu, the cauldron and her name on Ogham, truly evoke some strong energies which can be used not only for connecting to spirit and performing healings, but also for co-creation and manifesting. This is a rattle appropriate for those who feel a connection to Celtic lore. It is also appropriate for those who feel a deep connection to, and empowerment from, nature.
CUSTOM CELTIC RATTLE FOR STEPHANIE
A client saw the Danu rattle I made and asked me to make something similar. She wanted the same Spiral of Life on one side, but also wanted a large spiral on the other. She requested the red color and the white wrap, and asked for the Ogham symbol on the handle which she explained means Wisdom.
This rattle is filled with the more traditional dried beans rather than the small stones the Danu one is. It makes for a softer sound.
RED SHAFTED FLICKER RATTLE (made for myself)
This rattle was made to honor the Northern Red Shafted Flicker; a bird that had been visiting me almost daily for several weeks. If you choose to view this bird as a simple woodpecker, there is no shortage of myths and legends associated with this bird which is often considered a symbol of good luck. When in meditation, however, I understood the appearance of this bird as a symbol of confidence and self-reliance. This bird lives its life unabashedly and with a grand sense of unselfconsciousness. The head of this rattle is made of Elk hide and has been left in its natural (un-dyed) state. The symbol painted on the head is the color and shape of the mark on the breast of the Red Shafted Flicker. It is filled with dried beans representing the bridge between the spirit world and the mundane world and encompassing the energy of life and growth. The handle is made of Alder wood. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. On the handle the outline of a Red Shafted Flicker tail-feather was burned in; fire representing transformative change. Then the vibrant red color was painted in. The head of the rattle is attached with red and black deer hide. The color red on the neck and in the tail-feather symbolizes the first Chakra, known as the Root Chakra, and represents acceptance of our life on earth, survival, the power to achieve goals, vitality, grounding, satisfaction, security, trust, stillness, and courage.
Meditating and calling on the Red Shafted Flicker can help you understand your place in the world, to have faith in yourself, to move boldly forward with all of your intentions, and to feel confident in your choices in life. What better rattle to use to live an authentic and unself-conscious life full of spiritual ecstasy and authenticity. It is especially useful calling in spirit to create sacred space in which to perform meditations and healings for yourself and for others.
ORIGIN OF LIFE RATTLE (sent to Pennsylvania)
This rattle was inspired by a trip to Goat Rock Beach in California. The head of the rattle (made with Elk hide) is dyed a rich yellow, mimicking the warmth and radiance of the sun. It is filled with dried beans representing the bridge between the spirit world and the mundane world and encompassing the energy of life and growth. The symbol, painted in an iridescent and oceanic blue, is a a Tibetan symbol for the origins of the universe; this seems particularly appropriate when standing oceanside. The handle of the rattle is made from driftwood found on Goat Rock Beach; something of the earth energetically transformed by the ocean. The head has been attached to the handle with deer-hide dyed a rich blue color which is reminiscent of the ocean, but is also the color of the Throat Chakra. This chakra is associated with free and creative self expression, communication, inspiration, confidence, integrity, wisdom, truth, freedom, independence, and access to subtle levels of being.
This rattle contains symbols with powerful themes that are particularly useful when in meditation, connecting to spirit, or performing healings. If you are someone who is inspired and buoyed by being close to the power of the ocean, the sun, the sand, and the sea air then this is the rattle for you.
POLAR BEAR RATTLE (sold to a client in Oregon)
My first encounter with a Polar Bear and partnering Spirit Helper while Journeying was so significant for me that I felt compelled to honor them by making this rattle. The head of the rattle (made with Elk hide) is dyed a deep, arctic, blue. The iridescent arc across the face of the rattle mimics the arc I saw painted across the Spirit Helper’s face. They iciness of the paint mimics the iciness of the climates Polars thrive in. The head has been attached to the handle with soft white deer hide, representing purity of thought and good intentions (and of course it is the color of snow!). Burned into the handle, made of alder wood, are various ancient symbols that are familiar to cultures on all seven continents signifying our connectivity. The most prominent symbol however, is a Polar Bear footprint. Polars are teachers and healers. They are wise and are comfortable with solitude. They know how to conserve energy and they don’t waste it; they use only the amount of energy needed for each task and they don’t get worked up over insignificant things.
HAMSA SUN/MOON RATTLE (purchased as a gift for someone taking their first steps on their shamanic path)
Walking across a parking lot on a rainy day I spied a Hamsa charm at the bottom of a puddle. I felt called to create a rattle infused with this powerful symbol. The Hamsa has many names: khamsa, Eye of Fatima, Hand of Fatima, Xomsa… It is widely known as a sign of protection. It is also known as a symbol of good fortune, blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as particularly potent in deflecting the evil eye (i.e. someone wishing you ill will). The head of the rattle is made of Elk hide left in its natural (un-dyed) state, and is filled with dried beans representing the bridge between the spirit world and the mundane world and encompassing the energy of life and growth. Painted in gold on one side is an ancient symbol representing the sun, and on the other painted in silver is a crescent moon. These two symbols together represent balance in the universe; dark and light operating in harmony. The head is attached to the handle with soft deer-hide dyed a vibrant violet color. This color symbolizes the Seventh Chakra, known as the Crown Chakra, and represents divine wisdom and purpose, integration/unity with the divine, universal consciousness, bliss, understanding and enlightenment. The handle is made of Alder wood. Alder has many sacred meanings across cultures, such as being a sheltering or giving tree and serving as a reminder that we have hidden talents within us. The dominant symbol burned into the handle – fire representing transformation – is the Hamsa. It is then surrounded by ancient symbols found carved and painted in caves and on rocks across the globe and cross-culturally; this is meant to remind us of our shared origins and evolution as humans.
The Hamsa as a dominant symbol on this rattle makes it especially powerful when calling in spirits to create sacred space and a circle of protection; something very useful when performing spiritual extractions and energetic healings. It is also useful when meditating to connect with the divine and to inquire about and explore your higher purpose in life. But let’s face it, this rattle can assist you with just about any spiritual endeavor; it is jam packed with powerful symbols and intent.
FIRE DRAGON RATTLE (sent to Elena in Italy)
Someone in Italy saw the Dragon Rattle I made on Etsy and wanted to purchase it. Due to strict export laws I had to remake the rattle for her with non-traditional materials. The head is made of paper clay. The handle is wood and, instead of beans, it is filled with small wooden buttons. The head is attached with cotton cord. Elena was incredibly patient waiting for me to work through how to make this for her with materials I don’t use that often.
This rattle was made to honor the Fire Dragon. The symbol painted in metallic gold is an ancient alchemical symbol representing fire. The image of the Fire Dragon was first burned into the handle, and then later hand painted in red, small touches of gold, and a lush purple/black on the wings. This is a very well balanced rattle that represents a power animal-spirit that is ancient, deeply wise, very powerful, highly protective, and very transformative. It was important to burn the symbol of the Fire Dragon into the handle before embellishing it so that fire became an integral part of its power since it is also integral to the power of the fire dragon.
This rattle can absolutely do anything for you. It can call in spirit, create a circle of protection, hep you perform healings and extractions, call to spirit allies, work on co-creation and manifesting, etc., etc., etc… The dragon is an ancient and wise spirit that can help you work through tough issues and effect positive and deeply-transformative change in your life, those around you, and our planet.
BEAR RATTLE FOR KATE
This rattle was created for a fellow Shamanic Practitioner. Her primary power animal is Bear, hence the bear paw on the head. The handle of the rattle is divided in three sections, representing the lower, middle, and upper worlds. Through these worlds threads the tree of life, where three sacred leaves hang: oak, ash, and thorn. Also threaded through these worlds are silhouettes of animal spirits that are important to Kate: Bear, Owl, two Wolves, and Hawk.
BRIGID RATTLE FOR JANET
This rattle started with the handle. In the midst of studying some Celtic Shamanism, I decided to make a rattle to honor the Irish Goddess Brigid. Brigid is known commonly as the triple Goddess; Maiden, Mother, and Crone. I decided to represent this Three using the moon in phases of waxing, full, and waning. This symbol is burned into the handle of the rattle, which is made of sacred Alder wood. On the back of the handle is a transliteration of the name Brigid in Ogham, which is an ancient Irish alphabet. Much to my delight a colleague of mine later journeyed to find her personal power symbol and when she shared this with me she had drawn the same three-moon phase symbol I had recently burned into this rattle handle. Even more wonderful is my colleague’s personal devotion to the Goddess Brigid. So this rattle was destined to be hers! Since Brigid is also known as the Goddess of Swans and Poetry, my colleague requested a swan be worked on to the head of the rattle. The one I painted onto the head, made of Elk hide, was designed off of the Swan door-pulls from St. Columba’s church near Drumcliffe, County Sligo, Ireland; a place my colleague had visited.