Tools of the Trade

I primarily make items to be used alongside Shamanic work, but I reserve the right to deviate when creative inspiration strikes. Here are some examples of the things I make and sell. Custom work is my favorite kind to take on, but I also always have some project underway and often have various items on hand to sell. You can find the items I have on hand at my Etsy Shop.

EXAMPLES OF CUSTOM WORK

RHYTHM STICKS

Stained Rythm Sticks 1Rhythmic 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.

CROW RATTLE 

Crow Rattle Full 1The 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

Eagle Talking Stick Almost Full 1This 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.

HAND-BOUND JOURNAL

photo 3This 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

photo 10







BEAR RATTLE FOR KATE

Cropped Bear RattleThis 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

Brigid-Swan Full 1 CroppedThis 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.

Brigid-Swan Ogham Close-up Cropped

VARIOUS OTHER RATTLES  (all SOLD)

CELTIC DANU RATTLE

Danu Full Shot

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.

Danu Ogham Close Up

 

CUSTOM CELTIC RATTLE FOR STEPHANIE

Cistom Red Celtic Rattle Tri-Spiral of LifeCustom Red Celtic Rattle Large Spiral of Life

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.

 

Custom Red Celtic Rattle Handle Wisdom in Ogham

 

RED SHAFTED FLICKER RATTLE (made for myself)

R1AThis 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)

R5A

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)

R6A 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 (make 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.

R6C

 

 

 

 

 

FIRE DRAGON RATTLE (sent to Elena in Italy)

DragonRattleVeganFront 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 bean inside 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.

DragonRatttleVeganHandle1