Thursday, April 24, 2014

Crow and Bear Protection Totem and it's Symbolism

Animal Totems have always been very important in my life, even since childhood. I look to Nature when I need to feel Peace, and I look to my Animal Totems when I need a different perspective on things. Resonating with the Earth gives me the Grounding that I need to make decisions in a calm and balanced way. 
I study the animal kingdom daily, their ways of survival, communicating, and cycles. When the totems come to me, either physically or through vision, their message and wisdom always can be applied to my own current circumstances. 
Last week as I sat in my studio I had two beautiful yet oddly shaped gourds sitting on my work table, waiting to be transformed. They had been their for a few weeks, waiting for the inspiration to materialize. Then late one evening while I was quietly writing in my notebooks, I knew. I would sculpt a Totem, one for Protection....for the home, and it would honor the Crow and Bear. 
The base of the Gourd would represent the human, our spirit. Above would be the Crow - as the Watchmen, alerting us with his messages and voice as he watches over our realm. Under would be the Bear - the protector, who nurtures with tender love but at the same time will guard their family fiercely.  
I sculpted in entirety that night, the Crow and Bear, wanting their energy to stay in a continuum.
I kept the natural shape of the gourd, which had a looped end on the top, perfect for the creation of the Crow. By the next day I began the painting, giving the Crow and Bear their richness.

 A Tribal Face was painted in the center to represent the human, detailed with the Sun and Moon, symbolic for the protective qualities to be present Night and Day, while walking in both worlds.

 A Star scene was painted withing the Bear's fur, as he carries wisdom from the Star Beings. 

Crow tracks were painted up one side of the Totem, and Bear Tracks up the other side of the Totem. One of his feathers painted drifting down, as a gift.

 The Crow's tail feathers extend down the back of the Totem, resting above a branch from the Tree of Life. 

The Crow and Bear Totem was created to bring it's protective essence to the home, to place near the front door to always remind one they are watched over.

Please contact us if you would like to commission a similar piece.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ceremonial Gourd Rattles as Spiritual Tools

Ceremonial Gourd Rattles as Spiritual Tools
Every religion and spirituality has a set of Spiritual Tools that facilitate a deeper connection with ones faith and beliefs. Some are specific and unique to the philosophy, and others are common among many. Altars, Flowers, Incense, Music, Songs, Chants, Drums, Candles, Statuary, Rattles.....all are tools that can be kept in the Spiritual Toolbox.
One that is  very important to us, and that we create many of, is the Ceremonial Gourd Rattle. These Ceremony Rattles have many uses and their diversity can lend to many cultures and faiths. The Rattle can be used in Prayer as a calling, an asking, and in gratefulness. It can be used in spiritual and energetic Cleansing, to remove negativity. They are often used to space clear homes in the making of Sacred Space, especially after an argument or illness in the house. The Ceremony Rattle is common to have at Gatherings of the Spirit, to assist in a Collective Consciousness, and even Drum Circles to celebrate and rejoice in our humanity on this Earth in song and dance. Those who explore Shamanic Journeying can use the Rattle as they enter and depart the other world or state of consciousness. And simply, they can assist us in Meditation, as a focus, as the slow rhythmic shake reminds one of the heartbeat. 

Painted Gourd Ceremonial Rattles from Conscious Art Studios
Creation Process of a Ceremonial Gourd Rattle
Our creation process is done on an intuitive level, and when we create we only do so when we ourselves feel balanced and peaceful. We use Gourds when we craft the rattles, and enjoy working with this Earth element and feel that it lends to the character of the piece. It brings a naturalness and integrity to the purpose of its creation. 
The Gourd are carefully chosen, cut, and cleaned. Focused attention is paid to the addition to the noisemakers that are placed inside the gourd. Sometimes the intention is to create a rich, full, and deep sound. Other times it is to create a light and delicate sound. We use a variety in the combination, including  dried beans and seeds, gemstone chips, and metal beads. Once the perfect assortment is found, the gourd is sealed and we attach a wooden handle. Handles are wrapped with leathers and suede and then adorned with extra embellishments such as cord wrapping, feathers, wooden pony beads, tin cones, or additional gemstones. We add leather loops at the very end of the handle to serve as a wrist wrap for when you are shaking them (optional to use), or to attached the rattle to your belt loop or waistband of regalia while at large gatherings or ceremonies. 
We paint our Ceremonial Rattles with leather acrylics, usually with animal totems or other spiritual symbols.  Many times this gives people a more  personal attachment to the piece and allows them to resonate with it more fully. We offer custom paintings on our Rattles.

Available Gourd Rattles
Our Ceremonial Rattles are listed and available in our Conscious Art Studios Etsy Shop.
  Here you can find our current inventory.

Brown Bear Totem Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Lizard Totem Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Blessing Trees Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Black Bear Totem Ceremonial Gourd Rattle Staff

Peacock Goddess Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Sea Turtle Totem Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Moon Goddess Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

Dragonfly Totem Women's Winter Ceremonial Gourd Rattle

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