and Draconian Adornment
Mysticism and isolation
don’t need to go hand-in-hand.
Much of a person is invisible because it’s otherworldly or for another reason. Conveying these pivotal parts of who we are can feel impossible. But we can do it, decrease isolation, and increase fellowship.
Shamanism is ultimately invisible. Sure, you can watch a ritual or listen to it, and notice its participants’ movements, facial expressions, ceremonial garments, and talismanic jewelry. But much of the ritual happens in other realms—invisible planes—at least for the shamanism I practice.
From the hidden parts of a rite, its magic ripples out to the mundane plane to cause material changes, e.g., improved finances.
Even ceremonial garments and jewelry have invisible aspects. Yet they give clues, as does everything else physical in a ritual.
The unseen parts of life mean there’s no material way—such as a blog—to truly show most of my process of creating the curriculums I teach, since much of the preparation is done in trance. Same goes for what we do during classes. You have to be there; then we walk between the stars together. That sort of connectivity is one of the things I live for; it thrills me, feeds me, and motivates me. I feel blessed to enjoy constant connectivity in my life.
Though ever teaching, writing, giving direct spiritual transmissions, and providing shamanic guidance in one-on-one sessions, I nevertheless long for yet more ways to share my invisible life. It is my nature to always look for additional ways to connect with people shamanically; connectivity and magic are two of my life’s major themes.
I devoted myself to polishing—and will never stop polishing—writing skills, in order to write poesy that conveyed the wonders the Goddess shows me. Lyric is a modality through which to share the invisible realms and hence feel connected with people.
Painting, too, is a venue for sharing such experiences—visually. In the same vein, I hope this post’s photos of my personal adornments are visible cues pointing toward glimpses into a few particular experiences I have had of other worlds.
I hope you tell me what you do to provide glimpses into your world. More about that at the bottom of this post.
I went through my art supplies, selecting beauty with which to adorn myself for a major Dragon ritual I’m working toward, or to wear when doing the rituals that lead up to the major one.
Personal adornment, for me, pays homage to my Mother. It also functions as talismans.
Seeing the wool in my art studio, I decided to felt Cormo wool into beads to wear in my hair. I’m happy with the way they turned out, especially since the project was an experiment.
The four beads I made were originally two long beads. The lengthiness of them made them look fabulous. However, they weren’t going to hang quite right in my hair. I cut each in half, re-felted the cut ends so they were smooth and well-shaped, and now I have a bounty of four Cormo beads. Cormo is an incredibly soft wool.
The large beads have organic shapes that look magical in my locks.
Two of the beads are mostly green Cormo, plus some other color Cormo, plus a bit of very fine, burgundy yarn. The yarn is mohair and silk.
For the other two beads, I used the paler bits of green from my bag of green Cormo, some white Cormo, and more of the burgundy yarn.
This past week, I finished the major piece I made for the ritual, using a mermaid pendant purchased last year. Long story short, lore of dragons and lore of mermaids are related. I originally envisioned a necklace with ocean pearls, beads like beach glass, and “seaweed” woven of seedbeads dripping from the necklace.
Then the creative process took on a life of its own.
Here are the components I used:
The stringing material is Crawford Waxed Linen, Olive Drab, size 3.
The centerpiece is the aforementioned pendant, a hand carved Mermaid, handcrafted out of one piece of gemstone Succor Creek Jasper. Succor Creek jasper is a beautiful stone that has dignity and presence. I intuited Succor Creek Jasper would be good to wear to celebrate the Magna Mater, Great Mother of All, and would foster recognition of oneself as a child of the Great Goddess. That, in turn, would help one see oneself as worthy of love and incredibly powerful, and also increase one’s self-appreciation. Thus, Succor Creek Jasper fosters confidence, a healthy ego, a diminishing of the false ego, and an appreciative recognition of one’s inner and outer beauty.
Above the pendant is a beautiful designer bead that looks like deep ocean water.
Next, up both sides, are micro-faceted rhyolite gemstone beads, grade AAA. I purchased that stone because I sense it is packed with matriarchal energy—such as Mother Bear, Magna Mater, and Dragon Goddess Tiamat.
I made the necklace to have 13 parts, including the cord. I wanted a large enough number to represent a substantially sized group of dragons. As I said, I made the talisman to wear in an upcoming ritual. One of the ritual’s many parts is releasing the myth of dragons as solitary, nasty, brooding, moody creatures, sulking angrily in their caves, lonely as they hoard treasures, and replacing that myth by embracing the truth of dragons as loving, loyal, social beings who fly in joyous fellowship with each other, and generously bestow upon humankind the treasures of enchantment, offering many magical gems.
I liked the way the necklace looked, but decided 13 pieces weren’t enough, magically speaking. I added another 26 pieces—13 tiny designer art beads up each side, and made of the same water-like iridescent glass as the larger bead immediately above the pendant.
Here’s the vision and logic that led to so many beads:
It felt important to affirm an enormous fellowship. The reasons for that are too many for this post, but if you give it some thought, I think you’ll figure them out. My vision showed me the fellowship had three pivotal parts, all of which need to be affirmed.
1) The necklace’s initial 13 beads affirm the possibility of a good size group of intimates, and of all the different groups like that one might have: a coven, a family, the particular ancestors you feel closest to, that sort of thing.
2) The idea of a ubiquity of dragons came to me in the contemplation. It is an important concept. The next 13 beads affirm there are dragons around every corner, many like-minded good people in the world, an abundance of them, far more than thirteen, truly ubiquitous. Thirteen is a large enough number to give me a gut-sense of that.
3) The final 13 beads affirm an abundance of wondrous dragons I may never be aware of, all of them working toward good, far more of them than thirteen, truly ubiquitous. That can include a lot more ancestors having my back than I may think.
For me, the talisman-making process results in not only the amulet, but also in a healing of mother Gaia, the universe, and myself. Making an amulet is a meditation for me, a magical spell unto itself. When I craft a charm in preparation for a ritual, I am not just making it to wear during the ritual; making the amulet prepares me for the rite. Sometimes I make a talisman after a rite, as follow up magic.
Making talismans in such a manner is one of my ongoing spiritual and shamanic practices. Sometimes I set the practice aside, because other practices need to be in place, but I’ve been crafting talismans since I was a teen, and I’ll be 70 this year. So it has been a real part of my practice.
I do not mean to imply the process I am in when crafting a talisman is right for other people. And someone using a talisman I make needn’t take my talisman-making process into account. The piece will work as a talisman for them, pure and simple. In fact, my particular creative process is part of how I make really powerful talismans for folks.
I wove into the mermaid amulet a lot more goals than I listed above or that are shown in the following liturgy. I’d have to write page upon page to show all the purposes. Even then, it wouldn’t work. Once again, the invisible life.
Here is a liturgy, which I said over the necklace, when it was complete:
“I dedicate this art to joy, service, and power. I give this art to the Goddess and God, that They may shape it and use it as They will. I give myself and the art that I am to the Goddess and God, that They may shape me and use me as They will. My Divine Parents’ desires are also mine, deep within my cells, and perhaps unknown to me for now. I meditate the world I want into being. So mote it be.”
Someone pointed out to me that this mermaid looks like she’s sleeping. I loved that. Then I decided that, to me, it looks more like she is meditating, which I love even more. That idea of Her meditating was woven into the necklace and the liturgy.
I hadn’t been making (much?) jewelry for a while. Making the mermaid necklace might be me gearing up to make magical adornments again, not only for myself but for others.
With my current arm injury, I can’t make wood amulets. I cannot manage the sanding. But I have beautiful stones that dragons like, and visions of dragon amulets some one would love to have.
Making dragon amulets for someone other than myself would be draconian fellowship, and as such would affirm to myself, deep in my gut, my belief in the fellowship of dragons. I want to affirm to myself, in a concrete, quantitative manner, my belief that the ubiquitous nasty tales’ of vile solitary dragons is the furthest thing from the truth, and that draconian creatures are instead great lovers of other dragons and humans.
Often, I want to bite off more than I can chew. I feel quite drawn to making a few dragon amulet sets available for purchase, but if there’s not time for that, publishing this essay is the concrete, quantitative affirmation to myself I wanted: in this post, I risked sharing my life, ideas, and visions, embodying/affirming my belief that they would be understood and applied ethically, since the world abounds with kindly loving dragons. Teaching my upcoming course, Dragon Magic, will be the same sort of embodied affirmation.
Along with making pieces, I gathered up some clothing and jewelry I wore in previous major rituals over the years, and some other pieces. This included a pendant I made last year:
I also looked for a tooth that I had to have pulled when I was approaching my most recent major initiation. I‘d made the tooth into a piece of jewelry that I treasure as a potent charm. The medical issue and other circumstances that necessitated the tooth extraction were some of the challenges I overcame in order to pass through the initiatory gate.
I wish I could show you the tooth, but it is hiding. I found it the other day. Then it went missing again. I think I tucked it in one of those “special” places you can never remember later.
If memory serves, a friend drilled a hole in the tooth for me, because that was back when arm problems wouldn’t let me drill. Then I put wire through the hole, so that I could hang the tooth as a pendant or hang it on my gold ear hoop.
Perhaps the tooth, the challenges I associate with it, and the victories represented by making magical jewelry out of that tooth are not supposed to be part of the big ritual I will be doing. Perhaps all that’s to be left in the past.
And I was wearing a wooden pendant of a mermaid I purchased years back, possibly decades ago. I often thought of gifting it to someone, and am glad I didn’t. I wanted it last week as a talisman, before I finished the mermaid necklace I showed you above.
When I removed the wooden mermaid from its packaging, the mer-creature was redolent of amber. For possibly a decade or more, she’d resided in the same jewelry box as a pendant that holds amber, which is one of my favorite scents.
How do you give glimpses into your unseen world? Please tell me in the comment field below. So much that is important in life is invisible, whether because it’s otherworldly, solitary, or for another reason. These pivotal parts of who we are can be so challenging to convey. But if we tell each other how we do it, we’ll learn from each other ways to decrease isolation and increase connectivity.
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I love your blog posts that includes your art/magic, so beautiful and powerful, thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for letting me know that! It encourages me to keep at it!
Loved reading this. I wanted to write about my creative process but not sure what to say!
My magic cottage double wide is certain a magic and multi dimensional little place…..- in fact decorating it is part of the magic …..the movements of decorating, putting up a new spontaneous decorations ordering the trinkets into new alters it feels almost like a waltz or tai chi sometimes. Everything is an alter, metaphorically! Imho
My most used mediums are yarn(crocheting– I think it’s in my dna) fabric, colored pens, and found or bought objects, 99 percent thrift.
Creative imagination often comes to me when a light a fire in the woodstove. I remember a digital painting you did that said something like….”after a long day at work the fire keeper says, ahhhh”….
I never forgot that .
Paula, thank you. Such beautiful comments you posted. And you’re so articulate.
I’ve often said, “my entire house is an altar.” Right now, I needed your reminder of that. I’d been somewhat neglecting practices that make my home a place that gives me maximum pleasure. So I’ve been giving my home more attention again. Your comments about the benefits of such efforts inspire me to keep at it, re-embracing my old routines. Thank you so much. I really needed that inspiration.
Thanks also for the chance to get to know you a bit better through your comments. You are such a beautiful spirit.
I feel honored that you remember that painting from years back. And your doing so is yet another timely reminder! My heat went out, and the repairman who’s coming to fix it today is the person for whom I made that painting. I feel the heat going out is a sign I need to pay more attention to my personal needs again. Nor that I neglect my furnace or myself. The furnace repairman says I keep the furnace in excellent condition. And I take pretty good care of myself. But I want to pay even more attention to taking care of my house and myself. So mote it be.