I have always been one of those people who has made proclamations to themselves and others that I am not creative. And I’m especially not crafty.
Can you relate?
It’s amazing the stories we tell ourselves and how they can define us so significantly, even when there is potentially no truth, or very little truth, to them at all.
And I have come to learn recently that my so-called belief that I am not creative OR crafty is just that – a story. It’s a story that may seem small in the grand scheme of my life because, after all, is creativity really that important? Well yes, it is. And I think it’s particularly important when it comes to our spiritual wellbeing.
Both my Nana and Mother were and are incredible craftswomen. The magick they could – and still can for my Mother now – weave with their hands – I have only in my recent years come to appreciate for the gift it truly is. Knitting. Crochet. Sewing. Embroidery. Lacework. All of it so delicate and yet so powerful as well. Some things made for practicality such as clothes and warm blankets. Others for pure decorative beauty and joy.
It was never my thing. I remember looking at them doing this work as a child and young woman and telling myself it was not for me. I tried it and got frustrated with myself that what I produced was never as good as what they did. Hello perfectionism!
Moving through life rarely trying anything craft or creativity related, it was to come back into my life again when I began to journey with the School of Shamanic Womancraft. While we did not undertake craft as a part of that experience, I saw many of the women I sat in circle with, (sometimes for many, many long hours), use their hands in crafty ways as we did so.
At first, in full truth, it bothered me. I couldn’t quite understand how the Priestesses who lead our circle openly invited us to knit, needlepoint, weave or do anything heart crafted while our circle was taking place. They explained that doing so did not mean someone was not concentrating on what was being shared or experienced, but rather that the craft itself was a portal for deeper connection with self and others at the same time. I went with it even though I didn’t fully understand. And over the experience of that year of journeying I saw my sisters bring forth many beautiful creations that I admired deeply and I came to love watching them in circle as they did so.
One day in circle I sat next to a sister who bought a beautiful doll out of her craft basket. I could instantly tell it was handmade. I wanted to touch it, but before doing so felt compelled to ask her if it was ok for me to do so because I could sense that there was something about the doll that was very personal to her. She said I could and as I professed how divine I thought the doll was, she told me it was a sacred doll she had made in a workshop and that I could absolutely make one if I wanted to as well. I immediately cried there was no way I could make something so lovely and my story came forth again. She simply smiled at me and said that she was sure if I really wanted to make one I would.
Many months went past and I could not release how much I wanted to make one of those sacred dolls. Which surprised me no end. Such a thing held no practicality or real ‘use’ for me at all. Why could I not be drawn to learning how to sew or make a beautiful warm blanket?! But a doll? What on earth was that about?
The desire never left me and so I knew I had to do something about it. I found a sacred doll maker and workshop space holder – Melissa etcetc – and reached out asking if she would come to my home and host a circle where we could make a sacred doll. She said yes, I invited in other divine women to share the experience with me and I set myself up for what I thought would be a fun day, but also telling myself not to set my sights too high because (story time again…) I wasn’t crafty.
Little did I realise that day was to uncover something truly magickal inside me and that I would be able to express straight from my heart and soul to my hands. Melissa lead us through a drum journey to meet the essence of our doll and my story flared instantly as I never really saw or felt her significantly in that experience. I thought I’d broken the whole experience before we had even started as ‘annoyingly’ to me on my journey all I saw and could hear was my grandfather who passed when I was 18. We were close and grew up in the same household and I loved and thought of him often, but right now Pa? Seriously…I’m meant to be meeting my sacred medicine in the form of a doll here! Can you not come back another time? He laughed. Refused. And told me that my dolls name was Pearl.
I shook it off and with the other women around me began to craft my doll by picking up materials I was drawn to, hoping she would come to life. And she did. Through the art of needle-felting she slowly came to be in my hands – by my hands – with carefully chosen herbs, crystals and sacred medicine prayers woven inside her. From the moment I started to bring her to life my story fell away. With every needle point and weaving and lovingly tending to her I felt a swell in my heart that I could do this. I was crafting. And creating.
By the end of the day I realised Pearl was me. I asked Melissa if this was common that people, no matter what doll they may have met on their drum journey, ended up creating one that was themselves or a version of what they wanted to be.
“Every time Julie” Melissa said. “Every time.”
And the other women around me confirmed that yes, no matter what doll had shown itself to them on their drum journey, the end result was that she was at least a little if not a lot of them as well.
In less than one day of my life I changed, through heartfelt spiritual action and heeding a call that kept coming to me over and over, a story I had carried with myself for more than 40 years. I not only fell in love with needle-felting and making sacred dolls…I became a Sacred Doll Maker.
No one was – and to a certain extent still is – more surprised about this than me.
Since that workshop I have finished two more dolls and have three more in the making. They are for very special women in my life, each woven with special prayers, magick, crystals, herbs, talismans and more inside to represent their life and spiritual gifts.
My sacred creatrix has been born in my middle life and knowing the joy I get from making these dolls I know now will be with me for life. Am I the best or most skilled doll maker? Nowhere near. And that’s also how I know that my perfectionism and story telling from when I was a younger woman has relaxed so much. Thank you age and wisdom. Please keep coming to me!
And why Pearl? Well, at first I didn’t know. So annoyed was I with my beloved Pa visiting me at such a ‘silly’ time that I pushed it aside. Until it came time to speak her name out loud in our closing circle for the day I became flushed with a beautiful memory of him calling me his little pearl when I was a small girl.
How could I not have remembered?
Pearl. She was me indeed.
What is your relationship with your own sacred creatrix? Do you know her or are longing to get in touch? What role do you feel she plays in your spirituality?
If you would like to take a peek at Pearl you can find her here!