I have been receiving so many beautiful stories from medicine doll keepers and I thought I would share some today. Often the real magic and mystery of a particular medicine doll isn’t known to me until I hear back from their new mama’s and keepers. Sometimes the doll only really wakes up and makes sense when she is finally in their home and their hands.
Above is a photo taken by the mother of these two faerie sisters who made a decision to take a wild adventure up to the natural spring at the top of Mt Donna Buang at dusk! on a school night! after their bath! and making them late for their dinner! Good adventures always take at least a little courage and rule-breaking don’t they? I love the image of the little girls in the twilight at the spring and seeing the Grandmother doll peeking out through the ferns.
“I was truly blessed a few weeks ago. After viewing a post on Instagram by @sacredfamiliar saying she had collected water that day from the pure natural springs up at Mt Donna Buang and in gratitude had left a Grandmother medicine doll as a gift to whom ever found her. Before reading those words on her post, I was first struck by the photo of the Grandmother doll…my heart opened with flooding warmth and a very strong instant connection developed with the medicine doll. As I continued on with my duties of preparing dinner that early evening, I just couldn’t get this beautiful connection off my mind,my strong intuition kept telling me to drive the 35kms up to Mt Donna Buang to see if the Grandmother medicine doll was waiting..So that’s what I did,after telling my girls what Julia had done and how I was feeling, we set off for a evening faerie adventure with no expectation.
The pure magical excitement on our arrival to the Springs was heart overflowing when we walked over and the Grandmother doll was waiting…waiting for us✨
Since speaking with Julia after receiving Grandmother Forest, she has told me of the story of her making and how she needed to be gifted and now I understand why my strong instinct to go and seek was so powerful and she has brought myself and my girls so much magical happiness.” Tania
“We received a glorious package in the mail today. Just over 17 years ago, we suffered a miscarriage, during my first pregnancy. Our Baby M. We did not allow ourselves to mourn, we shut away the feelings, emotions, pain. We did not know how to mourn him. In our society, the loss of unborn babies, stillborn babies, & infants who pass are topics we tend to shun. We don’t discuss, we don’t say their names, all too often our babies & their memories are swept under the carpet. For us, it became all too clear to us that we needed to honor Baby M. A dear friend Julia happens to create these mystical, magical, love, medicine, & intention filled needle felted medicine dolls. This beautiful doll is named Star Grandmother. She represents the loving universal Grandmother holding our much loved Baby M in her arms, protecting & caring for him in the stars until we will be together again.” Dawn
“Wild Child Companion… This beauty-full Grandmother Medicine Doll came to me unexpectedly from the hands of @sacredfamiliar two years ago upon the birth of a new moon… She found me swimming in a crocodile river in East Arnhem Land where I was practicing Indigenous Ecology with Ramingining Elders. I remember the moment so vividly… the delicious enveloping cool of the water after unrelenting body-softening heat, filtered sunlight dancing upon the ripples as I moved, the laughter of the children from the outstation, hand-lit fire running happily along the banks as we swam (to keep the crocs at bay!). She carries the wisdom of integrating Indigenous and Western knowings. A perfect synchronicity. She delights, enchants, and comforts the Wild Child in me, and has kindly agreed to be my companion on many rough bush adventures. My heart full of gratitude.
My dear Grandma was a true soul companion for my Wild Child self when I was little…I was not surprised when She decided to be the same…Such a wise playfulness present in Her (in the calm Old Wild way). She is a blessing.” Nymh
And sometimes I receive a request for a medicine doll that feels so big and unknown to me personally but my heart wants to try and help and so I ask the Grandmothers to guide my hands and show me what to do. Last month I created a doll for a young man who has been self-harming, cutting himself. While I don’t understand all of the feelings that create this illness I do remember very well the confusion and pain of being a teenager and how hard it was to express myself. I have also experienced this same illness in a family member close to me – while I have no words or advice for something I don’t understand personally, this is where I feel a doll can come in and be a bridge between the adults and the child – a comfort and strength when words don’t really help anyway.
The medicine bundle included snakeskin, ancient fossils of sea flowers, sacred mapacho tobacco from ceremony and mountain ash resin – blood red resin from the tallest and strongest trees in Sherbrooke Forest. And finally the bundle called for moss and I thought about how moss was used not too long ago in many medicine practices to stem the flow of blood, to soothe, to soften… I also heard lots of music as I worked on the Grandfather doll. Guitars – loud! I knew that I had to include a guitar pick somewhere on the doll. When I asked the boy’s mother if he had a guitar and pick she could send she was surprised – she said that he used to love the guitar but had packed everything away when another boy had told me he couldn’t play well. I went to a guitar shop and bought a new pick for him but when I got home I couldn’t find it anywhere and Tony gifted one of his old picks – it had a red back spider on the front of it – the red worn off the spider from so much enjoyment in playing so many songs. I placed the spider pick on the back of the doll under his long hair.
When I sent the doll to the young boy’s mother she wrote to say how amazed she was – all these things were so significant and personal to him: the beloved guitar given away and being called back, moss that he had been excited to grow as a child and a piece of moss from they have kept from a trip to the mountains a few years ago before this time of difficulty and that one of his fears was of spiders and that having the spider with him would make him even stronger to face the rest of his fears.
Perhaps the spider is his shadow totem – an animal that we fear the most often has the biggest teachings for us in facing our fears and reconnecting to courage. When we embrace the shadow totem we actually call back elements and parts of spirit that are needed and this totem becomes a source of power.
Each doll I make brings me so much joy. Even when the story is heavy, the doll is not and I love that we are beginning to talk about and share our stories – this is how we heal and remember that we are not alone. Each story is our story as a community and I’m grateful to Tania, Dawn, Nymh and this young man’s mother for sharing their stories and their hearts.