Updated: Jan 18
“Dolls are one of the symbolic treasures of the instinctual nature.
For centuries humans have felt that dolls emanate both a holiness and mana – an awesome and compelling prescience which acts upon persons, changing them spiritually. Dolls are believed to be infused with life by their makers. They are used as markers of authority and talismans to remind one of one’s own power." Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Some years back I was inspired to create a doll in my journey to awaken my intuition. She was a skinny thing with rainbow coloured ribbons for her hair and on her back she carried gossamer wings made from fabric that shimmered in the light. I had dug out my nana's old rosary beads and took the metal piece from the centre that had the face of Mary etched into it. I sewed this onto her body where her heart would be, and inside she carried a piece of amethyst.
My dolly joined me on many of my travels into deep soul work, she sat and imbued the wisdom of my ‘ah ha’ moments and witnessed my terror at having to uncover something of myself that was shameful. All this without judgment instead she held comfort and a place to rest my emotional self.
Then I went on a vision quest (time spent alone in nature) with an intention to heal my matriarchal line. Naturally my doll came with me, after all there was an aspect of her that was part of this line. It was on this quest that I needed to do an anger burn and she so willingly offered herself as part of this process. I remember burning her in my sacred fire along with prayer and tears and just as the last piece was about to leave my fingers I felt the amethyst stone embedded in her body. I kept the stone and the next morning I collected the ash from the fire where she was burnt. That night in ceremony I created a new doll, one that contained remnants of my other. I made her by the light of the full moon. I stitched her lovingly and cooed words of affection into her soft velvet body. She was my companion and through her I imagined a world of ancient Grandmothers sharing with me their wisdom. It was later in reflection that I realized my quest had been a ‘rite of passage’ from child into adult perhaps some 30 years too late but potent and timely all the same. The new doll, the adult doll contained the amethyst stone and ash of my old doll, part of the old becomes part of the new, she was stitched with intention and love, awakened with song, story and ritual and stroked and coveted as one does when she births her babies.
Since then I have had the honour and joy of crafting many dolls Some are inspired by the magic of story and the archetypal characters that are imbued within those myths and legends. Others echo the exquisite beauty of the natural world and all tell a story, my story, our story, a story that captures the past, present and future, a story that keeps telling and unfolding as long as I have an ear to listen.
"There is a little piece of soul that carries all the knowledge of the larger soul-Self and it is this doll that holds the voice of old La Que Sabe the one who knows" Clarissa Pinkola Estes