I have no idea what to write about for K. I have done very little knot magic, not nearly enough to write a decent sized blog post about. I have never worked with or felt any connection to Kali, and I am not sure where I stand on the whole Karma debate. Those are the K words that popped into my head. I havent the slightest idea what to write about. So in the place of a Pagan Blogging Project post, I decided to write about my latest crafting project, which I am very excited about. This is something that I first dreamed about when I started on my more shamanic path. I wanted to make my first shaman’s rattle. I have always wanted a drum, but I just cant afford the parts to make one right now, and listening to rattle recordings are just as effective to me as drumming. The rattle is much cheaper as I only had to pay for the rawhide amd it really only requires common sense to make.
So I decided to set out upon this journey. I originally thought that it would be cheaper to get my hands on a gourd to make a gourd rattle, even though I never really pictured a gourd one in my head. I asked around on twitter and facebook. Then someone in a facebook group recommended getting rawhide from the pet store. They sell cheap dog bones that are decent quality beef rawhide. So I bought a couple rawhide rolls. I have a number of lengths of wood stashed in my dad’s garage for use as walking sticks and such. I re-found a beautiful piece of sycamore that I have had for a long time. I found it years ago on my family’s property and kept it. I originally intended to use it as a besom, but as soon as I had it in my hand the other day, I knew what it should be used for. I cut off the piece I wanted and I still have a good 2 feet for another project. It was rather dirty and dried out, so I oiled it up and now it shines beautifully.
Once I had my wood selected it was time to make the head. I soaked the rawhide in water with one my my cayenne peppers from last summer. I did this to add some fire and life to the rattle. After a couple hours, the rawhide had loosened up enough to work with. So I unrolled it and cut out the pieces that I needed. Once the sun went down, I sat down to sew it all together. A couple hours and multiple finger injuries later, I had it all sewed together. I had to use a heavy duty canvas needle and some pliers to get through the rawhide. I got all the pieces together and turned it right side out. Once I was satisfied that it wasn’t going to fall apart, I stuffed it with clean rags and tied the handle in so it could set overnight. The rawhide took about 12 hours to fully dry.
The next night, I set up a crafting altar in my basement.
I had selected the filling for the rattle during the day while the head dried. I decided upon mostly corn, but I added a single turquoise bead and a piece of quartz that I found in Arkansas when I first dreamed about the rattle.
I put enough in until I decided that I liked the sound. I also added a handful of corn to a small jar as an offering that I would take outside once I was done with the assembly. I also added a shot of the scotch that I was sipping to that jar. I put the filling into the head and began the process of binding it all together. I hummed a bit and I tied it all together. This was possibly the most magical part for me. I fell into a bit of a trance state as I wrapped the cord around the head. I bound it in several layers to assure that it would not come apart any time soon.
I added a turkey feather that I had found on my family’s property. I had it lying around my room for a while and it was eager to be put to use on the rattle. I also added a string of 3 turquoise beads.
So here she is, the final product.
She turned out beautiful. I love her. She let me know as soon as she was sewed together that she had fire in her. I tend to personify some of the tools, especially ones like this. She is a great piece of work and I am very proud of her. I may want to paint the head, but I am going to journey with her a couple times before making that decision. If I do paint her, I will do another post with pictures of that.
I hope you all enjoy my work. It was a lot of fun making her. I would love to make more like this just for the joy of crafting.