My book club group of fab femmes from Carrboro got together and made shrines after reading The Wishing Year, sub-titled "A House, A Man, My Soul," a memoir by Noelle Oxenhandler. If you haven't read it, it's a great read and tres inspirant, even as the author grapples with her fears and skepticism. I have been making goddess shrines, but taking a page, literally, from Oxenhandler's book, I thought it was time to put it out there, a concept she learns from the maven of wishing, the artist, Carole Watanabe, who practices and extols the virtues of living life as an art form. She believes that if there's something you want to manifest, you make a shrine to it, or of it, and believe.
While there are many lofty things I wish for, such as world peace, healing of our selves and our planet, and the greater empowerment of women worldwide (for we are the mother-healers), I felt the need to make a shrine to manifest something tangible, something for me (and my family) to enjoy... a beach house. My whimsical beach house has wings so it can fly anywhere in the world, meaning I'm not that picky about which beach at the moment. It could be North Carolina, New York, Hawaii, the south of France--It could be a one-story cottage or a 2-story villa--I'm open! There is a portion of a map of France as well as lots of money collaged as part of the horizon behind it. For me having more money means freedom to travel and to live in an idyllic spot of my choosing. I've lived in the mountains of California, which was wonderful, and now I'll take the beach, thank you. It says "Happy Girl" right on the roof top and that is what I'll name it when it becomes mine. And you're welcome to come visit.
Along the same lines, I took part in a paper doll swap over at True North Arts, where we created guardian or healing art dolls. I chose to make Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, which is just another name for one of my favorite goddesses--the West African creator goddess, Yemaya. Ever since my husband, Rob, brought me back a handmade Yemaya doll (see Mother's Day blog below) from New Orleans some years ago, I have been taken by her mother-creator powers. She is a moon goddess of dreams and secrets, childbirth, and the collective unconscious. She is known as Mama Watta in Africa, where it is believed that all of the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers were formed when the waters from her womb broke and spilled out across the earth. She is a fitting goddess for this time of year, as she is celebrated on the eve of the summer solstice (June 21st), when offerings are made of flowers, blessings, and messages in bottles asking her to grant wishes and fulfill dreams, and then cast into the sea.
The Stella Maris guardian doll I made has felted hair woven with tiny sea shells, wings that say "desire," a girdle made of shells, her head and torso from a National geographic photo of a sunken ship's figurehead found at the bottom of the sea, blue acetate, foil and textured papers, and mermaid paper doll form from The Enchanted Gallery (yes, you too, can get free paper doll forms to play with there). On her back it says, "Dreams really do come true." If you do create a guardian doll, please post a comment here with a link so we can share our creations.
Kathryn Antyr at True North Arts will be offering a paper doll e-book of guardian art dolls made by those of us who took part in the swap.
And so I ask you, what do you wish for? Be bold, be brazen, be unapologetic, be daring, even selfish in your dreams and wishes. It's okay. I am embracing the idea that the universe is abundant and expansive and that there is more than enough for everyone.