All my life I knew I had Native American heritage. I knew it like a piece of information, but I did not deeply connect with it until our youngest daughter, was born. She awakened in me the desire to understand my roots. After I began to study, I realized why - in native tradition, stories flow from mother to daughter. So, I became a voracious learner of the Sacred Earth Path or as I came to understand it, the Medicine Wheel of Life.
I fell in love with the old ways of walking the Earth. Turning my heart and soul to the sounds of the forest and the teachings of the four-leggeds, the flow of water and the lessons of the swimmers, the call of a winged-ones who taught me to fly high inside of myself - all became a way of life. As I began to attend and ultimately teach ceremony, I noticed the Medicine Tools being carried by the old ones. I was drawn to handmade, one of a kind, drums, rattles, feather smudge fans, medicine bags, and I thought, “I can create those”. So I do, (and have for decades) and I now offer them to you, with love, honor and respect for the old ways, and the Beings who live again through my creations… that will become your Medicine. Aho!
No animal dies to make one of my medicine tools. My prayer is that the one who will carry this tool be ready to open his or her heart to create sound that rides on a wave of love. The Earth Mother and all upon her face, will feel that love.
I first start with the finest materials available. My skins are treated with honor and respect, and while I create, I maintain a deep connection through ceremony to the medicine of the skin. It is a prayerful and peaceful process. My drum frames are created by a reverent man in Canada, and each is made from Canadian yellow cedar. They are solid, but light, and through decades of making drums using other frames, I can say with confidence that it is the best frame available.
My handmade rattles are created from the skin of Elk, Deer, Moose, Buffalo, Horse and Bear. The shapes that are available are Bear, Buffalo, Wolf Howling at the Moon, Cobra, Eternal Flame, Heart, Full Moon, Crescent Moon, Arrow. The sticks that I use to create rattles are lovingly picked-up by my husband during his walks in nature, the antlers are found in flea markets and resale establishments (essentially recycled). Inside each rattle is something to honor the elements – air, fire, water and earth, along with a prayer for you – the one who will ultimately carry the rattle.
My feather smudge plumes and wings are used during the smudge ceremony, or any healing ceremony where air or bird energy is needed. The “found” winged-ones are honored for the qualities of their teachings that they impart simply by us turning our attention toward them. Birds teach us to fly high above the illusion, they teach us to stay in the flow of life, and they teach us about perspective.