This month I hope to inspire you to craft a Goddess to adorn your space or be used in ritual.
There are beautiful statues to be found of Brigid, Gaia, Hecate, Frigga, Cerridwen, and many others. Gods, too. When I first started on my path, I was not familiar with many at all, and found myself working more with a “generic” Goddess that I came to think of as the Great Mother of All. Rather than calling on a named Goddess, I worked from my intent and would call upon whomever had the qualities I was incorporating into my work to join me.
As my first Ostara approached, I found myself wanting a symbol of spring. A friend had just attended a spirit doll workshop and the one she made was built around a small branch. That give me the idea to make a twig Goddess to help celebrate the sabbat. Not necessarily Ostara, the maiden with the hare, but the Goddess of Spring, of the early flowers bringing color after a black-and-white winter. The wind a breath of fresh air. Mine was to be the Goddess of new beginnings, of possibilities, of exuberance after hibernation.
I searched for two twigs I could put together to form a body, and wrapped the section where they joined with fibers, building it up a bit to give the torso a bit of shape. Rummaging around, I came up with lots of ribbons, odd beads and scraps of yarn. A broken pin was perfect for a face. As much as I wanted to keep everything as natural as possible, hot glue was a necessity to attach the yarn hair to the back of the neck and the pin on the front.
The energy that went into Her can still be felt 11 years later, as each Ostara she stands on my altar. Several years ago, I attached the ends of a wide purple ribbon to her hands on which I could write an intention. I never did choose the words, so it just acts as another adornment as she dances in the season.
As my first experience with Beltane approached, the world was being painted with a hundred shades of green, and I decided to make a twig Goddess to represent the essence of that green. I had yet to work with Tara or Artemis, and instead was envisioning Green Man’s mate. I again searched for sticks that could form arms, legs and a torso. I invested in some polymer clay and a mold to make a face. Leaves from ready-to-be-tossed silk flowers and a scrap of fabric came together – again with a bit of hot glue. She was the confident maiden stepping into Her own, into fertility and abundance.
That was when I made a commitment to create one for each of the eight sabbats. With every turn of the wheel, I studied its meaning. Crafting a twig Goddess became part of my solitary rituals.
I gathered up items I found myself attracted to. For Litha, it was yellow. Because for 30 years I had been on vacation by water the beginning of August, when I came to celebrate Lughnasadh, I was drawn to shells, sand and seaweed. The Goddess I made incorporated those elements with driftwood replacing twigs.
There are no rules when it comes to making twig Goddesses – and no reason why you can’t also make twig Gods – but I can offer a few tips.
Trust your intuition to guide you to twigs that will become the body. Generally, something in the shape of a “Y” works best, but experiment, turning them this way and that, because it was usually the unexpected arrangement that worked best for me.
When you have your twigs, consider leaving a gift in gratitude: tobacco, seeds, an apple, a strand of hair, a song or a blessing.
Don’t trim the twigs until you’re sure how you’ll use them. Don’t worry about being perfect, it will be beautiful when it’s done.
Join the two pieces together with tape, air-drying clay, twine, wire or hot glue.
To add depth to the torso, use batting, cotton balls, more clay or strips of cloth, gluing as needed.
Be sure to have a neck to which you can attach some sort of head. Some options might be a round mirror, button, broach, stone or flower.
Embellishments can be anything that catches your fancy. Play.
You might want to consecrate your God or Goddess.
The ones I made have become an integral part of my practice. One is always on my altar, radiating the vibrations of the season as well as the energy, intentions and blessings accumulated over years of use in sacred space.
Pictures of few of them are included to give you some ideas.
For more inspiration, check out the twig dolls made “Distinctly Different” by Distinctly Diana and available for sale on Etsy. With her permission, I’m sharing pictures of two: Nature’s Child and Winter Solstice.
I hope if you are moved to craft a twig creation, you’ll share a picture.
And merry meet again.