Decorating my Rattles

Meaning making of decorating my rattles was a profound as making the heads were.  My rattles are similar in their decorations but hold very different meanings.  Both have deer hooves as the handles.  The masculine deer hoof is scared, wounded and even had some fur coming off in the process of the making because it had not dried properly. 

The hoof is wrapped with 3 individual strands of brown leather to represent the 3 major relationships in my life.  It is adorned with a hawk feather and a yellow feather.  The head of the rattle is made from deer hide in the shape of a bear and it holds a variety of small crystals, sea shells (that my husband gathered), and cornels of blue corn (which was given to me in Colorado – the starting place of returning to “me”).  There are 21 pieces of blue corn inside which is the total number of years combined of my 3 relationships. 

The bear is held in place on the deer hoof with brown leather and adorned with the tail hairMasculine Rattle from my VERY masculine horse Flash (my husband’s horse).  The horse hair is divided into 2 halves.  One side is adorned with a dove feather and 7 colored beads (one for each of the seven directions: north, east, south, west, above, below & within) and the other side has 2 cardinal feathers and one blue feather in the middle.

The feminine rattle head is made of buffalo hide (very tough and strong) in the shape of a bear.  it is stitched together 3 times:  one very loose (representing my 1st relationship), one going in the opposite direction and interlaced with the 1st stitching (representing my 2nd relationship) and the 3rd was intently weaved on the outside edge of the other stitching (representing my 3rd relationship with my loving husband) to hold my feminine energy together. 

The feminine head holds similar items as the masculine head: osha root, sage, less seashells and only 13 blue corn cornels (one for each year my husband and I have been married).  She makes a softer sound… partly because some of the head contents got stuck inside because I used too much glue to secure the head. Ah, it perfectly represents my life.

It is attached to the deer hoof with light tan leather, holds horse tail hair from Jazz (my mare) adorned with a yellow, red, green and white parrot feather and a dove & blue parrot feather.  The other side holds 7 colored beads for the 7 directions, tail hair from Boss (my youngest horse that is a unique blend of masculine & feminine energy) and another dove feather.

The hoof of the deer is covered with bear fur and is wrapped with deep purple (my favorite color) leather, andrattles 004 is adorned with a hawk and yellow parrot feather.  The bear fur is symbolic as well…. Bear has shown up for me first in Montana 5 years ago in symbols, and I saw a black bear in my back field in April this year.  Yes, a real bear in my field, which then showed up in our driveway a few weeks ago and has made its way to Streetsboro recently. When I was in Montana the deer and their fawns were with me everywhere, they trusted being near to me and lead my journey (another whole story) while I was there and more so upon my return home.  That’s the reason for the deer hooves.

Ah, they perfectly represent my life and I await their birth in ceremony when the masculine and feminine energy become united in me again!


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