Portland artists JAHA+LOU are embarking on a SW / West Coast tour this Autumn and are in the middle of a fundraising campaign! JAHA+LOU is a collaboration between two queer witch priestesses who weave sound, textile, and sacred installation to facilitate an interactive group healing. In this co-creative healing ceremony/session, the audience participates with jaha + lou by allowing their voices to be led. A literal sacred weaving takes place throughout the ritual, connecting our intentions with the collective, the earth and all that is. Read further for a beautiful piece by Lou LaMotte on Sacred Crafting.
There is already something magical about being drawn into creative work, the quiet clicking of your knitting needles, the hum of your sewing machine, the repetition of the loom, or how paint glides onto a surface. Just letting yourself get lost in that making, and that peaceful place of creation. Crafting is one of my favorite ways to relax, to share something with a loved one, or even to pass the time while waiting.
Recently after a hard break up, I found solace in knitting myself a blanket. With each stitch I thought about knitting my heart back together and about giving myself comfort and love. When I was sad and didn't know what to do with myself, I always had the blanket to work on, to ground me, and to remind myself that I could wrap myself in love. It reminded me that all acts of creation are sacred and an opportunity to channel intention into that work. The blanket became a sacred act and a spell that I could use daily for healing, or manifesting what was needed in my life.
We have the opportunity to imbue these objects with intentions, and the practice of making them to create healing practices for ourselves as well as creating powerful gifts we can share with others. In my life I often use this tool to help ground me as well as a way to focus an intention outside of myself. The end result doesn't have to be beautiful or gallery worthy. For example, when we make gifts for someone we love we are charging that gift with our love and a tangible way for them to feel our love. Like a hand knit scarf that our loved one wears and thinks of us every time they wear it. It isn't about how perfectly it is knit, it is our intention that wraps them in that warm embrace.
I wanted to share with you a simple ritual you can use to create this sacred space, and to focus or ground your intention or energy to create a sacred object or practice.
Setting an intention
An intention can be really very simple. Just ask yourself why you are called to make this work. Are you making it for a friend? What would you like them to feel when they use this object? Or perhaps you are knitting aimlessly to pass the time while you watch tv ( a practice I do often!) Sometimes my intention is "May this help me rest and bring a feeling of calmness in my life", or "May I be open and ready to receive my next exciting project/adventure/job".
Other intentions can be to ground an energy or event into a object to clear it from yourself or to hold a piece of the joy and celebration you are feeling. And intention is really like a wish! What do you want to call closer to you?
Sacred crafting ritual
1. Assemble your tools (yarn, needles, paint, sticks, glue, thread, clay, whatever), and have your intention written out and near by.
2. Find a time when you are free from pressing matters for a bit and have some privacy. Even if it's only 15 minutes, the idea is that you can focus your attention for a moment. After doing this once or twice you could probably do this on the bus if needed, but for the first time, try to gift yourself that sacred space for yourself.
This is a great opportunity to release the stress of the day so you can make room for your intention to really fill up your body and thoughts.
While sitting or standing:
Find your feet. Stomp them on the ground a bit. Feel them against the floor. Imagine that your feet are like the trunks of a tree. It's ok if you don't know what that looks or feels like, just pretend! Fake it till you make it, and the more you do it the easier it is! Ok, your feet and your body are like a tree. Take three deep breaths and imagine that your feet have sprouted roots. On the last out breath, imagine that your roots are plunging through the floor, the foundation, and into the earth. Again, it's ok if you don't think you are doing it, imagine what it would feel like if you were. With each out breath, send those roots deeper and deeper down. Imagine the wet soil, the underground caves, the hot magma. Keep sending them down farther and farther, allowing the pull of the center of the earth to draw you in. Pull some of that energy up back into your body and then up into your arms. Lift your arms over your head and imagine they are tree branches reaching up into the sky! With a deep breath out send some of that energy up to the sky above! And with a strong deep breaths, feel that balance in your body. With each breath in you are connected to the earth, and each breath out - the sky above.
4. Hold your tools in your hand. Remember your intention. What is the emotion of your intention? Let the feeling of your intention fill up your body, like the moment before you blow out your birthday candles and wish your wish! Let it fill you up! With one big deep breath send that intention into your tools! That can look like anything: blowing your breath onto the tools, squeezing them in your hands a little tighter, or even imagining them wrapped in a sparkly magical light. Or anything, be creative! Do what feels right! These are your tools!
5. Start working on your project in this peaceful and sacred space! Work as long or as little as you'd like!
When you are finished for the day, I like to take a moment to honor the work I just did. When you pick it back up later, no need to do the whole thing all over again, just remember your intention and reconnect to it and start working!
Lou LaMotte is a Queer Witch who is in Priestess training at the Blue Iris Mystery School in Portland, Oregon. She weaves magic, ritual, and healing into her art practice in the creation of installations, book making, and fiber works. She is going on a healing tour through the SW and California this fall with her best friend Jenstar. We have a campaign to reach out to people and to exchange gifts for financial support! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-jaha-lou-tour/x/4119892