Embroidery does not need to be about the end result. Ritual stitching is a process of stitching regularly, perhaps daily in a practice of spell casting or contemplation. In this piece I created a spell for someone I knew who was suffering and was ready to leave this realm. In the work I focused my energy on providing for them a painless transition, the vibrancy of the colors reflected their personality. The movement of sewing can be a spellcasting, its repetitive nature builds power into the work.
I learned about more slow and mindful stitching through the work of Clare Wellesley Smith. "She specialises in projects that use local, natural colour, created from home-grown and locally foraged plants. Dyes and stitches on reclaimed cloth are used in slow processes that allow time for consideration of methods of production and narratives of use."
The forms were based on a painting by my good friend Ursula Gullow. See more of her work here.
Samhain is a time when the veil is thin and we think of those who have passed on. For many of us this means thinking of who we have known and loved, however I think we should also honor and acknowledge the passing of those who have had their lives stolen.
This is a small, contemplative stitching ritual that remembers people of color who have been murdered in the US.
Set up your ritual area however you choose to, have a piece cloth about 8 inches square. Choose a thread that is darker in color - purple, brown, dark red etc. With each stitch, say the name of someone who has been listed as murdered. There is a list at this website: Say Their Names
As you participate in this ritual, meditate on how you can be part of the change. Place your completed stitches on your altar, or somewhere you can see it to remind you of the struggle.
Here are some important resources:
Black Lives Matter
Southerners on New Ground
American Civil Liberties Union
Tara can be found throughout Hindu and Buddhist traditions as a deity and Buddha or bodhisattva. Scriptures tell us that when Tara attained enlightenment, she was encouraged by monks to become a man so that she may fulfill her full potential as a bodhisattva. Tara refused and admonished the monks for being bound to the illusion of gender. Tara then vowed to be reborn always as a women to encourage the enlightenment of women who were overlooked and oppressed.
These prayers and devotionals were written by LizW for a project in her masters program where she explored the idea of prayer and Goddess spirituality. She is making available for free here on Open Coven for you all to use. The zine is laid out to be folded in half as a booklet, make sure your printer is set to flip on long edge to ensure every page is the right way round. Brightest Blessings.