For my Altered Eclectic DT post this month, I've decided to show some elemental wands that I've made, I think they come under the title of 'altered art' as they started of as twigs! This is a photo of them all together.
Many spiritual traditions believe in the importance of different elements within daily life, health and balance. These include traditions such as Ayuverdic (yoga and medicines), Ancient Chinese (with acupuncture), Buddhism and Paganism.
In some traditions the elements are considered to be Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, whereas in Paganism we recognise Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. I have created a wand for each of these elements and have them on a display shelf in my front room.
When creating each of the wands, I focussed on my belief's and feelings about each element to ensure that this filtered through to the piece itself. I simply used a sharp penknife and craft blade for tools and combined this with threads, wool and other fibres and jewellery components such as beads and metal wires and foils.
Some of the characteristics attributed to Earth are, strength, nuturing, stability and balance, and related colours include brown and green.
For this wand I used a twig that was of an equal shape - ie it had two straight pieces each coming from a central pivot. I removed all the bark, apart from the middle section. At each end I wrapped a mixture of brown and green embroidery threads, interspersed with some strands of copper foil. I feel that I have created a piece that truly represents Earth.
Air is seen as the element of communication, freedom and of a clear mind. Think of the phrase 'blowing away the cobwebs' and the belief that thoughts and wishes are carried away on the wind in the same way as dandelion seed. There are many given colours for correspondence with Air, these include white, sky blue. pastels and yellow.
I treated the bark differently for this wand, removing some in directional lines which appear a little as dashes, leading to the sharpened point at the end, I wanted this to represent two-way communication, both talking and listening and reaching an agreeable conclusion. I used blue and purple threads and then added various charms, some in moon shapes, feathers and a butterfly to show the movement through air and some heart shaped ones to convey loving communication.
Fire is seen as quick, passionate and creative, you can be said to have a 'fire in your belly' when you are determined to achieve something, or to 'burn with desire'. There are also connotations of change, or of a new beginning, if you think of tales of the Phoenix bird. Obvious colour associations are reds and oranges.
I really liked the twisty shape of this twig, it reminded me of the way in which flames in a fire dance. I simply chose a set of beautifully coloured fibres to wrap around one end of this wand, tying wooden beads on the ends, and I found this lovely red piece of suedette cloth, to me it represented warmth and so I added this to the other end.
Regarded as the element of emotion. Fast flowing water is purifying, clear and pure whilst stagnant water is stale and murky - this is true of our emotions also, if we acknowledge them and let them out it is better for our health, whereas bottling them up inside can be damaging
For this I deliberately chose a straight stick, water always finds its' own path and will even find its' way through stone over time, so I wanted to represent this as straight and direct. I used wool in greeny-blue tones and added small shells. I wanted this to remind me to allow my emotions to flow free as I have a tendency to hold them in (my birthsign is Aquarius - the water carrier - which is probably why I keep them in).
Well I guess Spirit really speaks for itself, it is the one element that runs through all the rest, and connects everything to everything else. Colours given as correspondences for Spirit are usually white black and purple.
I decided to use my intuition (which I think is always best in any case) when it came to the colours I used on this wand, when I think of Spirit I ususally see blues and flashes of silver so this is what I used to wrap the end of this wand. First though I removed all of the bark from this twig, I wanted to be able to connect deeply with the inner core and not a superficial surface. The only other pieces added were a feather, long held by many traditions to represent Spirit, and a bead with the Yin-Yang symbol - I firmly belief that both the masculine and feminine energies need to be present to complete a perfect 'whole' and a state of harmony and balance. I feel that this ancient symbol, originally Chinese represents this balance perfectly.
Many thanks for reading this blog-post which has included a little of my Pagan viewpoint, do remember though that I do not intend to impose this on anyone, I feel an individual knows their own truth and must find it themselves.