Healing and Re-Igniting what has been Colonized out of us.
Contemporary Ancestral Weaving
(Symbolic Ancestral Reliquary Of Memory Object)
Saromo’s are handmade, small prayer bundles, perhaps from 3” to 12” tall, or so. Once inspired, I begin with my intention and, along with the recipient, I record them in my book. Then I sketch out an image and record that along with the elements that will reside within the core. These reliquaries have taken many forms, from wrapped hearts to Ancestral dolls to images given in dreamtime. Their commonality is a core of personal tobacco (clean ceremonial tobacco mixed with cultural spices), aloe vera flowers (both fresh and dried to symbolize healing), and other appropriate element/s that wish to be included in this expression such as flower petals, seeds, etc. These are then wrapped in cotton batting and tied. From this point the ultimate image starts taking its form with more batting for support and then layers of cloth, usually cotton, but not always. The finishing touches embellish the surface with expressive lace, beads, shells, yarn, ribbons or whatever speaks to the ultimate purpose and expression of the reliquary. This all hand sewn with respect, prayer, intention, and humility. Here something is now created, both very personal and very powerful.
These Saromos can be made as gifts of love, of gratitude, of consolation, of encouragement, or just plain prayer. There are those that honor maternal or paternal lineages, events that have touched the heart, important dreams, or about anything that holds power for the maker. Whatever shape they take, they are always prayer. These materials can be smudged ahead of time with sage or cedar, or not, or whenever they are done. Once in the intention stage, I have often felt myself in a state of grace, and this can feel as if the process itself blesses the object. A truly loving and gifted expression.
I began this expression in the form of a doll (at Samhain), and it was viewed as a child’s toy. As this seemed to be a problem, I decided to rename the object and call it a Saromo. A dear friend, who was recently in Ukraine, came upon a doll (traditional Montanka doll) much like mine, with a similar cultural purpose. She knew she had found my doll for me (in my Slavic ancestry), and rejoiced in sharing this discovery. I see now that my Slavic ancestors have been with me this whole time. Bless them.
Always listen to your interior voice, you never know who is talking and who wants to work with you in partnership. Being in partnership is so very worthwhile and important for all parties concerned. Rejoice, listen, and learn.
Medicine as magic arrives flowing through those moments when we find ourselves held in a state of grace and inspiration. These requests can be both insistent and relentless, often demanding immediate action. If not in a place to comply, I then go into negotiating mode, where I take notes and promise to get started as soon as it is possible, which I always do. These moments can come at any time, while in meditation, the shower, during a flow of consciousness or even downloaded during an ordinary conversation (this one can be tricky). These creations are always personal regardless of focus and intent. It feels as if Spirit needs these expressions to be made manifest here, in this reality, in a timely fashion, meaning now. It is never casual and there is always purpose, whether or not I am privy to it at the time, or ever.
The work can be as broad as expressing one’s life’s journey or simply personalizing a Xmas tree angel in a familial, ancestral fashion. Each expression feels quite different, with no common theme and seems quite specific to a given situation. Whether the voice is soft or pushy, it is important to listen. I sense my way through the process, much like a drawing or painting, and though some artistic license is given, I am not comfortable deviating far from the original purpose/design in mind. This intention holds me, I can feel it, and so honor it.
This is the contract I have with Spirit. My guidance is there for me and I do what I can for them, here. Knowing your Soul’s journey in this lifetime is truly important and I am at a place in my life where I can comfortably talk with my guidance, my Aumakua and listen. I am never alone nor abandoned.
Seena Frost, founder of SoulCollage®, wrote in her book (SoulCollage® Evolving, pg. 5, p. 2),”When you begin…you first select images and then create personal cards that represent different parts of your individual and unique soul.” She uses the word “Neter” from the Ancient Egypt to represent a card that in itself reflects an energy, presence, guide, ally or challenger. She organizes the practice into four suits with a group of 3 Transpersonal cards (Source, SoulEssence and Witness) that for me hold the space for the Neters. These suits are Committee – the psychological dimension of the soul, Community – those real people, historical or personal or animals that impact our lives, Companions – the energetic dimension, often animals and Council – the archetypes whose energies pull you into a larger landscape and reveals how your story is woven there.
Once moved to make a card, you sit down and intuitively select images from magazines, cards or other personal stock you may have. Then with a blank card in front of you, edit once again. I find it useful to use as few images as possible, often just one, to keep the Neter clear and understandable. Once the images are cut and placed where they feel correct, you glue them down on the 5” x 8” card. Again, this is an intuitive process not a mental one so you will not understand the meaning or purpose of the card until after it is activated. The activation process begins with completing the following statements as if the card is talking to you and it will. It starts with, “I am the one who…,” followed by “My message to you is…”, “My gift to you is…” and “I am an ally/challenger.” Once you sit with your card in front of you, the card begins to complete the sentences through your imagination. This is very real. It is important to be careful of expectations, as the card can often have surprising and amazing information specifically for you.
For me, these are my personal Oracle cards specifically designed by and for me, to access my interior world which is often too subtle for easy recognition. This is a rich journey that continues to unfold and reveal those fabulous treasures held inside us all.
I can only hint at this work in this limited space and time here. I strongly encourage you to purchase Seena Frost’s book mentioned at the beginning and explore it at will. If you wish to truly delve even deeper into this experience, please find Mariabruna Sirabella’s website “Imagine, Create, Evolve” for SoulCollage® classes and Facilitator Trainings. I’ve done the latter and found it exquisite and incredibly powerful beyond any words that I can express. Should you wish to go deeper still, you can check out her School of The Origins. I have and completed the four intensives; Fire, Earth, Water and Air. This journey is a deep and invaluable one. Enjoy this journey, with blessings.
If you are interested in learning more about this work, please find Seena Frost’s explanation and demonstration at “Invitation to SoulCollage®” on Vimeo.