Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Eye for an Eye

Eric gave me a pair of feathers which he nabbed during a Santeria ritual and I, still in Martha Stewart mode after making a batch of orange pomanders, have been thinking of what to do with them. Being that the feathers were taken from sacrificial fowls to Orunmila, god of wisdom and seer of the future among the Lucumi, I thought that they would make a very nice addition to a god's eye.

The god's eye is a traditional craft and spiritual object among the Huichol Indians of Mexico. In their native language it is called "tsikuri" which means "the power to see and understand things unknown".  It is sometimes used as a protective symbol, and it is said that the four points of the tsikuri correspond to the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

I chose to use the four Western elemental colors for the yarn: red, blue, yellow and green, and they indeed make a wonderful combination. The pattern I wove was in correspondence with the four worlds of the Kabbalah: red representing the divine world at the outermost, and green representing the material world in the center [1]. Although it was fairly easy to make, I found myself in a very meditative state during the act of weaving, especially when reflecting upon the symbolism of the color of the yarn that I was using. Basically this god's eye is a mandala, a talisman and a Western cosmological model all at the same time.

Thankfully our office is located in the middle of a park, so it was easy to find straight branches like these.

From green to yellow. From the world of man to the world of angels... the world of archangels and then to divinity. To blue and to red.

Tie the feathers with a string, and hide the knots with some clay beads.

I made a tassel from the remaining piece of string and
added a bloodstone and a jasper bead, stones of life and nurturing.

Basbasan Nawa!

[1] The four worlds of Kabbalah, from the highest to lowest, and their elemental correspondences:
Red - Atziluth - Divine World - Fire
Blue - Briah - Creative World - Water
Yellow - Yetzirah - Formative World - Air
Green - Assiah - Material World - Earth


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