I have three rattles that have been with me for decades. They have many layers of meaning for me, reminding me. Two represent the feminine and masculine duality of creation and in each of us. One connects to the Animal People. I’m still learning new things from them.
I use them in various different ways – to invoke the 6 Directions; to clear or close the energy body; to give rhythm to singing; to be the sound beacon for those on shamanic journey.
My Blood Rattle is a natural gourd with an expanded bottom and smaller top bulb which acts as a handle. I found it at a farmer’s market. The surface is mottled in various tans, browns and muted orange. Its dried seeds are what makes it a natural rattle. When I was a midwife I asked some clients if I could anoint my rattle with their birth blood, which I did. I also anointed it with my moon blood. Thus I named it my Blood Rattle. I put a red cord tied loosely around its neck. The sound of this rattle is deep and with various tones in it.
Today I realized that the Blood Rattle represents the Lower World – Mother Earth powers. It awakens and invokes the Soul helps from the yin or feminine realm which hold the potentials of all creation. That is the feminine power to be the potential for all to happen.
My Moon Rattle is created of natural materials put together in a very Yang/Masculine form. The head of the rattle is very hard and coasted with tiny crystals on a light background. This is why I called it my Moon Rattle- it reminds me of a Full Moon. The handle is a brown branch with two little angels carved into it and on the bottom a larger quartz crystal is attached. Between the head and handle, purple yarn is wrapped with two feathers attached to beads at the ends of the yarn. The sound of this rattle is a bit softer yet sharper. It was a gift from one of my midwifery clients.
Today I realized that the Moon Rattle represents the Upper World – the Sky powers. It calls the forces of the Upper World, the Spirit helpers from the yang or masculine realm. The masculine carries out the intentions of the feminine through its consciousness.
My Animal Toenail Rattle is from a native market years ago. I was fascinated by this unique rattle, that is made of some kind of toenails, sewn to cloth in a circle like a bracelet or anklet. I love to use it as a rattle, great when dancing. It has a brittle, high pitched rattle sound. I can’t help but think of the animal who gave it to me.
Seeing the sacred in everything around us is a way to connect deeply with life.
My Three Rattles- a poem
Your voices call me into new adventures,
Into Plant, Animal, or Stone-
Each of you, an Emissary of one of them.
My Blood Rattle, anointed with woman blood
Is a simple dried gourd, rattling inside itself,
My Plant Emissary sings rooted wisdom,
Reaching to the Sun.
My Moon Rattle, glowing like the Moon
With tiny crystals coating the head
And a sizeable quartz at the handle’s end
Shares a softer sound, the quieter voice of ancient Stone.
My Toe Nail Rattle, made of sheep’s toenails they said,
Is my Animal Emissary,
Sewn loosely on a woven cloth circlet that fits my wrist.
Its voice rings like a clatter of animal chatter, calling me.
Thank you Rattles for connecting me to my relations,
And to the worlds of shamanic journeying
And the deep source of Mother Nature.