Els’ owl

nov 8

via www.flickr.com

My friend Els, who reads this blog, sent me a card when I sent her a circle, and it had this lovely little owl on it. It looks like a hand carved stamp, and I love it. So I traced it (carefully) and made this owl circle, which I think I am sending to a friend South Africa, another internet friend.

Which shows you something about community and imaginary friends and the internet.

fu bat fu

nov 7

via www.flickr.com

Bats are good luck in China, a fact which startled and delighted me because they seem to be regarded with suspicion (or hunger) in most cultures around the world. Apparently the word for bat is close to the word for luck, thus fu bat.

eagle

nov 5

via www.flickr.com

Very sketchy, but elegant – the eagle is one of the few psychopomps that isn't fundamentally mysterious.

I just realized I stitched the top wing backwards….

one bee or to be

nov 4

via www.flickr.com

The more I look at creatures that are considered psychopomps, the more I think it is just animals that people find mysterious for one reason or another. Take bees – their social structure is almost recognizable, but not really. Their use of flowers and construction skills are much the same. They were thought to be able to fly between worlds by some cultures.

Hathor

nov 3

via www.flickr.com

Hathor, one of the oldest goddesses in the ancient Egyptian pantheon, was called "the Goddess of the West" and believed to welcome the dead to the afterlife.

November was originally going to be all the presidents but I got so overloaded on politics, and so interested in skulls and Day of the Dead celebrations and the idea of psychopomps that I changed my mind I did think briefly about embroidering skulls over all the various presidential portraits, but that didn't seems correct. Or polite. Psychopomp is an ugly word for entities that guide the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. They are also ways the unconscious communicates with the conscious mind, and an aid to creativity. Depending on the culture, psychopomps range from gods and goddesses to animals and angels.

I like the idea of someone meeting me after I die, so they are kind of a compelling concept for me.

lord of the mummy wrappings

nov 2

via www.flickr.com

In the late 1980s there was a man making wooden automata. I want to say Spooner, but I am not sure. He had a display of many og his automata in the cellar at Covent Garden, where I spent a happy hour pushing all the buttons and watching them move. Mr Spooner was very fond of Anubis, and showed him eating spagetti, sipping an espresso at a cafe, and bathing. Labels for each of the Anubis pieces carefully used his full name: Anubis, jackal headed god of the mummy wrappings. Which, for some reason, cracked me up.

A tiny amount of googling produced Paul Spooner. Iam grateful to my brain for remembering odd things.