Carved from a solid antler tine, while this piece is only four inches in length it carries a potent presence, very much in keeping with the purpose for which it is intended. Commissioned by a healer working in the shamanic tradition it is specifically for use in soul retrieval work.
Within the tradition this is a specialist tool, an aid to re-integrating soul parts that have split off through trauma and injury. This cannot be achieved without the intervention of the healer’s spirit allies, but, the souls journey home is aided and abetted through the spirit catcher giving them a safe housing in the process. Shamans of different heritages have used both natural and transformed materials, such as crystals and hollow bones, for this purpose.
Amongst indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast, such as the Kwakiutl for instance, many fine examples can be found of the carving of bone or antler with spirit faces and animals in spirit catchers – there are elements in this particular piece that give a subtle nod in this direction, the healer having requested it take the form of two crows facing each other, one black, one white, their beaks overlapping. The antler here is hollowed, which also allows the healer to effectively and safely blow the recovered soul back into the person’s body during healing……
…….while many indigenous shamans make their own healing tools, within the traditions it is a great privilige to undertake such work on behalf of the healer – in the making of this spirit catcher the crows spoke strongly with their own unique and individual voices that determined the forms they took, making this both a beautiful and rewarding honour to undertake.