My most profound moments of self-therapy and inner breakthroughs have occurred at the fleshing beam. I have witnessed tremoring breakthroughs when one feels for the first time what it’s really like to cut through skin. I have seen the shadows of WTF flash across a face before I hear the victory exhale from the women crossed thresholds of resistance in birthing their sacred sounds with me. Working hides and guiding you through the making of sacred sound is one of my top 3 honors in Life.
There is something about cutting through skin that awakens a deep and ancient felt-vision. My thought is that as modern humans with our reduced primal movement and purpose we are becoming more and more domesticated even when we say we are wild at heart. The actions and experiences we give our animal bodies determine the patterns we carve out in our neural pathways. So...if one never faces the uncomfortable and finds themselves HAVING to figure out how to flow past something out of their zone, they become more rigid and safe in small spaces of mind and body. There is something about cutting through skin that shakes the rigid right out of you. There is something about cutting through skin that awakens a remembering in the bones that shatters these modern energy cages. There is something about cutting through skin that ReWild’s your inner voice. There is something about cutting through skin that tells the original tale of reverence. There is something about cutting through skin that calls for you to rebirth as you birth your drum or rattle...and if one allows the transition, magic is made...and sometimes, initiation.
The flesh of my hides for sacred sound making reflect our flesh. The death of these animals remind us of death. Their scraped and naked skin show us what is possible. And from one body...many are born. In transforming their flesh...we transform something in us too.
The idea of cutting through skin can ripple all sorts of resistance and crunchy feels…after all…it was once a living being. And this is why I ask my makers to do it...It’s important to me that we don’t gloss over the gritty stuff of life, death and rebirth...it’s important to me that we don’t anesthetize our pain about where our medicine comes from...in this case, a living creature. Cutting through skin provides this level of clarity. It is my belief and my way of life to honor these beings by not backing down to what feels uncomfortable….by not seeing their leftover body as something to avoid or disconnect from. It is my belief and my way of life to honor their death by creating resourced magic and medicine from their leftover bodies...to use as much of them as I can. It is my belief and my way of life to honor their life by giving the medicine of their animal experience a voice. Treating death this way is a path I had to teach myself and there are always shadows to walk through and poison to turn into medicine. It is a choice to face the ugly and shift the shit to love it anyway. We all have this same choice. From where I stand, there is no right or wrong choice...just own what your choice says about you...just be honest with yourself...is this choice making you proud of yourself? Is what you make of death useful and life-affirming medicine?
How you treat death is how you show up in life.~ Nissa Howard
There is something about cutting through flesh that is other-worldy and completely embodied at the same time. It’s great training for being a medicine keeper and modern ancestor. It’s great training for walking with one foot in both worlds. It’s great training for wholeness because wholeness is the wisdom of holding both as true.
“Opposites are the pillars of wholeness”. ~Nissa Howard
Is it time for you to make Rattle medicine? To make an epic shit-shifter and trusted hand-held spirit guide/teacher/healer? Enrollment for Online Rattle Making Circle is now open. If you have a local coven or circle of 5 or more that you would like to make this medicine with, I’m offering a super-special deal...inquire via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.