I created this series of dolls over a span of seven years. It represents the healing of trauma that stemmed from a violent beating and rape when I was twenty-six years old. Discussed at length in my forthcoming book, these dolls have been the source of much of my emotional healing.
Dolls have been used for thousands of years and in many cultures for the purpose of healing. For me, it was the ability to express emotion through the human figure and facial expression that drew me to this genre.
This page offers you photos and brief descriptions of each stage of my healing process. This journey was guided by the medicine wheel - a sacred symbol of indigenous people that is used for, among other things, the process of transformation. I've adapted the medicine wheel as I know it for use with making healing dolls as you'll see in the symbol I designed below. I invite you to read my memoir to learn more about my healing journey.
The East represents new beginnings, openings, vision and connection with Divine Mother - a guardian who oversees my healing journey. This doll hangs in my creative/healing studio and has watched over my entire doll creation process.
Doll of the South - Fear
The South represents a place of growth, teaches us about faith & trust, and is home to the shadow self. Working in the South was a long, somewhat painful journey. It required patience and courage to invite Fear to my kitchen table so I could get to know it well.
The West is a place of letting go and cleansing, thus leaving a void which is likened to the womb and welcomes in new creation. The West holds the power and magic of dreams and is where we can access the capacity to transform. Compassionate Mother appeared in the West gifting me a message about the importance of being gentle and compassionate with myself, listening deeply to inner needs and responding to my hurt with loving kindness.
This doll was a powerful messenger for me. She reminds me that each moment holds our ‘completeness.’ There are always layers to peel away that will reveal more of the beauty that's been hidden, there are parts we'd like to change or embellish, but we're always the creators of the true beauty of life by how we hold or release our judgement - the black and the white.
This doll represents a big turning point in my healing. Once I let go of my resistance, the path for healing my own pain body became clear. From my dialogues with Painbody, I was guided to actions that would relieve my pain and bring my body into a place of balance and strength.
The North represents a place of truth and of wisdom and offers us a place to see ourselves clearly. This talisman represents the embodiment of inner strength, trust in self and the unfolding perfection of all life.
Walking to the North on the medicine wheel offered me opportunity to release the things that no longer served me and to remember those that were more authentic expressions of me.
My most recent doll, Going to Seed represents the time of life when we’ve concentrated our gifts and are ready to distribute them to the world. Her choice of lotus as her seed dispenser was intentional. Lotus, symbolic of purity of body, speech, and mind, is rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. Lotus is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals.
The seeds of Sacred Lotus can remain viable for several centuries. Lotus seeds are carried by the water which is an element associated with emotion.