Ritual Burials: Stag

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A couple of years ago there was a bit of a trend for Stag/Deer type stuff. Do you remember? I absolutely adore stag and deer and think they are truly magical. But whenever things get popular it does put me off a bit. Silly really. Anyway, that has nothing to do with this piece.

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Have I told you that the outlines of these ghosts are glow in the dark? I haven’t figured out how to photograph them but it’ll be a nice treat for whoever ends up buying them.

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Lot of instant gratification with this one. As soon as I cut the trees out of felt and tacked them down you could see the scene.

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I was kind of amazed how much attention this pic got when I posted it on Instagram. Just that nice smooth satin stitch. I almost felt bad not leaving them like that.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Birch trees are the tree spirit’s gift to embroiderers. It’s just so easy to make them look great.

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If you plough through my archives, or just go to my home page actually and scroll down a little bit you’ll see a miniature of this scene I made back in 2013, and I saw every reason to replicate the techniques I used then, albeit in cotton this time.

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Imagine how hard and annoying it would be to attempt to embroider all the leaves another way. Also French knots are so fun. Also didn’t even have to change colours as my fave variegated perle cotton from 21st Century Yarns does the trick for me.

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Canopy made, it was back to my metal thread work for a new moon.

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And an imperfect silver chalice.

At this point I was going to add Hawthorn leaves and flowers stumpwork at the foot of the trees, but I was quite afraid I’d be gilding the lily, so left things well alone. It loses none of the symbolism, and makes for a short post. You’re welcome.

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D I V I N E / M E S S E N G E R
According to Welsh tradition, the Stag is one of the 5 oldest animals in the world. A guide from the beginning of time that takes us deeper into the underworld. The Lord of the Animals, Stag is a divine messenger and can go between our world and others. Journeys with Stag are also about purification, represented by the gateway of birch trees, used for millennia to drive out impurities and provide guardianship. New beginnings are also represented by the new moon. Finally this ritual burial also contains a silver chalice, a magical cup representing offered and received knowledge. Both these silver motifs are also symbolic of the Goddess, to which the Stag is also wedded as the Horned God.

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