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It has been discovered by science,
that Feathers have their own vibration. Each bird species has
its own characteristics that add to their feathers. And each
bird has a personality to add to its feathers.
Then, is a feather just a feather?
Or a gift? So you have been gifted with a feather. Now what
do you do? That depends on if it is a single feather or a wing,
or the whole bird. Is it in any shape to be saved? If the quill
has been broken it is said the Spirit has been drained from
If it is too road warn or too sad
to save, then I do a ceremony for it. I spray any feather or
wing I get with, a light coat of Raid (bug spray) before I start.
I do this because we live in a modern age of bugs and disease.
After Smudging and Grounding with
the 7 Directions, I give thanks for the gift before me. I begin
work with the intent that is for the highest good of all that
come in contact with this gift. A single Feather is simple.
With clean hands run your fingers up the feather, using your
nail to clean any debris. I try and leave any blood where it
is. This is a powerful tool in itself. Next wash your hands
and apply oil to them. I use Vitamin E or olive oil. Wipe off
any extra, you want very little oil on your fingers. Run your
fingers up the feather again from the quill out towards the
end of each feather. Working any splits from the quill out and
up will heal it. A bird preens his feathers with its beak, learning
to be gentle by experience. You too will benefit with this experience.
If there is any flesh left on the feather put it quill down
into a small cup, a shot glass works well, of salt. Leave it
in the salt until it is dry.
The Wing is more work, but well worth
the effort. Hopefully your wing came to you still flexible.
Clean any large spots by hand preen the area, as described in
the single feather paragraph. Spread the wing as far as you
like the larger the spread the bigger the fan. I like a relaxed
medium spread. With straight pins, because they are longer than
tacks, pin the wing open on a piece of cardboard. Try not to
pierce a quill, but aim for between them. Find a flat spot that
won't be disturbed for a few weeks, preferably in the garage.
If your wing has a lot of meat on it this could cause a smell.
Herbs, oil and such will help, placing them near the wing not
on it. Otherwise you will be picking herbs out of your wing
Lay the cardboard flat. Pour salt
on the end with the exposed bone. This will draw the moisture
out of the wing. Replace salt as needed. I've left fresh wings
lay for up to 6 weeks.
The whole bird would best be left
to a professional. It is known that feathers come to me. So
I was asked to help prepare a whole Bird. The Bird had been
frozen and was thawed out for the work. After grounding and
prayer I started. Both wings were intact, no broken bone. After
removing the wings from the body I was asked to remove the whistle
bones. Wings have a joint. Poultry scissors work well to cut
through joints and tendons.
By this time I was Altered and let
Spirit work through me. The Whistle bones are located below
the wing joint. After slicing through the skin I pulled it back
to expose the bone. Whistles are a different subject and I personally
don't have the knowledge or experience to do them. The feathers
and skinned parts were given to others to pluck. It is easiest
to pull feathers before the drying process. Since this wasn't
my gift I have little idea where the parts went.
The claws of the Bird also have a
joint that I cut through. There is a string like tendon that
runs down the back of the leg and I leave this as long as I
can. While the Claws are still pliable I wrap them around a
stone or crystal thus spreading the Claw open. Holding them
in place with red cotton cloth strips. I don' t cut the tendon
until the claw is dry and then I only trim the tendon. To dry
them lay the claw flat as possible with a stone in it, and pour
salt on the cut exposed bone. Let lie and dry.
The tail is also a joint and tendons
like a turkey. On other birds I have just plucked the tail feathers,
being told to by the spirit of the bird. After being cut from
the Bird, this tail was given to a tribe. I have no further
knowledge of its whereabouts. The rest of the bird was plucked.
The skull given to a professional for cleaning. I take the body
and do a cremation ceremony for it, always giving thanks for
the gift of feathers and tools and blessing the spirit of the
With the completion of any tool or
art work I do a Give Away Ceremony.
a great article and it's informative. I learned a bit about
the work you do too ~!^ And I can attest to the beauty of the
things you craft!
agree and thank you! Do you have a resource where people can
look up birds that - by law they shouldn't keep? I would be
interested in knowing more about the ceremony that you use -
unless that's too personal. Some are. I just thought if you
could share some of what you did ceremony-wise, it would be
helpful for people to understand in honoring the spirit of the
bird. I would also be interested in seeing some of your work
if you have pics? We can include them with the article.
Greetings SEDD! I don't
have any references for Birds that are illegal to have. But
most birds of prey are illegal. Look in your area for birds
that are hunted.
Most of mine are road kill, and are
gifts from Spirit.
Eagle carries 5 years in prison plus
fines if you are not Native American. Other birds are different
from State to state. I will look to see if I have any pictures
I can show you all. That is a good idea. How do you know if
it is a gift from Spirit? If the Bird has its wings spread and
might even be waving at you. It is a gift. If the wings are
wrapped tight to the body, I give blessings offerings and leave
I have even been told "Do you
not honor all gifts left in your path?" I thought the roadkill
was a Skunk, reputation .
The grounding I do is with the 7
directions like Cinnamon Moon teaches with my own little quirks.
And the Give Away Ceremony I use is in "Dancing the Wheel"
by Sun Bear.
Hi SEDD, I have found that
the local (County and State) Department of Natural Resources
will provide a list of legal and illegal birds for you. All
you have to do is call and ask them or check the
web for your state. If you can't hunt them, odds are you can't
have their feathers or body parts either. Most birds of prey
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