Tools & Crafts

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By Tarra

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 the feather.

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 forever.

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 bird.

With the completion of any tool or art work I do a Give Away Ceremony.

That's 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!

I 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 it there.

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 are protected.

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