So–there’s a new post I did over at No Unsacred Place, about my work with skin spirits both as art, and as a funereal process. Go, take a look, and then come back here.
For someone who works with dead critters as much as I do, I really don’t have very many that I keep for myself. My job has primarily been to help these sacred remains and skin spirits to a better “afterlife”, generally with other people.
But I do have a few. I have my wolf skins, and a few other hides and ritual tools I’ve made. I even have the old antler-handled knife I bought as a ritual blade way back at the beginning of my paganism in the mid-90s. And I have my tail.
Well, okay. It’s one of two tails. I have an Arctic wolf tail that’s part of my formal shamanic costumery. But then I also have my “wear-ever” tail, a big grey wolf tail that I’ve had for years. And despite the increasingly varied sorts of attachments I’ve been making for tails over the years, my poor wolf tail’s been stuck with a couple of straps of leather that I stitched on hastily, and which have broken several times (hence why the belts I make for tails I sell are braided).
My most recent “flavor” of tail has been a belt tail with a matched pair of belt pouches. I decided that I liked this design so much that I wanted my own tail to have that setup.
But I didn’t want to use just any leather. Instead, I decided to make use of my old, beat-up, now-retired-and-replaced leather biker jacket that I’ve been wearing around–and wearing out–for over a decade (after getting it from Goodwill, mind you). I saved the painted panel on the back, which is going to get hung up on the wall with the various pins I wore on the coat. And then I went to town with the leather shears.
And, a couple of hours later, I had this:
I’m rather pleased with it. I used a pair of wolf toe bones for the toggle-clasps on the pouches, and all the leather is from that old coat. Given that the coat had been damaged and repaired so often as to be unwearable, I was happy to be able to keep making use of the leather for such a special project–and my own wolf tail no longer had to go around with just a couple crappy strips of worn out leather 🙂
I’ve been wearing it all weekend at vending events and OryCon, and have already gotten compliments. Plus it’s just a fun thing to wear about. If I decide I want to wear a skirt, I can still have pockets. If I want to incorporate it into festival garb, I get pockets AND a tail! I’m all pleased an’ stuff, in case you couldn’t tell 😉
I don’t keep very much for myself, but when I do, it has to be something very dear to me. This definitely counts.