Lichen Dragon’s Head/Mask

Lichen Dragon Head
Lichen dragon head piece

Lichen Dragons Song.

Today I surrender to the mist.
I busy my hands with the weaving of willow, ash whips and crimson dogwood,
Rusted bracken and fallen lichens, dead seed heads and discarded shells.
Weaving myself into this disguise
Embodying the becoming of this creature that just is.
This creature of future nights, unknown.
That knows no bounds, bar the elements.
Wild. Uncontrolled. Mysterious and unexpressed, unseen, until this sacred night.
Birthed through the unconscious motion of my fingers…guided only by mystery.
Carving a lantern and praying for only for light in this darkness that’s coming.
This swishen time, this between and all around the invisible, time.
This time of ancestors and the unborn.
All those lost are rising in memory
And all those unmet , beckon.
My soul reeks of melancholy and decomposition.
My heart and lungs breathing life into mumbled, repeating prayers,
In conference with beetles and worms and the tree roots,
The bones and the dark, damp soil,
While moth-like constantly drawn back toward the flame.
In the autumn air gathering myself and others for the coming tides.
Keening out my discontent and tempering that with a vast uncompromising love.
The kind of love that brings salty, oceanic, rising tears,
Solemnly returning them to our dear earth and asking only for forgiveness.
Sitting with all the birthing and the dying.
All the creating and destroying.
All eons, past and future,
All sunrises ,sunsets ,summers and winters,
And all these sacred in between times.
Letting myself drop everything inconsequential
Swimming only in the endless, eternal, turning.
Dancing in the Dark and shining my tiny light.

Kat Robertson Samhain 2018

The words that came through as I picked up willow, ash and dogwood whips and prunings and began to weave. Such a pleasurable process. Important to use no glue or ties, just working with the materials.
Some of our local woodland has been quite brutally slashed back, to allow the forestry lorries through to bring the wood out. One of my favourite ‘lichen’ tree, mature birches was all sawn up and lying all over the ground. I felt strong sadness not at the doing of it particularly, but at the careless way that it was done.
This was the moment that I knew I would use this laying lichen. As some sort of tribute to the tree. The dead seed heads are everywhere at this time of year and I thought, with all this silver, grey ‘fur’, I was aiming for a wolf….it turned into a deer….became a calf….and only after Samhain itself , when it presented as a nature spirit, did a sister point out that it was very much a dragon!! Yes!!
A Lichen Dragon.

It was always going to be my Samhain get up…so had to figure out how to wear it! It was really effective used as a hand held puppet. Might try and get a short video of it in action…but I knew I’d be carrying my tumshie ‘swede’ lantern, so needed my hands free. So I sewed it onto an old hat!
It was a wild old night….blacked out my face and worked it! Grateful for the full length black leather coat I also wore and the village shop for the mulled wine.
Wish I’d also built wings and a tail now too! Still it remains as a potential prop for other, future, curious actions!

I felt much lighter when I took it off after a few hours.
Couldn’t find a place in the house to hang it safe, then suddenly I realised it would make the perfect, winter, door wreath. Talk about protection!
We’ve got a dragon on our door!

Had me pondering the idea of offering of making wild beast masks workshops with big and little kids.

Now that would be fun!

Our alternative winter wreath!

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