Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tangible Witchcraft: Devotional Mask Making (Part Two)

Ishtar is coming together.
If you are just joining us, this is part two of this blog post. In part one, I go through most of the beginning steps on how to make a devotional mask and the hows and whys of my particular mask (of Lilith). I learned this craft so that I could then help others make theirs at the F(a)eri(e) Magic(k) Gathering, which I helped to organize this Labor Day weekend. (see related posts about that!)

Jared is making a jawless mask.
So after creating the outside of the mask and the wings, what was left? Well, for starters, I needed to attach the heavy wings somehow, and be sure that they created a veil that went all the way around my head (I wanted to be completely enclosed by Her energy in the mask). I also wanted to do some work on the inside of the mask- for the benefit of the wearer.

California Mugwort
So I started by taking some wildcrafted mugwort and steeping a strong infusion of it to paint on the inside of the mask. Mugwort is a strong plant ally in trance and dreaming work. Mugwort, also known as Motherwort, is sacred to moon goddesses (it is an emmenagogue, after all), and what is the moon but Lilith's Lantern?

Melisseus is painting his.
After that tea dried, I could embellish the inside of the mask as well. I blackened the inside so that I removed all distractions keeping me from engaging in the mask's purpose. Then I added the sigil that She gave me (it is on her sacred objects that I have made for Her before) to the forehead of the mask, on the inside, so that it covers my "third eye" when I wear the mask.

Three mask makers start the
embellishment process
Then I attached the wings with leather cord (I created 4 holes with an exacto knife in each wing, then laced them so make the stress point of attachment more diffuse, then attached each wing at two parts of the mask, tying the leather lace inside. I then reinforced the knot with some hot glue.

Then I needed to attach a cord to make the mask stay on, hands-free. I used a jacket cord (you know, the kind with a plastic slider on it?) instead of an elastic band. This is so my mask can get years of use without having to replace stretched out cord.

My mask is not yet complete in the pictures below, as the veil has not been attached and the wing edges were not covered - but this gives you an idea of the effect. Finally, after trying out the mask, Lilith told me that she wanted eye holes, as she wanted to move while talking and be able to approach people of her choosing. So I created some.

Just the right amount of fright
A profile look.
We used the masks in ritual that night, invoking who we worked with into the circle. I plan on using my mask in a more quiet way, as an aid in oracular work and to sit with Her in quiet moments, mainly.

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