Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christmas Tree:

Yesterday Cebah & I went hunting for our Christmas tree. We lucked out and found a nice one easily - an eastern red cedar by the branch down in the bottoms. According to the Cherokee, the fragrant inner wood of the cedar is stained red with power. It seems that in days of yore there was a conjurer who attained so much power that he upset the balance, leaving the tribe no choice but to cut off his head. This was hung atop the cedar. The power, being in the blood, dripped down the tree and imbued it with magic. I thought I'd take you on a little trip round the tree, to see the ornaments...

My friend Chisato made this snowman.

There are little bouquets of Rabbit Tobacco, which Cebah loves (she chewed it as a child) ~ also known as "Life Everlasting".

There's a Snake Egg...

And a Rabbit... Brer Rabbit to you.

Last year when I was working on The Faun, my friend Flo gave me a plastic faun, a fastfood toy I think, from some (dreadful) movie. The glass bell is our oldest ornament, older than me, even.

This little white deer is familiar both to the Cherokee and the Japanese... it's the guardian of the deer. Any hunter who sees it is blessed with luck in the hunt. This one is made out of clay from the spring in Ralph's field.

This angel is a nut, from dear Cathy. (appropriate, no?)

The Elves are made out of peckerwoods. The globular shape is a gall, bio-engineered by an insect to make a nursery in the stem of a goldenrod. He's painted with red and white clay.

This is an earthstar - a fungus in the puffball family. The legend is that the grow where shooting stars hit the earth.

This angel is almost as old as I am. It was made, out of cornshucks, by a family friend back in the 60s.

And here's the tree, bespangled with light and keeping the ancient darkness in balance. Merry Christmas to all you gentle readers!


Cathy said...

What fun to see all these ornaments! Of course the Dandyland Christmas tree is full of magic. Did you make the deer and the elves?

Dan Dutton said...

Yes, the deer and elves, rabbit, tobacco bundles, cattail stars, sweet gum tree balls, etc - were from a few years back when I decided to decorate the tree using only materials from the woods & fields.
There were a zillion little red clay redbirds - but I don't know what happened to them.

The deer has a poem, written for a hunter I met in Japan, & I think it's on Temporary Survivors. I'll check & link it.

Nancy said...

Great blogs think alike, we posted our christmas tree yesterday as well. All your little tree creatures are an inspiration. We are snowed in today !!! I think I'll go for a walk and collect more tree decorations.

Dan Dutton said...

Snowed in? Yippee! Lucky you ~ we're just having icewater fall out of the sky.