Sacred Familiar

Meeting My Medicine Dolls through Alice Savage

StagWoman Sacred Familiar doll drawn by Alice Savage

'I believe in beauty.

I love animals and think they are the best part of us.'  

Alice Savage

I find it very hard to explain to people the full magic of the medicine doll because they are so personal. Each doll has her own personality and medicine and it is so unique and authentic to the doll herself that it will be felt by everyone differently. Just like meeting someone new - we aren't all going to get along in the same way. If I have to put it in a nutshell or acorn shell! I would say that they are magical friends. They are wee medicine women who come to walk beside you for a little while in your life when you need a friend. It sounds simplistic and it is but it is also essentially very true. What I didn't know when I began opening this ancestral medicine again 12 months ago was how many new friends the dolls were going to bring to me.
Last month I was contacted by Italian artist, Alice Savage who told me she was inspired by the dolls and asked me if she could make a drawing based on one. I was so honoured that an artist as skilled and talented as Alice would be inspired by the medicine of the dolls. And I was excited to see through Alice's eyes the spirit of my own dolls. I see the personality and spirit of the dolls clearly as I am making them but I do not put a deep or outlined expression into their faces because I want the new keeper to see her as she needs to see her. The faces are there but they are more etheric, ephemeral - as if behind a veil.
When Alice began to send her drawings through to me by email I was astonished because they had the faces that I had already seen but were also interpreted through Alice's own spirit and because of this they had become a new being at the same time. I don't see them as separate from my dolls but as seen from a different realm and sometimes it's very helpful to me to understand their medicine even more. This happened particularly when Alice drew the DeathDoula as a figure in a madonna-like pose. I was touched that she could feel the grace and compassion that this doll carried in her sacred medicine as midwife to the dying. Alice told me that the dolls were doing their healing on her own spirit as she drew them. They are speaking to her and I love that because they speak to me as I weave them too.

'This one so far speaks to me of the circle of time. It's like if she told me that she is very ancient, that she saw all the ages, and knows everything - she is fierce, not scared, not worried, because she saw all the seasons happening. I put a symbolized moon with the rays of the sun on the corners of the drawing to depict it. There are also some drop shapes (something I use often) to express the tears, but she is no more touched by them. She is sweet, and with the power of survival'. Alice's conversation with MossWitch

As the drawings have grown, I have fallen more and more in love with this collaboration of medicine with Alice. We have had lovely chats about Vali Myers, our love of animals - especially Foxes! We are now creating a project together to raise money for the Koalas at the Southern Ash WIldlife Shelter. I will have more information about purchasing prints of the medicine dolls for the koalas as the collaboration blossoms.
Dear Alice, thank you. It's such a delight to be weaving together across the oceans.
MossWitch medicine doll
MossWitch by Alice Savage
Stagwoman medicine doll by Sacred Familiar
DeathDoula - midwifing the dying

New Moon Stasis

Sherbrooke Forest 

Sometimes we have a lot of expectation of the New Moon. It's as if we think it will suddenly transform us and our world in one magical moment. But of course that's just us being human and wanting transformation to always come easy and quickly. I was waiting for that kind of change this morning with the Gemini New Moon and when it didn't happen I was perplexed. I've been in a low mood during the recent Dark Moon and I kept getting the same message over and over - to make no move - not that I would listen! Instead of just surrendering, relaxing and doing nothing, just like my daily readings with the Tarot kept advising me, I kept pushing and striving - trying to make change happen. Why do we find it so hard to do nothing? Or why do we think nothing is happening just because it doesn't look like it is or because we can't see it with our eyes. I decided to go for a walk in the forest to shake off the heaviness and today the trees were shrouded completely in mist. I couldn't see very far ahead at all. And the whole forest was absolutely silent under the mist and yet I was acutely aware of the Life that filled the forest. The air was thick with life and it was moving silently all around me. I was reminded of how we are standing on the brink of Winter and how much the trees and animals slow down in this time to preserve energy and hibernate.


I've decided to take a deeper look into decision making and how we can become more accepting in times of quiet and stasis in our lives in our Tarot workshop, Tarot of a WaterWitch, tomorrow night. I'm eager to remember the art of doing nothing!  Yesterday I created a spread to help in times of hard decision making, a spread that we can use when there are a several of paths or choices to take. These times often feel like we are standing at the centre of some divine crossroads.  And usually this is where we can get very blocked and afraid of taking the next step - as if there is ever really a wrong or right step to take. Yesterday I included a new path choice into the Tarot spread. It is the choice to 'do nothing'. I'm interested to see what happens when this choice comes up for the readers tomorrow. I will share the ins and outs of this spread to subscribers on Saturday - so if you would like to receive it, you can add your email address to the Subscriber box in the top right hand corner or email me at

The photo below is of the New Moon Crossroads Spread and in this photo you will see a curly-topped bell sitting beside the spread. This bell was created by a beautiful sister Sadie, as a trade for a medicine doll for her mother. Sadie created the magical saggar fired bell to help find what is lost - not necessarily objects. It was fired with seaweed, mango leaves and sawdust from a camphor laurel tree. I placed it beside my own Tarot reading to understand and find my sense of nothingness or no-time. I know what this feels like and I'm looking forward to remembering how to step back into no-time again.

And the photo below of the 2 black swans is for anyone feeling that they are riding difficult and deep waves tonight. Neptune is such a strong influence at the moment and is really affecting us water-beings. These 2 creature-teachers look so calm and still and yet on the day I took this photo near our old home in Williamstown, they were swimming in the middle of a raging storm.

Love to you all, however you find yourself tonight, it's all ok. Make a New Moon wish and set it free x

Saggar fired bell by Sadie Jean Tansey
New Moon Crossroads Spread with Gaian Tarot
Gaian Tarot - Four of Water: Time to fill your own well
Gaian Tarot - The Tree (Hanged Man) Letting Go

Creature-Teachers: Black Swans - calm in the storm

more redwood dreams

A couple of days ago we returned to the Redwood Forest to forage for medicine. The last time we visited a colony of bats circled over the forest calling loudly but this time the forest was silent, so very quiet. We found a forest portal shaped like an eye - go through go through the stars shine for you x

New Forest Space for Sacred Familiar

Hello dreamers we have now opened our new space in Kallista surrounded by the green wonder of Sherbrooke Forest. Ancestral Medicine sessions will open on Monday at the New Moon Solar Eclipse. Hope to see you soon. We also offer sessions by Skype and telephone for our faraway friends. Green love to you all for your weekend wanderings, Julia and Tony x

New Medicine Dolls

Owl and Elm Forest Dweller medicine doll
a doll for finding the new path
Barn Owl Feathers, Elm Tree plant medicine
Heart of Mountain Ash Tree Resin
Celtic Sea Salt
Owl and Tree of Life golden talisman

Dragonfly and Mugwort medicine doll
a doll for assisting with change and transition
King Parrot Feathers, Dragonfly talisman
Mugwort plant medicine