(Art) The Shaman's Necklace by Kathy Martone

The Shaman’s Necklace (53”L x 34”W) Green velvet panel framed with gold brocade, and black & gold, ribbon.
The Shaman’s Necklace (53”L x 34”W)
Green velvet panel framed with gold brocade, and black & gold, ribbon.

The snake, symbol of initiation and rebirth, arises from the green lavaliere and merges into red fox, symbol of feminine magic. Poised at the center of the upper circle of the lemnescate formed by the serpentine body is the phoenix, emblem of immortality. At the end of the snake’s tail hangs a small clear quartz crystal, a spiritual transmitter, and balanced on the bottom curve is a cross, representing the interpenetration of spirit into matter.

This piece was inspired by a dream in which a Native American shaman gifted a circle of women with a platter of green necklaces.  Each of us in the circle was instructed to choose one of the necklaces.  When it came time for me to choose, my necklace immediately transformed itself into a large snake that then sprouted the head of a fox.


“Art is an act of the soul {that celebrates} the temple of consciousness…”

–Julia Cameron

The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued me for as long as I can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, I began making velvet banners imprinted with the image of one of my dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass  beads, Swarovski crystals, pieces of jewelry, and semi-precious stones.

As a Jungian psychologist and shamanic practitioner, energy and depth of meaning are very important to me.  So I frequently will accent my tapestries with symbolic objects, such as old pieces of jewelry, the lining from a purse that belonged to my grandmother, leaves from a sacred place, animal fur, or a piece of ribbon I wore as a little girl.  Layering these materials into a meaningful image evokes for me the multi-layered realms of dreams, myth and metaphor.

Not unlike tarot cards, these colorful tapestries stand alone in their ability to evoke deep inner wisdom and, like the magical nets of ancient shamans, they ensnare the features of my dream spirits as they stare back at me from their watery dimensions.

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