“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making a Corn Dolly

Traditionally, the corn dolly was made at Lughnasadh from the last sheaf of wheat (called corn in Europe) that was harvested and then paraded through town for all to see. The sheaf, called the Old Woman, was then placed in the home to protect the spirit of the grain and to represent the Goddess in her Crone aspect. In this aspect she is thought to protect the home and family until winter is over. She was placed high in the rafters near the hearth.

Being a relatively new Wiccan, and just getting used to the idea of all the Sabbats and what each one entails, I didn't manage to get my corn dolly made at Lughnasadh. With Imbolc right around the corner, I decided better late than never, and went about making my dolly. At Imbolc the corn dolly is dressed as the Bride to await the God in his youth aspect. The dolly was then traditionally plowed back in the field at Ostara.

I started with two bundles of wheat I purchased from Michael's and soaked the bottom portions for about an hour.

I took some of the wheat (about 2 inches in diameter) and tied it with white ribbon just below the bushy parts. I cut the stalks to about 10 inches measuring from the bottom of the bushy parts. This makes the body and head.

I then took some of the stalks (about 1/2 inch in diameter), cut the bushy parts off and tied them together about 1/2 an inch from the ends to make the arms and hands.

I then took the remainder of the wheat and divided it into two bunches. With one bunch I bent it over the arm on one side, holding tightly to the whole thing. Then I took the other bunch and bent it over the other side. I then cut the stalks in the back to the same length. I then took my white ribbon and wrapped it around, tied it off and made a bow.

And there you have it! A corn dolly all ready to become the Goddess Bride at Imbolc.

Charging Your Corn Dolly
(from Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac)

Lay the dolly on a table with a green candle and sandalwood incense. Create your sacred space. Light the incense and the candle saying:

"Green for Nature's abundance, and aroma of abundance, luck, and protection."

Pass the dolly through the incense smoke, saying:

"Made of the grain that there is always food in this house;
Tied with white ribbon for protection and peace;
She represents the spirit of abundance;
Kept through the winter to ward illness and want."

Set the dolly on the table and place both hands, palms down over her, saying:

"Through the Earth Mother and the Sun God, with the power of the Elementals, this dolly is charged to protect my home from adversity and illness! So mote it be!

Envision energy being released through your palms into the dolly. Snuff the candle, open the sacred space, and place the dolly in a secure place at home, such as on a kitchen wall or in the rafters.



Terri said...

Your doll is wonderful! The white ribbon is a perfect touch. Thank you for sharing about this. I have no idea about these holidays or what one does.

Dragonfly said...

I love your corn dolly and agree the white ribbon is the perfect finishing touch for Imbolc

Anonymous said...

That really looks great. I love the ribbons, a great touch !!!
Have a great day.

~*Gypsy*~ said...

she is BEAUTIFUL! You did an awesome job on the dolly.

Sige said...

I've just now stumbled onto your page Teresa...I love it so far :)