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What and Why a Medicine Shield?image of a medicine shield
(see photographs below)
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Medicine Shields are a form of sacred art.  They are sacred by intent and by the process which is done in prayer and ceremony.
A shield is a three dimensional manifestation on an inner vision, created in alignment with your heart, your dreams/hopes/prayers/honoring or simply your openness to explore the unknown. 
We go to La Push for this work because it is a land where the Ancestors are welcoming and where nature is vibrant. (Whales ... eagles ... rocks ... driftwood ... ENERGY ... rolling ocean waves)  We dance with these ones for insight and glimmerings.  It is best not to plan ahead too much, but consider this a quest, allowing it to unfold before you.
Physically a shield is usually roundish, made with a hoop which may be covered with leather, rawhide, cloth. Then, we create our unique way of expressing, symbolizing through paint, sacred objects, beads, feathers, found treasures.  My experience is as it emerges, the shield is alive as teacher/healer/way-shower, and it's FUN. 
Over the years I have seen so many fascinating variations that I can not say there is only one way to make a shield, but thousands.
Starfeather has been facilitating Medicine Shield making since 1987.
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photo of medicine shieldphoto of medicine shieldphoto of medicine shiled
photo of medicine shieldphoto of medicine shieldphoto of medicine shield
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