All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Spirit Houses?

My work has always grown out of my spiritual inspirations.  Maybe I didn't have much success sculpting goddesses. But trees were kind of fun.

Now I've been making spirit houses, for placing in someone's garden primarily.  I think inviting spirits to inhabit our gardens seems pretty simple.  Spirits (of whatever cultural tradition) are part of place.

I know better than to replicate the Thai spirit houses, (which I showed HERE) because that isn't my own tradition.  I learn a lot from other culture's traditions, then use the ideas with my own style, not trying to make what has worked for generations and I've just discovered today.

I love Native American tradition, but know my own Native American roots are so far removed that I didn't have one bit of that culture as part of my heritage.  So I can borrow, and interpret, but know better than to try to represent it.

Powhatan style homes, Jamestown, VA - my ancestors

Circle the globe to Australia, and I learn about the Aborigine's Dreamtime.  They also have spirits of place.

The places the ancestral spirits traveled and where they came to rest was told to the Aborigines through Dreaming. Aborigines know that they do not own the land but are a part of it and that it is their duty to respect and look after the earth. Aboriginal Dreaming acknowledges that the ancestral spirits still reside in the natural world and their imprints resonate everywhere. The past is still alive and breathing today, as it will be in the future.

Dreamtime painting Wayamba the turtle by Peter Mulcahy
Dreamtime painting Wayamba the turtle by Peter Mulcahy

My own spirit houses reflect what I feel most...not the ideas or traditions that inspired me, but what comes through me into being.  Just as many rituals are combination of different cultures and are designed to bring people together into an emotional community, the spirit houses can remind us of our own joy of beauty.

Quote for today:

Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
Chippewa, translated by Robert Bly


  1. love the quote, must remember that sometimes; I think anything an artist makes or creates is a combination of who they are and what inspires them.

  2. You are so right, and I like to think in all my works, my inner spirit is shining through it all. I also plant the garden gnomes and scarecrows all about my gardens, flower beds, tables, and etc they are always just around the corner from where I am!

    1. After all, our inner spirit is actually pretty beautiful itself!


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