There have never been any little girls in my house, so consequently no Barbie dolls, but they cost only about $2–$4 in the thrift stores. So I decided last year to make a neoshamanic Barbie, because I like the idea of “theme” Barbies (like “New Mexico Barbie“) and because the very thought of her reminded me of a certain author and teacher who is “widely acknowledged as a major link between the ancient world of shamanism and modern societies thirst for profound personal healing and a deeper understanding of the pathway to enlightenment.”
I made one and on a warmish day in January placed her way up behind the house in some boulders that I call Ringtail Rocks. She has her magickal assignment, she is hidden by rocks, and I will never disturb her.
But there was one more Barbie left, so today, now that the last snow has melted and the trail is dry, she went to a different cluster of boulders with a similar assignment, along with her spirit animal.
These are part of a series of “installations” that I have started. You can tell that I was not a studio-art major, because I cannot produce 3,000 words of art-prose about what I made.
But since producing prose (and editing other people’s prose) is what I do all day, these and the other installations are just thigs that Iet bubble up, and I don’t have to produce a lot of discourse about them. I am not even completely clear on their magickal purpose
You can see a couple more on Instagram, because Instagram is no place for long writing.
Now I have this box of skulls and beads and wire and you know, all the usual stuff, and when the weather warms up, I have more un-formed, inchoate subconsciously directed ideas.
“Weird things in the woods” pretty well covers it.
Other Barbie-related posts:
October 29, 2003, “Barbie, the Hot Pagan Witch.”
January 26, 2005: “Inanna Descends to the Underworld (Barbie version).” The link is dead though, and the Wayback Machine did not help.
March 5, 2005, “Some Pagan Publishing Gossip.”
April 27, 2006, “Pagan-Studies Barbie.”
4 thoughts on “Neoshaman Barbie Number 2”
Officially, from Mattel, a number of Pagan/Pagan suitable Barbies dolls have been released over the years. Morgan le Faye Barbie is probably my favorite because Arthurian Paganism and me. (Plus, I have repect for Barbie collectors.)
Unofficially, I bet that Barbies are statuettes for plenty of Pagan purposes, standard and customized. Goddess figurines, in numbers. For numerous purposes.
I used to contemplate the Barbie showcase at SF’s old FAO Schwarz with a Pagan mind,from time to time. But I gotta say that I never had a Barbie on an altar or used in magical activities. Disney’s Grimhilde has that role.
Were there ever more dolls in the “Barbie Magic & Mystery Collection” than Morgan Le Fey and (shudder) Merlin-Ken?
Clicking through the official Mattel Barbie fantasy dolls section, there are plenty of different Barbies that offer Pagan-friendly designs and costumes and themes, including, for instance, Aphrodite, Athena, and Medusa, a Malificent-like dark fairy.,and seasonal/elemental figures.These are offered as high-end collectible dolls, but they really would not be out of place in a Pagan home.
My interest in Barbies is mostly the sort of anti-commercial impulse that drives projects like Trailer Trash Barbie and the like, so I never imagined a Barbie in my own sacred space.
Let me add that the relatively newer line of Funko POP figures offers the same sort of range that includes Pagan-friendly ones. I do include Elvira, Robot Devil, and a vaguely ancestral William Wallace in my sacred space.
Toys for Pagans!
” You can tell that I was not a studio-art major, because I cannot produce 3,000 words of art-prose about what I made.” Ha ha ha ha ha!
As someone who once was a “studio-art major”, that sentence is hilarious because it’s oh so true! I once went to a required art lecture in 2005, at my college by some guy who was considered a “big time” artist. I won’t name him, but I will quote from my notes. “His lecture seemed to be one long garbled, disjointed “artistic statement”, perhaps “designed” or “geared” towards the upper class (European?) artsy-fartsy class to impress them.” When I bumped into another Art Professor at the college who I knew from martial arts class, I asked him whether he thought the lecture was just a lot of nonsense, and he agreed with me.
Quotes by some women sculptors:
(Marilyn Levine) “To tell the truth, I really do not like artists statements very much. It is very difficult to do because, if I write about the work itself, the implication is that anything that is not said is not there. In other words, the statement only serves to confine and restrict the work.
This one says it all:
(Joan FitzGerald) “As Ezra Pound said in 1930, “Art is nolonger made to live with or endure but to sell and sell quickly.”
This one is my favorite because it encapsulates my feelings precisely.
(Barbara M. Zuker) “The cliche that the work should speak for itself is true. Or someone other than I can talk about it if they wish. I just want to make things.
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