This Sacred Blessing
My love of the prayer flags goes way, WAY back. When I was pregnant with my son in 2005, I ordered a string of blank Tibetan prayer flags for our Blessingway (Baby Shower). Our friends and family wrote their own wishes and prayers for my son upon the flags. We hung the flags in our room at the birthing center. They now hang in his bedroom.
Prayer flags hang in the tipi where I lead Mighty Girl Art ™ each summer, and it is one of the many projects that we do each year. Prayer flags are a Tibetan tradition used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. It is believed that the wishes, prayers a/o mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion to benefit all living beings.
Recently I was asked to participate in a round-robin prayer flag project with a group of extraordinary women whom I circle with regularly. How could I resist such a project? For some years now I've been obsessing over circles, an ancient symbol for the feminine, for unity. I am also obsessed with doilies, circular in nature and often made by the hands of women. So, I decided to create my prayer flags using the discharge dye method and a doily to create a mandala of sorts. Even though the same method was employed on each flag, not one of the 16 looks exactly the same, similar yes, but not exact...which to me represents that we are one and yet different. Here's a tutorial...it's super easy, but if you need more info, just google "discharge dye"...everyone's doing it!
1. Blank bandannas from Michaels TORN into 8"x8" squares. The rough, tattered edges are traditional in prayer flags. Place square on thick piece of cardboard.
2. Make a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water
3. Dip the doily in the mixture, squeeze out excess liquid and place on fabric square -wear gloves!
4. Cover with foil or wax paper and top with heavy books
5. Wait approx. 10 minutes.
6. Remove doily, allow to dry.
7. Use a Sharpie Paint Marker to write your blessing on the flag
8. Sew or glue flags onto ribbon and hang in your home or in your garden.
*These flags will be mailed to my womyn roosting far and wide upon the earth, so I rolled each one up and tied them with bit of funky ribbon. In the end we will have an entire string of flags created by each woman in the group.
Labels: art and craft