Dreaming Bird Series – Cardinal By Silver RavenWolf copyright 2017
It came to me in that state between waking and sleep on Yule morning of 2017 that I wanted to make a series of magickal birds and animals that could be enjoyed by children and adults. I wanted these designs to serve as projects that could be enchanted to bring good fortune, healing, and joy. The series is called Dreaming Birds – and you can use the patterns for a variety of purposes from sachets to hang over your bed, to dreaming pillows, to house plant decorations (that carry magick in their bellies!). I linked each bird pattern to a suggested sachet formula; however, you can change this to meet your needs and what you have available.
These days I live in the woods and am gifted with a variety of bird visitors (or should I say, messengers!). From crows to cardinals, hummingbirds to pheasants, finches and nuthatches – and a mockingbird that taps on my window, I have been blessed with their sweet music and unusual antics. It is these birds that have presented themselves to me, asking that their energy be shared with you. Over the months I will develop several patterns so that you, too, can enjoy the divine energy of these wonderful gifts from Spirit.
Cardinal Spirit Bird – symbolizes Good Fortune, Fidelity, Happiness, Stable Marriage, Belief in Oneself, Leadership, Achievement, Vitality, Passion, Stability, Survival, Balance, Intelligence and Compassion. Associated with the element of Fire (due to the red color of the males). Cardinals practice “mate feeding” during certain times of the year, where the male picks up the food and gives it to the female. Cardinal is one of the spirit birds of marriage, symbolizing sharing and partnership. Often these birds stay with the same mate; however, if circumstances are not conducive, they will part – using intuitive wisdom so that each can travel on the correct path for their purpose.
Supplies and Tools: The Dreaming Bird Series patterns are designed to be used with paper or felt, although you could adjust the pattern and add ¼ inch seam allowance for muslin stuffed bird. Birds can be hand stitched, machine stitched, or glued. For hand stitching I use pearl embroidery thread, which is a heavier weight than regular thread. Sharp scissors are a must for clean edging. If you are working with children, you may wish to cut the pieces out for them.
Note on Glue: For Felt Bird that you wish to stuff
Gluing felt can be difficult as many types of glues won’t hold. I have only one suggestion for a strong bond – a Glue Gun. For young children – regular Tacky glue can be used – but, its hold (although better than all the others I tried) isn’t the greatest. I have found many so-called felt and fabric glues to be lacking for dreaming bird projects. I discovered that just because it says it adheres to cloth doesn’t mean it will hold onto felt – and, some of the glues that claim they are for felt? Don’t hold at all!
Felt bodies can also be machine stitched, or you can use a combination of machine stitching, hand-stitching and glue depending upon the embellishments you choose. Some of the stitching can be done not only for stability; but, for an artful finish as well. The most important part of this project is your enjoyment in the construction – there is no “right” way, or “rules” on how the bird goes together.
Felt – Red (for body and tail), Black for “mask”, and Orange or Gold (for beak)
Embellishments – sequins, feathers, charms, ribbons, yarn, glitter, etc. – your choice
A small amount of poly stuffing (just enough to puff out the bird) or cotton balls
Lucky charm and/or Tiny Gemstone Pieces that relate to the intent of the bird – can be placed in the body or on the bird depending on the size of the gems (optional)
Petition – your specific intent – I use a circular piece of brown paper which I then dress with magickal oil/ liquid fluid condenser that contains words/sigil matching my desire. If you put too much oil on your petition, place in a tiny plastic bag (you can buy little ones at hobby stores)
Herbal Blend or Magickal Powder that matches the intent (see suggested formulas). I also use my Talking Head powder (available in my Whispermagick.com store) in all of my dolls and spirit animals.
Eye – Choose what you wish to use for the eyes – black beads, French knot using pearl embroidery thread, metal brad, etc.
Eyelet and Cord – if you will be making your bird to hang on the wall, from the latch of your window, over the bed, etc., you may want to attach a string or cord to the body.
Cardinal’s Success Sachet Formula – Ginger, Chamomile, Safflower, Peppermint, Licorice Root (for you to control your destiny) and Cinnamon. The planetary association for the Cardinal is thought to be Mars and these herbs are chosen for their planetary/fire energy of motivation, success, birth, and center-stage vibration! Gemstones can include Carnelian and Red Jasper. I used chips of the gemstones for easier inclusion in the body of the bird. A sigil of your choice along with words that indicate your intent for the bird. I make my sigils/petitions on round pieces of brown paper. I dress the sigil/petitions with Universal Fluid Condenser as well as a favorite magickal oil. For the cardinal, I used a success oil. I am careful with the oils because I don’t want them to bleed through the felt. You can put your petition in a tiny plastic bag to insert into the bird if you so desire. I also add an item from a Spirit Walk I have taken that matches the intent of my bird.
The Cardinal Success Sachet Formula is available in my WhisperMagick store. This is a 4×4 inch polybag of the herb blend accompanied by a cotton sachet bag and 4 Triple Action Soy Tea Candles. I have listed other formulas you might wish to use at the end of this post.
The Magick – at the appropriate time for you, do the magick that involves the intent of the bird – meaning empower and put together the contents of your bird in ritual or moving meditation work. You are creating a new pattern – the contents of the bird – and you want all objects to work together. Choose the best time and day or night for this process. For my example, I chose a Waxing Moon Tuesday (Mars) in the Hour of Mars (for forward motion and motivation). I could select Sunday, Dawn, or a Sun Hour (Sun equals success).
Choose your medium – felt or paper. I find it best to settle on my intent or “wish” before gathering supplies and cutting the medium. This first step of breath combined with your purpose and physical activity help to solidify the path to manifestation.
Using your computer, print pattern on cardstock or paper. Cut out bird pieces, there are five -Body, Wing, Beak, Mask, Tail
Cut Pieces out of Felt or paper — Place pattern pieces on felt/paper. Pin securely (on the felt). Sharp, detail scissors work best for cutting Dreaming Bird patterns. If you are using paper, you will only need to cut one body, one tail, two wings, two masks and two beaks. If you are using felt and wish to stuff the body of the bird with suggested spell herbals, you will need to cut two of each piece.
Stitch or glue wings, beak, and mask in the order they will best go together for the techniques you have chosen. For example, I glued the beak on both body pieces first, then followed with machine stitching the mask so I could overlay it a bit on the beak. You don’t have to do this. Work with the flow of the project as you feel it is easiest for you. I decided to glue the wings to the body pieces before adding the sequins and beads; however, I could have easily blanket stitched them on after the bird was together. To eliminate time, I decided not to use the blanket stitch on this project.
Adding Embellishments – if you are making a stuffed bird, adding embellishments and the wings to the body of the bird before gluing or stitching the body together can make the process easier. I added sequins and beads to the wings as well as affixed the eye beads and sequins on both pieces before gluing together.
The Tail – for this project I machine stitched the tail pieces together, using masking tape as my guide. I finished the tail by gluing all the edges of the two pieces flat. I added the embellishments of sequins and beads, and then glued the tail to the inside of one of the body pieces. Before I glued, I checked to make sure the tail wouldn’t flop – to solve this problem I moved the end of the tail deep within the body for a more stable effect. As a note, I could also have inserted a cut piece of pipe cleaner along the machine stitched seam of the tail before I glued the two tail pieces together for a more stable appendage.
Glue or Stitch the body together. Once you have placed some (or all) of the embellishments on the bird, begin gluing the body together – a little at a time – smoothing out the felt as I go. A glue gun dries quickly, so you may wish to begin with the head of the bird and work your way around the body slowly. Leave the belly of the bird open so that you can insert your petition, gemstones, and herbs. I test stuff as I am gluing the bird to ensure that all items will fit in the bird. I also added a bamboo skewer by gluing it to one side of the inside of the body so that my bird could be a decoration in one of my houseplant pots. I could have used a popsicle stick for the same purpose. Double-check to ensure you’ve added everything you desire in the bird. As a final magickal act, I also stuff a lit match in the body to make the bird come alive. This is tricky and not for children. Make sure the match immediately extinguishes inside the body of the bird. Glue or stitch the bird shut.
Add additional embellishments. These are the outer decorations such as tulle, ribbon, bells, yarn, etc. I wrapped brown pipe cleaners around the bamboo skewer for a more artistic effect. I could also have painted the skewer.
Empower the Bird – energize the completed bird in ritual, meditation, or spellwork that matches your purpose. The best way is to concentrate on your desire and breathe deeply, holding your project. With every exhalation, breathe your intent into the bird. Do this for as long as you can hold the thought. When you finish, seal the magick in the bird with your personal technique or draw an equal-armed-cross over the bird – the motion and visualization functioning as the seal. For my project I used a combination of my Ginger Saffron Triple Action, Lucky Louie, and Road Opener tea candles (http://www.whispermagick.com)
Love Blend – Scented rose petals, Cardamom, Basil, a magnet, and Licorice Root Chips. (Use with my Aphrodite and Kisses n’ Candy tea candle blends).
New Beginnings Blend – Cinnamon Chips, Egg Shell, Small Acorn, Sunflower Seeds (empower on a New Moon). (Use with my Crown of Success, Ginger Saffron Triple Action or Sugar Maple tea candles).
Did you like this pattern? Silver has a new book launching early 2018 —
available by pre-order through Llewellyn World Wide or Amazon.com.
If you are interested in more spiritual information on birds, you may enjoy Arin Murphy Hiscock’s book “Birds – A Spiritual Field Guide – Symbology and Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers”, available on Amazon.