Art Spirit Dolls—Past and Present

Art Spirit Dolls—Past and Present

By Kate Mills

Dolls have been used around the world for thousands of years, both as toys and for mystical purposes. In Roman times, girls played with their dolls, but when they reached the age to marry, they often turned their playthings into “goddess dolls.” They would choose one of the numerous goddesses they admired and used candles and prayers to infuse their dolls with the spirit of their chosen goddess.

Throughout their lives, Roman women used their goddess dolls to remind them and help them with their challenges and desires. One of the goddesses chosen might have been Gaia, who is often the synonym for the Earth. For the goddess movement practitioners, Gaia personifies the entire earthly ecosystem and is the means to achieve harmonic symbiosis or the wholeness and balance within the natural worlds and physical environment.

Anthropologists found symbolic dolls in ancient Egypt, Africa, Greece, the Americas, and many other countries. Medicine dolls were for healing, inspiration, and growth. They existed in many cultures, weaving support and guidance from the ancestors, angels, and guides. Making the dolls solely by hand with chosen materials and with pure intention, they wove life and love into a creation. In this process, it was thought they were creating a close friend and mentor that is accepting and loving and would help a woman learn to love and care for herself and others. Many thought the dolls were linked to their ancestors as a bridge to a well of love.

Today we see wish dolls and art dolls more popular. Join a class to create your own doll for a friend, sister, or yourself, or buy a doll on sale. Many of the dolls come with glass vials attached in which to place your own wishes and dreams.

For more information about classes and available dolls, contact:

Kate Mills, artist

415 121 5225