This blog post is about the fifth mask, Blue Throat Bat created for the Prismic Vision NYE event hosted by the Body Earth Collective in Longmont. Read the previous posts in this series about Rabbit, Skunk, Swan. & Antelope, and other posts about the beginnings of the process as a whole and the success of the actual event. There will be two more posts. Be sure to Follow my blog to catch all the updates. I am looking forward to sharing more deeply about the process I went through with each mask.
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I was thrilled when Bat appeared in the Oracle for the Throat Chakra. The Oracle continuously sidelined my expectations in the best way. When I was originally thinking about local animals that could hold space for the Prismic vibration of blue and the throat chakra I envisioned animals like wolf or coyote. So when the small but mighty bat appeared it delighted me to look beyond the obvious. And bats are SO COOL! If you don’t know anything about how wonderfully magical bats are, take a second to listen to this podcast by Ologies, and then pop on back for the rest of this post.
The most distinctive features of a bats face are it’s giant ears and adorable nose. Beyond their wings, which I didn’t see a way to include in the mask, they mostly look like mice. I focused on exaggerating the iconic bat features so that the mask would definitely read bat, and not mouse. I started with the ears, using cardboard and tinfoil to create the characteristic ridges.
The nose caused me some trouble, it was difficult to get the angles correct. And then once I had gotten the structure of the face to my liking it took a long time to build the rest of the armature so the mask would stay on the head.
I decorated the mask with crystal imagery, since the Blue Bat Altar was located in the entrance of the Diamond Light Healing Temple, a space for bodywork and sound healing with singing bowls. I adored the crystalline shade of blue I used for the base layer. Shout out to Joy and Aaron, who came in at the 11th hour to help me prime and paint several of the masks. The timeline for this project was a short four weeks, with the winter holidays eating up a fair amount of time. Thankfully, with the help of my artistic community, all of the masks were completed in time for the event on New Year’s Eve.
Working with Bat Medicine and the Energy of Blue Throat
Having Bat Medicine at the Altar dedicated to communication was extremely cool, because Throat Chakra is dominated by imagery of finding and activating your voice, when being a skilled listener is an extremely important piece to the clear communication puzzle. Bats use echolocation, were they project sound into space and then listen for the map around them. This unique skill teaches the importance of a holistic approach to communication. They are also a creature of the night, becoming an ally for entering our inner landscape. The altar mirrored this association by being in the most cave-like area of the space.
Blue Bat – Throat Altar Sketch
Blue is positively related to truth, peace, loyalty, strength, wisdom, spirit, and freedom, all of which can be unleashed through the use of our voices. It also held space for water and diamonds in the space, the wishing well waters of manifestation.
The Mask in the Space
The Blue Bat Altar became one of my favorites at the event. It had amazing movement, with beautiful blue fabrics flowing across a multi-tiered altar. It had a pool of water, connecting the ideas of voice to the fluids of the body. And around the base of the Altar were a collection of river stones, each with a different mantra.
Participants were encouraged to choose a stone and then speak the words, literally activating their voice, into the space. Phrases included “I am the spiral path,” “I am ease,” I am trustworthy,” “I am strong.” I encountered several individuals throughout the night speaking their new found mantra confidently.
In the Opening Procession the Bat Aspect had three parts. The first was a sounding, and we were invited to hum and call and sing and sound the cave-like space of the stairwell. Once we reached the pinnacle of the space, the top floor of the event, we popcorned across the room exploring our angular body, mirroring the eccentric way of being a bat, with arms folded or emulating hanging upside down. From this position of the folded angular bat we began a rebirthing sequence through dance, birthing new possibilities into the world through our bodies and our voices.
Photo Credit: Jack Jameson
The words on the Altar were as follows:
Blue – Throat – Bat
Death & Rebirth of the Voice.
Bats are gifted with the rare magical ability of echolocation. This highly sophisticated sense combines hearing, speaking, & seeing into a unique experiential super-sense. Practice your unique communication, expanding not only your own vision but also of those around you.
Bats move between worlds with their ability to navigate through the dark (unknown), bring rebirth from death (transformation), and then release fears that stifle growth. What are you ready to let go of? -Tanya Casteel