Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Magick of Making

Often the credit for making a puppet "come to life" is given to the manipulator, the puppeteer who is most obviously bringing action to the inanimate. I am a huge fan of puppetry, and I know what kind of skill it takes to truly bring a puppet to life in performance, but I think the creation process, the point where the puppet is built, is an equally vital act of "giving life."

In fact, I think it's magic.

Most of my puppet experience comes from crafting or building them, so it's not surprising I find the process amazing, but so far, almost every time I've set out to make a puppet, the character has arrived somewhere along the way. Sort of spontaneously. 

You start with some fabric or wood or clay or bits of scraps, and when you begin to assemble them, weird things happen. At least for  me, the process of putting the parts together often reveals the whole. The result is that somewhere along the line I learn the puppet's name, it's personality, voice, and often even it's story.

Since I have more experience with magic than I do with puppetry, my mind immediately goes looking for other angles, other ways to harvest this character making energy, and I'm almost certain the possibilities are fantasticly diverse.

Imagine working with materials that have been cleansed/consecrated. Some puppet traditions have ritual governing all stages of puppet building--what if the act of puppet creation was done as part of ritual or incorporated into one? If we invoked character into object?

They found altars in ancient Egypt with statues of the deity that could be manipulated for ritual purposes. Were the gods invoked into their likenesses? How can this apply to the process of bringing a deity puppet or an elemental puppet into being?

Would any of it make a difference later, when the puppet takes the stage and the next level of magic is unveiled?  Can you tell I have more questions than answers?

I think we have a lot to learn, and there is a lot of room for experimentation here. I'm game, and I'm hoping others are as well.  I'm certain a major chapter in the future of pagan puppetry will have to be titled: Invoking the Character.