In Native American spirituality, all things in nature embody a spirit. The rocks, wind, water, plants, fish, birds, four legged creatures, insects–are all sacred and are recognized as integral to human survival.

Our relationship between our natural environment and all the creatures and people living within it are one of mystical inter-dependence. This is a truth that exists today.

sage

These indigenous caretakers of the earth see the world as having four directions, four winds, and four colors. Offering their prayers each day along with the burning of sage, their prayers to the East (yellow) represent the sunrise, the dawn of the new day with prayers for hope and wisdom. The South (red) represents warmth and growing. It is said that all life comes from the south. The West (black) represents thunder and rain, the setting sun, end of day, and the end of life. The North (white) represents the cold, harsh, and cleansing winds of the north. The north also represents the trials and hardships people endure which ultimately lead to a greater understanding of life.

When the Lakota people pray with the sacred pipe, they add 2 more directions. The Sky (blue), where the Great Spirit resides, and the Earth (green) representing our Mother and Grandmother, where all living things for our nourishment are grown.

So much can be learned from these people and their reverence for Mother Earth. The symbols found in their art represent their way of life, and in this collection I have borrowed some of them and included some spirit animals in our photo session at Vasquez Rocks. Fabrics included in the collection are vintage cashmere, vintage leather, vintage Indian blanket, organic linen, and silk taffeta.

See all the photos and the whole story in the lookbook here.

The Spirit Animals and their Meaning:
The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic. As a child I had crows as pets. They are highly intelligent and very sneaky-always stealing my stuff and hiding it. Often at the top of our farmhouse..

Daisy, our wolf/coyote hybrid spirit animal has 2 meanings. The wolf spirit guide is an intuitive, highly intelligent shapeshifter possessing a desire for freedom but with a deep understanding of social interconnectedness. The coyote is known to be a trickster. As a spirit guide the coyote reminds us not to take things too seriously in the midst of what appears to be a complex situation. Daisy is one lucky spirit animal in real life, having been critically injured but rescued on the streets of Los Angeles by my friend and eco furniture designer Robert Craymer. Daisy was just a baby when he chased away the gang members who were using her as bait for their dogfights.

Many thanks to our model Claudia Funk, photographer Brienne Michelle, makeup artist Steffeney Bonilla Harris, hairstylist Cassi Young-Paxton, Robert Craymer, and Marie Knoos of Dream Halos for her 4 directions dreamcatcher. Together we made this shoot a story. A special thanks to artist and musician Wally High, the man I was married to for many years, now deceased. He was an inquisitive student of Native American culture and history and himself part Cherokee and Chumash. I learned so many important lessons about their way of life from him and his studies. The Indian jewelry worn here is from his personal collection.

“Live Green and Prosper”