The movie Forrest Gump begins with a white feather floating about in the breeze and gently landing next to Forrest’s foot. The feather is blown about randomly by the wind and, Forrest says, “you never know what you’re gonna get”. If a feather was chanced upon on the ground, ancient people believed that it was the Divine sending a message or blessings to the finder. They were seen as having a connection to the divine.
It makes sense that birds have always been considered holy or sacred creatures by ancient peoples because of their ability to fly close to the heavens. They believed that birds carried prayers, souls, wishes and good luck from the earth to the sky. Native Americans used feathers in ritual because they knew the spirit of the bird was represented by the feather. Bird spirits (and by association, feathers) are extremely powerful in purifying the spirit and cleansing the energetic environment. Feathers held a special meaning to Native Americans; they were considered the bridge between Mother Earth and the Spirit World. In Egyptian mythology, the feather was the symbol of Ma’at, the goddess of truth, justice and order. Weighing the hearts of the newly dead in the underworld against the weight of a feather of Ma’at determines the worthiness of his or her soul or to determine the purity of the soul. If the heart was light as a feather, the soul was deemed pure and the spirit could move freely into further evolution. Besides, in Celtic symbolism, feathered cloaks worn by priests represent the journey to the Otherworld.
The presenter will use the sandplay scenes to further the understanding of the symbol of the feather. How it appears in the Sandplay process and how does it carry significance for the process?
Symbol Sharing: Feathers
Date: July 29, 2021 (Thursday)
Presenter: Ms Sally Chan (Certified ISST Sandplay Therapist, Chairperson of HKSTA)
Venue: Webinar via zoom
This study group is only opened to members of the Hong Kong Sandplay Therapy Association.