Do You Hear Bells?


Bell Stick

I was originally trained to use a rattle for calling the Spirits, setting the directions, creating sacred space, activating entities that need to be extracted, sealing in gifts and soul parts, etc.

Many cultures use rattles as a means of getting the attention of Spirit. I still occasionally use a traditional rattle because it has many very expressive ways of communicating with Spirit. However, I often felt awkward using a rattle -- it felt like I was borrowing from cultures that I have no genetic links to -- at least in this lifetime. My roots are Celtic, English and German.

As I was researching Celtic shamanism I found a reference to a bell stick as an alternative to a rattle. When I read this a surge of energy like electricity went through my body -- a response of deep recognition or "genetic memory".

Or maybe I was tuning into a past life as a Druid using a bell stick?

Either "explanation" is interesting, fun, and feeds the mythology of my life.

Regardless, I located a piece of Madrone wood and had Annah create a beautiful bell stick for my healing work.

It has been through many modifications -- we are now trying coated steel cable to hold the bells in place -- waxed linen, leather and rawhide just do not hold up to the wear of shaking the stick. There are few things more embarrassing than sealing in a soul part of a client and having a bell break free and whop them in the head. (Which, naturally, they immediately look to attach some kind of meaning to the experience -- usually a bad omen. This causes me to then spend the next several minutes apologizing and convincing them that sometimes "a cigar is just a cigar".)

People often want to know if they can get a bell stick made for them. If you are interested in having Annah create one you can contact her at


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