Collection Number


Object Name

Sailing The Veils Ritual Sailing Barge

Object Type

Passing Ritual Object


53, 75, 30


Swansula found and recycled materials, bioplastic. Plastic, bullrush, flint, roots, bone, aluminum, copper, cotton, duck feather, hawthorn, bramble, rosehip, dogwood, thistle. Algae and seaweed based bioplastic. Relic kept in controlled humidity to conserve biomaterial.

Physical Description

Thames Sailing barge model object with five fabric poppets sat as a family. Barge adorned with Swansula corvid and dragonfly deities. Black seaweed candle at the stern. Bouquet of hawthorn, rosehip, dogwood, thistle at the bow.

Use and Meaning

Used in rituals to send a passing spirit leaving earth to sail between the veils, to be present at once in all worlds and lives. Protected with the love of family. Barge travels with the lost family member, carried by loved ones on earth during grieving rituals and then kept with them and used for remembrance and connection to ancestors on sabbats. Held and walked over water, placed in between spaces, turned and performed in various ways which represent the crossing.

Fabric poppets signify mother and children, embraced in love, compassion and empathy. Mother figure’s eye is a flint cross section, a black hole which signifies their passing, with new vision and wisdom of ancient ancestors encased in the rock. Siblings bound in blue rope, colour of air, signifies their spirits in flight with mother. Barge rooted with bone and earth roots, a flight with Swanula bird of prey deity and dragonfly spirit, sailing the barge on the surface and between the veils.
Sacred thorns from scrub flora wraps the barge to protect against negative energy, sadness and pain.