First Thought Forward

I love how one thought leads to another, simple pleasures, this is what I enjoy most when I look at documentation. I always want to know where an idea came from, why it was birthed and how it grows into what it is.

So, I had a thought

I thought about the crow and it’s faces. I thought about shamanism and witch doctors, I found I had landed on the familiar image of the plague doctor. The image is iconic and has been transformed over time.

‘The nose [is] half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the [herbs] enclosed further along in the beak.’

To incorporate scent into our performance

‘Today, the plague mask lives on in the imaginations of artists, writers and film-makers [click here for a stunning example]. Through them, it has been transformed into something altogether different, for the plague mask which was once used to ward off death, has now become the very symbol of it.’

The way time has played his part, the way symbols change, the way the world turns her own clock, keeping her rhythms, the way we disturb them, the transformations, the fallen angel(s), birds, crow

Behind the Mask: The Plague Doctor


Ensemble is being together, tied by passion, belief, vision and more. It’s one of my favourite human situations to be a part of, to exist within. There is also a certain energy that comes from working in a female-dominated cast, this will be an interesting dynamic to play with when interacting with our male performer, particularly as the chorus. Three women come together to tell a story, why? What is a chorus, what can a chorus be?

To use as inspiration for physicality – ribbon, elastic, string, imaginary, real

A triad of women is significant.

‘The Fates also called the Moerae or the Parcae, determined when life begins, when it ends, and what happens in between. They were made up of three women:

· Clotho, who appeared as a maiden and spun the thread of life. Her name meant The Spinner
· Lachesis, who appeared as a matron and measured the thread of life. She was the Caster of lots
· Atropos, who cut the thread of life, and appeared as a crone. Her name meant, Unbending

…Even the gods feared the Moirae…

The Moirae were supposed to appear three nights after a child’s birth to determine the course of its life…

The Triple Goddess is known and worshiped in Pagan cultures all over the world. She is eternal, yet always in a state of change. Her colors are white for the maiden, red for the mother and black for the crone…

Our true Greatness is the understanding of necessity.
Our Knowledge averts the terrible process of a rigid fate.
By choosing to accept personal responsibility and set into motion the grace of forgiveness

…the oldest and original Norn was Urd – other variants of her name include Wurd (Old High German), Wryd (Anglo-Saxon, commonly translated as “Fate”), Weird (English), Urth, Urtha, Urdr, Urda, Ertha – our word “earth” is derived from her. She was the Norn of destiny.

The second sister was Verthandi, “Being,” or the one who governed the present moment.

The third was Skuld, often translated as “Necessity,” as in the “necessity” of repaying “a debt that all must pay” – i.e., death. Thus, Skuld was the death-Norn who determined the length of each life. It was said that when Doomsday arrived, it would be Skuld who would lay the death-curse on the whole universe. Interestingly, shamanic-bard-poets known as skalds were Skuld’s servants — in their hands was the creation of visionary literature.’

…The Norns originally carved records of each destiny into staves of wood. They were writers, not spinners. They lived in a womblike cave under Yggdrasill, the great ash that was the World Tree.’

This article provided so much information and I tried to select the words that spoke most to me in relation to Song of Crow.

To help us form characters within the chorus

I always prefer looking at the most extreme ends of the spectrum, then I explore the in between.

— E —


One thought on “First Thought Forward

  1. The idea that even the gods were afraid of the Fates. Afraid of their own destinies? Afraid of the feminine intelligence – more subterranean, nebulous, instinctual, than sheer power and command? They are uncomfortable figures – knowing, knowing, always knowing. And witnessing. Watching.

    And yet, there is also that possibility that watching Fate without resistance, accepting the three women without a fight, is the only way to be liberated in Life. How Death then does lose its sting.



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