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 : Filling the Gourd Rattle “Leopard” :

Since I wanted a spirit calling rattle, I started by calling spirits. After reaching a more spiritual state of mind through physical exertion, I went to a holy place where I got some switches of Money Plant, with its characteristic seed pods. I called spirits to join me and prepared to fill the rattle. You can see the other items for the next steps, a triangular file and the leopard gourd.
money plant switches
I just like the money plants so I took a closeup picture.
closeup of money plant seed pods
Now was to be the best time to cut a ring with the file at the top of the gourd's neck - what was to be its handle. I used a short triangular file to cut this groove. After the gourd is stoppered, I'll tie the cotton rag over the cork, anchoring it in this groove, and then tie more twine on top of it to give the scarf something to hang on to.
the gourd neck is grooved to hold the end cap
To get the seeds, gently rub the money plant seed pods between your fingers and thumb. You can also chant if you want. The extracted seeds are of a size sufficient to make a small noise in the rattle. I got them out onto the newspaper and folded it to pour the seeds into the hole in the rattle's handle.
money plant seeds on newspaper
Don't forget to return some seeds to the endless suburban garden. Now, rattling the seeds as you go, find the patch of pea gravel that is just right. Perhaps you have already been scouting to see which little patches of these small pebbles will call out. Take along a little spade <grin> to use as a scoop. Grade your pea gravel to make sure it is more or less uniform, a much larger pebble or two will change the sound a lot and are likely to destroy the gourd.
gourd rattle shell in some perfect pea gravel for filling it
Now stopper the gourd so it can be shaken to bring home the spirits you are calling from the pea gravel and along your way, chanting as you go. I stoppered it with this handy and pretty pine cone. See my special cork? bet you can't gues what that is for.
gourd stoppered with a pine cone
Cut your cork to where it will properly stopper your rattle, but will be more or less flush. Oh you can do some magic with the knife too. <wink>.

cork cut to be the final stopper
Now stopper your rattle. This makes it easier to play around with and see how much you like its sound.

gourd with cork flush in handle

Ready for the next step in the Leopard Gourd Rattle project?

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