September 11, 2014

God’s Eyes = Litha Fun!

Posted in Crafts, Decorations, Litha, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 1:05 am by Babs

Recently I wrote my first ritual for my 2nd year class as an exercise.  I chose the next Sabbat and was thankful it was Litha, a favorite of mine.  After much anxiety over taking on such a responsibility, it was funny how easy it was… to sit down, center, listen to the breeze moving the wind chimes and just focus inward.  After a bit of cyber research and review of my many magickal books I had my theme and the rest just fell together on its own.  After submission to my High Priest and High Priestess for review I was surprised and pleased to learn that my exercise for class would be used in the next ritual!

My circle has experienced much upheaval over the winter and I wanted to add some activity to get people working together.  It was the first step in rebuilding the lines of communication and trust.  While it is important to learn and grow from the troubling times… it is just as important to focus on those who remain.  Forgive the hurt and put the rest in the past.  Harm None!

So to facilitate the healing effort I went looking for a craft project fitting for the time of year that people might be interested in.  I found a craft on-line that I used to make as a child… God’s Eyes!  It was perfect!  While it is commonly associated as a Christian project it was originally a solar symbol which fit in perfectly with the Litha Sabbat.  Also, the symbolism of it being an “eye” was not lost on me as I hoped to bring a theme of focus to the group.  What do you want to manifest in your life? What seeds do we sow now in order to make the most of the harvest later in the summer?

Surprisingly, we had several people who wanted to partake.  While making them up, there was great conversation, lots of laughs, and new friendships made.  Now this was the community that I wanted to be a part of and serve the Goddess with!

A sample of our God’s Eyes!

What was best, it proved a good use to all the yarn remnants I had in the house… and using sticks from my butterfly bush… it was entirely free!

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August 1, 2013

Making Your Own Drum

Posted in Crafts, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , at 11:12 pm by Babs

Before you can march to the beat of your own drum… you first must have a drum!  Recently I attended a weekend retreat (Feminine Energy Experience) where a bunch of like-minded women gather to discuss life, love, and our addiction to coffee.  We end up with lots of laughs, great discussion and many ideas to ponder.  One of the activities was drum making and I was all over this opportunity and I learned a lot.

Starting with the basics; a drum frame, a hide and sinew – I was ready.  We learned a lot about cleansing the hide and sinew from the fear and pain the animal felt when it was killed as well as thanking the animal for its sacrifice so that we can make this sacred object.  We then used oil to anoint the frame of the drum doing the same for the tree (Maple) that was harvested so that we could make this drum.  Once our materials were “cleaned” we were ready.

I have to say, my OCD was a bit on hyper-drive but with a patient teacher I was able to realize that there is no “wrong” way.  What was meant to be would materialize in the form of a completed drum.  Once I “let go” I realized I was having more fun because we were telling stories, laughing and working with our hands all at the same time.  It was divine!

Punching the hide with anchor holes is a bit of an art form that requires some open thinking and some brawn.  Then making the holes large enough for the sinew to be strung through is the next step.  All during this process you have to keep the hide wet so that it remains supple for the stretching over the drum frame.  The stringing is where the OCD went out of control but it was quickly accomplished.  Lacing the longer of the two ends to make a cross of sorts on the underside taking in the four directions; north, south, east and west and tying it all off.

What was important to do is let the ends of the sinew (however long) dry along with your drum and NOT cut them off.  When the drum is fully dried and ready to play… you symbolically cut the ends like an umbilical cord.  This sets the drum free to be its own entity.

What is invaluable to note: while I started this blog stating the intent to “march to the beat of my own drum” which on many levels instills a concept of individuality… drum making made me aware of the importance of the drum and the symbolism of the elements, the directions, the interconnectedness of all life and the (heart) beat that holds us all together moving forward and evolving.

February 17, 2013

Modern Medicine Bags!

Posted in Crafts, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 3:46 am by Babs

After a stessful visit at the veterinarian’s office, I decided to take my co-pilot to my favorite metaphysical store.  He was very shaken by his visit since everything is so new to him and he had to get a shot (horror!).  Well, I happened to be close to the store and wanted to get a two for one trip type deal.  So, off I went to do a bit of shopping!  I parked right out front so he could watch me through the windows.  Being a cute sort of dog he had a bevy of female fans chattering on about him in the store as he watched us.  It was sort of comical.

Well, I am a firm believer that you find what you need when you need it… you just have to realize it.  After a round of browsing I found these little medicine bags made out of soft leather with a crystal sewn to the outside.  Inside they had different stones which each had certain properties and when combined gave an overall assistance to  the holder.  For example, the one I found had a collar clip as it was meant for pets and the options were “calm & grounded”, “happy & healthy” and “protection”.  For more examples or to shop online visit their site: www.crystalmedicinebags.com.

I chose the “calm & grounded” for my pup.  The contents included moonstone – which calms and nurtures, tiger’s eye – which grounds excess energy and soothes both physically and mentally.  The bag also had a dog bone charm on the outside and a crystal sliver sewn to the outside.

I clipped this onto my pup’s collar and he slept the entire ride home… which has never happened!  I don’t have him wear it all the time but I do make sure I put it on for times of stress… such as the vet visits, car rides and other social engagements.

Great idea and another great find at my favorite store!

August 25, 2012

Keepsake Gift with Pagan Meaning

Posted in Crafts, Goddess Things, Witchy Things tagged , , , , , at 9:03 am by Babs

Recently a friend of mine had a birthday and since she is on a similar pagan/wiccan path I wanted to make her a special gift to include with gift bag.  I had gathered together a bunch of pagan themed items but I like to include a handmade item when possible.  What made it more special?  I am a knitter who never gets rid of leftover yarn… so when I found a pattern which had Wiccan symbolism… I used leftover yarn from a sweater I had made for her son a few years ago.  She loved the color and the sweater and this allowed her to keep a small bit of his childhood in use for her altar!

For the amount of yarn I had it lent itself perfectly to a wash cloth or similar item.  After a bit of research I found a Triple Moon wash cloth pattern on Ravelry.com.  If you don’t have an account with Ravelry.com, sign up, it’s free!  Click here to see the pattern.  If you are not familiar with the triple moon… it is the waxing, full and waning moon represented together.

In neopaganism, especially the Wiccan path, the triple moon is a symbol for the Goddess in her Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects represented by the waxing, full and waning moons respectively.  It is also associated with feminine energy, mystery and psychic abilities.  Often it is represented with a goddess symbol incorporated into it.

Other possibilities are more stylized and can be limitless based on the creativity of the one rendering the triple moon.  Often it will be incorporated into head pieces/ crowns worn by high priestesses.

So, now that you are familiar with the triple moon, it was fun to incorporate it into the handmade gift!  So here is the wash cloth made up… and since it is monotone, it is reversible!  Here is the finished result:

February 15, 2011

Pagan Jewelry

Posted in Jewelry, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 4:26 am by Babs

Since not all of us are out and proud there still is a fear about projecting too much of your belief system into your daily life.  For me, it is a personal matter for displaying jewelry of a religious nature in the work place.  I deal with clients who may be more conservative or just not that understanding.  With the idea of paganism often lumped into cults and worse I do not feel that it is my job in the workplace to straighten everyone out. 

In times of stress as well as times of celebration I often feel drawn to wearing a small goddess charm or other personal symbol of my faith.  Sometimes it is nice to have a piece that is hidden in plain sight.  This is the reason I purchased this locket.  On the outside there is the Celtic Knotwork that I am so fond of.  Open it up and a beautiful pentacle is revealed.  The pentacle is a beautiful symbol of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.  One for each star point.  The interwoven detail of the pentacle along with the circle in which it resides speaks of all nature as interrelated, united.  An additional advantage to this locket is that there is enough room to stick a bit of herb or small stone within as a sort of talisman.

Whatever path you take, whatever god or goddess is your light, it is important to remember that this country was founded on religious freedom for all, pagans included.  Blessed Be.

February 12, 2011

Goddess Danu

Posted in Decorations, Goddess Things, Statues, Witchy Things tagged , at 4:28 am by Babs

How I came upon this goddess is about as unique as she is.  She came to me in a dream, not her human form but with the presence of a fish and flowing water.  A bit of modern plumbing was involved but the dream stayed with me quite clearly for days.  After searching for water goddesses… I focused on Danu and my interest never wavered.  Since my family origins are from the Danube River region it was a given that I would do a little research.   

Pronounced DA-noo this goddess has widespread history.  She is an Indo-European Goddess and an ancient one at that.  It is believed that the celts originated in the Danube River Valley region and migrated throughout Europe.  Her followers are referred to as the “Tuatha of Danaan” or the Tribes of Goddess Danu.   

Her arrival in Ireland is where her history becomes well documented.  Her children must fight against darkness and disorder as they are the children of light and order.  Due to her origins in the Danube River region she is closely associated with moving water.  In Ireland this took on the meaning of waters of heaven. 

Another ancient Vedic creation myth from Indian tradition states that all creation came from the primordial waters (Danu) giving rise to her popularity as a mother goddess and water goddess.  In Bali she is still worshipped and praised so the water will be in plentiful supply.

Correspondences:

  • Powers: Known for bestowing luck, good wishes and finding treasure.
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Silver and Black.
  • Stones: Any river stone.
  • Chakra: 2nd/ Womb
  • Animals: Snake and Fish
  • Symbol: Black cauldron filled with water.
  • Ritual Energies: Matriarchal Strength, Transformation, Manifestation, Compassion, Spiritual Guidance.

September 30, 2010

Scrying with a Mirror

Posted in Meditations, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , , at 5:39 am by Babs

When attending a Pagan Pride I generally only buy items that call to me.  One year it was Runes.  Another year it was a crystal ball.  This year it was a scrying mirror.  What I find is that each year as I am called to one tool or another, I am learning at my own pace.  Most of my pagan friends are leap years ahead of me with what they are learning and the honing of their skills.  I have found that your magickal path is yours alone and you must take it at your own pace. 

In discussing a scrying mirror with my friend Gaia, she said she no longer uses hers.  She no longer needs the tool and has progressed to seeing images in her “mind’s eye”.  What is wonderful about this is that while I know little about the tool, I learned right away that it is just a tool to assist me in scrying.  Therefore, as I progress, different tools may work better than others but the skill of scrying will still be the foundational skill in and of itself. 

When taking a workshop on scrying, the instructor had mentioned that the tool should be covered or contained when not in use.  It will continue to act as a portal even when not in use.  Taking care of your tools and handling them with respect is always an important part of any magickal undertaking.

The purpose of a scrying tool is to assist your intuition or subconscious to speak to your conscious self.  To do this follow a few simple steps.

  1. Quiet your mind.  Use a few minutes to meditate and offer a request out to the universe to help you with your quest.
  2. In a quiet spot, darkened room, light a candle and gaze upon the mirror with candle light near you. 
  3. Unfocus your eyes and take note of what you begin to see and where on the tool you see the images. 
  4. Make notes of your findings.  Most often scrying will unravel a story after a few sessions. 

Sometimes you may see things toward the edges of the mirror.  This can indicate past lives, past events in this life or your spirit guide who will often watch over your shoulder.

The best advice I was ever given was that any skill takes practice, patience and perseverence.  If scrying via mirror or water or crystal ball is something you are called to learn or investigate, keep with it and let it unravel in its own due course.  Happy scrying!

September 29, 2010

Pagan Pride 2010

Posted in Crafts, Mabon, Pagan Groups, Pagan Pride, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged , , , , at 1:33 am by Babs

Of all days to forget my camera… but of course, friends had decided to fill the role of paparazzi this year leaving me to shop!  The Eastern Massachusetts Pagan Pride event was held in the new location of Palmer State Forest.  What a huge location to welcome the growing gathering of friends, teachers, organizers, vendors, artists, musicians and pagans of all paths.  What a beautiful day to mingle with a other fellow pagans! 

What is wonderful about the Pagan Pride gatherings is the amount of knowledge and community spirit in one place.  The above dolls were all purchased or won in raffles at present and past Pagan Prides.  They are really well made and each have a memory of happy times.  I am hoping to get a copy of the pattern for the knitted Venus of Willendorf above (striped doll) so gift giving will be extra special this year for Yule! 

Workshops are ongoing during the day and this year I attended a basic herbal with a wonderful witch who really knew her stuff.  It was fun to learn of recipes for simple things like Poison Ivy.  Did you know that Jewelweed grows right next to Poison Ivy and its properties are to alleviate the poison in ivy oil?  Seems nature has a built in ESC button!

The day ends with a Mabon celebration and open circle and spiral dance.  The energy raised was wonderful and electrifying.  The cost of admission is canned goods for a local food shelter.  We have delightedly raised tons of food in years past and hope to top the record every year.

September 27, 2010

Pagan Birthday Surprises

Posted in Alters, Devotionals, Goddess Things, Inspirational Things, Meditations, Nature Things, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 10:20 pm by Babs

This year I celebrated my 40th turn on the Wheel.  I am a spring baby… with a sun sign of Gemini and a rising sign of Pisces.  My standing in the world is one of sensitivity and thoughful repose.  Avoiding conflict is a high priority for me. 

Often I spend a lot of time in giving gifts with meaning to both me and hopefully the recipient.  Trying to pick out something that is symbolic of our friendship/ relationship/ mutual bond. 

This year someone did the same for me and I was simply blown away.  My sun sign usually keeps me from being speechless… but this was something that I had to really sit with, study and once doing so, realized the effort and love that went into it. 

To celebrate each year of my life, a precious stone was added to a beautiful bag.  Each stone was researched, documented and placed in the bag to allow me to work with it and use it in my magickal path.  The sheet you see here is actually the cover letter but behind this sheet is a description of each stone (to help me identify it) as well as the stone’s properties and energies.  I can take the stone and place it on my bedside table altar and set my intention on it as an offering to the universe. 

What is even better?  The gift included a simple and exquisite set of sculpted hands.  I can place the stone there as a symbol of my offering and work with the stone for as long as needed.  It is such a wonderful addition to my candle and prayer work that I simply had to share with my readers! 

 

Lammas 2010

Posted in Alters, Lammas, Networking Things, Pagan Groups, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged at 10:20 am by Babs

Glinda the good witch opened her home and yard to all of the local area pagans to celebrate Lammas.  This harvest celebration was a wonderful circle event.  Glinda went above and beyond to make the ritual, the offerings, the atmostphere just perfect for the event.  Most participants camp out in the yard and make it an overnight… complete with singing, drumming and of course a camp fire! 

                

This celebration also marks the death of the Sun God (bringing on autumn and winter) and the celebration of the Feminine Divine… so I noticed that many of the female participants had painted toes… so we gathered around the penticle and “put our right foot in” with smiles all around. 

Each participant in the circle was to bring a fruit that began with the letter of their first name.  All of these were offered during circle to Lugh who was to die this sabbat… and from the offerings we made a fruit salad for all to share.  It was a perfect way to celebrate all that we harvested in love and light this year.

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