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!

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:

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.

March 18, 2009

Ostara & Spring!

Posted in Crafts, Nature Things, Ostara, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged , , , , , at 8:42 pm by Babs

Finally, my crocus planted in the lawn last fall are starting to sprout… and the promise of spring is in the air.  This is the wheel turn I anticipate with the most enthusiasm!  The Spring Equinox will occur at 7:44 am EDT on March 20th this year… and I personally am so excited. 

History:

The origin of the word “Ostara” is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol — this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged giving rise to the popular phrase; Mad as a March Hare!

Celebrations for Solitaries

To observe this turn of the wheel of the year, go outside and take notice of the smells, sights and sounds.  The earthy smell of the land, the sprouting of new flowers and the birds chirping are much different from the relative silence and blandness of winter.  Often solitaries will go out and experience nature and make an offering to the land in the form of milk and honey.  This can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.  Search for alter decoration ideas and ritual ideas on the internet for more information.

Craft Projects:

This craft is fun to make and send along to your fellow Spring/ Ostara enthusiasts. 

You will need:

  • Card Stock or Pre-Cut Blank Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Seed Packets
  • Glue (not hot glue!)
  • Pens, Markers & Other Craft Supplies

Select a packet of seeds for each greeting card. Use the glue to attach the packet to the front of the card. Don’t use a hot glue gun for this, because the heat can damage the seeds inside — use either a glue stick or regular craft glue.

Use your markers or other craft supplies to write a Spring message inside. You can use something like this if you like:

Wishing you blooms and abundance at Ostara!

or

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I picked out these seeds, just for you!

Ostara blessings to you and yours!

February 2, 2009

Blessed Imbolc!

Posted in Crafts, Imbolc, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged , at 3:33 am by Babs

Pronounced “Im-bulk” and also known as Candlemas, Imbolg, Imbolgc brigantia, Lupercus, Disting this pagan/wiccan holiday is typically celebrated February 1st or 2nd.

 The earliest whisperings of Springtide are heard now as the Goddess nurtures Her Young Son. As a time of the year associated with beginning growth, Imbolc is an initiatory period for many. Here we plant the “seeds” of our hopes and dreams for the coming summer months.

Imbolc or Oimelc, two names which refer to the lactation of the ewes, the flow of mix that heralds the return of the life-giving forces of spring.  Later the Catholic church replaced this festival with Candlemas Day on February 2nd, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and features candlelight processions.  The powerful figure of Brigid the light-bringer overlights both pagan and christian celebrations.

This is traditionally a time of purification – so clean your house!!  If you have any Yule greenery lingering, burn it now.

Make your own Brighid’s Crosses and hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food.

Put out food such as cake, buttered bread and milk outside your door: Brighid and her cow walk through the neighborhood tonight and will appreciate your offering.

Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brighid to bless; it can then be used for healing purposes.

Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year; for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, and ask for Bride’s blessing upon your prayers.

Happy Imbolc! Blessed Be!

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