coloring

Affairs of the Pagan Heart

April, 2018

Ostara and Eggs

Eggs are an old symbol of new life. With fertilization, care and time, something new comes to life, and what a great opportunity it is to view a wedding as something new. A marriage is born!

The most opulent display for an Ostara wedding ceremony or reception is to make or commission a Fabergé wedding egg. It is a lot of fun to make one yourself, and a great exercise for you and your partner any time, not just at Ostara or Easter.

What you’ll need:

  • eggs (raw); white are best to get the colouring you desire

  • food colouring and jars

  • pencil with a straight pin stuck into the eraser end

  • wax candle

  • paper towels

  • some patience and a bit of creativity

Method:

Choose the colours you want to add to your egg and prepare the dye water. Remember combinations like blue and yellow make green, so you don’t need to prepare a mix of green dye. Are there colours that represent your partnership or colours you want to use at your wedding? Have these ready for a later step.

Select a design. This is where you can get really creative and it forms the basis of the end result. What patterns or symbols do you want to use to represent your union? Maybe you have a symbol or word that you want to include that has meaning to your relationship. Draw it out in pencil on paper first if you’re an inexperienced doodler, then draw it on the egg when you’re ready.

Stick the pin in the end of the pencil and dip the pin head in some melted wax. Trace what you’ve drawn in pencil, and this is where you can be really creative.

When you’re satisfied covering one layer with wax, carefully lower the egg into the dye water for about 15-20 seconds. If it’s not the intensity you want, put it back in the dye water. It could take 10 minutes or more. Then trace some more wax as another layer and lower the egg in another colour for another 15 seconds to see the colours blend and mix. The spots where there is wax won’t get dyed, so keep that in mind when planning your layers and colour combinations.

Remove the egg from the dye water with a spoon between each layer and carefully pat it dry with a clean paper towel.

Removing the wax is a difficult task but is also satisfying to see how it all comes together. Carefully hold the egg near (but not directly over) the candle flame, just close enough to melt the wax that you can carefully wipe off with a clean paper towel. You’ll do this several times as you move the egg around to get all the wax off.

You’re done at this point, and your egg is beautiful. Or maybe you want to repeat the steps to add some more. The choice is yours!

For more in-depth descriptions of these steps and a wide variety of tips and tricks, visit http://www.instructables.com/id/Pysanky-Ukrainian-Egg-Dying

Be sure to poke a small hole in both ends of the egg when you’re done and blow out the contents. It would be bad enough if your egg cracked or smashed, but the smell of the rotting contents would make the situation even worse. However, once a hole is poked, you can add a thin ribbon to it and make it an ornament, an activity you could also do for Yule or other sabbats.

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About the Author:

Rev. Rachel U Young is a pagan based in Toronto, Canada. She is a licensed Wedding Officiant and under the name NamasteFreund she makes handfasting cords and other ceremonial accessories.

Book Review: Tarot by Design Workbook: Color and Learn Your Way into the Cards by Diana Heyne

July, 2017

Tarot by Design Workbook: Color and Learn Your Way into the Cards by Diana Heyne

Published by Weiser , Massachusetts, soft cover, with introduction by author

 

 

I have always loved coloring books. As a child, I valued my giant box of Crayola crayons (with the built-in sharpener), and could spend hours filling the black-lined drawings with colors. As an adult, I have indulged in the adult coloring books, spending time with images of ocean creatures, forest creatures, flowers and plants, and geometric shapes, and my colored pencils, bringing myself into a meditative state as I applied colors to the lined drawings. I have a lovely coloring book of Frank Lloyd Wright windows, with the line drawings on a translucent tracing paper so the finished works can be put in a window so the sun can shine through the colors. Imagine my delight when I held this Tarot-themed coloring book in my hands for the first time!

The Tarot by Design Workbook is 8 ½ by 10 inches, with a glossy full-color soft cover. The paper stock of the pages is smooth and substantial, perfect for colored pencils or crayons. The workbook is set up with a short forward by the author in which she explains the setup of the Workbook and offers some suggestions for connecting with the line drawings; then without much further ado, we move on to the drawings themselves.

The Tarot images beautifully drawn by Diana Heyne are based on the traditional Rider Tarot Deck created by hur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith. The line drawings are detailed enough to be recognizable but not so detailed to be discouraging to a non-coloring book person. The Minor Arcana Cards are labeled with a number, or rank for the Court Cards; the traditional images portray the suits of Swords, Staffs/Rods, Cups and Pentacles. The Major Arcana cards are labeled with the title of the card and the number of the card, as well as traditional images portraying The Fool’s Journey.

The card images themselves are on the right side when the Workbook is open; on the left side is the “learning page” with the name of the card, some key words, phrases for both the upright and reversed card (and yes, a bit of whimsy: the phrases for the reversed cards are upside down), and some space for notes. The learning pages for the Major Arcana cards also contain a rhyme or phrase that briefly sums up the messages of each card. The last 10 pages of the book contain spaces for notes, drawings, or reflections, each bordered with a line drawing that can also be colored.

I pulled out my colored pencils, my crayons (yes, I still have one of those giant boxes), and a set of 20 magic markers, and turned to the page portraying The Emperor. The image was easy to work with, and the colors remained brilliant as I applied them. There was a bit of bleed-through to the reverse side where I used the markers. I had no problems with the crayons and colored pencils.

Despite that one bleed-through snag, I enjoyed playing with the images in the Workbook. For a Tarot novice, this could be a useful and fun hands-on tool for learning about the symbolism of the cards. For someone who is already familiar with the Tarot and its images, this Workbook offers the chance to play with non-traditional color themes, and to find a new way to go deeper into the symbolism of the images of the Tarot.

 

 

 

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

June, 2016

Coloring

Merry meet.

This months witchcraft is about the childhood craft that has rebounded with adults. Coloring is being touted as therapeutic because it reduces stress and anxiety, it sharpens focus and it brings about a state of mindfulness. Nielsen can estimates 12 million were sold in 2015 while only 1 million sold in 2014. It remains to be seen if its a trend or a short-lived fad.

Coloring books offer themed collections of artistic drawings, typically intricate black-and-white illustrations. It was only a matter of time before pagan themes emerged. The WitchesAlmanac Coloring Bookput out by the editors of The WitchesAlmanacwas sent in for review while The Witches: A Coloring Book,written and illustrated by Lisa Graves was a gift.

coloring1a

The WitchesAlmanacfeatures many woodcuts, tarot cards and folklore drawings. They are or various sizes, filling the page to one extent or another. While the symbols were pleasantly pagan and striking, I found most of the lines to be heavy and not lending themselves to coloring. Woodblocks, especially, seemed complete as is, leaving little room for creativity.

coloring1b

coloring1c

 

 

coloring1d

coloring1e

With the variety of art, styles and images, there are some might inspire you to pick up colored pencils or markers.

coloring2a

The Witchesbook has simpler drawings, all of the same style, with easily definable areas that long for some color. Each page also has a bit of information about the witch, making it a learning experience as well.

coloring3b

 

coloring2c

 

coloring2d

 

Merry part.

And merry meet again.