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Witchcrafting: Crafts for witches

April 1st, 2014

Twig God(dess)

Merry Meet.

This month I hope to inspire you to craft a Goddess to adorn your space or be used in ritual.

TwigGoddess1TwigBeltane Photo by Lynn Woike

There are beautiful statues to be found of Brigid, Gaia, Hecate,  Frigga, Cerridwen, and many others. Gods, too. When I first started on my path, I was not familiar with many at all, and found myself working more with a “generic” Goddess that I came to think of as the Great Mother of All. Rather than calling on a named Goddess, I worked from my intent and would call upon whomever had the qualities I was incorporating into my work to join me.

As my first Ostara approached, I found myself wanting a symbol of spring. A friend had just attended a spirit doll workshop and the one she made was built around a small branch. That give me the idea to make a twig Goddess to help celebrate the sabbat. Not necessarily Ostara, the maiden with the hare, but the Goddess of Spring, of the early flowers bringing color after a black-and-white winter. The wind a breath of fresh air. Mine was to be the Goddess of new beginnings, of possibilities, of exuberance after hibernation.

Twiggoddess2TwigSpring   Photo by Lynn Woike

I searched for two twigs I could put together to form a body, and wrapped the section where they joined with fibers, building it up a bit to give the torso a bit of shape. Rummaging around, I came up with lots of ribbons, odd beads and scraps of yarn. A broken pin was perfect for a face. As much as I wanted to keep everything as natural as possible, hot glue was a necessity to attach the yarn hair to the back of the neck and the pin on the front.

The energy that went into Her can still be felt 11 years later, as each Ostara she stands on my altar. Several years ago, I attached the ends of a wide purple ribbon to her hands on which I could write an intention. I never did choose the words, so it just acts as another adornment as she dances in the season.

As my first experience with Beltane approached, the world was being painted with a hundred shades of green, and I decided to make a twig Goddess to represent the essence of that green. I had yet to work with Tara or Artemis, and instead was envisioning Green Man’s mate. I again searched for sticks that could form arms, legs and a torso. I invested in some polymer clay and a mold to make a face. Leaves from ready-to-be-tossed silk flowers and a scrap of fabric came together – again with a bit of hot glue. She was the confident maiden stepping into Her own, into fertility and abundance.

Twiggoddess3TwigSummer  Photo by Lynn Woike

That was when I made a commitment to create one for each of the eight sabbats. With every turn of the wheel, I studied its meaning. Crafting a twig Goddess became part of my solitary rituals.

I gathered up items I found myself attracted to. For Litha, it was yellow. Because for 30 years I had been on vacation by water the beginning of August, when I came to celebrate Lughnasadh, I was drawn to shells, sand and seaweed. The Goddess I made incorporated those elements with driftwood replacing twigs.

TwiggLugTwigLughnasadh Photo by Lynn Woike

There are no rules when it comes to making twig Goddesses – and no reason why you can’t also make twig Gods – but I can offer a few tips.

Trust your intuition to guide you to twigs that will become the body. Generally, something in the shape of a “Y” works best, but experiment, turning them this way and that, because it was usually the unexpected arrangement that worked best for me.

When you have your twigs, consider leaving a gift in gratitude: tobacco, seeds, an apple, a strand of hair, a song or a blessing.

Don’t trim the twigs until you’re sure how you’ll use them. Don’t worry about being perfect, it will be beautiful when it’s done.

TwigAutTwigAutumn Photo by Lynn Woike

Join the two pieces together with tape, air-drying clay, twine, wire or hot glue.

To add depth to the torso, use batting, cotton balls, more clay or strips of cloth, gluing as needed.

Be sure to have a neck to which you can attach some sort of head. Some options might be a round mirror, button, broach, stone or flower.

Embellishments can be anything that catches your fancy. Play.

You might want to consecrate your God or Goddess.

The ones I made have become an integral part of my practice. One is always on my altar, radiating the vibrations of the season as well as the energy, intentions and blessings accumulated over years of use in sacred space.

Pictures of few of them are included to give you some ideas.

Diana1Nature’sChildDistinctlyDiana Photo courtesy of DistinctlyDiana

For more inspiration, check out the twig dolls made “Distinctly Different” by Distinctly Diana and available for sale on Etsy. With her permission, I’m sharing pictures of two: Nature’s Child and Winter Solstice.

Diana2WinterSolsticeDistinctlyDiana Photo courtesy of DistinctlyDiana

I hope if you are moved to craft a twig creation, you’ll share a picture.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

God’s Eye

An oldie but goodie!! I think I’ve seen these made at nearly every school I attended in life.

So lets get started First off your gonna need a few things!

Items Needed:

*2 sticks (Chop sticks, dowling rods cut to size, popcicle sticks, just to name a few)

*string, ribbon, or yarn ( I like the kind that changes color to create a neat pattern)

*Hot Glue gun or tacky glue (Kids get your parents help with the hot glue gun)

Optional Items:

Small charms or old jewelry

Tassels

Step 1: using the glue gun cross your stick in the middle using the glue dab a bit so that when it drys you have an even cross.

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Step 2: When you have your dried cross, make an X by wrapping your string across the middle of the cross.

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Step 3: Wrap the yarn around one stem, then move to the next, stem and wrap the string around it once, move to the next, wrap, and repeat this for the rest of the Eye.

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Step 4: now that we are getting to the end it’s time to think about where to stop.  A good  place is to make sure you have at least a centimeter from the end. Make your final wrap, then using the tail (or end) of your string tuck it under the wrap string.

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wrap the tail under the opposite string (the one you just wrapped) but hold the middle of the tail up over the stem to make a loop for hanging.

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Step 5: Keeping the loop, wrap the rest of the tail around the stem a few times then, pull the tail through the loop and finally tie the loop and tail in a knot a couple of times. Snip the excess and maybe use a dab of glue to secure the loose end.

crafts-chaossuns-crafts5a

With all the yarn, string, ribbons, and even rope. You can make a lot of texture and colored Gods Eyes for a theme or holiday!

Use black and orange for Samhain and decorate the four points with tassels to match and hang up.  A neat idea is to make the center black and the outer orange…or in the reverse, for a fun candy look use white yellow and orange to look like candy corn! Even for fun, have a black center with green on the outside and call it a Witches Eye!

For Yule make several red, greens, whites, and gold small ones using toothpicks (Be sure not to wrap to tightly otherwise the toothpicks might snap.) You can use them to adorn packages or your yule tree or even a Door wreath.  Also, a little glue will go along way in helping with these tiny pieces. Be sure to use small knitting thread or cross-stitching thread.

For Ostara use the pastel colors for your middle and decorate the four points with small colored eggs or bunny figures.

For Beltane glue small flowers to the center when completed or on the stems maybe even place it in the center of a flower wreath.

While wrapping the Gods eye center pause and string a charm or trinket and continue wrapping that way when displayed you have a unique Gods Eye for your home.

Feel free to E-mail me your finished design, I like to see what other people have done with an idea to make it all their own.

Heres a couple I made using fluffy yarn!

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Hope you have fun with this small project!

Blessed Be

Are you Ready?

There is a notable chill in the air. In the distance you can smell warn sage mixed with an apply smell. A deeper breath reveals the faint smell of sulfur and you know that you are getting closer. As you make your way carefully down the secluded path, winding through the woods, deeper and farther away from prying eyes, you hear the faint but rhythmic tapping on a drum and you know now that it is close. It seems like such a forbidden act, sneaking off without telling anyone of where you are going. So exciting as you get closer and now you can see the flicker of the fire through the trees and feel the magickal energy already beginning to rise.
If I ask anyone that frequents Pagan Pages what the smell of sulfur means to them, I would bet that a fair amount of us would all say the same thing. It evokes the memories and magickal feelings of ritual. Nothing says its Samhain like the thoughts of all of your best witchy friends gathered together to bring forth the blessings of the Mother. This is a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, another witchy year survived, and another year of being mostly free to be who we are without fear. I know that there are still some spaces where it isn’t’ okay to express yourself openly but no worries, the 2012 energy shift will correct that situation.
Many of us, whether we are Solitary or work within a Coven, will perform some kind of spell work during our ritual time. Fumbling around in the ambient glow of candles while very fabulous to set a mood, can be a little distracting. I have found over the course of time that there is a way to get all of your herbs together ahead of time. This saves not only time, but allows you to prepare your spell mixture at the right moon phase. In this way, if say Equinox, or Samhain is falling at a moon time that is not so conclusive to prosperity, your herbs will have the benefit of the full moon energy by preparing everything ahead of time. Now, don’t complain at yourself that that is silly because a High Holiday creates full moon like energy, I know that, but the little extra boost is still beneficial.
Cauldron Spirits are an alcohol based mixture that burn in your cauldron or any other fire safe container. Be wise with this, as you would anything else you were going to burn. Keep it away from all flammable objects, keep it away from children, and please burn in a well ventilated area. Do not ingest this ever! If you do by mistake please call your doctor immediately. Prepare them at the moon time that suits your working purpose and when finished, store them in a cool, dry cupboard. Of course there are many combinations of herbs that can be used to suit the needs that I am going to address so by all means, feel free to substitute. I am a firm believer in following the intuition given you by your guides.

Items needed:

Base Mixture

*Half pint mason jar
*Isopropyl Alcohol
*Distilled Water
*Mortar and Pestle

Prosperity
*Dried Patchouli
*Cloves
*Mint

Protection

*White Sage

*Boneset

*Cloves

Psychic Visioning

*White Sage

*Star Anise*Frankincense Resin

Directions:

To create the base mixture, you will mix one part distilled water for every 2 parts of alcohol that you use for a more intense flame, and half and half for a lower flame. I heat the water up. By using warm water, when you get everything in the mason jar, it will help to seal it a bit. This isn’t an air tight perfect seal but since we are NOT INGESTING this EVER it doesn’t need to be perfect. Fill your jar 2/3rds full.

For the herbal mixtures, you will treat this as you would any herbal spell mixture. I use about a tablespoon of each, but you can use more or less as needed. I have found that if you have too much in your Cauldron Spirits, it will not burn right.
As you add each one to your mortar, focus on your intention. If you are working towards prosperity, then see yourself in the position you desire, once all are in, continue focusing on your goal as you grind the herbs or resins together. Next you will simply add this into your jar. Screw on the lid and give it a little shake. I have been known to add a stone to the jar but, if you do this, be sure to keep your stone out of the fire. Don’t put your best clear quartz in there as the colorations of the herbs and with some stones, the alcohol, will discolor them.
Store away until ready for use. If you are not a “pyro“, then use a long match to light.

Have a Blessed Samhain!

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