wands

Interview with Reanna of Woodland Wand Creation

July, 2019

Bright Blessings!

Last month, I got to review a great wand by Lady Reanna Shellenbarger of Woodland Wand Creation, and this month, I lucked into an interview!

Here is the link to my review if you did not have a chance to read it yet!

Read on to learn more about this amazing artist and creatrix, and her sacred, beautiful wands!

On their Facebook page, it says:

“Welcome friends to my store called Woodland Wand Creation. A magical place of semiprecious stones & enchanting wood from the magical forest. All to make amazing Wands. All work is unique artwork. No two are the same. I work within the respect to our Ecosystem. Many of my pieces are created with natural and reclaimed supplies. Wood is collected with respect and reverence. All wood is render by the tree naturally after stormy weather. No tree is ever harmed or wood cut from trees. My artwork & Wands are said to be very powerful. Because I work and charge all pieces by the moon light for an extra punch of energy.

Bert is the engine and Reanna is the artist. Together we are Woodland Wand Creation. All items are made by Reanna she is such the artist. We hope you all enjoy them as much as we do.”

Then, I got to catch up with Reanna, and she told me wonderful things!

Saoirse- How and why did you get into making your beautiful wands? What or who inspired you?

Reanna- A friend of mine purchased a bag of random semiprecious stones and had no idea of what to do with them. so I took some of the stones home and fashioned a Wand, not knowing if it would even work. well, needless to say, it did, and here I am today.

Saoirse- How does this tie in with your personal spiritual path, and what would you like to share about your path with us?

Reanna- I studied Wicca some years ago. I reached High Priestess status. today I’m solitary but very, very social. I found more freedom by dedicating myself to more creative pursuits. As a Libra, I require the freedom to go with what the wind calls to me and what strikes my fancy.

Saoirse- Tell me about your creative process. How do you get an idea that inspires? What types of materials draw you? What colors? How do you begin, and how long does it usually take from start to finish?

Reanna- Each stone or branch tells me their desire to become something more. I then clean them up a bit by removing the bark, to show off the natural beauty of the wood. I work with only naturally rendered woods, like after storms and such. I never cut or hurt a tree. I still go for the random mix of stones to this very day. I meditate while I divide them up into the kinds of stones they are. I can then hear them speak to me about their desire. Some stones want to be a Staff, Smudge fan or a Rattle. I am blessed with a wide range of woods in my area. White Willow is my all time favorite, but I do work with Wise Oak, Red Elm, Sweet Maple, and Driftwood.

Saoirse- Tell about how you run your business and how and why you decided to sell as opposed to just making your own? Talk about your business partners!

Reanna- I work with my longtime partner Bert. Bert is my online Wizard. the engine to my inspiration. We are the perfect team. We have a small shop on Etsy. We also are on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I will provide links below.

Saoirse- Tell about yourself aside from your path and wands.

Reanna- I enjoy cooking and making up my own recipes. I like to sew children’s blankets and quilts that I donate to the local church. I really like to gardening, growing herbs, flowers and playing in my Fairy garden. I dabble in painting. I like to recycle items to keep them out of the landfills so most of my stuff is up-cycled. I also work with many divination tools such as Tarot, Crystal balls, Zodiac- natal charts, Tea leaves, and Pendulums. I write memes about magick for FB as well as some really bad poetry. I teach the basic of Tarot and Wicca in a FB group. well, I guess I’m just your all-around crafty Witch.

Saoirse- My editor noticed your fair pricing. Many merchants charge a lot more for a wand than you do. Why do you charge what you do as opposed to what many of your competitors do?

Reanna- Well, we did our homework on the prices before we set out. We saw that so many are over priced for just the simplest items. We did not want to rip off the Pagan community like this. We feel magick knowledge should not be misused by over pricing. To us, it seemed so unfair and it gives our movement such a bad name in a time when we are rising out of the shadows. Our intention was to sell a good product at a good price. Honest and true is the only way to a secure future. In this simple and humble way, a Wand can be in many hands.

Shared here are some links where you can find Reanna’s amazing goods, and have some for yourself!

This is Reanna’s FB

This is Bert’s FB

This is the Etsy shop

Their Woodland Wand Creation FB

This is their Pinterest link

And Their Twitter Link

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Tarot Talk

December, 2018

Four of Wands

(The Four of Wands card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

This month we will complete our exploration of the Fours of the Minor Arcana. Last but certainly not least, we will talk about the Four of Wands, and we will think about how a combination of force (Wands/Fire) and form (the number 4) can interact within the Tarot Minors.

Yes, the Four of Wands is a Minor Arcana card, so as we know, the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. As we have discovered during this journey through the cards, the easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number (or in the case of Court Cards, its rank) and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 4, and the suit of Wands. As we have already discovered, these two ingredients alone could actually give us enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation. We have other useful things to consider, too, such as symbolism, astrology, and more.

The traditional image of the Four of Wands is of a scene of celebration. In the foreground are four Wands, two on the right and two on the left, connected by a garland of flowers tied in place by ribbons, all of which form a gateway or frame for what is beyond. Sometimes the Wands themselves are sprouting leaves and flowers. Through this gateway, we see a large castle or mansion with verdant plantings surrounding it; alongside the walls of the castle is a gathering of well-dressed adults and children. In the middle of the gateway, we see a man and a woman dressed splendidly, joyously holding flowers and greenery over their heads. The sky is clear and golden, and the entire atmosphere is one of peace and wealth and security, and celebration of achievements. This sense of achievement and possibility is sometimes created without people in the image; several cards show the gateway of adorned Wands with a castle on a hill in the distance, and a golden road leading us from the foreground, through the gateway and to that castle, seeming to promise that we won’t be sorry if we travel that road.

This month we are talking about the suit of Wands and the element of Fire. Besides the element of Fire, the suit of Wands corresponds with the playing card suit of Clubs, and the cardinal direction of South. In its natural state, the element of Fire is hot and dry. It tends to bring spontaneous change or impulsive, energetic effects. Fire is passionate in nature and it transforms everything it touches, everything in our world. Fire can sanitize or cleanse, and it can destroy everything in its path; Fire can warm us and keep us safe, or it can kill us.

All of the cards of the suit of Wands (including the Four of Wands) teach us about Fiery attributes like creativity, ambition, growth, passion and actions, and how their presence or absence can affect our lives. The suit of Wands represents our ability to experience joy and passion (including sexual passion), and the Wands cards can represent our creativity, our ability to be artistic or to be drawn to beautiful things. Fire often represents Spirit or the Divine Will, and Wands cards also can present the possibility of some interaction with Spirit or the Divine, or actions or passions manifesting in line with Divine Will.

The element of Fire can be seen as kinetic, or even electric. It has the power to create greatness (when we are inspired to be better than we think we can be), or destruction (when we believe we are greater than we actually are). Fire fuels innovation, but an imbalance or lack of Fire can bring austerity.

The number 4 is about solidification, discipline, balance, authority figures, a foundation being created, calmness, caution, being steady or difficult to shake up. There are four points to a compass, so the number 4 can represent everything around us as it is right now. If we remember that the number 3 usually represents the creation of something new, or the making real of concepts or understandings presented by the number 2, then we can see that the number 4 brings depth or solidity to that creation. On the negative side, the number 4 can represent energies that are slow and plodding, too conservative, or suspicious of or averse to change.

Within the Tarot, the Fours represent the concept of the cube, very stable and hard to tip over; here we have the pause that allows us to take a breath after activating the potential of the Ace through the partnership of the Two in order to manifest the creation of the Three. Briefly, we have the potential to experience an unexpected creative force and the confidence to wield it (the Ace of Wands), the personal power and authority that allows us to be a pioneer (the Two of Wands), and the ability to detach from a focus on ourselves in order to see the big picture and make effective plans (the Three of Wands). The Four of Wands offers a sense of excitement and celebration that comes with the completion of a job well done, as well as an anticipation of experiencing new possibilities that should present themselves thanks to past successes.

The astrological correspondence for the Four of Wands offers us a bit more depth of understanding; the Four of Wands represents the planet Venus when it is in the astrological sign of Aries.

In astrology, the planet Venus is seen as representing the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure. Venus is a feminine planet, which means its energies are inner and receptive in nature. Venus is associated with feelings and well-being and gentleness, friendship and fidelity, relationships of all kinds, youth, lust, fertility, travel, and an appreciation for art, social life, pleasing the senses, and beauty. And yes, sex and sexual pleasure are a part of this too. Venus is often seen as being a twin planet to our Earth; it orbits the Sun in 225 days, and is the second brightest object in the night sky, the Moon being the brightest. Venus guides us regarding relationships, feelings and love, and regarding giving and receiving, and since Venus is the second-most powerful beneficial planet (Jupiter is the first), we need to listen to her.

The astrological sign of Aries is a cardinal Fire sign that is a catalyst, a person that inspires others by being totally committed to his or her own vision. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the leader of the pack, first in line to get things going. Those born under this sign prefer to initiate, and they won’t shy away from anything new. Aries people are action oriented, assertive, and competitive. Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of War, bold and aggressive, and able to tap into the focus needed to take on any challenge. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, blunt and to the point, and a sheer force of nature. The great strength of those born under this sign is found in their initiative, courage and determination.

Once again, we are seeing an interaction of opposites: Venus is calm and loving and accepting, and is all about relationships, and Aries is assertive, determined, and self-focused (like any good leader). However if we look past the differences, we will see that this pairing offers us an opportunity to put ourselves first in a manner that is not abusive and selfish, but rather that enables us to learn about ourselves, and to discover what we personally need in order to be able to create and maintain beneficial relationships. It is through understanding our own needs and embracing them as valid and useful that we are able to attract to us what serves us the best.

The Fours have a place on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; they are found in the sephira of Chesed in the middle of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. This sephira is seen as the place of both expansion and stability; there is that balance of opposites again. Chesed represents Mercy and tells us that love cannot happen without understanding. Chesed also represents the concept of authority, which brings the danger of self-righteousness and at the same time offers us the opportunity to learn humility.

In The Naked Tarot (the awesome book I reviewed last month; check it out!), the Four of Wands is described as representing the group that gathers when we are celebrating an important milestone or the accomplishment of a goal, with that celebration also promoting and encouraging unity. The gift offered by the Four of Wands is kinship: blood kinship, a kinship of heritage, and a kinship of community. This card tells us to bring about connections between the different groups in our lives, celebrate our accomplishments with those groups, and then take a bit of time for ourselves to ground and recharge.

There are subtle yet powerful differences between the Wild Unknown Four of Wands and the Three of Wands of the same deck. The Three give us a glimpse of a possible manifestation, swirling with fertile possibilities, visible through a small portal; the Four of Wands has enlarged and supported that portal so that it is a permanent structure. The foundation has been created, and it is solid. Now, we can not only more easily visualize the goals of the future, but we can also actually see them beginning to manifest in the physical world. The work we have done so far is acting as a lens, focusing our vision and supporting our efforts. A cause to celebrate, for sure!

The image on the Thoth Tarot Four of Wands, called “Completion,” shows a circle or spinning wheel with four Wands creating the spokes. On one end of each Wand is a representation of Aries and on the other end is a representation of Venus; the wheel spins smoothly because these opposing energies are balanced. Here we have the result of a balanced combination of harmony and effort and creativity that is meshed with effort, and we have the valuable conclusions gained through our efforts.

The Llewllyn Welsh Four of Wands shows four Wands, topped with flowers and ribbons, around and in the middle of a stream frothing around rocks. Behind and above the stream is a beautiful walled castle surrounded by verdant growth and topped by a merrily-fluttering banner. There are several bridges crossing the stream, giving access to the open gateway offering entry into the castle. This is one of the cards that offers a message without having a single person in the image. The keywords for this card are repose after difficulty, unexpected celebration, alliances and friendships, sharing of bounty, and achieving a state of balance after an ordeal.

The Legacy of the Divine Four of Wands shows four Wands topped with glowing crystals, each emitting a beam of light that meets in the center to form a protective canopy over the image. Within the archway created by those four Wands is a beautiful scene of green trees and green grass, with a rainbow arching over distant mountains and a stream flowing toward the viewer and falling out of the image into darkness. Along the outside of the wands, the tree branches are nude, the ground is brown and the skies are filled with gray clouds. Is the image under the canopy a reality being protected by the four Wands? Or is it a dream of possibility, the goal we are working so very hard to attain? The card brings us optimism and hope for the future.

The Four of Wands offers a clear message: opposing forces can work together in order to create security and safety without blocking or misdirecting creativity and potential. The Four of Wands tells us that if we have been working hard and using our talents and skills to achieve a goal, and that goal or achievement has arrived, we deserve to celebrate. Taking the time to share our success with those we love and including them in our celebration builds community. After all, important milestones require a commitment in order to be achieved, and sharing the benefits of those milestones once they are achieved builds a community that supports its members.

Celebrating the achievements of others brings even more joy, strength of community, and kinship into our lives. Through this kind of sharing, we create a strong foundation that promises growth, stability, security and well-being for the future . . . for everyone!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

August, 2018

Claws with Crystals


Merry meet.

Bones are a type of fetish,” Sarah Anne Lawless posted on her website. “A fetish is ‘an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency (source).’ The word fetish originates from the French fétiche which stems from the Portuguese word feitiço meaning ‘charm’ or ‘sorcery.’ Feathers, bones, crystals, and stones are all types of fetishes. Skulls and bones have an appeal to witches who perform spirit work and are a necessary and simple way to connect with spirits of the dead and of animals.

Working with bones is not just for necromancers and black magicians. Practitioners who work with bones are a wide range of healers, diviners, shapeshifters, rootworkers, witches, shamans, druids, and pagans.”

When a hunter I respected offered me wings and claws from turkey he had killed, I accepted. I covered the severed ends all with salt, rubbing in, placing them in a box and adding more salt. When more were gifted to me, I placed the fleshy ends in borax. Both were left to dry for several months. (An explanation of a process can be found on many sites.)


When I received them they were already a couple of days old, but the claws were pliable. I was drawn to having them hold crystals. The shape of some of the polished stones I chose made them unworkable. Thankfully, the pagan store I frequent did not mind me bringing in the legs and holding up crystals to determine what would be a good fit. Certain stones seemed to want certain claws, so I went with it.


There is a lot to be said for a more intentional approach, but as I sensed only one was for me, I did not consider uses and intentions that you would if you were making one for yourself.


I positioned each toe and talon to curl around the stone and then began wrapping it all in string to secure it while it dried. In one instance I used tape and while it worked, I think the string was easier to use and adjust.


After a few months had gone by I unwrapped them and found each was stone securely held.

It would be natural to use them as a wand – as is, embellished or attached to another wand – to direct power. A woman who bought one planned to tie it with a cord that went around her neck so it hung almost to her waist.


Bones carry the animal’s magical attributes which is one of the reasons I have worked with bear claws, a turtle shell and a coyote’s jawbone. Smaller bones have fit in mojo bags created to address various needs.

Turkey is considered a good omen, signaling that gifts are imminent. It’s also “a symbol of sacrifice for renewal and that generosity will open the doors to growth and rebirth,” according to a few websites posting the same information.


Turkey as a totem animal means you are “the abundance generator” for your community.

You have a gift for attracting all the bounty of the universe available to you and you are willing to share. You will often meet the needs of others in a giveaway self-sacrifice form simply because all life is sacred to you. You easily translate your life experience into growth and understanding. You recognize that what you do for others you also do for yourself,” according to spirit-animals.com and other sites.

Awareness, creation, generosity, harvest, pride, purpose, sacrifice, understanding and virility are also associated with turkey.

Knowing this, if you would like to make something similar, ask the Source and then be ready to receive what the universe brings it to you.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self-taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

November, 2016

Plant Wands

crafting2

Merry meet.

As the wheel turns to the third harvest, I was moved to harvest some of the energies from the world around me, inspired by the Botanical Spirt Wands made by Rosemari Roast of Walk in the Woods, located in Winsted, Connecticut.

Cleaning up my community garden plot at the end of the season, I gathered a selection of plants, living and dead, adding to it from outside my back door.

crafting1o

how-to

Making an assorted bouquet of about eight pieces, I wrapped the stems together with fibers. One I wound with twine. For the other, I tied a scrap of novelty yarn at the top and criss-crossed it front and back down the stalks to form a handle. Red ribbon was used to wrap a single tassel of broom corn.

They are being hung upside down until they are fully dried.

If this inspires you, you might consider making a plant wand for each season, or even for each sabbat.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Witchcrafting: Crafts for Witches

August, 2015

 

Lavender Wand

As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.”

Anonymous

Merry Meet…

Lavender has the magical attributes of sleep, peace, purification, protection, love, clarity of thought, long life, visions, wishes and attracting men. Physically it is an antidepressant and a sedative. It also stimulates the immune system.

As an offering to the gods, witches were said to throw lavender into the Midsummer fire.

One way to save a bit of this powerful summer-blooming herb is by making a lavender wand.

For this one, I selected 18 stems of lavender, but I think 24 pieces might be better.

(Note: it must be an even number of stems.) About 18 inches is a good length, but shorter will work.

wand1

Remove any leaves and line up the bottom flower on each stem. Using a long length of ribbon, tie off just below the blooms, leaving one end of the ribbon short and the other long. Hold the blossom end in one hand and, one or two at a time, begin to bend each stem down over your hand.

Take the long length of ribbon and begin to weave it under and over the stems. I chose to work with two stems at a time, but one at a time also works.

wand2

Continue going around and around – over and under, over and under – keeping the top of the ribbon close to the bottom of the previous layer to later prevent the small lavender flowers from falling out after they dry.

wand3

I think I pulled the ribbon too tight when making this wand. You’ll also notice some large spaces between layers of ribbon.

wand4

At the base of the flowers, wrap the ribbon several times tightly around all the stems, then continue to wrap their length if you wish, finishing with a bow.

Allow to air dry, perhaps by the light of the sun or the moon. It should keep its scent for years.

Merry part.

And merry meet again…

Meandering through the Past

August, 2009

Tools of the Trad, The Wand

Back say in the 1600’s those who practiced witchcraft didn’t have the local metaphysical shop to run down to for purchasing their needs. The tools of the trade, were found in the way they were first intended, first by need, then by intuition.

Often a practitioner could be found walking amongst the trees of a forest, just enjoying the sun filtering it’s way through the leaves above. Maybe the witch is thinking about how lonely they feel. Maybe the thoughts running through their minds were about how to heal a particularly bad cold, or some other need stealing their attention.

Often these thoughts would guide them directly to the object which would fulfill their need or desire. We will begin this series on The Tools of the Trade with Wands in the “Olden Days”.

As said practitioner walked through that forest, their sight might be drawn to a stick laying on the forest floor. This witch, would not break off a piece of a living tree unless their intuition guided them to do so. If that were the case, the witch would quiet their mind, lay their palms against the roughened skin of the tree, and ask the spirit living within the tree, if they might remove the branch.

The same would occur for a stick laying on the ground. Before just removing it from the forest floor, the witch would offer a prayer and ask the Earth and forest if they might take the stick. If they felt within themselves, that it would be okay to take the stick, they would do so, and usually offer something in return to thank the spirit of the tree or the Earth.

Even today, with metaphysical and Craft stores popping up not only in the local neighborhood, but online as well, we can still use this tired and true method to find our own wands. Take that walk out into a local forest. Feel the trees, the sun, and the Earth underneath you. Listen for any feelings or even voices that might be guiding to in one particular direction or another. See what you can find, offer thanks, and cherish what the Earth has given.