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Interview with Reanna of Woodland Wand Creation

August, 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
.

MagickalArts

April, 2019

Our
Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Two

Excerpted
from Part One…

…”Our
physical bodies are a wonderful and grand vessel of complex and
varied capabilities. Most of the functions that sustain our life are
transparent in their process and automatic in their function. We
breathe, our heart beats; we move in coordinated and purposeful
mechanics, we feel, we think, we react. All of these physiological
components are used as vehicles of anchoring in the refinement of our
spiritual and subtle nature. We are humans in corporeal state and as
such our level of response to spiritual and energetic action is
through the vehicle of physical being. Even those experiences that we
cannot articulate or are unaware of their potency and impact move
through the state of our physical being and often become the eventual
place of manifestation.”…

FIRE-
WATER – EARTH

Reproductive System

Held within the polarity of the reproductive organs is the mystery of creation. The womb of the female becoming the place of quickening for the life that will, if viable reach full term and be replicated as human and physical being. It is this combination of earthly form serving as vessel and the seminal fluids of the male quickening the ovum of potential that the fires of creative out pour are produced. It is the movement and flowing of these waters held in the birth canal that offer up the fires of contraction and expansion to release this new life into being. At a purely physiological state, it is the healthy functioning of the reproductive system that ensures the continuation of humanity. These urges to create further provide ground for interpersonal connection engaging mind and heart in the selection of the fittest and physiological response in the secretion of hormones that will attract.

FIRE

Digestive System


Our
digestive system is the furnace that acts to assimilate and
effectively distribute what we take into our bodies as nourishment
that becomes the fuel to keep us running. It is through this system
that the foods we take into our physical structure are broken down
into more digestible particles; nutrients and what will enliven are
extruded and the transformed products are then eliminated before
stagnancy can set in. Our digestive system is also largely
responsible for the immunologic responses of our bodies.

This
information
 is brief in
its content as each of these systems is vastly complex and can be
further categorized in sub-systems. The important consideration is
that each system is dependent on the other either directly or through
the bridge of another in producing the necessary life force to keep
us alive. When we consider the complexity and precision of this life
force and its active components that keep us functioning it truly is
a profound and deeply humbling analysis. These same structures apply
to every living thing in their own way of specificity and in larger
scope to the entire universe.

It
is for this reason that our first point of connection to that which
is part of, yet independent of ourselves is through the knowledge of
our own smaller universe that is our physical being. Once we begin
that exploration we see the broader picture of our connectivity to
all manner of life and how work on the self, produces far-reaching
effects beyond that self.

The
exercises below are suggested to make you more aware of the pulsation
and vibrancy of your body. Most often we do not really feel the
movement of the blood and beating o our hearts unless we are engaging
in a physical activity beyond what our normal resting state would be.

Physical
Exercises:

1. Engage
in a moderate from of physical activity for at least 5 minutes.
Enough to raise your heart rate. This should be in accord with your
state of overall physical condition and what limitations you may or
may not have. This activity could be climbing a flight of stairs,
dancing, marching in place, etc…Standing or sitting, turn your
awareness to the pace of your heart rate, and the feelings of blood
moving through your body in response to the exerted effort. Try to
completely engage with this sensation and make note of the fiery
nature and pulsation of heart beat. Stay in this state of awareness
for as long as you are able. As your pulse returns to its normal
rhythm, remain conscious of this shifting and “cooling down”
period. When you have returned to your normal state of activity, make
note of how this differs from what you just experienced. Make note of
how much more alive you feel as the release of the endorphins lifts
your perspective. This similar type of feeling can be noted in the
raising of personal energy as byproduct of an energetic protocol or
practice.

2. Sit
in a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Take a few very
deep breaths of inhalation and audibly sigh into the exhalation of
each. Do this for several breaths, each time listening more deeply
and opening to the physical feelings produced in the expansion and
contraction of your chest and lungs. Continue breathing in a relaxed
way with no emphasis on inhale or exhale (no sound). Listen more
deeply and make note of the sound (inner) of the air passing into
your lungs. Really try to hear the gentle whoosh in and the long
extended soft sound of exhale. Send your complete focus to the sounds
you are hearing for several breaths.

Now,
shift your awareness to the physical, rather than audible sensations
as you breathe. Make note of how your skin stretches softly in
expansion on inhale and the gentle and elastic pulling in on the
contraction of exhale. Try to consciously expand your skin just
slightly further and contract more fully in for a few breaths. Send
your complete focus to this action of physical sensation for several
breaths.

Return
your awareness to simply breathing, giving no more attention to the
audible or the physical sensation. You should be feeling very relaxed
and more expansive as you complete this exercise. We forget to
breathe deeply and with intention because of the fast paced nature of
our days. Taking time to acknowledge and consciously breathe opens
your clarity of focus and anchoring to your physical state.

References:

Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

***

About
the Author:

Robin
Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She
is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The
Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s
Written in the Stars

Astrology

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry
of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening
the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A
Year With Gaia on Amazon

The
Eternal Cord

Temple
of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous
Devotions

The
Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A
Collection of Esoteric Writings

The
Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning
the Parts of SELF

The
Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings
on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping
with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights
of Devotion

A
Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings
for the Year

Her
books are available on Amazon
 or
on this website
 and
her Blogs
 can
be found at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

Review of Sacred Mists Shoppe Blessed Gemstone Kit & Interview with Lady Lorien Of Sacred Mists

February, 2019

We received a lovely Gemstone Offering Kit to review at PaganPagesOrg from Sacred Mists Shoppe and I thought it looked like so much fun I would invite someone new to the Craft to enjoy it with my old Crone self. Get another opinion, from young eyes, as well.

The Gemstone Offering Kit from Sacred Mists Shoppe includes one pound of a mixed lot of offering gemstones (that is a lot!), a hand-rolled mini power candle made of beeswax, a mini sage smudging wand, two elemental matchsticks, instructions on what to do, and a free gift of an incense stick.

The instructions are easy to follow. They show you how to cleanse, bless & charge your stones in easy to comply language. Then the Gemstone Offering Kit suggests ways to use your stones as offerings: You can use them to give thanks to the Earth, as ways to invite Faeries, as ways to use them as gifts of gratitude & more.

When our candle burned out (please do not copy what we did and burn your candle on the plastic lid) we placed some of the charged stones in the garden to thank the Earth and attract Fae to the yard. We each kept a nice portion of the blessed stones as there are plenty of them. I still have a ton to gift. Also, when I run out, Sacred Mists Shoppe includes a coupon on the instruction sheet for more stones! Very thoughtful.

The Crone and the Maiden both thoroughly enjoyed this ritual. We had so much fun together. Even if we did it alone, and not together, it would be a fun ritual to perform. There are so many gemstones in all varieties. The portion size is very generous for the price. The instructions are clear & concise. The coupon is a wonderful bonus. You can keep the sturdy jar to store your stones or any supplies in.

I was right to invite my
friend! We had a blast doing this kit, and we know you will, too!

If you would like to purchase
the Gemstone
Offering Kit
from Sacred Mists
Shoppe
it is $24.95 + shipping and can be bought here
on their site
or you can purchase it here
on their etsy
.

I was lucky to have a chance to speak with Lady Lorien of Sacred Mists about their wonderful product, shop, & other interesting topics. Here is what Lady Lorien had to say!

Jennifer Wright (JW): Hello Lady Lorien,
It is a pleasure to speak with you! My friend and I just completed your Blessed Gemstone Kit and we had the best time! We found it to be a creative and fun idea to do. Not only alone, but as a group. How did you come up with such an idea?

Lady Lorien (LL): Offerings are an important part of our practice and we’ve had our Blessed Offering Stones available in our store for years. While in the warehouse one day I came up with the idea to create a kit that provided all of the pieces needed to work with the offering stones, including cleansing, empowering, and storing them. We love sifting through the stones to find just the right offering to make at a particular time as well as simply putting our hands into them and letting the stones roll through our fingers. Our Blessed Offering Stones have long been a customer favorite and we love them, too!

JW: We see you created the product yourself at your Covenstead?

LL:As with all of our Covenstead Creations offerings, the kit was made right here in our beautiful Napa Valley location.

JW: Can you tell us more about your Covenstead?

LL: Our Covenstead is home of our circle and coven, Sacred Mists. Here, our training programs in areas such as complete Wiccan degrees, herbalism, tarot, historical paganism, and Reiki are offered. It is also the location of our shop cottage where all of our creations are made and from where our orders are shipped. All of our training offerings are available online at www.workingwitches.com and our products are available at www.sacredmists.com.

JW: Do you make all of your products?

LL: We offer our own creations as well as many products from other craftspersons and suppliers that have been hand selected by us for quality and intention.

JW: Your shop and Coven has been around for decades, has it not?

LL: Sacred Mists has been in existence for over 25 years and our teachings and products have been available online for 17 years now. Time flies!

JW: You even have a brick & Mortar shop. Sacred Mists has a school?

LL:We used to have a brick and mortar shop, however, we have since closed it due to the enormous expenses involved with having one in our area. All of our offerings, including both products and our training programs, are available online. Our school reaches thousands of students from around the world, all of whom are able to join together in online discussions, online rituals, and collaborative study. We are definitely a coven and circle family and each student who joins us is warmly welcomed.

JW: Do you, yourself, teach?

LL:I do! I’m actively involved with all of the classes and programs offered. We also have other highly qualified teachers and mentors within our program, ensuring that each student is provided with individual attention and training. Our programs are very unique in that way.

JW: All of your products look truly wonderful and your prices are fair. Thank you for sending us your Blessed Gemstone Kit. Your products are amazing and PaganPagesOrg definitely recommends your shop!

I would like to thank Lady Lorien for taking the time to chat with us! From our talk and from the quality of their products and looking around their site, I will definitely be delving into their classes, I can recommend you do, as well!

Contacts & Social Media Sites:

Main Site: Sacred Mists

Kit: Gemstone Offering Kit

Their Facebook

Their Twitter

Their Pinterest

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Wright

is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded
PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and
learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her
and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Book Review – The Little Book of Saturn by Aliza Einhorn

January, 2019

Book
Review

The Little Book of Saturn

Astrological Gifts, Challenges, and Returns

by Aliza Einhorn

Even
those who don’t know a lot about astrology cringe when Saturn is
mentioned. Often thought of as bringing bad luck, challenges, loss
and constriction, it has been called the Greater Malefic. What Aliza
Einhorn does for us in her wonderful book is to show us Saturn as an
ally and a teacher, the cosmic alarm clock that tells you to “wake
up! Get up…don’t be late.” Don’t miss this opportunity to
find out what you need to do to become true to yourself! Saturn will
point out where we have strayed from the cosmic blueprint in our
natal charts and point us back toward our prenatal vows of who we are
striving to become in this lifetime.

This
book is a handy manual for those unfamiliar with astrology. In the
first two chapters, Einhorn discusses astrology in general, the inner
and outer planets and even introduces the ideas of generational
planets and timing in the chart. She gives an overview of the houses
and explains how the planets “dress” depending on their sign and
house placement. So a Taurus Sun in the 12th house is
quite different than a Taurus Sun in the 5th. As she
says, “you are more than your sun sign.”

Einhorn
then takes an in-depth look at Saturn, useful for astrology
neophytes as well as those who are more experienced. She kicks off
with the comment, “Saturn is your fear.” I had not thought of
Saturn that way – but had blamed all my fear on my spooky 12th
house Pluto! Where we freeze, where we are blocked, where we are
afraid is described by our Saturn sign. As Einhorn says, if we get
to know our fear inside and out, Saturn will push us to get through
it, to get over it, but creating situations where we can confront it
and put it behind us. Thank you, Saturn! Rather than being our
worst enemy, Saturn can be our greatest friend if we accept that it
will prompt us to keep evolving. And as she says, we can then
dismantle that wall of fear brick by brick. Einhorn goes through
several other Saturn facets: responsibility, showing up, work and
career, mastery, obligation and duty, patience, our teachers,
leadership, fathers, growing up. Her examples are well explained and
excellent for the astrological lay person who is looking for deeper
insight into how to understand a natal chart.

The
next sections showcase Saturn in each house and sign with gifts,
challenges, ambitions and advice for each. I got good insight into
my Libran Saturn from Einhorn’s discussion and found much truth in
an interpretation I had not considered before.

The
book finishes with a section on the Saturn Return. Einhorn covers
the first, second and third returns at ages 28, 56 and 84 (give or
take) with real poignance. She shows us how we die to the self we
have been, at the losses we have sustained, at choices we must make
to move forward. There may be grief and morning thrown in. The
Saturn Return is inescapable whether we are aware that the transit is
happening – we will feel the pressure as we shift into adulthood,
midlife and our elder years. We look forward and backward and assess
where we are now and we move into the next phase of our lives –
whether we want to or not! Einhorn describes this point as a rite of
passage and a crossroads, and suggests working with an actual
crossroads at these initiatory times. Her recommendation is to slow
down, pause in the center, and then take a stand, make a decision,
make a choice about which way to go.

This
Little Book of Saturn is of big import and well worth having in your
astrological library!

The Little Book of Saturn: Astrological Gifts, Challenges, and Returns on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Susan
Rossi

is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time
explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body,
spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies
streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an
astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of
us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding
clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration
of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic
healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of
her practice.

Susan
trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax.
She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern
under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open
Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Review of the Shop HokumWares

December, 2018

Review of HokumWares

 

 

This past Samhain I went on a day outing with my Family Coven to an annual Witches Market in Philly called “Witches Night Out.” We had an excellent time, however we did not get much. We found a lot of the prices to be exorbitant. Also, most of the items were not necessary for us. Jewelry made from bones (human & animal), regular jewelry out of our price range, patches, clothing, candles & some kits of sorts with funny names. However, there was one booth that really caught our attention and kept it.

It was a nice sized table, whose smell lifted you by the nose and floated you over. It was filled with colorful soaps, unusual lotions mixtures, bath bombs that look like potions, beautiful handcrafted crocheted altar cloths and more. We found ourselves in front of the lovely face of Anna Maria, the owner of the amazing shop HokumWares.

Anna Maria’s infectious smile and wonderful products immediately brightens your day as you are being tossed around like a sack in the jumble of crowd. Anna Maria is funny and cheery and just great to talk to. She takes the time to explain to you what is in her products, why she makes her own products, why she chooses her ingredients and doesn’t rush you along, even though there is a throng of people surrounding us.

Right away we were drawn to the lotions. There were three scents, each unique. I chose to purchase the scent Pikake Flower & Gardenia. I love the smell of Gardenia, but this smells more than just gardenia, well obviously it smells like Pikake, too. I had no idea what a Pikake Flower was until I looked it up. It is the flower used in Hawaii to make leis! It has a wonderful fragrance. Both pikake and gardenia compliment each other well.

I purchased an 8oz pump plastic bottle for only $10. I found that to be a very fair price for handcrafted lotion. The bottle is completely filled. Professional labeling. Ingredients written on label.

Now what I love about this lotion (besides the scent)…

Let me start with the bottle it comes in. The pump twists open and shut. LOVE this idea! I have not seen this before. This means I can carry it in my bag with me at all times and not have to buy something to put it in and spend more money. You just simply turn the top left and right and it locks. I amaze easily!!!

The lotion is not thin or runny. It is not watery, or oily. If you turn over the bottle you do not see it running or moving down the sides. It is a thick lotion without being a unblendable paste.  It blends right into your skin easily without leaving that excess lotion you have no clue what to do with because it is too thick or watery.

After you put it on your hands they feel totally moisturized, not greasy. You can pick up objects without dropping them. Without leaving a mess on them. Yet your hands feel like they are moister.

I am diabetic so I have VERY dry hands. My hands can be known to drink In lotion and then feel like I have not put any on. Sometimes I can put on lotion and 2 minutes later it’s like I didn’t put any on. With HokumWares lotion I use a normal amount, a squirt, rub it into my hands and they stay lotioned for over an hour. I stopped timing it after an hour. It got rid of my chapped skin on my hands for that long, too.

I’m touchy when it comes to lotions. I don’t like to feel greasy. This lotion was very comfortable to me. Next, I want to try it on my face. Usually lotions make me break out on my face. I don’t think this one will. I think it will get rid of the flaking I have been getting in my T Zone.  Update:  I have used it on my face and no pimples or break out!!!

I almost forgot to mention, I also have psoriasis and eczema. The lotion does not make them flare at all. I get psoriasis flares on my elbows that burn because they chafe now that it is colder outside. The lotion soothed those without causing the burn some lotions cause due to over scent or whatever is in them.

For purchasing the lotion I was given a free sample of HokumWares Cold Process Soap. The samples name was Herkimer Diamond Soap. You want to smell something refreshing and clean??? Get a wiff of this bar!! Lathers nicely. Cleans well. Leaves you smelling wonderful.  I love the impression of the logo in the bar. 

As a free gift for going to the Witches Market, the first 50 to arrive received a Goody Bag with products from some of the vendors. HokumWares was one of the vendors who contributed to the Goody Bag by giving those a free Lip Balm. We are lip balm nuts, and found that we wished that it kept our lips moist a bit longer. If you are the type of person who doesn’t lick your lips or rub them together too much, you should be fine.

We had a chance to speak with Anna Maria about herself and her products.

Jennifer Wright (JW): Hello Anna Maria! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions and letting us & our readers get to know you!

Is it true you try not to rely on store bought items?

Anna Maria (AM): I will use some store-bought items within reason, but I lean heavily towards products that are cruelty-free.  If I cannot find something that I enjoy, or something that I’ve enjoyed heavily, I try to replicate the positive points of the products while still making it my own recipe.

JW: You even make your own cat food?

AM: I do! Although they do also eat a high quality canned food, they enjoy all kinds of meat I can source.  They love chicken wings!

JW: Is this is why you started making your own line of soaps and lotions and so on?

AM: I have always been fascinated by soap makers for years.  My past lab director at an old job would pay me in soap for small side jobs I would do for her and they were lovely.  Soap is the perfect marriage of two things I am fond of: science and alchemy intermingled with art and design with a sprinkling of my own unorthodox offerings.

JW: How long has HokumWares been open?

AM: HokumWares has only been open to the public for about 1.5 years, although I have been making soap for about 5 years.  I wanted all my recipes to be exactly what I wanted out of them before releasing to the public.  Many, many loaves of soap have been made before they were ever for sale to hone technique and understand oil qualities and product safety.

JW: What all do you create?

AM: I have branched out from soap to offer other bath and beauty products including bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balm, sugar scrubs, whipped body butter, and more recently hand and body lotion and hair oils.

JW: You use all natural products?

AM: I try to keep my ingredients as “clean” as possible.  Since the term is not regulated, everyone’s interpretation of natural is unique.  So for me, that means using essential oils and natural colorants or none at all for products.  By that definition, some of my products are natural and some are not.  I do use Phthalate and Paraben free fragrance oils in the bulk of my products and some may consider those natural.  It’s all up for interpretation.

JW: How do you come up with your ideas?

AM: Some ideas are cultivated, meaning I need to put a little thought into product specifics.  For example, my hand and body lotion was a necessity for me to create, but I chose my 3 initial scents off of what my offerings “should” be: a healthy mix of floral, fruit, and spice.  Other ideas come to me organically and I basically have free range to do whatever I want while incorporating the things I love and feelings I want to impart onto a product.  A huge example of that would be my Felinas bars of soap: a marriage of soap and hand-cast cat bones I’ve collected.  A conscious joining of scientific alchemy and a somber yet beautiful memorial to a life that I will not let be remembered in tragedy. 

JW: I bought your Pikake Flower and Gardenia Lotion. I fell in love with the unique smell and blend. I love Gardenia. You make two other kinds of lotions that are just as unique, what are those scents?

AM: They are Black Pepper & Oud and Grapefruit & Bamboo.  The black pepper fragrance is a spicy smoked scent that pleases my dark while the grapefruit is a very cleansing, uplifting scent.  I wanted a small yet wide-spanning range of scent for my first run that would appeal to myself as well as potential customers.  I will be carefully expanding this range as time goes on, but I feel that these are a great start to a pleasing product.

JW: I agree. I have smelled your other lotions at the market, and was totally surprised, especially by the black pepper fragrance. It was beautiful. It was hard to decide which to buy. I think I have more shopping to do!

Do you do a lot of testing? Do you ever find things that are just a no go?

AM: Everything that I make is meticulously tested and retested; HokumWares has been in the making for quite some time and only when I found I had a great product to share did I start offering it to the world.  I do it for safety reasons as well as just being a somewhat perfectionist at heart.  I do have products that I’m currently working on that are still in developmental stages; an example would be my tattoo balm.  It’s been in the making for about 8 months and although I have tested the prototype on myself and 1 other person’s fresh tattoos and have had wonderful results, the consistency is not where I want it to be.  Back to the formulation rework on that, as well as lining up tattoo appointments to test a new prototype!

JW: What is your favorite product that you sell? Is it your hair serum? Is that the secret to why your hair is so gorgeous???

AM: Thank you for the compliment! They all have their places in my heart, but I would have to say the hair oil has had me smitten for the past year.  A close second would be any of my cold-process soap; I am a sucker for the tried and true.

JW: Do you magickally charge the items you make?

AM: I try to plan productions of certain things on specific dates as well as going into it with a clear, open, happy heart.  I hope my customers can feel that love come through.

JW: I feel it!

Where can our readers find you?

AM:

Website: www.hokumwares.com

Instagram: @_hokumwares

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecleansingoracle

Business inquiries: [email protected]

Thank you, Anna Maria, for the wonderful conversation! It’s been such a pleasure talking with you. I highly recommend our readers check our all of your wares.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

 

Wood Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Kelly Matthews from Zen and Meow

October, 2018

Wood Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Kelly Matthews from Zen and Meow

Kelly Matthews from Zen and Meow was so kind to send me one of her lovely wood grids made of birch in a pentacle design. It was the twelve inch size and I really enjoy the larger size grids. Lots of room to fit crystals! In her etsy shop there are tons of options for designs and all come in four sizes, 3 in, 6 in, 9 in, and 12 in. ranging in price from $7 to $33. Its great that you can personalize both the design and the size to your liking. The wood is simply top notch quality and the engraving of the design looks stunning. 

I actually purchased a grid from Zen and Meow about a year ago. The custom wood engraved astrology chart. You send her your natal chart information and she engraves your chart onto wood. There is also an option to include a report of your natal chart which I also ordered. The price ranges from $22 to $52 depending on size and if you also want a report. I was thrilled with my purchase and very highly recommend it. I keep mine propped up on my altar, but you could grid with it or even hang it on the wall if you’d like. Such a neat idea to personalize your natal chart on a grid!

I highly recommend Zen and Meow wood grids. She also sells small tumbles for gridding available in her shop at a good price. If you are looking for top quality wooden grids check out Zen and Meow! 

Kelly was so kind to answer some questions I had. Here are her responses.

Q: How did you get started making and using grids?

Kelly: I opened a metaphysical shop in Gettysburg about 4 yrs ago which really piqued my interest. I look at crystal gridding as another form of magic. Using nature, ritual and intention to manifest what we want.

Q: What are the different styles and materials you make your grids?

Kelly: I have quite a few grids that focus on sacred geometry, I have a line of animal totem grids, chakra related grids, as well as hand drawn mandala grids. I make all of my grids out of Birchwood. 

Q: What is your personal favorite grid you offer and why?

Kelly: I really dont have 1 favorite, but my most popular grids tend to be the honey bee, dragonfly, flower of life, chakra grid and most of the sacred geometry grids. I find people are really drawn to sacred geometry, it tends to go hand in hand with gridding.

Q: What do you use gridding for?

Kelly: Mostly as a way to manifest something specific into my life, similar to how I would use an altar. I look at it as magic.

Q: What are some of your favorite crystals to grid with?

Kelly: Once again i really don’t have a favorite. It really depends on what I’m trying to draw into my life. I do use clear quartz on most of them with other stones.

Q: Why is gridding an effective tool to add to one’s daily practice?

Kelly: I believe its as effective as you make it. If you just toss some stones on a grid it’s not going to be as effective as you taking the time to setting an intention, pick out stones that really resonate with your intention, making offerings etc. I practice all sorts of magic so gridding is just one avenue and not always a daily practice for me. I recommend combining it with other forms of magic in order to be as effective as possible.

Q: How long have you worked with grids?

Kelly: For about 4 yrs.

Q: What’s one thing you want to share that I haven’t asked?

Kelly: I make custom wood engraved astrology charts which make great gifts for friends, newborns, and yourself. You can even have one created for a couples wedding date. I make wood cut sacred geometry jewelry out of alder and walnut woods. They are super lightweight and I use sterling silver for all the findings and hooks. I do take custom requests for grids so if there is ever a design you want but I don’t carry just ask.

Q: For my readers to follow/contact you, what are your social media links?

Kelly:

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.zenandmeow.com

Etsy: https://zenandmeow.etsy.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/zenandmeow/

Instagram: @shopzenandmeow

Twitter: @zenandmeow

Thank you to Kelly for sending me one of her stuning grids to try and also for taking the time to answer my questions!

Love and crystal blessings,  Xoxo Retha

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at [email protected] or on her business page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16