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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
.

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

Notes from the Apothecary

March, 2016

Notes from the Apothecary: Rowan

rowan1

 

Image: ‘Flying’ Rowan at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire, UK. Copyright Chris Gunns 2006 via Wikimedia, some rights reserved.

As well as what we traditionally think of as herbs, every apothecary should be stocked with some other items. I’ve already spoken about bulbs such as garlic, and spices like cinnamon. Now I’d like to move on to the largest of our green cousins; the trees.

I’ve chosen the Rowan, or mountain ash, as my first tree to explore as it is well known as a sacred and magical plant in many different cultures. I am most familiar with the Celtic tales of the Rowan tree, as it is a path of Celtic Witchcraft I follow. However, my favourite tale about the Rowan is actually from Greek mythology: that it grew from the blood of the eagle sent to retrieve the chalice of Hebe. This is why the leaves are the shape of feathers, and the berries (usually) blood red.

The Kitchen Garden

‘But you can’t eat Rowan!’, I hear some of you cry. Well, OK, I don’t recommend it for the novice, but you can actually make a rather nice jelly out of the berries. You mustn’t eat the berries raw, and even when cooked it’s only the juice or the decoction of the fruit we want. Like rosehips, rowan berries have tiny fibres inside that are extremely irritant to our inner tubes, so they are not for chewing on!

If you boil them up though, breaking them up slightly as they soften, then strain the liquid through muslin, the resulting ‘juice’ has a unique flavour that pairs very well with a pectin high fruit such as apples or pears.

The Apothecary

Our old friend Mrs Grieve tells us that both the bark and the berries have medicinal properties. She advises that a decoction of the bark may be given for diarrhoea and that it is also effective against vaginal infections. The ripe berries, she says, are useful for sore throats and inflamed tonsils. Again, I would warn against eating the berries due to the irritant nature of the seeds. I presume Mrs Grieve means for you to make an infusion of the berries, and strain it well.

Rowan berries are also astringent which may make them useful against haemorrhoids.

Rowan wood has been carried as a charm against rheumatism and the berries hung in a house to ward off flu. Although there’s no evidence to back up the medical claims here, the magical protectiveness of the tree is superb so perhaps this is where the healing comes from in these instances.

Day to Day use

Rowan wood is dense and tough and as such is used for staffs, staves and walking sticks. In Finland, it is used in farm tools and horse drawn sleds.

The berries are also used in dyeing. The berries themselves contain the tannins which help the dye ‘set’, and when combined with the bark produce a dye which stains black. I can’t imagine any item of clothing more potent than a cloak or robe dyed black with rowan.

The Witch’s Kitchen

One of the plus points of Rowan is that any witch can use all parts of the tree; the leaves, the wood, the bark, the roots, the flowers and the berries.

The wood makes an excellent wand, although of course don’t destroy any trees in order to find your perfect piece. Rowan trees are quite small generally and won’t be happy about having huge chunks torn off them. I tend to look for lucky windfalls after a gale. Rowan wood is an excellent protective wood, and wards off energies that seek to harm you. A rowan wand would make an excellent tool for cleansing and consecrating, especially a sacred space. The wood can also be carved, so you can personalise your creation without difficulty if you have the talent.

The leaves have several uses. The type of leaf is ‘pinnate’, meaning ‘like a feather’. They remind us of the feathers of the eagle in Greek mythology, and so represent air and the realm of birds. They also symbolise courage, fighting for what is yours and retrieving lost items. They also symbolise earth (being part of a tree) and balance; just look at the symmetrical imagery in each leaf stem.

The flowers also represent balance as they are hermaphroditic, meaning each flower is both male and female. It is self-contained and independent. The flowers are white, the colour of creatures beyond the veil, contrasting with the fruit which is generally bright red, the visceral colour of our flesh and blood existence.

The bark is an ancient medicine and as such can symbolise knowledge, wisdom and healing. Grind it into an incense or place pieces on an altar to magnify the power of healing magic.

The root is not widely used, but as a sacred tree that fell from the heavens to earth, the root symbolises the link between earth and sky, and we can go further and understand that as the root draws water from the earth into the tree, it is a link between earth, water and sky. It is reminiscent of the great world tree, Yggdrasil, in that it links all the realms, although Yggdrasil is a true ash, rather than a mountain ash.

To complete the elemental quartet, the berries are our fire source. They are strongly associated with the sun, and so fire and the south. They remind us of passion, especially the passion to fight for what we believe in. They are attraction, desire, hunger and hunger fulfilled. They are the fruition of hopes and dreams. They are the driving force of ambition.

Overall, all parts of the rowan tree will protect you and reflect negativity and unwanted magical advances.

Throughout Celtic mythology the rowan tree is used again and again as a portent of magic or misdeed. The chariot of Mug Ruith, the blind druid of Munster, had axles made of rowan wood. Beguiling lips were described as ‘red as rowan berries’ in Togail Bruidne Dá Derga. In The Siege of Knocklong, the druid Cith Rua tells Cormac a druidic fire must be made with rowan sticks. These are a tiny selection of the many references throughout what remains of the Celtic tales. If you need any convincing of the magic of the rowan tree, these stories are definitely the place to look.

Home and Hearth

rowan2

 

Image: Rowanberries and leaves in Helsinki Finland. Copyright Jonik, 2004 via Wikimedia.

At or around the autumn equinox, use a handful of rowan berries instead of a candle as your focus of meditation. If you pick them yourself, thank the tree and always leave a few berries for the birds to find. As well as feeding the birds, this helps spread the seeds so there will always be more Rowan trees.

Relax, and breathe normally. Focus on the berries and let their image fill your mind. Other thoughts will come and go. This is normal, don’t try not to think other thoughts as this is counterproductive. Just let the thoughts slide through your mind and either dismiss them or agree to return to them later.

If you find your eyes sliding shut, try visualise the berries in your mind. Remember their vivid colour, their perfect form and their smooth skin. Try to recall any flaws or pocks, and notice how this only makes them more gorgeous and vibrant.

As you dwell on the image of the berries, you may find other images popping into your head. Follow these images wherever they may take you.

When you leave the meditative state, breathe normally for a while, drink some water, and make a record of the images and thoughts that came to you. These will normally be of significance moving into the darker part of the year, and if you can’t interpret them right now, you will usually find clarity will come by Samhain. In times of stress, close your eyes and remember the perfect, round globes of the berries and how you felt when you were focused on them. Allow this peace and stillness to fill you, and push out the anxiety and worry.

I Never Knew…

Rowan berries apparently make an excellent wine! I look forward to testing this theory later in the year… Watch this space!