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Book Review – Besom, Stang & Sword: A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path & the Hidden Landscape by Christopher Orapello and Tara Love Maguire

February, 2019

Book
Review

Besom,
Stang & Sword

A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path & the Hidden Landscape

by Christopher Orapello and Tara Love Maguire

*A
Special Opportunity:

Christopher
and Tara will be teaching at Delmarva Pagan Pride Day on April 28th.

Location:
The Green in front of Legislative hall in Dover Delaware

Info: FB page- https://www.facebook.com/groups/DelmarvaPaganPrideFestival/

There
is a stirring within the community of those who identify as witches
as what was old has been lovingly and carefully made new again by
those who stand at the gates of modern witchcraft. Besom, Stang and
Sword is a guide of practice that evolved from the reweaving of
Traditional Witchcraft and adding just enough of the evolved form of
that practice to create something unique, new and highly relevant to
our times.

The
authors have done due diligence in both the scholarly rationale and
the grassroots approach to the practice of witchcraft and its newer
derivative form of Wicca. What emerged was the creation of their own
path called the Blacktree Tradition…..
a modern, nonreligious form of traditional witchcraft that is rooted
in each witch’s specific region. Instead of deities, it deals with
the spirits of the land and the ancestors-no gods, many spirits…

Chapter
1
jumps
right into the discussion of what Traditional Witchcraft is at its
roots. As the authors state there are many types of practice that
have presented themselves forged from the essential of a practice
that is steeped in cultural practices such as Shamanism, Seidr and
Hoodoo and magickal traditions, such as Victor and Cora Anderson Feri
and Cultus Sabbati. All of the usual topics related to a pagan path
and in particular, that of witchcraft are given attention and
perspective that pulls together some of the more disjointed pieces of
a puzzle that is complex, rich and deep. The Devil and the negative
connotation that has come to be associated with those practitioners
of the craft is addressed and the reality of this beings energy as
being neither good nor evil, but a necessary component in the natural
order of a practice rooted in the land. Blacktree calls to the Devil
as the Witch Lord, the Lord of the Paths and is considered the
embodiment of nature itself. This is a perspective that takes us
beyond the semantics and associations accumulated around these that
prevent us from seeing beyond and more broadly as to the deeper
meanings.

You
will find within each chapter the basics of teachings that form a
solid foundation for stepping onto the path of the witch. Spell work,
Diviniation, the Sabbats, Lunations, Hedgewitchery and more complete
this instruction. Each chapter rich with theory and magickal
technique. For those who are familiar with a Wiccan or other path
that is similar to the principals of witchcraft, you will see the
variances in application and tools that are of prominence in
traditional witchcraft that have often take a side place of
importance more recently.

The
title of the book, Besom, Stang and Sword give reference to these
three tools being those closely related to the natural world. This is
further evidenced in the premise of Traditional Witchcraft and its
roots being tied to the earth and at a time when many of the
manufactured ritual items that adorn our altars and work were not
available. Use of the Besom and Stang takes us back to those cultural
roots of witchcraft and making use of and empowering all that we were
given from the land itself. We are also introduced to some
lesser-known tools, their purpose and how they may be used or
created.

The
author’s statement in the introduction nicely sums up the treasures
and value of this book..

..Our
perspective anchors itself with one foot firmly planted in the
lessons of the past and the other stepping into the boldest future,
while staying focused on the natural evolution of the craft…

I
would highly recommend this book as a required read for those new to
the craft and more importantly those who consider themselves seasoned
and working witches. My gratitude to Christopher and Tara for being
able to in such an articulate and grounded way call forth the best of
what was and the vision of a practice that evolves and grows in an
organic and natural way that we have long forgotten the simplicity,
complexity and beauty of.

For More Information about Blacktree Coven:https://www.infinite-beyond.com/blacktree-coven/

Besom, Stang & Sword: A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path & the Hidden Landscape on Amazon

***

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.

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

Cloth Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Nicole Kirchner from Invocations to Gaia

October, 2018

Cloth Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Nicole Kirchner from Invocations to Gaia

Nicole Kirchner from Invocations to Gaia was so kind as to send me one of her handmade cloth grids to try out. I was sent one with the Vegvisir – the Viking Runic Compass which I just adore. (I love all things Viking.) It’s on cotton with black ink and the edges are burnt which gives it an old world aged look which I personally love. Its a nice size, 10 in. X 10 in., perfect for putting on my altar or on a side table.

If you check out the Invocations to Gaia’s etsy shop there is a huge selection of grid patterns you can choose from and Nicole will also take custom orders if u don’t find what you’re looking for. Cloth grids are very low cost, so if you are on a budget this is the way to go. The prices for these cloth grids are between $7 and $9! Its also easy to travel with as you can place it in a book to keep flat until you reach your destination. And It’s very lightweight. I have really been enjoying my cloth grid and I recommend these grids highly! It’s simply beautiful and great quality.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Nicole Kirchner from Invocations to Gaia. Besides Nicole’s etsy shop, she is a Sociology Graduate Student who’s primary research focuses on marginalization and stigmatization of the Pagan Community. Both her work with her etsy shop and her graduate research allow her to support the Pagan Community in many ways.  

Here is what Nicole had to say about all things grid related.

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

Nicole: I have been placing crystals in gridding patterns for a few decades and was gifted my first cloth for gridding about 5 yrs ago. This was in a triple moon pattern. I began making my own cloth grids about 2 yrs ago, when I wanted to use patterns for my gridding and needed an affordable option. A few of my fellow sisters asked for me to make them gridding cloths and thus my gridding cloths were born.

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

Nicole: I currently carry the following designs, but I can do other designs as a custom request:

-Celtic Tree of Life

-Moon phases

-Zodiac grid

-Vegvisir-Viking Runic Compass

-Pagan Wheel of the Year

-Pagan Triple Moon

-Reiki Crystal Healing

-Native American Medicine Wheel

-7 Chakras with Lotus Flower

-Celtic Knot

-Sacred Geometry Germ of Life

-Sacred Geometry Seed of Life

-Sacred Geometry Flower of Life

-Kabbalistic-Hebrew Tree of Life

They are all made with 100% cotton fabric for the earth element, usually white, although I can do special orders for different fabric colors. Before I do anything with the cloth, they are misted with a saging spray that I hand make to cleanse the energy of the cloth and add the water element. I create the designs digitally and they are placed on the cloth with fabric transfers. Some of them have hand added color that i do with fabric markers. Once the design is in place I burn the edges of the cloth by hand to add an aged look. This also adds the fire element as the cloth is burned and I blow out the fire. Finally, I charge the piece with Reiki energy as I am a Okuden Level 2 healer, and the whole piece is sealed.

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

Nicole: I actually have 3 favorites. They are the flower of life, the moon phases and the medicine wheel. The sacred healing energies in the flower of life and medicine wheel are very powerful tools to add to a personal crystal grid and can greatly intensify the intentions. The moon phase grid can enable you to specifically tap into the energy of the various phases of the moon to further focus the intention of your grid.

Q: What do you use gridding for?

Nicole: Practically everything…LOL! But seriously, practically everything. If there is any intention, concern, sabbats or whatever that I want to focus more intensely on or bring more energy to, then I set a grid. There are certain grids that are always set up around my house and altar, such as, a healing grid on a chakra cloth in my manifestation room where i do Reiki sessions or a prosperity grid on a flower of life cloth in my home office.  

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

Nicole: I always have clear quartz points in my grids. But besides quartz there aren’t any favorites because they ALL are my favorites. Each stone can serve a high purpose and bring the energy you need, it just depends on the intention or purpose of that specific grid. Although, I have to say that labradorite, citrine and smoky quartz make their way into many of my grids. 

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

Nicole: First, the process of gridding can be very meditative and cathartic. It is a beautiful way to calm your mind and truly focus your intentions. Second, the added energy of the crystals and the geometric patterns of the grid layout naturally increase the focus of your intentions. If you add a gridding cloth, then you can further intensify this energy.

Q: How long have you worked with grids?

Nicole: As I said earlier, I have been placing crystals in gridding patterns for a few decades, but did not use cloths to guide my gridding or to increase the energy at all. It wasn’t till about 5 yrs ago that I was gifted my first cloth for gridding. The first cloth of purple cotton with a triple moon design, showed me the beauty and energy that a patterned cloth could add.

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

Nicole:

Etsy:   www.etsy.com/shop/InvocationstoGaia

Instagram:  www.Instagram.com/invocations_to_Gaia

FB: www.facebook.com/invocationstogaia

Thank you to Nicole for sending me one of her beautiful gridding cloths as well as for taking the time to answer all 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

 

Worth the Witch

September, 2018

Alchemy & Ashes

 

 

Parlour of Magical Curiosities

Inspired By History, Myth, and Magic

 

 


Alchemy & Ashes provide a variety of excellently handcrafted, by them, elixirs, incense, perfumes, soaps, conjure powders, and more. They supply an assortment of kits and boxes ranging from their $30 Sanctus Box, which includes a Protection Oil & Florida Water for Ritual, Purification & Aura spray for purification energy clearing, to; a PART the VEIL Conjure Kit- Witch Box that helps with intuition, divination & so much more starting at only $20. I’m only naming two, to see more of their kits & boxes, you can visit them at Alchemy & Ashes. You will not be disappointed. Their boxes are not recurring monthly subscriptions. They are one time purchases, as you go kits & boxes. So there is no need to worry about having to cancel your monthly subscriptions.

As I close the envelope addressed to me a waft of the sweetest herbal smells fills my nostrils bringing the promise of witchiness to come and my excitement surges. I received a mysterious box from Alchemy & Ashes all in black and smelling like a Witch’s Heavenly Cupboard. It immediately piqued my curiosity.

 

 

I had to tear right in I could not hold back. When I opened the box everything was beautifully wrapped like Gothic Presents. I was in a Gothic Dream come true!!!! Now let’s see what’s inside these little packages…. Rip, rip, rip…..

 

 

Pamphlet

 

Very nicely made. One page, folded. The art of their Logo and everything goes very well with a gothicy/witch theme. The Pamphlet lists all Alchemy & Ashes contact information and it mentions that they have a free app. I checked out the app and it is very helpful.

The pamphlet teaches you a few ways to use Conjure Powders. Reading this is how I learned the theme of the box. Everything is wrapped up so elegantly you could not tell what was in the box. Just smell beauty. The pamphlet goes on to tell you about 6 herbal blends of Conjure Powders, their titles, and info on them. At this point I was not sure what it all meant, but it looked promising. So I decided to get into more!

 

Conjure Powders

 

What I mistakenly thought would be a very large candle due to it’s sheer size and shape (most witch boxes give you candles what can I say!) when I opened the box turned out to be quite a surprise…6 tins of Conjure Powders. As you can see in the picture the tins are full. I kept spilling them in fact when I opened each of them. Then I would have to do a blessing, invite a spirit, or banish something. LOL. It was quite funny to watch. My familiar went nuts. I was expecting a smaller sample size of the conjure powders for a box. I was extremely pleased. The 6 Conjure Powders are as follows:

  • Elicio (Conjure) – a mixture to conjure spirits & energies beneficial to your workings.
  • Exilium (Banish) – a concoction to banish spirits & energies that are detrimental to your workings.
  • Praescientia (Intuition) – a blend to aid with intuitive abilities & divinatory gifts.
  • Amor (Love) – a mix to attract love.
  • Praesidium (Protection) – a combination to create a boundary of protection from unwanted spirits or energies.
  • Fortuna (Prosperity) – A mixture to attract spirits & energies of prosperity and abundance to you.

Almost all of the Conjure Powders from Alchemy & Ashes in the box are made from a blend of at least 7 herbs. Most of them were made from 13! The smells are vibrant. The pamphlet lists the ingredients in each powder as well as what it is used for & a definition for it’s meaning. Plus, as I mentioned before, they teach you a variety of ways to use Conjure Powders. None are difficult.

So excited by these 6 great sized tins that I almost forgot the box contains more! On we go….

 

A Modern Witch’s Flying Ointment

 

Unguentum Sabatti is the hand that parts the Veil.” That is how Alchemy & Ashes begin to explain what Witch’s flying ointment is. Flying ointment is a mixture of herbs & essential oils mixed in coconut oil and beeswax that help relax, soothe, and help bring you to another level of consciousness & help aid in meditations , divination, lucid dreaming, rituals, astral traveling, etc… When applied to certain areas of the EXTERNAL BODY before beginning.

You get a full 1oz supply in a nice tin. Solid, not too greasy and slimy like others I have tested in the past where you put your finger in the ointment and it just goes right to the bottom. This is substantial and will last a long time. The smell is amazing and you can actually pick out some of the herbs from simply taking a sniff. The back of the tin does, however, list the ingredients.

 

Sanctus Aqueum


This is Alchemy & Ashes own version of Florida Water. Florida Water is used for blessings, consecrating, cleansing, & purification when you can not smudge.

They create each batch on the New Moon & let it charge until the Full Moon. It is, also, infused with a Quartz Crystal to amplify it’s energy. It comes in a glass spray bottle.

When you spritz the air, you automatically smell more than just water in the air. I have used these sprays before, sometimes called ‘smudge sprays’ or ‘aura sprays’. I like them. They are quick ways to cleanse the area and yourself & they do work and calm you. You can feel them lessen tension in the air quickly. This one, however, has the most brilliant smell so far! The bottle may seem small but you don’t need to use much. Alchemy & Ashes recipe is strong. I am finding all I need is 1 maaaaybe 2 pumps. So shake, pump once, Deeeep breath, hold 1, 2, 3, Release, Ahhhhhh! I’m in a garden….a field….I’m goneeeeee….

 

Sanctus Oleum


In this 10 ml glass roller bottle is a witch’s protection oil. It can be used to consecrate items, make protective sigils on doorways & windows, as well as used to anoint yourself during ritual work.

Alchemy & Ashes creates each batch on the New Moon and leaves it to charge until the full moon. It is, also, infused with a piece of black tourmaline for it’s protective energy.

I have never heard of something like this before. It is definitely welcomed new knowledge and a welcomed new tool for my personal witch box. The smell to this oil is heavier than the smudge spray. Thicker somehow, if smells can be thicker. If feels thicker, too. I guess you would want protection to be heavier, your own fortress or armor.

 

Soaps (Free Samples)

Yes, I know you want to eat the picture, bu you can’t, they ARE delicious don’t get me wrong, but they are soaps! The deep brown, marbled soap on the bottom is named ‘Aquitaine’. A mix of lavender, patchouli, & bergamot it reminds me of a cleaner purer version of Bath & Body Works all “natural” line. I may have to change where I purchase my soap from now! The lighter brown, marbled soap on top is named ‘Sweet Alchemy’. It is a blend of almond, cocoa, honey, & oats and I think I may taste this one, it really does smell that good! The third, solid brown bar is named ‘Nimue’ and smells like clean sheets outside drying on a clothesline on a spring day to me. It’s made of lavender, lemon, & Clary sage.

They feel wonderful on the skin. So clean and fresh. They leave you skin soft and smelling as beautiful as the bars.

 

My Overall Opinion…


I have to admit the Witch in me loves the all black theme. Now they did send me a box of many different types of samples to review. I do not think they sell this exact box. But have boxes that sell these items. I can honestly say, though, that Alchemy & Ashes do not hold back and give small sample sizes in their boxes, because they gave me what they put in their boxes. They give you your monies worth. You can smell the quality. Feel it. The Conjure Powders tins are full to bursting, pungent, smell fresh. They explain all in their pamphlet, I love that. They don’t leave you in the dark wondering what to do. The Florida water WORKS. I have yet to try the flying ointment, but the quality is there, and I am waiting to use the Sanctus Oleum for Samhain on my front door. Their sample soaps quality is so amazing you will need more. I can, without a doubt, say this box is WORTH THE WITCH!!!

 

We were blessed to be able to have a little chat with the wonderful Owner & Madame of Alchemy & Ashes Shawnee Kircher!

 

Jennifer Wright: What brought the idea of the mystery box to you?

Shawnee Kircher: We loved the idea of other subscription boxes, and we also liked the idea of getting our products out there to people who may have never used them, or can’t decide which products to start with, so it was a win-win for them and us!

 

JW: How did you begin them?

SK: We realized there was a market for handcrafted ritual products, and felt that our products are a bit different from what we had been seeing. We were tired of seeing the commercially, mass marketed items in a lot of the boxes that lack the spiritual energy that a handcrafted product carries with it. That’s hard to recreate in a factory.

 

JW: How do you choose what you put inside them?

SK: We try to consider the season or sabbat coming up as to what people may be needing at the moment, but also like to have some staple products in there that anyone can use regardless of path or preference.

 

JW: Is yours a recurring monthly box?

SK: We’re aiming for seasonal at the moment. If interest grows, perhaps we will shift to monthly.

 

JW: Are you pagan?

SK: Yes. I use the term Pagan in the sense of a) outside the confines of the Abrahamic religions and b) nature based spiritual path follower. I also use the term Witch, as I am a practitioner of the Craft. I think those two terms can be used separately from each other, as not all Witches are Pagan, and not all Pagans are Witches, but in my practice they go hand in hand. I don’t ascribe to any religious doctrine, though I did find my way to Paganism through Wicca, as it was the most accessible at the time for me, about 20 years ago, and while I’m not an initiate of Wicca nor do I follow any of it’s “rules” (like The Rede), I do think it influenced some of my practice.

 

JW: What types of interests do you have?

SK: I love the dichotomy of beautiful and creepy when they present themselves as one – like in the “modern” vampire stories: Louis in Interview with a Vampire, or the suave and debonair Bela Lugosi – this beautiful creature that is deadly, so that you’re attracted and repulsed at the same time. That touch of “otherness” is very interesting to me in art and life.

 

JW: Did you feel the pagan world was missing something to make you create your Box?

SK: I think Pagans are pretty crafty folks, so I didn’t reinvent the wheel, but I did put my spin and perspective on my ritual products that are included in the boxes. Sanctus Aqueum (“Holy Water”) was based off of a 19th century recipe for Florida Water. I tweaked the traditional ingredients and added my own touch, and its been a great selling product. Sanctus Oleum (“Holy Oil”) is similar in use to Holy Chrism used in the Church, but with herbs associated with protection in various folk magic traditions. Unguentum Sabatti (“Sabbat Ointment”) was formulated with herbs associated with astral projection, necromancy, and visions to enhance your own intuitive abilities in a more gentle manner than many of the traditional flying ointments.

 

JW: Do you have a site and sell other types of products?

SK: You can find many of our handmade items to purchase on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/alchemyashes). Besides our ritual items mentioned above, we also make handcrafted cold process soaps, perfumes (both oil based and alcohol based), lip balms, herbal powdered incense, and amulets.

We don’t currently do direct sales through our website (alchemyandashes.com)

However, you can always email us your order at [email protected] and we can invoice you and you can pay online.

We’d like to thank Shawnee Kircher for taking the time from her busy schedule to speak with us at PaganPagesOrg and everyone at Alchemy & Ashes for everything! We hope our readers get to meet everyone at Alchemy & Ashes soon!

***

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.