Altar and Magickal Tools

I have always been of the firm belief that to create one’s own tools of the craft is to imbibe them with one’s own personal “magick”.It all begins with the seeking process and ends with an item that will be treasured always.I myself have found that holding the intent that one wishes to do this is always the best place to start…and often what you are seeking will FIND you first!By sending out our request to the universe we are setting in motion the magick that will make this happen.Thus…I did just this to find my own tools throughout the 30 years[on and off]that I have been practicing my craft and have acquired quite a collection now.Those that are pictured are only some of the many…and are perhaps the ones I use the most.The very first tool I ever created was a Willow Wand, which unfortunately I no longer have..for reasons I can’t quite remember,but since then I have made several others.

The Wand pictured is crafted from Apple wood and has an Amethyst crystal point in the tip.Living in the suburbs[at that time],I had no access to an apple tree, so I decided to call up an apple orchard farmer and told him I was in need of an apple branch, for a “craft” project[I wasn’t lying!]He was very obliging and so I traveled the one and a half hour drive to seek my wand out.I found it in a pile of off-cuts he had and I knew there and then it was the “one”.Of course,I had previously put out the call that I was searching for one…and just “Knew”, when I had found it !I had intended initially to use this wand for Faery Witchcraft,but over time it became my favorite and therefore,multi-purpose.The crafting process entailed firstly sanding all the bark from it and then varnishing it.During this whole project,I held it’s purpose firmly in my mind, thereby giving it a reason for it’s beingness.Next,I glued green felt around the handle part and then dug a hole in the tip,in order to insert and glue in place, the Amethyst point.I mixed a little of my own blood with some red paint and daubed it around the tip first.Lastly, I decorated it to my desire-I wrote my craft name in Ogham[using a permanent marker] and a sigil that I had devised and then it was all  ready for cleansing and consecrating!

My Athame was constructed from a bought Kitchen knife that was initially single bladed and I had to file the other other side down , in order to make it double-bladed.I wrapped the handle with black leather  and inserted a Quartz point[which I entwined the leather around]I had to use a little bit of glue in this process, but tried to keep it as minimal as possible[as I didn’t want anything coming between the crystal and the wooden handle]and  decorated it to my desire.My Goddess and God statues were made from craft clay.I could never find a statue that I really liked, that I could afford!The best ones are always costly…and so I decided to make my own.It took some moulding and shaping, but eventually I achieved the look that I desired.My Goddess represents Danu[in her guise as Moon mother] and Cernunnos[in the guise of green- man] and the hours I spent forming them were instilled with much energy…of which I am sure they would have been proud!I painted them with regular acrylic paint and decorated them as was fitting.I initially had my “Green-man” naked, but my husband suggested putting an oak leaf over his privates and I thought this was a fabulous idea…so I did!My Danu wears a plastic crescent moon head-piece [care of the craft store] and until I find a silver one…it will suffice.They are not the most beautiful Godform statues, but they are my time and energy[ and love] and hence…they serve me well!I have a store-bought pentacle [in the picture]which I use mostly, at present, but I possess several others that I have also crafted myself.I have a pentacle to suit all purposes and needs-one for Moon rites, one for solar rites, one for Green witchcraft and also one crafted from clay.The Faery star is a substitute “pentacle”, that I use for Faery witchcraft.For this, I used a 10 inch wooden disc, which I bought from the craft store.I found a suitable Faery Star on pinterest, which I then printed, cut out and glued on to the wooden disc.It was originally uncolored…so I painted it with acrylic paint and made it my own.Again, the time and energy put into this act made it uniquely mine and utterly con-joined to my energy….thereby making it more powerful[and I know the Faeries like it!].Lastly, my Book of Shadows….ofcourse I HAD to make this my own…and thus, it is crafted from a plain and simple ring binder, which I covered with black leather and glued in place.The Triple Goddess sigil is also from leather[white] and has a wooden pentacle in the circle[Full Moon]and amethyst crystals surrounding it[which are glued in to place.I then used some silver paint to add the border touches and finally, I made a BOS Protection pouch bookmark[my own idea][.I stitched a length of black satin ribbon on to a black velvet pouch that I had made and filled the pouch with protective herbs and crystals, and a lock of my hair.I also stitched a silver bell on the outside of the pouch[to add more protective qualities] and lastly,I anointed it with a drop of my blood.I then  charged the end product with my intent and  it was done!My offering bowl, and salt and water bowls are store bought,but I intend constructing my own of versions of  these one day also…perhaps from earthen clay or such like….it is in the cards.The  satisfaction from knowing that you have made it yourself [in my mind] far outweighs the bought items and I believe that …not only do your own creations retain a substantial amount of your own energy…but they also develop an energy of their very own, that increases with time and use.When I created each and every one of my tools, I infact gave them “life”, and just as a mother to her child…I gave them birth.

By Susan member of Coven Life’s Coven

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Some Inexpensive Ideas for Magickal Tools

Many of us are on tight budgets so cannot afford to go out a purchase fancy things for our altars. Most of my tools have come to me from garage sales, thrift stores, gifts, and my kitchen. Here are some ideas of things you can use in your magickal workings that will cost you little to nothing because you already have them in your kitchen or around the house. Just remember to cleanse and consecrate them for your magickal workings and do not return to using them as an everyday item.

First, let me start with directing you to Dollar stores if available where you live. They carry many cute useful items as well as seasonal one to decorate your home and/or altar with.

One set of my containers for Earth and Water came from a candle set I was given at some point. They are clear glass volite candle holders measuring about 1 1/2 inches tall and about the same in diameter. Another set I have are wooden leaf shape dishes, I think meant to be used to hold candy or nuts, that I picked up for $1.00 each at a thrift store. You can also use any small glass or bowl you have but do not use every day.

My ceremonial knife is a small kitchen knife my mom gave to me when I started to learn to help cook. This is another item you can usually find at a flea market, resale, dollar store or thrift shop.

The main wand I use came from a beautiful Red Maple that grows in my front yard. I also have a small clear quartz crystal that I found on a 50% off table in a new age store. Take a walk around your neighborhood, a park, or forest “listening” for a tree that calls to you then ask the trees permission to take a branch to use (a wand should measure from the crook of your elbow to the top of your middle finger and be straight). You can leave the bark on the branch or strip it off and decorate it however you want or just leave it plain. If you would rather have a stone or Crystal wand check new age stores or online for sales. Another place to look would be a gem show but these will have a much higher cost.

My Atheme is a gift from my husband. Its original purpose was as a letter opener. but as it looks like a small medieval sword I asked him if I could have it. My sword is a short one that was given to me by a neighbor. I love as the holder for it looks like a pile of stones with a red Dragon wrapped around it. You can find a double edge knife fairly cheap at a flea market to be used as your Atheme.

My candle holders come from many people as well as thrifts stores and dollar stores. My personal candlestick (actual name for a candle holder) was a gift from my husband many years ago for my birthday/Beltane (same day). It is black wrought iron that stands about 6-7 inches tall and has a spiral coming off of both sides to which I have attached some of my hair (got it from my brush) to personalize it more. I have many shape and sizes of candlesticks. These two can be picked up many places cheaply, especially with Yule items already showing up in most stores.

As for a broom I just inherited two from my mother before that I would make mine on the Spring equinox. The handle depended on what tree we pruned in the last year and I attached boughs from my Pine tree to it. I would then use the old one to light my Litha/Summer Solstice fire. You can also use Weeping Willow branches to make the sweeping part of the broom or even straw.

As for altar clothes, I look in the remnant box at my local fabric or hobby store or even Walmart.

My chalices again are gifts or bought at thrift stores. All of mine are clear or etched wine glasses. I also have a cup with a matching lid that I use if I am having a hot beverage. But the lid I always use as an offering dish for bread, crackers or whatever.

Crystals and semi-precious stones I pick up a bag or two of small ones for $3.00-$5.00 at our villages festival. You do not have to have a large size crystal or stone to work with, remember it is your intent that gives it power, not the size it is.

The statues I have of Goddesses and Gods aga were either gifts from other Witches or bought inexpensively. My favorite statue that I use as my Beltane Goddess is a ceramic doll my mom made for my 12th birthday. For Gods, I mainly use pine cones, a plastic deer statue from my dad or acorns.

For spirit, I use many different things from purple or white candles to different sizes and types of Angels I have found here and there on sale. Again I suggest going to a Dollar store this time of year they usually have a lot to pick from.

As for my traveling altar, I use a coin purse my sister gave me that come from Denmark. In it I carry a wooden matchstick for Fire, a small heart shape red stone I found walking in my neighborhood for Earth, a small feather for Air, a small seashell for Water, an Agel that came from a pair of earrings I had and lost one of them and a Pentacle that is about a 1/2 inch in diameter. To protect it and make it look like the chain purse it is supposed to be I have some of my hair in it, a little white sage, and a little sweet grass. For the God and Goddess, I picked up a tiny set of a bride and groom at a hobby store. Plus I charmed it for people to just maybe give it a glance than not think any more about it.

So see your altar items if you want them do not have to cost you very much at all. I would say over the last 40+ years I have spent maybe a total of $100.00 out of pocket for items to go on my altar. Most of that has been on replaces candles until I started trying to make my own.

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane

Simple Basic Altar Set Up

When setting up an altar it is nice but not necessary to have a lot of magickal tools.

A basic altar can be set up using different colored tea lights or candles to represent the five elements, Spirit, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. To make the candle burn a little longer and drip less keep them in your freezer until you are ready to use them. You can put your personal candle back into your freezer after it has cooled down for at one hour after use. Place your elemental candle in the shape of a pentagram. You can use a piece of chalk to draw the outline of a pentagram wherever you are setting up your altar. When you are done with the circle and have removed all things off wherever your atar was set up just use a wet paper towel to wipe off the chalk. It may take more than one depending on how hard use pressed with the chalk when drawing the pentagram. When I to this I either bury the paper towel in one of my gardens or burn it in my outdoor fireplace as a sign of respect for the remains of the pentagram it holds.

A few other ideas  to use for the elements are:

SPIRIT: A statue or picture of an angel or a picture of ancestor

AIR: A feather or incense stick or cone or windchimes

FIRE: A book of matches or lighter or wooden matches

WATER: A seashell or any type of aquatic wildlife statue or picture or a small container of water

EARTH: A stick or some rocks or a small container of dirt or salt (not sea salt but regular table salt)

The Goddess and God you wish to have present can also be done by using a candle or tea light. Some other objects you could use are:

GODDESS: Eggshell or birds nest or a statute of a woman of any size or a picture of a Goddess

GODS: A pine cone or small tree branch with leaves or a statute of a man any size or a picture of a God

You can take a glass r cup and a small plate of some kind from your kitchen that you rarely use to consecrate for use as your chalice and offering dish.

Your personal candle you will want to use a bigger candle so you do not have to dedicate and personalize one every time you use it in a circle. I have a 12-inch (30.48 cm) taper candle works very well for my personal candle and lasts about 2 to 4 months depending on how often I make a circle.

As for your Book of Shadows being on your altar or not is up to you. I keep a couple of pieces of paper and a pen on my altar when doing a circle, especially if it is a circle meditation, just in case something happens during the circle I want to remember. My BOS is a three-ring binder with lots of empty pages in it so I do not have to cleanse them before using them on my altar or placing them back into my BOS.

WAND: Your do not absolutely have to have a wand to do a basic altar. But if you live near a park, forest or have trees in your yard look on the ground for a fallen branch. Ask the tree if you can have it for your personal use as a wand and leave a small token of appreciation such as a little water, a small stone or whatever else you feel might be appropriate.

SIDE NOTE: Left handed people sometimes put their Personal Candle on the left and BOS on the right.

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane.

All About Samhain – Celebrating the Witches’ New Year in the Southern Hemisphere Part 1

The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going gray and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Sabbat we call Samhain presents us with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honor those who have died.

This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is thin, so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead.

RITUALS AND CEREMONIES

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Samhain, but typically the focus is on either honoring our ancestors, or the cycle of death and rebirth. This is the time of year when the gardens and fields are brown and dead. The nights are getting longer, there’s a chill in the air, and winter is looming. We may choose to honor our ancestors, celebrating those who have died, and even try to communicate with them. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying for Samhain — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

By Patti Wigington

Natural Yule Altar

I found this blog post this morning and thought their Yule Altar was beautiful in it’s simplicity.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the season and forget to slow down and take time for ourselves.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

http://www.pennilesspagan.com/2016/12/natural-yule-altar.html

©12192016 Wolf Woman Ways

How to Create a Sacred Water Altar

I felt I needed to do more.  I had signed petitions.  Lit candles. Offered prayers. And yet it still felt like it wasn’t enough.  The Cosmic Cookie Trail led me to the following blog post on how to create a sacred water altar.  THIS.  It was exactly what my soul seemed to call out to do.  It incorporates the four elements within the altar in a way I had not considered.  Now where did I put the beautiful glass lotus bowl my friend Daisy gave me…….

 

http://themotherhouseofthegoddess.com/2016/09/04/how-to-create-a-sacred-water-altar-kathryn-ravenwood/

May the Cosmic Cookie Trail held guide you on your spiritual journey of discovery.

©09072016 Wolf Woman Ways

Lughnasadh Correspondences

Lughnasadh plate

The plate I painted for Lughnasadh.

Lughnasadh Altar 8-8-15

This is the altar I set up last year outside when I did a solitary ritual for Lughnasadh that I had written.

Lughnasadh Altar 2016

Here is a photo of my altar for Lughnasadh this year.

Lughnasadh Altar in a cup

Lughnasadh Altar in a Cup

Echinacea-Earth/ Inner strength

Juniper Berries-Air/ Get rid of negative or unwanted energies

Peppermint-Fire/ Abundance and opens up the breath and heart chakra and revives the mind

Raspberry Leaf-Water/ Protection

Here is a link with a lot of information for Lughnasadh:

https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/lammas

Here is a link for a solo ritual for Lughnasadh:

https://spirallingleaf.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/lammas-lughnasadh-first-harvest-solo-ritual-circle-of-pagans/

Golden Lion Anointing Oil for Lughnasadh

2 drops Frankincense-Base

6 drops Geranium-Middle

2 drop Pettigrain-Top

3 drop Lime-Top

2 drop Sweet Orange-Top

Place 3 Tiger eye crystals in the bottle and then mix the oils with 1 t of Almond Oil.   Good to use at Lammas or in August, since it combines Leo and Sun energies.  Put on Flower of Life grid on top of Holly and place a Scapolite stone on top of the bottle.  Place Sunstone and Honey Calcite in the Merkaba shape and activate the grid.

Lughnasadh Oils

Lughnassadh Oil
2 parts lime oil
2 parts cinnamon oil
2 parts sandalwood oil
1 part clove oil
1 part frankincense oil

Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.

Golden Lion Oil

Ingredients:

3 parts Frankincense

3 parts Petitgrain

2 parts Lime

1 parts Sweet Orange

Mix the above into 1/8 cup carrier oil such as jojoba, apricot, grapeseed, almond, etc. Good to use at Lammas or in August, since it combines Leo and Sun energies.

Lammas Oil #2

Ingredients:

1/4 dram thyme oil

1/2 dram cinnamon oil

1/4 dram rose oil

1/2 dram gardenia oil

2 – 3 drops allspice oil

Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.

Lammas Oil #3

Ingredients:

2 tsp. wheat germ oil

6 drops frankincense oil

2 drops clary sage oil

1 drop rose oil

sunflower oil to make 2 TB.

Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.

Leo Oil #1

To 2 ounces of base oil add 2 tablespoons of any of the following herbs: red sandalwood, frankincense, camphor, cassia, clove, goldenrod, greater celandine, eyebright, goats rue, chamomile, sunflower. Steep one moon cycle or for 12 – 24 hrs. on low in a slow cooker. If stronger scent is desired, remove herbs and repeat. Crack in 2 vitamin E capsules if preservative is desired. This is a good oil to use in rituals done during the zodiac sign of Leo.

Leo Oil #2

Ingredients:

3 drops Petitgrain

1 drop Orange

1 drop Lime

This is a good oil to use in rituals done during the zodiac sign of Leo or wear as a personal oil to increase your own powers.

Leo Zodiac Oil Blend
color – orange yellow

Ingredients:

frankincense (main)

sandalwood (minor)

orange (minor)

musk (minor)

patchouli (minor)

cinnamon (trace)

Add tiger’s eye or ruby to bottle. (Herbs and roots can be used to color the oil, if an all-natural product is desired. This list is from Jeanne Rose’s “Herbs and Things”: Orange Dye: annatto, gamboge or marigold.)

©07282016 Wolf Woman Ways