Monday, December 14, 2009

If Your Religion... Part 1

This has been brewing for a fair bit now, so I'm just going to set it down.

If your religion makes you're doing it wrong.

Case in point, a friend of mine wanted some medical attention, and had to go to a free clinic. They didn't do much but what she had already done, but then gave her some "information". One would think they'd give her info about her medical question...but no, what she got instead was Christian propaganda pamphlets.

I have a somewhat secret fascination with them, and have a few really good ones I've collected. I read them as two is the long term pagan that laughs behind her hand, "ROFL...that's awesome! They're really stupid!" The other is the person who could be affected by these words, and more often than not comes away as unsatisfied with their proposed answers as I was the twenty or so years ago when I discovered I wasn't Catholic.

Of these two that my friend gave to me, one was pretty innocuous. "Is Witchcraft the Way?" tells the tale of a nice woman who was a witch for many years (point in their favor...she was a nice, kind woman who was just looking for spiritual meaning. Not some psycho, blood sacrificing, nut job or emo, dark spirit raising, goth wannabe that's usually in these anecdotal accounts), then she started having problems with bad spirits and dark energy (you know...the stuff the rest of us deal with all the time, right? *rolls eyes*), and eventually a very nice Christian man told her "the truth" and she's ok now, cuz she's Christian.

Meh...whatever. Oh, but I did like the part where she's told that the spirits of the elements were actually devils in disguise. How tricksy of them... was the second one...that was the treasure trove find. This nasty piece of work was called, "First Six Days in Hell", and is supposedly a literal account, extrapolated from Biblical references on what it's going to be like for you when you go to Hell.

And it assumed you you'd better get ready with this handy guide. It was horrifying, my morbid fascination with these things was really stretched with this one...the burning torture that was described, along with the deep, soul crushing inevitability of it, it was truly a piece of work.

Of course, if you just "accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior" you can escape going to Hell and never experience what was described.

My question becomes, "Who wants followers that are there out of abject terror?" This isn't just fear that they're trying to evoke. This is deeper, primal..."if these are just the first six days, imagine what an eternity would be like"...some of these images are the stuff that night terrors are made from.

No thank you...I'm good.

How is this acceptable? How is this ok to do? In what sense of morality is it acceptable to terrify people into following a god that is supposedly all good? Jesus gave us one commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you." Where is the love in that pamphlet? Really?

I find this sort of thing irresponsible, and hope that most people just throw it in the trash, not reading it without the philosophical and spiritual protections that I and most of my friends have.

It's not enough to be good because you're afraid of punishment. One should be good, because it is the right thing to do. Pamphlets like this don't help create good Christians, they create fearful people without an inner core of ethics. Sometimes they're more damaging than those who do wrong because they want least you can predict their behavior.

I know it's not my usual blog fare, but I hope you've made it this far and at least got something to think about. I'm not condemning Christianity as a whole. There is beauty and grace in the religion and if being Christian helps you to be happy and good, then I celebrate that. No, it's the desperate fear mongers that I am pointing my finger at hoping that one day they are forced to wake up and understand that using fear doesn't attract good followers, just other fearful people.

I choose another way. And so should you, whatever it may be.

Till next time, be well,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stonewise: Picasso Stone

So I know this is way late. I apologize, and blame my lack of motivation and apparent inability to get out of a warm, snuggly bed. In any case, I'm here today, and will endeavor to have next week's post up on the proper day.

Anyroad, today we're looking at Picasso Stone, sometimes called Picasso Jasper, Picasso Marble or Picture Jasper. It's an unusual stone, without a lot of folklore attached to it, but I love the deep greys it can come in, so let's see what we can, shall we?

Ardriana says:

An obvious grounding stone, which aids general healing. Brings out hidden talents and gifts. Invites total recall of dreams to answer life's mysteries. Inspires self-control and respect. Picasso Stone assists one to understand one's destiny by meditating on the patterns in the stone. It also transforms intuition into intellectual action. Reduces anxiety and stress.

How I use it my a relative new comer to the magickal world, it's sometimes difficult to find uses for this interesting stone. However, while searching for stones to make up my Air bracelet:

(ha! It's a good week when I fit in some shameless self promotion. ^.~)

...*ahem* oh yeah, while researching stones that resonate with the element of Air (*not* easy mind you), I discovered, with Ardriana's help, that Picasso Stone has been linked to labyrinth studies, the dark lines in the stone acting as a meditation tool similar to the pattern created in labyrinths.

How cool is that? And Picasso Stone comes in some of my favorite grey colors (you might have noticed this in my blog layout heh...). It's a quiet stone, which I'm still discovering, but I think it's proven itself to be particularly powerful when wanting to promote self awareness (that doesn't devolve into self centeredness), and mental acuity.

I don't own a lot of Picasso Stone, just a few pieces, since it's taken me a fair bit to understand the attraction, but that won't stop me in the future!

And now you know a bit more why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stonewise: Garnet

Since today's Shop Item of the Day is the Kindred Bracelet (oh how the mighty have fallen into shameless self promotion...ok, so maybe I wasn't mighty...)...anyway, I figured that I'd focus on garnets for today's Stonewise.

So first a quick look at what Ardriana Cahill says:

Garnet is actually a group of minerals. Almandine has the most colors. Pyrope is usually red. Spessartine, orange red or browns, combined they are Malaya. Phodolite is purplish red or pink. The rare Uvarovite is dark green. These are just a few. Garnet got its name from granatum, the pomegranate.

Folklore: Albertus Magnus related this stone to blood magick. In the matriarchal age, it was sacred to the Goddess Isis, and was believed to be solidified drops of her blood. Garnet was associated with the Goddess Persephone and thus, the afterlife.

Magick: Witches give garnets to friends and family as the Karma Stone. Given to kindred, it insures safe passage to the Summerland and makes sure that loved ones will meet in the next life. Carry garnets to protect travelers against accidents and after dark. Garnet is the stone of passionate love and desire. Enhances bodily strength, endurance, and heightens sexual awareness.

Ancient Warning: a stolen garnet brings catastrophe on the thief until it is returned.

How I use it in my jewelry...Well, first and foremost I use it as the "kindred" stone. Most of my family has a network of garnet giving, ensuring that we'll all meet up next time too (we're Irish...any excuse for a party!).

I grew up thinking that garnets were "poor mans rubies and emeralds", but I love how deep a blood red it is, and generally prefer it to rubies. The green is usually deeper than emeralds too. Garnets are precious stones, so finding them in bead form is a little difficult. I use them sparingly, not because I don't like them, but because they are expensive.

When I was younger, and just started going to The New Pioneer to buy stones, I would play in the little stone box looking for chips of garnet and peridot. These pieces are tiny, and sometimes I would struggle to tell the garnets from the amethysts, because of how purple they are (I'm pretty good at telling them apart now, hehe). I still have those chips, and count myself lucky to have them even though the large tumbled faceted pieces (like in the pic above) have gotten more common.

I don't have many pieces of garnet, but those that I do have are special to me for one reason or another. I carry one in my pocket that I received from a beloved sister stone witch, my best friends have them from me...when we claim someone, we don't tend to let them go.

How you know a little more about why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stonewise: Aventurine

Aventurine is often called the abundance stone, so I thought it was appropriate to have a look at this beautiful green stone the day before Thanksgiving.

First let's have a look at what Ardriana has to say shall we?

Aventurine is made of tightly packed quartz which contains crystals of chrome rich mica that gives the stone a metallic iridescence. Aventurine has been confused with Amazonite and Jade.

Folklore: Aventurine was revered by the ancient Tibetans. They used it to represent the "eyes" in sacred statues, thus symbolizing increased divinatory powers. Once called the "Stone of Heaven".

Magick: A good fortune stone for health, money and business success. It suggests a springtime regeneration. Speeds general healing. Increases perception and intelligence while it stimulates creativity.

How I use it in my jewelry...Aventurine is an interesting stone to look at because it has translucent properties though it isn't always translucent. Sometimes it looks like a scattering of crystals caught under a quartz glaze, with the odd streak of metal shimmering through it. Other times it's more dense, a deep green, like a primeval forest. Pale green Aventurine sometimes has streaks of darker crystals running through it. Each color variation has it's own character and beauty to it and I can get lost looking inside a piece.

Most of the time my magick intuition just uses stones based on their for strength, blue for peace, and green for healing. Aventurine is no exception, as I tend to use it in my healing jewelry, beautifully complimenting the other green stones I use like Moss Agate or Malachite (ahh...shameless self-promotion anyone?).

Aventurine can be a quiet stone that is sometimes overlooked next to some of its flashier brethren. One has to really delve to find the treasure in it, but once found, you can't miss it again. I look forward to discovering and learning more about blue and peach Aventurine, and figuring out how I can use it in new designs down the road.

And now you know a little more of why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stonewise: Green Moss Agate

This week's Stonewise takes a look at Moss Agate. There are so many types of agate that to do a post just on them would take *way* to we'll just start here.

Ardriana's stone book says...

Moss Agate is translucent with fern patterns and white and/or yellow spots that form miniature forest scenes. Named after the Arabian seaport, it was known to them as Mocha Stone.

Folklore: Legend held that it helped open communication with unseen spirits.

Magick: With its connection with spirits and the Fey, this stone is said to lead you to hidden treasures. Discerns the truth, accepts circumstances, balances emotions and heals the heart. Wonderful stone to increase self-esteem and wear to draw friends. Spend a few minutes identifying the mossy forms inside and understand why it is also an imagination stone.

How I use it in my jewelry...Sometimes I look at a stone for the first time and the nature of its magick is perfectly clear to me, even if it's something that no one else has said. For me, moss agate is a deep earth stone, which means deep healing. It's the center piece of my Woman's Moontime bracelet and my Healing necklace. (It's nice to see that some of my intuition can be worked into established practice...balancing emotions during a moontime can be very difficult...)

This stone fascinates me. It looks like someone took a piece of moss and suspended it in crystal even though there's no green matter in the stone at all. Some could ask if the way I use the stone would work at all, seeing as the stone isn't moss. But that's what it *looks* like, and how I feel when I see it...sympathetic magick is about honing your will to do your bidding, so forcing yourself to be aware that it's not moss when that's what it looks like is counter productive, no?

When I first started collecting stones I was all about quartz, the clearer the better. I loved the perfect piece of ice that I could roll through my fingers. The perfect black piece of obsidian. The perfect shiny blob of hematite. Moss agate was one of the first stones that taught me the beauty of imperfection. It was interesting because each piece was completely different and they were still beautiful. There's a part of me that still loves those perfect pieces...but I've widened my definition and that makes so much more beautiful to me.

And that's a little bit of why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who's posted a response to my blog. I appreciate your feedback, and I promise to continue trying to give you interesting content. And now on to your regularly scheduled blog post...

I still feel kinda sluggish from last sad is that? The week seemed long without me getting much done.

However, I did get the Twilight set sent on to it's new home (it should be there today or tomorrow), I miss it. ^^;

It's interesting how I reacted to this set. Usually I start with an intention, look for the stones that will be the most potent for it from my stocks, or shop if I have to, then put the design together. This time I was given colors and had to start with the stones before I could come up with the design.

To be honest, at first I had no clue what I was going to do. This wasn't a combination I had even thought about, much less toyed with. Designing in my head is a new thing for me...I've grown up with stories of people in my family designing stuff in that corridor before sleep...part of me always envied that...

In any case, I struggled with this for several days before the fateful drive up to the Sekhmet Temple and saw the colors reflected in nature. It was a powerful moment, the complete answer came to me, not just the pattern of the stones, but the magickal properties of the design. Another new experience and one I hope to repeat.

I lived with the necklace for a couple weeks before the stones I ordered to finish the set arrived, and the more I had it, the more I liked it. I've only done one other piece where the stones are set in a gradient, my Sunset Anklet, and it's not a pattern that I think of first when designing.

Anyroad...then came the earrings. I fought with those are over two hours. First I couldn't decide on the pattern. Then it adjusting the chain lengths and getting all the wire loops done...reaming the large amethysts...I was very frustrated when I was done, but then I looked at them there on my workspace...and knew the work had been worth it. I love everything I put together, but there some designs that strike me, and those earrings are one of them. I hope they (and the rest of the set) serve long and well.

For the rest...well, I do have two new designs that I will try to have photoed this week, and a bracelet commission, which I'm excited about. I do get to do a little stone shopping this weekend too, so hopefully there will be another new design or three before the next wrap up post *crosses fingers*.

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday the 13th, and an even better weekend.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stonewise: Carnelian

Today's Stonewise looks at Carnelian. This stone is quietly powerful in many ways and is a must have for any stone witch's collection.

First we look at some information from Ardriana Cahill's book of stones:

Carnelian is a red chalcedony colored by iron oxides. It is placed in the sun to change brown tints to red. The best carnelians is found in India.

Folklore: Carnelian gets its name from the Latin word carne, meaning flesh. Napoleon, while in Egypt, discovered the magick of the stone. Also called the Mecca stone, it was sacred to Moslems as Mohammed wore an engraved carnelian ring as a charm for a blessed afterlife.

Magick: The carnelian is the stone of the orator, promoting articulation, clarity of thought and eloquence (the ancient Greeks thought that if you could articulate clearly over the crash of the ocean with one under your tongue, you would be muse touched with eloquence). Increases courage, especially in the overly shy. Helps focus decision making. Used for carnal passions, sexuality, earthiness and the material world.

How I use it in my jewelry: Once I read about placing a carnelian under the tongue to promote eloquence, it has become one of the creativity stones for me. It's a central component to my Creativity bracelet.

Carnelians work with citrines and gold tiger's eye to promote creativity.

I love the glassy texture of the stone. There's always a translucence to it, even if you can't see through it. Orange is not one of my favorite colors, but I love the rich, vibrant color of the stone.

One year, while visiting The New Pioneer, the owner took a 20lb bag of tumbled carnelian pebbles and set it in front of me saying, "Go ahead and look through there." I could hardly believe my luck! First thing I did was stick both hands into the bag and just feel the energy of all those stones. I probably spent a half an hour picking out 20 or so pieces. I keep these in a box on my desk to help give me eloquence in my writing. Every once in a while I put them on a windowsill so they can soak up the light.

I can't say that it's one of my very favorites, but somehow I have a lot of them. Probably in the top 10 for most stones owned (the box full helped with that ^^). I think it's interesting that even though I don't have a special connection with the stone, it's so prevalent in my collection...seems that one or two always end up in my tray when I'm over at the Pioneer. Carnelian is powerful magickally for me as well, because of all the folklore behind it...people have been using this stone for thousands of years and the weight of that history is noticeable.

And now you know a little bit more of why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pagan Pride Day '09

It started with sleeplessness and nerves.

I worked over at Damned Ink Studios for First Friday, which is always fast paced and high strung for me. Lots of people, lots of's a stimuli overload which leads to what we affectionately call, "First Friday Hangover"...but I didn't have the luxury of sleeping in and grogging through my day...I had Pagan Pride Day to go to.

I'd stayed up *way* to long working on last minute things that probably weren't all that important, but this was my first time having a booth and I was over thinking things. I woke before my alarm, and did my best to suppress my nerves while I loaded the truck.

The first highlight for me was getting to go with Ardriana. She's one of my best friends, and spending the day together, outside, in the presence of kindred was exciting. Plus, she helped me set up, and it went much faster and easier than I had thought. Took about 30 minutes, and we had a booth!

Not bad for a first time!

The table is a replica of a Civil War Confederate officer's mess table, made by my Father. The structure for the table and the two benches all break down and fit into the box, which becomes the table top. Nifty, huh? Add a sun shade, some Celtic throws, a few of my personal collection pieces for decoration, and I was pleased with how the booth turned out.

Close up of the bracelets and anklets.

Earring rack, with me in the background.

Finished Twilight jealous.

After I cooled off and changed into some garb, I settled in and got some supplies out to work with. It was a gorgeous day, and I really enjoyed people watching while I made a pair of earrings, cleaned and retrofit an older bracelet and put together a new design.

There was great music all day, dancing and a general air of enjoyment and belonging. I got to talk to people all day about magick and stones and my love for my awesome is that? And then, just when I thought it couldn't get any cooler...I got to meet my best Twitter friend the funny, smart and wise Dame Vegas! I wish I could have listened to her lecture on the History of Wicca...maybe next time.

It was interesting to see how many people hadn't even heard about stone magick, much less know anything about it. Apparently I have a niche, and I look forward to showing the community the beauty, elegance and power that are inherent in stones and what they can do to help you in your magickal endeavors.

I saw some of the lovely women from my Women of Sekhmet weekend, which was a blessing, and saw some of my friends, pagan and non, always a bonus. I did *not* win any of the tattoo gift certificates...which I call shenanigans on...but I can't be to disappointed as I had to much fun during the day.

It ended with an amazing sunset, hugs and lots of laughter. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Till then, be well,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stonewise: Ametrine

Sorry that this is so late, busy week...but better late than never, huh?

Anyroad, today's Stonewise feature will be talking today about Ametrine, a stone I only learned about maybe six years ago.

As always, I'll start with some basic info from Ardriana Cahill:

Two varieties of quartz growing side by side. Amethyst's purple and Citrine's amber are complimentary opposites on a color wheel and can be found often in nature. Look deeply into a purple Iris and you will find that yellow is at the petal's base.

As a new-comer, Ametrine doesn't have the magickal significance as do Amethyst and Citrine independently. We can assume that the best lore of both stones can be attributed to Ametrine however. Citrine has the qualities of any sun stone, it promotes mental clarity, memory, creativity, intuition and wealth. It strengthens one's sel-esteem and personal power, but with the balancing influence of Amethyst, that can be tempered so that self-esteem isn't inflated into egotism, nor personal power turned into domination.

Likewise, the fiery influenses of the Citrine will temper Amethyst's tendency to inertia and bring strength to the serenity that it yields. While Amethyst eases emotional doubts, Citrine will replace them with clear thinking.

Why I love this stone: What's not to love? The magick in Ametrine is apparent when you pick it up. There's something special about having a gem that is two stones grown naturally together. Yellow is one of my least favorite colors, but Ametrine is one of my favorites because of the color combination.

Here's one of the ways I interpret the stone: Citrine is a success stone, and Amethyst guards dreams or promotes psychic give an Ametrine to someone when you wish, "May all your dreams come true." I have yet to incorporate this idea fully into my jewelry, but I'll get there.

Ametrine plays a central role in my new Wealth bracelet design because of its balancing properties. One of the common mistakes in any wealth spell is the omission of the desire to earn the money instead of just receiving it. No one really wants to discover a relative just died so you can have some money. So my Wealth design features Ametrine so that the wearer can discover how to earn money. It will help you have the foresight to make good decisions and help put you in the way of opportunity.

Ametrine is already hard to come by in shops that sell tumbled stones, so I don't have a lot of it. I do, however, still buy whatever I can find, since it's such an unusual stone, and everyone loves it. It is probably in my top 10 for pieces owned, but I don't have any larger pieces...yet.

And that's a little bit about why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

Is it Friday already? Eesh it was a short week for me, I got to spend the weekend in San Francisco for my brother's wedding and didn't get home till Monday night. The wedding was held in Golden Gate Park, which is just amazing. Everything's so green and gorgeous, I could spend days there and never be bored.

So I spent most of my time working on's a hefty job, and I still don't think I've got a handle on it. But I figure if I do a little bit every day, I'll eventually figure it out. I also got my shipment of bells in finally, so I can make some more anklets! Plus I'm going to try and make a set of prayer beads this weekend...we'll see how that goes.

In any case, I hope you have a fantastic weekend, and a wonderful Samhain...and I'll see you in the new year.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stonewise: Bloodstone

In honor of Samhain, this week's Stonewise segment is dedicated to Bloodstone, which is often called The Witches Stone.

So first is a little information from my book of stones by Witch and writer Ardriana Cahill:

The name Bloodstone has been given to every red mineral at one time or another including garnet, ruby, hematite and carnelian. Now commonly applied to Green Jasper with flecks of iron oxide on it.

Folklore: This stone was once called Heliotrope and was prized in ancient days for the belief that when the last dragon was slain, the green stone was stained with the last droplets of his magickal blood. The myth was later Christianized to be the blood of Christ, thus it is called the Martyr's Stone.

Magick: Wear the "dragon" stone for longevity, physical strength and courage. Heals matters of the heart and bloodstream. The ancients used it for invisibility (today for lowering one's profile).

How I use it in my jewelry...Bloodstone has a lot of raw magickal power for me, being steeped in such lore and imagery. I use it in my Woman's Moontime pieces, to help make things easier, as it a powerful healing stone. It also is included in just about every general healing piece I make.

When I was first putting pieces together, I would look through my bags of beads and sometimes a pattern would form without me really knowing what it was. That's what happened when I put a large onyx bead with a pair of bloodstones...

I made the piece and set it aside, figuring that whatever it was, the answer would come in time. Eventually I went through all the bracelets I made, pairing them up with members of my family and came to this piece. I considered for a minute, and thought perhaps it was a protection piece. I started to set it aside and was told that she was not Protection. I asked her what she was (the voice was clearly feminine and not my own...) and was told that she was Awakening.

Uh...ok...then I thought about it, the original design had a large onyx round center piece, like the dark moon, and the bloodstones...witches stones...use this piece to help awaken yourself to the possibilities of magick. I liked it! The spell within the piece is more subtle, and it makes the wearer think about it, which I think serves the purpose too.

I love bloodstone, and even though I don't have any really large pieces, the ones I do have seem to stand out, even among others in a box, as special. This powerful stone is a deep beautiful shade of green (my favorite color) and goes well with lots of other stones. I'm always on the lookout for pretty pieces and hungrily add them to my collection...I am a witch after all.

And now you know a little bit more of why I do what I do.

Till next time, be well,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The great fire festival, Samhain (pronounced SOW-in in Irish, or SAA-vin for a Scottish variation), is nearly upon us, and it has me thinking about the "pagan new year".

I celebrate both Dec. 31st and Oct. 31st in some way as a "new year", and it recently occurred to me that I have no problem with both of them. So then I had to ask myself why that is, and the answer was, I think, interesting.

Dec. 31st, or New Years Eve...I've been celebrating this since I was old enough to stay up and have a sip of champagne. As I got older I learned the extra little traditions that my family had (make sure you're clean, fed and have money in your pocket for the turn of the clock, for whatever you are at that moment will impact the rest of the year). This celebration has distilled itself to be about my "regular" or "normal" life (I don't like either of those words, but I can't seem to find anything better). It's about my day to day workings, my relationships with my family at face value. I've never really made any resolutions other than to have a better year and continue to work on those bad habits that I'm trying to break.

I enjoy the gathering of family and friends, it's silly and fun and safe for us. I look forward to it every year.

Oct. 31st, or Halloween or Samhain...this I didn't start celebrating in an older sense till I was in my late teens. At first it was a sort of silly aside for an already silly fun day. We'd go to a late movie and wish each other "Happy New Year!" during it, knowing anyone else in the theatre would think we were crazy. But then I learned more, got to participate in some Samhain rituals, and gradually internalized this day as the new year of my spirit. Any resolution I make then relates to my spiritual growth, marking those epiphanies I had over the year and the desire to continue. It's a moment of quiet contemplation, where I say a few words to my beloved dead, cast off those things about me I do not like, and resolve to become a better person in the year ahead.

Samhain is my favorite holiday all around now. I love the costumes, trick or treating with children, giving away candy at the house...all of the fun commercial things that the holiday has turned into. And then later, the more private moments in which I connect to the greater mystery that is the wheel of the year.

How does this relate to my jewelry? Well, each piece I make is magickal, and any new understanding I have about myself and the way I relate to the world and my spirituality can only make me a better witch, and in turn make my jewelry better able to serve you. Leastways that's that's how I see it anyway.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stonewise: Petrified Wood

As a Stone Witch, it probably comes as no surprise that I have a deep fascination with Petrified Wood. So that's what we'll look at in today's Stonewise post.

As before I draw my information from my book of stones by Ardriana Cahill.

This fossil, over 225 million years old is the result of trees falling into rivers and lakes. As the water seeped into the wood, the chemicals from volcanic ash reacted to the wood and formed into quartz crystals. The original wood structure is retained, but all its cellulose is replaced by silica and becomes a kind of chalcedony.

Magick: It is carried for longevity, to increase our enjoyment of life and encourage our growth. A perfect grounding stone for us tree lovers.

How I use it in my jewelry...As I said in the beginning, I have a deep fascination with Petrified Wood. It was once alive, and through millions of years of transformation has become a beautiful stone. I experience child-like wonder every time I think about that concept. How is it not magick?

Being a symbol of both wood and stone, it has become *the* Earth stone for me and is potent for healing, grounding and finding the hidden, steady source of strength that we all have. It will be the center piece for the Earth jewelry I will make and also anchors several pieces of healing jewelry I have made.

I don't have very many pieces, especially in tumbled nuggets, but I have a couple larger pieces, one is even oak, which I find to be particularly magickal. These pieces are usually set in places of prominence on my altar, like representing the direction of earth in a four quarters pattern. I wish I had more.

And now you know a little bit more of how I work.

Till next time, be well,

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Does Stone Magick Work?

Any sympathetic magick (spelled with a 'k' to differentiate it from stage illusions) is using force of will to make changes to the world around you. Most often it's used to help you help yourself. "Help me get this job...this person to like quit smoking...etc."

There are adepts that can work magick without any of the props. They have reached a place where their will is honed enough through practice and experience that magick for them. For the rest of us, it's not as easy, and using ritual objects helps us focus on our intent.

Perhaps the most common form of magick is candle magick. Light a candle, cast your spell...often times stones set in a pattern around the candle are used to help amplify the spell (that's where I started actually). Later, you can carry the stone(s) in your purse or pocket to help keep that spell going by having a part of your consciousness focused on it.

But what about using just stones? I have found over the years that my gifts are with this slower, more quiet type of magick, and here are some of the ways in which I work...

Stone Bags: a collection of stones in a small pouch that can be worn around the neck or carried in the purse or pocket. I always try to find three stones for the intention (as three is a magickal number), plus at least one piece of hematite for empowerment. This is good for continued efforts, like banishing a bad habits or sparking creativity. Making jewelry for myself and others has, for the most part, replaced the stone bag...but not everyone has the time or patience to do this.

Altar "Henge": I have a collection of larger pieces, spheres and such, that I will arrange on my altar in several formations, stars, spirals, solar crosses and the like. I'll place smaller tumbled pieces to fill out the pattern and I find that this practice keeps my altar "warm" or energized.

Worry Stone, or the Handful in my Pocket: Everyone should have a signature stone they can use for energizing, worrying or grounding. Mine is a piece of obsidian that fits perfectly in my hand. My fingers know every curve and ridge of that stone, and we've traded a lot of energy over the years, that stone and I. There are times when I don't have my stone with me, but I can imagine it in my hand and I still feel the connection.

Other times I feel the need to carry two or three stones in my pocket. I really don't feel the need to cast a full spell, I just need a little extra something to carry with me. Most of the time it's when I'm sick, and I'm using the stones as an extra but of ooph to the medication I've taken. For example, I'll carry bits of bloodstone and hematite when it's my moontime, or citrine when I'm having trouble breathing due to allergies or the flu.

Stone magick is Earth is the underlying solidity of our lives. It's quiet and steady most of the time, but like an earthquake, can be devastating in its power when necessary. Like any magick, it should be used with wisdom, awareness and responsibility.

But perhaps most importantly, the stones are beautiful! And who has enough beauty in their lives, eh?

Till next time, be well,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

This week was pretty slow for me, course being sick a day and having my bead reamer turn up DOA will slow me down a tad. But it was not all wasted! I finished a custom necklace:

This is the center piece to a Twilight set (no sparkley vampires here...not that I don't like them...heh...*whistles innocently*). My inspiration for this piece actually came from a drive out to the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, which is about 50 minutes North West out of town. I saw the last line of gold ribbon the horizon which faded into purple and knew how this piece was going to be put together! Twilight is that last moment of the day, a bridge, an open door...there's mystery, magick and wisdom there. I'm waiting for some beads to arrive so I can finish the set. I'll have pics as soon as I can!

I am working on a set of pagan prayer or spell beads. They're not a rosary, or a mala prayer beads, though the design is similar. I should have a teaser pic up on Facebook next week with some luck.

After my next set of commissions are finished, I'll be able to buy beads for some of the new designs I have wandering around my head...I'm looking forward to that, hope you are too.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stonewise: Malachite

Welcome to this week's Stonewise. Today we're looking at one of my favorite stones (aren't they all?) Malachite.

As per usual, first a little info about the stone taken from my stone book by Ardriana Cahill.

In Greek malache means mallow, an illusion to the mineral's leaf-green color. Known for it's ease in carving. Malachite is a compound carbonate, and is close in nature to its cousin, copper.

Folklore: Being so closely associated with the sacred metal of Venus, the goddess of love, it was highly prized by the ancients. Dedicated to Juno as the Peacock Stone, it protected against the evil eye. Russian legend says to drink from a malachite goblet will allow you to speak to animals.

Magick: Very protective, attracts health, wealth and repels negativity. Breaks bad habits, promotes business success. Place in your car or purse to evoke its protective energies during travel.

How I use it in my jewelry...Somewhere along the way, I read that Malachite was the safety in travel stone, I wish I could remember where, so I could properly quote any case, that idea stuck itself firmly in my mind and so it's the first thing I think of. My Travel Charm jewelry all feature a center stone of Malachite.

But it's also so vibrantly green. I can't help but use it as an earth and healing stone. One summer, while at the fabulous New Pioneer up in West Yellowstone, Montana, I was buying my nieces their first rocks (like a proper aunt should...), and the great old hippy who runs the shop let my girls pick out a piece of Malachite from the basket. My eldest niece proudly held up the piece she picked, and he asked her why. She said, "Because you can see the grass in there."

After I was done fainting from pride and the cute, I thought about what she said, and the phrase settled in my psyche. I too now can see the grass in there. And so Malachite's become a very powerful stone for growth and health for me, resilient as grass is (even dead, you can just water it for a bit and it comes back).

And now you know a little bit more about how I use the stone. Hope you can see the grass in there.

Till next time, be well,

Monday, October 12, 2009

What Intentions Do I Wear?

I love playing with my rocks, creating jewelry that I imagine will help someone else. It's a great feeling to do something that feels like fun, but also isn't just a game. And most of the time I have no problem setting aside the pieces in hopes that they will find new homes...I want them to find new, seriously...

But every once in a while there's a piece that sits there when I'm finished and says, "You might as well put me on your altar, since I'm not going anywhere." (I hang the few pieces that are "mine" on my altar when I'm not wearing them.)

The first such piece was a Woman's Moontime bracelet:

I usually carry a couple pieces of bloodstone and hematite in my pocket during those days, and they seem to help me not overdose on Ibuprofen, or rip someone's face off during those days. *two thumbs up* The bracelet seemed a natural evolution to that, and it's pretty too!

The next piece was a Discovery:

(the image is of the general design, not the exact stones in the one that's "mine")...the overall color of the one that I love is brown, and it sat in the gallery for like four months without anyone coming in to buy it when I decided that I was going to listen to it and take it home.

But the one that was mine before I made it, and the one I wear most often, including to sleep in, is my Moon:

I had the idea in my head for weeks before the stones I needed arrived, and the first one I made was a large (I usually make mediums or smalls first), and when I was done it went right on my wrist. I didn't even pretend this time. I wanted one when I thought it up, and it remains to this date my favorite design. In fact, I mostly only take it off to shower.

The moon has always been magickal to me, even as a kid, and now I get to wear a symbol of that magick, every day. I love it, and it makes me feel better to have it on.

And now you probably know more about what jewelry I wear than you ever wanted to. ;)

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stonewise: Red Tiger's Eye

I know I skipped Monday's post...I was coming off a long weekend and wasn't feeling well. But I'm back today with a new Stonewise post. This week we'll look at Red Tiger's Eye.

First, some basic info taken from my book of stones by Ardriana Cahill:

This silky chatoyant (that's a fancy way of saying it shifts colors when the light hits it) quartz has shimmering streaks that switch around when the angle of light changes.

Magick: This red brother stone to the traditional golden tiger's eye promotes physical strength, vigorous health, passion, desire and justified pride. It is the stone to carry to draw out your talents and achievements.

Why I like to use it in my jewelry...

Red Tiger's Eye has such a unique color. It's not too bright or garish. It's a color you can sink into, so deep and rich, looks almost liquid. And it's always changing, sunlight, lamp light, even candle light will make it move and shift.

One of my favorite things about Tiger's Eye in general is that it often grows next to one of my other favorite stones, hematite. So you can find this lush piece of red, with rings of deep awesome is that?

Tiger's Eye has become *the* fire stone for me, since it comes in the three colors of a, red and blue. It's all passion, and strength and desire for me, and yet it's still smooth and warms easily to your touch. Tiger's Eye in general probably holds one of the top three places for most pieces I own, with red being second in most Tiger's Eye I own.

Ahh! It's so decadent! And that's a little bit why I use it the way I do.

Till next time, be well,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Wrap Up?

Well, I'm going out of town for the weekend, with no internet access, and I thought I should post early rather than not at all.

Not a whole lot to report this week I'm afraid. I did post a new item, Handfasting Bracelets, which have been received well. I also picked up a new commission, and am working on a second one...I'm very excited about both of them. Every commission is a unique challenge and I love seeing what I can come up with for the client. I'm taking a head full of designs with me for the weekend and I'm already looking forward to when I get back. :D

In any case, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you on Monday. Till then, be well,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stonewise: Obsidian

For this week's stone, I've picked Obsidian. My first magickal working stone is this wonderful piece of obsidian, rough but polished, that tucks oh so nicely into my hand. I've gotten a lot of energy from that stone over the years, and even though I've added more to my collection, it holds a place of honor for me.

So, first a little bit about the stone in general...take from my stone book by Ardriana Cahill:

There are several forms of Obsidian, but all are forms of natural volcanic glass. They seem to be opaque, but if you hold a piece up to the light, sometimes you can see its transparency. Obsidian come from the Greek "Opsianos" meaning vision because it was used to make mirrors.

Folklore: Obsidian has been used for tools and weapons for thousands of years. To the Aztecs it was Izili, or sometimes Teotetl, meaning "Divine Stone". It is a shaman stone that holds both Fire and Earth elements.

Magick: A powerful reflective shielding stone. Obsidian is used to help gain understanding of the power of destiny. A scrying stone when made into mirrors. An excellent general healer and strength builder. All forms of Obsidian are excellent grounding stones.

There are several forms of Obsidian, and they all deserve their own moments, as I use them somewhat differently. For now, I'll talk about why I like to use "plain black Obsidian" (as if there's anything plain about it!).

A lot of the fascination for me comes from how Obsidian is formed. The raw transformation from lava to rock is so huge, there's so much pent up potential in the stone. It's like it remembers being lava even though it's no longer free and flowing.

I love the smoothness of Obsidian. It has particular texture that no other stone has, smoother than even Hematite. In knapped pieces, I love the texture and sweeping patterns in the volcanic glass, always interesting and beautiful. In highly polished pieces, there's a shine to it that is very hard to dim.

I have many pieces of Obsidian, in all its forms, most of them larger display pieces that I still love to pick up and hold till it grows warm from my body heat. I don't have a huge quantity of it, as small tumbled pieces were rather hard to come by, so I'd say it's in my top 10 for number of pieces owned.

I use Obsidian mostly for its protective aspects. Adding it to Onyx, Hematite and Tiger's Eye, to make deeply powerful protective pieces of jewelry. And now you know a little bit more of why I do it.

Till next time, be well,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Only am I the President of...

No...not Hair Club for Men, but the thought is the same. If I want to help people, in some little way, then I'd better be able to help myself too, right?

So this last month's moontime was particularly brutal. After a day and a half of misery, I remembered that I had a Moontime bracelet hanging on my altar, charging. Even then, it still took a little argument with myself to get over there...("I don't want to walk that far." Go get it "But it's so far." Put it on. "Ugh, I just want to sit down." GO...GET...IT! "Ok, ok...fine. *grumbles*)

I said the incantation as I placed the stones against my wrist, and as I closed the clasp, eveything just...eased. The pain in my back, my front...everything just lightened up. The little part of me that stands to the side and observes stuff said, "Woah, that was cool."

Now, I know it could have been something else. The ibuprofin could have kicked in at that moment. Or my body choose that moment to lighten up by itself. Or I could have even done it myself by programming, mind over body, (the bracelet helps because I believe it's going to). It could have even just been magick.

The real trick doesn't matter what *really* happened. Not one whit. What does matter is that the effect I was looking for,

"to help you have as peaceful a moontime as possible"


Regardless of the "truth" of the situation, I'd say the bracelet did its job, no?

Till next time, be well,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

Another busy week's gone by in a flash! I can't believe time is moving so fast...

Let's see...what did I accomplish?

Oh, I finished a commission piece and sold it! :D

I posted three new items in the shop: my Fire Collection, Protection Earrings and Discovery Bracelet.

Ohh, I signed up to be a vendor at the Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day Celebration! It'll be my first time vending, so I hope they don't mind being a guinea pig. ^^

Did some research on some new's a sneak peek on what to look for: Fertility, Abundance and Awareness. Hope that has you wanting to see what I'm cooking up. ;D

And a bit of a confession...I'm struggling not to get discouraged. I'm getting amazing feedback on my designs and the like, but just haven't made many sales. I know times are tough, and I keep reminding myself to be patient, but it's hard. *sigh* Anyway, thanks for letting me whine for a moment.

I hope you all had a fantastic week and a better weekend.

Till next time, be well,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stonewise: Hematite

I've decided that on Wednesday, I'd do a short blog post of one of my favorite stones. Today we're going to look at Hematite.

First a little history taken from my stone book by Ardriana Cahill:

Hematite is often called the "other bloodstone", since it streaks a rusty, blood red. The name hematite is from the Greek "haimatites" meaning blood like. Cut as jewelry, it is called Black Diamond.

Folklore: The earthy form of hematite, Red Ocher, was used in Stone Age graves to imitate the sacred blood of birth. Egyptian mummies often rested their heads on pillows of hematite. Azchalias, a Babylonian, wrote in 63 BCE that amulets made of hematite obtained the favor of kings and judges.

Magick: A power stone, an intensifier, a doubler, to aid other magicks. Is perfect for grounding and centering. A survival stone, it was worn into battle and makes a powerful shielding tool. Add to a stone bag to increase the power of the other stones.

Why I like to use it in my jewelry...
Hematite fascinates me. I love the color, the feel and weight of it. Hematite makes some of the best worry stones, because it's so dense and smooth. I can just run my fingers over a piece for ages.

I love that it streaks red, even though the stone is a dark silver. It gives the stone a mystery and magick that very few other stones have. I love that there is ancient folklore about it, and I can tap into parts of it with my modern jewelry.

I discovered hematite when I was very young, and it became a staple in my collection quickly. It's easily in the top 5 for how many pieces I have, small and large.

Each bracelet, necklace or anklet I make will have a pair of hematite sentinels next to the clasp to ensure the piece is as powerful as possible for the wearer. And now you know a little bit more of why I do it.

Till next time, be well,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sympathetic Magick

I'm going to start today with a definition of magick, quoted from writer and witch Ardriana Cahill:

"Magick – (poetically spelled with a “k” using the Olde spelling. No one has ever confused what I do with theatrical magic.) 1) Witches consider magick as a natural, not supernatural, practice. 2) the process by which one uses ones natural gifts and talents to achieve a greater degree of success in all pursuits. 3) Aleister Crowley: “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” 4) S. L. Mathers, one of the founders of The Golden Dawn: "The Science of the Control of the Secret Forces of Nature.” 5) Egyptian Magician, Christian Jacq: “…the essential energy which circulates in the Universe of the Gods, as well as in that of humans." 6) Dorothy Berry Mills, "Energies working with the senses and will to effect change that someday will be proven by science." 7) Ardriana Cahill, an unproven form of quantum mechanics."

Why? Because each piece of jewelry I make has a sympathetic magickal purpose designed into it, and not everyone knows what that means.

I want my jewelry to not just be beautiful, but meaningful and powerful. This is why I use mostly stone, without a lot of filler or findings. I have been a stone witch since I was a teenager, it is where I am most comfortable, and the most powerful, so making jewelry seemed a natural evolution to my process.

So how does my jewelry work? The basic idea behind sympathetic magick is that one uses props to help focus the mind on the intention. I'd light a red candle to help me find strength or love. I'd carry a piece of onyx or obsidian in my pocket to help protect me from the negativity that was being directed at me by others. Wear the bracelet to do the same thing. Its weight on your wrist is a constant reminder of why you put it on in the morning, helping your mind work, even unconsciously, toward the purpose you chose.

But I don't want anyone to get too hung up on this idea. If there are those who simply find my jewelry beautiful, and don't care about the magick, then I am happy. Wear my jewelry as it pleases you, and you can't go wrong.

Till next time, be well,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

As the week wraps up, I find that I'm pleased with the amount of work I've done this week on "teh intarwebs" getting my jewelry noticed out there.

I took new pics for my bracelets, check out my Creativity Bracelet, I think the third pic turned out pretty dang good.

Also updated the pics for my Protection Necklace, much happier with them now.

Finished my Four Quarters Bracelet for the Pagans of Etsy September challenge.

And got a new commission! I'm very excited about this one. It's a necklace, made with onyx, red tiger's eye and red jasper. It's simple, but the pattern turned out great, and I'm very pleased with it. Should have it finished and ready for pictures on Monday. W00t!

In any case, have a good weekend, and until next time, be well,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jumpin' right on in.

Hello there! I'm Bhen Rudha (VEN ROO-ah), which means Red Woman in Gaeilge, and I'm starting a blog about my adventures in jewelry making.

I started my collection of semi-precious stones when I was a was a polished piece of faceted quartz from Yellowstone National Park. I was fascinated by how much it looked like ice, yet it was only cool to the touch, and would even warm to the hand without melting. I'd roll it around in my fingers, feeling each facet flatten against my skin. I still have that piece, tucked away safely in one of my stone boxes (yes...boxes).

Later I started buying little pieces of tumbled stone...tiger's eye, hematite, petrified wood, jasper, agate. I would also roll these pieces around in my fingers, or palm, feeling how they fit in my hand, the differences in weight and texture, and how they warmed the longer I held them.

When I was a teenager, I started learning about sympathetic magick, and magickal properties of the stones I had been collecting. Now I would place them in little bags and use them as spells. Helping a friend pass a test, or get the attention of someone they liked, get over a cold faster...I still carry stones in my pockets for different reasons, though it's mostly because I love them.

It seemed a no brainer then, when I thought about making jewelry with magickal intentions, but what to name it? That, sadly, is what took me to longest to figure out. Magick is broken up by intention, and I wanted that in the name...but what to preface it with? I rolled the idea around in my mind for a long time, and then it came to me (and no, the irony's not lost on me), Crystallized Intentions.

The name has a couple layers of meaning, and I love it, even though it's a mouthful. First is the obvious physicality...each gemstone is "crystallized", and so the jewelry is a physical manifestation of whatever it is you want. But beneath that is the idea that thoughts crystallize, and magickally that's how my jewelry is supposed to help, to focus the will, to crystallize your intention and make it easier to work on.

Each piece I make has some purpose behind it. Some are specific, like my Travel Charm Earrings, that are designed to promote just safety in travel, while others are more general, like my Water Bracelet, which is designed to promote qualities of the element like peace and emotional harmony.

So far I love it, and I think that's the most magickal part of this journey.

Till next time, be well,