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,