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,