Friday, December 31, 2010


2010 was a year of growth for me, both personally and spiritually. While I'd been practicing for many years this was the year I took my path by the reigns and put the pedal to the metal. There has been more communication between me and the spirits around me, or perhaps I just learned to listen better. I no longer feel the need to shelter those around me from who I really am. I'm open and I've found more acceptance than I ever thought I would.

This was the year I opened my shop and the first year I would truly identify as a professional artist. I reached and exceeded every professional goal I set for myself and I have all of you to thank for it. My customers and the people I've found through my creations are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. You are all kind, forgiving, and exceptional. Never forget that!

In my personal life I've tested my working limits. I've taken on more than I thought I could handle and came out victorious. I shook off demons that have followed me for years and I feel so free now. I've spent more time with my family this year than I have in so long and it's amazing. I have the best family anyone could ask for. They are loving and supportive and hilarious and they make me feel good when I'm around them.

Today my plans are to clean my house from top to bottom and fumigate my entire space. We should all get rid of all the magical and physical crud that adorns our spaces and start fresh for the new year.

My goals for 2011? I'm ringing it in big. I will go back to school and work towards a degree in art with the eventual goal of becoming a teacher. I'm planning to attend a few festivals this year and be a more active part of my Pagan community. I want to explore my path in a deeper way and form more connections with my familiar spirits. I want to create more than I did last year; I want the energy to flow from me like water, like blood, like a life force, because it is. And I want to document it all better than I did this year.

So to you I say my friends, Happy New Year! Love, Alyssa.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Moon Days

Snow still coats the grass here. It's cold and the Winter Hag is welcomed. Tracks of rabbit, squirrel, and perhaps fox scour the Thicket. I shouldn't need to remind you, but our Solstice and Lunar Eclipse happens tomorrow, so powerful and so rare. Perfect for some spell work and moon magic.

Have a Blessed Solstice, my wonderful friends.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Coldness, newness

It's cold. Bitter windy winter cold. The Old Woman is here and she dusted the Earth with a fine covering of snow today, like powdered sugar on frozen pastry. Her sharp bitterness has not deterred my creation and I'm working on many beautiful one of a kind and special items for you.

A few new items have arrived in the shop, new oils and new incenses, as well as a one of a kind Smudge Fan.
Temple Incense

Pythia Oracle Incense

Sacred Blessing Oil

Red Hot Luck Oil

Blood Shaman Smudge Fan

As a gift to my lovely customers, I'm including a little sample of my Divination Oil with every purchase while supplies last. Thank you for being wonderful and amazing!

Whether you read bones, stones, and end trails, or the more standard cards, palms, runes, tea, or pendulum, you need to connect yourself with the divine. In addition to always burning incense, anoint yourself or your divinatory set with this oil to open the doors and allow spirits to aid you in your augury.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anathemum's Holiday Gift Guide

This year is my first Yule as a shop owner and I'm so excited. While all of my products and creations make wonderful gifts for heathens, I've created a few small specific things for you to give your favorite Witches and Sorcerers this year. Remember, I always offer gift wrapping on request as well as discrete shipping labels when requested.

I really went bonkers with some paper goods this year. I created several types of notebooks, all perfect as stocking stuffers for our favorite witches, as well as a set of Yule cards. I always carry a journal with me for spontaneous writing and sketching and these are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse without taking up too much room.

And for those who aren't sure what they'd like to get for a Pagan friend, I have gift certificates available. These are good for all my products, special orders and commissions!

As a special gift to all my amazing customers and readers I'm having a small Black(Mass)Friday holiday Sale! Spread the word!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Drying Time

Block printed Spirit notebooks, for your travels, available in the shop

Natually dyed cotton, from left to right, Hibiscus, boiled maple leaves and holly berries, and onion skins

Another batch of Indigo Sigil Chalk, cured and ready for your magic

Friday, November 05, 2010

Dark Half

Our celebrations were quiet and personal this year. We carved our pumpkins and dressed to the nines to visit a very well done and elaborate haunted trail. I trimmed my hair and welcomed the Dark Half of the year modestly and as usual was stricken with a cold. Truth? My gods have been quiet and it's a welcome silence for once. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with spirits buzzing in my ears constantly and they've quieted down now to a dull whisper; much more manageable.

As far as projects go, I'm working mostly on dolls and a few natural dying projects which I will regale you with details shortly. Things for the apothecary have been quiet except for a few commissions but but keep a lookout for a specialty oil or two coming soon. Blessings to everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Astral Rabbit

Follow the Astral Rabbit to the Spirit House.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Moths. Go take a look.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bumbles and Messages

I find that being overly in tune with nature you tend to pay attention to the little things. The way the leaves move, how a passing animal looks at you, weather patterns, planting, blooming, fruiting, harvesting, seeding. Without this consciousness we cannot call ourselves witches.

Many animals live around us in the Thicket. I've gained their favor by holding funerals for their fallen, but more importantly I feed them. I grow flowers for the insects, leave seeds for the birds, and offer fruits and veggies. And sometimes a little bit of our dinner for the bigger critters.

I nearly missed this bumblebee as I went out onto the balcony to replant the strawberries (I've been meaning to for weeks, just haven't gotten around to it) plus clean up and sweep the outside altar. He was sleepy so I moved him from the floor to the iron table outside where he sat, little purple wings glistening in the sun. We have a nest of bumblebees outside my altar room window and they see and hear many of my spells and rituals. I find them rooting around my plants and outside altar. They slam into the windows like little drunkards. And they come to me often. Sometimes as an omen, sometimes to say hello.

Most witches will say that animals come to them to die. For some this is true, even the smallest beast has put themselves in my path to ease them into the Otherworld. Remember the Mockingbird and Squirrel? Also, plenty of insects find their way into my little home. It's our reverence that draws us to them and them to us.

All this being said, do I consider all animals messengers? Yes and no. All animals have connections to the divine. Some do a better job of getting those messages through; birds, insects, rabbits, you know the types. Sometimes I find it easier to work with tactile animal spirit messengers. When I call upon spirits, I'm also calling on animals I've worked with or helped. Who are yours?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

La Catrina

For those curious of the sidebar link to the right, I decided to put my doll projects over there at Spirit House to keep things separate since I have a vast amount of doll related projects and I didn't want it to muddle the good thing we've got goin' here. Go take a look, there's a few things there already and plenty more to come including the doll lovely above.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

On Altars

Throughout our home we keep several altars, as every home should. Some are discrete, some are not. I normally keep five in our 1200 square foot apartment but for Samhain I add a sixth. Let's take a tour of a few of them.

First, the Ancestor Altar created on our less than used dining room table. It holds several ancestral items, the book, the owl, and the small German Skull, as well as keys and lanterns to open the door and find the way to this world to visit us. There's also some black, silver, and white Mardi Gras beads from New Orleans on the table, sort of a nod to the Ghede. When it gets closer to the thinning veil I'll add food and flowers to this space. The denim vest hung around the chair is also an ancestral item but it stays year round. The Virtual Boy in the other seat is, well, a Virtual Boy. Heh.

Next we have the House Altar, residing on the kitchen counter, which changes from holiday to holiday. It keeps our house spirit, the little Knight.

He is currently fighting a dragon with his unicorn steed at his side. Joey found him in his store one evening and took him home and since I added him to the House altar we've had no home trouble. Sometimes he fights other things but I think he likes slaying the dragon best.

The Working Altar in my Studio/Altar room. I use this altar for my work and it's where I make most of my products. The top has all sorts of trinkets; found feathers I've had since childhood, squirrel bones, graveyard dirt, candles, etc. The bottom is in homage to the Dark Gods arriving and the Light Gods leaving. The Earth is returning to dormancy. The glass stemware holds natural objects found in the Thicket or close by; Crepe Myrtle bark, Rowan Berries, Yarrow, and a seashell. Also found here is my cauldron, mortar and pestle, several rosaries and crosses (given to me by my amazing Mom. I keep them there because they are filled with her love and protection), and my lanterns. The brass boxes hold charcoal disks and matches.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


And the winner is....


Congratulations! Email me at to claim your prize.

Thanks to all those who participated and all the kind words you said. Warmed this witch's heart...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flow and the Giveaway.

As an artist first and a Witch second the ebbs and flows of my "muses" wane and sway with the calling of the deities and spirits. Lately I've been nothing but output; creating every spare moment I get. The cooling of the Earth and harvest does this to me and I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment. Sometimes I have a drought, usually in the summer. My spirits are quiet and nothing gets done and I wallow in my brains silence. I welcome the deluge of inspiration come the cooler months.

My altar space is currently full of experiments and successes. Chalks, brews, salts, tinctures, oils, amulets, teas. Medicinal and magical. Here are a few of the things you might have already seen, I have many more things headed your way.

Mystic Eye Bag

Hickory Snake Nut Amulet

Corvus Ritual Mask (sold)

Barn Owl Ritual Mask (sold)

Indigo Sigil Chalk

Hamsa Tarot Pouch

To celebrate my 100th sale in my shop and to say thanks for all the wonderful comments and kindness I've got another little giveaway for you.

The Acorn Amulet. To give honor to Dryads, Cernunnos, Pan, The Green Man, Artemis, or a Druidic Path. Holds aspects of fertility and protection. Strung with black leather cord in two widths. Measures about 12 inches long.

To enter, please leave a comment in this post. The winner will be picked on Tuesday September 21st at 5pm est. Reblogging or posting about this gets extra entries. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Shenandoah

We spent the weekend in a small cabin with our great friends on the banks of the Shenandoah River. The weather was stunning and the river was warm. We dragged an old green canoe out from under the deck and paddled up and down the river looking at old mountains and farmland, giant cattails and forests of seaweed that lapped at the bottom of the boat. I felt my gods there. I felt at peace. The normal buzzing and humming of spirits was silent because they were no longer trying to reach me. I was there with them.

During the day I gathered up fallen branches and logs around the property and as evening fell I cleaned out the fire pit and we built a nice fire that we cooked our dinner and eventually dessert on. Fire roasted hot dogs and smores, nothing could be better. We sat around the fire listening to the crickets well into the night while just existing and enjoying the silence away from our jobs and lives. It was incredibly relaxing.

I didn't find much in the way of herbs but I gathered acorns as there were plenty to be had.

One new thing and one old thing in the shop today but both happen to be pouches. The Tambourine Evil Eye Bag and Web of Wyrd Rune Pouch, both embroidered and simply beautiful and at reduced prices. With the Yule season fast approaching, the decorations are already being put up in stores, we should begin to think about what we'd like to give a special witch we know. Give something handmade and unique to support their craft. I take commissions if you can't find something that's juuust right for them.

Tambourine Evil Eye Tarot Bag

Web of Wyrd Rune Pouch

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Gods Speak

Mockingbird skull and limb bone, Squirrel Jaw and limb bones

How do your deities call to you? For me it's a gnawing I get on the fringes of my brain. A buzzing of my mind. A need to travel deep within nature. A sudden idea for a creation, I always will sketch the idea to return to it later. They come to me in dreams, subtly or strongly. I will be drawn to their aspects and satisfy them with an offering or a gift. It isn't always a deity that speaks. It can be local spirits of nature, the thunder, the rain. Sometimes I receive an influx of gifts, mostly in the form of animals that have passed on, sometimes in a local wild crafting find.

I live near the Rappahannock River in Virginia. I enjoy watching her ebbs and flows, droughts and floods, and every year she claims more lives. At least 5 people die every summer while swimming in her cool waters. As an animist I believe everything contains a soul; rivers, trees, mountains, even the tiniest of seeds and the strongest of storms. Why is my river angry? Or is she? I wish I knew.

This weekend I will be spending time in a cabin right on the Shenandoah River. Maybe I will paint, maybe I wont, I'll let the river dictate my activities. The relaxation will be welcome and I'll come back with stories and some wild harvested goodies.

Before I go, a couple of new specialty candles and prints arrived in the shop this week. I'd love to do another deity painting. Any suggestions?

Cernunnos Spell Candle

Graveyard Dirt Spell Candle

Rainbow Eye Print

Hecate Print

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hickory Dickory Dock and the Mushroom Chronicles

Today Joey and I took Gypsy to the Prince William Forest Park for a nice long walk. We are so lucky to live within 10 minutes of a glorious National park filled with many trails and wildlife and magic. It's beautiful and I've hiked through about it several times. When I was a child my parents took me to marvel at wonders built by man. I will take my children to marvel at wonders crafted by nature.

We haven't had much rain this summer and all the rivers and streams are low. But since the air has cooled off many mushrooms have burst forth from the ground. We spotted nearly 14 different varieties the one trail we followed. I am poor at best when it comes to mushroom identification, except for Morels, Stinkhorns, and a few Amanitas. All of the mushrooms we saw were lovely and I plan on harvesting those I can properly identify next time.

I gathered a few Hickory nuts, some acorns, and happened upon these Cicada wings just resting on a small table guarded by the most peculiar caterpillar. We also found two fauns resting among the trees and they begged us to follow. Gypsy's nose wiggled and ears spun. They stood waist high and still had their spots and let us get strangely close before bounding off into the trees. We followed for a while before becoming tangled in spiderwebs and decided to stick to the trail.