Sunday, July 03, 2011


Some of the door charms and necklaces that didn't find homes at the festival. Maybe you could take them home?

So while my computer is on the fritz I've had the time to work on some personal and one of a kind projects of mine as well as contemplate the direction of the shop. While I do enjoy crafting supply for the discerning witch I enjoy doing the one of a kind items more so this leaves me with a dilemma.

My current sales venue (Etsy) is flooded with Pagan suppliers so much so that none of us really stand out anymore, with the exception of a few Witches who do things differently and better (You know who I'm talking about). I've decided to no longer expand my botanica and I won't be creating new incenses or oils for the time being in an effort to focus on a more specialized set of products. I will keep my favorite of the botanica products such as my inks, a few incenses and powders but most of my current stock will be discontinued (more than likely this means a sale so keep an eye out!).

With this change I will bring about more of a focused idea with my art and ritual supplies. More charms and ritual jewelry, more block prints and artwork, more embroidered tarot bags, more leather and woodwork, more one of a kind pieces crafted by me. Once my shop reopens, which I hope will be soon, these changes will begin.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

After the Virginia Renaissance Faire my computer crashed and I haven't fixed it yet. This leaves me unable to edit and process photos so the shop will remained closed until said computer is back on it's feet. I'm tryin' to make it work, I promise.

I'd like to thank all the great people who came out and saw me at the fair, you were all kind and funny and amazing! We got rain and sweltering heat but it was fantastic. I truthfully have very few photos from the faire because of the modern camera anachronism issue but I snagged a few.

Recently several odd occurrences and creatures have crossed my path. I've been having sleepless nights and scattered dreams, many involving those witches I know. So I've taken this time to work on some personal projects to calm the buzzing.

On the way I have some new products and one of a kind items plus all of the one of a kind pieces that didn't find homes at the faire. I look forward to coming back!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Secrets and works

Some of the jewelry you'll be seeing at my booth at the Virginia Renaissance Faire. Handcarved Yew pendants, talismans, charms, spirit and divination bags, and many one of a kind items will be sold in addition to some of my most classic incenses, oils, and artwork. Any goodies not sold will be put in the shop. Remember, I'll be there the weekend of May 14-15 and closing weekend June 4-5. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snow in spring.

It snowed this morning. There are blooms and blossoms and pollen and snowflakes. The Old Woman has one last laugh.

I've been going through some really uninteresting and unspiritual real life job changes so things have been quiet. I went from a flexible schedule to a fixed one and have had to spiritually change some things. Before I worked a job that allowed me to freely speak about who I am and what I do and it was the first job I was able to do that. It was liberating but alienating but I had time for crafting. Now I feel as though I've taken a step backwards in my progress by changing my job to one where I feel as though to expose myself might leave my employment in jeopardy. So I will stay quiet for now.

I've also been having trouble composing words and sentences and my spelling has worsened. My productivity has slowed. It will pick back up as I'm gearing up for the festival.

The winner of my little contest, which I am sorely late in posting, is Unknown Binaries! Please email me at anathemum(at) to collect your prize. A big thanks to those that participated, I loved reading all your words.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ink and Paper

The Hare Notebook

I often worry that being witches of a digital age has stifled our written word within ourselves.

For myself I can't really get behind the idea of a typed grimoire that's bound in a plastic binder. Plastic is unreceptive. It makes something that should be so personal so very sterile and clinical. It's not as though writing it by hand within a nicer book is harder, it's perhaps more intensive but this implies that the shortcut is the way to go and my mindset couldn't be farther from the truth. For those who find the binder and typed method suitable I encourage you to try a bound book and written words. The claim is that "if I want to change something it's easy to and I don't have to start a whole new book." Part of our learning as witches involves changes that we should embrace, not hide as though they're shameful. Even the most elite of witches started somewhere small and meager.

I'm a purist when it comes to things like this. Perhaps it's the artist in me. I want to use ink and pen and paper within a bound medium. I want to mix my blood with the ink. Or spit. Or whatever. I want my hand to ache after I've transcribed an incantation. I want that ink to accidentally or otherwise be smudged. I want to feel my words as they appear on the page. To add color with paint and mud and blood. This is why I've created all these inks and little notebooks for you witches. To encourage the recording of our paths in a traditional and tactile manner. I personally use one of my little notebooks for recording my results of tarot sessions.

To help encourage all my witches to put down the keyboard and pick up the pen I've got a little giveaway. I want to see pictures of your grimoires, those of you who are willing to show it. A link to a flickr post or photo host will do. Doesn't necessarily have to be of the whole thing, maybe your favorite page. Got a sketch of a deity? Beautiful, let's see it. Don't have a camera? Post the favorite piece of text from your grimoire instead. Please give credit if the posted text or photo is not your own.

The winner will receive this block printed lined notebook. A Piccadilly by brand, measuring 3½ x 5½ in, 100 lined acid free pages with a stitched binding. A silver cardboard notebook printed with my Sticks and Skulls print in high quality black ink. Fits perfectly within a tarot pouch or pocket and is perfect for all sorts of scribbles and sigils.

I will accept entries through the Vernal Equinox, March 20th. Thanks and happy commenting!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Alllmost spring

While things may have been a little quiet in my internet world, I've been a busy bumbling bee around my little thicket. I've been cold stratifying and starting seeds for the witch's garden this year (soooo many plants!!!!), working on dolls and furnishings (as seen at the Spirit House, go look!) and enjoying the first few warm days we've had in Virginia since last fall.

It seems as though every witch I know has fallen ill these past few weeks, myself included. Bouts of coughing and feverish night and dreams have sequestered me to the least labor intensive of my crafts. It has also given me ample time to reflect on past and future projects. Things have slowed in the shop a little since I'm taking some time to work on some personal projects of mine that until now were on a very far back burner. It feels so good to every day be able to do what I love. Don't worry, I have many beautiful things planned for the shop these next few months.

Last March I was putting coolant into my car in the parking lot of my man's job (a disadvantage of driving a 15 year old car). Stuck underneath my tire was a piece of paper and as I bent down to pick it up I discovered it was a tarot card. The Justice card. A return to balance. Adjustment. I quit smoking that month and haven't had a cigarette since.

I've made it a ritual now to pull a spread at the yawnings of spring, preferably the first New Moon. My spread this year was ehhhhh but at least I have a heads up. I've always thought of spring to be the beginning of my year. You know, start the seeds, watch them grow, harvest, death. It seems more reasonable to me.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Dye and Fiber

Solar dyeing, Hibiscus flowers on the left, Onion skins on the right.

The more effort you put into an item, the better it is at performing whatever task you've assigned it. It's about intent. This applies for all aspects of magic and life; amulets, charms, workings, crafts, gifts, whatever. I try to impart everything I make with immense intent, not only just my incense and oils, but other items too. I've always been one to break crafts down, find the roots of them. Sure it's easy to buy dyed fabric but why not do it yourself? If there is so much more intent imparted upon the materials then the finished product will be pulsing with energy.

Natural fibers are a love of mine. I love knitting, felting, and sewing with them; wools and cottons are my absolute favorite. I do a little amateur weaving now and then with scraps of yarn. You've seen many of the pouches and dolls I've created here using them. Something I've been working on recently is Natural Dyeing. Among several books I got for Christmas (Bookbinding and Doll making, I'll eventually get to those) I received a book called A Dyer's Garden: From Plant to Pot, Growing Dyes for Natural Fibers. This book is beautiful and has wonderful pictures and information. In an effort to cut down on things I buy I want to focus on things I can grow or make within my house, hence the book. This year I will add Woad to my garden since I've been dyeing to achieve a beautiful blue without the hassle of an indigo dye pot (chemistry is not a strong suit of mine).

I've already experimented with natural dyes including Alkanet Root (red), Hibiscus Flower (berry red), Safflower (bright yellow), Onion Skin (bright yellow) and some of the results can be seen in the inks and chalks within my shop.

Pot dyeing, all sorts of fallen leaves and berries with muslin.

A few results, Hibiscus on the left, the fallen leaf dye pot in the center, and onion skin on the right.

A bowl of Safflower and Hibiscus. This yielded a lovely berry pink.

Wool yarn, a moth's dream. So many beautiful colors.

Several years ago I visited the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and came home with armloads of natural yarns, mostly wools, wool blends, and cotton. I bought so much I'm still working through it! One of my favorite commercial yarns (and a total guilty pleasure) is Noro, a Japanese yarn company that manufactures beautiful wool yarn. It stripes stunningly and the colors are vibrant. The company does as much of their spinning by hand as possible and creates these delicious color combinations. Another favorite commercial yarn brand is Lambs Pride by the Brown Sheep Company, a beautiful blend of soft wool and mohair and a dream to knit with. I've been knitting up a storm creating all kinds of pouches bags and purses to store your tarot cards, runes, or gemstones and bones in. Most of them will go to the festivals but some will be left over for the shop. I'm in love with all the colors my house is filled with right now.

And so is Gypsy :). Or maybe it's the squishy yarn bed she's lying on....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Journey Charm

A Gypsy ready for travel...

I hardly ever use prewritten incantations found in books, I prefer to write my own, sometimes just shooting from the hip in situations, or use ancient ones such as the Orphic Hymns. However I wanted to share one I found within a chapter from Trance-Portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World. What I really love about this book is it a book for all faiths, it doesn't cater to one specific Trance bound spirituality, it caters to all. The beginning of the exercise speaks of preparation for travel and creating personal warding, something I can't advocate enough. Without warding it's as though you left the front door open to your house while you go grocery shopping. In addition to verbal incantations you can wear jewelry, masks, or ritual garb to give added protection.

Among other useful exercises, this incantation known as the "Sith Galdor", as quoted from Anglo Saxon Magic by Godfrid Storms, is taken from an eleventh-century manuscript and used to protect travelers at the beginning of a journey, astral or physical. Sig, the old English word for Victory, is associated with the word Sigil. You can also substitute the word "Gods" for a deity of choice, Hermes is a good one as is Hekate. May you use it for your own journeys, within covens or solitary.

With this sphere I gird me round (turn clockwise tracing circle around self with finger, wand, etc)
By the Gods grace grace may I be bound,
Against sore stitch, against sore bite,
Against all horrors that haunt the night;
'Gainst dread that folk fear everywhere,
And loathly things that here would fare,
Sig-galdor I chant, a sig-rod is my stay,
Word-sig and work-sig ward today.
No nightmare do my spirit harm,
No foe oppress, no fear alarm.
Nor wight nor weather threaten me,
From danger defended I will be.
I bid the good Gods victory give,
Guarded so, safe shall I live.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Here's a small collection of customer orders I've created this past year. I've made a TON of custom spell candles but I didn't photograph all of them. I love making special one of a kind items for people, I hope to do more this year!

Luck Magic

A page trade I did with Danni over at The Whimsical Cottage. These are the ones I sent her, Ganesha and Cernunnos.

A spirit necklace.

Leather Aegishjalmur.

Some custom candles.

An owl doll.

Luck Amulet and some Red Hot Luck Oil for a customer.

The Rabbit Moon Tarot Bag. Tawny colored rabbit fur, pale pink muslin hand dyed with hibiscus flowers, and lined in gray felt. Accent in brass, quartz crystal, and vintage shell and vintage brass stamped leaves, as well as an eye milagros. To keep my Art Nouveau Tarot Deck in.

Another custom Tarot Bag for a friend.

Some more beautiful candles and a custom Atropa Belladonna wooden needle case.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Quiet Notes

Fresh Yew, the Mountain Dream Tarot, frogs, bees, bird bones, coyote skull, and many other things

Today I'm rolling smudge sticks for the shop, listing a few new items, and enjoying the quiet around here. The days are getting longer and I've been thinking lately more about my own personal trance work and otherworld travel.

I was given Trance-Portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World for Christmas from my family. I've found it concise and extraordinarily helpful. I've always been a dream walker; I see things or travel to see other witches while attempting to sleep. I also rely more on the signs I see from day to day; creatures that cross my path, interesting articles that seem to coincide with other signs, black dogs, found objects, weather patterns, etc. But lately, in an effort to submerge myself deeper within my practice, I've wanted to see what I don't see in my normal waking consciousness, the juicy innards beneath the crumbly crust.

I will document as much as I'm able to here. In the end this mode of communication might not be for me. But we shall see.