Tag: art

Women’s History & Cottage Craft

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This piece was handmade in Hawaii by Erma O’Brien.

For women’s history month, I’ve been trying hard to get this post done. Instead, I’ve been busy treasure hunting for things in the Magical Flea Market. I scour yard sales and thrift stores and love me a good estate sale. I am always on the hunt for anything my fellow Witches would find useful or lovely for their own homes, altars, and sacred spaces. I especially love to come across things that are handmade and contain decidedly positive and/or elemental energy like the piece shown above. It was handmade, and carefully curated, and clearly holds some water energy. It’s vintage for sure, given the technique and the hardware to hang it. This one is likely from the 60s.

Love to find treasures like this and pass the magic along.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find other information about dear Erma’s work; but I do know she is still living in Maui and has achieved uber Crone status. I wonder if she knows her piece of art is up here in Washington State?

Regardless, I share this because this is a prime example of the things I try to put up in the Magical Flea Market. All items are cleansed and charged magically so that they arrive at your door step ready to imbue joy and good energy for your workings or just your pleasure. When something is handmade, featuring an elemental item (shells in this case) I’m immediately drawn to it, imagining the artist creating it. If I find, like this one, that it’s made by a woman, it ups my interest as well.

The history of women getting together and crafting both useful and just for the love of art items is long and many of our Pagan siSTARs through the years sat sewing, weaving, molding, and in Erma’s case here, designing, something that would grace walls, counters, altars, and the like for years to come. Before the internet or any modern communication technology, these circles of crafting women, were where lessons were learned, information was shared, and feminine bonds were created. It’s also, often, where movements for equality and progress were born. There’s a reason why the Patriarchy is so afraid of any kind of circle, whether it be a Witch’s ritual one, or just a knitting one.

Giacomo Ceruti, Women Working on Pillow Lace (1720s) (via Wikipedia)

This post is also a reminder that each week — most recently each Thursday — I post an “item of the week” from the Magical Flea Market. It sometimes comes with a discount if you purchase a featured item. So check back either here or in the Etsy shop to find that something with that special vibe that you just can’t live without and which some artist lovingly made. Unfortunately, our dear seahorse shown here has already been claimed. But there’s lots more to see over at the Magical Flea Market, so don’t despair, there’s something there for you.

In the meantime, I encourage you to explore where crafting circles exist in your ancestry and your community. There’s a good chance you have your own Erma in your family tree or in your own neck of the woods.

Happy Spring,

~Runa

Best Gifts for Witches Yule / Holiday 2020

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It’s the Yuletide season. The traditional gift-giving season for most of the world, whether you celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, or some other “bring the light to the big dark” time of year. I have to say, giving a gift to a pagan a/o witch is easy because we love so many simple things. So here’s a top 13, because, well, we love the number 13 given all its magical energy.

If you can source these gifts from other pagans and witches and they are local, you just scored even more good karma not just from your recipient but the universe in general. Throughout the article, there’s links for some of the markets and shops of goods from witches I know. Support other witches and you know the karma is tenfold.

These are not necessarily ranked from good to great, since most pagans practice attitude of gratitude and are more likely to be giving you any of these things as opposed to worrying about receiving them.

Magical Runic Vegvisir Ornament from the Magical Flea Market.

13. Candles. Whether it’s just to up the ante of Hygge in the home during winter, or for ritual or spell casting. You can never go wrong with giving candles to a witch, especially if they are self contained. Those 7-day candles at the corner market or bodega? Those are inexpensive and a staple in so much craft work. Get your pagan friend a set of them and you will glow with the light of thousands of candles to them. Is your witch siSTAR a tech witch? or travels lots? LED candles are awesome, too.

12. Incense. I prefer cone incense, because it’s easier to make black salt with. But I still have a few stick incense holders, too. Know which kind your witch prefers and get them one in several scents. Ritual work often requires sage incense or frankincense or dragon blood. But, some good ol’ nag champa or patchouli will work, too.

11. Herbs. Dried or potted, you can’t go wrong. Herbs are used in so much of the craft, from kitchen witchery to spell bags to rituals. If you’ve grown and dried your own, that’s even more magical. Some to focus on? Whole cinnamon, star anise, whole clove, rosemary, sage, lavender, and bay. Also, aligned with this category is things like garlic braids or chili pepper wreaths. These are many a kitchen witch’s dream.

10. Crystals. Whether raw, polished, a grouping, altar tools, or in jewelry, crystals are loved by witches. I honestly don’t know any pagan or witch that doesn’t love any and all crystals. Some all around good ones to give include rose quarts, black tourmaline, selenite, and citrine. You also could consider things like quartz or amethyst book ends, which is on my wish list

9. Books and Calendars with a Magical Focus. Whether it’s a book by another witch about how they became a witch, how they practice, or a particular subject like astrology, numerology, healing, or another path of magic, books are well loved by most pagans. On my wish list is actually a pagan book of poetry by Jason Ralls called The Oath: A Heathen Poet’s Journey. Additionally, calendars that focus on moon cycles and wheels of the year are well-loved, too.

8. Gifts For & From Nature. Whether it’s a beautiful sea shell, an unusual feather, berries or mushrooms you’ve gathered, pinecones scented with essential oils, animal skulls, or handmade seasonal garland, the witch on your list is going to love it. Even better? Take her on a hike and do these things together. If not directly from The Mother herself, give something to your favorite witch that is kind to Gaia: a reusable water bottle, wax food wraps,

7. Essential Oils. I go through a lot of essential oil. Most witches I know do as well. Rose oil, lavender, orange and lemon, and clove are some favorites. I use bay oil to create a safe “anti insect” spray for around my property and gardens. Tea tree is used medicinally and with lots of beauty recipes. But just about any are great.

6. Divination Tools:  Tarot Decks, Runes, I-Ching, Pendulums, Scrying Bowls/Balls, and Oracle cards. You name it.

5. Readings. Get them a reading by another witch. Witches love supporting other witches, so have their natal chart read, get them a deep tarot reading, or rune casting for the next year, or even a Reiki session. If there is a service one pagan provides that your giftee would love, you hit a gift homerun.

4. Statuary & Art. Art work featuring gods, goddesses and other figures that speak to their path are great gifts. I would add book ends that represent the outsider, too — owls, gargoyles, or the like.

3. Altar/Ritual Cloths, Runners & Tools: There’s nothing like keeping your altar in sync with the Wheel of the Year and to symbolize things that mean lots to witches — nature, the heavens, and symbols of the season. Altar Tools are always appreciated. Does your favorite witch have a wand?

2. Decorative Containers or Jars. Containers to keep candles, tarot cards, an athame or pendulum in are always in demand as well. Many can be used as travel altars if they have secure latches. Jars to store dried herbs in (maybe include things from item #11), potions, and tinctures are always appreciated. If there are protective sigils or runes on the outside of it, you just upped the magical-ness of it as well.

1. Witchy Clothing. A modern witch cap, a ritual cape, a scarf, oh, and the always favorite, striped socks or tights! Is she a seawitch? Maybe it has sea symbols on a shawl. Is she into astrology? How about some fingerless gloves with constellations on them? Anything earthy or ethereal will likely be a hit. You know your witch best. Or even something in her favorite color, even if it’s just black.

Whatever you gift or receive, may you have a blessed season and a healthy 2021. May the next year bring us back together again.

Witches Prayer / Meditation Beads from the Magical Flea Market.