Saturday, 8 August 2020

Consecrated Salt and Holy Water

 Two of the items we sell in our Raven Catalogue are Consecrated Salt and Holy Water. These are basic supplies used for a variety of purposes.

    Both of these items are used to cleanse away negative vibrations or any unwanted energies and also to bless objects and make them holy. For example if you have bought a special tool for use in a spell or ritual, you could sprinkle it with Consecrated Salt and a few drops of Holy Water and this would magically cleanse it and prepare it for use in your ritual.

     Basically these items clear away any previous contacts, if someone else has held it or used it. A bit like wiping a computer disc of its previous information and leaving it empty and pristine for you to fill with your own special energies.

    The Consecrated Salt and Holy Water can be used separately, or you can put a little salt into the water to make a particularly highly charged magical preparation. This can be used to bless participants in a ritual, or for initiation rituals, or to cleanse any object or area. Such as clearing out unwanted spirits.

    Consecrated Salt it often used to cleanse items which can be damaged by water, so you can cleanse books or Tarot Cards with it. You can also throw it directly at a manifestation to disperse its energies.

    Both Consecrated Salt and Holy Water can be added to your bath water to cleanse you of any psychic intrusions, get rid of bad luck, hexes or curses. They can also be added to a bucket of soapy water and used to cleanse larger areas such as a room used as a temple, or even to wash the path or road leading to your home.

    They can also be used separately or in combination to create a magical boundary which spirits or other entities cannot cross. So if you were having trouble sleeping, or having nightmares, you could make a boundary around your bed, make sure the line is continuous, but it does not have to be a circle. You can use it to reinforce the magical boundaries of your home too.

    The only things I would not use them on are objects which you want to use for their intrinsic magic or psychic powers. So do not use them on herbs as this removes the very magical powers you want to make use of. Also natural talismans such as a Holy Stone or a horseshoe as, again, you would be wiping away the objects own magic and leaving them blank.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Wishing Trees

After I put my last post up, I had a look on the internet to see if there was anything about coins being hammered into trees, and to my astonishment there were several quite detailed articles about it.
     Apparently there is a growing revival of this tradition of making a wish and forcing a coin into the bark of a (usually) felled tree, or a tree stump. I found articles about it from Wales, Scotland and England, so it is a much wider known folk spell than I had realised.
     Up to now, I had only come across the traditions of hammering nails into trees, or tieing bits of cloth or ribbons to them. But in both those cases the trees would be living. Traditional Wishing trees are usually living hawthorn trees and usually overlook a natural spring. You make a wish then tie a piece of your own clothing, or a ribbon to the tree, as an offering. This relatively new phenomena of using coins utilises dead or felled trees, either the trunks of the trees, or sometimes just the remaining stumps.
     I haven't yet found out what makes a particular tree a candidate for becoming a Wishing Tree in this way, or whether any felled tree or tree stump can be used in the same way - I get the feeling that this might be the case.
      Having read some of the articles, it seems that this may be something that many people are doing just because they see that other people already have done it. In other words they are simply copying the behaviour. Sometimes this happens to trees on private land, or that owned by the National Trust, and one confused National Trust person was quoted as saying 'Why are people wasting their money like this, they could give the coins to the National Trust and we could do something with it!'
      The leaving of a votive offering in return for a wish is a very ancient behaviour, it goes way, way back into the mists of time, and seems to be something humans just can't help doing.
      In Hull, one of the shopping centres has an indoor pool with a fountain in it. If you look in the pool you will see that the floor of the pool is full of coins of all different denominations. This pool in a modern shopping centre has become a 'Wishing Well'. There are no signs up telling people to make a wish and throw a coin in (in fact sometimes signs are put us asking people to refrain from throwing coins into the fountain), and periodically the management order a clean up and the coins are removed and given to charity. But it is not long before coins are once more being thrown into this pool.
      People need magic in their lives.
      They need to be able to ask for help from some supernatural power.

       I find it very interesting and encouraging to note that even in these modern days of computers, when people seem to be getting further and further away from nature, new magics are still finding their way into the world.

Monday, 20 July 2020

Mystery Spell

Every morning Graham takes the dogs for a walk, and part of that walk is usually through a strip of managed woodland, known locally as 'The Plantation'.
      As the woodland is managed, from time to time trees are felled for one reason or another, usually because they appear dangerous, or have become uprooted and need making safe.
     Some months ago now a large beech was felled, its upper branches were removed and taken away, but a large piece of the main trunk was left behind. It has become a nice place to have a sit while passing through the woods. Graham often makes use of it in the morning and so it was he noticed a couple of months ago that some coins, copper 2p's and silver 20p's, had been hammered into the trunk of the tree, in the deep grooves of the bark.
      It seems as if these coins are hammered in maybe every few days. The numbers fluctuate, possibly children notice the coins and pull them out, not easy as some have been hit with such force that it has bent the coins, but they are all left proud of the bark, not hammered in fully.
      There are several old spells which usually call for nails to be hammered into a tree. These spells are also usually for getting rid of something. The tree takes the energy of whatever it is you are trying to get rid of - and as this tree is dead and will rot, I would think that this adds to the power of any banishing spell.
      Usually these spells are for getting rid of illness, or something such as warts, each nail hammered in represents one of the warts.
     As this spell is obviously being added to, and has been for at least a couple of months, then whatever is being got rid of is a big thing.
     Also as this seemed to start around the time of lockdown, perhaps this is a spell for getting rid of Covid 19. But it could be to get rid of bad luck, or of a long-term illness. There could also be more than one person doing the spell.
     The fact that coins are being used is another interesting feature. Coins represent payment, so the tree is being 'paid' to take away whatever it is. The fact that two different coins are being used is also another interesting fact, why 2 p's and 20 p's? Copper is the metal of Venus, goddess of love, and copper coins are usually used in love spells, but copper coins can also simply represent payment as I said before. Silver is the metal which represents the Moon, and the 20p coin has seven sides which could also be significant. It must be more awkward to hammer in the 20p's too as they are relatively small. Silver coins are also given in payment to the Fairies for their aid too.
      There does not seem to be a pattern to the positioning of the coins.
      So there we have the mystery of the tree and the coins.
      An interesting magical feature of our local woods.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

You've Done What With It ?!

Graham and me are not tidy people.
     Thank goodness this applies to both of us. If only one of a couple is untidy, they would drive their partner mad!
     Anyway, because we are not tidy people, things accumulate in drifts and heaps around the house. These are often 'themed' heaps and can last for years.
     Such as: clean clothes accumulate in the clean clothes basket in the kitchen.
     This means that rather than trailing all the way upstairs to fight your way into the wardrobe (which has a pile of boxes piled against the doors) you just rifle through the clean washing basket and wear the first whatever of yours that comes to hand.
     The system works pretty well, because we both know vaguely which heap you might find something in.
     The trouble starts when we have an 'Oh God! I can't stand this mess any longer!' episode, and PUT THINGS AWAY.
     For a few days afterwards, maybe up to a week, the house is clear and tidy, then the heaps begin accumulating again, in small ways.
     But the damage has been done!
     Stuff has been PUT AWAY, and because we are used to whatever it is being in that heap over there, and it is no longer there!
     We have no idea where it might be.

     And so it was, after the plumbers had been and fitted the central heating, we had a sort out in the kitchen.
     For many years we have accumulated spare pairs of 'Pound Shop' spectacles, so that when our favourite pair gives up the ghost, we will have a spare pair ready to go. And all the spare pairs were dotted on the shelves of the dresser in the kitchen.
     We had this bright idea that just laying about loose, as they had done for many, MANY years, was obviously not good for the specs, the lenses could get scratched etc before they came into use. So in a moment of tidying up madness, we gathered all the pairs of glasses up and PUT THEM AWAY!

     This morning Graham's glasses, which he wears constantly, fell to pieces, so a new pair was called for.
     This would be no problem, because we always have several pairs of brand new Pound Shop specs ready and waiting for action. He went to the dresser in the kitchen, where the glasses always are and there were NO GLASSES THERE!
     Dum, Dum, Daaaaaaah! - dramatic music.
     We have put them away. In a safe place.
      Where that 'safe place' is, neither of us can remember ......
      Luckily he did manage to find a pair that we had missed during the tidying up session, so he could see to take the dogs for a walk.
      It is a good thing that even when we are tidying up, we are rubbish at it!

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Crocheting Squared Circles

I have just finished this bedspread/blanket.

As you can see, it is colour-tastic!
The pattern for most of the squares is a very simple one, three rows of circle, then a row which changes it to a square, then three square rows.
     As you can see I made this one is blocks of nine squares, and each block of nine uses four shades of a single colour. The central square of the outside circles has a flower in it and I tried to make all of these different. There are three 'cosmic' blocks in the central row which are a little different. The rainbow squares have seven colours, representing the rainbow colours, but it is surprising how different they look when you just put the colours in a different order. These alternate with red at the centre and purple at the outside, then purple at the centre with red at the outside.
     I have used this same principle of colour variation in each of the blocks, the colours of each nine square block are the same, just used in alternate orders
     Then we have the Sun block and the Moon block. I actually started this crochet by making the corner squares for the Sun block because I wanted to try the pattern of offset corner squares. But I was a bit disappointed that I had to applique the stars rather than working them in the squares.
     The central Moon square, on the other hand, does have the Crescent Moon as an integral area of the square.
     I really had fun with the colours on this blanket. Each of the squares is 6" across, so each block is 18" making the total width four and a half feet, and the total length six feet, the size of a standard double bed. But I think for practical purposes it would look better on the bed if you put it on sideways - which is why I've got two pictures showing it in both orientations.
      Graham is holding the blanket upside down in the long ways pic though - well I think of the rainbow square as being at the 'top'.
      Lol I have just noticed that we have some lovely pictures of our re-cycling bin included!

      Oh and here is a picture of Tallulah, because you can never have enough pictures of beautiful dogs.

Of course after I'd finished this piece, I then decided to have a go at doing a few close ups, so here they are.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Long Days, Short Nights

We are heading towards the longest day of the year, with nights growing ever shorter. In the North of Scotland it never gets fully dark at this time of year, there is a glow in the sky even at midnight.
     Will there be Druids at Stonehenge for the Solstice this year?
     I dare say there will be some folks there, no matter what restrictions ought to apply.
     The Summer Solstice is another of those magical times when time seems to form a link back to our pre-history. The nights are mild enough to encourage people to want to be outside. You might want to watch the stars, or look out for Fairies, or to gather magical fern seed which allows the bearer to become invisible.
     This time was known as Mead Month to our ancestors. The time when meadows and gardens are full of flowers, when bees are at their busiest and buzziest, gathering nectar from every flower they can.
     Will Shakespear understood the magic of a Midsummer's Night, when dreams could become real, then fade away with the dawn's light.
     The Fairies love Midsummer. Their powers are at their height too. They ride out from their mounds, through rocks and out of pools and waterfalls. And if they find a pretty lass or a handsome lad, perhaps they will seduce them away to Fairyland.
     This is a time for magical dreams, for spirit journeys. A time to be transported from the mundane to the magical.
     Find a triangular leaf and use a pin to inscribe it with this magic square:

     Wrap the leaf in threads of three colours, white, yellow and green, and put this package beneath your pillow.
     Prepare for a night of adventures, of flights to strange lands, of meetings with wise and beautiful creatures.
     Before you go to sleep say three times:
Carry me far, carry me flying, carry me fast,
Far and away, 'till break of day,
Then home at last.

    The leaf will become a magic carpet, embroidered with symbols, signs and words of Power, which only you can read. Board it and let it show you wonders.
     When you return to your bed next morning, write down all your adventures, as the memories will fade away quickly.

     Oh and by the way, although the Midsummer Solstice may be a point in time, the magic of Midsummer is already upon us and will last through this whole Moon time.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Crocheting in the Garden

It was another beautiful day yesterday, so after lunch Graham and I descided to take our mugs of tea out into the garden. I took my crocheting with me as well, so Graham was in charge of the tea.
The grass in the front garden in nice and flat to Graham put the mugs down beside him as he sprawled there. The dogs took the opportunity to peer through the front gate and bark at the neighbours in a happy way.
     So there we sat in the sunshine, chatting, watching the bees in the cotoneaster, Graham drinking his tea while mine cooled on the grass beside him.
     Until he said, 'Looks like you won't be getting your tea.' Because there was Bridie with her head stuck in my mug, having a good long drink of my tea. In fact she drank the lot, then looked at Graham as if to say 'Have you left any for me?'
     We have a new little flowerbed at the right of the front door, as you come out of the house. We had bought some new plants (mail order) and then had to find somewhere to put them. There are some lavender plants and one or two others. 'The Pudsey is doing well.' said Graham.
     'Pudsey?' said I
     'Pugsley?' said Graham, 'Something beginning with 'P', I think.'
     Yes, we have put a peony in the new flowerbed. It arrived as a piece of root, with a tiny bud showing at one end. Graham planted it, then we read on the internet that one of the mistakes people often make when planting peony is that they are planted too deeply. So Graham dug it up again and planted it barely under the surface of the soil, and in a couple of weeks, it has started to push up leaves. We don't expect it to flower this year, I think it is far too late for that, but we are pleased to see that it is alive!
     When I am crocheting, I don't always work on huge projects (although I do like to have something on-going). So here are a couple of my latest pieces:

Graham fancied a long, colourful scarf and he particularly likes the 'basket weave' stitch, which is thick and dense. So here is the one I made for him. Of course it is no use until Autumn/Winter.
     Then I was sat one night and my toes felt cold, so I thought I'd have a go at making myself some crocheted slippers.

     I have used one of those wools that changes colour to give the variagated effect. I didn't use any pattern to create these, I just descided to have a go and started crocheting.
     I started with a spiral, which I knew would become the sole at the widest part of the foot, then created the rest of the sole by crocheting rows until I got to the right length - I used one of my shoes as a template and measured it against my foot too. When I felt that the sole was the right size, I simply worked rows around the outside edge without increasing the stitch number, this gave a 'boat' shape which I then crocheted across from side to side to fill in across the top of the toes. I had thought about continuing up and around the opening, to make more of a 'boot' shape, but for the time being these are just what I needed.
     I think I made the slippers in an evening, so it didn't take long at all.