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Speaking of Witch Wands & Magickal Things

Three English witches bound to traditional practise

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Wands

The Magic of Holly

photo by I. Macy
photo by I. Macy

The Holly and the Ivy
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly wears the crown.
~ traditional carol

In his book The White Goddess, the author Robert Graves proposed that the mythological figure of the Holly King represents one half of the year, while the other is personified by his counterpart and adversary the Oak King: the two battle endlessly as the seasons turn. At Midsummer the Oak King is at the height of his strength, whilst the Holly King is at his weakest. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King’s favour; his strength peaks at Midwinter. They are both vegetation Gods/Deities, connected to fertility and the seasons. They battle each other year after year to reign supreme.

Holly is the tree of the 8th month of Celtic Tree calendar, July 8th – August 4th and the 8th consonant of the Ogham alphabet, Tinne or Tiene. Deities are Lugh, Tannus, and Thor. Ruling planets are Mars and Saturn and its element is Fire. The powers of Holly include protection, anti-lightning, luck, and dream magick.

“Holly reminds us of the need to calm our emotions, if we are to reach wise decisions about our situation. The often painful consequences of our actions are brought to the surface for examination, and calm acceptance of our responsibility is required. We are reminded of the need to view ourselves, as well as others, in the light of compassion and unconditional love. Like the Hanged Man of the Tarot, holly represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.” – The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

“Holly wood was used by the ancients in the construction of spear shafts, and as the spiny leaves show, it is well prepared for battle. A symbol of firmness and masculine energy, the holly endows those born under its sign with an equally well-prepared nature. You have a strong connection to the earth, amazing physical strength, and the ability to direct your energy in a balanced even flow. This stability gives you a generosity of spirit ad a very matter-of-fact solidness that others will respect, admire, and rely on. Before you engage in any battle, look inside for understanding and respect for your opponents.” – Written by Kim Rogers-Gallagher, and Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000

The Holly wand is 37cm (14-1/2 in) long and completely hand-carved by me. There are no wood lathes or power tools of any kind used, nor even so much as a pair of callipers, only a Stanley knife and sandpaper. Of course, the Holly ogham, tiene, is inscribed with a pyrography tool, apart from that, as with all of our wands, no electrical tools were used.

Afterwards, I polish the wand with our own Speaking of Witch Wands English Beeswax Wand Polish, also made by me. You will receive a 10ml pot of this polish along with your wand (as seen here:https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/197822860/speaking-of-witch-wands-beeswax-wand?ref=listing-1) at no additional charge. It may not sound like a large amount but you really only need a tiny amount to keep your wand looking beautiful.

The wood for this wand was not cut by me from the tree, however, I happened upon the remains of a tree pruning and naturally brought all I could home. It would have been rude to Mother Nature not to!

If you would like to purchase this wand, please click this link:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/245178880/holly-wand-magic-wand-wiccan-wand?ref=shop_home_active_4
Thank you for looking and many blessings!

How To Make a Book of Shadows (Grimoire) For the Beginning Witch Part 1

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photography by Ma’iingan

How To Make a Book of Shadows (Grimoire) For the Beginning Witch

Looking around the interwebs, I have found a lot of good and useful bits of advice.  Some are a bit advanced, however, for those of you just beginning your practise/path.  As a matter of fact, I find them too advanced for myself and I’ve been a Witch all of my life.  We need not discuss how many years that has been ūüôā

By “too advanced”, I do not mean to say that you nor myself would be capable of using these ideas, just that – if I’m honest – I find unnecessary.  However, as I do want everyone to have every idea and possibility to add to their Book of Shadows (BOS) as they feel they should, then later on in this series, we’ll have a look at everything, necessary or not.

My first piece of advice to the Witch on his or her new path is “less is more”.  I’m not saying you need do nothing and it will all magick its way upon you, simply that, don’t try to do or have everything at once.  There is nothing worse than buying shedloads of “tools”, herbs, oils, and the like, then finding that you really didn’t need all of those things.  There are plenty of websites as well as Etsy and Ebay with sellers happy to sell you huge “Witch-y kits”, repleat with altar patens, altar clothes, wands, bolines, athames, candles, herbs, etc. for loads of money.  Just add water and you’re an instant Witch.  No.  The way to begin is the way you mean to carry on.  Start with the basics, don’t worry that you don’t have “everything” that some other Witches may have, and you will find, along the way, what you truly “need”.

The basics – what are they?  I believe a journal or a simple notebook is plenty good enough for the new Witch.  I bought a very nice leather-bound BOS some years ago, and to be honest, it only has a very few pages with entries.  The reason is, is that I only want what I feel is 100% effective in my BOS.  No spell, no oil blend, no information of any kind is written into my BOS until I have proved it to be effective myself.  You could have the most gorgeous BOS on the market, but if it is filled with a lot of useless spells and recipes, what is the point?

This is why I recommend a simple journal or notebook.  Oh, you can tart it up, if you like…use acrylic paints to paint sigils, etc on the outside cover, or stickers.  But here is where you can write whatever you wish to your heart’s content – take notes from the books you read that mean something to you, write up recipes of your own for oil blends or herbal blends, draw pictures of the herbs that you’re studying, clip photos and paste in…whatever you like.  In fact, you can fill lots of notebooks over a course of years with all you’ve learned BEFORE you choose what you have found to be effective.  Then, when you have found what truly works for you, make or purchase the BOS of your dreams and write in it all that you’ve learned.  You won’t have to rely on memory…you’ll have notebooks full of memories!  This final BOS (and in some cases, Witches will have more than one of these) is the one that is your legacy, the one you’ll hand down to your children or a new Witch whom you have been teaching over a period of time.

Next time, I’ll tell you more about what is in my own BOS, just to give you a starting point – it is NOT the only way to do a BOS, yours will be the way you want it to be.  Thanks for reading and if you find this helpful in anyway, please like and share!  Blessed Be )O(

For those of you whom have BOS’ that are in need of extra parchment paper, please visit our main site at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com and under “Thee Shoppe of Magickal Things” you will find we sell lightweight parchment paper in ivory a package of 10 sheets

The Magickal Avocado Tree

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photo by Gavin Shoebridge at http://www.gavinshoebridge.com

The Magickal Avocado Tree

Gender: Feminine; Planet: Venus; Element: Water; Power: Love, Lust, Beauty; Dieties: Thoth, Seshat, Osiris

Persea is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen trees belonging to the laurel family, Lauraceae.[2] The best-known member of the genus is the avocado, P. americana, widely cultivated in subtropical regions for its large, edible fruit. – Wikipedia

Avocado/Persea is a sacred tree of the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians usually made their wands out of acacia or persea (avocado tree), and the wood cuttings should be used in sacrificial fire – just sacrifice the branches, nothing else, please. Priestesses of Apollo chewed the leaves and inhaled their smoke to induce a psychic state of mind, however, I would not recommend this as per this documentation:

The leaves of avocado in doses exceeding 20 g fresh leaf per kg bodyweight, produced damage to the mammary gland
with decreased milk production in an animal study. [3] Six of 21 goats feeding on fresh avocado leaves from pruned
trees, showed clinical signs of cardiac distress. [6] Ingestion of avocado leaves also caused lung oedema, hydrothorax,
severe myocardial degeneration, necrosis and fibrosis in 15 Cameroon goats. [7] In a study, nine out of 120 ostriches
died from congestive heart failure within 96 h of ingesting avocado leaves and immature fruit in an avocado orchard
containing Hass and Fuerte cultivars.[27] Finally, researchers from Kenya observed dyspnoea, pulmonary oedema,
abdominal enlargement and signs of elevated liver enzymes from two dogs which had a fondness for avocado fruits.

The ancient Aztecs believed the fruit of the Avocado would infuse one with lust. Growing an Avocado plant is said to bring love into the home. If you don’t want to plant the pit, you can carry it with you to promote beauty. And, of course, we know wands made from avocado branches are powerful. What then, about the leaves? Apart from being dangerous to ingest? What can the leaves do for us in a magickal sense? I’d be happy to tell you.

We know that the very tree is revered by some very powerful Egyptian deities. It is associated with love and beauty. Many aren’t aware that, if you do not “enchant” your herbs, artifacts, etc., that they may or may not help very much. All enchantment is, basically, is telling a herb, leaf, wand, artifact, stone, etc. what you wish it to do. Whilst not much is written about the leaf of the Avocado/Persea tree, it is indeed just as magickal as any other leaf of any other tree, perhaps more so, if you know what you expect of it.

My son, who is of the Egyptian pantheon, and a very strong Shaman, uses the dried Avocado leaves, crushed and ground, along with some other herbs that are sacred to Egyptian deities as an offering to Anubis and Bastet (along with a few Tiger’s Eye stones for Bastet). He also finds that ground bits of Avocado leaf in certain oils he makes for use in his practise adds a bit of extra power. He also scatters the ground-up leaves to the four corners for certain rituals and also burns a pinch of the ground, dried leaves in outdoor ceremonies and sometimes only a small pinch in certain incenses, depending on what he is seeking in the ritual. I don’t think it’s harmed him yet, still, I recommend due care in burning the leaves. Certainly don’t burn them in an enclosed area.

We do have packets of dried Avocado leaf on our main website at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com at a nominal cost. Thank you for reading and blessed be! )O(

*Some information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs, by Scott Cunningham 1985-97, Llewellyn

Do I Need A Wand?

SOWWAshSpiralGoddessWand

 

Do I Need A Wand?

The answer is NO!! You do not “need” a thing, apart from a strong desire to learn, a few good books, and a shed-load of intention. The tools of Witchcraft are important, but you do not need them, per se.

However, many young Witches (does not necessarily mean young in age, just young in the Craft) do feel a need to have certain tools to help them, at the very least in the beginning of their Path, to direct their intention more strongly…or as a bit of a “help” in their Magickal workings. I’m no longer a “young” witch, still, I will, nearly every time I work Magick, use my wand, altar paten, cauldron, Book of Shadows (Grimoire), and incense burner. I have an athame, but rarely ever use it. I don’t always use my wand, only when I am doing something very, very serious and want all the help I can get. I made my wand with a load of intention and it was, yes, a bit of hard work. You see, I’m a bit of a “luddite” when it comes to making items…I just can’t get the hang of power tools so the knife works well for me ūüôā Still, my wand works so well for me…because it is a part of me.

No, I didn’t use any body parts in the making of my wand, just my will and intention, some herbs in the tip and a powerful crystal. The same way I make bespoke wands for our customers. Of course, one would think that since I make their wand, all my intention will be in their wand and none of theirs. Not true. When I make a bespoke wand, if the customer asks for herbs in the tip, I will send the herbs and the crystal they order to go into the tip so that the Witch his or herself can enchant the herbs they choose, enchant their crystal and put their intention into their own wand. And of course, one almost always cleanses, consecrates, and empowers their tools before using as I would expect many would do with one of our wands. Your wand will well and truly be your own.

Of course, we also make pre-made wands as well, again, the Witch who buys the pre-made wand can certainly put his or her intention into it after cleansing, consecrating, and empowering. Many Witches (including myself when I was young) buy pre-made wands all the time and have great success with them, love them and wouldn’t use anything else. That tells me that they must work ūüôā

So, no, you don’t need our wands, or any wand for that matter. Although, if you feel you do, please see what we can do for you as you will no doubt look at many websites for pricing, etc. and keep Speaking of Witch Wands & Magickal Things in mind.

Visit our main site at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com or our Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SpeakingofWitchWands to see what we have on offer! And we do add new items almost every week so please bookmark our pages! Thank you and blessed be! )O(

 

The Ash Spiral Goddess Wand

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The Ash Spiral Goddess Wand

healing, weather magick, enhances skills of art, protection, the poet’s tree, water magick

I could not help but call this wand the Spiral Goddess wand as it called to me to carve it as I did, and I could feel the female energies emerge. ¬†As you may know, the “spiral” symbol found on many Goddess statues was originally found carved on the stones of Newgrange, a neo-lithic tomb passage in Ireland. ¬†The Ash tree is a sacred tree of the ancient Celtic people. ¬†It just made sense.

As you may have read in an earlier blog regarding the Ash Tree, you would know that the tree is of Masculine gender. ¬†However, what Scott Cunningham did not write in his wonderfully specific¬†Cunningham‚Äôs Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs,¬†1985-97, Llewellyn is that the Ash is actually closer to gender-neutral than most. ¬†It actually has Female and/or “effeminate” male energy, making it the perfect wand for either Male or Female Witches! ¬†And let us be honest…no matter what tree your wand comes from, it is the individual who puts their energy into their wand, whether they make their own wand or someone makes it for them.

Once we have a wand that we have a connection with, we put ourselves into it. ¬†Almost any Witch I’ve ever known will cleanse, consecrate, and empower their tools before use. ¬†That act alone puts much of the Witch’s intention into his or her wand. ¬†When we make a bespoke wand for a Witch, we often send the crystal (if one is ordered) and the instructions for enchanting the herbs that will go into the tip of the wand and how to attach the crystal to the tip. ¬†This act really makes the wand more personal to the Witch.

Many times, wands will have no crystal mounted in the tip, it may just be plain and pointed.  There are other ways in which to make your pre-made wand your own.  If you have certain Runes that are sacred to you, we can burn those symbols into your wand for you, or you can do it yourself.  Other sigils that are sacred to you may be used.  All you would do when ordering is to let us know which sigils you would like and if it is one that you have made up yourself, you can send us a picture of it.

We can also attach gemstones that resonate with you to your wand. ¬†There are so many different ways in which to “decorate” your wand, that as long as it is your wish, it will no doubt be your personal wand, even if we do make the wand for you. ¬†It will have your energy instilled in it!

If interested in “the Spiral Goddess” please visit us at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com and send us your requirements for your bespoke wand. ¬†Thank you so much for reading our blog and many blessings )O(

 

The Magickal Ash Tree

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Photo by Damien Gayle, www.dailymail.co.uk

The Magick of Ash

Gender:  Masculine; Planet: Sun; Element: Fire

Sacred to Uranus, Poseidon, Thor, Woden, Neptune, Mars, Gwydion

Magickal Powers:  Protection, Prosperity, Sea Rituals, Health

The ancient Teutons regarded the Ash as “The World Tree“, which was their conception of the Universe, and therefore revered as such.

Ash has been used in many magickal ways over the centuries.  Sailors of old carved an equal-armed cross from Ash to carry whilst at sea to protect against drowning.  Ash is used in many sea rituals as it represents the power which resides in water.

The leaves of the Ash can be used to encourage prophetic dreams by placing them under one’s pillow or in a sachet. ¬†The leaves may also be scattered to the four directions to protect a house and/or property.

The Ash tree, as are many trees, is considered to be very protective. ¬†A staff (such as a Shaman’s staff) carved from Ash, placed over a doorway, wards off malign influences. ¬†Ash is also said to ward off snakes, as they will not crawl over its wood. ¬†However, Ash attracts lightening, so please don’t stand beneath one during a thunderstorm!

Ash wands (which we do make!) are often made for healing. ¬†Ash wood is burned at Yule to receive prosperity in the coming year. ¬†Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you can burn Ash chips (35g resealable packets are sold on our Etsy shop¬†http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpeakingofWitchWands) in an incense to achieve the same result. ¬†Ash is also used in poppets for all the various powers it brings (as listed above).

*Some information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs, by Scott Cunningham 1985-97, Llewellyn

Speaking of Witch Wands Are Now On Etsy!

Merry Meet, everyone!

We have a shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpeakingofWitchWands!  We are still adding things to the site, still you can bookmark the site for future reference.

We have also re-vamped our Facebook page as well at https://www.facebook.com/SpeakingOfWitchWands Рand Рwe also have a link to our Etsy shop there as well, so you can purchase straight from our Facebook page!

And, not least of all, we have also revamped our website at http://speakingofwitchwandsandmagickalthings.com/ and it has a new look and new merchandise as well!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at¬†https://twitter.com/SpeakingofWytch¬† @SpeakingofWytch!

Thank you and blessed be!

 

Our New Business Cards Have Arrived! Yay!

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Quite excited! ¬†They came out beautifully and I look forward to sending them out with purchases ūüôā We are hoping to find a good, not-too-expensive vendor for calenders, perhaps other goodies with our logo and name soon so that we can give little gifts to our customers. ¬†If you are a vendor of wholesale items, please contact us at SpeakingofWitchWands @aol.co.uk. ¬†Thank you! And Blessed Be!

 

Our New Speaking of Witch Wands Canvas Carrier/Shopping Bag

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A beautiful white canvas bag, 14 x 14 x 3 in size. ¬†Wonderful for bringing your “witchy hauls” home from shopping! ¬†Not only do you save not having a cupboard-full of plastic carrier bags, you save the environment as well! We sell them on our online shop in “The Shoppe of Magickal Things” tab, however, if you donate ¬£75/$75 to our Indiegogo fundraiser (to help us bring you more of these unique items) you will receive one of these AND our 11 oz Speaking of Witch Wands mug as well! ¬†Thank you for reading and blessed be! )O(

 

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