Making Talismans

I’ve always loved making altars. My house is full of them … or, rather, is one big altar.

Using altars, in all the ways I did before illness descended in 2001, is no longer an option, long story short. Making talismans has picked up the slack. Many are ones I can wear. My body is an altar, and I adorn my body with magic.

Every talismanic pendant, necklace, hair adornment, or scarf I make for myself is magic for my altar. You’ll often see me wearing two or three magic pendants. I almost always wear the same enchanted earrings and rings every day, and did this long before the illness came, but these magical staples are accompanied by ever-changing Fey-touched adornments.

In the evening, choosing which talismanic pendants, necklaces, hair adornments, or other pieces to wear the next day is a meditation, part of a spell.

Making talismans for myself, both to wear and to place in my environment, is an important part of my magic and spirituality. I constantly make new items. Crafting and using them have become vital stepping stones. Each one—both the making of it and its use—paves my shaman path, furthering my journey. Each piece calls me, in a different way: calls me back to myself, calls me by one of my true names, calls me to my ancestors.

Others call my heart’s desires to me, invoking prosperity, protection, wisdom in a specific area of my life, success with a specific project, or whatever else I might long for.

In 2001, illness came as a permanent guest. By 2004, I only had months to live. However, now, I’ve another 20 years in me. Talismans are one of the things that made all the difference. In fact, I get healthier every year.

When I was first sick, a physician told me that most people in my situation never get back out of bed and can accomplish nothing for the rest of their lives. I am up and about and doing all sorts of things! Some day, I might completely recover and bid farewell to my longtime guest, a teacher I will no longer need. Talismans are helping pave the way. Though almost 70, I don’t feel old, just ill, and the illness decreases constantly. Eventually, old age will catch up with me. But, ha, it hasn’t caught up with me yet, and I’m 68.

I make talismans for every purpose possible, and might make several talismans to the same purpose.

I make so many talismans, but it works out beautifully. After they have served me—and many of them continue to serve me for years—I might combine several of them into one necklace or wall-hanging, one grand spell. Or, when a charm tells me to do so, I will pass it on to someone else or to the earth. Some charms I will probably always keep, they continue to hold me up. Some charms I will asked to be buried with.

When I have time, I make talismans for other people. … Well, I’m constantly making digital talismans for my students, but I don’t usually have much time to make many non-virtual amulets except for myself.

I make talismans out of wood, stones, beads, bones, and feathers. Or I spin cord from silk, wool, and bamboo. I dye silk cloth and paint it. I calligraph words and symbols on paper or tree bark. Spoons and forks and anything else at hand might become a talisman. Magic is in everything, so anything can be used to make a talisman. Or can be used as a talisman without being crafted into one.

The cast-iron skillet in which I fry my breakfast eggs is a talisman. After all, a pentacle is an amulet, and what better pentacle than a heavy cast-iron piece in which the four elements combine: the heat from the stove, the fruits of the earth, the moisture in foods, and the scents filling the air.

Perhaps a pentacle and frying pan would be better named ritual tools. Or altars. But words can limit magic. Everything is an amulet, altar, magical tool. Unlimited by definitions, imagination is allowed to bring us in mystical directions we might not notice otherwise.

As distracting as words can be, they are equally useful, wondrous, and enchanting. If I frame a shoe as an “amulet,” that might show me its magic and how to use it. The next day, if I frame the shoe as an “altar,” other valuable ideas might emerge. Ditto framed as “magical tool.”

Dividing a shoe into amulet, altar, or magical tool as strict categories is beside the point and self-defeating. These words—amulet, altar, and tool–can evoke significant perceptions, and the perceptions evoked by one word might overlap with perceptions evoked by another word. That’s not a problem; the point is to find power; I refuse to forsake power by restricting myself through the mental rigmarole of categorizing everything into little boxes.

Magic is in everything.
I am its altar.
I am the magical tool on which I draw the most.
I am a talisman.

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Altar Cloth: Pagan Joy

Exuberant Cascades!

Exuberant Cascades!

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

This altarcloth is raucously pagan. For ecstatic worship, Solstice and other sun ceremonies, Beltane, sex Magic, or to add exuberance to any rite.

Click pics to see em full size and un-blurred.

You can skip process to get to Product and Purchase Info.

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Three layers of dyeing: First I dyed white silk yellow with low-immersion dying. The color is absolutely radiant! The snowfall means no place outside to get pics in good light. The background color is not the honey that’s in some photos. It is a bright, unrepentant, primary yellow! Not for someone afraid of color. Celebration!

“Imperfections” from low-immersion dyeing are part of its charm. Heh, charm, that’s a pun.

InitialStrokes3

initial strokes of the second round of dye

Second layer is the basic design. This is actual hand painting.

More hand painting made the third layer: I went over some lines with Lumiere to make them pop. You can’t tell from the photos that, for example, many of the fire symbol’s orangey-red lines were done twice, once with the first paint, the second time with Lumiere, which would “talk” more on the yellow. Then came the Lumiere that has a lovely sort of glimmer, which the photos may not be showing. I also used Lumiere paint for detailing.

I applied four Lumiere paints. The red and purple Lumiere have a subtle sheen. “Bright gold” and “super sparkle” are more overt but still tasteful, not garish: Faerie glimmers.

Earth

Detail of Final Piece: the Element of Earth

Product and Purchase Info:$145, plus $4 S & H. 100% silk, 66 X 13.” I am 99% sure it is 12 mm Crepe de Chine. (It is new cloth, but I accidentally discarded its label.) OOAK, original design, painted freehand, initialed and dated by artist. Hand washable. If this item calls you, grab it. I’m almost constitutionally incapable of repeating my designs.I can only ship within the U.S.

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire




Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

My Personal Web Charm

My Personal Web Charm

I’ve been asked to paint a spiderweb on a few altar cloths. (She suggested it as a focal point, but I just had to tuck one into the star, lol.) Her request was lovely synchronicity because, unbeknownst to her, I’ve been creating intense spiderweb spells in recent months again, for my own use and various students. I’d even made spiderweb charms for myself and students. I’ve been wearing my charm everyday for months, dangling from the gold hoop in my right ear.

Center

Center

Fire& Water

Fire& Water

Do you want an altarcloth with the four elements and a Faerie Star?




Revitalizing This Site

Welcome, old visitors and new!

My friends and I have done massive prep to revitalize this site since late 2011. I’ve been jazzed about adding witchy witch stuff, old-fashioned craft, Druidic wonders, bardic innovations, intelligent blogs, dancing atoms (um, I couldn’t get dancing girls), and more.

 Boys and girls, come one, come all, this site has never been typical pagan.

We are kind of doing a site re-launch. I’m posting this before we do it, so you can read this when you arrive. Welcome, welcome, fellow stardusted traveler.

Past 10 years, the site received few additions and updates, because of my health. Despite that, a strong flow of visitors continued. That was awesome for me, but being able to finally make substantive changes is mega-fun. There are so many wild witchy things I want to do.

I have a mass of pieces written, built up over years.

You’ll see stuff added all the time, a whole new look, and a commitment to beauty of spirit.

 We’ll keep existing material (except bits no longer relevant) —I’m an ol’ witch who doesn’t throw out the tried and true. (This site is your grandmother. Online Wicca since 1995; I’ll tell you about that another time.)

Site navigation: The site is on three servers. (It’s a long and grassroots story.)

As of 2012, new Grimoire entries will be in my blog. Grimoire entries prior to 2012 will not be in the blog. The blog search engine and sidebar help find blog entries specific to your interests. The main Grimoire page will not have links to new Grimoire entries.

Portrait of Roberto Campus, Francesca De Grandis. Roberto kindly helped get the WordPress part of this site up and running.

Part of the long story: 1994, we ran out of space for the site. I couldn’t afford to buy any, so put some pages on the domain of my initiate and dear friend Dawnwalker. Dawn is a trickster extraordinaire and a generous loving heart. (I’m blessed by amazing people the Goddess sends me to train. I may not get zillions of students in my classes, but they’re awesome fellow seekers, we walk together and explore.). Free use of Dawn’s domain meant my site could hold more free stuff for visitors.

So I split the site between the original domain on well.com and Dawn’s, which is feri.com. Dawn, thank you, thank you. I love you. (Dear site visitor, do not confuse my tradition with Feri just because my initiate owns feri.com. Dawn used the term differently than it is used now.)

To revitalize the site, we’ve added a third domain, www.stardrenched.com, which is mostly for the site’s blog. (A long story for a later date).

SolarKing, silk painting, OutlawBunny. At the time of this post, this piece of art is available in my Etsy shop

My cauldron fire burned bright in a 2011 Solstice ritual—the first time I could have a cauldron lit in my home in years. A good sign that the cauldron was relit! My enthusiasm about revitalizing the site has been huge. My internal flame about it is bright. That flame, fueled by love of my Gods and their ways, and by Their endless love of us, is what I share in this post to you. May your hearth fire, heart fire, inner fire burn bright!

It’s a huge site. Even after I announce the “revitalized site” as “launched,” it will take us months if not a few years to work our way through creating a new look, updating text, etc. Omigoddess, there might be sadly needed updates for a while! Please forgive that and wonky layouts, etc., as we learn new software.

Portrait of Kristilee, Outlaw Bunny. Kristilee gave feedback on my site design and provided other important help.

I thank the gods for Kathi Somers, the longtime hard-working Fey-touched webmaster of this site  (a pic of Kathi is at this blog), and for the help of the www.bbs-la.com boys, who still believe that the internet belongs to the people.

Please come back often to see new stuff and changes. I hope you enjoy it because I devoted myself to it for years, and finally have time and health to refocus on it, including adding a blog. Please let me know what you think by posting responses to my blogs.

PS: While I was unable to do much on this site, I have been able to work on my everything-under-the-sun site because of the software on that site. So it has lotsa stuff, including its own blog. Check it out.