11 Fall Projects for the Crafty Witch

11 fall craft ideas for the pagan witch.jpg

As cozy bonfires begin to flare and the first pumpkins appear at the farmer’s market, all the rich, colorful warmth of the autumn season approaches, electrifying even the seasoned witch with anticipation for the coming months.

For winter project ideas, take a look at 10 Winter Crafts for Wiccans.

For spring project ideas, check out 10 Spring Craft Projects for Wiccans.

1.  Design and sew your own voodoo doll or poppet.  If you’re a sewing whiz, you can modify a pattern for a regular stuffed doll to make it all creepy.  Or, just kind of wing it.  That’s what I did with this one, which came together from a mishmash of sewing scraps.  The best part is that it doesn’t need to be perfect.  Odd, asymmetrical limbs, “sloppy” stitches and mismatched button eyes add to the effect.

voodoo doll.jpg

2.  Use your kitchen scraps and spices to craft the perfect fall incense blend.  Make creative use of orange peels, fall spices like cinnamon & star anise, or pine needles collected on an autumn walk.  Blend your own fall incense for use during Mabon & Samhain rituals, or to celebrate the harvest moons.

mabon incense

3.   Create a scrap book for you ancestors.  Samhain reminds us to remember those who came before us.  Honor them in the coming months by researching their lives, gathering pictures from relatives and putting together a “family history” album.  Bonus:  When you’re done, it makes a great Yule gift.

4.  Make your own scrying mirror.   I love projects that make use of odds and ends.  Who doesn’t have an old picture frame?Use it to make your own scrying mirror.  It’s easy. fun and opens up a new “window” to explore divination and fortune telling.  As the days grow shorter, the “veil between worlds” thins, making this the perfect time to peer into otherworldly affairs.

scrying mirror

5.  Make black salt.  As the days begin to wane, autumn makes the ideal time to make ingredients for protection and binding spells.  Make a batch of black salt from your fire pit ashes to store for this type of ritual.

6.  Decorate a mask for Samhain.  Whether you have big plans for a Samhain party or you’re just answering the door to pass out treats, decorating a mask is an easy way to get in the spirit of the season.  Blank masks are available at craft stores and online.  They come in a variety of styles and the creative possibilities are endless!

mask

7.  Adorn a pillar candle with fall leaves for the perfect Mabon altar.    Choose a white candle of the appropriate size (large for large altar, tiny for a small one.)  Gently melt a thin layer of wax in the bottom of a frying pan or large pot.  Roll the candle in the wax, then press beautiful leaves into the surface for a gorgeous, natural altar piece.

Fall Leaf

10.  Glam out a pumpkin.  Forget the same, tired pumpkin carving party.  Go glam.  Spray paint your pumpkin gold or black, glue rhinestones on it, cover it in glitter, adorn it with old costume jewelry or do what I did one year, and slip half a pair of lacy stockings over it.

11.  Blend your own Samhain oil.  If you have a drawer or box full of essential oils you never get around to using, try making your own samhain oil from earthy, autumn-inspiring oils like cinnamon, nutmeg, orange oil or patchouli.  Or, if essential oils aren’t your thing, try steeping orange peels and cinnamon sticks at a low temperature in olive oil until you get something you like.  (Or you can always let me make some for you!)  Be sure to pick out a lovely glass bottle from the thrift store and adorn it with ribbon or charms if you like.

samhain oil

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Moody Moons Now Offering Wholesale

So excited to announce that the following handmade items will be available for wholesale!

Click on the photo to be taken to a full product description.  Prices in the listing are for individual sale.

Please message me for wholesale discounts on quantities of 10 or more at:

magicalmoodymoons@gmail.com

First up, Moody Moon’s brand new Rose & Cinnamon Cedar Smudge.

This cedar smudge wand was wildcrafted and hand-rolled with natural twine, rose buds, local Virginia Juniper and cinnamon sticks.

Virginia Juniper is traditionally used in native US tribes and is growing in popularity with the pagan, wiccan and witchcraft communities.

Juniper is more than sustainable—-it’s actually an invasive species in Northern Virginia, so harvesting it in the wild helps tame the tide.

This gorgeous smudge wand was handmade with love using rose, organic essential oils and wildcrafted juniper berries and evergreens.

Best of all, it smells amazing!

Smudge is approximately 8″ and rolled fat!

Ritual Black Salts

Made with authentic, 100% natural ingredients, black salt is sacred in the hoodoo and voodoo traditional.

This hand-ground black salt contains the fire ash of cedar and oak trees on the historic, notoriously haunted Manassas Battlefields.

Sustainably gathered under the dark moon and combined with natural sea salts.

Coarsely ground carbon chunks throughout. Beautiful stuff.

PLEASE DO NOT EAT BLACK SALT–This item is not for culinary use.

Jar is approximately 3″ x 1″ diameter.

Hekate Incense

Hand-blended incense crafted with natural spices, resins and 100% organic essential oils chosen for their sacredness to Hecate.

Warm and spicy, this gorgeous blend will fill your sacred space with the alluring scent of ancient divinity.

Often symbolized by her association with witchcraft, herbal mastery, ghostly spirits, and the threshold between worlds, Hekate (or “Hecate”) is a goddess of magic and otherworldly matters.

Hekate has been noted for her many cultural parallels, including the Egyptian goddess, Isis.

For many, she embodies the Triple Goddess aspect of Wicca.

Jar approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″

Mabon Incense

Both fragrant and beautiful, this spicy, exotic-smelling Mabon incense calls to mind the essence of the early autumn.

Burn during ritual or simply to fill your house with the scent of the fall festival season.

Jar is approximately 2″ x 2″

 

Harvest Smudge

This artisan quality, handmade smudge stick is rolled with herbs, resins, oils and barks sacred to the harvest festivals Lammas, Mabon & Samhain.

As the copper colors of the late summer and early Fall sun begin to cool, it is time to turn our attention to the splendors of the harvest season.

Include this gorgeous, detailed smudge stick in your harvest rituals this year to add a touch of elegance.

Lovely for use in autumn handfastings or baby showers as well. Smells amazing!

Bound with 100% natural twine.

This giant 13″ smudge stick is perfect for group rituals, outdoor rituals and even handfasting ceremonies.

Anointed with 100% organic essential oils chosen for their ritual potency.

Made of Eastern Red Cedar (sometimes called “Virginia Juniper”), this herb is still used in authentic Native American ceremonies today in tribes all over the north east.

The wood from Eastern Red Cedar was also used by native tribes to mark hunting territories and is the origin of the name Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Store this in your closet—as an added bonus, it repels moths!


This huge, artisan quality, handmade floral smudge stick weaves local wildflowers with Eastern Red Cedar and 100% pure, organic essential oils.

A stunning addition to any handfasting ceremony, wiccan baby shower, Sabbat or spring/summer ritual.

About 12”.

Please note: Because this smudge is crafted locally, flowers vary according to season.

This item ships FREE.

More wholesale items will be offered soon!  As always, if you have a wholesale request, please message me or leave it in the comments.

Blessed Be!

 

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10 Ways to Use Divination During the Dark Moon

As the moon wanes and the days begin to grow shorter, both the time of year and the lunar phase create ideal conditions for experimenting with the art of divination.

From traditional methods like the Tarot, to lesser known arts like smoke scrying, from techniques that make use of exotic ritual tools to the simple act of gazing into the clouds, I compiled a list of ways to pay closer attention to the messages of a deeper reality.

I tried to include divination systems that are readily available, as well as some more esoteric systems worth exploring.

Divination is an art form.  It takes patience, practice and concentration!  Just like anything else, the more you do it, the more you will be rewarded with new insights and clarity.

1.  Kaleidoscope scrying.  I love this idea!  Simply look into the kaleidoscope, rotate the dial, breath deeply and let yourself be mesmerized.

2. Cloud scrying.  I wrote extensively about cloud scrying here.   I love this method because with a very few exceptions (in certain climates, clouds are rare), cloud scrying is available to everyone.  Plus, laying on the lawn during a pleasant afternoon is just good for you!

3.  Smoke scrying.  Personally, I find this method extremely spiritual and healing.  Incense sticks are cheap and will do in a pinch, but there are lots of variations.  Smoke bombs in a cauldron have a theatrical quality and are great for group rituals.  For solitaries, burn herbs known for their tendency to heighten spiritual awareness, like belladonna and mugwort.

Photo: SunsparkPhotography.com

4.  Reading tea leaves.  The first records of tea leaf reading in Europe date back to the 17th century, right around the time that the Dutch merchants brought tea back from China.  Since that time, tea leaf reading evolved into a spiritual discipline practiced around the world.  Try it!

5.  Bone Casting.  Another form of fortune telling with ancient roots, references to bone casting appear in biblical scripture, Roman mythology and Chinese prophecy.  This system might be as simple as using a collection of chicken thigh bones.

6.  Ink water scrying.  This method works just like a scrying mirror, except with water and a dark ink.  You can even use the ink from a fountain pen or a ball point.  Dye the water dark enough that it almost looks black, dim the lights (candles are best) and allow your eyes to lose focus.  Wait.

7.  Tarot cards.  If you struggle to find anything in scrying techniques or systems the require too much visualization, the Tarot gives you more to grab onto mentally than many other systems.  However, learning the “traditional” meanings of each card requires a lot of dedicated memorization.  While the tarot relies on very subjective imagery and creative interpretation is usually encouraged, most readers know a basic, near-universal tarot “language.”

Photo: SunsparkPhotography.com

8. Runes make perfect additions to the crafty or artistic practitioner’s tool kit.  Easy and inexpensive to make, carve a set of runes into wood or paint them on tiny pebbles.  Much of Runic history is complex or lost, so many interpretations of the symbols of themselves exist.  Read about them, come up with your own interpretation and apply it consistently.

9.  Pyromancy.   If you’re a fire sign, working with fire as a “porthole” may really appeal to you.   Use a single candle flame or a full on bonfire.  Flash powder is especially fun for this.

10.  Palmistry.  While many systems tend to be introspective and involve very little interaction with others, palmistry is perhaps one of the most intimate, connective, sensual forms of divination.   


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Lammas with a Kitchen Witch: Blackberry Bruschetta

Not a fan of baking the lammas bread from scratch?  There are still lots of creative ways to honor the holiday in your kitchen.

Lammas traditionally celebrates the grain harvest.   Any bread-based meal captures this spirit nicely.

This year, my favorite idea is blackberry bruschetta.

lammas with a kitchen witch

It’s pretty simple.

Start with a nice, crusty loaf of french bread.

I like to get my french bread from a local bakery or the farmer’s market.

french bread

While you’re at the farmer’s market, pick up some big, juicy blackberries (or, even better, find a “pick your own” farm and gather them yourself!)

Because it ripens on the vine pretty close to Lammas in many growing regions in North America, blackberries associate with the holiday quite naturally.

More generally, use them in kitchen spells for prosperity and abundance—-the many tiny seeds on berries symbolize future growth.

blackberries

I smashed one berry per slice a bread and rubbed it on the surface to go under the cheese, kind of like the same concept as pizza sauce.  I enjoyed getting my hands sticky and making a mess like a little kid lol.

(Be warned:  you will stain everything you touch.  But for this reason, blackberries make a nice natural dye.)

blackberry bruschetta smash

smashed blackberries on bruschetta

You might not imagine blackberries work well in savory dishes, but the acidity blends nicely with Italian cheeses and herbs.  Lucky for me, this time of year, my garden bursts with lush green, fresh herbs, so went out to grab some.

(Even the oppressive humidity in the part of the country comes with an upside—-gorgeous summer herbs!).

green witch 2

In particular, my basil came up nice this year.

basil 2

Basil embodies some interesting symbolism in folklore around the world, but I especially adore Italy’s antiquitous custom of leaving a pot of fresh basil on the windowsill to signify the occupant’s “openness to romance.”

Dried basil often finds its way into traditional Lammas incense blends and makes a nice stand-in for fresh flowers on the altar.  If you buy it at the market, put the left over stalks in the vase to fill the room with its fragrant, sunny aura.

I layered fresh graded cheese and garnished with a half blackberry per slice, popped it in the oven to broil lightly, and then finished it off with the basil leaves.

blackberry bruschetta 1

Yum.

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your own Lammas kitchen witch creations!

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10 Ways to Use Wildflowers in Witchcraft

use wildflowers in wicca

Freeze them in ice cubes.  Pluck flower heads and place them in an ice cube tray.  Fill the tray with water and freeze for some “summer energy” during the darker, colder winter rituals or to use when the flowers aren’t in season.

Leave a bouquet of wildflowers at the crossroads as an offering to the goddess Hecate when you are facing a difficult decision or major life change.

Make flower crowns for summer rituals.  Weaving flower crowns from local wildflowers you gathered by hand the morning of the event lends power and meaning to any ritual.  And you can make them any time of year.  I posted instructions for a winter version here, but the same basic technique applies.

quinceanera

Make a blessing jar.  Get a vase or mason jar, place some meaningful gemstones in the bottom, fill with water and create wildflower arrangement that includes herbs & flowers chosen for their intent.  Place it near a window to bless your home, or give it away to a friend.

Plant them in your garden.  While many wildflowers tend to be invasive in the regions where they grow, that also makes them almost impossible to kill if your thumb isn’t so green.  Many produce seeds that can be gathered, but some you can just pull up by the root and transplant to a pot.

Add them to cupcakes for the Cakes & Ale portion of a ritual.  Hopefully, it goes without saying that you need to check to make sure the flowers are actually edible, and especially to make sure they aren’t poisonous.  Lots options exist within those boundaries.  For inspiration, check out this example of fairy cakes made with candied violets.

beltane faerie cakes

Press them in your Book of Shadows.  If you have a specific spell that requires a flower which grows seasonally in your area, gather a few during the growing season and press them into the pages where you wrote the spell.  That way, when you go to cast, your key ingredient remains conveniently nestled in the pages with it.

Mark the circle.  Go on a nature walk before your ritual and gather enough flowers to ring your casting circle.  This makes an  especially lovely bonding experience for coven rituals.

Create seasonal smudge wands.  Nothing adds a delicate touch to the ritual like fresh, local foliage.  If you know your local flowers and their associations, making smudge wands puts put that knowledge to use in visually pleasing way.  And if you don’t know your alchemic way around queen anne’s lace or black-eyed susans, you can always I’ll be happy to make one for you .  🙂

large floral smudgesmaller

Roll them into candles.  Gently heat a pillar candle in the oven until it’s just beginning to melt on the outside, then roll it on dried flowers.  Looks gorgeous on the altar.

Make salves and tonics to treat mild ailments.  If you’re well-versed in the medicinal or magical properties of your local herbs, take this time in the season to make a store of home remedies for cold & flu season.

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10 Magical Ways to Use Your Chalice

There it is, on your shelf, where you’ve been neglecting it for many moon cycles.  It’s time to dust off this classic altar piece and bring it back into your ritual rotation.

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If you’re lacking inspiration, try using your chalice . . .

To pour libation.  Pour any liquid libations, like wine or juice, from a chalice for an elegant touch.

To collect rainwater for blessing.  Leave your chalice in the rain for pure, natural water to use in making moon water or herbal infusions.

In binding rituals.  If you have a small coven, and it doesn’t weird you out to drink from the same cup, Chalices are a lovely way to seal the bonds of sisterhood.  Choose a blended wine, pass the chalice around the circle, and have each member pledge their friendship to the people next to her.

In handfasting ceremonies.  Similarly, add a “unity chalice” in place of the unity candle at a handfasting ceremony.  The couple each pours some wine into the same chalice, and then they each drink from it.  We used this idea at our vineyard wedding for a rustic touch and it worked out beautifully.

For scrying.  Fill your chalice with water, then add dragon’s blood ink or another dark ink to the water.  Take it outside under the full moon and use it exactly as you would use a scrying mirror.

In place of a cauldron.  If your chalice has a heat-safe finish, place a charcoal disk inside and burn your ritual herbs in it.  The visual of smoke rising from the chalice adds a mystical quality that I just love!

To dress up cakes and ale.  Don’t use plastic or disposable cups for cakes and ale!  Chalices make everything feel so much more witchy.  Serve your cakes on a formal serving plate and add chalices for a classy ritual that would please Martha Stewart herself.

To float candles.  If you are working with the energies of fire and water, floating candles inside a chalice makes an effective way to blend these elements.

To cleanse gemstones.  Leave your gemstones or crystals in your chalice with water and place in the moonlight overnight to cleanse and charge them.  Just be sure you know your stones!  Some dissolve in water!

To blend potions.   Blend small batches of oils, infusions or brews for immediate use in your chalice.

mabon incense 3