Category Archives: Bones & Blood

Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone

By | Bones & Blood, Featured, Folk Magic, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

© 2013  Sarah Anne Lawless – Originally printed in Serpent Songs: An Anthology of Traditional Craft curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold and published by Scarlet Imprint. Do not copy or use any portion of this text or its images without the express permission of the author, but sharing the link is very welcome. kulls line the windowsills. Skulls float in jars on top of cupboards. Bones boil in pots on the stove, the flesh melting away. Hidden among the drying herbs and roots there are hearts and tongues and eyes. It is not Baba Yaga’s hut I describe, but my kitchen. Bone collector, bone washer, animal necromancer, deathwalker, shapeshifter, poisoner, witch… these are the words people whisper of me and my practices. Some whisper with fear and others with desire. I am an animist, a folk magician, and a rootworker. It is not just herbs I work with in my folk magic, but also skulls and bones, hearts and tongues. I practice the lost art of working with beast, blood, and bone in order to rebirth the ancient nature of Witch as a wild and primal creature; surrounded by spirits, anointed with blood, dressed in hides, and adorned with talismans…

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The Toad in the Ointment

By | Black Arts Foundry, Bones & Blood, Entheogens, Flying Ointments, Witchcraft & Magic | 2 Comments

It is warty, chubby, clumsy, adorable, and has a very long history of being associated with witches, the devil, and poison. The toad is a beloved symbol and familiar of we witches. I have long wanted a pet toad, just an ordinary little Western Toad (Bufo boreas, pictured), but have not wanted to tame one and keep it in a terrarium instead of its home in the wilds. I have instead been happy just to encounter them in nature whether saving one who was burying himself in the middle of a trail from being stepped on or catching a huge one by a river who was hiding under the large green leaves of false lily of the valley in spring. “What d’ye lack? What d’ye lack? I can pound a toad in a mortar, and make a broth of it, and stir the broth with a dead man’s hand. Sprinkle it on thine enemy while he sleeps, and he will turn into a black viper, and his own mother will slay him.” ~ Oscar Wilde “The toad is one of the shapes assumed by a demon when he sits upon a witch’s left shoulder. Thanks to the two tiny horns borne on…

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The Girl Who Found a Feather

By | Animism, Bones & Blood, Charms and Talismans, Spirit Work, Storytelling, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

A Journey into the Magic of Birds and Feathers Originally published in issue 25 of Witches & Pagans Magazine, September 2012. he story of Raven stealing the sun was always my favourite as a child. The idea of that great black bird creating humans and stealing fire and light for us humans made perfect sense to my little head stuck in a book of Native folktales from the Pacific Northwest. There’s no proof, but I would highly suspect my early love of fairy and folk tales may be what led to me becoming an animist, worshipping nature and all its creatures with awe and wonder. That and my earthy backwoods parents who like to live away from cities and talk to plants and animals I’m sure.  Along with folktales, I fell in love with birds at a young age and quickly claimed my mother’s field guide to North American birds as my own. I remember memorizing their names and the colours and patterns of their feathers. I loved to watch them from my window and out in nature and listen to all their songs from the beautiful ones of robins to the cacophonous croaking of crows and ravens. Birds are…

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A Serpent Sings of Bones and Blood

By | Animism, Bones & Blood, Books, Witchcraft & Magic | 7 Comments

hud! I sat up quickly in bed, hearing the strange sound outside my door. Upon getting up to discover its cause I find a parcel from Scarlet Imprint containing a hard cover copy of Serpent Songs: An Anthology of Traditional Craft curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold and full of the writings of familiar practitioners. Normally receiving one Scarlet Imprint’s works in the mail alone would be exciting, but this time my own words sing within the pages for I am one of its serpents and I sing a song of bones and blood in the final chapter. I stroked the olive grey cloth and admired the shining serpents, undulating endpapers, and pages of gilded letters. I cleansed and blessed the tome with holy water and suffumigations of sandalwood incense. Like all of Scarlet Imprint’s hard covers it is a beautiful book with a beautiful design, beautiful fonts, and beautiful thick paper filled with beautiful words. In the world there are few quality collections containing the writings of modern Traditional Witchcraft practitioners. This one is full of the voices of hedge riders, folk magicians, cunning men, seers, and witches. We are all so very different and yet the heart of our magics…

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Of Copper, Wood and Smoke

By | Bones & Blood, Woodworking | 11 Comments

I’ve been busily working away at ritual tools (when I’m not brewing more flying ointments and packaging orders for the Poisoner’s Apothecary). The second creation I finished is the steel awl pictured above with a carved Western Red Cedar handle, inspired by fiddleheads and ram horns. I just couldn’t resist playing with the beautiful grain of this beautiful wood I ritually harvested last winter with The Shaman who forged the steel awl. The boys came over on Friday and we all sat in my kitchen with tea and our crafting projects. The Poisoner (aka The Whyrrd) sat patiently filing away the rough edges of mammoth tusk pieces for a set of runes he’s making. He’s old fashioned like me and likes to do as much as he can by hand, putting intention into a piece as he works (he sometimes carves wood and bone, but is a silversmith). The Shaman brought his vice and carefully cut out small boline shapes out of copper with a fretsaw and then filed, sanded, and polished them up after. He crafted handles for them out of yew wood I’d harvested two winters ago on the full wolf moon. We finished crafting the handles for…

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