Category Archives: Charms and Talismans

On Serendipity and Iron

By | Charms and Talismans, Folk Magic | 12 Comments

The other day I had a serendipitous morning of finding datura and brugmansia plants at a local nursery and the ladies who work there gave me all the seeds they’d collected after hearing about the pain ointments I make with them. Shortly after, I had another “hmm this can’t be coincidence” encounter. I went to a local farmers’ market to get some of my favourite pig’s lard and lye soap from a local blacksmith and went home with the recipe and a traditional Irish “nine irons” amulet instead. He learned how to make them online, but after bringing them to a farmers’ market last year, a local little old Irish lady made a happy fuss over them and gushed out lore form her childhood. She told him the farmers and farm hands would put the amulet on their belts before going to work the farm or go into the woods and at the end of the day would hang it up by the door or over the bed. It was for luck and protection and was used in folk magic charms of healing, curse breaking, and keeping away evil spirits and fairies. The amulet seemed to have the biggest popularity in…

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The Heretic’s Rosary Project

By | Black Arts Foundry, Charms and Talismans | 8 Comments

The Heretic’s Rosary Project was two months in the making. The idea came first; to deconstruct and de-consecrate antique and vintage catholic rosaries and add talismans, charms, and animal relics that simply screamed folklore and witchcraft. Then it was quite the task to collect the right rosaries and the most interesting pieces, some old, some new, and some I made myself. There were late nights of sketching ideas and sorting through my beading stash and aptly named “box of dead things”. With thought and care each individual rosary came to life, rebirthed from something old and forgotten to something new and full of talismanic power. The last step was to have my two handsome friends, a witch and a shapeshifter, drive up from Washington state to stay over for a weekend visit during Imbolc. I fed them and plied them with mead and goodies and in return they agreed to model the rosaries for me. We had a fun visit of late nights conversing on topics of religion, mythology, magic, spirits, and spells. I was sad to see them return home, but know we’ll get into mischief again some time soon. Below are the final proofs of the rosary photo shoot…

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Tveir Hrafnar: Sorcery in Silver

By | Charms and Talismans, Reviews & Interviews | 7 Comments

first encountered Aidan Wachter last summer when he sent me a very sweet email complimenting my writings and art and sharing his datura anecdotes. We continued to send emails back and forth on magic, poison plant stories, and resources… and then he opened his shop Tveir Hrafnar. I was floored. I swooned. Occult jewelery is big right now, in fact it’s gone mainstream thanks to collaborations between talented designers like Ovate with Joanna Szkiela and Sisters of the Black Moon with Bloodmilk. Animal skull pendants and occult symbols from popular designers can be seen around the necks of your favourite musicians and characters in many tv series and movies. But Aidan isn’t following these trends — his jewelery is another esoteric creature altogether. While all the big name designers are casting their pieces in silver and bronze from moulds, Aidan is sitting at his workbench practicing old school cold cut-and-file silversmithing. The result: time-consuming, intricately cut and layered pieces of silver forming high-end magical talismans. Each one is made from scratch by hand from start to finish by a sorcerer’s hands, intended to be worn by other magicians. Each one is full of magical symbolism inspired by alchemy, sigils, chaos magic, traditional witchcraft,…

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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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Hekate Ritual Bundles

By | Charms and Talismans, Folk Magic, Witchcraft & Magic | 22 Comments

Some believe that fetishes and medicine bundles belong to Shamanism or Vodou and Hoodoo alone, but Witchcraft and fetishism have long been mixed bedfellows. We need only to look at all the artefacts and charms in the Boscastle Witchcraft Museum to see this is so.  A fetish can be anything from a simple bird foot or skull to a more elaborately crafted doll, pouch, or bottle. It is any object believed to have its own spirit we can communicate with and work with in our magic and rites. As an animist I believe everything has a spirit – even the tools I use to contact other spirits. Because of this, fetishes need to be cared for, fed energy and offerings, and kept in a safe and sacred place when not in use. This week I pulled out my leather, my sewing kit, and my specimens of poisons and bone to craft fetishes used to aid in working with the dark goddess Hekate. I cut up squares of raw black silk, laid them upon the pelt of a black wolf, and filled each square with specimens of mandrake, monkshood, yew, and snake skin and bones. I cleansed them with the fragrant…

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