Pagan Craft Making

WOTC Magickal Goody of the Day – Make Your Own Measure Bag

Magickal Goody of the Day

How to Make a Measure Bag

A measure bag is used in some Pagan traditions, including a few forms of Wicca, as a way of forming a magical link between an individual and the group to which they belong. The measure bag is often incorporated into a practitioner’s initiation ritual. If you practice as a solitary, you can still use one as part of a self-dedication ritual to the gods of your tradition.

The term “measure bag” comes from the phrase “taking one’s measure.” This phrase means to size someone up, or to see what sort of person they are. To take someone’s magical measure, a cord is measured from the bottom of the individual’s feet to the top of the head. The bag is usually decorated with magical symbols – often including the practitioner’s magical name – and stored with bags from other members of the group. In the case of a solitary, the bag may be kept with the rest of the practitioner’s magical tools, in a safe and secure place.

To make a measure bag, you’ll need the following:

  • A drawstring pouch
  • Embroidery floss or fabric paint
  • A length of cord
  • Some sort of taglock or magical link to yourself

Decorate the outside of the bag with either fabric paint or embroidery floss. You can put your magical name on it, or if there is a particular symbol you feel drawn to, you can use that instead.

Use the cord to measure the distance from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head. If someone else is nearby, they can do this for you. If you’re alone, place one end of the cord under your foot and then run it up to the top of your head. Snip off the cord once it’s the appropriate length. Place the cord in the measure bag.

Finally, you’ll add another magical link to yourself into the bag. In some traditions of hoodoo and folk magic, this is called a taglock. It’s something that magically binds you to the contents of the bag – a snippet of hair, a fingernail clipping, even a drop of blood.

Consecrate the bag as you would any other magical tool, and put it someplace where it won’t be disturbed by others. If you are part of a group, place all the group members’ bags together in a box and store it for safekeeping.

 

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Magickal Goody for December 30th is Making Your Own Moon Braid

Magickal Goody for Today

Make a Moon Braid

A moon braid is a great craft for kids to make, but braiding can also be a relaxing and meditative way for adults to spend their time. The three colors of the braid — white, black, and silver — represent the three phases of the moon. I’ve seen braids done completely from one end to the other, but I think if you’re going to hang it up, it looks pretty with the bottom half unbraided.

You’ll need the following items:

  • Cord or ribbon in black, white, and silver

Find a quiet spot where you can work undisturbed. Knot one end of the cords together, and begin braiding. As you weave the three colors in and out of one another, focus on the shifting phases of the moon. Think about the different cycles that our bodies, our lives, and our spirituality go through. Consider, as you braid, the ebb and flow of the tides, and their effect on our constantly changing planet. If you honor a particular lunar goddess, offer her a prayer as you create your braid.

Once you’ve finished, knot the braid so that it doesn’t unravel. Hang it in a spot near a window, so that when you look out at the moon, you’ll be reminded of the braid and what it symbolizes to you and your evolving spirituality.

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Magickal Goody of the Day – Make Your Own Pagan Rosary

Magickal Goody of the Day

How to Make a Pagan Rosary

A rosary is a string of prayer beads used by some Christian churches, most commonly associated with Catholicism. These beads are used to aid one in achieving a meditative state while chanting repetitive prayers. If rosaries worked for you as a Christian, or if you like the idea, there is no reason you can’t adapt it to your pagan practices. They are easy to make, and you can customize them to suit your own traditions and beliefs.

Things You’ll Need

Thin cord or heavy nylon thread

A needle

Medium to large sized beads

Small beads for spacing

Charm or special bead

 

Instructions

  1. Basic Process

    • 1

      Decide what you want your prayers to be about. Do you wish to use them to meditate on the elements, or to focus on your patron god or goddess? As soon as you decide what your beads will be used for, you can select beads appropriate to that purpose. See the variations in sections below for more ideas on this.

    • 2

      Make a knot at the end of the cord or thread. String on your first bead based on your intent. String on two or three small, neutral-colored beads. These will be used as “spacers” between each prayer bead. Continue stringing on your intent beads, with the same amount of spacers in between them, until you have the amount you are satisfied with.

    • 3

      Tie on a special charm at the end of the string of beads. This charm could be a special bead, a charm fro a necklace or bracelet, a coin or something else that represents meaning of your beads. It might feature your goddess, or a symbol of your tradition, or might be a small pentacle.

    • 4

      Choose prayers or chants for your beads, and write them yourself. Learn these by heart. To use your beads, start with the first bead and say its prayer or chant, then move on to each bead in succession. Keep a special prayer for your charm, which would signify the end of the prayer or meditation session.

    • 5

      Empower your beads in ritual by running them through incense, or sprinkling them with salt and water, and asking your deities or any universal spirits you appeal to for blessings. Keep your beads in a special place, or wear them if you like.

    Moon Goddess Rosary

    • 1

      String on 13 white beads, or beads with moon symbols, onto your string. Use dark blue or black spacers in between them. Each bead signifies one full moon cycle of the year.

    • 2

      Attach a charm that is a symbol of the moon goddess or of the moon itself.

    • 3

      To pray with your moon goddess rosary, begin with the first bead, and work your way through all 13 of them with a chant or prayer. For example, “Lady of the moon, protectress of the night, watch over me, your child, and fill me with your silver light. Teach me your mysteries, grant me your wisdom and heal my body, mind and soul. Show me your vision.”

    • 4

      Finish with a special prayer to your goddess when you reach the charm. These prayers are best when you write them yourself and they come from the heart.

    Elemental Rosary

    • 1

      Choose a yellow bead, a red bead, a blue bead and a green bead, and a white bead. Also choose 20 medium-sized beads in black. You will also need small spacer beads to go in between each. A good charm for this rosary is a pentacle, with each of the five points on the star representing an element: air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, the circle being the universe that surrounds and connects them all.

    • 2

      Make a knot at the end of the cord, and put a yellow bead on it, then a black bead, spacers, black bead, spacers, black bead, spacers, black bead, spacers. Add the red bead, then four more black beads, with spacers between them. Add the blue bead, with four more black beads with spacers. Add the green bead, with four more black beads with spacers. Add the white bead, with four more black beads with spacers. Tie it off with the charm.

    • 3

      To pray or chant with these beads, start with the yellow bead. Chant to the element of air, asking it to fill you with knowledge and clarity. Repeat the chant on the four black beads. Then move on to the red bead, asking the element of fire fill you with courage and passion. Repeat the chant on the four black beads. Move on to the blue bead, asking the element of water to fill you with vision and compassion. Repeat the chant on the four black beads. Move on to the element of earth, asking it to fill you with strength and stability. Repeat the chant on the four black beads. Move to the element of spirit, asking it to purify you and bring out your higher self. Repeat the chant on the four black beads. Reserve a special chant or prayer for the pentacle, asking for the blessings of the elements.

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Magickal Goody of the Day for Dec. 17th – Salt Dough Ornaments

Magickal Goody of the Day

Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments.

Ingredients
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 1 ½ Cups hot water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
Preparation

Combine the salt and flour, then add the water until the dough becomes elastic. Add the oil at this time and knead the dough (if it’s too sticky, add more flour). Once it’s a good consistency, make your decorations with cookie cutters. Bake ornaments at 200* until hard (about 20 – 30 minutes). Once they’ve cooled, paint them with designs and symbols, and seal with clear varnish.

If you’re planning to hang them, poke a hole through the ornament BEFORE baking them. Then after you’ve varnished them, run a ribbon or thread through the hole.

 

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Magickal Goody of the Day for December 16th – Yule Tree Topper

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make a Tree Topper from Found Natural Items

 

If your family puts up a holiday tree, it can sometimes be hard to find just the right tree topper. After all, you may not be into angels, Santa Claus might not be your thing, and some of those gold stars are pretty floppy. So why not celebrate the natural aspect of the season, and make a tree topper out of the gifts the earth provides?

Collect an assortment of the following:

  • Sticks – try to find five with a similar diameter
  • Nuts, berries or acorns
  • Small pine cones, dried fruits or cinnamon sticks
  • Feathers
  • Vines, bark or dried moss

You’ll also need some raffia or cotton string and a hot glue gun.

Cross the sticks over one another to form a star. Use a dab of hot glue to hold them in place while you wrap the raffia or string around the intersections of the five sticks.

Add nuts and berries, pinecones, feathers or pieces of bark to embellish your star. Tie a piece of raffia or string into a loop at the top, and hang your star on the top of your tree.

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Magickal Goody for December 15th – Yule Simmering Potpourri

Magickal Goody for Today

Yule Simmering Potpourri

You can bring the scents of the Yule season into your home by blending up your own batch of potpourri. Keep it in a Mason jar so it will stay fresh. To use, simply scoop ½ of mix into a small pot, and cover with a few inches of water. Allow to simmer on low heat on your stovetop, adding water as the potpourri reduces down. You can also use a small potpourri-sized crock pot. If you’re feeling really crafty, make a big batch, divide into several jars, and then tie with a decorative ribbon or piece of raffia. Add a note card, and give as gifts for your friends at Yule!

Blend together:

  • 3 Cups dried orange peel
  • 1 Cup dried lemon zest
  • 4 Cinnamon sticks, snapped into thirds
  • 1/4 Cup whole cloves
  • 1/4 Cup pine needles
  • A pinch of allspice
  • 10 juniper berries

Mix in a bowl and then keep in a Mason jar until you’re ready to use.

 

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Magickal Goody for December 14th is Cinnamon Spell Ornaments

 Magickal Goody of the Day

 Cinnamon Spell Ornaments

Will you be decorating a tree this year for your Yule celebrations? There are all kinds of things you can hang on it! Try making a batch of cinnamon spell ornaments as a fun and magical holiday project.

For starters, let’s be clear about one thing – these ornaments may be made with cinnamon, but they are NOT edible, so make sure you hang them out of reach of hungry pets or roaming bands of feral toddlers.

Let’s talk a little bit about cinnamon. It smells good, sure, and it tastes delicious… but what else is it good for? Cinnamon has been used in a variety of ways for thousands of years. The Romans burned it in funeral ceremonies, believing that the aroma was sacred and pleasing to the gods. Because it was hard to come by, during the Middle Ages, wealthy Europeans made sure to serve cinnamon at feasts so their guests would know that no expense had been spared. Now, fortunately for us, you can buy powdered cinnamon in bulk just about anywhere.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Cup cinnamon
  • ¾ Cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbs. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. ground cloves
  • 1 Tbs. allspice
  • 2 Tbs. plain white glue

This recipe makes about a dozen ornaments, depending on the size of your cutouts.

Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. You can start out stirring them with a fork or spoon, but as the mixture gets thick and dough-like, just give in and use your hands to mush it all together. Squash it around until you can form a nice big sticky ball of dough – if it seems like it may be too dry, you can always add a little more applesauce, or a teaspoon of water. As you’re blending the dough together with your hands, think about your intent. What is the purpose of the ornaments you’re about to craft? Are they for protection? To bring well-being and health? For financial prosperity and abundance? Think about the goal, and send those intentions through your hands into the dough as you mix it.

Sprinkle a clean surface – if you have a baker’s mat for rolling, use it – with cinnamon, and roll out the dough until it’s about ¼” thick, and use your favorite magical cookie cutters to cut out the dough. You can choose random holiday shapes, or drag out those old gingerbread man cookie cutters to make little people for your ornaments. Cut out house shapes for ornaments that focus on security and family stability. Use hearts for love, and so forth.

Make a hole in the top of each ornament – use a toothpick or skewer –so you can hang it up after it’s been baked.

Now, here’s where you get to make some additional magic. Remember how you focused your intent into the dough as you blended it? We’re also going to add magical symbols to it. On each ornament, use a toothpick or small paring knife to inscribe a symbol of your intent. You can use any kind of symbol at all that’s meaningful to you, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Financial prosperity: dollar signs
  • Protection: an ankh, a horseshoe, a gate
  • Security and stability: pentacles, earth symbols
  • Passion and love: hearts, fire symbols
  • Wisdom and intuition: moons, yin-yangs

Once you’ve inscribed your ornaments with symbols, place them on a baking sheet in the oven. Leave them in there on a low temperature, around 200, for several hours – the goal is not to bake them so much as just dry them out completely. Once they’re dry, let them cool all the way down.

Finally, thin a little bit of white glue with some water, and brush a light layer over the top surface of each ornament, to give it a nice glaze. Once the glaze has dried completely, thread a string or ribbon through the hole, and hang it on your holiday tree – or give it as a gift to someone you care about!

Tip: Another option, rather than inscribing the ornaments with a symbol, is to use icing piped into place. Use your favorite decorative piping tip to create sigils on your ornament AFTER you’ve dried and cooled them. Once your icing has dried completely, apply the coating of thinned glue for a glaze.

 

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Magickal Goody of the Day for December 12th – Gingerbread Poppets

Magickal Goody for the Day

Magical Gingerbread Poppets

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