Magickal Goody of the Day for August 29th – Make Your Own Set of Worry Dolls

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make Your Own Set of Worry Dolls

Worry dolls are commonly used in Central America by children, but this doesn’t mean that adults can’t use them too!The legend states that if you tell one of your worries to each of your worry dolls before you go to bed, then place the dolls under your pillow and continue to sleep with them there, then by the time you awake in the morning, the doll’s will have taken your troubles away (or at least lessen them!).

To make worry dolls, you will need:
toothpicks
several colors of embroidery floss or yarn
craft glue
small wads of paper

1. Wind embroidery floss or yarn, in the colours of your choosing, around the toothpicks. Do each arm and leg first. A touch of tacky glue or paste holds the ends of the embroidery floss in place.

2. A small wad of paper separates the legs and forms the base of the head.

3. Attach arms and legs to the body of the doll with some more twists of your thread.

4. Wind the yarn around the top of the wad of paper to make the heads. (you may want to create facial features, but this is up to you!) Add some loose peices of yarn to the heads to make hair.

It is better to make an entire set of the dolls, each with different “costumes” , as it is likely that you’ll have more than one worry! 5 or 6 of the little worry dolls should be sufficient! It is common practice to keep your worry dolls in a little straw box, but you may keep them in a bag or purse if you wish! Worry dolls also make a nice little gift for friends and family!

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Originally published on RavenandCrone

Magickal Goody of the Day for August 23rd – Make Your Own Ritual Robe

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make Your Own Ritual Robe

Many Wiccans and Pagans prefer to perform ceremonies and rituals in special robes. If you’re part of a coven or group, your robe might have to be a certain color or style. In some traditions, the color of the robe indicates the level of training a practitioner has. For many people, donning the ritual robe is a way of separating themselves from the mundane business of everyday life — it’s a way of stepping into the ritual mindset, of walking from the mundane world into the magical world.

Most people prefer to wear nothing at all under their ritual robe, but do what is comfortable for you.

It’s not uncommon to have robes for the different seasons, symbolizing the turning Wheel of the Year. You can make one in blue for spring, green for summer, brown for fall, and white for winter — or any other colors that symbolize the seasons for you. Do take the time to put some thought into your color selection — it used to be that most Wiccans wore white robes, but many people prefer to use earth tones, because it’s a way of establishing one’s connection with nature. Some people choose to avoid black, because it sometimes has negative connotations, but use the color that feels right for you.

Anyone can make a robe of their own, and it’s not hard to do. If you can sew a straight line, you can make a robe. First of all, for experienced sewers, there are a number of excellent commercially available patterns out there. You can check catalogs at your local fabric store under “Costumes”, which is where most of the good robes are hiding out, especially in the “historical” and “Renaissance” categories.

Here are some that look nice and can be made without too much sewing experience:

  • Simplicity 4795: Believe it or not, this is a set of patterns for a passion play. There’s an angel design in here that’s fantastic for a ritual robe. You may want to reduce the drop in the sleeves a bit, though, just to keep from setting yourself on fire while lighting candles.
  • Simplicity 3623: This pattern is for a Scottish-themed costume, complete with tam. However, it also includes a pattern for a muslin underdress to be worn beneath the bodice and skirt — this makes a great ritual robe, and can be assembled in just a couple of hours.
  • Simplicity 3616: Sure, the wizard costume seems campy, but if you eliminate the trim and the long white beard, it makes a version of the ritual robe that is far more masculine than some of the other patterns.
  • McCalls 4490: For more advanced sewers, this lovely Renaissance-style dress can easily be adapted for a ritual robe.

To make a basic robe without buying a pattern, you can follow these simple steps.

You’ll need the following:

  • A piece of material in the color of your choice — make sure you select something that will be easy to sew and comfortable to wear. On the average, you’ll need about three yards, but if you’re heavyset or extra-tall, add in some more. A flat bedsheet is actually the perfect size for this.
  • Scissors, thread, tailor’s chalk, and a measuring tape.
  • A sewing machine.
  • A length of cord or light rope, approximately 6 feet long.

You’ll need some help for this first step, because you need to measure yourself from wrist to wrist with your arms outstretched. Unless you have a third arm, get a friend to do this for you. This measurement will be Measurement A. Next, figure the distance from the nape of your neck to a point even with your ankle — this will be Measurement B. Fold the fabric in half (if the material has a print on it, fold it with the pattern side in). Using your A and B measurements, cut out sleeves and the body, making a sort-of T-shape. Don’t cut out along the top fold — that’s the part that will go along the top of the arms and shoulders.

Next, cut a hole for your head at the center of Measurement A. Don’t make it too big, or your robe will slide off your shoulders! On each side, sew along the underside of the sleeve, leaving an opening at the ends of the T for the arms. Then sew from the armpit down to the bottom of the robe. Turn your robe right-side out, try it on, and adjust it for length if needed.

Finally, add a cord around the waist. In some traditions the cord may be knotted to indicate degrees of training or education. In others, it acts simply as a belt to keep the robe from flapping around during ritual. You can also add trim, beadwork, or magical symbols to your robe. Personalize it, and make it yours. You may also wish to consecrate your robe before wearing it for the first time.

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Magickal Goody of the Day for August 20 – Make Your Own Full Moon Incense (Loose)

Magickal Goody of the Day

Full Moon Incense

During the different phases of the moon, you may wish to perform rituals or spells based upon your magical needs. While incense isn’t mandatory for a good ritual, it certainly can help to set the mood. To make your own magical moon incense, first determine what form you’d like to make. You can make incense with sticks and in cones, but the easiest kind uses loose ingredients, which are then burned on top of a charcoal disc or tossed into a fire.

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes.

Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist teacher and author who runs the Wildmind Buddhist Meditation website. He says, “I’ve always found that the choice of incense is important. Certain kinds of incense can produce a very calming effect, and we can very quickly build up positive associations with a particular scent, so that the mind becomes quiet and a retreat-like atmosphere settles around us.”

Why Use Incense in a Full Moon Ritual?

In many spiritual traditions – and not just modern Pagan ones – the types of plants and resins used are associated with various properties related to the moon itself. When it comes to correspondences, it’s important to consider what your ultimate goal is in doing your moon ceremony. Are you working to commune with the Divine – particularly a lunar deity? Hope to increase your own intuitive abilities? Do you want to have prophetic dreams? Perhaps you’re seeking to enhance your own levels of wisdom and knowledge.

All of these intentions are connected to the moon.

For example, myrrh, which we’ll be using, is associated with feminine powers – and in many metaphysical belief systems, the moon is referred to by feminine pronouns such asshe and her. Moonflower is also one of our ingredients, and you can probably guess why, based on its name. We’ll also be including sandalwood, because of its associations with both purification and connecting to the Divine. If you’re hoping to reach out and strengthen your connection to the gods of your tradition, sandalwood gives magical efforts a nice little boost.

In many Neopagan paths, incense is representative of the element of air (in some, it represents fire, but for this purpose, we’re focusing on the airy aspect of incense). Using smoke to send prayers out to the gods is one of the oldest known forms of ceremony. From the censers of the Catholic church to the Pagan bonfire rituals, incense is a powerful way to let the intent of mankind be known to the gods and the universe.

Ingredients

As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the intent of your work. In this particular recipe, we’re creating an incense to use during a full moon rite, or Esbat. It’s a time to celebrate the changing tides of the season and of our bodies, and focus on developing ourintuitive skills and abilities.

You’ll need:

  • 2 parts juniper berries
  • 2 parts myrrh
  • 1 part rose petals
  • 1 part sandalwood
  • 1 part mugwort
  • 1 part moonflower
  • 1/2 part marigold

Mixing Up the Magic

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Full moon, shining bright,
intuition guiding me this night.
I blend these herbs to light my way,
on a magical path I will stay.
Powerful moon, up above me,
As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

 

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Magickal Goody for August 7th: Make Your Own Smudge Sticks

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make Your Own Smudge Sticks

Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose. Although they are available commercially — and are fairly inexpensive — it’s easy to make your own if you’ve got herbs growing in your garden, or if there’s a place nearby where you can go wildcrafting.

You’ll need:

  • Scissors or garden clippers
  • Cotton string
  • Plants such as sage, mugwort, rosemary, lavender, or juniper
 Cut off pieces of the plants in lengths about 6 – 10 inches long. For more leafy plants, you can make the pieces shorter, but you may want to use a longer piece for a plant that has fewer leaves.

Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together so that the cut ends are all together, and the leafy ends are all together. Wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. The smudge stick in the photos contains sage, rosemary and pennyroyal, but you can use any kind of herbs you like.

Although the use of wrapped smudge sticks is generally attributed to Native American cultures and practices, the burning of fragrant herbs in a ritual context is found in numerous societies throughout history.

Herbs were burned in ancient Egypt, and the practice is recorded and documented in a tablet inscription that has been dated back to 1500 b.c.e. Many eastern spiritual systems, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto, utilize burning herbs – either loose or as compacted incense – in ritual practice. For the ancient Greeks, smudging was included in rituals to contact the dead, and often was used in tandem with ritual fasting.

Wrap the remaining length of string around the base of the branches several times to secure it. Then, gradually, work your way along the length of branches until you reach the leafy end. Return the string back up to the stems, creating a bit of a criss-cross pattern. You’ll want to wind the string tightly enough that nothing gets loose, but not so tight that it cuts off pieces of the plants.

When you get back to the stems, tie the remainder of the string to the 2″ loose piece you left at the beginning.

Trim off any excess pieces so that the ends of your smudge stick are even.

Dry Your Smudge Sticks

Place the bundle outside or hang it up for drying. Depending on what type of herb you used, and how humid your weather is, it may take a couple of days or as much as a week to dry out. Once your smudge sticks have dried completely, you can store them in a bag or box in a dark cabinet until it’s time to use them and then burn them in ritual for smudging simply by lighting one end.

Safety tip: Some plants may have toxic fumes. Do not burn a plant unless you know it is safe to do so.

Dawn Combs over at Hobby Farms has some great tips on nine different herbs you can burn as incense – and if they’re safe for burning as incense, they’re safe to burn in smudging ceremonies. Dawn recommends you burn your herbs – whether incense or sticks – using ,”a heat tolerant vessel. Traditionally this is an abalone shell with a bit of sand in the bottom. You might also use a charcoal disc beneath the herbs to keep them smoking, especially in the case of resins.”

 

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Article originally published on & owned by About.com

Magickal Goody of the Day for July 26 – Make Your Own Wooden Tarot Box

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make Your Own Wooden Tarot Box

If you’ve got a set of Tarot cards that you’d like to keep safe, one of the best ways you can store them is in a special box. This easy craft project is one you can make either for yourself, or as a gift for a friend. You’ll need the following:

  • A plain wooden box, available at craft stores
  • A pencil
  • Paints or a woodburning tool
  • Scrap fabric

For the box’s cover, choose a design from your Tarot deck. For the one in the photos, I chose 0, the Fool(not the same box pictured), because it’s the first card, and signifies the beginning of a journey, which I thought was perfect for the lid’s design. Using your pencil, copy the design of the card onto the box’s lid.

Use either acrylic paints or a woodburning set to finish the image permanently. Although you may wish to add a coat of polyurethane to seal the design if you use paint, it’s not absolutely necessary.

Use a piece of scrap fabric to line the inside. You can either glue it in place, or leave it loose to wrap around the cards. Before you place your cards in the box for storage, consecrate the box as you would any other magical tool.

 

Originally published on & owned by About.com

Magickal Goody of the Day for July 14th – Calendula/ Marigold Healing Salve

Magickal Goody of the Day

witch potion 001

Calendula/ Marigold Healing Salve

Used externally for burns and irradiated skin, bruises, soreness, and skin ulcers. I love to use it for cracked, dry skin, eczema, diaper rash, and garden hands. It can help reduce bleeding and is wonderful for sore nipples and varicose veins! In other words, this salve is good for almost everything! And is a must-have in my healing cupboard.

3 cups dried calendula/ marigold petals
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil
2 ounces grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
Optional: frankincense essential oil, 5 drops; tea tree oil, 5 drops
Cheesecloth
Heavy pot
Spoon
Measuring cup
Rubber band

Heat flowers in oil to a simmer (about 20 minutes).

Let the oil flower mixture set over night (the longer it sets, the stronger the salve).
Next, using cheese cloth over a clean cup or jar, strain the oil flower mixture (you will now have a lovely golden infusion).

In a double boiler, heat oil infusion and grated beeswax until melted and pour into clean jars and let cool, then seal (store in a cool dark place).

Magical uses: Being an herb of the sun, calendula can be used to remove negative energy. Oil can be used to consecrate tools, and the petals can be used as part of incense for divination.

The plant can be used in any ritual to honor the sun, as part of a sacred bath, incense, or strewing herb as well as to produce a yellow dye for and altar cloths for use in sun-honoring rituals. For protection, hang garlands of calendula over entry doors to prevent evil from entering.

Farmhouse Witchcraft
Penny Parker

Protective Simmering Potpourri

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PROTECTIVE SIMMERING POTPOURRI

You will need:
• 4 TBS Rosemary

• 3 Bay leaves

• 1 TBS Basil

• 1 TBS Sage

• 1 TBS Fennel seeds

• 1 tsp. dill seeds

• 1 tsp. Juniper Berries

• A pinch of dried garlic (optional)
Mix in a small bowl with your hands while visualizing your home as a protected place. Charge the herbs with your protective energies. Add to simmering water. Simmer potpourri on the stove top in a pan (preferably non-metallic) in 2 cups of water. A simmering potpourri pot can also be used. Simmer over low heat for 1/2 hour. If you wish to simmer longer, add more water as needed.