Wands at the ready!

IMG_20140917_213715_424Rob has been busy at the lathe creating some extra enchantment for our Etsy shop. These beautiful wands are crafted from Adirondack woods gathered locally, including cherry, maple, oak and red cedar. The cedar wands are a favorite here because their aroma is so lovely. It is reminiscent of the woods and old cedar trunks – incredibly grounding.

These wands have a secret that gives each its own unique energy. What is it? We’re not saying yet.

The collection is going along with us to the Central New York Pagan Pride Day Festival in Syracuse, New York on Saturday. If you are in the area, come to Long Branch Park in Onondaga County between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. for great workshops and performances, and be sure to visit the Adirondack Earth Lore booth. You can see the wands, as well as turned bowls, pens, scent applicators, and elemental altar sets.

When we get home, we’ll be adding the wands to our Etsy shop. Be sure to check back early next week, because we’ll be revealing the secret in the wands then.

Dream catcher “Elemental” hand-made twig wreath with bright colors of the elements

DSC_1465This bohemian dream catcher art started as twigs from the woods behind our Adirondack home. The twigs were soaked, bent and woven into a wreath which takes on it’s own unique shape. Wooden beads in the four colors of the elements were woven into the dream catcher and the center was finished with a pentacle charm.

The green, yellow, red and blue to represent earth, air, fire and water are in the cheerful fabric strips Strings of wooden and silver beads also hang from the wreath. It was finished with some smile-inducing silk flowers and has a loop to hang it. Only the happiest of dreams will come through this dream catcher!

See this and other dream catchers in our Etsy shop.


Incense Burner, Reclaimed Wine Bottle and Turned Wood

You won't see wine bottle incense burners like this anywhere else.

You won’t see wine bottle incense burners like this anywhere else.

There are many wine bottle incense burners out there, but ours are unique!

Rob removes the bottom from a wine bottle and fits it with a wood bottom plate and a hand-turned top to make these unique incense burners. The removable bottom plate makes it easy to clean out the ash. The top knob has a wire spiral to hold an incense stick and a number of holes which release the smoke in a fascinating array of curls. It’s hard not to watch it! Our wine bottle incense burners are easy to clean – just put the glass bottle in the dishwasher – so it won’t darken with use.

Find this listing in our Etsy shop!

Hand-turned tulip-shaped segmented bowl, maple

See the shine? It picks up light just like a disco ball.

See the shine? It picks up light just like a disco ball.

Rob created this beautiful bowl from an iridescent piece of maple he salvaged. Each of the four rings is made of twelve individually cut and glued segments. The project is then hand-turned into the bowl’s beautiful tulip shape. The bowl is finished with food-safe polyurethane and polished to bring out the wood’s natural sparkle. It would be a lovely bowl for fresh fruit or salad and would look stunning on your table. It would make a great wedding or anniversary gift.

Head over to our Etsy shop to see this bowl.

Turning a Segmented Bowl

FHNYIN2HVVKK3OW.MEDIUMRob created an Instructable for turning a segmented wooden bowl. You can see it here to learn more about the lengthy process of creating beautiful segmented bowls.

The bowl featured in the Instructable was made with salvaged wood from old projects and furniture. It uses cherry and maple for the contrast, but you can use almost any hardwoods. It helps to pick woods of similar hardness, so when you sand them, one won’t wear down faster than the other.

The bowl blank is built from segments of cherry and maple glued together. This provides two benefits over turning a bowl from a solid blank. First, there’s less waste because the blank will already be hollow, and roughly the dimensions of the final bowl. Second, when turning, you’re nearly always cutting with the grain of the wood, rather than across it. (The exception is the disk at the bottom.) This reduces tearing, wear on the tools, and makes mounds of those shaving ribbons that are so satisfying to watch fountain off the work-piece and pile up on the floor.

This bowl has been sold, but there is a lovely maple segmented bowl here.

Visit our Etsy shop for more of Rob’s woodworking.


God of the Deer


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, as I was driving one of the many twisting and turning roads of the Adirondacks, I passed a small clearing occupied by two does and two spotted fawns. The youngsters were playing, one feigning a head butt, then scampering away while the other gave chase. It was magical to watch their joyful antics, but unfortunately there was no place to pull over so I couldn’t watch for long.

Later in the fall, on that same road, I had almost-too-close encounters with a few other deer, who I imagine were thanking Cernunnos that I had new brakes in my truck. Who else could be god to the deer except the Celtic horned god, Cernunnos, who has been Lord of the Forest since the Paleolithic times?

10,000 year old cave paintings of Cernunnos have been found in France, and statues and images dating from the fourth century B.C.E. to the first century C.E. have been found in various parts of Europe and the United Kingdom. The most notable depiction of the god is the Gundestrup Cauldron discovered in Denmark.

The horned deity is usually depicted as a mature, bearded man seated cross-legged and is often with animals, particularly the stag. There are no apparent literary references, but it is believed that Cernunnos was the Lord of the Animals, Lord of the Hunt, and/or Lord of the Forest. He has been included in the Neo-Pagan Celtic pantheon as a god of the forest, fertility, life, animals, merchants, and the underworld. Horned gods, including Cernunnos, reflect the seasons of the year through the annual cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

Cernunnos, like the stags, has two distinct energies. When calm, he is the peaceful guardian of clearings, wells and springs at the edge of the wilderness. This energy is playful and joyful, like those spotted fawns. His other aspect is powerful, virile, potent, masculine energy, the energy that changes those playful head butts to full-antlered fighting.

I call on Cernunnos for the protection and preservation of the woodlands and the wild animals, and for knowledge of earthly things. It is easy to honor Cernunnos – simply leave a carrot or an apple in the woods for his deer.

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Our Etsy Shop is Open!

The time between Samhain and Yule flew by. In addition to the normal holiday madness, my husband and I have been busy starting a new business. My husband is a very talented woodworker, specializing in turned wood products. For years, whenever I needed something for my altar, he would make it for me out of wood if he could. I love the feel of wood, especially the local woods of the Adirondacks. I have beautiful pieces all around the house that were turned from logs that came off our woodpile. We’ve joked that at the end of a particularly cold winter we will be burning wood bowls to stay warm.

After much discussion about the growing pile of bowls and other designs, we decided it was time to share the creations with the world. We’ve just opened a shop on Etsy. You can find it here.

Incense Burner

Reclaimed wine bottles make awesome incense burners.

One item that’s there now is a reclaimed wine bottle incense burner. If you saw the post with my Samhain altar, you saw the incense burner he made for me, right in the middle. Burning incense in wine bottles isn’t new, but these are a unique design. The bottom has been cut off the bottle and it sits on a wood base, so I can easily empty the ash. I can also put the glass bottle in the dishwasher to clean off the soot that sticks to the inside, keeping it clear so I’ll always be able to see the smoke swirling around inside.

The other unique feature is the turned wood top. It has a wire spiral underneath to hold the incense stick. As the smoke comes out through the holes in the top, it makes a number of separate curls that snake around each other, sometimes blending together, sometimes going in different directions. It’s mesmerizing to watch and makes an interesting focal point for meditation. I wish I could capture the smoke in a picture that would do it justice.

See the incense burner on Etsy by clicking here.

















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Preparing for Samhain

My ancestor altar for Samhain 2013.

My ancestor altar for Samhain 2013.

I can feel the veil thinning as we approach Samhain. I find myself blessed with new insights, strange dreams and resurfacing memories. While I love to indulge in the fun parts of Halloween, especially costumes and candy, I also try not to lose touch with the deeper meaning of this time of the year.

My family altar honors our loved ones who have passed, including some special pets. I’ve also laid out some divination tools to encourage messages from the other side.

At Samhain, practice divination and connect with those who have passed.


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Hunter’s Moon and Meteors

Artemis with a hind, better known as "Dia...

Artemis with a hind, better known as “Diana of Versailles”. Marble, Roman artwork, Imperial Era (1st-2nd centuries CE). Found in Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight is the peak of the second meteor shower of October, the Orionids. Since the moon is just past full and has been incredibly bright, it’s unlikely we’ll get to see any shooting stars, but that doesn’t mean we can’t harness the energy of the shower in our magickal workings.

October’s full moon is often called the hunter’s moon, because its light aided hunters in tracking their prey on autumn nights, enabling them to bring home enough game for the winter months ahead. The Orionids fly from the constellation Orion, the greatest hunter in ancient Greece. At the same time as the full hunter’s moon, they give us powerful energy to work with.

Orion was the hunting companion of the goddess Artemis until he was killed by a giant scorpion. Artemis is the goddess of hunters and the wild things, as well as the goddess of the moon. She is the protector of animals and children and defends the powerless, especially women, against unjust treatment.

If you are in need of courage in the face of unfair dealings, protection for animals or children, or aid while hunting responsibly, call on Artemis and Orion tonight. It’s even better if you head outside, where the wild things are, and talk to Artemis directly.  Ask nicely, because she’s a tough lady who expects respect. A small offering of thanks will keep you in her good graces.

I’ve had clear nights to enjoy October’s full moon, but I have to admit the addition of the frenetic Aries energy has made it an interesting ride for the past few days. It’s definitely hasn’t been a good time for catching up on sleep. Now that the moon has transitioned into Taurus, maybe I’ll get some rest.

If you haven’t seen this beautiful moon yet, I hope you have a cloudless sky tonight.


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Full Moon in Aries

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois)....

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight’s full moon is in the sign of Aries. With the energy of the full moon added to Aries’ enthusiasm, you might find yourself acting a bit more impulsively than usual. If you’ve been neglecting your fitness routine, it’s time to brush off your sneakers, because you’ve got to do something with all that active energy. With extra creative spark, the furniture might need to be rearranged or you may find yourself itching to start a renovation project.

A full moon is a powerful time for any kind of magickal workings. Aries will give even more oomph to spells for leadership, spiritual rededications or conversions, and will power. Healing spells for the face, head and brain will work best now.

Psychic energy is strong during a full moon, therefore it’s a good time for divination. October’s full moon is an especially good time, as it is almost Samhain and the veil between worlds is thin now. Grab your tarot cards, rune stones, pendulum or other favorite divination tool to gain some insight into the year ahead.

Temper the Aries impulsiveness with some careful planning for any spell you will do during this full moon. With so much strength behind it, full moon magick needs very specific intentions to keep it from going awry.

If it’s a clear night, go outside and spend a few minutes bathing in moonlight.

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