Sunday, 22 March 2009

Stonehenge visit and lots of pottery ...

Did you enjoy the Equinox? We were lucky enough to have a wonderful day ... we packed up all five children and the dog and visited Stonehenge. The weather was perfect for Spring and the sun shone for the whole day. I wanted to share these photos with you ... above: the beautiful sunset, below: a perfect example of the landscape in the area
Above: Silbury Hill, the largest prehistoric man-made mound, below: view of Stonehenge showing the hellish A303

I've had a very busy day today adding more pottery to the website. There are some lovely pieces ... above and below are filled witch bottles. They're packed to the brim with herbs carefully gathered at sacred sites and then sealed with wax.

The picture above is a handfasting bowl. It has been sealed with melted beeswax so it can be used as a ritual cup filled with wine and it can also be used for burning loose incense, cones, candles of smudging. The bindrune is considered to bring everlasting love ... perfect!

Links for these items: Pottery Goddesses, altar lamps, incense bowls, smudging bowls, witch bottles, candle holders and handfasting dish

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Witch bottles

Witch bottles are protection "charms" traditionally buried in areas of the house where negative forces can enter - doorways, hearths, etc. Witch bottles dating from the 16th and 17th centuries are sometimes still discovered concealed within old houses in England. The usual contents of these bottles includes iron nails or pins, hair and urine. Other ingredients such as small bones, thorns, pieces of wood and, in a few cases, pieces of fabric cut into the shape of a heart are sometimes found.

Today, in keeping with tradition, they could be buried or simply placed on a shelf or somewhere safe where they will attract positive energies into your home and help to dispel any negative ones.

An interesting example of a historical witch bottle can be found here, some info at Wikipedia can be found here and another website containing information can be found here.

Plenty more pottery to follow over the next week ...

Enjoy the Equinox ... have a wonderful time however you celebrate! 

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Skulls and Ice Age pendants ...

The gorgeous little skulls below have all been added to the site today ... lovely, aren't they! The first two pictured below are made from ancient bog oak from Somerset, long considered to be the fabled Isle of Avalonian so we call it Avalonian bog oak. It's a beautiful rich brown colour, stained by the peat in which the wood has been hidden for lifetimes. If you look carefully at the pictures you can see how the sunlight has brought out the different shades of colour from the blackest brown through to almost gold, amazing considering how long they were sealed in the darkness.

The skulls pictured directly above and below are carved from Yew collected from a local ancient tree. Millennia ago, it's said that village elders or tribal leaders were buried beneath yew trees because the trees are so long lived. The tree was asked to preserve the knowledge of the elder and keep it for the village. Village people would then visit the tree to seek guidance and advice.

I have fallen in love with the spiral pendant above - it is crafted from deer antler dating from the last Ice Age around 11,000 years ago. The colours, pattern and feel of it are simply wonderful! The natural colouration on the surface reminds me of lichen creeping across an ancient stone and speaks of age and stories untold. There are many items I love on the website but I must admit, this is one of the most special ...

The pendant below is carved from bear bone, also dating from the last Ice Age. The Bear has been held sacred by mankind since time long forgotten and there have been grottoes found containing cave bear skulls and ceremonial hearths going back to around 100,000 BC. A fascinating page packed with information can be found at the OBOD website here. Also, on my search for some credible bear info, I stumbled across a Finnish band called Ancient Bear Cult. The blurb on their website says:

Ancient Bear Cult is a Finnish folk music band that draws its inspiration from prehistoric and early medieval soundscapes. All of the instruments used by the band have a history of hundreds of years, so it is possible that similar bands have existed in the distant past. Since no music has survived from those times, neither as sheet music nor any other form, the members of A.B.C. have composed most of the songs in the band's repertoire by themselves, with the exception of performing also some old European folk tunes.

You can find some samples of their music here. Well worth a listen :)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Even more pendants!

Even more pendants for you to browse through! These ones are all beads crafted from different woods including yew, rowan and some very special Celtic bog oak (pictured above). As always, they can be purchased as necklaces or woven wristbands.

The bog oak dates from around 400 - 200 BC and was discovered during an archaeological dig in London. The wood is beautifully black and feels full of wonderful energies. On the subject of London, I had an interesting time browsing the internet earlier for tales of early London (I wanted tales around the time that the bog oak originated) to tell you and I was horrified to see that almost all the sites I came across claimed that London was founded by the Romans! Most imply that there was simply nothing there at all before the Romans came but, of course, there was human activity in the area going back into the mists of time ... anyway, I did stumble across this fascinating website which has kept me happily reading all evening. The story of Brutus is not one I've heard before ... enjoy :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Three Aetts pendant and Hare bone beads ...

These beautiful beads are carved from Hare bone. The Hare can be found in folklore and mythology throughout history and from tales around the world. With strong associations with Eostre, fertility and the moon, the Hare is an important symbol of Paganism and especially fitting for this time of year. You can find further information at this lovely site which ends with this poem by Walter de la Mare:

In the black furror of a field
I saw an old witch-hare this night;
And she cocked a lissome ear,
And she eyed the moon so bright,
And she nibbled of the green;
And I whispered "Whsst! witch-hare,"
Away like a ghostie o’er the fieldShe fled,
and left the moonlight there.

The unusual pendant pictured above is crafted from mistletoe which grew upon a local Oak tree and was blown down by strong winds. The pendant is carved with the Elder Futhark runes, divided into the traditional three aetts. Mistletoe has long been held sacred by the Druids but especially so when it has grown upon the Oak.

Information can be found at Wikipedia regarding Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century AD and describing a religious ceremony in Gaul in which white-clad druids climbed a sacred oak, cut down the mistletoe growing on it, sacrificed two white bulls and used the mistletoe to cure infertility:

The druids - that is what they call their magicians - hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and a tree on which it is growing, provided it is Valonia Oak.... Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon....Hailing the moon in a native word that means ‘healing all things,’ they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound for the first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons.

Monday, 2 March 2009

A heap of new pendants added ...

I've added a whole selection of new pendants today crafted from oak, burr oak, larch, Celtic bog oak and the most delicious deep brown walnut. They're all inscribed with bindrunes or Awens and are well worth a look. Many of the pieces are wooden beads which can either be purchased as a necklace on a piece of thonging or, for £5 extra, they can be woven into a wristband-style bracelet.
Oh, I should mention too that we currently have a special offer on which gives you £5 off orders over £50 or £10 off orders over £100 so happy browsing ...