Categories
Artifacts Divination

Moth Spirit Board and Planchette, Victoria, Australia

Collected August 2020

YiskaDesigns on Etsy:

This ouija style spirit board features a gorgeous month design, engraved into plywood with two matching planchette options to choose from.

•ABOUT PLYWOOD•
All of our wooden products are made with locally crafted, speciality laser ply from gorgeous Australian woods. The plywood is 3mm thick and is created from multiple fine sheets of wood to create a sturdy yet lightweight material. Plywood is highly durable and can be easily cleaned. In the event that the wood bends or warps in extreme heat or damp, it can be flattened out with a light spray of water (if too dry) and laid flat under a small weight in a cool, dry place. Due to the natural qualities of real wood, each piece we make will be unique in colour and grain.

Categories
Artifacts Divination

“QUIJA” Spinner Game, Oregon, USA

Collected August 2020

Avicornia on Ebay:

QUIJA SPINNER
Fortune Telling Game…Divination Tool
Entertainment

Auction Includes: 1 SPINNER GAME
(with plastic arrow & instructions printed on the back; as pictured: no extras, box, or packaging)
Game was printed on 8.5 x 11″ 100lb./270gsm card stock (not board) and fully laminated.


What are the initials of my true love?
Is the person I’m attracted to interested in me now?
How many children will I have?
Will I get a promotion?
When will my business turn a profit?

Ask these questions and more…Use your imagination and intuition…Relax and have fun!

Categories
Artifacts

Purple and green paracord handfasting cord, Michigan, USA

Collected June 2021

BrokenVial on Etsy

“My husband and I have taken to braiding these lovely handfasting ribbons and cords. This one is made of purple and green nylon paracord.”

Categories
Artifacts Divination

Dice Divination Kit with Pouch and Instructions, Astragalomancy, Die Casting

Collected June 2021

TheMysticWood on Etsy

“Casting dice for divination is one of the oldest recorded methods of divination, archeological record shows dice being used in and near sacred sites in numerous places all over the world, these dice were usually made from the knuckle bones of sheep, marked clay, and marked pebbles. In ancient Greece this method of divination was connected with the god Hermes, as the god of divine messages, luck, certain forms of divination, and gambling (among many other things).

What’s great about this method of divination is that it doesn’t require any special knowledge or memorization, the simple method for using dice for divination is just that, simple! In the kit that I have created here, you will get three dice, an instruction zine / pamphlet created by me, that contains directions and meanings for your divinatory readings, and a small hand stamped cotton muslin pouch. The pouch included in this kit has been stamped with a raven motif.”

Categories
Artifacts Poppets

Poppet Witch Talisman, Michigan, USA

Collected June 2021

TheBrokenVial on Etsy

“Up for you consideration is this cute little poppet. He’s made of soft cotton print fabric, poly-fil, hemp, and button eyes. He measures 8 inches long.

In the realms of traditional witchcraft, the poppet is supposed to depict a “good” witch who inspires productivity and safety, but also protects against any ill-will directed to the home. It is considered good luck to give a poppet to a friend or family member.

Poppets can be used in spells for protection, luck, prosperity, health, and happiness into the person they represent.”

Categories
Artifacts Interview

Spinning Bracelet, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Created by Y.F.B.S.J.C. in 1994.

Donated July 2021.

Formal Statement: 

When I was six years old some of the older women from my community took me aside and showed me how to cart wool, they taught me some songs to sing while I carted and instructed me to cart wool, they then showed me how to attach my wool to a starter yarn on a spinning wheel (this was my first time being allowed to spin, but not my first time ‘playing’ with the spinning wheel) I was guided as I spun, I don’t remember everything that was said but I recall being told that my first yarn was a magical token and that it will hold some of my magical essence. 

Bracelet sitting upon pillow made by the same creator.

Interview: 

So when I was six years old I learned to spin, as you do. Specifically I carded my own wool, and then I spun it into a yarn. There is/was a belief that a girl’s first spinning has some of her magical essences? For lack of a better word. I was being raised female at this point, this is before gender roles and I had a falling out. So my first yarn was made into a bracelet for me which is supposed to work as an external storage of my inherent magical powers? That is perhaps a bad explanation, but I was in kindergarten at the time. 

It was explained to me using chakras, because my friend’s mum is a Buddhist. I remember conceptualizing the idea of a shuraku as being similar to Buddha’s top knot being a place where he stored his extra chakra. I have absolutely no idea of the correct spelling. I was notoriously bad at spelling at that point in my life.

Can you say a little bit more about the community you were in/the tradition this was from, as you understand it?

The Corvallis Waldorf school was started by my parents and a couple other families and they, at the time, were kind of going their own way in terms of how they wanted to educate us. For reference as the school expanded and became more mainstream Waldorf the grade I was in and the grade above me (the original school) were separated out from the other part of the school and we split off again, so we were officially a Waldorf school, but the more I learn about mainstream Waldorf teachings the more I realize I was not actually taught many Waldorf teachings and I was instead taught something else. It was similar to Waldorf though. 

There was a lot of emphasis on crafts and hedgewitchery type things. We literally had field trips to go hug trees, that was a thing that happened more than once. We had storytellers from the Oregon tribes come tell us their stories, because it was important for us to know and respect the local Gods. We had the entirety of the Bible told to us in first grade. 

We studied the Nordic and Celtic Gods with equal fervor. When I was watching Midsommer, nothing in the rituals was foreign to me, other than the human sacrifice. We had a maypole at school. We learned to dance. We celebrated the eight high holidays of [definitely christian theology].

One of the founders of this group was a Basque man who, for political reasons, can’t return to Spain. One of them was a Buddhist. There was a Jewish family. Most were christian adjacent. 

Our teacher was a witch. He was definitely active in a coven, and that was reflected in the altars he would make. But the altars and the seasonal changes are a core part of Waldorf theology, so it would’ve been hard to tell from a distance.

Do you remember any of the songs?

Oh, no, well sort of, but they’re not song songs, they’re more work songs. The one song I still remember/use a lot is the yarn balling song? The song I sing when I roll a ball of yarn. 

You ready for it?

Absolutely. 

“I can roll a ball of yarn, a ball of yarn, a ball of yarn. I can roll a ball of yarn and this is how I do it.” Repeat.

When you get to the end of the verse you switch which direction you are winding the yarn. Or rotate the ball.

Did you wear this bracelet much once it was made?

Maybe for like the year I made it? But it was made for the wrist of a 6 year old. 

The reason it’s a bracelet is because it’s cyclical. It represents the cyclical nature of … Nature. You can’t make yarn without a starter yarn, which is made by the people who come before you and you (theoretically at least) pass this knowledge on to the next generation.

Like with bread, you need yeast. There is a life cycle.

We also made bread a lot in kindergarten. And strung corn. Rituals surrounding the passing on of traditional crafts. Like growing and making food (we once made bread from scratch including growing our own wheat, harvesting our own wheat, shucking and grinding our own wheat), making clothing, the preservation of folklore and folk traditions.

The Dalai lama came to our school on his first trip to America. There was an emphasis on us learning the folklore of our respective heritages, but also the folklore of the place we live in now. We played dreidel for Hanukkah. We made wax sculpture replicas of events from the Iliad. It’s difficult to explain any of this coherently. 

(About finding the spelling/details of this ritual) 

I know that a number of the rituals were customized to us specifically. I also have no idea if any of the other kids did this specifically, as it was a thing that I did on my own, and I know some of the more private rituals were not universal, or were more tailored.

(Tests and rituals)

One of the weirder rituals that I went through that I was not supposed to tell people about involves me holding a bag of rocks and they put a special gem in it, and then I was given a series of tasks to do while holding the bag of rocks and at the end the gem was supposed to still be at the top of the bag.

Did it work?

Yes, I passed, and was allowed to graduate to the next level.

The second part of the test involved me drawing an illumination of a story that was told to me, without direction as to what parts of the story was important to be illuminated. I only mostly passed that one.

I didn’t feel like drawing a person in detail so I put them in the distance partially obscured by leaves. I got told off for this and they considered holding me back I believe. I was like 7 or 8 at the time, so my memory is going to be fuzzy.

But at the same time there were rules about how much detail you were supposed to put in and like we weren’t supposed to use lines, or at least not outlines. The style of art that most comics are drawn in was forbidden.

The Waldorf style of art. This is the type of picture I was supposed to have drawn, and I did a lot of art like this over the years. We did water colors, crayon drawings, pencil drawings and form drawing.

Those were the main tests, I was also asked some questions, which I presume I answered correctly or correctly enough.

Categories
Artifacts Poppets

Borderline Personality Disorder Poppet, Virginia, USA

Collected March 2021

AndromedasCrafts on Etsy

“Does it sometimes feel like your BPD controls you? Take control of your BPD with these handmade poppets made specifically to beat the **** out of your disorders. Smack it, stab it with a pin, or give it a good punch. You are in control, don’t let your BPD control you! Sometimes you just need to physically visualize your disorder to begin to feel in control.

These poppets are made to order. Each one is unique as I don’t use a pattern and I hand stitch each one. I charge a tiny clear quartz crystal with positive energy specifically for BPD, along with adding a bit of lavender for calming. The fabric is gray to represent BPD.

Please let me know in the note section at check out if you would prefer your doll not to have lavender added. If you would like the back of the doll to be a different color than gray, please specify that also.

These dolls are approximately 8 inches tall and 4 inches wide.”

Categories
Artifacts Poppets

Poppet, Maryland, USA

Collected March 2021

BabaYagaSews on Etsy

“Poppet | Intention Doll | Voodoo Doll

A poppet is a small doll that can be bound to a person and used to cast good intentions, for help, healing, or for harm.

Personal items can be added to the poppet to form a strong connection.

The poppet can be combined with other spells. A poppet is a magical tool and can be used for many different things- healing, warding off toxic or harmful people, bringing abundance and blessings, etc.

This poppet is made of polyester felt and sewed together with polyester thread. The poppet is stuffed with polyfill. Please bear in mind that this is a handmade creation and may have some imperfections that make your poppet unique. This poppet comes with a small modal navy hood which is tied on using a piece of yarn (removable). Please be careful removing the hood and handling the poppet as the garments are delicate.

Size: 4.2 inch tall x 3.5 inch wide

I cannot guarantee any magical outcomes. I cannot guarantee any spell success. Additionally per Etsy policy I must state that this product is for entertainment purposes only.”

Categories
Artifacts Poppets

Peace Poppet, North Carolina, USA

Collected March 2021

WitchofWonderlight on Etsy

Peace Poppet

For those times when you need a little help reducing the anxiety and stress that so often inhibits our lives.

For yourself or someone you love.

This poppet/talisman was made with peace, relaxation, and anxiety reduction set as the intentions. Made during the new mon.

All of my poppets are made with a combination of ritual magic, color magic, and knot magic to enhance and harness the power of the original intention.

Made with love.
Crafted with magic.

Categories
Census Update Research

The Witchcraft Census: Round 1

Over 600 witches answered the first round of our Witchcraft Census and dozens of people wrote us with input on further questions. The Census was open from March 27th to May 24th, 2021. I’m now closing this set of questions in order to revise some questions and add others.

The methodology for this census was by no means perfect, and you should view this information knowing the flaws involved in gathering it.

  1. It was circulated through online witch communities, specifically those most likely to be interested in answering these questions. Clearly this is not a proportionally representative sampling of witches, even in the US, from which most participants hail.
  2. In a number of cases, particularly the question involving religious identity, I added a number of religions as I was reminded of them. Since the app I was using had no write-in option, this means that data is particularly skewed, as not everyone had the complete list you see in the results.
  3. Finally, this first round of questions was written on a whim, in a few hours, and reviewed by no one but me (I was expecting maybe 20 participants, not over 600). The multiple choice answers are by no means exhaustive, merely a sampling of the most common views I’ve personally seen expressed in or about witchcraft circles, which is of course limited to my personal experience. Further rounds of the census will involve more planning.

Nevertheless, I think even this first round of questions beings to illustrate the breadth and depth of beliefs within witchcraft. I hope it can be used to correct some misinformation about witchcraft for practitioners and nonpractitioners alike, and to sate curiosity. Thank you to everyone who participated or expressed interest. Here are the results, in image and PDF format.