Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Arts and Craft

As an artist I try to bring my art to my craft whenever I can. It doesn't always have to be something big and showy, in fact it usually never is. I'm not the kind of witch who goes heavy on the pomp in anything I do. My circle casting is kept pretty simple with the emphasis on the energy I'm generating, not the endless gestures, the waving pentagrams into the air as I call the quarters or the need to dress in ritual garb of flowing robes and special jewelry. Actually, I don't own any special Wiccan clothing and while it may be fine for others, I personally would feel pretty silly ambling about in a druid-like costume. I also don't own an athame or even a chalice. My fingers and hands are sufficient to direct any energy I need to move and a simple stoneware cup works just fine if I am making any offerings on a Sabbat. No fancy altar cloths, no elaborate decorations, just me and the Divine and whatever my purpose for the circle is: a recognized day, a need for circle for the channeling of energy for spellwork, or sometimes even just to quietly commune with the Goddess and God in a peaceful meditation. But I digress.

No, my art comes into play with the smaller things that make my journey as a witch fulfilling. The decorating of seasonal altars in my home, the hand-painted labels I place on my herb jars, the elemental art that goes into creating my own incense for burning in circle or within my home just because I feel like smelling something beautiful and uplifting. I have sewn white cloths that I use to wrap the few tools I do use, and also hand-embroidered the symbols that adorn them. I have in the past dipped my own candles, which is a truly beautiful way to get close to an element, though I find it very time-consuming these days and buy my candles in shops. Candling is an art in itself and one I admire very much. Nothing is more lovely than a hand-made candle lit on an altar empowered with your intentions and heart and coming from one's own hand and imagination.

I grow as many of the herbs I use as I can in a field garden that my husband and I have planted in our back field. And I have in turn turned the garden into an outdoor altar of sorts with a place for leaving offerings or for moon-gazing on a warm summer night. Planning and planting the garden, while time-consuming and quite frankly often very tedious (I'm an instant gratification sort of person, so anything that requires patience and an extended amount of time to bring to fruition is usually fairly difficult for me, though always a good lesson), still strengthened my connection with the earth, and the choice of plants for their specific purposes and colors was for me like painting a living garden.

I have for years thought it would be great to design and paint my own set of tarot cards. If I ever find myself with months or even years of free time on my hands, this is something I would fill that idle time with. I can only imagine the power and energy a self-made deck of cards would bring. That would be a very exciting tool with which to work.

I love the "getting down and dirty" with my craft, the creating, the making, the building, the growing. It makes my journey and growth as a witch deeply personal and very beautiful.

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