Redbeard

Speaking of Thor…in addition to the candles I posted about yesterday I also just finished uploading a brand new devotional necklace for Him to my shop.

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Fiery and dramatic, this necklace pays homage to Thor, the mighty red-bearded god of Thunder, with a striking palette of red and stormy grey.

The central pendant is a substantial, ornate Mjolnir rendered in solid antiqued pewter, its design also incorporating the triquetra (representing earth, sea and sky) and the Irminsul (sacred pillar). The Mjolnir pendant is flanked by fiery genuine larvikite rounds and faceted larvikite rondelles alternating with blood red Czech glass crystals and gunmetal “stardust” spacers.

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Larvikite (often called “black labradorite”) is a protective and grounding stone. It facilitates a strong connection with the earth, repels negative energy, and strengthens inner vision.

The beads are strung on 49-strand professional quality Accuflex beading wire, which is soft-drape clear-coated stainless steel. The necklace measures 18 1/2 inches, with the Mjolnir pendant measuring about 1 1/2 inches long by 1 1/4 inch at its base. It fastens with an easy-to-work silvertone lobster claw clasp.

The necklace is not blessed or consecrated, but I would be happy to do that for you in a small ritual at no extra charge.

Comes to you elegantly packaged in a beautiful little organza bag, ready for gift-giving!

I do accept layaway, and would be happy to set up a payment plan for you if you really love this but it would be more convenient to pay for it over two or three installments. Just convo me and we’ll make the arrangements.

I’ve also just added several other gorgeous new necklaces, with more on the way soon! You can browse all of my pagan jewelry offerings in the shop here (and I am available for custom work).

Thor and His wives

I don’t work closely with Thor, but I am quite fond of Him. Back when I was trying to fit into mainstream Heathenry (insert here all of the metaphors about trying to fit a round peg into a square hole), there were running jokes in the community equating Thor to some kind of divine Incredible Hulk figure; “Thor Smash!” was an oft-repeated part of this joke.  However, the people I ran with back then were not idiots, and they were well aware that there’s a lot more to Thor than brawn. He is not actually a huge simpleton who can fight. (I suspect part of this stereotype is based on Marvel, the other part on His Jotun heritage–which makes it a rather racist misjudgment.) He is His father’s son in surprising ways. The Eddas call Him “Deep Minded,” He is willing to cross-dress to retrieve His hammer in one tale, and in another He dons the traditional tools of a seidhrkona (leant to Him by a giantess ally) in order to retrieve His stolen hammer (yet again) from a different giantess. (The latter story–and the fact that one of His wives is a Jotun–proves that He is not the “enemy of the giants” across the board, only of those giants who threaten Midgard or the Aesir.)

At any rate, I still have some votive candles for Thor in my shop:

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Thor’s votives are a deep brick red, decorated with gold and black glitter, and scented with “mountain rain” premium fragrance oil. (As the Thunderer, Thor brings the rains that make the cereal crops grow.)

New to the shop this week, I also have votives for both of Thor’s divine wives.

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Sif, Thor’s Aesir-wife, is the Goddess of the grain harvest that is nourished by Thor’s rains. She is famous for her hair of pure gold (which was made for Her by the dwarves to replace the hair Loki stole from Her).

Sif’s candles are a pale, sunny orange, decorated with light blue and irridescent color-shifting gold glitter and larger yellow glitter flowers, and scented with pure essential oils of lemon, sweet orange, carrot seed, and Peru balsam, which has a sweet vanilla-like smell. The blend smells a little like carrot cake–sweet and wholesome, like the goddess Herself.

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Jarnsaxa is the Etin-bride of Thor. Her name means “Iron Knife” and She is a warrior goddess, the mother of Thor’s sons Magni and Modi.

Her candles are iron grey, decorated with red and irridescent color-shifting silver glitter, and scented with pure essential oils of myrrh and jasmine, with premium dragon’s blood fragrance oil–a fragrance that radiates both strength and femininity.

My votive candles will fit in a standard votive holder and each one will burn for about 10 hours. They measure 1 3/4 inches high by 5 1/2 inches circumference. All of my sox candles are made from Eco Soya wax, which is 100% vegetable, made with soybean and botanical oils, and I source my dyes and essential/fragrance oils within the US.

You can browse my large selection of devotional and magickal candles (including candles for more of the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Egyptian and Greek pantheon) at FiberWytch on Etsy.

A pair of pentacle bracelets

I personally love the pentacle as a symbol. It may not be the primary symbol I use for my own path (that would be the valknut), but I would definitely say it is a secondary one. It is almost universally embrace by Witches because it can stand for so many things: protection, purification, the five elements (the fifth being spirit), and the maxim of “as above, so below”–these are just a few of its applications. Either of these two bracelets would be perfect for ritual or sabbat wear, as well as everyday!
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When it comes to pentacle jewelry, the combination of amber and jet is the classic choice.  Here we have a gorgeous little pentacle bracelet featuring a silvertoned pentacle pendant, surrounded by honey Baltic amber chips and genuine shiny black jet rounds, with gunmetal “stardust” spacers. The jet beads are 8 mm.

The beads are strung on 49-strand professional quality Accuflex beading wire, which is soft-drape clear-coated stainless steel, with a silvertone lobster claw clasp. This piece is extremely light and comfortable to wear. The bracelet measures about 8 1/4 inches, with the pentacle pendant measuring about 5/8ths of an inch round.

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I was very tempted to keep this for myself; it is so simple, yet so stylish and so spiritually meaningful.

Amber is not a stone, but fossilized tree resin, millions of years old. It endows the wearer with protection and healing, clears negative energy, and assists with manifestation.

Jet is a type of coal formed from carbonized (fossilized) wood. It is a gem of protection, healing, and intense purification that can help to clear the aura of impure energies, and is wonderful for grounding, too.

Together, amber and jet are traditionally worn by Wiccan high priestesses, and often also by other Witches.

This bracelet is $45, however I am completely open to layaway for this piece, if you really love it but it would be more convenient to pay for in two or three separate installments. Just message me at the shop and we’ll set something up! I can also place it on hold for you, if you want it but need to wait for the beginning of the month or your next pay.  (The  last amber and jet pentacle bracelet I posted was spoken for almost immediately.)

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Love the pentacle symbolism, but something aesthetically darker is more to your taste? In this bracelet the pentacle pendant is surrounded by sapphire aurora borealis fire polished Czech glass crystals and genuine shiny black jet rounds, with silver-plated “stardust” spacers. The jet beads are 8 mm.

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This bracelet measures about inches, with the pentacle pendant measuring about 5/8ths of an inch round. I am asking $40 for this one, but once again I am open to layaway with payment installments, or to holding it for you if you know you want to buy it but need to wait a week or two. Just let me know and we’ll work something out! You can have multiple pieces on hold–up to four per customer at any one time.

For more glamourous and dazzling pagan jewelry selections, visit FiberWytch on Etsy! And keep checking back; I will be adding a lot of new jewelry and candles this weekend.

Boar Triad Necklace and other Vanic Bling

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Aaaaand the necklace has already been spoken for and put on layaway! However, you can browse the rest of my pagan jewelry in the shop here. I plan on making a bunch of new pieces this weekend, PLUS I am always open to taking on custom work! The candles in this post are still available, with lots more (including a bunch of new candles for the Aesir and the Kemetic deities) to be found at FiberWytch on Etsy.

Brand new in my shop, this necklace would make a wonderful stealth devotional talisman for a godpouse or devotee of Freyr, any of the Vanir, or perhaps another deity associated with the boar, such as Cerridwen.

A Raku-glazed ceramic pendant depicting three boars in a triskelion pattern with Celtic/Norse knotwork is flanked by Mykonos turquoise ceramic tubes, naturally colored Jackfruit wood beads, turquoise Czech glass crystals, and 24 genuine pietersite rounds, with antiqued copper hematite spacers. The beads are strung on 49-strand professional quality Accuflex beading wire, which is soft-drape clear-coated stainless steel. The necklace measures 17 1/2 inches, with the boar pendant measuring about 1 1/4 of an inch round. It fastens with an easy-to-work antiqued coppertone lobster claw clasp.

IMG_7657IMG_7656IMG_7662Also known as the Tempest Stone, pietersite is a highly charged stone that seems to capture storm energy with its swirling pattern of gold, copper, red, and storm blue. Composed naturally of tiger’s eye, hawk’s eye, and jasper, it has a striking iridescence just like the first two stones. It aids in discharging negativity and emotional turmoil, and grounds the body’s energy centers to the etheric realms, which assists with psychic energies and journeying. It is also a confidence-booster, especially helpful to artists who are not currently making money from their wares but should be. This is one of my own favorite stones.

The necklace is not blessed or consecrated, but I would be happy to do that for you in a small ritual at no extra charge.

The necklace is $75, however I do accept layaway, and would be happy to set up a payment plan for you if you really love this but it would be more convenient to pay for it over two or three installments. (For example, three installments of $25, plus shipping, would purchase this necklace.) Just contact me at the shop and we’ll make the arrangements.

I also still have soy votive candles for Freyr available in my shop.

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Freyr’s candles are a warm golden brown, decorated with gold, green, and orange glitter, and scented with pure essential oils of patchouli, Atlas cedarwood, and lemon–a fragrance at once sunny and deeply earthy.

These candles will fit in a standard votive holder and each one will burn for about 10 hours. They measure 1 3/4 inches high by 5 1/2 inches circumference.

My soy votive candles are made from Eco Soya wax, which is 100% vegetable, made with soybean and botanical oils.

And I have a Charm Jar Candle for Freyja that hasn’t been claimed yet:

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For this candle–dedicated to Freyja, the Norse/Vanic goddess of war, witchcraft, and sex–100% vegan soy wax was dyed a warm coral pink, decorated with iridescent color-shifting gold and hot pink glitter, and generously scented with pure essential oils of amber, sandalwood, vanilla, and rose. Hand poured into a 4 oz quilted mason jar with a scroll-adorned silver lid. The wick is braided cotton, and the candle will burn for approximately 20 hours.

A goldtone puff heart charm graces the candle’s rim, tied on by recycled hot pink wool yarn.

The jar looks like crystal, and when the candle has burned up they can be used on your shrine to collect little spiritual treasures.

And finally, I still have a few of my newest batch of Freyja votives left:

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Freyja’s votives are a warm coral pink, decorated with iridescent, color-shifting gold and pink glitter, and larger red glitter hearts, and scented with pure essential oils of rose, sandalwood, and amber, along with premium strawberry fragrance oil–an intoxicating and alluring fragrance!

These candles will fit in a standard votive holder and each one will burn for about 10 hours. They measure 1 3/4 inches high by 5 1/2 inches circumference.

Thank you and have a happy Freyr’s Day/Freyja’s Day/Frigga’s Day! (I leave it to you to decide which!)

 

 

 

Twilight Yggdrasil

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And now on Layaway for a customer, that was fast! :)

This necklace would be a stunning stealth devotional piece to wear for Odin–perfect for a godspouse or any devotee, or as a gift to place on His shrine. It would also suit anyone who has a strong connection with the World Tree and is most comfortable in the shadows. (I had to seriously struggle with myself not to keep this.)

The centerpiece is a handcrafted World Tree pendant made of sparkling dichroic glass on a base of lacquered black wood. The pendant is flanked by 24 genuine jet rounds (8 mm), with fire polished aurora borealis black Czech glass crystals and “stardust” silver plated spacers.

IMG_7600IMG_7593Jet is a type of coal formed from carbonized (fossilized) wood. It is a gem of protection, healing, and intense purification that can help to clear the aura of impure energies, and is wonderful for grounding, too.

The beads are strung on 49-strand professional quality Accuflex beading wire, which is soft-drape clear-coated stainless steel. The necklace measures 17 1/2 inches, with the tree pendant measuring 1 3/4 inches by 7/8ths of an inch. It fastens with an easy-to-work silvertone toggle clasp.

The necklace is not blessed or consecrated, but I would be happy to do that for you in a small ritual at no extra charge.

Comes to you elegantly packaged in a beautiful little organza bag (not pictured), ready for gift-giving!

This necklace is $120, however I do accept layaway, and would be happy to set up a payment plan for you if you really love this but it would be more convenient to pay for it over two or three installments. (For example, two payments of $60 or three of $40, plus shipping, would purchase this necklace.) I generally prefer to sell pieces in three payments but I am willing to break it up into more than three installments if you need me to. Just contact me at the shop and we’ll make the arrangements.

Still looking for your signature piece? You can find more stunning and glamourous Witch-crafted jewelry talismans in my shop, all of them handmade with love, care and magick in Eugene, Oregon! (And I also take commissions!)

State of the Shop (or, how I never expected to be running a magickal business at the age of nearly 50, yet here we are)

The ever-fabulous Nono’s post from this morning (of which I adore the title, by the way) got me thinking about the state of my own business, and I thought it was time for a bit of an update on that. The subject line pretty much says it all: if you had told me ten years ago, or even one year ago, that I would at this point in my life be on the verge of quitting my day job to run an online occult shop full time, I’d have asked what you were smoking and could I try some of it. I have always dreamed of being a professional writer, of supporting myself independently through my writing; when I was a lot younger it was going to be bestselling novels, as I got older and deeper into my witchy path it became pagan books.  Still, it was books, not jewelry, candles and cords, that I thought would be my way out of the 9-5 routine. Even when I first began making jewelry, about five years ago now (shortly before I became obsessed with spinning) I never thought I’d ever be doing that full time. I used to read the “Quit Your Day Job” posts on Etsy wistfully and hope that someday that would be me–but it was never more than a hope. I didn’t believe in it, not really.

In terms of life achievements, I’m definitely a late bloomer; despite the fact that I was said to be “gifted” as a child, in all honesty that didn’t manifest in any kind of tangible way until the past ten years or so. (“Jasmine blooms at night,” Odin points out. “Some things are worth waiting for.”) Before that, I had plenty of creative ideas, but I always seemed to suffer from a consistent lack of motivation. In my teens, all I really wanted to do when I got home from school was write stories and read books. In my twenties, I worked while taking care of a young child, and chronic fatigue (which I was diagnosed with at about the age of 23) left me with no ambition for doing much of anything other than watching TV, writing, and reading the odd pagan book. At the age of 29, I went back to school at night to finish my BA in English Lit, and that consumed most of my free time for the next six years or so.

And then came Odin–and everything changed. Not all at once or overnight–although the changes did begin overnight. But within a few years, I had put my two books (to date) out and had published a handful of articles in pagan publications. (This is with not having been published at all before the age of about 38.) Within six years of my wedding, Jo and I had moved out to the West Coast, and within a couple of years of that, I started crafting and opened an Etsy store (this was my old shop, Wytch of the North) where I sold impossibly labor-intensive dolls and jewelry, plus a few perfume oils, while working 10-11 hour days at my day job. Shortly after moving to our current apartment five years ago, the fiber bug bit me (not literally–although there are literal fiber bugs, so that’s a possibility) and I began spending all my spare time spinning. I opened FiberWytch, and the store limped along for a while (since most of what I made was still pretty labor-intensive), bringing in a few hundred dollars per month, which gradually began covering my materials expenses until I had a hobby that paid for itself.

And then last fall, Odin said, “Why don’t you start making candles in addition to the cords and yarn? What about adding some jewelry back in, as well? And incense, and oils? Perhaps some soap. And by the way, those aren’t suggestions, because you haven’t done so well running this shop on your own, so I’m taking it over from you. I now call the shots, and you are My employee.” (No, business and financial success are not traditionally considered part of Odin’s “sphere of influence”–and possibly this was part of my problem, the reason I resisted taking His advice for so long. BUT the skillset you need for ruling a realm is very similar to the skillset needed for successfully running a business. He manages my business because He loves me and wants me out of my day job–not because business management is one of His “areas of specialty.” Although, magick certainly is.)

And the rest is history; since Odin took over the business, every month had literally seen better sales than the last, with March being the best to date. (And I credit the joint sale with Nono for a good part of that–so yes, it is true that even “competitors” in the same field can work together for their mutual profit rather than being at each other’s throats.) I didn’t make more in 24 hours than I usually make in a month, but I DID make more in a week than a month usually brings in–so I can’t complain. I also just passed my 800th sale. My biggest hope for this business was that it would allow me to work only part time at my day job, or give me a financial cushion if I did manage to get on disability. Now, I may not need to go on disability at all, and I have started the process of phasing my day job out entirely.

As Nono mentioned with his own business, there has definitely been a learning curve for me as well in terms of time management and learning business skills. (I’ve taken a few courses in the latter–largely for free, a couple for pay–but really, it’s an ongoing process. You try things, and they work or not. What works, you do more of.  What doesn’t, you tweak or get rid of.) Sourcing materials while still remaining profitable is a big challenge, although right now my greatest challenge is keeping inventory up and adding new items on a continual basis while still working 16 hours per week. This is why I do my readings mostly on Wednesdays (sometimes on the weekend as well), make a batch of candles after getting home from work at least twice a week as well as on Saturday, and spend my evenings making jewelry (and/or spinning cords, as the case may be).  I photograph and post new items on the mornings and weekends, and ship on average twice a week. (If you purchased something during the sale, I am having a huge shipping blitz later today and my goal is to get ALL the sale packages shipped out tomorrow and Friday.)

I work at my office job 4 hours a day, 4 times a week, which has me out of the house for at least 5-6 hours (longer if I run errands) on those days–and believe me, that time away from FiberWytch really hurts. If the amount of business I did during March continues (and I hope it will), I won’t be able to afford that four hours a day for very much longer–and at this point, I am going in mostly to keep my health insurance, anyhow. I’m very much looking forward to quitting (which is not too far in the future) so I can cut my daily working hours from 16 to a more comfortable 10 or 12, and have more time to write and spend time with my f/Family.

What’s next for FiberWytch? Lots more candles! I’ve gone from going through a 10 lb bag of soy wax once or twice a month to at least one bag per week, and that doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. I’m going to keep adding soap to the shop (including sampler packs), but not at the same rate I will be adding candles, since the supplies are more expensive and it doesn’t sell at the same rate. More custom options. More jewelry, of course–and once the day job ends there will be more cords and yarn, as well. New products this spring and early summer will include incense and ritual/perfume oils (both of which I’ve been planning for a while now, and which will mostly focus on devotional blends, with a few magickal ones as well). That is probably going to be the limit of the expansion, because it will be difficult to stay profitable if there are too many different categories of supplies I need to purchase, plus I do want to be able to turn some of my attention to my writing career (I have two blogs, and two books in progress, with more planned), in addition to being able to spend time on magickal studies and practice (outside of what I do to run the shop) again.

But in general, although I’m always looking for opportunities to improve what I do, I’m very happy with the business I have right now and the direction it’s headed in. Even though for most of my life I would never have thought of myself as an entrepreneur (once upon a time I thought business was boring; now I watch workshops on CreativeLive for fun, often while making stuff), suddenly that’s exactly what I am, and loving every minute of it, despite the exhaustion. But the market has changed, as Nono points out–not only for magickal goods, but for handcrafts in general. Where once handcrafted items were thought of as being somewhat inferior, what you used when you couldn’t afford anything else, now handcrafts are cool, exciting, fun, unique, and profitable–and handcrafted magickal supplies especially so. (Yet another example of  the pendulum swinging back in the other direction.)

We’re experiencing a Renaissance in both handcrafts and resources for pagans and polytheists right now, and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of what happens where those two worlds meet.  Sure, I am profiting from being part of it, but I also consider Making to be a community service, providing a resource by crafting and selling the highest quality goods I can within a niche market that has historically been under-serviced. No, I am not the only one doing this, but what I find is that the more Makers there are in any market, the bigger that market’s customer pool gets; meanwhile the Makers spur each other on, so that you, the customer, end up with a wider range of quality goods to choose from. Plus, a little creative competition is good for us as Makers, as well; it challenges and stimulates us and helps make sure we keep our edge–so everybody wins.

From Here to Eternity

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One of the newer pieces in my shop, this necklace features a Tierra Cast antiqued bronze pewter infinity symbol on a strand of fourteen large (10 mm) glowing golden obsidian rounds, with pale golden freshwater pearls, amber Czech glass crystals, and antiqued gold hematite spacers. A beautiful and timeless talisman of marriage, commitment and love, whether worn in honor of a deity or a mortal partner.

The beads are strung on 49-strand professional quality Accuflex beading wire, which is soft-drape clear-coated stainless steel. The necklace measures 18 1/2 inches, with the infinity pendant measuring about 3/4 of an inch from end to end. It fastens with an easy-to-work antiqued bronzetone lobster claw clasp.

Golden obsidian is a powerful stone of protection, forming a shield against negativity around its wearer. It can also be useful in scrying, enabling you to go deep into the core of an issue by connecting with the past, present, and future.

For millennia, pearls have symbolized the moon, femininity, and magical powers.

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The necklace is not blessed or consecrated, but I would be happy to do that for you in a small ritual at no extra charge.

Comes to you elegantly packaged in a beautiful little organza bag (not pictured), ready for gift-giving!

I do accept layaway, and would be happy to set up a payment plan for you if you really love this but it would be more convenient to pay for it over two or three installments. Just message me in the shop and we’ll make the arrangements.