A lovely testimonial from a customer showing off the set of three cords they commissioned from me for the Norns: Urda, Verdandi, and Skuld. Because price was mentioned in the post, I want to note that at the time this particular order was placed (back in February) I was only asking $30 per cord commission–which was very low; I shortly thereafter raised the price to $40, but that was still much too low considering everything that goes into them.
Custom ritual cords are the single most labor-intensive product I make (even more so than the new portable shrines) because they involve considerable back-and-forth with the customer via Etsy convo, in addition to back-and-forth with the Powers who the cords are being commissioned for. (Yes, They definitely have Their opinions on the colors, amount of sparkle, how the cord is spun, etc., and it is not uncommon for me to have to do a cord over again–even more than once–because a Power says it is not quite right, and I DO NOT CHARGE THE CUSTOMER EXTRA FOR THIS. Each such revision takes time, which is why some commissions–especially if they are for multiple People–will take longer than others.)
Also, the physical process of making the cords includes:
– dyeing new white (undyed) wool with professional acid dyes
– allowing said wool to dry (which can take a while, especially in Oregon in the winter–our rainy season wherein NOTHING is dry)
– processing the wool on a machine called a drum carder, where it is combed and combined with sparkles, silk, locks, and any other pretty add-ins
– spinning the wool into a thick skein of yarn
– plying said skein back on itself to create a three-ply yarn known as “chain ply,” which becomes the cord; at this point, a sparkly thread of some type is generally plied along with it
– choosing essential oils for the soaking if they have not been previously selected by the customer; this involves consulting with the Powers as well
– soaking the skein, which then has to dry AGAIN
– measuring and cutting the cord
– sewing on charms and beads
Given all of this, it is perhaps understandable why, if I have leftover yarn from this process, I am anxious to not waste it and will frequently reconsecrate it to a different (compatible) deity, add new charms and beads (NOT the same ones personally chosen by the customer) and offer it in the shop.
Also, it is worth mentioning that in June I raised my prices for both the embellished custom cords (with charms and beads) and the “plain” cords (bare cords without charms or beads); the embellished cords are now $100, and the “plain” cords are $75, which in both cases better reflects the amount of work that goes into them. I will also admit that part of my reason for doing this was to discourage people from ordering them, since at the time I had a backlog of about 12 orders for them. I have since cleared my backlog, and MAY (or may not) lower the price a bit in the future, but if I do the embellished cord price will not be going below $75, and the “plain” cord price will not be going below $50.
In the meantime, since I realize that not everyone who wants cords can afford this, I am doing my best to keep a flow of new cords going into the shop at more accessible prices. These are not custom, so while they are still labor intensive, they don’t involve the same amount of customer negotiation, time spent sourcing special charms or beads, and spirit-mandated revision, and thus are actually somewhat profitable for me. Yesterday I spent the entire day spinning and soaking cords, and by next week there will be new cords in the shop for Odin, Thor, and Loki (in a fiery palette this time), as well as three perennial favorite themes: Autumn Yggdrasil, Sovereignty, and Dark Moon. If anyone has suggestions for cords they would like to see me offer, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
In February, I purchased three three custom ritual cords for Urda, Verdandi, and Skuld. My anxiety was not impressed with the price but now that they’re here, I am SO happy I bought them. Wow.
I feel like I’m wearing a hug. Thank you so much, Beth.
I’m currently taking a break from rune rituals to focus on my health so I don’t know how it feels to wear the cords in a magical setting.
This one is Urda’s.
This one is Verdandi’s. I’m most partial to it out of the three since I love purple.
I have had so many dreams about spiders since the Norns entered my life! Dream-me used to back away even from little spiders but now I can dream of having a massive tarantula on my back and feel comfortable. (More on this another time. The tarantula was as big as a medium sized dog.)
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