Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Of Stitches, Tomatoes and Eggshells

Well, it's been a busy week! I finished "Witch" a week and a half ago but just got around to photographing it. As many of you know, the designer, Lisa Roswell of The Primitive Needle, was killed in a flash flood a few weeks ago on her way to work. She was a lovely person and a favorite designer of mine. She will be greatly missed. My stitching needs pressing and then off to the framer. Next up, mermaids among other things!
Now this is interesting, isn't it? I am a tomato-aholic, just love them; sliced with a little salt and pepper, yum! My darling husband brought a mess of them home from the Redlands and picked this one out especially for me. At the farm, the sweet German Baptist lady selling them, said, "oh, it has a nose!" Of course that's not what my hubby was thinking and I'll just leave it at that!!!
At the last full moon, my magickal partner, Raven, and I made some little "boat"  offerings from eggshells. We decorated them with colored pens, swirled some candle wax inside for support, then added a few things to go along for the ride. Following this I received a request for a presentation at the local CUUPs group at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I asked everyone to bring an eggshell. I discussed some egg folklore and the importance of offerings during ritual and magickal work, as well as the difference between an offering and a sacrifice. We had a lively discussion and lots of fun. Very welcoming, warm folk. 

These are some of the creations of the group.
 All of this comes from a story I have read many times in Charles Leland's Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling, originally published in 1891. My copy is a Dover reprint from 1971, well worn with lots of bits of paper to mark favorite passages and rather yellowed with age. This story just made a great impression on me and touched my heart, inspiring me to save many of my eggshells to leave as offerings for the Hidden Company. I'll share the story here.

Once there was a gypsy girl who noticed that when anyone ate eggs they broke up the shells, and asking why this was done received for answer:-
"You must break the shells to bits for fear
Lest the witches should make it a boat my dear.
For over the sea away from home,
Far by night the withes roam."
Then the girl said, "I don't see why the witches should not have boats as well as other people." And saying this she threw the shell of an egg which she had been eating as far as she could, and cried, "Witch, there is your boat!" But what was her amazement to see the shell caught up by the wind and whirled away on high till it became invisible, while a voice cried, "I thank you!"
Now it came to pass some time after that the gypsy girl was on an island, where she remained some days. And when she wished to return, behold a great flood was rising, and it had washed her boat away, she could see nothing of it. But the water kept getting higher and higher, and soon there was only a little bit of the island above the flood, and the girl thought she must drown. Just then she saw a white boat coming; there sat in it a woman with witch eyes; she was rowing with a broom, and a black cat sat on her shoulder. "Jump in!" she cried to the girl, and then rowed her to the firm land.
When she was on the shore the woman said: "Turn around three times to the right and look every time at the boat." She did so, and every time she looked she saw the boat grow smaller till it was an egg. Then the woman sang:-
"That is the shell you threw to me,
Even a witch can grateful be."
Saying this she vanished, cat, broom, shell, and all.
"Now my story is fairly done,
I beg you tell a better one."

The response to this story was many oohs and ahhs, but what would one expect from a room full of witches? A sweet story and a fine lesson. And that, my friends, is the end of this day's post!

Blessings nine!


  1. Hi E,
    Wonderful story. Sounds like the group meeting you had was a great time.
    Thanks for sharing,


  2. What a lovely and interesting story. My grandson of course now wants to have eggs for lunch so he can throw an eggshell to a witch. Love that he listens so well and wants to play. Thanks for your sharing of it.
    The Olde Bagg.

  3. Hello
    I've nominated you for a Stylish Blog Award. I don't always comment, but I do enjoy reading your blog .
    Please visit : http://talesfromastitchingwitch.blogspot.com/ to pick up your award


  4. It is a great story. One must take care of the spirits we work with - ya' just never know!!!