Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Lady of Shalott

I have long had a fascination with the various depictions, poems, and stories about the Lady of Shallot. A couple of months ago, at the Divine Feminine Discussion and Meditation group that I facilitate, we made collage shrines; mine featured a piece of a calendar page from some years ago that showed a modern illustration of her. Unfortunately, I do not have the artist's name, nor the title of the painting. In fact, I cannot even recall which calendar or year it is from, so if anyone recognizes it, I would appreciate having the information.

Why does the Lady of Shalott make such an impression upon me? Why am I so drawn to her and all the art she has inspired? I don't know. I see her as a sorceress of the loom and her threads, weaving magic. I think there is more to her than we have been told and, perhaps, she had a more important role in the Arthurian legends than we will ever know.

I share here some of my favorite Lady of Shalott things: music, art, poetry, and my own collage shrine, a tribute to her. Does she inspire you? What do you think about her and her story? Was she a sorceress, a shamaness of threads, moving from nearby Camelot to some other world? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Deborah Rose's version of The Lady of Shalott:

William Holmes-Hunt's paintings of The Lady of Shalott, my favorite.

Loreena McKennitt 's version The Lady of Shalott

One of John William Waterhouse's paintings:

Emilie Autumn - Shalott, an interesting version.

And one more Waterhouse painting of The Lady:

Tennyson's poem:

I do not know the artist, but this is lovely.

The film, The Lady of Shalott, recently released.

There are many fine art depictions of the lady. I like to browse through them all while listening to Loreena's version of the song. I look forward to the release of Deborah Rose's CD so I can add that to my collection of mystical needlework music. Threads, yarn, weaving, embroidery, all are part of my sorceress artes as well as the art I create. I suppose that is the reason I am so drawn to this lady.

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay...

Lady of Shalott Shrine, E A Kaufman

Blessings nine!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Witches' Creed

The Witches' Creed

Hear now the words of the witches,
the secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny's pathway,
that now we bring forth into light.

Mysterious water and fire,
the earth and the wide-ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
and will and keep silent and dare.
The birth and rebirth of all nature,
the passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat,
Returns, and the witches are seen
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe'en.
When daytime and night time are equal,
when sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
And Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
thirteen is the coven's array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
for each golden year and a day.
The power that was passed down the age,
each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
ere time and the ages began.

When drawn is the magical circle,
by sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies,
in land of the shades for that hour.
This world has no right then to know it,
and world of beyond will tell naught.
The oldest of Gods are invoked there;
The Great Work of magic is wrought.

For the two are mystical pillars,
that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
the forms and the forces divine.
The dark and the light in succession,
the opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:
Of this our ancestors teach.

The master and mistress of magic,
that dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever renewing,
with power to free or to bind.
So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,
And Dance and make love in their praise,
Till Elphame's fair land shall
receive us in peace at the end of our days.

And Do What You Will be the challenge,
so be it Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment.
By Magic of old, be it done!

- Doreen Valiente -

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Herkimer Diamonds

Triple Herkimer Diamond cluster
collection of E A Kaufman

There are suggestions that this stone, the Herkimer Diamond, NOT be worn for any long length of time. I, and a few others I know, will dispute this. Personally, I have three small Herkimer diamonds wrapped together as well as a single Herkimer - I wear one or the other EVERY day without any adverse effect. Many of the other stones I wear have a Herkimer included in the wrap, a trademark of the artist who does the wrapping. I wear a number of different stones daily, but one in particular, besides the Herkimers, is a rainbow quartz with a magicians cut and black tourmaline - I always wear these three stones so I'm not sure if these other stones balance the energies of the Herkimers, but I don't really think so. I received my first Herkimer from a neighbor, a herpetologist, who went to Herkimer, NY on a snake hunt. He knew that I collected stones so he brought me one as a gift. Perhaps all these years of being connected to Herkimers enhances my ability to work with them - not sure. Of course, I am an experienced practitioner of the artes magickal, shamanic, and healing, with a strong connection to crystals and stones, I'm sure that helps too.
Single Herkimer Diamon with baby penetrator
Three Herkimers wrapped in gold
collection of E A Kaufman

This is a stone of attunement, allowing us to tune in or link to higher spiritual beings and their realms, as well as other folks while we work magick or healing. While it will clear chakras and allow energy to flow in the body, this does not happen without intent and work. I personally feel energy move and shift easily,  I attribute some of this to the assistance of my Herkimers. I have read that these beautiful stones enhance creativity, telepathy and allow one to access past life information so one can release blockages related to those lives. This release is gentle and activates the light body.

Labradorite with Herkimer dangle, various Tourmalines with Herkimer,
Lemurian Seed with Herkimer, Sugilite, Herkimer, and Amethyst.
collection of E A Kaufman 

For healing, Herkimers make excellent elixirs - used to spray rooms or people, it purifies and detoxifies. Melody, in her book, Love Is In The Earth, suggests that Herkimers can be used for dispersal of toxins in the body, correcting imbalances in RNA/DNA as well as the metabolic rate. Most of you are aware that detox can sometimes be unpleasant and uncomfortable depending upon the issues. Although Herkimers allow for a more gentle detox, it still can be uncomfortable. Calming and stress relieving to all bodies, physical to etheric, Herkimers release tensions in muscles and other body tissues.

Magickally, circles, compasses, and sacred space can be gridded with Herkimers, although personally I find the Herkimer Diamond to be more  effective when used in the center of a gridded circle, the circle itself being gridded with selenite points at each of the four directions and, for me, the cross directions (NW, SW, SE and NE. A very powerful energy realm can be manifested in this way. Be warned that some may react to this intense energy, being effected very strongly, resulting in sleepiness, slower reaction time and thought processes, a sense of out of body-ness as well as encounters one may consider to be hallucinations - they likely are not hallucinations. This compass is truly in another place. The feeling of the energy can be likened to walking through water. This being said, the resulting magick/manifestation/healing when gridding with Herkimers alone can be powerful indeed. The psychic centers of participants are opened, and connection and communication with other realms can be intense - for witches, this is a whole other ball of wax. All of this can only manifest if the correct procedures and intent are used - otherwise, chaos along with the shit hitting the fan can be the result - no kidding!!! It has taken me some time to properly control a Herkimer gridded circle and I don't do so lightly - my butt has been kicked more than once - but no pain no gain, I always say, LOL! Seriously, it isn't a joke, use cautiously and wisely. Gridding your bed or room is fine, gridding a magickal circle or compass is another thing altogether.

Herkimers are really the witch's or magician's stone, enhancing the power of spells and other magickal workings. It is definitely an excellent aid to have at hand. 

I have encountered folks who get nothing from Herkimers or, for that matter, any other stone. They consider it "new agey" - not correct considering how old the use of stones in healing and ritual is. I feel this is because they just do not connect to the mineral realm, let alone this particular powerful stone. That's ok, not everyone does, others just need to work a bit to make the connection. I feel very lucky indeed to have such a strong connection to realms of Nature. As always, when asking for assistance, call the spirits of all stones, crystals, and minerals, with respect, love and integrity.

Blessings nine!

copyright 2010, E A Kaufman