Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Etsy Shop Sale!

With gardening season just around the corner, I thought that it would be a great time to have a sale in the Unfettered Wood Etsy shop! All items will be subject to a 25 percent discount, including the lovely seeds and wortcunning powders in the UW store.

The sale will be on from Thursday February 28th to Monday March 4th, 2013. To get the discount enter the coupon code "SEEDYSATURDAY" at the check out.



Monday, February 25, 2013

Bontanical Beauty...

I will appreciate the beauty of plants over stylish, sparkly trinkets any day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The 2013 North Bay Seed Exchange & Eco Fair

Tomorrow afternoon the North Bay Seed Exchange & Eco-Fair will be happening at St. Andrew's United Church from 1 to 4pm. There will be all sorts of great vendors, seed swapping, presentations on gardening, activities for children, and door prized!
Below is one of the door prizes up for grabs:

Six different types of heirloom seeds, lavender-beeswax votive candles, and a "special edition" of my Homesteader's Blend Wortcunning Powder in a pretty old mason jar.

If you are in the area, stop on by! More info can be found at the event's Facebook page.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Few More New Etsy Listings...

Made with vulva-shaped milkweed pods, beeswax, rose pedals, wee seashells and herbs assoicated with abundance and fertility.

A  nourishing offering powder for wild plants and nature spirits.
A mix of lovely annuals, biennials, and perennials.
A glass ball charm with various herbs associated with happiness, peace, abundance and protection.

Friday, February 15, 2013

{Definitions of} Charms, Talismans & Amulets

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Recently I had someone email me asking what are the differences between charms, amulets and talismans; this is a great question because these terms are often used interchangeably {something that I am sometimes guilty of doing}.
Not only have I found disagreements between practitioners, I have even seen differences within dictionaries!
So in this post I will share my personal definitions:
An item that is worn or carried on a person to ward off evil and danger. It can be an item associated with protection {natural or man made} or something made with this intent in mind.
An item that is worn or carried on a person to draw in specific qualities and powers such as abundance or luck. It can be an item associated with the desired quality or power {natural or man made} or something made with this intent in mind.
A stationary object {usually placed in a home or around a building} made to ward off evil and danger and/or to draw in specific qualities and powers. Alternatively, it is an object that has incorporated symbols, writing or has had the intent sung or spoken over it at some point during the creation process.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Herbs & Prayers for Bed Time

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Recently I have been looking into traditional Gaelic methods that help to promote sleep, good dreams and to keep nightmares at bay. One book that has been particularly helpful is Healing Threads by Mary Beith, which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in traditional Scottish folk healing and magic.
In it the author mentions various different herbs used to help with sleep; heather was used for bedding and later on put under pillows, and thyme was also put under pillows to ward off nightmares. Nettle, chickweed, oats, apple, and poppy were also used, mainly to deal with insomnia.
With this in mind, I decided to create some herbal sleeping charms to be placed under pillows. In them I put heather {to promote sleep}, thyme {to keep away nightmares}, mugwort {to promote dreaming}, rowan leaves {for protection} and a few drops of lavender essential oil for a soothing smell. The herbs were sewn into wool plaid squares that are 3 by 3 inches each and stitched with red thread for extra protection.
In the Carmina Gadelica {Vol I} there are a variety of prayers and blessings for a restful and protected sleep. The prayer that I say every night is an adaptation of two of them: A Resting Prayer  and Sleep Consecration:
May the Three shield this house tonight,
And all who dwell within.
Preserve us from all danger and harm,
From disaster and foe.
Protect my loved ones in this place
And where ever they may sleep,
This night and every night.
Tonight I will sleep in peace and protection
With the blessings of the Gods
With the blessings of my Ancestors
With the blessings of the Good Folk.
And tonight I lay down with the blessings of
Macha, Airmid, Flidais, An Callieach, and Brigid.
May I always have the blessings of Them and the Great Three.
There is quite a bit more lore for me to go over, so I will likely do a more in depth post on this topic in the future.

Woolly Gaelic Songs & Prayers

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Gaelic cultures are rich in traditional songs, prayers and blessings for daily tasks, from starting the morning fire, milking the cow, churning the butter, harvesting the crops, and putting the fire out at night. So rich in fact that there is even a collection of these songs recorded in Gaelic Songs of Scotland: Women at Work in the Western Isles.

This is a practice that I have adopted and adapted into my daily routine, which I find does make work a lot more pleasant and my actions more meaningful {I talk about this a bit more here}. While I don't have sheep, nor do I spin, weave or knit, I do find the songs and prayers associated with these activities particularly lovely.
The Carmina Gadelica {Vol. I} has a great selection of blessings two of which I will share below:
 Am Beannachd Lombaidh
Falbh lom ’s thig molach,
Beir am boirionn Bealltain,
Bride mhin a bhi dha d’ chonaill,
Moire gheal dha t’ aurais,
Moire gheal dha t’ aurais.
Micheal mil a bhi dha d’ dhion
Bho ’n mhi-chu is bho ’n an-chu,
Bho ’n mhac-tir ’s bho ’n mhadhan stig,
’S bho ianaibh ineach call-ghob,
Bho ianaibh ineach cam-ghob.
The Clipping Blessing
Go shorn and come woolly,
Bear the Beltane female lamb,
Be the lovely Bride thee endowing,
And the fair Mary thee sustaining,
The fair Mary sustaining thee.
Michael the chief be shielding thee
From the evil dog and from the fox,
From the wolf and from the sly bear,
And from the taloned birds of destructive bills,
From the taloned birds of hooked bills.
Coisrigeadh An Aodaich
Is math a ghabhas mi mo rann,
A teurnadh le gleann;
Aon rann,
Da rann,
Tri rann,
Ceithir rann,
Coig rann,
Sia rann,
Seachd rann,
Seachd gu lath rann
Seachd gu lath rann.
Nar a gonar fear an eididh,
Nar a reubar e gu brath,
Cian theid e ’n cath no ’n comhrag,
Sgiath chomarach an Domhnach da,
Can theid e ’n cath no ’n comhrag,
Sgiath chomarach an Domhnach da.
Chan ath-aodach seo, ’s chan fhaoigh e,
’S cha chuid cleir no sagairt e.
Biolair uaine ga buain fo
’S air a toir do mhnai gun fhiosd;
Lurg an fheidh an ceann an sgadain,
’S an caol chalp a bhradain bhric.
The Consecration of the Cloth
Well can I say my rune,
Descending with the glen;
One rune,
Two runes,
Three runes,
Four runes,
Five runes,
Six runes.
Seven runes,
Seven and a half runes,
Seven and a half runes.
May the man of this clothing never be wounded,
May torn he never be;
What time he goes into battle or combat,
May the sanctuary shield of the Lord be his.
What time he goes into battle or combat,
May the sanctuary shield of the Lord be his.
This is not second clothing and it is not thigged,
Nor is it the right of sacristan or of priest.
Cresses green culled beneath a stone,
And given to a woman in secret.
The shank of the deer in the head of the herring,
And in the slender tail of the speckled salmon.
You can see more relevant prayers and songs in the Carmina Gadelica {Vol I} online for free.
Since the uploader has disabled embedding, here are some links to some videos on Youtube of some traditional songs and the singers in action: A Gaelic Waulking Song & A Gaelic Spinning Song.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Listings on Etsy

I have recently added a few new items onto the Unfettered Wood Etsy shop:

A nourishing offering powder for veggies and other edibles in your garden or on your farm.
A painted glass ball charm with various herbs and dirt inside of it that are associated with working with the deceased and protection. Made for those who practice necromancy or ancestor reverence.
Made with local beeswax and herbs to promote happiness, protection, abundance, love and harmony in the home.
Another charm made with local beeswax, along with some of my Ancestral Graveyard Dirt and herbs to encourage connections with ancestors or as a memento of love to remember those who have come before us.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prayer of the Woods

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The Prayer of the Woods
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
The friendly shade screening you from the summer sun,
And my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house,
 The board of your table, the bed on which you lie,
And the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe,
The door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle,
 And the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.
"Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer:
 Harm me not."

{Author Unknown}
I am unsure of the origin of this poem, so if you know, please feel free to share! There is one blog that suggest that it might be a poem that is around 1,000 years old from and Portuguese in origin.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Rowan & Red Thread Cross for Travel

In my Imbolc post from a couple of days ago I had mentioned that I made a wee rowan cross for travel. I had then put it in a pretty locket that I purchased from Etsy as a simple option of wearing it.
I thought that I would take a better photo of my new talisman in case folks wanted to take this idea and make one for themselves. A great ritual for making a rowan cross for travel can be found over at the Tairis website.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Some Views of Imbolc

I hope that everyone had a lovely Imbolc {or Lughnasadh for you folks in the South}! Mine has been great so far and not quite done.

A hagstone with red yard knotted nine times, left out for blessing.

On the Eve of Imbolc I made sure everything was tidy {where it mattered at least!} and set up everything for the upcoming festivities and rituals. I made a small and simple bed for my Brigid doll, laid out all the items that I hope Brigid would bless, collected some snow for my Imbolc water and left out some offerings for Her.
My Brigid doll "in bed".
Offerings of food, incense and drink are made daily along with other acts of devotion such as reciting poetry. In these pictures are offerings of beer, creamy leeks, beetroot in butter and lemon, and potato cakes with honey.
Artwork done by Stephanie Lostimolo.
Our home was sained and I made some talismans and charms for blessing and protection. I am almost out of my rowan wood {I will get a new batch around Bealtaine}, so I made a wee rowan and red thread cross for travel, which will be kept in a neat shadow box locket.
Should you wish to make a rowan cross for travel, check out this ritual over at the Tairis site.
I also consecrated and started the heather seeds my friend sent me. I am excited to finally have some heather in my own garden!

Brigid's cross candle wrap from The House of Frogbird.

In other news: I have some new items that I will be putting in the Unfettered Wood shop soon and some posts that I am working on {some of which I have been procrastinating on for at least a few months. A bad habit of mine ;) }.



Friday, February 1, 2013

Imbolc Blessings

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Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will.
I hope that you all have a lovely Imbolc, Feast of Brigid, and Merry Lughnasadh & Lammas to you folks in the Southern half!