From mid-August through October, seasonal energies naturally demand completion and closure. This tying up loose ends, finishing summer projects, and preparing for the cold weather can keep us busy; so busy that we may feel rushed, harried, and worst of all, unable to dedicate large blocks of time to magickally fun projects that would normally ease our stress and keep the harmony flowing. With your busy lifestyle in mind, I've developed two easy, arty projects sure to please the entire family and wow your magickal visitors!
Harvest Wish Jar
You've seen jar magick before—the premise isn't a new one. Usually such jars focus on a new project or are designed to bring something new to you. This one is a little different. Its theme hinges on a project you already have in motion, and are looking toward a successful and fulfilling harvest. You can choose any subject, from restoring an antique vehicle (that's been sitting in the garage since the dawn of time) to that quilt you need to finish for your mother's Yule gift. The jar shown here centers on my book, HedgeWitch. Now, I want the material to reach as many people as possible so that they, too, can enjoy the wonderful experience of HedgeWitchery and reap the amazing benefits that I have.
Supplies that I used (you may have a better idea than what I have given, or know a quicker or cheaper way than I do):
- One Sterilized Canning Jar (I sterilized the jar to begin with a cleansed vehicle for my magick)
- Decorative Papers and Pictures
- Ribbon (I used adhesive-backed black velvet)
- Rubber Stamps & Black Ink
- Clear Embossing Powder
- Xron Machine (or your choice of glue)
- Colored Cardstock
- Hammer and Nail (to puncture two holes in lid)
- Eyelets (for holes in lid) and eyelet setter (makes the top of the jar look more professional)
- Decorative Wire, Wire Cutters, and Jewelry Pliers
- Pre-Strung Glass Beads
- Decorative Finger Yarn
Step One: Tear or cut your decorative papers and pictures and affix to jar. Add matching ribbon, charms, etc.—whatever suits your fancy. Perhaps you'd like to dedicate your jar to a particular patron deity—anything goes! From funky to vintage, from car parts to pretty leaves and flowers—there are zero limits to your creativity. On the example jar I used copies of art elements on the book cover, my own artwork, and a few rubber stamp designs, including the magick numbers 3, 7, and 9. I suspended the word "HedgeWitch" with attached dangling beads from copper wire through the holes I made in the lid, then bent the wire for a decorative effect. The words on the copper wire will dangle over the copper pennies (mixed with a few marigolds from my garden) to encourage successful conductivity. As a finishing touch I added velvet ribbon (black—a representation of the stillpoint within the magick circle) and funky, finger yarn.
Step Two: Copy magick charm (listed below) and place either in or on the jar. (To fully understand the meaning of the charm, please see my book HedgeWitch.)
Peace With the Gods
Peace With Nature
I love the harvest encased herein.
Always a Blessing
It Always Works.
Step Three: Hold your hands over the jar and repeat the above charm nine times. Seed with nine new pennies. State clearly what you wish to harvest. Note: See HedgeWitch for a complete explanation of making wishes and clearly verbalizing your intent. Every day for as long as you keep the jar as a decorative object, drop a penny in the jar to continue activating your good thoughts and wishes for that special harvest. Link the sound of the dropping penny to the idea that good things and successful closure are quickly coming toward you. Finish your wish/statement of intent with: "Always a Blessing. It always works!" Once the season is over, give the pennies to charity, friend, or family member (you must release in order to receive). If you used a general harvest theme (just in case you couldn't think of a theme in your life that needed closure), store your jar in a safe place to use again next year, or turn it into your own time capsule, placing pictures and other objects you collect from that particular time period. Mark the jar with the date and seal. Open ten years later!
Magickal Theme Ideas (if you don't have a particular harvest in mind):
- Apples and Pumpkins denote money, good fortune, and abundance.
- Grains and Beans are thought to assure food for the following year.
- Scarecrows are protective of hearth and home.
- Ravens and Crows bring messages from Spirit.
- Corn is an offering to the Goddess.
Additional Ideas (Variations on the Theme): You can even use your harvest jar at work, placed on your desk. If negativity roams the office and you're wishing for a better environment, add dried African Basil, lavender, and rosemary from your garden to make a wish/potpourri jar. African Basil or Purple Ruffle Basil makes a stunning and fragrant, artistic statement as well as magickally providing harmony (called sympathy) in any environment. Use rosemary for her powerful cleansing properties, and lavender not only for the aroma and the beautiful color, but also for her soothing capabilities. For quick, offset color, throw in some dried marigolds—success, success, success! At home? Everyone in the family can make a harvest wish jar. Line the finished jars up on the mantle when completed, or use as a centerpiece laced with silk flowers or other decorations to match the season. For a larger centerpiece (say, for a harvest ritual), use a bigger jar that will captivate the guests and allow them to add their own harvest wish with the prerequisite nine pennies. Ring the collective wish jar with tea candles or tapers. As the dining room table collects the chi (energy) of the entire household, placement there would be an excellent choice.
Average Cost of This Project (prices will vary due to your location and size of jar):
- Canning Jar: prices range from .99 to 1.79 depending on where you shop and the size you buy. Larger jars will naturally cost a bit more. Budget tight? You can find them cheap at flea markets (read my article on magickal haggling in the appendix of HedgeWitch to help you land great deals!).
- Paper, Pictures, Ribbon: If you use what you have around the house and clips from magazines, then there is no cost here. Take your own pictures, use altered art, or purchase wrapping paper or decorative seasonal paper (average cost with ribbon is about $4.00)
- Glue: $1.00
- Pennies: 9 cents to begin
Total Lowest Estimated Cost (What I spent): $2.08
Total Time of Project: 30 minutes (this does not include design time—if you are like me, and putz, it will take you longer.)
If you enjoyed making this project, why not do one for Yule? The wish jar makes a great gift idea, too! Empowered jars can be filled with potpourri, buttons, keys…your creativity is the limit! And what's best? It's a gift from the Chi.
I listed the Xron machine in the Harvest Jar instructions because once you have one, you won't know how you lived without it. There are several sizes and for the project in this article you'll only really need the 2.5 model, or to make things easier, the 1.5 and 2.5 models. The Xron machine takes any paper product and affixes a strong glue to the back that you can paste just about anywhere without a lot of muss and fuss or electricity! Just slap the picture in the machine, turn the handle, tear off the paper, pull off the back and you are ready to paste virtually anywhere. Glue types come in permanent and removable (so you can stick one on your absent minded husband's shoe if you have to).
Vintage Magick Blocks
Pick up almost any project magazine these days and you'll find a plethora of Country Prim or Vintage Style art ideas to spice up hearth and home. Here, we're going to take the Vintage fad and make it not only magickal, but also divinatory (if you so desire). You can theme your blocks to a simple harvest, a special affirmation, or something more fun—like Samhain! You can make as many, or as few, as you like. The great thing about this project is that you only have to take your time when actually stamping the blocks. The painting? The sloppier, the better! Here's how you do it!
Supplies I Used:
- Imaginarium™ unpainted children's blocks in various sizes
- Rubber Stamps (Rubber Stamps I used in this project: Manufacturer not listed for large letters. Small Letter Blocks: Image Tree. Black Cat: Inkadinkado. Witches Hat: Inkadinkado. No manufacturer listed for small Star. Eye in Triangle: www.ReyFay.com)
- Black Staz-On Ink (this is a permanent ink, so be careful)
- Liquitex Acrylic Paints in two colors: Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna. Don't panic if you can't get these two colors in this brand. What you are looking for is a nice, dark, warm brown and a lighter, redder brown.
- Paint brush (You don't need an expensive one, though choosing a wider, flat bristle makes the job go faster)
- Water (to thin the paint to a wash and to clean the brushes)
- Wet Sponge in bowl of water (I don't have a sink with running water in my studio. To clean the permanent ink from the stamps right away, I let them set on the wet sponge in the bowl of water. When I'm done with a project I carry them all to the sink, use an ink removal product and fingernail brush, and wash them thoroughly. If you just let the ink dry on the stamp [which it does quickly] you won't be able to remove the ink.)
- Paper towels or clean, soft tee-shirt rags
- Stamp Cleaner
- Black Felt (to line the bottom of your blocks)
- Wood sealer (of your choice and finish)
Note: I didn't use either, going for the more vintage appearance and time saving method.
Step One: Stamp Images on blocks.
In the example shown here, I used the focus word, "Believe." That's my favorite keyword, because I know that what I believe, I will receive. The word "Believe" reminds me to think positively and focus my intent on what I want—not on what I don't want. The eye in the triangle on top of the display has several occult meanings from the "Eye of the Gods" to the "Eye of My Mind" (and more). The triangle represents trinity and the 3x3 sealing of a charm, etc. The numbers have several meanings. First, zero stands for the stillpoint (which you can read about in my book, MindLight). It means zero limits, the beginning of everything, the void of manifestation. The numbers 1 through 3 have a lot of meaning for me, too, especially in my Pow-Wow training, which dictates that for any charm to work, it must be said three times. Every image I used on my blocks has a special meaning to me: Witch's Hat (my religion), Black Cat (Luck), etc. Use designs that speak to your heart, your focus, and your intent. The Yes/No blocks are divinatory in nature. Two sides say, "Yes" and two say, "No." The top and the bottom have stars (which matches the motif of the other blocks). Here's my quick key:
Two Yes responses: The project is definitely a go with little effort on your part.
Two No responses: Forget it. You are forging down the wrong path. Try something else. You've somehow set yourself up to fail.
One Yes and One No: Maybe. Your idea isn't quite right for you. Meditate on it. A change and work needs to be done. Your conscious mind and subconscious mind are not in agreement (see my book, HedgeWitch, for further explanation on this conundrum). Perhaps you've forgotten to release something.
One Yes and One Star Block: Fate smiles upon you; be patient and look for opportunity and good timing.
One No and One Star Block: Don't be disappointed, there is a better opportunity you are missing (usually right under your nose). Look for it.
Step Two: Distress the Blocks.
This is what makes the blocks look "vintage." Brush edges of blocks lightly with the darker color (mix with a bit of water for a shadowy effect; wipe off with soft rag or paper towel if you apply too much paint or go too far into the stamped image). Allow to dry. Water down the lighter paint to achieve a colored wash. Apply to blocks. If you use too much, simply wipe quickly with the soft cloth. The lighter paint "warms up" the blocks, giving them a glowing appearance. Allow to dry.
Step Three: Empower and set up your blocks!
Your enchanted blocks can be placed anywhere in the home or office.
Average Cost of the Project (will vary due to location and materials you choose):
- Paint Brush: $1.00
- Paint: $6.00 (however, you use only a little and will have plenty for other projects). You can also use wood stain or even two colors of shoe polish, although drying time for both will be much, much longer.
- Wooden Blocks: Here the cost will vary. If you purchase these blocks new in a set at a toy store, price fluctuates depending upon the size of the set you buy and your location. There are, however, other venues. Look for old blocks at the flea market or swap meet. They will work just as well and give you a more vintage look. You could also visit your nearest home improvement store and choose wood there, then cut it into blocks at home.
My Total Cost: $31.00 (but, I have lots of blocks left over to make more sets, and since I finished this first set, I have requests for five more from family, friends and even an unexpected visitor).
Total Time of Project: 45 minutes (design time not included)
Unusual and interesting eye-candy, Vintage Magick Blocks make a terrific idea for Witchy circle gifts or your favorite friend or relative who adores the vintage look. Not only are they great to look at, but, you can use them in magick, too! Just rearrange your blocks and build to suit. Enchantment is only a block away!