Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Clootie Tree

The Clootie Tree
Also called a Clootie Tree, Cloutie Tree, Raggy Tree, Wish Tree or Wytch Tree. Strips of cloth or ribbon representing a wish or a need (usually a physical healing) to be granted were tied to the branches of the tree. As the cloth or ribbons fluttered in the wind the request was carried on the wind to be manifest by the Gods or Saints (depending on the belief system of the person placing it on the tree).

(This one is not mine, but I'm hoping it will look like this in time!)

The word “clootie” in Scottish, means “cloth”. In various parts of the British Isles and across northern Europe, the tradition of tying a piece of cloth to a (usually Hawthorn) tree near holy wells is still relatively common. After taking water from the well, the people then take a piece of their clothing (or just a piece of cloth), dip it into the water and tie it to the tree. If it was for healing, then the wetted cloth would be used to wash the affected part of the person's body. The illness would then dissipate as the cloth disintegrated. The tree is a symbol of long life and health, and water is the essence of life.

This practice was brought to America with the immigrants, and can be found throughout the south, the Appalachias, and other areas where they settled.

As these cloths are tied to hold them to the tree, this is also a form of Knot Magic. As the cloths become more ragged in the wind, they will disintegrate, but the knot will continue to hold it in place. In time the entire piece will eventually fall off and blow away, but it will take such a considerable amount of time, imagine how much of a blessing it will have bestowed upon those who placed it there!

I have started one here in our front, tying strips of cloth cut from beautiful old men's ties I had collected for my crafts. They have all kinds of beautiful colors, but as there aren't too many on the tree as yet, they're barely noticeable. I have decided that I will begin adding one each week for either a specific blessing request, or just to bless the week coming in general. As I tie each of the clooties, I will envision what it is for specifically, as well as recite this spell for it and the others on the tree.

Clootie Tree Spell
Clootie, Cloutie, Raggy, Wish & Wytch
I tie this cloth for the wind to toss & pitch
Branch of tree hold the cloth real tight
To keep the blessings flowing right
Blessings to us on the wind do send
Long life, good health, and wealth are ours til the end

We have a well, but it's not quite like the old ones the people dipped out of, so I will use the birdbath under the tree as my "well". It is very dry here, so I will have to remember to keep it filled. :)

For those living in an apartment or other small place, you don't have to have a yard with a tree to do this. A small potted tree or branching plant can be used, just cut your cloth strips to an appropriate size so as not to over-power the tree or plant.

For anyone who does this, or has done this, why not share it on the Hoodoo Hill's Facebook page? I will set up a photo album specifically for everyone to share their works (Clootie Trees, rituals, dolls, and crafts - whatever). I'd love to see what you come up with!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gemstones and the Seals of Solomon

Gemstones and the Seals of Solomon
I was asked a very good question which had me doing a bit of research this morning that took longer than expected but had me really "putting on the thinking cap". The question was regarding gemstones and the Seals of Solomon - which stones for each of the Pentacles?

From what I found after searching through the Keys of Solomon books and then looking online and couldn't find anything either (and I'm certainly not saying this definitively), there was nothing on the subject. However, after reading through quite a few sites and looking through my own books, I came to the realization that the use of the Pentacles and their associated colors can easily determine the stones to be used with them in ritual.

If you take into consideration the colors associated with each of the Pentacles:

Saturn: Black
Jupiter: Blue
Mars: Red
Sun: Yellow
Venus: Green
Mercury: Mixed
Moon: Silver

Then using stones of those colors should be more than appropriate. Another aspect you can take into consideration is the opacity or translucence of the stone to be used.

Fire & Air stones are clear or translucent and easy to see through, while the Earth & Water stones are opaque and cannot be seen through. When considering the Pentacle to be used and the color associated with it, you may also want to consider the Element of that Pentacle's planetary alliance and choose a stone accordingly:

Earth (opaque stones): Saturn
Air (clear stones): Jupiter & Mercury
Fire (clear stones): Sun & Mars, also Jupiter
Water (opaque stones): Moon & Venus, also Saturn

This is only a suggestion, and is not found to be absolutely how to choose the stones to use with the Seals of Solomon, but the correspondences fit and can be combined for use with the Pentacles to add their energies and power to the ritual or work being done. And I'm all for finding new ways to add energy & power to my works!

Key of Solomon Planetary Seals Set

Key of Solomon Planetary Seals Set
I just found a site that makes the Seals of Solomon and wanted to share it with y'all. They're beautiful, reasonably priced and beautifully boxed for storage or display.

Omega Artworks is the company, and this is from their site:

Key of Solomon Planetary Seals

The Planetary Seals from "The Greater Key of Solomon". They are solid bronze with colored interiors, each one hand engraved. The discs are 2" in width and 1/4" thick. Each disc comes with it's corresponding colored ribbon. The are available as individual pieces or in sets. Priced per piece. Silver plating on specific seals is extra.

Contact us to start creating your own Key of Solomon Planetary SealsStarts at $78.00
So for those who have been looking - here they are! Be sure to check them out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Beauty of Family ~ and How I Became the Family Matriarch

The Beauty of Family ~ and How I Became the Family Matriarch
Last week we had our first family reunion. Sort of. :) My Dad couldn't make it because his wife wasn't well enough to travel. (I really hate the term "step-mother", it has too many negative connotations attached - and this woman is a sweet, wonderful, doll!) Anyway, my sister and nephew came in from Sacramento, CA, and my sons and grandson came in from Clearwater/St. Petersburg, FL. They arrived later in the evening on Wednesday, August 6th and left Sunday, August 10th. My oldest son's 31st birthday was on Friday, August 8th, and was the first one I'd spent with him in years! :) <3

We're a small family, which is why we need to begin to keep ourselves close(r).

I am the oldest, being 3 years older than my sister. But my sister has always been & seemed the "older" sister. Until this visit. At some point in the visit I became the matriarch of the family, something that had never even crossed my mind as a possibility - ever. Yes, I'm the oldest of the 2 of us, but I never felt like it, nor was I ever treated as such, even by our parents and grandparents. I'll admit honestly that I really wasn't the most mature person, so it was justifiably understandable.

But that all changed this past week.

We were always pushed to "go to college, get a degree, get a high-paying job, have a career, blah, blah, blah". She did what she was told and has a great job with a major national company and has been there since graduating from college 31 years ago. She's never been married, only had 2 long-term relationships, and finally had a child (who is 6 months younger than my grandson!) Me? I got a trade (one of several), got married, was a stay-at-home-Mom, divorced, self-employed, re-married, widowed, re-married, stay-at-home-wife, still self-employed, and now semi-retired. Through it all (even since I was as young as 9) I've had the feeling that we live in extraordinary times and that I will be "the one to go to" - for what, I had no idea. I'm beginning to get a clearer picture, and because of my husband and our similar views of things, we bought and are fixing this place up so everyone who comes here will be comfortable and no one will be falling all over everyone else.

When it's just me I rarely cook anything, and when it's just me & my hubby he does all the cooking. I suck at cooking for just 2 people. But give me a crowd and I shine! For example, my youngest son was born 5 days before Thanksgiving, and I still had 22 people over for Thanksgiving dinner! (That was in 1984.) There were only 7 of us last week, but I still "have it"! All meals were cooked by me, all the laundry was kept up so they wouldn't have to take dirty clothes home with them, everything was very orderly. My OCD was in high gear and proved itself very worthwhile. And my sister acknowledged it in such a way that I actually felt her "step down" and "give me the chair". I'm still trying to get used to it, which is why I'm writing about it, so that maybe I'll be able to either come to terms with it or realize that maybe I'm just imagining it. It sure doesn't feel like the latter though, that's for sure!

This is hardly a blog-worthy subject to post about, but when you've been floundering your entire life, asking the Divine to show you what the fuck you're good at, and trying to find a use for what ever that ability is, then writing about it can sometimes make the whole picture a little clearer. Hopefully. So far, not so much. LOL

Well, other than realizing that I am now head of the family, even as scattered to the ends of the country as we are. Something is coming, and I now know with certainty that my family will seek us out and we will become a single cohesive unit all in one place, instead of spread out over the country, where there is no real security. And at such time as this occurs, I will be ready to take on that responsibility. Each will have their own skills and abilities to contribute, but it will be me to which they will come for advice and other subjects of multi-family living arrangements and situations.

I'm still not clear on what other skills I have that will be needed, but at least I know my OCD isn't going to waste! LOL

So, here is my small family. We took this picture on the steps of the church building on our property.

Top step: my sister, me
2nd step: my nephew, my youngest son, my oldest son
3rd step: my grandson (my oldest's son)

The week of their visit, my Tarot Card of the Week was the 6 of Cups. VERY appropriate for the situation of family gathering, happy times, celebrations. This week I pulled the Queen of Pentacles, ALSO very appropriate considering the roll I had while they were here, and the new roll I've now taken on of Matriarch. Perfect for this Crone in her Crone years.

I do believe I will have to do another Croning Ritual for myself. This one will be a bit more specific than the first one. I'll share it once it's done. :)

So y'all go enjoy your families! Find your "place" among them. The family units aren't as strong as they used to be, and it's time to start re-building them. Because that is the only way to re-build all that has been lost in this world. Without family or some kind of family unit, we are all lost.

Blessings to you and your family! :) <3

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blessed Lughnasadh ~ August 1st ~ First Harvest Festival of the Year

Blessed Lughnasadh ~ August 1st ~ First Harvest Festival of the Year
Lughnasadh is a Cross Quarter Festival. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, Cross Quarter Festivals are also called High Sabbats or Greater Sabbats, these are Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Also known as the Fire Festivals their dates of celebration are set. With the exception of Samhain, their rituals are usually performed during the day as they are solar holidays. Each of the elements is represented and is also represented here by a holiday: Samhain - water; Imbolc - air; Beltane - earth; Lughnasadh - fire.

Lughnasadh: August 1st
This Cross-Quarter Fire Festival is celebrated on August 1st or the first full moon of Leo and is the seventh Sabbat of the year and represents the first harvest, when the Earth’s bounty is cut and stored for winter and thanks are given for the abundance received. The God has weakened and is losing his strength as seen in the waning of the day’s light. The Goddess is pregnant with the young God who will be born at Yule.

Acacia, Alfalfa, All Grains, Aloe, Blackberry, Corn, Cornsilk, Cornstalk, Crab Apple, Cyclamen, Fenugreek, Frankincense, Ginseng, Golden seal, Grapes, Heather, Hollyhock, Meadowsweet, Myrtle, Oak leaves, Pear, Rye, Sloe, Sunflower, Wheat
Aloe, Apple, Corn, Eucalyptus, Safflower, Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood
Gold, Golden Yellow, Green, Light Brown, Orange, Red, Yellow
Aventurine, Carnelian, Citrine, Peridot, Sardonyx, Yellow Diamond
Apples, Barley Cakes, Berries, Berry Pies, Bilberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Breads, Calcannon, Cider, Corn, Grains, Honey, Lamb, Nuts, Potatoes, Rice, Sun-shaped cookies, Wild berries
Corn, Grain dollies, Shafts of grain
Traditionally, this is the largest feast of the year. Celebrate with family and Coven members (if you belong to a Coven) by having a potluck feast. If you’ve saved the seeds from fruits and vegetables you can plant them in symbology of our connection to the God & Goddess. Take walks along any body of water, if there are any near you, and commune with the Divine. Fresh baked breads, Wheat weaving
Abundance, Bounty, Fire magick, Rituals of thanks, Sun magick
Goddesses - Aine, Alphito, Bracacia, Carmen, Ceres, Damia, Danu, Demeter, Freya. Grain Goddesses, Ishtar, Kait, Mother Goddesses, Sul, Sun Goddesses, Taillte, Tea, Zaramama

Gods - Athtar, Bes, Bran, Dagon, Ebisu, Ghanan, Grain Gods, Howtu, Liber, Lono, Lugh, Neper, Odin, Sun Gods, Xochipilli
Other Names:
Lammas, August Eve, Feast of Bread
Related Festivals: