Making Magickal Tools part II
In the last issue of Henge Happenings, I wrote about how to make
a Bell Branch and an altar plate. In this issue I will discuss how to make Remembrance
Bowls, cauldrons and other objects from homemade clay. If you have ideas to share on crafting altar items, send them
to the Henge Office, for possible
publication in Henge Happenings.
Remembrances are the items that represent a particular Matron
or Patron of a Feast. They are usually items that are encountered in everyday
life. Such as for Lughnasdh you could use grain or fruit to represent Danu and
candy in golden foil or other sun symbols for Lugh. These are kept in a remembrance
bowl that is passed among those present. Each person takes a remembrance and
a few words are said about its meaning so that we can focus on the Matron and
Patron when we encounter them in our lives in symbolic form or when we see the
remembrance displayed (if you use a non-edible one). Some ideas for remembrances
will be discussed in a future column.
The cauldrons of Land, Sea and Sky are used to hold respectively
soil, water and incense. These also can be formed from clay. You can form a
bowl shape and turn it over to attach legs to the bottom for a cauldron. You
may have to let it dry upside down until almost dry, then adjust (cut) the legs
so it will balance when stood upright. When using incense in a home made vessel,
use extreme caution. You may have to fill it with sand to absorb some of the
heat. Keep careful watch on it and be prepared to extinguish it, if needed.
The cauldron of Land is used to call the nature spirits in ritual.
The nature spirits are those of animals, plants and insects. These spirits reside
in nature and assist us with producing for our daily needs, like shelter and
food. The cauldron of Sea is used to call the ancestors in ritual. The ancestors
are all who have lived before us. They help us to connect with our spiritual
heritage/ancestry (whether we are related by bloodline or bond of common faith).
The cauldron of Sky is used to call the Gods and Goddesses in ritual. The Gods
and Goddesses assist us with spiritual growth and the acquiring of knowledge
You can use colors like green for land, blue for sea and white for
sky to further personalize your cauldrons. Or you could add sand and seashells
to the sea cauldron. Leaves, twigs or flower petals could be added to the land
cauldron. God and Goddess symbols, oils, stones could be added or ogham characters
could be carved into the sky cauldron. Use your imagination, there are endless
You can make clay at home, or buy it at an art supply or craft
store. Candle holders (shape into desired form, push a candle into it to form
a place for candle), statues, seasonal decorations or just about any shape you
can think up can also be made from clay! So mix up a batch and give it a try.
Some recipes for clay:
1 to 2 slices of white bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon of white glue
Tear the bread into small pieces and add the glue. Mix with a
fork until it is sticks together. Knead several times with hands until it becomes
smooth. Add more bread if too sticky and more glue if too dry. Shape into desired form (small shapes are best because it starts
to dry rather quickly). Let air dry. When dry, paint with acrylics and cover
with several coats of gloss paint when acrylics dry.
1 cup all-purpose white flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Food coloring (if desired, can be painted when dry also)
Mix everything (except food coloring) in a saucepan. Cook over
medium heat until it forms a ball. Let cool. Knead on a floured surface. If using food coloring, divide into balls for each color desired
and add coloring. Knead the color in. Shape into desired form and let dry (may
take several days).
Another Basic Clay (no cook version)
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon alum
1 1/2 cups water
Food coloring, if desired or else paint with acrylics when dry
and cover with gloss coats
Mix all ingredients thoroughly, adding water (tablespoon at a
time) if it gets too dry.