Samhain Cross Stitch available at http://www.crowcrossroads.etsy.com
Is There Magick in that Stitch? by Silver RavenWolf
The needle is a little wand, directing the energy into the fabric. A mini bolt of lightning, it dives into the cloth, then emerges to the heavens, capturing the energy you put into it as it swiftly returns, punctures the fabric, and grabs earth energy before it rises again. With each stitch a thought coupled with an emotion is born. The finished product is a sealed testament — a pattern of energy massaged, combined, blended and set forth by the stitcher.
I often surf through the products on Etsy simply to enjoy the immense creativity of the Pagan community. Magickal stitchers abound with colorful quilts, detailed scarves, gloves, and hats, amazing table runners, flowing clothing, fluffy pillows…the list is almost endless — their creativity has no bounds — their work a succulent candy to the eye, their innovation a balm to the soul.
Beauty. Laughter. Joy. Intense emotion.
When you knit or do cross stitch, you are actually working with the Gyfu or Gyf rune which creates “gifts” “generosity” and “partnership”.
You can tell the space where the stitcher occupies by what they create. Is it light? Dark? Something inbetween? The art shows their life, their experiences, and their thoughts. Whether you pick up on it or not — each piece of a sewn, knitted, or crocheted product has a backstory — the creative gleam in the mind as the stitches marched to completion.
Prayer bowl created on a Scorpio Moon.
When you sew you unleash tremendous power aimed at the manifestation of the thing. If you dearly want something to come to pass? Then needle and thread can be your best friend.
Stitching — knitting, crochet, embroidery, quilting, latch hook, cross stitch, needlepoint — all carry a meditative aspect. The repetitive action to complete the project can soothe the mind, keep the fingers busy while you reach for something deeper inside yourself. Many people “take up” some type of needlework as a meditative practice. One of the most talented needlepoint artists I ever met was a retired Marine with three grown children. I remember blinking repeatedly when he proudly showed me his huge canvas of poppies. Once the shock was over, I marveled at his precise stitching. “The back should look as good as the front,” he said. I have never reached his perfection in stitching.
Protective Crow to watch over hearth and home. Designed by SRW.
When I first started needle work, I fussed and fretted that my stuff wasn’t perfect. It took a long time for me to realize that mistakes are part of the process, and rather than bitching or giving up, I should accept those mistakes as the flow to completion. Once you realize that mistakes are okay, that you can fix just about anything in the project, then you relax and the work takes on a whole new meaning. A friend of mine once said that every needlework project should at least have one mistake in it — because perfection is really the process of working toward harmony. If it was perfect — you wasted your time.
Sometimes a project is meant to fail because it was a vehicle to help you release negative energy that you decided to subconsciously hoard. You know it when it happens. You are halfway through, look at your work, and say, “Yuck, I hate this.” It is then you have a decision to make — should you just toss it? Or should you soldier on? In most cases, I learned to toss it, and once I did, I felt freedom from some personal angst I’d been harboring.
Can you make your work more magickal than it naturally is? Absolutely! Here are a few tips:
1. Make the gathering of supplies a fun experience. If you need to shop, check out the phase of the moon and the sign the moon is in before making your purchases. You can look at this information from a few different viewpoints: Is the project a gift, and if so, what type of energy are you looking to create? Do you need to save money or find a bargain? Will you be making more than one item for the full project? Are you looking for something unusual, different? Is your end goal to sell this item, or to keep it for yourself? Learning to work with a planetary guide like the one offered by Llewellyn World Wide, or using a moon phase/moon sign app on your phone, I-Pad or notebook can be incredibly helpful. Use the information when gathering supplies, actually starting the project, and during your work on that project.
Note: As a head’s up — There is an unusual heavenly occurrence coming on Monday, July 29th. A Grand Sextile, which some astrologers feel holds amazing healing potential. So! If you are working as a healer with your creative pursuits — this would be the day to capture that energy and direct it toward your tools, supplies, ideas, and projects.
2. Cleanse and bless all items and tools before you begin a new project. You can do a simple ritual you design yourself, or you can cast a circle, call the quarters and really fire up that ritual drama. This is entirely up to you.
3. Make sure the area you work in is clean and somewhat organized. Clutter, dirt and dust tend to capture negative energy. If you are having trouble with a stitching project, take a break and look around you. Do you need to take the time, walk away from the work, and re-order your environment? Look at it this way — you are in the process of giving birth. Do you want to do it in a filthy mud puddle? Or, would you like the birthing process to be filled with harmony, light, and a pleasant atmosphere?
4. Where is your mind while you are working? Are you super upset? Then don’t work on that baby blanket for Martha, or the wedding quilt for Jane. If you need the soothing repetition, put those things away and pick up something else. I actually have an angst project. Something I turn to just for the mental ease of keeping my hands busy. The project isn’t meant for anything important. It will never be given to anyone. Many artists, including myself, find solace in creativity when times are difficult. Some claim that it is a time that they produce their best work. I’m not one of those. However, if your work results in a tremendous achievement, be sure to cleanse, bless and consecrate it if you know it is going to someone else. During the normal routine of creation, periodically cleanse and bless the work when you stand back to observe your progress. Daily family drama can cling to the project, making it more difficult to complete. Rub your hands with basil herb, lavender herb, rosemary, etc., to keep the energy you infuse into the project clean and desirable. Create a two or four line chant that you repeat as often as you like while you are working that envisions the tone of what you are doing. Making a healing shawl for someone who is sick? “Healing is Wholeness” is a good one-liner.
Remember to mark the date on your patterns, that way you can follow the progress of the work astrologically, or at least monitor the work by moon quarters.
5. When you are finished, do a small closure ritual — that way you can easily move on to the next project. To sellers of your work, this is an important time. If you are too much in love with your creation — it won’t sell. And if you are using your creativity to pay the electric, car payment or mortgage — mentally holding onto the item is a bad thing. Rule of magickal thumb? Create it. Fill it with joy. And let it go. Release it with honor. Move on to the next project.
6. Keeping a stitching journal really helps you to learn how you perform during the different phases of the moon and the moon in the signs. Not everyone blends with the energy available the same way. Sure, we read generalizations all the time through astrological info — but, the fine tuning? That is yours alone. For example, although they tell you not to start a project during a Mercury retrograde, if you were born during a Mercury retrograde this is a good time for you. Another example — if you were born when the moon was in the third quarter, then you will naturally want to start things in that quarter and they will come out okay for you. By keeping a journal, you can see your up periods, and your down ones, which will help with future projects.
Although these tips were written with the creative stitcher in mind, they will also work for anyone who produces creative material — woodworkers, builders, painters, musicians, etc. Creativity is a marvelous energy that flows with every sort of talent. There is always a way to use your magickal skill in perfect harmony with the physical objects, dance, or music that you create!
Note: Samhain pattern is available in my Etsy store as an instant download — which provides you with three pdf. files — a color/symbol on one page, a black and white on one page, and a five page color/symbol chart for those of you who hate to squint (like me).
As an important note: True Samhain is when the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio, which normally falls sometime in the first week of November.
Samhain Cross Stitch available at http://www.crowcrossroads.com
Halloween pattern can be found in Silver’s Etsy Store at http://www.crowcrossroads.etsy.com
When creating these patterns I wanted to design a product that would be simple to stitch, and bring the color and many of the icons of the season into play on the same sampler. To me, the house in the picture belongs to the Witches of the town. Every window is streaming with light because the coven is inside, dancing to the Monster Mash, reeling to Chiller, and boogying to Donovan’s Season of the Witch. The ghost and cat are outside, dancing, too, while the pumpkins are chanting and singing the chorus. The Witches Brooms and the pentacle were added to protect the home, where ever the sampler is used. Stitchers have two choices — the Samhain Sampler or the Halloween Sampler, as I realize that many stitchers can’t display the word “Samhain” in their homes due to a variety of reasons.
Do you have magickal tips that creative stitchers would enjoy? Please feel free to post. We would all love to read them — we are a magickal village, after all, and if one succeeds, we all succeed.
In service Peace with the Gods Peace with Nature Peace Within
Cross Stitch Fabrics (crystalbeadsvh.wordpress.com)
Adding Texture to Counted Cross Stitches (123craftcafe.com)