A journey through the hands of a maker of magical items, discovering not only the secrets of Sacred art, but also the history and preservation of disappearing forms of Artisan work.
A Magical Autumn Craft: Lucky Pomanders
Our best friends moved last week from their home in the mainland of Spain to our little island. After our first visit to their new home, we gathered/stole a bit of fruit for the Spirits (and paid to the Spirits of the Land, of course) from what it seemed an abandoned allotment near the house, and this morning I made two very special Lucky Pomanders, one for them and one for us. Pomanders are oranges studded with spice cloves and other powdered spices, and left to dry - they release a wonderful scent, and most bugs hate the scent of cloves, so they can keep them away from clothing if placed inside cupboards. Magically, all of the spices used are powerful elements of protection, so it doubles as a very beautiful amulet, my favourite kind. I strongly believe that Beauty is a very important magical element in itself, just as Chaos, or Time - my customers often say that my spell and candle works are "pretty", but there are many strong magical reasons on choosing Beauty as an element, more than just pleasing the eye.
I have made many orange pomanders in the past, since oranges are available almost all year on our sunny islands; but, this time I added an extra element - stregheria. I remembered that, in The Gospel Of The Witches, written by Charles Godfrey Leland, there was a reference to lemons covered in pins:
“Take many pins, and carefully stick them in the lemons, pins of many colours; and as thou wilt have
good luck, and if thou desirest to give the lemon to any one or to a friend, thou shoudst stick in it
many pins of varied colours. But if thou wilt that evil befall any one, put in it black pins."
So, I took my embroidery supplies and added red satin ribbon, and many pins of different colours - in the rows between them I added the cloves. The red ribbon adds protection, even more as they form two crosses on the lower and upper point of the oranges; the pins in different colours represent all the blessings you need for a prosperous life; the spice cloves keep negativity away; and the orange itself is a symbol of the Sun - prosperity, recognition, social and family ties, abundance. As you can see, a perfect amulet to bless our friends' new home.
This are very easy to make and very cheap, so it would be a great craft to make with your children. They are also a very inconspicuous amulet for those Pagans who need to keep their beliefs away from family and friends, as you can always say they're to keep bugs away or keep the rooms scented.
Here are some extra tips:
- Keep a towel under your hands while working to pick the juice drops;
- Make the holes for the cloves with a nail/thick needle/point tool before adding the spice cloves. You'll save yourself a lot of finger pain, and cloves can get crushed when pushing them in the orange's thick peel.
- Think of changing the colour of the ribbon depending on your needs; green for money, blue for peace, yellow for success, etc.
- Add charms, feathers, beads, and even a small scroll with a petition.
- Do not keep them in a bowl; hang them where there's good air circulation, and not leaning on a wall, to avoid mold.
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