Twilight heralds Witches' dawn
For 'neath the Moon and silver stars
Far below the frozen earth
Crystals await to be reborn.
Witches gather through the night
By river rock and crystal cave
Sky-clad in the misty gloom
Stone goddesses in spirit flight.

Crystals and gemstones are powerful familiars no practitioner of the
Craft
should be without. A familiar is an ally, totem, helper, or guardian
spirit,
one honored for the empowerment and protection it can provide. Stones
function as familiar spirits in much the same way as the plant and
animal
helpmates we hear so much about. They can bring us the questions we
need to
ask ourselves, and the answers that we seek. Stones in particular give
us a
sense of cosmic security in a rapidly changing world because they
represent
a solid, living, indestructible, and absolute reality. Indeed, crystals
and
gemstones are very much alive, and can assist us in our magical work
should
ever the need arise.

The shamanic belief that stones are alive is widely accepted among
Pagan
tribal groups the world over, including Native American, Siberian, and
African cultures. The Pagan religions of the Norse, Celts, and Greeks
were
also deeply rooted in shamanism, making it the spiritual root of
Western
culture. Consequently, shamanism may also be at the core of modern day
Wicca. Shamans see nature as the true church, and universal energy as
spirits, angels, devas, and gods, just as Witches do. The spirit
energies
embodied in the shamanic world view live in the center of the universe
on
the World Tree, an ancient mythological symbol for all creation and our
relationship to it. In some cultures, the World Tree is represented by
a
mound of earth, formed by lumps of clay, or it is shaped into a
cylindrical
stone.

Precious gems and minerals are born from strata, rock, clay, and dirt,
following gestation in the belly of the earth. This process demands a
host,
and long ago this meant feeding the earth with blood to promote
fecundity
and growth so that the crops would ripen for the harvest. Thus, in
ancient
Europe, the best horse in the countryside was sacrificed to ensure good
crops and the well-being of the people. Similarly, European shamans
would
pour blood onto the earth to call upon the spirits of the dead, or feed
their magic crystal familiars the blood of an animal throughout the
year as
a way of propitiating the spirits that dwelled in the stones. The
spirits of
the stone kingdom are earth elementals, typically known as elves,
gnomes,
and dwarves. These mischievous earth sprites can be a source of minor
irritation, or they can bring up feeling of doubt, insecurity, lust, or
greed. They can also be a source of power for the practicing Witch.

Each stone spirit has a particular purpose to fulfill, which may or may
not
be in synchronistic harmony with one's magical operation, personality,
or
chosen destiny. Therefore, a sensitive, ecology-conscious Witch does
not
bind a stone spirit for his or her use by way of enchantment. Crystals
and
gemstones, especially one that is your personal familiar or one to be
used
for a specific magical purpose, should actually choose you! Never
underestimate how this may come about. Your stone spirit helpers may
fall
from the blue, clear sky and land at your feet, someone may give you a
stone, or you may already have several special stones in your
possession.
One in particular may have unusual powers, granting you the ability to
heal
or see into the future. This may be any type of stone at all, even one
that
is very plain or ugly, though most likely it will be transparent, and
contain some kind of distinguishing mark or picture inside or out.

You may work with your stone familiars much as Witches have done for
hundreds of years.

SCRYING
Scrying or crystal gazing is an art of the Craft that has survived the
test
of time. This predictive process allows intuition to run free.
Therefore,
the first requirement for the novice scryer is to keep an open mind
that can
receive spirit signals coming in from the
ethers. A stone familiar provides the central point of focus. One
common
method of scrying uses dim light and concentration on the question at
hand.
Questions are asked of the spirits and the answers read as they appear
in
the stone. Usually a clear vision comes to
the scryer immediately.

Scrying may include the use of jewels, beryl, crystal balls, and
stone-hewn
mirrors. Beryl spheres or eggs were used for divination during the
renaissance. They increase psychic awareness, help you form a deep
connecting link with nature, enhance prophetic vision,
and enable you to converse with water spirits. The beryl family
includes
emerald, aquamarine, golden beryl, heliodor, morganite, and goshenite
crystals. Quartz crystal balls are very popular among Witches,
magicians,
and occultists, and have been treasured for their magical and healing
properties since the beginning of time as we know it. Obsidian balls
and
mirrors are used as divination tools by the brujas, or Witches, of
Mexico
and South America. They can help you make decisions, repel negativity,
and
ground you when you are feeling off-center.

AMULETS AND TALISMANS
Amulets and talismans are magical mascots or lucky charms, little
tricks of
the Craft trade often carried by Witches to grant special powers, warn
of
coming danger, or give protection. Jacinth, chrysolite, and pearl are
used
in the Middle East to attract and
maintain wealth, while blood agate was worn in ancient Rome to guard
against
insect bites, heal and purify the blood, and to relieve anxiety. You
may
choose among a great variety of crystals and gemstones to serve as an
amulet. Try opal for balance, malachite for
happiness and protection, quartz for healing, bloodstone for
prosperity,
carnelian for sexual energy, or chrysoprase for tranquility. Carry your
stone amulet in a medicine bag or pouch, or wear these stones in
jewelry to
ward off the proverbial "bad hair day."

WATCHER STONES
Watcher stones are elemental guardians also known as old ones.
Stonehenge
and Avesbury in England are representative of these ancient rock
sentinels.
Stones that serve this purpose work via the principle of proximity.
Place
them strategically in areas that you frequent, such as the kitchen,
bedroom,
office, or car. Put them in the four corners of your house -- east,
west,
north, and south. You can also bury stone watchers under the ground to
form
a protective circle around your property. River rocks, lava rocks, and
halite crystals (solidified salt, often used by Witches to ground,
protect,
or block negative energies) tend to keep a sharp eye on things around
the
home front.

BLESSING YOUR STONES
There are a few things you can do to ensure that your stone familiars
will
blessed be.

First, ascertain that the stones in your possession are your personal
familiars. Sit quietly for a time with each stone in question. Roll the
stone around in the palm of your dominant hand. Ask it to tell you its
purpose, and listen for a response. The answer may come to you through
sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, feeling, or instinct. Expect the
unexpected. If you get "good vibes," thank the stone, then work with it
accordingly.
Clear the stone by placing it in sea-salted water, or by burying it in
the
earth overnight. You may also smudge clear the stone. This is done by
lighting herbs such as sage, cedar, sweetgrass, or copal (a tree
resin), and
holding the stone in the smoke.

Be sure to feed your stone familiars on each and every sabbath.
Cornmeal,
wheat grains, tobacco, or rum are choice offerings. Just sprinkle some
over
the stones, or place the stones along with your offering overnight in a
crystal or earthenware bowl

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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