Saturday, 9 June 2012

Stick!

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Cornwall. More about that later.

At the start of May I set out to make my staff. I decided that it should be ash and that it would be a thumb stick so that I could take it walking, and later on it came in very handy on the Cornish cliff paths.

I walked to a local woodland not far from home carrying a drink and a sharp bill-hook. When I got there I searched all over for some ash trees. I was certain I had seen some before but mostly found horse chestnut, beech and birch. I finally came across one large standing ash tree and one that had fallen. I thought I could see some young trees in the undergrowth beyond a tangle of brambles and nettles. I fought my way through and over the fallen tree and came upon a clearing full of maiden ash trees.


A maiden tree is one that has grown from a fallen seed, rather than one cultivated, and they are considered to have more power. It took some time to select a sapling, especially one with branches in the right place for the fork of the stick. I held the tree and closed by eyes, asking in my thoughts if I could take part of it for my staff. I said a few words too, asking permission, blessing and inviting the tree to impart power and work alongside me in the form of a staff. Then I made my first cut with an upward motion. Once I had the stick I gave thanks and planted an offering of money and a beautiful crystal pebble found on a beach. I returned to the fallen tree, trimmed off the small side branches and stripped the bark. It was still green and the white wood beneath looked like bone.



I then went down to the stream an the bottom of the cutting and washed the stick in the water. The water comes from a spring and it is salty because it runs through unerground deposits. This was especially good as it matches the wiccan idea that things can be consecrated by salt and water. In Nigel Pennick's East Anglian Magic, sacred spaces are cleansed with salt-water. I immersed the stick completely and then took it out and held it up to the sun.

Then I scambled up the slope and sat in the woods a while with my eyes closed, enjoying the birdsong and meditating.

3 comments:

  1. You found it! How positively wonderful for you! :)

    I am particularly fond of your use of the saltwater spring for consecration -- that is fabulous. I don't think we have any such springs, but I will have to keep that in mind being so close to the ocean for this next half of the year. Looking forward to your notes on Cornwall.

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    1. Just recently, I attended a discussion class run by my High Priest friend. The discussion involved consecration & some candles we had made the week before. There was much confusion about the "proper" was to consecrate. The attendees (who, in all fairness, are very new to this) were really, really caught up in the mechanics. They wanted to know how to do it "right" so it would "work." I felt this was the perfect moment to share your consecration story above. Most of them, if not all, it seemed to me, had an "ah ha!" moment. It was really nice to see this story touch/help others & it was really, really nice to have an opportunity to share it.

      Gotta get those folks out of the box! ;)

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  2. Thanks, this made my day - It's amazing to think that people with a lot more (magical) experience than me got something out of my improvised ritual! Take care, Scribb.

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