science crafts

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okay, some more cool pics from our event!
pic 1: this was an activity for visitors - literally “throw a core into an oven” game
pic 2: closer look at chell’s portrait
pic 3: part of stand decorations - plush cores and turrets (every single one found its new home after the event)
pic 4: handmade portal gun and licensed replica one - can you tell the difference? also some mugs for employees - a lot of coffee was drunk that day
pic 5: mirror portals are always epic win. also test subject preparing a mischief behind the scientist’s back. and a plush companion cube - that one ended up living at my place
pic 6: closer look at mural replicas. stunning work of two talented artists

On Science and Craft

I told @ei-lena I would do this post (herein, Rant), so here it is:


I get told, often and repeatedly, that science has nothing to do with Craft. Whenever I point out how a scientific fact correlates with, and indeed even explains some aspects of, a magical property (be it an herb, a stone, or other ingredient), I am gently admonished that, while said fact is “interesting”, it has no place in a Pagan environment. Or sometimes, the admonishment is not so gentle.

I’ve been called stupid, blasphemous, brain-washed. And not by ancient crones, bent cackling over a cauldron! By people ranging from my parents’ age (Fifties), all the way down the age spectrum to children, a decade younger than I am! People who’ll happily take advantage of explainable science to have witchy apps on their smart phones, electric votives in place of candles, a french press or coffee maker to create potions (Things that would have been considered impossible less than a century ago), but refuse to acknowledge certain aspects of magic simply being a science we don’t quite understand yet. As if having a molecular explanation for a power makes it less.

Understanding that a chemical compound comprised of trinitrotoluene being exposed to a sudden electrical charge causes a massive explosion does not lessen the devastation of that explosion!

Understanding that the crystalline structure of certain stones means they transmute energy away from or towards the source of that energy doesn’t lessen the property of that stone!

A perfect example happened to me just a few days ago. I have an antique piece of scrimshaw, and a shard of fossilized dinosaur bone. The scrimshaw was made from the tooth of a sperm whale, the bone shard appears to be from a shattered bone of a large predator (species unknown). I was searching everywhere to find what kind of Craft aspects these two pieces could provide, but I found nothing, so I went to a chat room specifically geared towards pagans etc. to ask for opinions.

Overwhelmingly, the initial reaction was that I was a horrible person for owning scrimshaw, and that by purchasing it, I might as well have killed the whale myself.

First, let me remind everyone: This is an ANTIQUE. Could be a hundred years old for all I know, I bought it in an antique store because it was SCREAMING for me to take it. I have a deep love and respect for whales, and I hate what I know must have been done to this poor creature, but leaving it there was not going to undo what had been done LONG BEFORE I WAS BORN, and the pendant CHOSE me.

I was then told, in no uncertain, bitchy tones, that ivory of any kind had absolutely NO magical properties, except for whatever was left of the animal’s spirit that remained.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very aware that this tooth still contains something of the animal’s spirit. I feel him looming over me whenever I touch it, at first an angry presence, but then a guarding one. I could write novels of what I experience when touching this tooth, but that would stray too far from the topic. Other than the overwhelming persona that remains very much alive within this tooth though, I feel other properties, within the structure of the ivory itself. I asked if it was possible that, since ivory is mostly calcium, if it could have similar properties to other stones that have a very high calcium structure. Again, I was shot down, in incredibly bitchy tones and words, saying that no product of an animal could have magical properties. I then presented the question regarding my fossil piece, suggesting that, since all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, perhaps it would have the same properties as the stone around it? I was then told that, “That’s not how magic works”.

If a fossilized bone is now molecularly identical with, say, a piece of granite, why would that fossil not have similar properties to granite that has always been granite?

Take opalized ammonite. Sure, plenty of witches I’ve met agree that opalized ammonite has similar properties to Opal. Because, gee, it’s a fossil created under the same conditions that opal is created. But I have also met plenty of witches who insist ammonite has no mystical aspects, that it’s only use is to look pretty. Where do you get your logic?!

I have asked about using shed Shark’s Teeth as wand tips, and was told that, while it would be aesthetically pleasing, it would have no impact on the wand itself, since bones and teeth have no magical properties.

But again, Shark Ivory. Calcium based substance. Theoretically, it should have similar properties to say, Calcite, Limestone, or Marble. Hell, it seems generally acknowledged that pearls have magical properties.. Pearls are, not only mostly calcium, but they are an animal by-product, as much as teeth and bone! So, scientifically speaking, if calcite and marble have magical properties, then so should teeth and bone!

And sure, one could argue that that was an isolated incident, that a group of people sharing archaic beliefs or moral prejudices ganged up on me because I was an outsider who somehow offended their sensibilities. But that doesn’t explain all the times that I’ve tried becoming active in other pagan communities in three different cities, and at one point, whenever I’ve suggested using scientific fact or theory to enhance the Craft, I was told some variation of, “You’re ruining it”.

Again, ENHANCE the Craft. Not rationalize it, not disprove it, not replace it. ENHANCE.

Understanding how something works will only HELP you use it better! Yes, I know, the science we understand in this day and age still cannot explain many things in the Craft, but the science we DO know doesn’t cancel it out, either!

Witches everywhere I have been have treated me like some kind of pariah because I’ve been interested in the science behind why this stuff works. I suggested magnetic polarity between atmosphere and earth as the ‘fuel’ behind pendulum work and dowsing. Was told by a matronly baby boomer witch that I was overthinking it. I theorized that tarot and rune stones work for divination because of primal genetic memory from a time when our ancestors painted their stories on cave walls, I was told by a superior witch who knew so much more than I did that divination was a gift from the gods and that I shouldn’t question it so much, or it wouldn’t work for me. When I thought out loud that the structure of the soil plants were grown in probably changed the properties of those plants in subtle ways, since plants absorb so much of their nutrients from that soil, I was snapped at that, I wasn’t a Green Witch, so I shouldn’t talk about things I don’t understand.

This isn’t how we should be! We should embrace the sciences we DO understand! Knowing the shapes and strengths of a crystal’s structure will help you utilize the crystal to a fuller potential, AND help you in Cleansing it properly! Because, guess what? If you don’t understand that the structural makeup of that particular crystal is mostly sodium or alkali. you’re not going to know that cleansing it in water will destroy it! BECAUSE SCIENCE.

tl;dr: To understand is not to weaken. Too often, modern witches willfully lose themselves in the dark, screaming “Science is blasphemy!” when knowledge should be embraced.

If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like.
Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God.
But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God?
—  Hermes Trismegistus
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I realised I had never posted these.  This is a piece of crewelwork embroidery I completed as a gift for a former Queen of Lochac (the SCA Kingdom I belong to).  It was going to be a cushion, however she asked me not to make it up, as she wants to make it up herself as a coif.

@kellyfhaycock  @sakuraandpaintbrushes  @nibenhu @soniabigcheese  @mrs-eviltedi

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Check out my super rad new designs which are now available on my Etsy store Storm You Can Weather.


These hoops were designed by the talented Sophie (@tophatmonster94) and were hand stitched by myself onto black cotton using white embroidery thread. Find more of her designs at her Red Bubble shop here