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stole03

A few years ago Cathy and I got a wild hair up our butts and decided to find New Age/Witchy shops in our area and do some serious shopping. We had recently gotten the idea to make our Sabbat Necklaces, so we were starting the quest to find the pendants and stones we needed to make them.

We found ourselves in a small shop in a small town, neither of which I can recall the name of. Honestly I don’t think the store is even open still. There was a fellow female costumer who was wearing this really interesting necklace that caught our eye. It was a lariat style, made up of multiple strands of mismatched beads. I loved it as soon as I saw it. I remember we struck up a conversation with her about it, but it’s been so long I don’t remember any of the details. But the style of the necklace had made a huge impression. Cathy and I walked away from the meeting, wondering how and where we could use that design.

As our work progressed on our Sabbat necklaces we thought about how some Traditions of Wicca use stoles made from cloth in their ritual garb as a way of showing degree levels and other things. We didn’t want to use cloth ones for our coven and we were bouncing around alternative ideas when we remembered that lariat necklace style. We were already working with beading with natural stones so we knew that a lariat style stole was something that would work with the necklaces we were making.

We talked about what the lariat would look like and what we wanted it to say with the stoles. It was important to us that there was a uniform look that had enough versatility that members of our coven could personalize theirs. In the end we settled on what we call a three-strand design that in total measures about 36 inches long. We are using 8mm beads and simple silver ring style spacers for the stoles. Each strand is made up of 6 sections that are strung up separately and connected with jump rings.

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The first strand is dedicated to the God and Goddess, which is the core of our practice as a coven. We decided to use black onyx and moonstone beads to represent the God and Goddess respectively and the four middle sections of that strand are made from these stones. The outer sections of this strand are reserved for patron god/goddess. There are lots of resources online where you can find out which stones correspond/are sacred to your patron deities. I’ve found that information for the gods is harder to find, but I do have a list of goddesses I would be willing to share in anyone was interested. Let me know.

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For me, I made my stole prior to working with Odin Father, so my ends are made from angelite and lapis lazuli, stones that correspond to Bridget. I am currently researching stones that are sacred to Odin Father so that I can add his presence to my stole.

The second strand is a place for your individual history in the Craft. Which groups or individuals you have learned from. We decided that the stoles should be worn as if you were reading a book from left to right, so your history should always start on your left and work up and around your neck toward the right. Cathy and I are lucky because we have the same history in what we’ve studied since we’ve done so together. Here’s how ours are laid out:

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None of the organizations we’ve been affiliated with or students of have had stones that are associated with them, so what we tried to do was pick stones that were a color that matched something about the group, usually the colors in their logo. The Fairies of the Burning Grove is the first section. FBG was our first coven and our logo had pinks and purples in it, therefore we decided to use rose quartz and fluorite.

Next was the Correllian Navist Tradition, who run witchschool.com, a mystery school where Cathy, Crystal and myself all hold first degrees. Cathy also holds a second degree with this school and I’m about half way through mine. Their robes are black and purple so we went with amethyst and black lava rock for that section.

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Christopher Penczak wears a necklace made from amber and onyx beads and that was something that Cathy and I remembered right away when putting the project together. Amber is a bit expensive so we opted to go with citrine and onyx.

The Mystics of Rhea Lur is our current coven. Since both ‘Rhea’ and ‘Lur’ both mean earth it was a natural decision to use lapis lazuli and unakite to represent land and water.

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I wish that I could remember what exactly led us to using red jasper and howlite for our Dianics section. Maybe if Cathy reads this entry she can chime in. I think it had something to do with the fact that we saw a great deal of red in regards to Dianic literature and red and white spoke to us.

Rhea Lur is currently a member of the Keepers of the Hearth, a family coven based organization and mystery school that was founded by our dear friend Crystal and her sister, Autumn Star. A hearth made us think of home and fire so we thought that orange and brown would be good color choice, leading us to use carnelian and tiger eye.

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The third strand of the stole is for anything else the individual thinks is important enough to include as part of their spiritual path. Some of us have done sections with the birthstones of our grandchildren or spouses. This is the strand that will likely fill the slowest. Mine still isn’t full, I only have three of the six sections filled, and that’s okay. My first section, nearest the end, is to represent my Christian upbringing and I used wooden beads in three different browns. The second section represents my time with Native American Spirituality and I used turquoise and silver beads, which are sacred to native people. And the third section is to celebrate my gay pride and is done in rainbow colored stones.

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We also knew that there would be times when we would work with Gods and Goddesses that weren’t our patrons. As a way of honoring our time with them we decided that we could create pendants that we could hang at the ends of our stoles, using lobster claws as a way of easily being able to add and remove them.

So that is my ritual stole. I’m really in love with the design and purpose we came up with for it and I feel honored and blessed every time I put it on. If you have any questions feel free to ask away and if you use something similar in your practice I would love to hear about it.

Until next time, thanks for walking a little with me. BB

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Heart of the Witchs Path YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNFiMg7JNvy2wIywW-OEAHw

 

Links to organizations mentioned:

http://www.witchschool.com/

http://christopherpenczak.com/

http://www.dancingtreemusic.com/ -Ruth Barrett, Dianic Priestess/Author/Musician

http://www.keepersofthehearth.com/

 

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