For Strange Women is setting up in Oracle for yet another amazing workshop!
Dec 8th :: 6 - 8pm
This workshop will be held at Oracle Natural Science (Kansas City, MO) on Saturday December 8th from 6-8 pm.
In this two-hour session you will be introduced to a variety of aromatic tree resins. Jill will demonstrate several ways to incorporate them into your sensory rituals and personal care, including tinctures, infused water, loose incense methods, smoke enfleurage, and a healing salve that we will make together and everyone will take home.
Feel free to stay after the session to purchase aromatic resins that will be available at the new FSWxOracle resin bar. Jill will also stay to answer questions.
*There are a limited number of seats available. Cancellations/refunds not available except in the case of inclement weather.
When we get asked, "what is your favorite thing in the shop?" we always get tongue tied, hah... It is so difficult to answer, since everything in our space is hand picked.... we love everything! Although depending on the month, we totally do gravitate towards different items or new things we manage to get in stock (which is always so exciting!)... SO! We are going to start a little monthly blog of what we are extra feeling this month. Most of the time they are items that get over looked... Others times they are awesome show stoppers. But want to know why they are extraordinary? Or who are those precious little gems we have been giving lovey eyes to? Or even crystals we have been working with for whats been going on in our own lives? Lets get weird, ;)
SPECIMEN OF THE MONTH
Bats are unique, spiritually and physically. They are the only mammal capable of true flight. They are portrayed as messengers, gods, demons and familiars in mythology and folklore. There is also a belief in Chinese culture that says that seeing 5 bats flying together is symbol of the “Five Blessings”: long life, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death. Their use of echo-location makes them symbolic of perception and clairaudience. Bats are social creatures who stay close to their families making them a correspondence to community and nurturing.
- “I know Bat’s might be a little cliche for the month of October, especially if you are like me where bats are very much an all-year-long theme… but I have a soft spot for bats and especially, Halloween. No one can deny that their obsession of taxidermy and the macabre didn’t start here with all the pumpkins, bats, and cobwebs (and also can’t deny that they cut these iconic shapes out of paper and pasted it all over their rooms until I was able to acquire my own… i mean they… i mean I? i mean… who didn’t?).”
MINERAL OF THE MONTH
- Hematite in Quartz
These Quartz points are filled with inclusions of powdered hematite. It gets it’s name from the Greek word for blood, ‘haima’ but it appears in a range of colors from metallic grey to red-brown. As with any inclusion, Quartz amplifies the healing properties of the Hematite making it a powerful ally for grounding and manifestation. If you need help getting your “head out of the clouds” this is a great stone to ground you in your body. Wearing a piece of hematite daily is one way to feel its benefits as it calls you to pull your dreams and aspirations into reality. Hematite also teaches us balance, courage through tough times and to seek the silver linings in life.
- “I use quartz as a catch all stone, always making sure that I carry one with me everyday. I especially love inclusions. Inclusions are when a crystal has impurities or other minerals trapped within its form - growing together - a natural fusion - enhancing one another.”
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
- Amanda Lee of PleaseSendWord
Amanda Lee of Pleasesendword is an artist, activist and herbalist based in Kansas City, MO. She wildcrafts elixirs for our most delicate moments. The TAKECARE anxiety tincture is crafted with high quality spirits, this elixir uses the medicine of Milky Oats, Chamomile, Skullcap, Valerian Root and Lemon Balm. When you are feeling anxious and need help returning to yourself, take 2-3 droppers full of the tincture and you will quickly feel the benefits of these herbal allies. You can find more of Amanda’s carefully crafted work at pleasesendword.com.
- “This tincture is one that I am very proud about carrying in the shop. As a depressant anxious lady, I can say this one definitely comes in handy. Sometimes there is no time to take that breath to calm down or when anxiety takes over… this is where the tincture definitely does the trick. Highly recommended”
Let us know what you think! What is your favorite?
We had the pleasure of being a part of Natalie & David's wedding, a little un-natural history museum sort of way wedding. Natalie has been a collector of specimens for her whole life, always gravitating towards insects and bird taxidermy. So when she approached us to make some centerpieces, we couldn't see how to decorate her a wedding any other way.
Paper Sun Photography captured the beauty and Fat Plant Society worked with us on the centerpieces, providing the moss and helping us stage the environment for each table. They turned out beautifully! No table nor specimen were alike, which gave the guests the feeling of walking into a personal museum.
Natalie had requested our double framed specimens, which we made her a special batch for her rental along with spread specimens to nestle around the moss and other tables...
One high traffic areas, we made sure that the unframed specimens were safe... but at the end of the night, Natalie had planned to give those specimens to her bridesmaids! What great little additions to anyones curio cabinet (jealous)
We always get asked, "what is your favorite thing in the shop"? Which we always get tongue tied, hah... It is so difficult to answer, since everything in our space is hand picked by us.... we love everything! Although depending on the month, we totally do gravitate towards different items or new things we manage to get in stock (which is always so exciting!)... SO! We are going to start a little monthly blog of what we are extra feeling this month. Most of the time they are items that get over looked... We have some awesome show stoppers, but want to know why they are extraordinary? Or who are those precious little gems we have been giving lovey eyes to? Or even crystals we have been working with for whats been going on in our own lives? Lets get weird, ;)
SPECIMEN OF THE MONTH
-- Cottontail Rabbit and lucky rabbit foot talisman
"Rabbits belong to the order of mammals called Lagomorpha. Working with the rabbit spirit offers an energetic but grounded energy. Symbolically the rabbit represents abundance, cleverness and spontaneity. Rabbits are known for their ability to procreate quickly making them a symbol of fertility. In our lives, fertility can represent not just children but also fertility in manifestation, and creativity. They correspond with the astrological sign of Virgo. "
- I love working with rabbit energy, less so for their symbol of fertility but their speediness and keeping the energetic flow fluid. Who can say no to their precious little faces, especially when they are being feisty. Kindness, love, change, luck, desire... but also depicted as a trickster god in folktales.
MINERAL OF THE MONTH
-- Rutilated Quartz
"Rutilated Quartz is a combination of clear or smoky quartz with inclusions of Rutile, which looks like fine metallic hairs or needles that are silver, gold or copper in color. Most Rutilated Quartz comes from Madagascar or Brazil. It is a stone that carries Storm energy activating transformation, cleansing and balancing. Rutilated Quartz is a wonderful stone to work with if you seek to deepen your connection to the Divine and spiritual awakening. It can aid in soothing dark moods and helps relieve fears, anxiety and self-limiting beliefs. This is an excellent stone for those who work as healers or in energetically intense environments because it draws away negativity and protects against psychic attacks."
- I immediately gravitated towards this stone when I saw it - I usually pick out stones without thinking of metaphysical meaning... I am, of course, a collector first. But this process usually works for me as it has weirdly turned into listening to my intuition. This stone took me by surprise as I have been deep diving into a spiritual reconnection to my practice and work; needing to connect the two together. And what were my hold ups? Self-limiting beliefs and negativity towards myself. Needing to reconnect with my guides. Well there you go, subconscious, I am listening...
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
-- Kim Johnson of Chapora Magic
Kim Johnson creates ritual salves for self-care and expansion. Johnson works with ingredients used in Egyptian ceremonies and Ayurvedic Medicine. She also intentionally incorporates the elements of electricity, ether, wood, air, earth, water and fire into each batch. In the shop, we have the mandrake root salve for tension relief and the blue lotus salve for deep dreaming. Each salve comes with a ritual card to guide you through the experience of working with the plant medicine.
- I cannot recommend these salves more. I subscribe to Blue Lotus salve right before going to bed; putting it on my hands and neck for good deep breathing and sleep (*definitely put it on when you know you will have a good full nights rest... hard to wake up from if not, or maybe that was just some good deep dreaming?!) Smells divine (not over powering), every ingredient is sourced and mixed with conscious action and the back of each salve even lists what moon cycle it was made under.
Let us know what you think! What is your favorite?
We have officially accomplished Witch Club for an entire year! I don't even know where to begin with explaining how I feel; a mixture of relief, giant spoonfuls of self reflection, and excitement for ideas of bigger and better things to accomplish and a bit of fear...
Witch Club was inspired by a need to fill a void we recognized in our community. Friends would come to the store to either make self deprecating jokes about themselves getting into crystals or wanting to smudge their home, but didn't know where to start or felt like they couldn't do it. Some were unsure where to even begin in their weird new practice, while others felt like they needed to already be a practicing witch or have apprenticed under so-and-so yogi from the sacred mountains of Woo Woo.
This mysticism of 'witchery' is what we were trying to dismantle, especially through starting Witch Club. Although, it was a struggle trying to start it though from Oracle being a natural science focused store. It was a project that ended up bringing different paths to Oracle but an internal struggle for myself as a scientifically-minded person. This is where Witch Club turned into a slightly large shadow work project for myself.
I have been a practicing secret witchy lady since middle school. Always hiding my spell books and myself at every turn. Camouflaging into the wallpaper to make sure I wasn't offending anyone. my practices oddly enough were based on things my grandmother taught me or through observation... Most of the time hiding in Barnes & Noble's New Age section. So versed mainly in medicines, salts, spirits, candles, and crystals.
The first time I ever heard about Shadow work was actually from Jane Almirall (clairsentient hot dog eating champion, charming person, one-woman-think-tank and all around brunette) who had come to me, a few months into starting WC, for a potential workshop at Oracle. It was eye opening. The whole project was to immerse yourself in moments of self reflection and sigil work. Focusing on what you feel are your weaknesses, fears, strengths, what you need, what you want, and delving into the whys and the hows. The class was enlightening and a good homework for any individual in trying to grow and empower themselves.
That is exactly what WC turned out to be for me - every month focusing with the seasons and the month, but ultimately focusing the instruction and intention on what I felt I needed and the people around me. Not realizing what I was doing, I was forcing myself to pay attention to my subconscious. My 'spiritual' practice comes at a weird self doubt just the same as those who came to the shop questioning themselves in why they wanted to carry around crystals, beyond the collectors point of view. Being a skeptic who is scientifically focused, believing in an object or a practice to help me beyond the mumbo jumbo was exactly what helped me believe; just superstitions and nothing more couldn't be the answer...
Being raised Catholic, wasn't everything based out of superstitions? Wasn't everything based from rituals and knowledge passed on from someone else? Why would me burning a candle to help me focus my thoughts on my intentions any different from lighting a candle to help me talk to and pray to my grandfather? Was a stuck in yet another structured religion?
I will admit I still occasionally go to church with my grandmother (even though I sometimes feel like I stick out as a sore thumb), but it was then while I was burning a candle for prayer that I realized I didn't stray too far from my origins (I just don't agree with their practices but fundamentally their rituals guided me to what I believe in now). But what I took out of it were the tools we were given should be used to make us bigger and better people. Self reflection is the easiest part of that (even though our society deems it weak or selfish), then plants and herbs of old wives tales (being dubbed the title so it was diminished to a less knowledge), or even being called a witch (which was a way to take power away from a medicine woman or healer of the community). There were too many centuries of tradition to back them up... with eventually my own experiences that made me no longer able to avoid direct contact. No there isn't a proper way to do anything nor is there one belief that triumphs them all... every person is an individual, a different strain of matter in this universe of clumped particles...
Knowledge of plant magic, stones, and animal spirits are all questioned and doubted because of wanting to squash out the 'old-ways' or disconnect us from nature or a social consciousness? There totally is old knowledge that isn't sound anymore, but we totally should question EVERYTHING. Just because you smudge your house doesn't mean you are now no longer (insert whatever religion you connect to here). But sometimes it is ok to give in to the things that may help us focus or give us faith in this complicated world... why not investigate these other ways of thoughts, especially if they are guiding you to love and light?
I have gone years flip flopping back and forth between my ideologies. Today, I still can't tell you what I believe in, although I am surrounded by like minded people who have guided me to be ok with that and just to do me, which I realize how privileged I am to have that and so grateful. I can just tell you my experiences and the things my grandmother taught me or the things I learned hiding my nose in those books... Ultimately I think that is the reason we all got into it. It accepted our dark gloomy faces with open arms and the darkness that stared back too. We were accepted into the shadow and it accepted our visions and our imagination. It accepted our intuitions and deep feelings - it allowed us to venture into the 'what if' with vengeance.
You didn't have to believe in the dogma, you didn't have to believe at all. There are no rules in Witch Club. Maybe the one rule is to never stop questioning and learning and to delve deeper. Only then will you learn what type of witch you really are... Maybe crystals speak to you, maybe they don't and that's fine because the plants do. And maybe they don't speak back but the animals do... and maybe they don't but the ghosts and the spirits sure do. Or the stars, or the moon, or the earth and elements. It called to you and you came here (maybe just like me) unwillingly... but willingly hopeful that that is the key to help us gain our sanity.
I do believe the energy is there for all of us to read and tap into. Especially with practice, patience, and repetition, just like drawing, you get better. To some it comes easier, but maybe they did the work already in a past life. Everything is connected in some form shape or matter. 'Matter' literally in a scientific point of view so why can't there be a transfer of energy? Why knows, maybe it is all superstition. But it helps me be a better person (I think) so what is there to harm in giving you what helped me? And obviously Witch Club is more than just that, as it is building a community. A community of weirdo people who want to delve deeper into the shadows. Helping one another understand this thing we call life.
From Witch Club grew Open Circle, a meet up of all kinds to talk about just that and help each other in any fashion. So far, we have done two meet ups coinciding with similar topics of the month that was shipped out with WC. That is where the fear falls into my lap. What if I look like a fraud, what if I don't know what I am talking about, what if my practices are just old Italian farmers supersticion? What if I run out of ideas? What if they don't like me?? All I want to do is help, what if that is misread?
And that's when I realized... that's when shadows spoke back...
With more questions, which hopefully means I am on the right path.