Monday, September 26, 2011

Charmed, I'm sure!

Hello,

Things have been crazy busy lately, which is why I have not posted any new blog entries for a while. Not only am I hip deep in several book projects I also went back to work as a floral designer. A job opportunity fell in my lap a few weeks ago- about 24 hours after I had worked a prosperity spell… and sometimes when the Goddess steps in and intervenes, you say “Thank you.” And dive into the opportunity.
I have not worked outside of the home for six years, and its been an adjustment. But the extra paycheck will really help us out. Writing, reasearch, editing and doing your own publicity, setting up author events and so forth is a full time job. Add 20-30 hours of working outside the home and things are going to be hectic until I get used to the new routine.

On top of that I started my own little Garden Witch Online-store on my website. We began with a series of online classes- and then this past summer we began selling our handmade Garden Witch Pentacles, and those have taken off. The pentacles are sold to individuals online through my website-- and now they are even sold in various witchy retail shops.  In Florida they are in the  “Practical Magick” store, in New Orleans at the “Witchy Living” store , and of course in Salem, Massachusetts you will find them at “Pyramid Books”.

Then one day, I got the idea to make witchy charm bracelets. I have a friend Joyce, and she designs jewelry for another author based on that author’s best-selling fictional books. One day we got to talking and the next thing you know we were both plotting out a few pieces of magickal jewelry based on my witchery books. And so a line of “Garden Witch Jewelry” was conjured up!
Wearing charms as jewelry is not a new fad… it is actually an ancient practice. The Egyptians wore various trinkets and charms for magickal use, as well as to connect them to their deities. So did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Medieval knights wore charms into battle for protection and even Queen Victoria wore a charm bracelet- and made this jewelry all the rage with the aristocracy, back in the day. In the 1950’s and 1960’s American teenagers collected charms and added them to bracelets to record special events in their lives. If you grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s it’s a good bet that your mother started you with a charm bracelet. Mine did. And I of course started one for my daughter as well.

Classically the term charm is defined as: something worn or carried on one’s person for its magickal effect. The word charm also means: 1.) To compel with a magickal force. 2.) The chanting of a magickal word or verse; incantation.
While a charm bracelet is defined as: the practice of wearing charms to ward off negativity and bad luck. An amulet.

With that in mind, my friend sent me photos of various magickal charms and I chose the ones I liked the best, and then I decided which charms would go where on each bracelet. It was important to me to have a pentagram on each bracelet and a representation of both the God and the Goddess. I also asked for green glass leaves for one bracelet and then the jewelry designer came up with Swarovski crystals to add sparkle to the second bracelet. So we designed these together! Here the two designs plus their descriptions just below.

Garden Witch “Charm” Bracelet


Garden Witch Charm Bracelet $30.99 plus shipping
Description: Gunmetal charm bracelet with lobster clasp and five pewter charms, the Goddess of Nature, a flower, a pentagram, the Tree of Life, and a Green man. Each charm is separated by a delicate green glass leaf. Standard 7 ½”  size.

Bracelet of Witchery


Bracelet of Witchery $30.99 plus shipping
Description: Gunmetal charm bracelet with lobster clasp and five pewter charms, a cat, the Moon Goddess, a pentagram, a Green man, and a crescent moon/ star. Each charm is separated by a either a single pewter star  or Swarovski crystal star. Standard 7 ½”  size.

You can order the bracelets on my website at www.ellendugan.com Please note that shipping for the jewelry is available only in the United States.
While you are there, please check out the six different and affordable online classes that I offer, as well as the very popular  Garden Witch Pentacles that my husband and I make together. Here they are pictured just to the left. There are four designs of Pentacles. The Five Elements, Autumn Leaves, The Red Rose and Morning Glories.
Garden Witch Pentacles
Also Joyce, at The Cotton Thistle, is hard at work designing up coordinating pentacle neckalces for us as well. The new necklaces should be available within the next few weeks.

If you like, you may work the jewelry charm from my book “Book of Witchery” and enchant your new charm bracelet. The specific spell is found on page 135. 

So, go ahead and order a Garden Witch Pentacle or a new magickal “charm bracelet” of your very own, or as a gift for your friends. These would make lovely Samhain or Yule gifts, or even as a memento of an initiation, or on attaining a new degree within your coven.

You’ll be charmed with these witchy items, I’m sure!

Blessed be, Ellen
www.ellendugan.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Autumn Equinox- The Season of the Witch Begins!

Hello, autumn is in the air here in the Mid-west. For the past several days we have had the a/c off and the windows open to let in the cooler air.  In the morning when I get up before sunrise to go jog or walk, I have been wearing workout pants, long sleeve shirts and hoodies. Oh, its so nice to get a break from the brutal summer temperatures we have had this year. Now, If we could just get some rain in my part of Missouri. Its been dry for far too long. However, I have been starting to notice that some trees are beginning to show a few leaves with some autumn color.

The butterflies are starting to migrate south and my chrysanthemums are setting buds and getting ready to bloom in the next few weeks. My tomato plants are making their last push for producing fruit, and my pumpkins… well no matter how much I have watered them I think the heat may have done them in. Right now nurseries are temptingly full of mums just starting to open… Oooh I want to plant some more mums in the gardens in a big way.

My favorite season is about to begin!  I adore the autumn. Spring runs a close second, but there is something about the autumn that I find to be especially enchanting. Way back in 2004 when Llewellyn approached me and asked me to write one of the Sabbat series books, I jumped at the chance. The funny thing was when my first book Garden Witchery first was contracted in 2002,  I had said to my husband, “Boy I wish I could have a crack at doing one of the Sabbat books. I would love to do the Autumn Equinox sabbat…” He smiled at me and told me that as a new writer, maybe I should slow down, and not get ahead of myself.

So I sighed, dreamed my writing dreams, and let it go. When I sent in a proposal for Cottage Witchery in 2004, to my surprise my editor at the time, Natalie, said to me, “We really liked the Cottage Witchery book, but I want to talk to you about something else…” That something else was a request to write a new version of the Autumn Sabbat book. So I was contracted for two books, on the same day.

I still think this book has the prettiest covers of all 12 of my books Well okay, I haven’t seen the cover for “Seasons of Witchery” yet… "Seasons of Witchery" comes out in May or June of 2012. But I stand by Autumn Equinox being my best cover. Last year I even found a seasonal flag for the fall that looks very, very similar to the cover art of my book. You betcha I snagged it!

Here is the official description of my book, Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon: "Mabon, Feast of Avalon, Cornucopia, Harvest Home, Festival of the Vine . . . there are many names for this magickal holiday that celebrates the autumn equinox, the first day of fall. Ellen Dugan takes a fresh look at this "forgotten" Sabbat and demonstrates how to make the most of this enchanting season.
Featuring craft projects, recipes, enchantments, and valuable information on harvest deities, Autumn Equinox offers countless ways to bring fall magick into your life. Learn to create witchy wreaths, cook seasonal foods, put together a homemade centerpiece, make herbal soap, and practice spells and rituals using easy to find, natural supplies. This new addition to Llewellyn's Sabbats series also provides magickal correspondences on harvest deities, herbs, plants, and foods for those who want to create their own autumn spells and charms."
Oh and yes, this book IS available on Kindle! (Actually all of my titles are on Kindle!)

So while we all start to enjoy the fall season, the cooler weather and (hopefully) some autumn rain, check out my book, Autumn Equinox. This book is not just a one day book, as in, (Okay, I looked at in on the day of the sabbat- now I will put it back on my bookshelf until next year- kind of book.) There are ideas and plenty of fall-theme magick included to take you through the entire bewitching season, from September through November.

So enjoy those cooler temperatures, the longer nights, the blooming mums and the autumn decorations! Put up a scarecrow in your yard, start a leaf watch and pay attention to the signs of the autumn season as they emerge!

The season of the Witch is beginning!
Blessed be, Ellen