Spring is here, lovelies! I know because I saw a massive Queen bee buzzing around my garden, (Seriously, she was the size of a small bird) and the daffs have started to bloom on the Medieval city walls!
This is such a special Equinox, coming as it does on the heels of a waning half moon. We have all needed this spring energy so much for all the wonderful changes that are afoot in our lives.
To celebrate, I’ve collected all my spring favourites in one spot, The Ostara Stars Collection, and am offering 20% off everything there with coupon code OSTARA17 from now until March 21st, 2017.
What signs of spring have you seen? What are your plans for Ostara this year?
The Flying Ointment Necklace, inspired by an old hedge-rider’s recipe.
Flying Ointment, the poisonous balm that aided witches in flight, has many recipes. Modern ones might not get you there, as the most potent and potentially lethal ingredients will have been omitted. In this necklace, however, I’ve included three of the most dangerous. Datura, henbane and nighshade are represented with Czech glass flowers and the beautifully detailed little Queen stands in for the beeswax vehicle. Soot is often mentioned as an ingredient– hence the black colourway of the piece. I’ve included the skulls because if the recipes for flying ointment teach us anything, it’s that witches were skilled poisoners as well as herbalists, and the nuanced proportions of ingredients in the ointment could either aid in soul flight, alleviate the pain of childbirth or other woes through “twilight sleep”, or of course, kill you.
One of the oldest recorded accounts of the use of flying ointment is from the 2nd century in Apuleius’ delightful Golden Ass. There are also recipes mentioned in Margaret Murray’s exhaustive (and exhausting) Witch Cult in Western Europe, which modern day witches can only read critically, trying to decipher the truth through the lens of these “confessions” often elicited under torture. Much of the evidence we have left to us from our powerful female ancestors is weighted with such distortions. Perhaps by flying ourselves to visit them, through soul-flight and meditation, we might know a better truth. Often witches are depicted flying in groups, communing– there are few solitaries where flight is concerned! So were such ancestral Sabbats the ultimate destination of their night flights as well? Did they also meet with those who’d come before, not at a literal Brocken but somewhere else beyond this time and space?
This necklace was made to honour the hedge riders of the past who risked everything for wisdom and the healing of others.
For a more in-depth treatment of this subject online, see Sarah Ann Lawless’ Blog.
Meet the new logo for Feral Strumpet, created by Alaura of Desnoir. After seeing the work she did for Black Moon Cosmetics, among other brands, I knew she was the woman for the job! After giving Alaura some ideas she was able to create this design which is medieval, gothic and also based on some of my best selling designs, the Nahusha hoops and Pennanular brooches as well as the Worry Ring. She created the perfect design on the first version– I love it and feel it encapsulates the mysterious, delicate and beautiful world of Feral Strumpet that I have created. Alaura was a joy to work with and I recommend her highly.
Getting ready for a few more months of winter, I’m turning to music that got me through the difficult years of high school– specifically this X song, "The Hungry Wolf." This Full Wolf Moon comes between the long night moon and Imbolc, before spring starts make a brave show through the frost. This moon was named for the hungry wolves that surrounded villages back when stores were getting lean, from a time when perhaps we better understood we were part of a living cycle, just as vulnerable as the wild things around us.
The moon is a constant inspiration for me, and you can find the latest moon-inspired designs in the Howling Moon Collection.
I thought it was fitting today that the Tarot card I pulled was the King of Stones from the Wildwood Tarot– a beautiful wolf howling at the moon.
We are making room for new designs in 2017, and are busy filling up the Boxing Day Sale Section at feralstrumpet.co.uk. Starting on Boxing day, you’ll find some old favourites there and many more new pieces– one offs and prototypes, all an additional 50% off with coupon code KANGAROO. This offer is good from Dec. 26th-Jan. 2nd, 2016. (This offer can’t be combined with other coupons or offers and can’t be used retrospectively.) Here’s a peek at just a few of the designs that will be on sale!
This is my sixth holiday season peddling my wares and I’m so grateful to all my customers, many who have become friends over the years. It is customary to have a sale after Thanksgiving in the US, and of course now there is Small Business Saturday and CyberMonday in addition to Black Friday. I thought this year I would just extend my gratitude from Thanksgiving (I still kind of celebrate it, especially if I can find a Tofurky in the North) to cover the weekend! From now through to Monday the 28th I’ll be offering 20% off store-wide at both feralstrumpet.co.uk and Feral Strumpet on Etsy. Simply use coupon code THANX2016 at checkout to receive the discount.
It’s my favourite time of year, when adults can ask each other, “what are you going to be?” We don’t have many trick-or-treaters where I live, but I stock up on candy anyway. As the veil thins, we honour our ancestors but also indulge in other delights– I always share some with them on my altar.
How are you celebrating this Samhain or Halloween?
It’s here! Octoberfest/Oktoberfest at feralstrumpet.co.uk and Feralstrumpet on Etsy. I’m offering 25% off all my craft beer inspired jewellery during the first week of October. No need for a coupon– starting on Oct. 1st at midnight GMT, the prices will be marked down on the site.
My craft beer jewellery makes a great gift for the brewer or ale lover in your life! I have gradually expanded my beer-inspired designs over the years, as the Beer Chick Necklace became a best seller. I have long been a home brewer and craft beer aficionado as well as a judge at the York beer festival and a one-time member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. My passion for beer and brewing as well as jewellery design drove me to create wearable, elegant every day pieces that celebrate the love of this ancient beverage.
This offer is a celebration of the longevity of these designs and a thank you to all the beer lovers and brewers who have supported me over the years. Cheers!
My favourite time of year approaches! Bring on Autumn!
To celebrate, I'm giving away a pair of Little Pumpkin Stone Earrings with every purchase of £25 or more at feralstrumpet.co.uk and my Etsy shop until 30 September, 2016 (or until the patch is picked clean!).
I’m giving away two, count ’em, TWO Flock of Birds necklaces on Instagram. To win, simply post a picture of you dancing in your favourite ATS® formation and tag it @feral_strumpet & #flockofbirds. Winner will be chosen and announced on InstagramFriday, September 9th via an online randomizer.
My dance discipline has inspired many designs that are popular with dancers– here is a selection of them. Click on the image below to go to the collection!