The Witch Jewels

The Necklace, the Bracelet, the Ring and Pendant, the Girdle Cord and Garter

The necklace: The necklace is worn by women coven members often at Sabbats and Esbats only. It is in all probability of similar derivation to that of the girdle or garter Some witches say that it has a connection with "Brisingamen," the elven necklace possessed by Freya, the Norse love goddess.

Others say that through its occasional use of acorns as beads, it derives from the worship of Diana of Ephesus, whose devotees saw the head of their goddess bound with a coif of hair in the shape of the acorn itself. The number of beads for the necklace often consists of multiples of nine or thirteen. Acorns aside, however, the beads may be made of any material you please—metal, stone or wood—the only qualification being that they be fairly large and chunky. Amber is a favourite, as also are turquoise and jet, Many witches like to string their own, after exorcising the beads with fire and water initially and charging them in their own witch name, like any other magical tool, when they finish. (For instructions on general exorcisms by fire and water as well as magical "charging," see further on in this chapter.)

The bracelet: This is usually made of copper or silver an is worn by witches of either sex, again as a form of identity sign. However, unlike the necklace, it is engraved with the witch name of the bearer, the coven symbol (which is often an animal such as an owl, cat, or serpent), and his rank in it. There are usually only two "degrees" of rank, that of the triangle and the more advanced one of the pentacle. If male, the leader of the coven is sometimes known as the magister or master, the female as the high priestess. These are generally honorary ranks and titles, however, and simply indicate seniority of membership for the most part. Very occasionally are they indications of power. (See Chapter 7, "The Coven and How to Form One," for more on this.) Sometimes coven members will wear the bracelet to signify the triangle, and the garter, the pentacle grade.

Should you not belong to a properly formed coven, your name in witch runes will be all you need to have, plus any other amuletic symbols of good luck you may choose, such as your zodiac birth sign and planet.

Similar to the bracelet are the ring and the pendant. These are usually the only witch jewels bar the necklace that actually possess gems or stones set into them. These are the primary "fascination'' jewels, and the more intricate and unusual the jewel, the better it serves its purpose. As to its composition and monetary value, it is completely a matter of individual taste and economy. The best magical witch stones are traditionally the sapphire and the opal. However, most precious and semi-precious stones do just as well, especially those which traditionally are held efficacious against the evil eye and fascination! These, in fact, are excellent accumulators of witch power, and as such, if you have ever worn one as a good-luck charm, has provided you, albeit unwittingly maybe, with an equal and opposite means of fascinating others or casting your own evil eye! In effect, you will be fighting fire with fire!

Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of some of those stones you may care to use as the bezel of your ring or pendant:

Fascination Gems

Amber

Diamond

Onyx

Beryl

Emerald

Peridot

Bloodstone

Jade

Sardonyx

Carbuncle

Jasper

Staurotides (Cross-stone)

Carnelian

Jet

Ruby

Cat's-eye

Lapis Lazuli

Turquoise

Coral

Moonstone

Zircon

You may have your witch name engraved upon the ring or pendant—either on the reverse surface or around the stone itself. Sometimes the zodiac birth signs are also engraved, occasionally even a Cabalistic word of power such as Ararita, Tetragrammaton, Mehafelon, Ananizapta, or Shemhamphorash.

Incidentally, a very good idea which some witches resort to is to use a poison ring as their jewel. The inner cavity of the ring itself is very well suited for concealing either written charms to be carried about the person or philter powders to be slipped warily into some unsuspecting person's drink! The metal of which the ring or pendant is made can be any you wish—the following are used by witches to magically stimulate the following traits in their witch character:

Gold - energy and general success Silver - intuitiveness and magical ability Copper - success in love Brass or fixed mercury - mental agility Tin - expansiveness and generosity Iron - courage and aggressive instincts Lead - stability

Sometimes an amalgam is made of some or all of them, depending on the orientation required. The resulting alloy is then known as magical electrum. But this is specialist stuff. Gold, silver, or copper is the usual choice.

Like the other jewels, the ring or pendant will always be exorcised and consecrated with fire and water in the waxing moon, and named with the possessor's name.

Finally, we come to a consideration of the concealed signs, the witch's girdle cord and garter. The girdle cord, often red in colour, is used for several practical purposes, the least of which is to hold in your tabard, or ritual witch's robe. It is made of a specified length with certain knots tied in it, and is also used to measure the diameter of your magic circle when you cast one. Some practitioners also use it as a type of ritual rosary when they are performing a spell with a lot of repetitions in it, telling the knots in it like beads; I shall describe its manufacture later in the chapter under the heading of "Your Witches' Working Tools."

The garter is perhaps the most unusual piece of insignia carried by witches and, as such, is concealed and worn openly only at coven meetings. The other jewels can pass as regular items in the eyes of the uninitiated, and as such can usually be worn openly.

There are many styles of witch garters in existence. The traditional colour is bright red, though black, blue, and green ones are to be seen. Often a female practitioner will have her garter made of velvet and backed with silk, the male variants being snakeskin, crocodile, or soft leather of some sort backed with blue silk. The garters are fastened by means of gold or silver gilt buckles. Sometimes tiny gold or silver bells are also sewn on, reminiscent of those worn by English Morris dancers.

On the outer surface of the garter are embroidered the witch name, coven symbol, and coven rank, if any. Sometimes the same signs that are inscribed upon the Athame are also added.

Garters are always worn above the left knee, and let me reiterate, only on coven occasions or during the casting of spells.

The garter concludes the list of witch jewels. Most of them are optional, except for the necklace in the case of women. Why this latter exception should be made, I do not know. However, it is traditional coven practice, and as such should be complied with by any female witch, if she really wishes to obey the letter of the law.

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