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This keppen is approximately 4 inches in length.
Keppens are very traditional English cottage witchcraft. Wands have a very ceremonial magick history, many of the old grimoires have instructions for cutting and making wands. Traditional cottage witches in the west of England used “keppens” instead. They are basically a mini or pocket wand. The type of wood used lends power to the spell based on Ogham tree lore… So Oak for success, blackthorn for cursing, birch for healing, apple for love, alder for protection and so on. Easily concealed in the hand, pocket or purse they are highly portable and can be used discretely even in public or the workplace!
Sacred to Venus, Birch is a tree of regeneration and healing. The Birch is one of the first trees to grow and repopulate a woodland after a forest fire!
When the huge glaciers of the last ice age receded, birch trees would have been one of the first to re-colonise the rocky, ice-scoured landscape.
Hence, ecologists refer to birch as a pioneer species. In Celtic mythology, birch is also a tree of beginnings and came to symbolise renewal and purification. Birch or Beithe, is the first tree of the Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet. It was celebrated during the festival of Samhain (what is now Halloween in Britain). Samhain was the start of the Celtic year, when purification was important and people used bundles of birch twigs to drive out the spirits of the old year. Later this would evolve into the ‘beating the bounds’ ceremonies in local parishes. Gardeners still use the birch besom, or broom, to ‘purify’ their gardens, and besoms were also the archetypal witches’ broomsticks. They used them in their shamanic flights, sometimes after the use of extracts of the fly agaric mushrooms found in birchwoods.
The birch also has strong fertility connections with the celebrations of Beltane. This was the second, summer, half of the Celtic year (nowadays celebrated as May Day). People made Beltane fires in Scotland with birch and oak, and a birch tree was often used as a, sometimes living, maypole. As birch is one of the first trees to come into leaf it would be an obvious choice as a symbol of spring. Love and fertility goddesses, such as the northern European Frigga and Freya, have strong associations with birch. Eostre (from whom we derive the word Easter) was the Anglo Saxon goddess of spring. She was celebrated around and through the birch tree between the spring equinox and Beltane. According to the medieval herbalist Culpeper, Venus (the planet and the goddess) rules over birch. In Highland folklore, a barren cow herded with a birch stick would become fertile, or a pregnant cow bear a healthy calf.
The word birch comes from a Proto-Indo-Eurpean root word bhereg-, meaning “to shine, bright, white”. Beithe (pronounced ‘bey’) is the Gaelic word for birch. It is widespread in Highland place names such as Glen an Beithe in Argyll and Allt Beithe in Glen Affric. Birch figures in many anglicised place names, such as Birkenhead, Birkhall and Berkhamstead.
Paul and Pat’s Covenstead in Michigan AND the 6 acres of wooded land that Artes And Craft is built upon is home to many gorgeous silver birch trees and paper birch too! Paul tries to preserve as much of the under barck as he can, its white, red and green details are gorgeous!
Each of Paul's wands and keppens are unique. There is no plan beforehand, the wand is allowed to manifest as it wills, Paul just helps it along.
Wood is of course a natural product. Paul works with the branch, interesting boles, cracks, are incorporated and left by design. Paul also never removes all the bark, as like skin it comes in many layers and some of the lower layers have their own gorgeous color and details!
Oiled with one of our award winning Luna Ignis brand range of anointing oils to protect the wood and make the grain pop!
Long before Paul was ever a blacksmith he carved and was a wandsmith. Before even Artes And Craft opened as a witchcraft store, Paul was making wands and selling them at pagan festivals and gifting them to friends. Being English, Paul would often cut wood when visiting England and return to the USA with some of the most famous classical Celtic magick woods of Ogham lore. In fact, this was one of the founding principles of Artes And Craft, was to bring beautiful ritual tools and goodies from the old world to pagans in the new world. Paul loves crafting heirloom quality unique ritual tools for pagans, druids, ceremonial magicians, Traditional witchcraft and wicca.