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IMAGE PaganPath Sabbat Cakes
Originally entitled Volute's Sabbat Cakes. See note at end of article.* Very Chocolate, Very Strong, Very Good, just so VERY! These cakes can be the... Read More...
IMAGE Mead Magic
Mead is often referred to as the Nectar of the Gods, or the Drink of Love. It is a delightful ritual beverage that can add depth to your rituals and... Read More...
IMAGE Working With Crystals & Stones Course Guide
This is the course index for the Working With Crystals & Stones class.  Your studies will be easier if you go through each lesson in... Read More...
IMAGE 1: What is Quartz Crystal?
Welcome to the newest course available in the PaganPath Academy! The first two lessons of this online class are available to the public. Please... Read More...
IMAGE Online Class Participation
Welcome to the ComprehensiveWitchcraft & Wicca Course Let there be Beauty and Strength, Power and Compassion, Honor and Humility, Mirth and... Read More...
IMAGE About the Witchcraft Course
If you are not already a Premium Member, you can enroll from this page. You will have full access to the Academy and all online classes for a Year... Read More...
IMAGE Dragon's Blood
(Shop)Dragon's Blood Resin comes from the collected and dried sap of many plant genera.  Usually it is harvested from a type of spiny, climbing... Read More...
IMAGE The Garden's Unseen Magical Forces
There are unseen forces working their magic in your garden! Have you ever printed a photograph when your ink cartridge is out of yellow ink? ... Read More...
IMAGE Besom Briefs
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IMAGE Designing With Color Magick: Gardens, Home Design, Clothes
There are thousands of websites and books you can use to look up the meaning and properties of a color.  Even here on PaganPath you will find... Read More...
IMAGE The PPe-Tarot: A Digital Tarot Deck & Free Reading
Your free online tarot reading, and much of the The Online Tarot Class in the Academy is illustrated with the PPe-Tarot. The PPe-Tarot was developed... Read More...
IMAGE The Elder Futhark Runes
The following interpretations of the meanings of the Elder Futhark1 runes are summarized from my research through dozens of books and manuscripts.... Read More...
IMAGE Part II: Where is Power?
In Part I we talked about the self defeating programming that takes power from within you and gives it to things outside of yourself. (similar to... Read More...
IMAGE Part VI: Worship
Part VI: Worship; or, giving yourself permission to connect with what moves you in whatever way you deem best What is being a real practitioner? As... Read More...
IMAGE Theban Script or "Witchs' Runes"
Theban Script is an alphabet used by many Pagans, Witches and Wiccans as a to prevent prying eyes from reading private entries in Books of Shadows... Read More...
IMAGE Scarabs: History, Symbolism, Uses
Scarab Symbolism & Uses The popularity of the scarab (pronounced SCARE ub) in Ancient Egyptian culture is undisputed.  The scarabs from Friday's... Read More...
IMAGE 2017 PaganPath Almanacs & Calendar
Welcome to the 20th edition of the PaganPath Almanac. Great improvements have been made over the years based on your input and our growing... Read More...
IMAGE Beltane - Maypole Dance
The Beltane season has that quivering anticipation, similar to Samhain.  Filled with a sense of magic and quickening, it is a time of growth and... Read More...
Herbs & Wortcunning Course Summary
A great class to help you understand the magical, medicinal and other uses for herbs and plants from gardening or growing your own indoors to... Read More...
IMAGE Making a Ouija or Talking Board
Making your own Witch board, Ouija board or "talking board" can be very easy.  You can also have someone with more experience make one for you,... Read More...
IMAGE Make Your Own Scarab
This is a good project to do with kids, and for the kid in you!  You can create your own scarab fetish and inscribe symbols and words that are... Read More...
IMAGE Your Tarot Manual
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Designed to help you become proficient in reading the tarot without consulting a reference book, this course is excellent for both beginners and... Read More...
IMAGE Stones for Magic & Spells
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IMAGE A Guide to Amber & Jet
As you can see from the picture, there are many types of amber, and these are often confused with each other, as well as with ambergris, copal and... Read More...
IMAGE Pagan & Craft Traditions
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IMAGE The Four Quarters or Corners
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IMAGE House Cleansing & Blessing Ritual
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IMAGE Alter Your Altar: Alternative Altars
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Inspiration for making your own scarab fetish.This is a good project to do with kids, and for the kid in you!  You can create your own scarab fetish and inscribe symbols and words that are meaningful to you.  The color you select may also have a magical association for you, and any ingredients such as powdered stones or herbs will also lend their energy to your scarab.  Imbued with your intent and energy, your scarab makes a great charm, talisman or even a ward above a doorway.

You Will Need:

  • Polymer Clay
  • Oven
  • Optional: powdered rocks, resins or herbs.  Glazes or paints.

Your design can vary according to your magical needs.All you need to purchase is a small brick of polymer clay such as Sculpty™ or Fimo™ for just a few dollars. These clays come in every color of the rainbow, as well as iridescent and metallic colors.  When baked in the oven at a low temperature according to the package instructions, the resulting item can be drilled (for beads), carved (to add more details or fix mistakes), painted, or glazed to add shine (use the glaze made for polymer clay or clear nail polish).

If you are motivated to do so, I've discovered that you can add a very small amount (about 1% by weight) of powdered stones to polymer clays without affecting their stability.  Malachite, turquoise and lapis lazuli powder work well, however rock powders can be toxic and if you are not involved in lapidary work, finding them is next to impossible.

Instead, you can also employ the energies of plants into your scarab by using finely powdered herbs and resins.  Frankincense, copal, opopanax, benzoin and myrrh can be finely powdered with a blade coffee grinder (set aside for craft use) or a pestle and mortar.

Used by Friday to make this scarab.Finely powdered sage, rosemary or any other herb you are drawn to may also be used.  Again, make sure your addition is finely powdered, and work it into warm clay thoroughly.  Use no more than 1% by weight of herbs, resins or stone powders.  Since most small blocks of polymer clay weigh about 56 grams or 1.97 ounces, you will only use half a gram of extra ingredients (0.56g or 0.2 oz).  To make this easier, just stick to about a pinch of finely powdered additions to every block of clay.  Once you have experimented with adding powders, you may find you can incorporate considerably more of certain types without jeopardizing the finished clay structure and durability, but for now, a pinch is a tried and true amount.

Look at the pictures provided above for more design inspirations, and be sure to check out the article here on PaganPath all about Scarabs: History, Symbolism, Uses.

Soften clay by warming and kneading in hands Soften the clay by warming it in your hands and kneading it for a few minutes. Then make an smooth egg shape.
Slice off a third of the bottome with dental floss or knife. Slice the bottom (lengthwise) off the egg and smooth out the cut area. You may have to round out any edges too if they were mashed during cutting.
Carve a T and an M to begin your scarab beetle Use the larger section to make your scarab. Your design for the scarab can be very intuitive, or based on museum books, but if you aren't sure where to start, you can use these guides.

Begin by carving the basic beetle design by making a T shape across it's back. Toothpicks work well for making the designs. On top of the T, make a capital M

Carve wings, legs or symbols on the sides. Around the outside edge, carve out areas where the 'wings' separate from the body, add details as desired.
Develop details by carving or scraping. Continue adding details until it looks like a scarab. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, it should be fun, intuitive, free-form. Making the scarab is 90% of the fun.

This picture shows a bamboo skewer through the scarab to pierce it as they traditionally were when used as beads. If you decide to pierce your scarab, you can do so while the clay is soft, or later when you decide after it has been baked. Once it is hard, you will have to carefully drill the hole.

Runes, hieroglyphs, symbols, etc. can be used to focus your magical intent. You can use hieroglyphs for the underside of your scarab, or make it personal with your initials, symbols which are meaningful to you, or magickal inscriptions.

This example might be used to protect a child (The triangles in the box symbol) or it may be used to represent rebirth and spirituality plus more.  The symbols and letters on this example were chosen pretty randomly just to show an example of what you might like.

I only had neutral clay, so I used model paint and then glazed it with clear nail polish.

When it is finished and baked, you can glaze it if you wish. This one has blue model painted on, then wiped off quickly to make the markings darker. A final coat was brushed over the entire surface evenly.

Painted polymer clay is durable, but not as durable as solid colors.  For beads or pocket fetishes, using a clay in the color you desire for your magical purpose will be more durable than painting that color over the clay.

Beading Note:  If you are making scarab beads, bake them with a toothpick inserted through the body.  This is much easier than drilling a hole through the scarab after it is baked and hardened.

Have fun making your unique scarab!

This is an example of the look of inlay achieved through the creative use of stain and stencils.Making your own Witch board, Ouija board or "talking board" can be very easy.  You can also have someone with more experience make one for you, but the rewards of making your own are vast.

We've seen some truly beautiful boards, both mass produced and custom made. Two of the most interesting were a round one (which I'm partial to; made by Third Eye Productions) and a blue triangular shaped board.  A good way to create a rough design is to write letters, numbers, and any symbols you wish to include on index cards, arrange them into various patterns and try them out first.  This will help you design a good workable layout.

Inlays of different woods for the letters might be nice if the craftsman is able to do it and the cost is not prohibitive.  Wood burning is frequently used and works well for smooth boards.  When using burl or other costly figured woods such as bird's eye maple, wood burning should only be attempted by a pro.

If the cost is high, an interesting way to make it look like inlay is to start with a tight grained wood (like a smooth oak or maple which have some good magickal attributes) and coat it well with a stain primer (two coats).  Then, cover the entire board with removable drafter's masking tape.  This is available in many paint section of stores and at art or drafting stores.  Make sure it is pressed down well so it is sealed tightly to the board.

Make a Ouija or Witch BoardNow, develop stencils of stylized letters and numbers, plus any decorative designs you wish to add (such as a protective pentacle or some creative scroll work or Celtic knot-work).

Trace the stencils on to the masking tape and carefully cut them out with an Exacto® knife or razor blade (keep the blade sharp by replacing it frequently so there are no tears or snags in the tape).  Practice first, it is okay if the wood gets cut a little, but not more than about 1mm into the wood.  Cutting into the wood just a little helps to create a sharper edge and overall inlay effect.  Cutting too far will make the board appear 'cheap' and could weaken it and prevent the planchette (pointer) from moving freely.

Now, peel off the cut out areas (like the letters & numbers) carefully and using a soft rag, dab more stain sealer over the entire board.  This final coating of stain sealer over the entire board will fill in the tiny crevasses between the wood and the tape, keeping your lines crisp.  Allow this coating to dry or cure according to the instructions on the can.

Next, lightly dab a darker stain onto the exposed wood to stain the letters and stencils you cut out.  You may also use any color of paint if you are not trying for an inlay effect.

There are several shades and hues of stain that will work well, from red maples to medium walnuts.  Dark oak stains are also nice and diluted liquid Rit® dye also works.  Dye creates a light tint that is fascinating, but this takes more practice and bleeds under the tape more easily -which fuzzes the lines and looks bad).  Allow stain to soak in and then wipe up any excess or shiny areas.

Finally, let it dry very well, read the stain can and allow the maximum time.  Once it is completely dry or cured, peel off the remaining tape.  If there is adhesive residue, use a very fine steel wool to gently buff it off.

Select a varnish that creates a hard smooth finish. I'm partial to teak oil, and boat varnish or 'liquid plastic skating ring and basketball court varnish' work quite well. But then, I'm rough on stuff and tend to work outdoors.  Many people prefer to lightly wax the board, finish it with tung oil, danish hand rubbing oil, or to use a satin finish polyurethane.

Think about how often you will use the board, and where or how it will be stored, then look at the hardware store for your options (or ask for assistance from a clerk).  Follow the directions on the product and coat the entire board well.  The unstained sections will darken slightly from the finish, so it usually isn't necessary to stain the rest of it.

For this technique, we recommend a varnish type finish and not an oil type finish (unless you are building layers with teak oil).  Some oils will not protect the stained sections well enough and may make them bleed.  If you will be using the board in darkened or candle lit rooms, use a satin finish.  A gloss finish will reflect and glare, making the messages difficult to read in low light.

If you notice any 'bleeding' or hairline marks from the darker varnish invading the background wood, remove them as much as possible using steel wool but don't overdo it.  The stain primer should prevent this.

If you still have some bleeding, use a varnish that has a light stain in it.  Minwax® makes one that works well.  Select a very light version of the darker color you used.  For example if your designs were dark oak, use light oak.  If they were deep maple, try light honey.

After each coat with these stain/varnish combinations, make sure that you aren't obscuring the designs by making the entire board too dark.  If it is the right color, but not varnished enough, use a clear varnish of the same brand and type (same chemical bases) to complete the finish.  Even if your lines aren't bleeding, this technique of using a stain/varnish combination top coat gives the board an aged and blended effect that is interesting.

You may wish to create the board or commission it to be made during the waxing moon, and focus on its purpose and your goals for its use the entire time you make it or it is being made.

Good luck and have fun!

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