Regional Druid (Witch) Challenge

Allies and beloved tools. Photo by M. A. Phillips

Instagrammer Via Hedera started a challenge called the “Regional Witch Pic Challenge” and tasked everyone to post a photo “that highlights the toolkit of magic” where we live. I’ve truly enjoyed seeing all the marvelous photos others have posted, and have been considering what to share for my own.

I decided to place everything on the quilt handstitched by my great-grandmother. In my Druidry, the ancestors are a major focus. While I live in Northern New York (in Haudenosaunee land), my own ancestry is largely comprised of diaspora from Ireland, Scotland, and England. Those folkways dominate my practice and influences how I interact with the local spirits and my deities.

In the center, there is a sigil representing the Three Cosmos (designed by Ian Corrigan). A fellow ADF Druid gifted me with this handmade banner. Though not authentically Irish in design, it represents my journey with modern Druidry in America. I try very hard to focus on Irish polytheism, but I found my spiritual community within Druidry. It has a special place in my personal path.

A deer friend rests on top of that. He has been with me for some time, and he is a beloved and steadfast companion.

Other items (from the top going clockwise) include:

  • A seagull feather found at Sylvan Beach
  • A potholder my daughter made me — I’m over the moon that she’s learning how to craft useful items for our kitchen magic
  • A rowan cross made with berries I harvested and dried and wool yarn I spun
  • The mini cauldron that belonged to my mother
  • Dried juniper
  • My handstitched pouch that houses our Brat Bride 
  • A smooth river stone
  • A Herkimer quartz (a local gem largely found in the region around my childhood home)
  • Local honey
  • Pellets of incense I made with wildcrafted ingredients
  • A jar of mugwort grown in my garden
  • The shell of a fresh-water mussel found beside the Indian River
  • A fresh-water snail shell found near the St. Lawrence river
  • A handmade ceramic bowl made by an artisan in Utica. It contains dried beans and peas from my own garden
  • A candle made of local beeswax
  • A Brigid cross made of dried grasses from around our home

There are other items I could have included but did not for various reasons. I enjoy how this layout turned out, and I hope it inspires some of you. Tools needn’t be central to your polytheism; the focus is on your service to the gods, land, beloved dead, and your community. That may involve tools, and I hope you consider where you obtain them and how.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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