With all the plethora of tools and jewelry and stuff out there for our buying pleasure, it can sometimes be overwhelming and delightful all at the same time. I’ll admit, I love to buy jewelry. It’s pretty and shiny and sparkles in the light. I can’t resist.
But when I want something meaningful, that’s where it gets tricky for me. Let’s face it–most of the stuff out there is CRAP. Sure, we can find a lot of really pretty things that look good, but quality items can be harder to come by. And when you want something to be meaningful (for example, something you will use in ritual or wear a lot), that desire adds a new dimension. When looking for meaningful pieces, you don’t want items that will be in discord with your energy. You want something that will work with you rather than against you.
This is why it can sometimes be a good idea to make your own tools or jewelry. Now, granted, the majority of us don’t know how to work precious metals or gemstones. I certainly don’t. My skills with making jewelry don’t go beyond wire and string and beads. Do I want to learn the more advanced skills? Absolutely. I’d love to make my own pentacle eventually. It would be the product of my own hands, my own energy and love and labor. Rather like a child, it would be something I have worked hard to shape and mold into something wonderful, and I would have given it something of myself (even if that’s just my energy–that’s no small thing).
I certainly don’t know how to work metal to make an athame. That is so far beyond my knowledge it’s not even funny. But I think that if I were to make my own tools, they would truly be an extension of myself. I think I would work with them so much better than with something I bought.
A common tradition in many fantasy stories is to have the mage/swordmaster/etc. make their own tools or staves or weapons. This is precisely for the reasons above: that item would be a product of the person’s labor, would be a part of them, and would work with them much better than something that had been given to them.
Granted, this is not a fantasy novel we’re talking about, but the principle remains thesame. Making tools and jewelry can be a more desirable alternative to buying pieces. The only problem is in gaining the skills to make something useful.
When I made my wand, I had no idea what I was doing. I mostly moved by what I felt was needed. I went outside into my backyard and found a fallen stick that looked in good condition and the right length. I whittled the bark away and smoothed the stick down. I found a quartz crystal in my stash of stones that looked good on top, so I used hot glue, regular glue, and blue string to bind the stone to the tip. When it was done, I carved its name into the wood and painted the letters over in green.
I was so happy with the result. I still am, and I still use that first wand. It feels like it knows me, and it feels right in my hand–all a product of my loving labor.
If I had the choice, I would make all my tools and jewelry. Eventually, I hope to do just that. Until then…I’ll probably keep buying while I look to learn the skills I desire.