Have you ever wondered how divination tools are kept? Is there a proper way? An "only way"? The answer is no, although some may say differently. Some people keep their tools in the containers they came in, wooden boxes, special fabrics and colors, bandanas, scarves, plastic drawers, bags, and a host of other places. Me, I like to crochet pouches for my divination tools, and I'm not too picky about whether it's cotton, acrylic, t-shirt, plastic, or other type of yarns (I'm allergic to wool), just as long as it fits my intention for the tool.
One, it helps to practice and experiment with new stitches and styles. Two, I find that it’s a bonding experience between me and the spirit of the tools.
I’m careful and thoughtful about the color choices, buttons, and charms. I look at the tools colors or associations. I may ask the spirit of the tool, or if a deity or spirit has claimed it, ask Them what They want for this pouch (more about my God/Spirit claimed tools in a future post). I use the yarns that fit my color scheme.
This series will have three parts. I'll introduce a bit about my tools and talk about their pouches.
1) Housewives Tarot by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum - Not my first deck, but definitely the first pouch that I made...and you can tell. I made this in December 2015, a few months after I started learning how to crochet, actually. I left long strands of yarn so I could add beads or charms to it later, which I still haven't found anything that resonates with me. When I made this pouch, I said that I'd remake it in the right colors for the deck's back, but I decided against it. It's special, and I call it the Wonky Pouch. When I made it, I wasn't thinking too much about stitching magik into it. The box that this deck comes in is large, like a recipe box, with it's own tarot spread "recipes" in it. I love the box, but it was too big for my needs.
This deck is actually fairly blunt and sharp for me, dealing mostly in household things, like finances, relationship dynamics, and ancestors. A nice contrast to its messy, goofy pouch. This deck is also unclaimed, so I typically use it for general readings.
2) Wild Wood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews - This deck was a Yule gift from a friend of mine. I'll admit, I was a little lost because at the time I didn't have Celtic or Nordic deities in my life. I read the booklet and looked through the cards, but I didn't really connect to it. So I decided to use crochet to try to connect. While I was looking for the colors in my stash in March 2016, I found a piece of green that I had made for no reason other than to practice. It was the perfect match colors. With white, I seamed it into an envelope. I carefully went through my jars of buttons to find the one that kind of had a Celtic Knot-like design. However that one just didn't fit! Silver and green go together...but no this deck wanted the one with the white and gold, so I listened.
This pouch, unlike the rough cotton of Wonky, is soft and flexible, much like the gentleness of my Wild Wood Tarot.
3) Womanrunes Originally by Shekhinah Mountainwater - I came upon a set of different runes, after I struggled to learn the Norse runes. These were the second non-Norse runes that I'd had found at the time. I decided to get to know them, so I made my own using wooden squares and permanent marker from the craft store (Brigid's Grove has also made a deck). Charged them under a full moon. And in early 2017, I made my womanrunes a pouch. I made a continuous spiral, coiling, coiling like a serpent, from red yarn, like a stream of moon blood. I picked this button because it looked like a vulva to me...and a "whispering eye". This pouch definitely has more intention stitched into it than the first two pouches.
I use these runes during my moon cycle--my period. As well as during certain sacred days. These runes aren't just for women, or cis women for that matter. I personally use them when they call for whomever, whenever, too. Eventually, I'm going to stop my cycle, but hopefully not my use of these womanrunes.
4) Goddess Guidance Oracle by Doreen Virtue – Despite the rudeness of their maker once they converted to Christianity, I still love this deck. I know some folks hate it because of her nastiness, but the spirit of my deck is not Virtue. The spirit of this deck is so gentle and kind. I wanted a yarn was that soft. I picked a blue stripy yarn that moved from thin to thick, it didn't have the roughness of that Sugar N Cream cotton or the scratchiness of the some of my acrylic yarns. It wasn't a pleasure to use, this yarn, but then healing isn't always a pleasure either, but the result is well worth it. It reminded me of water. Blue is a great color for healing, but also for the Throat Chakra, which is a chakra all about communication, speaking, listening, and the breath. I don't know about yall but when I'm doing some healing work, I do a lot of heavy breathing! In July 2017, this pouch was created. Luckily, I had a fake skeleton key with a crown in my jewelry making stash. Perfect!
Having harsh, blunt decks are great, and sometimes I do prefer their wisdom and advice over other decks, but sometimes you need some gentleness in your life. A warm comforting blanket over your shoulders, instead of a truth punch to the face. That's what my deck brings, and the pouch is like a warm comforter as well.
5) Messages from Your Spirit Guides Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer – For this deck, I was looking for a Animal Spirit deck, and I liked the art and the colors. I also like the texture of the cards. While hunting for yarn in July of 2017, this funky yarn jumped out at me at the store. It was co perfect for the colors of some of the cards. As I stitched, I thought of my animal spirit guides, and how awesome it's been working with them over the years.
Personally, I don't really have a good connection with these cards, but they've been good to others that I've read for. But I do love that pouch!
6) 13 Witches Runes / Pendulum - In July 2017, I also decided to make a comfier pouch for my 13 Witches Runes and pendulum. When I got back into learning divination in 2015, these runes and a gifted pendulum were my first, before my Housewives Tarot. The runes came in their own pouch and I kept the pendulum in there, too. But I wanted something more secure. I went with purple and silver yarns because they're spiritual and psychic colors to me. Purple or Indigo is sometimes associated with the Crown Chakra and silver is sometimes associated with deities and spirits, as well as the connections between chakras. I was working with gods and spirits to develop my psychic abilities and other skills, so I picked those colors accordingly. I picked a brown button for the earth and for grounding. As above, so below, right? Balance. A silver binder for root to crown.
I use both of these tools a lot. Now the pendulum I have now, wasn't the original that I was gifted with. That old moonstone decided to move on. This teddy bear pendulum was another gift from a circle mate. I believe she gifted each of us a pendulum for a sabbat or a class. It's a good reliable tool. The runes helped me get into a daily/weekly divination practice. Everyday I'd ask what message did spirit have for me that day? Once I started getting other tools, I'd use them all together to check for accuracy, for depth, and to see how each tool spirit handled questions.
7) Mythic Oracle by Carise Mellado and Michele-Lee Phelan – This deck. As soon as I opened it up, I knew what the pouch was going to look like. Burlap-ish with a peacock feather charm. Well, I don't care for the texture of burlap, so I went with a tan cotton yarn. The Gods were happy with it. With the peacock feather charm, couldn't find one, so off I went to look through my button jars, some of which I inherited from my grandma. Lots of buttons. I came across this one in no time. Blood red with concentric circles that looked kind of like a peacock feather! Hera. This pouch was a quick on to make, and the deck I was dedicating to my gods, so as I stitched, I prayed to the deities whom this deck was for. Praying for good strong connections between me and Them. I also meditated as I crocheted, and was often given visions of being in ancient Greece just as a regular person, walking around, particular in markets, with bags and baskets of veggies and grains.
This deck is neither harsh nor gentle. It's pretty neutral, but just as accurate as the others.
8) Tarot of the Witches by Fergus Hall – This is actually my first deck, gifted to me by a family member, during a time when I had no interest in divination. I was still my early years of being a witchling and was still learning my foundations and exploring my beliefs. This deck's energy was strong and it scared me. I didn't handle these cards for years! In my mid-20's, after I had been using the Robin Wood Tarot for a bit, I found these cards in a box. It still had that same powerful energy. I braved it...and this deck wasn't interested in working with me. So I put it back. Around 2015, the deck called to me. I was ready to learn from them. This deck is claimed by Hekate (not in general, just for me), and is specifically a learning deck (again, more on my deity claimed tools later). This one has keywords written all of the cards, which aside from the major arcana, the minor arcana doesn't give any clues to the meanings of the pip cards. So keywords to the rescue! As of 2020, I've been learning how to read without needing the booklet.
I picked soft sparkly purple yarn. Purple is associated with Hekate. Purple is associated with psychic, darkness, shadows, twilight, transition, spirit, and other things. I picked the sparkly yarn for that glimmer of light. Hekate is a Torch Bearing Guide. A light in the darkness. Even though the purple isn't super dark, I wanted that symbolism. The sparkles also remind me of stars. One of the places that I've met Hekate has been in a starry ceiling cave. I also put no buttons, charms, or fasteners on it. I was thinking about openness. This was a learning deck and I wanted to be open to Her and my other psychic Guides and Teachers. I wanted to be open to other ways and perspectives.
This is it for part one. Keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3.
Do you have a favorite pouch from above?
Do you make your own containers for your tools?
Do you have preferences for storing your tools?