Just before I moved to Washington, I found myself tooling about Eugene’s Saturday Market saying a quiet goodbye to all the vendors I’ve come to love and rely upon during my years in the city. It also led to me lingering in booths I’d never really paid much attention to before, in particular that of Earnest Efforts. Rick and Heather’s major products are very rustic wooden boxes. Too rustic for my taste, if truth be told, so I’d only ever glanced in their direction before. This time, though, I lingered long enough to realize they took the blocks of wood they remove from the centers of the stumps that make their boxes and turn them into rattles and shakers.
I was especially enamored with their Spirit Shakers, which–as you can see–are squarish blocks of smoothed and beeswax-polished wood that fit very nicely into an adult’s palm. Earnest Efforts also offers longer, thinner rattles they market specifically for babies, but these would also make for a lovely grown-up rattle, too.
In Wicca and other witchcrafts, rattles are often used as a tool that helps to raise energy or clear negative energy. As with drums, they are a percussive instrument and shaking them at a regular beat will help to put one into a trance, and the movements of the rattle and your body will help ‘drum up’ energy, too. Shamans across the globe in practically every human civilization have also used rattles to sort of shake negative energy away from one’s aura. As such, rattles are a very practical magical tool, and a great thing to keep in one’s magical cupboard.
Funnily enough, science has determined that one can actually harvest energy from shaking. In September of last year the MIT news office issued a press release stating that their researchers had designed a device that took energy from “low-power sources in the environment, such as vibrations from swaying bridges, humming machinery and rumbling foot traffic” and transformed it into electricity. I figure that if we can generate electrical energy from these vibrations, we can sure work some decent magic with them, too.
So I picked up a pair of my own Spirit Shakers, and Heather mentioned that they were crafted from padauk wood. The Internet is pretty sure that padauk wood has fairy chaotic, constantly fluctuating energy, and–crazy though I may be–I think that is pretty appropriate for a rattle, which certainly experiences its own wild energy shifts! I am going to look forward to using my new rattles in raising up some solid energy. If things go well, I think I might start investing in more pairs of Rick and Heather’s lovely rattles. They’d be a great thing to use in groups!