Adventures in Wortcunning: The Keek-Stane – Part III

Adventures in Wortcunning: The Keek-Stane – Part III October 14, 2016

Coming home from Starwood 2016 with an obsession to build the last of my PectiWita working tools, was rather inconvenient. First off, Scrying had never been my thing, and Intuition always proved close enough for horseshoes (as they say…) Now that I was aware of its existence in the realm of possibilities, its veritible ubiquity within the craft tradition that called to my bones so deeply…well, I could think of nothing else on the plane ride home.

Studying the instructions for construction of the Keek-Stane in Ray Buckalnd’s Scottish Witchcraft, I was to order a new, non-magnifying clock face and construct a box to house it while I awaited its delivery.

Amazon was too fast for that, and besides… how was I gonna build a box? First thought: Ask my husband the contractor to build it for me. Bad idea for a number of reasons, but mostly because he is very busy and wouldn’t have the same urgency for the project on his priority list. You can’t push a river, not this one anyway.

And neither is the sort of creative energy I was suffering easy to contain. The glass came in and I painted it black with some lovely acrylic art paint. The second coat bubbled because I was impatient, so I had to start again. One thin coat, and allow the paint to dry for a few hours. The waiting was unbearable and I began to shuffle through my things to find, perhaps, a box the perfect size and ready made, too!

I chanced upon a book-box, made to resemble a mystical Medieval tombe. It sported an intricate Celtic knot-work mandala on the cover and back. The glass almost fit. The glass was 1/8” too broad to sit level within the box. I carved a bit from the insides of the offending box walls, but to no avail. It was beyond my old whittling set to carve through the sidewall material. It must have been plastic, melamine perhaps, and harder than wood.

Oh yes, I have an old whittling set. Since childhood, I have enjoyed wood carving at different times during my life, and have a nasty scar on my thumb to prove it. Actually, it was a very lucky I didn’t do serious damage at the time. Note to self: never carve toward your self, always cut away.

So, the book-box almost worked, but needed some sort of support to hold the glass within it. I ventured to the craft shop and found some balsa wood. It was light and sturdy and teased my creativity as I held it in my hands. There were an amazing variety of boards and trim pieces available. It was ¼” thick, and not likely to break without concerted effort, yet soft enough to mark with a sturdy thumbnail. I could cut this with a handsaw, no problem. I forgot all about the book-box.

And began planning a box that I could make, which I would make, with my own two little hands.

And, observing this progression in myself, I began to wonder what it was that held me back from the idea of simply building the box in the first place. Was it a ‘girl’ thing? Was I afraid of loosing my femininity by making this tool for myself? As it turns out I did need help, but only once and toward the end.

I scurried home with more than enough wood to finish the project, which was a good thing. Despite having a fairly precise idea of its construction, I ended up changing the final design three times in the process.

Observing the joinery of smaller boxes I found in my home, it seems dovetail joints are a popular choice to keep an oft-handled object from loosing its cube-like form. I carefully marked the ¼” teeth in alternating ends of each side piece. You can waste a lot of wood trying to make this work properly.

two edges of a wooden box joined by interlocking teeth
Photograph by Anne Duthers
a partially assembled box
Photograph by Anne Duthers

Fortunately, I have a lot of experience with planning, measurements, and construction as a seamstress and quiltemaker. I wrote lightly on the pieces with pencil, and kept careful track. Double checked each before cutting any and only had one side that I needed to remark. So far, so good.

My son found the necessary saw and furniture clamps I would need for the work. Each cut only ¼” deep and each tooth only that wide. I cut to the insides of the line to ensure a snug fit. Thirty-two tiny wooden squares I cut and did not notice as the skin on my hands rose in various places, first hot, then blistering. It was not until the skin shed from the blisters that I noticed – and only because the bit of flapping flesh annoyed my work. Gross, and sad, but true. Told you I was obsessed.

Actually … let’s call it “focused;”  I was creating a magickal tool here. A tool that could potentially open the window between space-time and probability. Please understand that I take this stuff seriously. It took me 40-years of study and training before I felt comfortable venturing into probability enhancement.

So, it didn’t bother me too much that I should bleed a bit in the working of this magick. It seems every big project almost requires a drop from the worker to manifest.

…Or, maybe I’m just clumsy.

Glued, clamped, dried, sanded, stained, and painted, the wooden box was ready for assembly with the painted glass resting upon a handstitched pillow of black linen stuffed with Mugwort, the scrying herb. Using a stencil, I painted lovely Celtic knotwork in Elemental colors on each of the four sides. As I rubbed beeswax into the wood, a luster grew and beauty came forth. She was blessed in the full moonlight.

a finished, painted, handcrafted wooden box
Photograph by Anne Duthers

And this tool moves into a different field of the Psychic Arts from conjury or even Divination. The tool itself when completed, only reflect the sub-consious vision of the Skryer. Whether and if the visions are connected to the rest of reality as we understand it, remain the responsibility of the Seerer to enterpret.

I will choose to observe any such as a projection of inner workings, as is my preference with Tarot readings. There is also an inner caution against the Influence of Will exerted via a clear channel of observation – be careful of rationalization here.

Um, sure. Rationalizing, what exactly?

Well, let’s look at it this way– if, (big IF) you, as a Seerer, manage to have break through space-time to create a visual portal to an event or person, it is because you have some sort of connection with them. This is the sort of ‘quantum entanglement’ that allowed the gate to open in the first place. If you start projecting a lot of your personal will into that vision it may create some rather nasty unintended consequenses. It is, in fact, likely to.

So, now that she, my new Keek-Stane, is made and properly blessed, it is up to me to carefully tread the paths of inner vision in this quest. Boldly going where…well, that’s a different story.

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