When Lo Scarabeo asked me to create a Pagan-based casting kit, I was excited for a number of reasons. I love crystals. I love challenges. I loved the idea of creating a system that is complete in itself but also open to expansion and personalization.
Although I wasn't sure what the kit and packaging would look like (sometimes a lot gets lost in the language barrier when I work with Lo Scarabeo), the final product exceeded my expectations. It is a very small box (about 5.5" x 4") and beautifully designed with silver metallic lettering. Inside are: a small bag with five crystals, eight cards, and a small board that unfolds to create space about 11" x 8". Franco Rivoli, artist for the Silver Witchcraft Tarot, did all the art for this project and it is wonderful.
The cards are shuffled and placed around the main board, creating a larger divination space. The main board features a Wheel of the Year with the Sabbats marked on it and with illustrations of a tree in various seasons. Each "wedge" of the Wheel has its own divinatory meaning. The cards are divided into two sections. The roles we play in life (Builder, Warrior, Teacher, Healer) are illustrated with images inspired by goddesses who embody these roles. The areas of life (Projects, Knowledge, Relationships, Resources) reflect my background in tarot and will remind those familiar with tarot of the Aces.
Once the board is set up (it will be different every time, or nearly every time, because the cards are randomized), the crystals are cast on the board. After they are cast, the reading can begin. All the elements (board, cards, and crystals) work together to create the message or answer.
The interpretations for the crystals were developed based on traditions and generally accepted meanings as well as experience. As with any divination system, the user can adapt meanings to best suit their experience or tradition. The crystals included (and a short excerpt from the longer meanings in the booklet) are:
Blue Agate: Wherever Blue Agate appears, you are called on to examine your integrity or that which shapes your thinking about the situation, acknowledge and act on that truth, and do so with the serene peace that comes from deeply felt inner-confidence.
Green Aventurine: Wherever Green Aventurine appears, you are called on to clear your heart of negative energy, focus on heart-centered actions, clear pollution (in your own life and in the world around you), and to act as a peace-maker by diffusing negative situations.
Red Jasper: Wherever Red Jasper appears, your will must be committed to doing all you can to create progress in this area and to guard against falling into the same old habits. Red Jasper is powerful and can indicate dramatic change, a rebirth into a new way of life.
Rose Quartz: Wherever Rose Quartz appears, you are counseled to slow down, breathe in love, exhale love, and let all your actions be gentle and governed by nurturing kindness.
White Onyx: Wherever White Onyx appears, get ready to connect, absorb, and receive exactly what is needed at this moment. One really nice element of this system is that because it is based on the Wheel of the Year, timing is much easier to determine than with other systems. The Wheel is meant to be read metaphorically, but when asking questions about timing, you can use the dates inherent in the Wheel to divine when things will happen or to get advice about the energy involved (and how to use it) when planning projects.
The instruction booklet includes what each element means, of course. Many of the meanings will not include much of a learning curve, as they are based on things most Pagans already know. Simple readings can be quick and easy. You can also add nuance to a reading by paying attention not just to which wedge (of the Wheel) a crystal falls in but also what it means if it falls closer to the center or the edge or on the cusp of season—so readings can also be deeper and more involved.
When I make a kit a like this, I always make a prototype using what I have at hand to test out systems. Even so, I was amazed when I opened up the actual, published kit and began working with it. More ideas for personalization presented themselves and I'll share them here.
First (this an obvious one and it is included in the book): add your own crystals. You can use more than the five that come with it or you can replace the ones provided with your own stones.
Second, you could replace the cards, using cards from a favorite tarot deck, by using, for example, the Aces for the "areas of life" cards. You could use a set of court cards for the roles or you could use the four Queens.
Third, it has become popular lately to use charms, bones, or other tiny items for casting. You can certainly add them to this kit or use them to replace the crystals provided.
Fourth, as I mentioned, there are a lot of elements at play here that have the benefit of providing a lot of detail. The downside of that is that it could feel overwhelming to a beginner or it could deter someone from using it for a simple question (as opposed to a full out reading). The board, when completely laid out, forms quadrants. So you could, before you begin, decide which quadrant is most pertinent to your question. For example, a quadrant formed by the Resources and Builder cards might be most important for someone who wants to start up a business. A quadrant formed by the Healer and Relationship cards, for someone who is seeking to strengthen a relationship. The Knowledge and Teacher cards, for someone embarking on a new course of study. So instead of reading all the quadrants, only read the one or ones that apply to your question.
The kit includes ways to use the parts included for magic. There is, of course, the very basic idea of carrying a crystal or crystals as a talisman. More specific to the kit, there are ways to use the crystals and cards to create mandalas.
There really is a lot of potential and possibilities in this small box. I invite you to open this kit for yourself and discover what magic is waiting for you.