A long time ago (probably fifteen years or so, I was still living in Charleston IL at the time) I went out to a local forested park in late winter to take a walk. It was the right time of year to find shed deer antlers, and I had been wanting to find one for a while, with no luck. On this day, I implored the Powers that Be as I set foot upon the trail, that should I find an antler I would make it into a witches ‘White-Handled Knife,’ a Bolline for harvesting herbs. Of course, this was when I was just setting foot onto the tangled and shade-dappled path of the Old Ways.
And guess what I found, laying right by the side of the trail, plain as day? Yes, this very antler, a nice big one from an 8-point buck.
For years I’ve known that I need to keep my end of the bargain, and use one of the tines for the handle of my Bolline. This summer I’ve been getting the itching feeling that its high time to wrap up this project. Recently I’d been thinking of carving the blade and tang out of jewelers wax and finding a small-scale bronze caster to produce the metal form.
I’ve been getting more serious about the nut and bolts of Wortcunning of late too. I’ve always been really interested in plants and herbalism, but always felt like ‘well, now I’ve got some herbs, what am I going to do with them?’ But, as my practice has taken on a more offeratory nature, and as I’ve found more and more resources on practical herb work and working with plant spirits directly, I think this question has answered itself.
In short, before now I didn’t feel “ready.”
Today I was at an estate sale, and picked up this solid brass herb garden plaque for five dollars. It’s over one eigth of an inch thick, and already has a ‘tang,’ perfect for cutting down into a sickle-shaped blade. Now the pieces are in place.
This will be a bit of work, but I already have the metal-smithing tools and skill repertoire to handle it. I’ll keep you all posted about how it turns out. This is going to be a great tool, and I’m excited about it’s creation!