Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Make A - Palm-Pentacle for Lammas

Since Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is our next holiday, on August 1, I figured I'd get a headstart on it. This would be a great craft to do with the witchlets!

Found at The Rising Wind

Elemental Palm-Pentacle Project by Amanda Kaczmarek

As the Lammas season rolls around we want to teach our children about the importance of this first harvest. You can bake bread, tell stories and sing songs, but this craft is one of my favorites ways to give kids a "hands-on" feel for the bounty of our grain. These make wonderful decorations for children's altars and as always are a great gift for the grandparents. As you create the dough, talk to the kids about the flour itself. Tell them how grain starts as a seed and grows through the summer. Talk about how the grain is harvested and then ground into flour for us to use in cakes and breads (and salt dough). Talk to them about the things that they are harvesting in their lives and how thankful we all are for the food the earth brings us.


Salt dough (equal parts flour and salt, water)


Ribbon or twine (for hanging on the wall)


Paint brushes


Clear varnish or polyurethane spray (optional)

Something to represent each Element and Deity:

  • Earth - Pebbles, dried leaves, fake flowers
  • Air - Craft feathers, tiny bells, cotton balls (clouds!)
  • Water - Seashells or toy fish
  • Fire - *used* matches or bits of lava rock

With the children, mix equal parts flour and salt in a large bowl (try one cup of each to start). When they are well mixed, add water until it reaches your desired consistency and level of moisture. More flour will make a softer dough. Knead the dough until it is elastic and no longer sticky. To store, wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an air-tight container to prevent drying.

Roll the salt dough into a ball and flatten it with either your hands or a rolling pin into a circle shape. Don't spread it too thin, as the hand print won't show properly.

Make a firm hand-print indentation in the center of the circle. With a toothpick, etch a pentacle or other symbol into the palm of the hand and write the name of the person who's hand print it is onto the thumb. If you want to etch a saying around the border of the circle, do so with the toothpick. Two good choices are the Wiccan Rede or the lyrics to "Earth, My Body." ("Earth, my body, Water, my blood, Air, my breath and Fire my spirit.") If you are planning on hanging this project, make a hole near the top of the circle with a toothpick.

Now, either leave the project to air dry, or bake it in the oven. Start at about 125 degrees for about half an hour, then turn the temperature up to 225 degrees. The object should sound hollow when tapped when it is fully cooked, which can take several hours. If it starts to brown, simply cover with aluminum foil.

When the project is cooked and cooled, you can decorate it. Choose a finger to go with each element, and paint it in an appropriate color. You could even use a small brush to paint the engraved pentacle or words in the project. When the paint dries, you can glue your elemental objects into or around the finger indentation. When finished and the glue is dry, you may wish to seal the project with a varnish or polyurethane spray. After which, if you are hanging this project, you can thread a bit of twine or ribbon through the hole.
Hopefully you and your children will have a wonderful time talking about Lammas and creating beautiful treasures and memories.
Have a great Lammas!

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