a Witch's Guide to Tanning Hides
This is the third and final part of a ridiculously long post covering at home methods for tanning hides and leather. These methods are of particular interest to the witch due to their simplicity, great results, and fun use of questionable substances. Part 1 covered important terms and how to prepare a hide for tanning, part 2 explained how to tan hides with battery acid, and this post will cover how to tan hides using brains and smoke.
Together, these mark the fifth installment on a 6 post series: Working with Zoological Remains -that is, the use of bones, feathers, wings, paws, and skulls in witchcraft. Previous posts include An Introduction to Working with Zoological Remains; Bone Collecting: How-to acquire Bones and Other Zoological Remains Regardless of Where you Live; Of Skull & Bone: Cleaning and Whitening; and The Joy of a Salt Box: Preparing Wing & Paw. The final installment of this series will focus on the actual use of zoological remains in witchcraft. Of course, while there is no one and true way to employ these sacred items within witchcraft, we will look at general techniques and methods, building off of the basic ideology that has been discussed throughout each of these posts.
Tanning Hides with Brains
Another option that you have is to use the brain of the animal as part of the tanning process. This is a really great option if you happen to go hunting yourself or have a friend who hunts and would be willing to give you the hide and head. Conveniently, the size of any animal’s brain provides the right amount needed in order to tan its hide. This makes it a very economical choice and is definitely one to consider for the magickal worker as it puts another part of that animal to good use. Taking those extra steps to ensure that as little as possible goes to waste is the least we can do when taking the life of another creature in exchange for the continuation of our own lives. This also pays the most respect to the spirit of that animal who -possibly, though not guaranteed- may decide to stick around, maintaining the connection to its remains and, thus, being able to aid you in your Work.
a Witch's Guide to Tanning Hides
This is part 2 of a 3 part post on at home tanning methods. These are relatively simple methods that will produce tanned hides and soft leather, but do vary considerably in amount of effort and time. Part 1 introduced some important terms, as well as discussing skinning, fleshing, and long-term preservation for hides. In this, part 2, we'll jump into a relatively quick way to tan a hide, leaving the fur on.
This complete post makes up the fifth part of a series on Working with Zoological Remains. Zoological remains are carefully preserved animal parts that are used with reverence within witchcraft. They may house the spirits of animals or other entities or be used exclusively for their symbolic or archetypal value. Previous posts in this series include An Introduction to Working with Zoological Remains, Bone Collecting: How-to Acquire Bones and Other Zoological Remains Regardless of Where you Live, Of Skull & Bone: Cleaning & Whitening, and The Joy of a Salt Box: Preparing Wing & Paw. The final post of this series will focus on methods and techniques for working with bones in witchcraft, as well as other zoological remains, such as wings, feathers, feet, horns, hooves, and antlers.
Tanning Hides with Battery Acid
The following method is relatively simple, though it will require a number of materials. It also is much faster than the brain and smoke tanning method, which will follow it. This method allows you to tan a hide -keeping the hair on- to produce a soft and pliable hide that can be used for just about anything, dependent upon the size of the hide and your sewing skills.
The children and I stood gathered about the shrine, watching as the last of the torches atop the amphiphontes glowed from within the cake. The other torches had all extinguished themselves by now, but this one held on stubbornly, a tiny spark and subtle glow holding tight to the candle wick.
My five-year-old daughter’s eyes were wide and round above the small hand she held across her mouth, not trusting her ability to hold her breath. Each of the children held a wish in their minds, eyes focused on the shrine.
A Witch's Guide to Tanning Hides
This is the fifth post in a series on Working with Zoological Remains. This series is focused upon the use of zoological remains -the preserved remains of animals- in witchcraft and has explored the ideology as well as the practical aspects. Previous posts include An Introduction to Working with Zoological Remains, Bone Collecting: How-to Acquire Bones and Other Zoological Remains Regardless of Where you Live, Of Skull & Bone: Cleaning & Whitening, and The Joy of a Salt Box: Preparing Wing & Paw. The final post of this series shall focus on actual usage. For now, we will be looking at various ways to tan hides and make leather at home. Due to length, this will be a 3-part post.
Tanned animal hides and leather are versatile items in witchcraft with a range of uses that vary from extremely practical (e.g. using to make bags, jewelry, clothing, or altar clothes) to very spiritual (e.g. being used to connect with the spirit of the animal whose hide it is, to connect with the archetypal energy of that species of animal, and/or to connect with another spirit or deity Who is connected to that type of animal, amongst others.) Of all preservation methods, with the exception of taxidermy and creating full body mounts, this is the most complicated. However, this is only because the number of steps is considerably greater and deviating too far from the prescribed steps can lead to disaster -in this case, rotting hides, hides that hair falls out in large patches, and hides and leather that smell bad. To help ensure the greatest amount of success, alternative steps and techniques will be given where appropriate.
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.