Whale Wolf Ceramics
ritual talismans for spell casting and shadow work
WORDS ARE SPELLS
"may i be present with rage and discomfort and participate in its transformation into wholeness. may these intergenerational cycles of trauma be broken. may this grief and open heart quell the fires of hate."
"what if, what we are doing right now, rippled out beyond what the eye can see? what is this step a part of that’s bigger than me? what is happening through me?"
"can we belong to land without land belonging to us? is grief a bridge to belonging? how can we delight in this dismantling?"
WHALEWOLF:For more than 20 years I have told myself, “one day - I will work with the wheel throwing clay.” I would stop and chat with ceramicists for hours at farmers markets, stalk them on instagram and even watch my friends make beautiful creatures with their very own hands. As a musician, even pre-Spotify (where now CD sales have dwindled) and covid, where live music is not much a thing right now, I have struggled to find ways to barter in the trade economy. I have wished I could offer something more tangible to trade for a lush bag of mixed lettuce, chanterelle mushrooms or elderberry syrups. As I began to connect more and more with my ancestral lineages I discovered Incantation Bowls, witch in roughly 300-600 C.E., were in common use in Babylonia by Christians, Mazdeans, Mandeans, and Jews.
I followed my Jewitch lineage into a ceramics studio in 2020 and I have been doing some of my deepest workings since, reclaiming lost ancestral practices and stepping more into the power of the word.
In these bowls are prayers, songs, dreams, shadows, grief and more. I make them for our altars, our sanctuaries, our shrines, our rituals, our shadow work. Below you can learn more about Incantation/Magic Bowls and Shadow Cups. VISIT MY INSTAGRAM TO SEE MY PAST WORK.
"The only words capable of healing the unconscious, because it understands them, are prayers and incantation."
I am open for commissions and specialize in casting spells particularly for:
Cycles / Seasons (birth, life, death, rebirth, decomposition and fertility)
Transformation and metamorphosis, Cultural Transformation
Holistic, Wholeness, Healing Trauma
Belonging / Rooting
Shadow work (insecurities, fears)
Breaking Spells / Returning curses (i.e. empire, extinction, oppression)
Deep Time (ancestral, present and descendants)
Calling in (agility in our growing edges)
Calling Upon (spirits, qualities, characteristics, health)
Grief / Rage
Channeling Animal and Plant voices
Please allow 30-45 days to receive your bowl within the USA
Bowl sizes can vary
Bowls are not inherently food safe, if you want a food safe bowl please make sure you specifically request this.
Prices begin at $111
Shipping cost can range from $33-$66
Please contact me for inquiries and estimates
“The ancient users of the incantations had the same concerns as people in any age, but as they lacked insurance policies, psychiatric services, or hard science, they turned to magic. Today scholars tend to emphasize the vast gap of knowledge that separates medical specialists from ordinary people, hypothesizing that in antiquity clients took home incantation bowls much like people today might take home a pharmaceutical drug, ignorant of its ingredients or its inner workings.”
(Placing Ancient Texts The Ritual and Rhetorical Use of Space edited by Mika Ahuvia and Alexander Kocar)
During the talmudic period, in roughly 300-600 C.E., incantation bowls were in common use in Babylonia by Christians, Mazdeans, Mandeans, and Jews. While bowls in use in Jewish homes often were prepared by Jews who were not involved with or representative of the rabbinical academies such as myself, certain rabbinical figures also were deemed potent agents, the citation of whose names could drive away particular demons.
The majority of surviving magic bowls were found during excavations in Nippur in 1888-1889.They were found upside down in the ruins of houses, with one or more bowls found in almost every house as well as in cemeteries, where they apparently served to lay ghosts at rest.
The chief element of the bowls is an incantation composed of repeating phrases, words, or syllables believed to have the power to bind favorable powers, they were basically spell casting vessels.
In the academic paper, “The Daughters of Israel”: An Analysis of the Term in Late Ancient Jewish Sources by UW professor MIKA AHUVIA (AND SARIT KATTAN GRIBETZ), I learned that the primary threat the bowls warded off was from demons, with harm from the human realm (in the form of witchcraft, sorcery, and curses). Others were written to maintain the health of individuals in the household, specifying their physical, emotional, and/or financial well-being. Apparently, the practitioners believed that demons could not be killed and so they only sought to expel them, contain them, or seal a house against them.
Archaeological data is sparse, unfortunately, but scholars hypothesize that these bowls were buried under the floors of the homes of the clients or were visible in the corners of their rooms. However, due to lack of provenance of the other examples, the geographic spread of this formula cannot be determined.
In the article, “Exe(o)rcising Power: Women as Sorceresses, Exorcists, and Demonesses in Babylonian Jewish Society of Late Antiquity” by Rebecca Lesses she writes, “The incantation bowls were found in or near houses (in the courtyard or on the threshold) or in graveyards, usually buried upside down…” and that, “...there are often four bowls with identical inscriptions placed in the four corners of a room. The bowls name both women and men as beneficiaries of the incantations or as malevolent forces to be protected against, and it appears that both women and men were involved in the production of the texts.”
It was in this atmosphere that the archaeologists came across dozens of incantation bowls, mostly in Jewish Aramaic, but also in Syriac and Mandaic. These incantation bowls, once relegated to the periphery of scholarship on ancient religion, are now recognized as important sources for the understanding of ancient ritual practices. Made of plain ceramic material about the size of cereal bowls, the incantation bowls would hardly make beautiful museum displays. Hence, their notes on these it appears that incantation bowls were in use from the fifth to eighth century CE in Mesopotamia.
WHOLLY SHADOW CUPS
Shadow cups are inspired by one of my teachers Rain Crowe and from my own life’s work of befriending the voices or archetypes that inhabit my body that are often incongruous with each other.
While I was living in Tepoztlan, Mexico in 2011 (I have lived in Mexico for 11 years previously), I was granted salvation through an encounter with a witch. At that time I was reading books like, “A People’s History of the United States,” “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” and really having a massive (what I call) spiritual awakening to the poisons of the world, many from witch I had been sheltered as a result of my birth place (USA), my skin color (white) and other identities that allowed me to hide within the “status quo.”
If you have ever seen The Fifth Element this is how I describe this part of my life - a scene towards the end where Leeloo sits in front of some sort of technology that gives her an upload of the human encyclopedia - she is filled with wonder from A-V and when she gets to W - “War” - we watch her wilt and bereave and grieve and fall. away. from. life.
That was me in 2011. I fell away from the desire to be alive on the planet. I saw myself as part of the problem. I saw humans as a cancer on the earth, killing her. I remember riding on the busses and looking out the window at our species, me: dying inside, full of despair.
And that is when the witch came forth. She was another mother with her children in the same school as mine. She recognized that death inside of me, for it takes one to know one and she invited me to her home. It was here where I learned about shadow and archetypes. She taught me that I can invite them all to my inner table and feast with them. That I must give them each sufficient sounding boards. That I must begin to see their strengths and powers, name them, have compassion with them, learn to love them, befriend them even. This saved my life.
Shadows never disappear. They are likely to walk with us our entire life. However, when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change - and our relationship to our shadows can change.
Rain tells me, that one of her teachers, Starhawk says: “Where there is fear, there is power.” Our shadows can be opportunities for extremely potent magic.
When we are invested in authentic, raw growth and becoming the best versions of ourselves over and over again. When we are committed to knowing ourselves from the farthest edge to the farthest edge, then we are ready for shadow work.
Please contact me if you would like a shadow cup. Shipping is $10-$15 dollars and cups start at $44.29 and up.
ARTIST AHLAY BLAKELY
I am a descendant of Scandinavian people, specifically Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish. I am Ashkenazi Jewish from Poland and Germany and mixed in there are remnants of English, Scottish and Irish. I belong to my intuition, my innate knowings witch at times are ineffable and cannot always be articulated or intellectualized. I belong to their conviction in the face of the delegitimization of their source. I belong to the body’s sensing as valid “data” or “fact.” I belong to the whale people and the wolf people who teach me how to move through this world at this conjuncture.