Hello, and welcome. Thank you so very much for joining me today. This episode will be very different to our typical format. Today we are going to discuss Metal Magick but this is a subject that I know next to nothing about. So I’ve got an expert in the subject. His name is Sam Thompson, and he is a blacksmith, an author, a metal magician, a priest of the Morrigan, a combat veteran, and a lovely, lovely man.
He was gracious enough to grant an interview and share some of his experience and his wisdom and I apologize in advance for the scattershot nature of this interview, but I was so taken with this topic that I couldn’t help but jump around from subject to subject.
Metal Magick is not as well-known in witchcraft circles as crystal magick or elemental magick, but it is no less powerful and we truly do ourselves a disservice to not take advantage of the power and the personalities of the metals that are all around us. From the brass pendulum to the pewter chalice to the cast iron cauldron, there are so many ways that we can and do use metals in our craft, and this episode is meant to just
E: Hello and welcome. Thank you so much for joining me today. Today’s episode is going to be very different format to our typical format. Today we’re going to discuss metal magic, but this is a subject that I know next to nothing about, so I’ve got an expert in the subject. His name is Sam Thompson and he’s a blacksmith and an author.He’s a metal magician. He’s a priest of the Morrigan. He’s a combat veteran and a lovely, lovely man. He was gracious enough to grant an interview and share some of his experience and his wisdom, and I apologize in advance for the scattershot nature of this interview. I was so taken with this subject that I couldn’t help but jump from topic to topic.
E: And metal magic is not as well known in witchcraft circles as maybe something like crystal magic or elemental magic, but it is no less powerful, and we truly do ourselves a disservice to not take advantage of the power and the personalities of metals that are all around us. From the Brass Pendulum to the Pewter Ritual Chalice to the Cast Iron Cauldron, there are so many ways that we can and do use metals. In our craft and this episode is meant to just give a little insight, a little information maybe whet the appetite for more. And I’m so excited to share this episode with you.
E: I’m going to be straight with you. You’re my first interview. So this is like. The learning curve. So I’ve got to know because I haven’t quite got there yet. You keep like dropping little bread crumbs about the Morrigan and working with the Morrigan and I have to know. How did that happen? She is such a powerhouse, such an intimidating figure. And I mean, I I know, OK, I’m not a priest of the Morrigan, so I definitely have a different relationship with her than you would. How did this- how did this evolve?
S: My work with Morrigan was just, wasn’t anything to do with me. I mean, she chose me and it was not something that I mean. Ohh, I’ve been in and out of groups for a while and I’m not sure there’s a handful of people that maybe have gone out in search of her. You know she’s used to drawing those to her that, you know, will best suit her.
S: I’m going to put, for instance writing the book. Probably something I haven’t really talked about a whole lot. I I did not want to write the book. I don’t want to write, never wanted to write a book. I don’t even speak English so trying to learn how to write in a language that I don’t speak was challenging because we don’t write how we talk. It is a completely different language and me putting it together from its starting one way and pivoting as I was writing it somewhere else. I had a lot of people that helped me pull this thing off. Um, you know, it was definitely what wasn’t wasn’t just me, you know, I had a lot of people that help with thought and design and editing and all this that, you know, getting told over and over. You know, you just do what you need to do and all that other stuff will be taken care of, you know? So a lot of it was just, you know, just doing what I’m told.
E: Is that difficult for you? I mean, I, you know, we all have different personalities, but it was it difficult to first of all ask for help and then accept help? Is something like that, is that something that you felt like, I should just do everything myself? Was that part of the battle, not just the not just the writing of the book, but also trusting people and collaborating and maybe delegating?
S: I think with most lessons learned in life, it’s always a yes, and. You know, yes, I learned this and I also learned all these other things too, you know, You know, it’s like you don’t set a goal to achieve the goal, you set the goal for what it makes you become by achieving the goal, right?It makes you grow enough to where you know you you’ve earned it. But yes, totally, because I’m so much used to doing everything on my own, right. I think it’s kind of all-encompassing thing. I’m a little bit of a control freak, right? Because I like to make sure if it’s if it’s wrong, I want it to be my fault, you know. So I don’t mind bearing that responsibility for my work, but it is hard because it was so much of it that I was that was foreign to me and to put that trust into others. It was a challenge. You know. But on the flip side, learning that I need to do that. You know that there’s a time to do that and it’s OK and people are good, you know, they’re good. You know, they’ll help you when you need it and that is hard.
E: You know it’s anytime we try to find you know a tribe or a coven of people that’s part of the of the process is finding people whose vision aligns with our own and then allowing us to all kind of Co-create something really great together. But I do want to go back a little bit, I think I skipped ahead.So what came first for you? Were you a blacksmith before you started delving into the magical aspect of it, or was that something you were already doing?
S: Yeah, I started Blacksmithing probably, you know, 10-11 years ago maybe or more roughly, way, way before even my involvement with the Morrigan, you know,
E: So what was it then that that sort of triggered it for you? What was it that made you start to see the magic in the metal?
S: You know, I’m kind of slow, you know, I’m a little hard headed sometimes. I need a couple of different lessons, you know? How about now? Do you understand it now?
E:I know what that’s about.
S: So a lot of it was just working with the metal, you know, and being open. And, I am an animist. You know. So I do believe that everything has a consciousness about it. And I’d never really thought of metal that light, right? I never really thought of, Wow, I have an intimate connection to this. Steel is 98% iron, and there are very few humans, maybe none that I know of, that can survive without iron. We have an intimate connection, connection to the material. So it’s not like you know, something that’s foreign.
E: It’s actually literally a building block of life in a very literal sense for sure. And that was one of the things that stood out and that’s something that you present very early in the book is that we are full of metals, iron and copper and zinc. And I had never put that together, and I’ve done a lot of episodes, you know, I’ve probably done almost 100 episodes and we talk about crystals and herbs and different kinds of woods and all kinds of stones. All these things that we don’t think of as you know they’re they’re just natural elements, but metal to me always seemed like such an outlier. I almost thought of it as like man-made, but it’s just not. It just isn’t. It grows in the earth, in a sense. And it grows in human beings and in our animals and in our, you know, it’s everywhere. And so when I, when I, when you point that out in the book that was, I felt like a dim bulb. I really, that was such an “aha” moment. And then as you kind of go in and start talking about the different ages, you know, the Bronze Age and the brass age and copper and iron and steel. And I was just thinking about, you know, that’s one of the action exercises at the end of one of the sections which I loved. And I I started looking around at all these things that I hold very dear that I think of as very magical. My cauldron, cast iron.My athame is cast iron. I have an A charging plate that’s made of copper. I have this little acorn necklace that’s made of brass. And it didn’t occur to me that the metal itself was part of what makes it so precious to me. It’s what makes me connect in such a personal way. But that’s what they’re made of. What else could it be that makes those, you know, that that makes me feel that connection. It’s the metal itself. And so like I said, that was such a light bulb moment when you pointed that out in the book. And I really thought, I’ve got to spend more time with all of these tools that I use. That I just hadn’t really given the proper respect to.
S: Well, I mean, it’s one of those things that you don’t know, you don’t know. It’s like, no, I got, I went into this, you know, being all Albert Einstein with this thing, You know, a lot of this is just, you know, trial and error, you know? I know because I know now. You know, I get people ask me questions all the time about different metals and all that kind of stuff. And I just don’t know because that’s just not something that I work with. You know, I mean I can, you know make something up sounds really good, but it’s just not, you know, I I think you need to work with what you know and you know this to me I think is so, I don’t want to say new because it’s not new. It’s a re-remembering and a reconnection because it had got lost. We didn’t lose it. We just didn’t see it, you know, because we built for revolution came along. It was just like you know, metal wasn’t it. There was so much of it and we didn’t see it.
S: You know, it’s like we rearrange a room in your house and all of a sudden you sell this new cool stuff you didn’t even know you had, you know? But it’s been laying right out there in the open all this time. Different perspective.
E: And that’s like, that’s exactly what I was trying to convey, Maybe not quite as eloquently as that, but once I realized what it was about these tools that I use, I have a pair of scissors. They’re made of cast iron, that I use strictly for nothing else but ritual cord cuttings. Why did I decide those were the scissors that I needed to use for that? I don’t know. They decided, apparently, it wasn’t me. I saw them and I was like, oh, that’s what those are for.
E: I think that it’s just something that maybe we haven’t finished discovering and we don’t we don’t know enough about and maybe we once did. Maybe it’s still there in like the collective consciousness and that’s kind of what we’re, you know, what you’re exploring and what you’re kind of helping people to get back to. What’s your favorite for people who maybe have never worked with metal? Just something that’s not maybe simple, but just something that anybody could at least give a shot.
S: Yeah. First and foremost, I am not a proponent, of you have to be a blacksmith in order to do metal magick. Metal magic is universal, right? There’s some form of metal magic. Because when I was doing the research for the book, that’s what I was looking for. I’m not an expert on any on any of these, right. So you know, I’m just, I don’t even play a doctor on TV, right. So but that is the common thread that they had no matter where we are globally is that there was some form of metal magic involved. You know you had magical metal of some sort everywhere in history, you know, you know, whether it was the Egyptians, Africans or the Asians or you know, the North, even North America had metal working right long before the Copper Age. They’ve come to find it anyway. But I think that the thing that connects everything is that metal connects everything, right? To go to your point, you know, where I live, I live in the foothills of North Carolina and we have a very iron rich soil. It’s just part of the ground, you know. So I do have a connection to it, just naturally because that’s where I grew up surrounded by it. You know, where people in other, you know, depending on where you live, you know. And I I think the thing that’s so unique about it is once I did start building that relationship with the tools, the way that the work changed because it became more. That piece of metal became more. So I mean, not just something that would take out for high tea, you know, or holidays. It became a working co- creator, you know, an active participant. You know, in my work it was an ally.
E: What was something that surprised you when you started to cross that bridge and make that transition from working with it just as as a blacksmith to working with it as a magician?
S: The biggest thing that surprised me was I I I didn’t notice it before. You know, that’s still kind of gets me from time to time. It’s like I just, you know it. You, learn to do a thing and and you start doing a thing and then you don’t really understand how you do it, which I think is probably one of the big reasons for the book. So I would kind of, I had to, you know, categorize everything. But I think the biggest thing that surprised me was what was the reality of it, you know that it wasn’t in my world, in my experience, you know, metal magic has changed my life because it has changed the way I approached my magical life. You know, so by altering that, everything else is altered because I, my world has been changed by metal, because I see things now that I never saw before. You know you’re key. You know you had mentioned earlier what’s something simple people could do, right? You have a key that you use to lock your home up with. You’ve got two separate pieces of metal that come together as one that now block and activate your wards. The key is almost like a magic wand at that point, right? Except now it’s better. And that is how you’re activating your wards. So it’s not just a lock and go, it’s, you know, I’m, you know, putting up a draw bridge.
E: Literally and symbolically, yeah, closing it, shutting it down.
S: And then all my words are metal too, you know, so they’re all connected. A lot of times when I do a lot of that work and I make sure that the metal I work with is all connected to one another, so I’ll cut a large working out of the same piece of metal. So it all remains intact. So even though they’re separate, they’re still, think of as twins, right? You know the same stuff. So when I lock my home, when I activate those wards, all of that is connected. So activate one ward and they’re all connected together. So it’s just very accessible to be able to do all this stuff too. But there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing with yourself right? You can take and we just talked about a key, but there’s so much metal that we don’t even see it anymore. A washer right? Just your simple washer you get at a home box store. You know, those are great protection. You know you can use them and write symbols on them and hang them from a tree or something around the outside of the home. You actually put your wards there mid air, you know?
E: But what, uh, what can you tell us? What can you tell me about just some of the properties of a metal, like iron specifically because I know that that’s one that is a metal that I use, and I couldn’t even tell you why, but I’ve got, I’ve got a railroad spike at the four corners of my property and things like that, you know? And I don’t even know why that’s the one that I use. I just know that I do. So what is it? We’ll start with iron.
S: If we look at iron, I always think of iron as being laser-like focused right when it’s got one job. A nail can only be a nail, right? You know, that’s it. It’s got one thing to do, but there’s also a huge amount of strength with iron, right? Because if you look at those pictures back from the 1940s, thirties, 40s, fifties. Skyscrapers, they make these metal skeletons that they then wrapped the building around, so the metal is actually the bones of the building. Yeah, they riveted all that stuff together, right? So it’s, you know, those are the bones of the building. That’s the strength. The focus of you know, iron is that strength, and it’s courage. You know, there’s a lot of, there’s longevity, but it’s you have to take care of it, right? So it’s a reciprocity, in the book I speak about, as you work with your items, you need to offer tribute. And what I mean by that, it’s not the Mockingjay tribute. It’s taking care of the metal. It’s just taking time to spend time with the metal when we’re, you know, if it needs to be shined, then shine it. If it needs a coat of oil, put a coat of oil on it. You know it’s about building that relationship, and if you’re having something, do something for you. It’s only good manners to return a favor.
E: And that, especially with iron, because anytime you use a cast iron pan or something, you’ve got to, you’ve got to oil it down and just make sure to prevent the corrosion and all of that so that it can continue to be this reliable tool for you to use. And even generationally if you’ve got, If you’ve got a cast iron pan handed down from your grandma, that’s that’s a treasure.
S: Well, I have one, and once again I’m, you know, I’m Appalachian, so you know, that’s what everybody cooks with so.
E: What about copper? What can you tell us about the properties of copper?
S: My experience with copper is it has a gentle wisdom to it. Like Grandparents, you know that just, it’s just has stories to tell. Copper is a unique metal because it is the only one that to my knowledge, OK, is 100% recyclable. So you don’t lose any weight cycling, there’s no waste with it. Um, so I always kind of thought when you look at metal, if you look at what it does mundanely, it’ll give you a really good hint of what you can use it magically because there’s really not a difference. You know, it does it in mundane life and in magic life. It just has a life, right?
E: Makes sense because as I think I mentioned, I have a copper charging plate and I don’t, you know, I don’t know much about metal. I went to school, but I only remembered what I had to. But I did remember that copper is very conductive. So, um, so I’ve got this charging plate and it just makes sense. It’s just intuitively that, you know, I’ll put my Obsidian ring in it to recharge it. If I feel like, you know, my amulets are feeling a little sluggish, a little depleted, I just leave them in there for a few days and then I pull them out and it’s like. They’re so zesty.
S: Again, if you look at, you know, India, you know, their thought is, you know, copper to them is very healing. So a lot of their cookware, a lot of stuff that they wear, they wear a lot of copper because they look at it as being a healing metal.
E: And then let’s let’s talk about brass a little bit, because I do feel like it just got robbed.
S: Well to me, I look at, I look at brass like my favorite uncle. It’s just kind of utilitarian. My uncle was in construction. Which is very, you know, down to earth, you know, just work kind of thing, so I kind of look at brass, just being very utilitarian.
E: It’s very resonant too though. I’ve got a brass singing bowl that I really love and it just the tone that it gives is just so clear and so gorgeous.
S: It’s very glamorous. Because it blends in, no matter what it is, it’ll blend into any environment. One of the things that I like about the book, the way I wrote it, was it that it does have a lot of work involved in it. You know, it’s a workbook. It’s not just a speed read, and all of a sudden you’ve got fairy dust and now you know all there is to know about metals, but it’s about self discovery. You know, because you’re going through a process, building your own foundation to actually work on your own Magical practice of metal magic is kind of how I look at the book, you know, So you have a really good solid foundation if you do all the action steps book that when you get done that you have enough knowledge comfortably to actually be able to begin your own practice.
E: That is well, and it absolutely comes through because it definitely feels very interactive. It doesn’t feel, this is not a passive book at all. This is this is a book that requires your, you know, the readers own action and involvement and I do like that kind of a hands on approach. I don’t learn well just being told something. I learn best when I do something with my own two hands. If I’m going to learn it all, I’ve got to learn it by doing it. That’s the only way that I can connect with it. And that’s something that I really have appreciated so far in this book is that the reader is responsible for this knowledge. You’ve given it, and now you’ve given the reader an assignment to go along with it so that they can begin to understand it. And in such a hands-on way that this isn’t, this isn’t like, you know, observing A lecture or something. This is this is like a workshop.
S: Which take that, take that.
E: As I said I appreciate that so much because that speaks to my own learning style. What what is your favorite tool to make?
S: Ohh this is not sexy at all. It’s it’s my divination dice. My favorite tool, it’s the dice on the front of the book. It’s got the little dice and they’re my divination dice. I use them all the time because it helps me make sure my ego is not in the way. I use that as a system of checks and balances, you know? Am I understanding this correctly? You know? Do you have anything else to say? You know, do I need to pull from a different source, right? Whatever. So I use it as a waypoint. I use it as, like I said, keep my ego in check.
E: What metal did you use for those dice?
S: Steel. Steel is one of those metals that throughout the ages have been used to bear witness. You think of swearing on a swords, right? Because you’re oath bound to a piece of metal, because it’s bearing witness to your oath and your actions. That’s why you really took extra good care of your sword. Because it protects you, you know, and you didn’t want it to fail you when you needed it the most. That’s why you use steal, because it’s just the facts. You know, that’s actually where the title book came from. Metal Never Lies, right?
E: Yes, that that’s so interesting. And that’s one of the- we didn’t talk about steel when we were talking about the different properties.
S: But because iron and steel to me, I use synonymously because the only difference between steel and iron is about 2% carbon. And some other stuff, like there’s like 3500 different grades of steel, but yeah. But just to make it real simple for everybody, steel and iron? Synonymous technically. But it’s basically, you know you wouldn’t have to cook steel much to have it go back to iron because you can cook everything out of it.
E: That’s interesting and you know, I have to say of the metals and you know, we didn’t even talk about gold or silver. Although if you now when, anytime you do hear anything about the magical properties of metals, it’s almost always just gold or silver. But I guess I hadn’t ever really considered steel to be a particularly… I don’t want to insult my steel, but I don’t think of it as like a very magical metal, and I don’t know why that might be. I don’t know if it’s because I think of it as more modern. Because when I think of steel, I’m thinking like you know surgical tools and you know.
S: Refrigerator. Yeah, your car.
E: So I think of it as like it’s a very, it’s a workhorse, kind of a metal. But I do like stainless steel. I have a lot of stainless steel jewelry in particular, just because I’m lazy and I don’t have to polish it. But I hadn’t ever really thought about it as bearing those same traits that we would confer upon iron, like that strength and stability and that solid dependability.
S: Yeah, I do. You know, like I said, to me, I use them kind of interchangeably. You know, technically that’s not right, but just because it’s a lot more, I mean it’s a lot harder to work with than steel, but it’s just that little bit you’d be surprised.
E: I’m going to have to close because I am running out of time, but I’m just, this is God. I could talk to you for like another five hours about all of this because I just feel like there’s so much to know. But that’s, you know, that’s kind of honestly that’s sort of like the purpose of my show. I never can get all the way to the bottom of a topic because there is no bottom to the rabbit hole. There’s always so much more to know. But if I can just give a little taste and kind of, you know, whet the appetite and then if somebody’s interested if this is something that somebody didn’t even know that they needed to know about. That’s that’s where I that’s where I like to help people make that connection. But I do want to know. So we’ve talked about your book a little bit. It’s called Metal Never Lies: An Introduction to Metal Magic. And then where can people find you online?
S: I have my website which is ravenskeepforge.com. Instagram, ravenskeepforge, Facebook ravenskeepforge, Patreon: ravenskeepforg. It’s all the same.
E: I like the continuity.
S: It makes it simple, OK?
E: And I’m going to link to all of that in the episode description as well. So thank you very much for talking to me today. I am so excited to get to the bottom of your book and to start putting a lot of this into action and have set a commitment for myself. I am just going to really get to know all of the tools that I use that are metal and I just. I’ve got to give my cauldron hera lot more love than I have been. Umm, and I, I appreciate you. I appreciate you just bringing this to us and and really filling a gap that I for one didn’t even realize needed filling
S: Up until about, you know five years ago I didn’t either so.
E: But you’re the guy. You’re the guy, you’re the one who needed to, to bring the information to the people. And I appreciate you for answering that call. Thank you so much. I really, really mean it. This has been an absolute blast.
Metal Never Lies: An Introduction to Metal Magick: https://a.co/d/fB5GWv7