About Tides of Tethys

In 2022 I moved to my Neptune line from my Saturn/ Rahu line. My relocated chart makes me a Pisces ascendant with Neptune on the midheaven, a wildly different chart to my natal. To honour this shift I dove into the celestial seas and retrieved the name: Tides of Tethys. Tethys being one of our old gods. A goddess of the seas and a Titan. She is also the namesake for a moon of Saturn which contains a chasm named after my ancestral home, the Island of Ithaca

My name is Eugenia Raftopoulos, and I founded Tides of Tethys (originally Psychic Desert) in November 2014 after completing a Master of Fine Arts at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Initially, I explored the concept of jewelry as wearable art and became enchanted by ancient jewelry, which for our ancestors was more than mere adornment; it served as a magical object: an amulet or talisman.

The pieces I currently create under Tides of Tethys are predominantly talismanic. My focus is on periodic releases of small, high-quality handcrafted collections made according to astrological timing.

All pieces are handcrafted using ancient techniques such as wax carving, sand casting, and lost wax casting (see definitions below). I use only the finest materials, prioritizing high-quality, earth-grown gemstones and solid metals—specifically sterling or argentum silver, and solid gold.

In my gold and silversmith practice, my goal is to infuse art and expertise as well as spirit, into the creation of astrological talismans. I have been an interdisciplinary artist for 26 years and hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queensland College of Arts, as well as a Master of Fine Arts with Distinction from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. I strive to honor the traditions of our metalsmith and astrologer ancestors by blending the ancient, slow practices of metalsmithing with a devoted astrological and spiritual practice. This includes studying ancient astrological manuscripts and magic-based grimoires.

My astrological education is broad and diverse. I have studied Hellenistic Astrology through Chris Brennan's school, and I initially learned medieval techniques of magical astrological electing with Ryhan Butler. I continue to learn from many astrologers, both living and the Mighty Dead. I primarily study with Gray Crawford, the resident astrological advisor at TOT. Gray is an experienced astrologer, a frequent speaker at NORWAC, and a teacher at the prestigious Kepler College.

Key texts that influence my work include the Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm (Picatrix), Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Marsilio Ficino's Three Books on Life, and Ahman Al-Buni’s Shams al-Ma'arif. While there are many more texts that inspire my work, they are too numerous to list here. Ultimately, above all, I look to the celestial spirits and the ancestors of blood and practice for guidance, as everything I create is in service to, and in honor of, them.

* What is wax carving:

Most of the jewellery available today is made by machine. Whereas, wax carving is essentially the process of sculpting a piece of jewellery in wax, which is then used to create a mould. Molten metal is poured into this mould, resulting in a beautifully intricate metal replica of the wax original.  I am one of the only talismans makers that hand sculpts my talismans. 

The technique is likened to other forms of sculpting, but what sets it apart is the combination of creativity, precision, and the finishing of the cast that results in a wearable art form. 

* What is lost wax casting: 
Lost wax casting builds a mold around a sacrificial wax model. After the mold investment is set, the wax is melted out and forms a cavity where the metal or glass flows in. Using this method of casting captures fine details in both metal and glass. This ancient method has been used since 3000 B.C. to visually capture the stories of ancient cultures and religions throughout history.

* What is sand casting: 
Sand casting is a piece of ancient metallurgy knowledge that has translated seamlessly from the Bronze Age. It involves forming cavities within packed and bonded sand that is then charged with molten metal. The chosen metal solidifies to reproduce the cavity shape in fine detail.