A Wise Word:

Witchcraft is all about living to the heights and depths of life as a way of worship. --LY DE ANGELES

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making a Believer

Superman has been a bit slow into coming around to my herbal ways.  He has always been supportive of my beliefs and my use of natural medicine, but when it comes to using them himself he has been a bit reluctant.  That is changing slowly, but the proof is in the pudding and he just can't deny when my methods work. 

A few days ago, we were out in the yard and he was restringing my clothes line.  A sudden rain storm caught my towels out to dry last week and the weight of the drenched fabric snapped the already frayed lines.  Unbeknownst to him, the bees had built a hive in the pipe across top and as he pulled the rope through he disrupted the community.  Fortunately, it was a cool day and only one bee ventured out to investigate, but Superman ended up getting stung in the palm of his hand.  Since I was standing right over a bunch of Plantain I simply snatched up a leaf, gave it a quick chew, and spit it on the throbbing bite.  A few minutes later, he wiped the green goo off and continued his task with out pain or stiffness.  He is now a believer in the power of Plantain.  Add that to his acceptance of ginger for stomach aches and his positive reaction to my Achy Joint Salve...I'm making progress! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Not Just for Pickling

Dill drying in my kitchen.


Last week at the farmers market, a lady was selling huge bunches of dill for pickling.   Now, I love good homemade pickles as much as the next girl, but there just isn't going to be any of those coming from my kitchen this fall.  To start with, I opted out of the garden this year on grounds that I would be extremely pregnant come harvest time yep, guessed that right and even if I were to have a plethora of cucumbers on hand the flat topped stove in this apartment would not handle my canner.  Still, the dill smelled delicious I tracked the vendor down with my nose and I could just imagine how tasty the wispy little greens would be mixed in with a salad or flavoring my favorite yogurt sauce.  Since I couldn't convince her to sell me just a bunch of greens, I decided to buy an entire bundle and dry the seeds for later use.  My kitchen has smelled amazing ever since. 

Not being extremely familiar with dill other than it's many culinary uses, I had to do a bit of research on this herb.  To start with, it's medicinal properties are pretty blasé.  As a tea it is used to calm stomach upset and its name references that use having been adapted from the old Norse word dilla meaning to lull, but that's the extent of it.  Nutritionally and magically, dill becomes much more exciting. 

As a food, dill is just plain good for you.  It is high in calcium, fiber, iron, and magnesium, as well as in vitamins A and C.  That makes me feel really good about using it in my salads and sandwiches this week.  Superman wasn't crazy about it in the yogurt sauce to go with his falafels, but I thought it was amazing. 

Magically, dill seed is known for protection and love it gives an overall sense of wellbeing and is traditionally hung in children's cradles.  It is also included in protective sachets and used to bless homes and particularly kitchens.  Since I am now the steward of a goodly amount of these seeds, I am sure I will find many ways to incorporate dill into my practice.  A few of my initial plans include a sachet to tuck into the babies bed and including it in a protective incense. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Dangerous Mind

It is a generally accepted fact that thoughts, negative or positive, contain power.  Since witches frequently work with and rely on this power to make changes in the world around them, nobody should be more familiar with this fact than a witch.  One night last week I forgot and learned a valuable lesson. 

Maybe it all started because I don't get angry very often...or because I was tired...or because I am enormously pregnant...what ever it was, it was completely uncalled for.  In many ways, I hate to even admit that it happened because I did inflict harm on someone.  Someone I love very much and who would never consider harming me: Superman. 

Sleep has been a difficult issue at our house lately.  As my girth has grown immensely with this pregnancy, I have developed as serious case of insomnia.  That, combined with the fact that our bed is has a miniature version of the Grand Canyon running down the center of it, some times makes nights insufferably long.  I toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position and when I finally settle into something semi-suitable poor circulation causes my legs and feet to start twitching madly.  As bad as this is for me, I at least have the option of attempting to nap the following day.  My poor husband just drags his exhausted self through the day with the hopes of getting a few hours of sleep the following night in the same defunct bed with the same crazy, tossing, turning, twitching wife.  On the night in question, it just got to be too much for him to bare.

It was a particularly hot evening and I have to admit we were both already feeling a little off.  I had found a semi comfortable position and was starting to drift off when the twitching started.   Fatigue had me that evening and my body was determined to sleep, so I proceeded to head toward la-la land not noticing that the equally exhausted man beside me was about to bubble over.  Just before I was about to doze he nearly vaulted out of the bed, snatched up his pillow, and stormed to the couch muttering about his lack of sleep, the fact that I did have a nap option where he did not, and maybe that I took excessive advantage of those naps. 

A bit taken back and hurt by the mutterings, I followed him to the living room to try and make things right. When it was apparent that he did not want to return to bed and that he simply did not even want to talk to me, I returned to our bedroom wide awake.  Sleep was no longer an option so I decided to try and read, but found myself struggling with the comfort issue once again.  Sitting on the bed made my back hurt and it seemed like I had to reposition myself after every paragraph. 

I longed for the slightly elevated level of comfort the couch would have offered my awkwardly shaped figure. 

I struggled to focus on my book and instead dwelled on the comments he had made on his way out of the bedroom. 

I wished he were in the bed and I in the living room so I at least had to option of finding some dull show on Hulu to lull me to sleep. 

I imagined him sleeping blissfully. 

I got angry. 

Book open and forgotten in my lap, I begin to simmer.  Soon I was sending pointedly hostile thoughts in his direction.  I didn't think his attitude was fair and I wanted it gone.  Specifically, I wanted him to know just how uncomfortable I was...how uncomfortable I had been for weeks.  After all, it was his baby too and missing a little sleep was minor compared to all the discomforts that had seemed to pile up on me during this pregnancy.  Unkind and negative thoughts erupted from my mind and when I had exhausted my list of grievances, I started all over at the beginning.  Of course, they were petty grievances, but with the state I was in they grew like mushrooms in manure. It was a vicious cycle and who knows how long it would have continued had my overly pregnant self not had to make a bathroom run. 

On my way through the living room, I noticed that Superman instead of blissfully lounging in sleep, was laying in a somewhat contorted position on the couch.  He was also grumbling incoherently and moaning.  Urged by my stressed bladder, I continued on to the bathroom, but when his condition hadn't changed on the way back through I knew I had to wake him.  Physically distancing myself from the negativity I had created in the bedroom had caused my anger to dissipate and I sat on the edge of the couch and woke him as a nice, sane wife should.  I gently spoke to him and asked what was wrong.  His answer caused my stomach to heave.  Soon after moving to the couch he had developed a terrible headache and what sleep he had managed to get had been plagued by nightmares. 

For all the times I had sent him positive energy to calm a rough day or ease an illness, it had never occurred to me that my anger and it's negative energy would effect him on equal footing.   Of course, I wanted to right the wrong I had done and immediately set about surrounding him with healing power while easing him back toward sleep after bringing him back to bed.  Luckily, it was a lesson learned with minimal damage done.  He forgave me and all is well, but it is a lesson I will not soon forget. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Feeling Crafty: Elemental Stones

Hand Painted Elemental Stones

Making a baby takes a lot of energy and keeping up with Miss Busy takes a lot of time, so lately I have been focusing on keeping me well and sane.  With only two weeks until my due date, I am feeling a surge of energy and the desire to create.  Thus, my most recent project. 

I have been collecting nice palm sized stones for over a month now and finally settled on these four to represent the Elementals in my sacred circle.  A few quick sketches and a daub of acrylic paint and I had exactly what I wanted.  Even Superman who was initially skeptical of the idea loves them.  I love working in Aboriginal art, but my brushes are starting to ruffle and give less precision than I like so this will probably be the last go around for them.  Waiting for a trip to the "city" for replacements will give me time to really meditate on what to do with the cauldron of stones sitting under my shrine.