A Wise Word:

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soothing Salve

This is my favorite, all purpose herbal salve.  It is excellent for even the most sensitive dry skin and aids in the healing of cuts, scrapes, and all sorts of minor skin abrasions.  The best part is that all the ingredients are food grade and easy to obtain. 

  • 3 Tbl Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbl Slippery Elm
  • 1 Tbl Rosehips
  • 1 tsp Chamomile
  • 1 Tbl Beeswax Granules
Mix all ingredients except for the beeswax in the top pan of a double boiler and cover with a lid.  Add water to the bottom pan and bring to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 4-6 hours, replenishing water as it evaporates. 

If like me, you don't have an actual double boiler simply nest two pans together with the ingredients in the smaller pan on top and water in the  larger pan below. Superman say's I'm ghetto, but I call it resourceful.   If using this method, just be aware of how high you fill the bottom pan so that no water seeps into your oil and herb mixture. 

Once the herbs have infused into the oils (after 4-6 hours), remove your concoction from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Strain through a wire strainer to remove all the bits of herb and then return infused oil to a clean, dry pan. 

Now add the beeswax granules.

Heat once again, this time directly on stove top over low heat.  Stir occasionally and warm just long enough to dissolve the beeswax. 

Pour into a clean, 4oz container and allow to cool uncovered.  The warm salve will be clear and liquid, but it will thicken and become opaque as it cools.  Once salve is set, cover and use with in six months. 

My original recipe was created as a diaper ointment and contained equal amounts slippery elm, rosehips, and chamomile.  Since then, I have discovered that my husband does not like the smell of chamomile and I have reduced that ingredient significantly.  If a more scented salve floats your boat, give it a try.  I find the aroma quite enjoyable. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Love Reflected

The Stone Charged with Love and Sunshine

This morning, I found a "new" stone sitting with my art supplies on the kitchen counter.  Since Superman is constantly bringing me stones I knew it had been left there for me to find,  but from the moment I picked it up I knew this one was special.  It isn't the most beautiful or unique stone he has brought me and like many others in my collection it emits a low steady pulse of energy, along with something else I couldn't identify right away. 

By the time my husband had emerged from the shower, I knew that this stone wasn't going to be added to the collection on the shrine.  I wanted it near me.  I envisioned wrapping it in wire and wearing it around my neck, but the truth was I was already becoming addicted to the feel of it in my hand.  I needed to know more about this stone that I had so quickly become fascinated with, so I asked Superman about it.  Then I understood. 

This past weekend, he and Miss Busy had been outside playing while I fixed a snack in the kitchen.  When I emerged from the apartment, I found her toddling around his Harley and he very patiently telling her the names of all the parts and explaining what they did.  At some point during their time together, Miss Busy had latched on to this particular rock and had been very reluctant to let it go (she is still in the stage where she mouths everything, so letting her keep it wasn't an option).  When he had finally convinced her to relinquish it, he had slipped it in his pocket then promptly forgot about it for a day or two. 

Somehow, the magic of love and sunshine had become infused in this stone.  It holds the memory of a beautiful daddy/daughter moment that was so generously shared with me.  I have always known that one can attach certain emotions to an item associated with an event, but this is the first time I have experienced being "given" a moment that I did not share in.  What a wonderful way to experience love this Beltane week.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate the Wind: My Favorite Childhood Poem

Fiber Art: Air Elemental (work in progress)

Who Has Seen the Wind?

By Christina Rossetti      
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)
As a  Virgo, I am an Earth sign, but that does not stop me from being very attached to the Wind.  Maybe it was growing up on the prairie where the wind is a constant companion.   Even before embracing a natural faith, I found spiritual moments standing at the clothes line with my bare feet absorbing energy from the sun warmed Earth while the Wind swaddled me in friendly gusts.  For many years, not even understood by myself, the clothes line was my altar from where I worked infantile magic.  I sent and received messages, drew strength for upcoming tasks, and received soothing.  The elementals require no liturgy or dogma and they were happy to commune with one who simply believed. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

That Magic Moment

Elemental Shrine
All of us, witches and non-witches alike, long for a bit of magic in our life.  That subtle difference that makes everyday life a little less mundane.  Some women find this in the flavored coffee creamer they keep hidden way in the back of the fridge or in a favorite lipstick they feel particularly pretty in.  I find it in a quiet morning routine that ends with a few moments of greeting and honor at my elemental shrine.  The moments spent in front of the shrine help center me for the day and the flickering candles that continue to glow once I've walked away and the aroma of incense that follows me give additional meaning to the everyday chores of a SAHM.  I am not just scrubbing a floor or loading a dishwasher.  I am creating a magical space that not only shelters my family, but protects and nurtures them as well.

From many years as a SAHM, I know that having a routine is essential.  It gives meaning and structure and keeps hyperactive spirits (such as myself) from running off on endless tangents and getting nothing constructive done.  So once Superman is off to work and Miss Busy is bathed and down for her nap, I officially begin my day. 

At this point it takes a lot of discipline not to hop all over the ever calling internet, but the strength required to resist is worth the gain of a day that is well balanced and productive.  My first order of business is yoga (pregnancy yoga right now) to ground me both emotionally and spiritually.  Then I visit my shrine to greet the elementals and welcome them to my day with the lighting of the candles.  I spend a few moments honoring their power and acknowledging that they and I are one.   I finish up with the Blessing of the Green Witch as taught by Ann Moura in her Green Witchcraft manuals and then read my Oracle cards for daily direction.  I have created a bit of a daily liturgy for myself, but it is fluid and changes slightly from day to day.  With all this done, I am ready to go about my day by pouring a cup of coffee and enjoying a quiet breakfast or using the consecrated atmosphere to finish small magical tasks (cleansing the energy of my recent thrift store finds or lighting candles and sending blessings to those in need).  I have started my day off on a good note and feel ready to tackle anything, even a tantrum at the grocery store. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Earth Power by Scott Cunningham

Amazon stock photo

Awhile back, I found an old copy of this book and devoured it in an afternoon.  I won't go all cliché and say that "it changed my life," but it was a real eye opener.  I was on a path to perusing Druidry and picked this book up out of curiosity just to find that I couldn't put it down.  By the end of the second chapter I knew I was a witch.  Not going to be a witch, but a witch.  Unbeknownst to even myself, I had been practicing Earth Magic for years.  If I had been asked about it previously, I would have probably laughed it away, but I always knew there was power to draw from nature if you only knew how to ask.  It was an intuition that I credited to the native Sioux in my ancestry.

Unlike Mr. Cunningham, I do not (even now) prescribe to Wiccan ideals, but this book is invaluable none the less.  It would certainly be the first book I handed to a seeker of magic.  The writing is beautifully simple without diminishing the power of the topic and leaves even the most timid reader feeling that magic is within their realm of possibility.