A Wise Word:

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Proverbial Woodpile

Years ago, when my oldest four were small, I had a homestead not the house pictured.  Although the house was modern, it was heated solely with wood.  Usually the job of bringing in firewood belonged to G.I. Joe and I, but one fall afternoon I decided to expedite the task by including the younger three as well.  The girls took to the task quickly, but Mr. Man had other ideas.  While the rest of us were heading out the door, that little rascal disappeared.  On my second trip back into the house with an armload of wood, I decided to investigate his disappearance I had assumed that he was looking for his chronically missing shoes and found him crouched behind his bed testing the "out of sight, out of mind" theory.  Unwilling to be punked by a four year old, I hustled him outside while he howled about the cruelty of forcing such a delicate individual out into the cold. 

By this time the wood box was nearly full, so I informed Mr. Man that the last two armloads of wood were his responsibility.  He continued to howl about the frigid temperature in the 40's while the rest of us filtered back into the house.  For the next ten minutes, I watched from the kitchen window as he stomped back and forth in front of the woodpile, kicking at the ground as he went.  With out any prompting from me, his brother went out and offered to help him, but was answered with a screamed, "Go away!"  About fifteen minutes into the saga, I went to stoke the fire and returned to the kitchen to see that Mr. Man was laying on top of the wood pile with his arms crossed defiantly, muttering under his breath.  Cracking open the kitchen door I heard his mantra, "I'm cold.  I'm cold.  I'm cold."  Returning to the wood pile, I explained the lack of logic in his protest.  If he would just bring in two arm loads of wood he could stay in the nice warm house for the rest of the day.  In response he added kicking  feet to the crossed arm, muttering pose. 

Hamming it up for the camera: Mr. Man (13) and G.I Joe (16)

Eventually, I did get my two arm loads of wood and Mr. Man was allowed shelter from the sub-Artic temperatures found in central North Carolina.  As cute and funny as this story is, as adults we really aren't any different than my stubborn son.  Human nature is to be  addicted to comfort.  Each of us has a well defined comfort zone.  When forced out of this zone we are often stubborn and defiant, unwilling to do the work required to get back to the place we feel safe in.

Those of us on a Pagan life path would probably all agree that peace and enlightenment of some form are major goals in our lives. We have an idea image of what we long to become, but we drag our feet when it comes to study and meditation. When life is busy or stressful we seem to balk at self improvement more than ever and that is when we need centering the most.  That is how we get stuck out on the wood pile when we would rather be snuggled up near the fire. 

Read a article about chakras or alternative medicine, take a quiet nature walk, spend a few moments breathing deeply and visualizing the person you want to be...Thirty minutes of focused "me" time every day will make a noticeable difference now and a life changing difference in the long run.  Every beautiful bird starts out as a humble egg. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies: A Bit of Kitchen Witchery

My mother would have a heart attack if she even suspected that I added magick to her peanut butter cookie recipe, but I did! I hate to admit it, but I do find a bit of satisfaction in knowing that. For all the mama traits the woman doesn't have, she gets an A+ in cookie making.  These are the ultimate in rich, creamy, melt in your mouth goodness and they are only composed of three yes, you read right only three ingredients. 

One of my favorite witches likes to say, "Live Your Magick!"  Since I am a full time mama, my magick is in mothering.  Yesterday just seemed like a good day to add a bit of extra memory making to equation, so Miss Busy and I mixed up a batch of these cookies.  Every time we make them, I tell her the three ingredients so that she will have this special recipe memorized by the time she is ready to try the magick on her own.  Since these cookies are one of my fond childhood memories, I include a bit on my own mothers magic as well: flattening them with a potato masher to get the little knobs on the top. 

Absolutely Wonderful, Amazing, Yummy, Melt in Your Mouth Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

Heat the oven to 350.

Cream together your three ingredients.

Shape into balls and roll in a bit of extra sugar to coat. This is the step where you add your magick.  While I am shaping the ball I concentrate on the good, warm memories I want my children to have of their childhoods.  I then channel that energy and a good dose of love through my hands and right into the cookie.  To enhance the intent of the magick, we sit together and chat while we enjoy them. 

Set on cookie sheet and flatten with a potato masher. This creates round cookies.  Here we talk about the cookies being the same shape as the moon.  Miss Busy isn't old enough to have very in depth conversations with, but she is already learning about the tides and moon phases. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 

The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for them to cool.  Since they are really more like confections than traditional cookies, they cool very slowly and will scald your mouth if you are impatient enough to bite into one early.  Yeah, ask me how I know.  These are absolutely amazing with a glass of milk and I've been know to justify them as breakfast food.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free Form Dreading and Embracing Myself

It's been six weeks since the last time I brushed my hair, eight since I have conditioned.  I'm looking pretty wild right now and I love it.  Already this journey has taken paths I never anticipated and I am learning more about myself everyday.  I am becoming more empowered to be completely, totally, and honestly me.  Because I have now taken the drastic step of completely rejecting societies standards of beauty, for the first time in my life I know that I am pretty.  Really, I'm not trying to sound egotistical, this is a big break through for me. From my husbands loving influence, I use to believe I was pretty.  Now I simply know it. 
Growing up in rural Montana, I saw dreadlocks in person for the first time when I was 11 or 12 years old.  They were being worn by a blond girl of 17 or 18 and I wanted to be her.  To me, she was the epitome of beauty.  Not only was her hair magnificently wild, but everything about her spoke of natural ease.  Of course, I only saw her from a distance, but it was one of those slow motion cheesy movie scene moments.  It is completely correct to say that I was drawn to dreads, although at the time I could not put my finger on any other reason than aesthetics.  Since my super conservative parents weren't about to let me dread my hair, the idea went to the back burner and continued to percolate for over twenty years. 

As I grew older and begin learning more about the culture of my ancestors, I found that my longing for dreads was calling to me from a time long ago.   I am a proud descent of the ancient Celts (Lowland Scott) and Vikings (Finn and Swede) on my dads side of the family, with more Viking (Swede) mixed with Sioux (Mandan) and German on my mom's side.  It is fair to say that the majority of my ancient ancestry likely wore their hair in some kind of natural matted style.  If we want to be completely frank, most prehistoric people probably did since there was no means to brush and maintain their hair in an "orderly" fashion.   Having always felt like an old soul and needing to connect with those who came before me, the desire to grow dreads makes perfect sense. 

Spiritually, my decision to dread goes beyond ancestor reverence and is an extension of my relationship to nature and my kindred the Elementals.  It is an acceptance of my true self similar to the way many witches take on a spiritual name, the girlish woman who still loves to dance barefooted and who wraps herself in the wind.  It is showing the Universe that I am happy with who I am and love the person I was created to be. 

**Since some of you are bound to notice, I do have five twist and rip dreads tied off with wool. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Feeling Crafty: Altar Wreath

Many of you may know that I make just about everything I need for my practice.  In the past I have always used a grapevine napkin holder wrapped in brown wool to create a pentacle for my altar. It was only a few inches across and seemed to get lost among all the other items I had in my small space. My altar looks very roomy now that it is undressed for winter, but all it takes to become crowded is a few seasonal items. I've known for a few months now how I wanted to remedy the situation, but obtaining a blank, vine wreath took a bit of time. 

In essence, the new pentacle is the same as the old one; only larger and more decorative.  I used a thrifted vine wreath my favorite thrift store has a great craft department, bias tape, fabric and ribbon scraps, and glass seed beads on this latest project.  I love the combination of rustic and whimsy and feels that this piece really reflects who I am and how I relate to the world.  I may need to make more seasonally appropriate wreaths for Samhain and Yule, so I will continue to keep an eye out for additional blank wreaths.