A Wise Word:

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smell My Breath

Like most girls growing up in the 90's I read Teen Magazine, YM, and Seventeen.  As silly as they seem now, the advice they gave was imperative to a successful social life for girls of my generation.  Where else were we going to learn to NEVER eat garlic on a date?! Fast forward twenty years and garlic is my stand herb for cooking and health.  Who cares if I smell like garlic?  Not me and Superman doesn't complain either

Since garlic is such an easy herb to obtain, it is usually the first thing I recommend for individuals wanting to try natural healing.  It is cheap, versatile, and effective.  As a detoxifying herb and natures anti-biotic it's uses are immeasurable and has been used for disease control as far back as the bubonic plague.  In Russia, garlic is actually referred to as "Russian Penicillin."  Contemporary medical studies have also found that it is effective for controlling glucose tolerance and lowering negative cholesterol while increasing the positive.  Just adding a clove or two during meal preparation on a regular basis can help maintain good health. 

Being in the middle of cold season, garlic is at the height of it's glory in my home right now.  I honestly can't seem to keep it in the house.  My favorite use for garlic this time of year is as a tea.  I slightly crush, peel, and then slice three large cloves before dropping them into my favorite mug and covering them with boiling water.  When the water is cool enough to drink, it is nicely infused with garlic I find it quite pleasantly flavored.  It has the immediate effect of relieving cold symptoms (headache, stuffiness, sore throat) and in the long run works to detoxify the body and actually send the cold packing.  Having caught a cold this past weekend, I am drinking this tea continually.  Just adding more garlic and boiling water to my cup though out the day. 

Another of my favorite applications of the herb is in the form of an infused oil.  I make it a pint at a time and use it for everything from cleaning cuts, to treating ear infections, to slathering on congested chests.  The concoction of this highly useful oil is ridiculously simple.  Start by pouring a pint of good olive oil into the top of a double boiler and adding a head of crushed, peeled, and chopped garlic.  Cover and simmer for 4 hours, making sure that the bottom pan does not boil dry.  After four hours, remove the oil from heat and allow to cool.  Strain out the garlic chunks and return the oil to the double boiler with yet another head of crushed, peeled, and chopped garlic.  Boil for another four hours.  At the end of this second cooking period, cool, strain, and store in an air tight container. I simply return it to the bottle I purchased the oil in.  It stores in a cool, dark cupboard for about six months. 

Magickaly, garlic is used for protection and exorcism.  Hence the traditional garlic rope hung in country kitchens.  According to the trustworthy Mr. Cunningham, in the old days Italians would bite a clove of garlic to ward of evil spirits and sailors would carry cloves with them on voyages to prevent shipwreck. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Life Really is Like a Box of Chocolates

I've spent most of my life knowing I was clairaudient, but not having a name to place on it.  Having begin my witchy life, I now have a better understanding of my gift and have been working to strengthen and trust it.  Last week, it gave me a beautiful experience that I am sure I will never forget.  It started out with a simple stroll downtown.

Tuesday morning, I loaded up the little girls and headed to the library.  Story hour starts at ten and we were a bit early, but Miss Busy insisted on going as soon as she saw me getting our things together.  It was an unseasonably warm morning and I was enjoying our walk completely as I turned the corner onto Main Street and walked past the local drug store.  Since I never shop the drug store, I really didn't pay much attention as I walked by both entrances.  I had just about passed the jewelry store next door when I stopped in my tracks, completely consumed by the need to go back to the drug store for a box of clearance Valentine chocolate.  Since I rarely eat chocolate, this was very odd for me. 

Unable to shake the need for chocolate, I turned around and wrestled the stroller though the tight entrance remembering why I never visit this shop.  Standing at the counter, behind a stack of clearance Valentine chocolates was a pharmacy tech about my age.  Under her minty green smock that hung unbuttoned, she was wearing a t-shirt depicting a beautiful moon image and the inscription "We live by the rhythm of the moon."  I did a double take.  Was there another pagan in town? I just had to ask.

Now, once before I had asked someone if they were pagan the children's librarian always wears an ankh necklace, but it is in honor of her favorite comic book character  and their response had been nearly horrified shock, so I knew I had lead into this carefully.  I complimented her on the beautiful shirt and then followed it up with "are you pagan, too?"  At first, her gaping stare led me to believe I had made yet another mistake.  Then she smiled ear to ear, looking at my quite obvious pentacle necklace. 

She told me that she was not a pagan, but her mama had been.  The shirt and other similar shirts that she owned were homages to her.  She spoke for a minute about what a wonderful childhood she had experienced growing up with a pagan mother.  Before I left, she thanked me for asking as most people in this very conservative town pretended not to notice like they do with anything that makes them uncomfortable.  Those few minutes made both of our day. I received reaffirmation of my gift and she received a little love from the mama she misses. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's In a Name

As pagans, we are quick to see the importance of a name.  We are so in tune with the idea of a name holding power that we anoint ourselves with monikers that we feel suit our spiritual self and even petition our patrons to reveal a sacred name to be used only in ritual.  We are very careful when we name our children, seeking names of power and significance.  Still, even we may occasionally under estimate how much names mean.  Let's take my youngest daughter for example.

Little Bitty Baby who is no longer so little bitty and probably deserves a more fitting screen name was named very specifically pagan.  Her full name very literally translates into "dark moon." It is a beautiful, powerful and witchy name, but it has it's draw backs.  Our Little Moon as I will refer to her from now on loves the night.  At nearly six months old she still wakes up multiple times a night to just hang out.  She want her mama to come sit on the couch and talk to her while she half heartedly pretends to nurse.  It is exhausting for me, but thankfully it is not consistent.  Her nocturnal habits follow the moon phases.  When the moon is small and dark like this past week, she sleeps very little during the night.  Last night alone, she was up six times.  Then as the moon waxes to full her sleep time increases and I am only wakened twice during the night.  Some times exhaustion makes me want to grumble and fuss over the situation, but in my heart I know that I brought it upon myself.  One does not name a child for the great power of the night and expect her to sleep soundly from sun set to sun rise. 

Another prime example is Miss Busy.  Besides driving me crazy in new ways every day yesterday we had an ongoing debate over rather or not making cat food soup was an appropriate activity for a toddler she has an intense fascination with anything magickal.  She is constantly digging in my magickal cabinet bringing me incense cones, thumbing through my books, and trying to add to my stack of notes.  Just the other day, I caught her sitting on the kitchen floor sorting through my Oracle Cards as if she were reading them. Please note that none of these items are left where she can access them with any ease, she is simply determined and continually finds ways around my solutions intended to keep her out.  Once again, it's my fault.  I named her.  Her given name means "woman with great magickal power."  She accepts the fact that my sewing table is off limits and that certain drawers in the kitchen are not for her access, but she stubbornly refuses to stay out of my magickal cabinet.  She is so obsessed with my pentacle necklace that Superman has suggested that I make her one of her own. 

The power of names hold true even when the child is not named with the careful thought that most pagan parents put into choosing a name.  The older children from our first marriages were named with totally different perspectives and still live up to their names.  The child named after greenery and plant life loves flowers.  The one who's name is means "a feminine warlike bird" is small, graceful, and lethal in any verbal match.  The one who in utero was already named for his grandfather, is a small version of the man he was named for.  It goes on and on to even include Superman and myself.  When I pause to consider, names are far more powerful than I ever realized.  It is as if they are a life long spell we place on our children. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Feeling Crafty: Pentacle Necklace

Every witch needs a pentacle necklace or a ring/bracelet/etc.  After shopping countless online stores and not finding a prefab piece that spoke to me, I decided to make my own.  I came up with the design using materials I already had around the house:  sculpy, a plastic ring, a metal jump ring, glass seed beads, a piece of chain for making the impression, black paint,  and some variegated ribbon. The back is a bit messy, but overall I love it.  I don't wear it as often as I'd like since the girls pull on it a lot.  Big smile, I just thought I'd share! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

There's The Kind of Help I Need and The Kind of Help I Don't Need

Let's start with the kind of help I apparently do need.  Yesterday I was convinced that the computer was broke.  I pushed the button and nothing happened.  All the cords appeared to be attached to the back of the tower I even jiggled them a bit for good measure, but with no results.  Now the device has been behaving a bit "off" the past few weeks, so the idea of it giving up the ghost was not a foreign thought.  I just pushed the button a few more times and then shrugged my shoulders and went about my day. 

When the littles napped, I snagged Miss Busy's tablet and blogged about my sad, broken, computer.  I also resolved to put my new found spare time to work and get more art, magic, meditation, and living done.  Then Superman got home from work.  He jiggled the same cords I did then pulled out the desk and plugged the unit back in.  Vola!  We had a working computer.  He smirked at me and named himself a computer genius, but said no more.  That means I'm in trouble and he's saving up all the smart comments he could have made about this escapade.  Next time I think I've gotten the upper hand in some silly, verbal sparing match he's going to pull out the material about the computer.  I'm sure he's already got the outline written. 


Which now brings me to the help I don't need.  In an attempt to be true to yesterday's resolutions, I got my day off to a good start in the arts and crafts department.  I prepped a canvas for a mixed media landscape and then turned my attention to the scrying mirror I've been planning.  I don't know if old Mercury is making a last ditch stab at me or if Miss Busy and Merlin have some strange allergic reaction to progress, but turmoil soon ensued.  

Just after I had applied a second coat of paint to the glass and turned my attention to the dishes, the kid and the cat broke into a racious game of tag which resulted in a foot print in my wet paint. Next was a game of peek-a-boo in the table cloth.   Not long after, I got an important phone call and ended up sounding like a nutter while I dove across the living room to rescue my tea mug from Miss Busy and then moments later was attacked by a plastic picture Merlin sent flying off the top of the fridge.  I certainly won't be able to say I had a dull day. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

So Here Goes Nothing

This morning I pushed that little button on top of my computer tower and nothing happened.  No little click followed by an electronic grunt and a flood of blue light. Just silence.  Uh-oh.  I knew it was coming for about two werks now, but it was still a sickening moment.  So now I am learning all about mobile blogging on Mise Busy's tablet. (I haven't figured out how to change the font color on my side comments or use spell check.   The buttons are there, but they don't seem to do anything.) The typing is a bit time consuming, but on the upside I dont have t8ntransfer photos from on3 device to another anymore.

Really, not having a computer may be a small loss.  I know that our society depends on them greatly (after all its how I communicate with you), but perhapse we depend on them too much.  I personaly am (or have been) addicted to the easy information a computer with Internet provides. Being the owner of a constantly wondering mind, I could spend all day at my desk chasing information trails online.   It almost seems liberating to think off all the time I will have to devote to my craft and my creations now that surfing the internet will be a little less convenient.

So what do I plan to do with my new found time?  Meditate longer, actually write the spells I have floating around in my head, create items for my future Etsy store, sew a ton on my new sewing machine, work on my BOS, and actually take the time to read.  If it all gets too low tech to handle and my thumbs can't handle doing all the typing, I can always get my fix at the library.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Making Do

I grew up making do and using what ever was available.  My parents didn't spend money unless they absolutely had to, so their artistic child had to make art with items already found around the house.  Thankfully, my mother was a seamstress so I had a fair amount to choose from.  Being resourceful is something I take great pride in and actually love doing: it is a fun challenge, expands my creativity, and is good for the earth.  I even incorporate making do into my magickal practice.  About 90% of the resources I use for creating magickal items are post consumer and nearly 75% of the resources I use for spell crafting fall into that category as well.  The trick is knowing what to save and how to use it.  My best rule of thumb is to think outside the box. 


Items I recycle on a regular basis and how I use them in my magical practice
  • Broken Jewelry: creating charms or amulets, embellishing handmade magickal items, decorating my altar
  • Brown Paper Bags: creating spell packets you intend to burn, writing spells, drawing spells for sympathetic magick
  • Candle Stubs: sealing spells or containers of herbal concoctions
  • Chicken Bones:  crafting, opportunity/positive change spells (wishbone)
  • Coconut Shells: creating amulets, peace/healing spells
  • Coffee Grounds: enhance energy with in a spell, fixing the nitrogen in my altar plants, creating exfoliating scrubs
  • Crown Royal Bags: crafting, storage, spell bags
  • Egg Shells: energy/life/new beginning/fertility spells
  • Fabric Scraps: crafting, spell and mojo bags, making twine, creating poppets, making herb pouches
  • Glass Jars and Bottles (with lids): storing herbs and herbal concoctions, creating witches bottles, impromptu candle holders, containment spells
  • Hair Clippings (with permission): personal magick
  • Scraps of Wool Yarn:  tying spell packets, making witches ladders, knot work, stringing amulets or talismans
  • Tin Cans:  to use when melting down wax with out creating a huge mess
  • Toilet Paper Tubes: making large spell packets to burn
Items I collect from nature when they are presented to me and how I use them
  • Animal Bones: species specific workings and mojo bags/talismans
  • Drift Wood: crafting
  • Fallen Leaves: crafting, decorating, clearing negative energy, wind magic
  • Feathers:  crafting, attracting energy, representation of the Elemental Air
  • Pine Cones: protective spells, holiday decorating
  • Pine Needles: protective spells, holiday decorating, creating incense
  • Pruned Tree Limbs: crafting, starting fires
  • River Rocks: crafting, representation of the Elementals Earth and Water (body/strength and blood/emotion), soothing/healing spells
  • Shells: crafting, representation of the Elemental Water
  • Shed Skins (snake or beetle): new life/growth spells
  • Stones: crafting, representation of the Elemental Earth, soothing/healing/protection spells
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of items used in my magickal practice and the way I use these items may not be textbook, but results are what matter and magick is very individual.  I also use a lot of herbs from the health food store and some that I wild harvest locally. 

Most of my crafting items wreaths, thread, buttons, picture frames, mirrors, beads, and even fabric are purchased post consumer at yard sales and thrift stores and then cleansed.  I have read that using secondhand or post consumer items can contaminate ones magick, but I do not find a significant difference in the energy coming from the majority of the items I find used in comparison to those coming from a factory. Honestly, factory work is no fun.  How many factory workers do you know who carry around a ton of positive energy?  Rather they are new or used, items that have an icky feel to them just don't come home with me.