A Wise Word:

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Keeping it Witchy

It is ten minutes to noon and the altar candles have yet to be lit for the morning, my grandparents haven't heard my voice in days unless of course they are listening in on me while I fuss at the children, and Superman asked me to recharge his hag stone weeks ago. The only way I am slipping in some blog time is that I have to sit at the kitchen table, facing the girls door in order to stay on top of things and enforce naptime.

The baby is fully mobile now and getting a tooth...

My hands are full.

With time being a premium at our house, I have to be smart to keep my sanity and maintain spiritual growth.  Sometimes, that means taking advantage of random moments that pop up through out the day and other times it means making time.  Here is how I'm coping.  

  • Set the Altar Up Where it is Easily Accessable. I use to have my altar in the bedroom to keep it away from little hands, it was effective, but it was out of the way for me too.  Moving it to the kitchen counter is nearly as effective for keeping kids out and it is much more accessable for me.  
  • If You Only Have a Few Minutes, Use Them.  Study or write while kids are drifting off to sleep.  Dust the altar durring the three minutes they decide to play with Legos without assaulting each other.  Let them start eating while you take a food offering to the ancestors.    
  • Let Them Help When Possable.  This one might be the hardest of them all.  Little helpers are often more hinderance than help, but making a mess and driving us crazy is how they learn.
  • Keep it Simple.  Instead of creating elaborate rituals and planning highly complicated spells, plan to keep things low key until you have more time.  The supplies for my Full Moon Ritual are so few that they fit in the pockets of my over robe and most of my spells are based on sigil magick.  If something is feasibly do-able, I am less likely to put it off altogether.  
  • Forgive Yourself.  Life happens.  Often our best intentions get swept to the wayside and we don't do all that we want or should.  If the baby wakes up vomiting and the toddler runs around the house tearing up paper while the preschool screams, chances are you might not spend time honoring your deities or talking with your ancestors today.  Days like that happen. It doesn't make you less of a witch.  
  • Maintain an Atmosphere.  Sometimes little things really effect the way you feel about life.  Burn an herby candle, wear something that makes you feel particularly magickal, or daub essential oil on your wrists.  For a quick energy boost, listen to witchy/pagan/heathen music. 

Witching and Moming are both full time activities.  We do the best we can with all our hearts and just enjoy the ride.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Viking Soup

Recently, I googled "What did Vikings eat." Since it was just days before Winter Nights, I was hoping for some feast planning inspiration.  Secretly, I was also hoping for some evidence to present Superman with so that he would quit insisting that he should be a hardcore carnivore as part of his Heathen journey.  That man is so full of shit sometimes!  

Not surprisingly, our Norse ancestors ate very simple food.  Mostly meat/fish and cool weather vegetables with some dairy and grains depending on the location. Apparently, one of the most common forms of substance was skause, a perpetual soup pot chock full of meat, vegetables, and local herbs.  As the meat and vegetables are consumed, new ones are added for days on end.  

Since soup of any kind is a favorite at our house, I had to give this new concoction a go.  Superman dubbed it "Viking Soup," so that's what moniker we went with.  It's a little more fun than skause.  We added to and ate our Viking Soup for three days and then I drained off the broth and used it as a base for grits the following morning.  For three nights and one morning, I had a hearty and highly nutritious meal for my family with very little fuss.

Here are the experiment details.

Day 1: An ok soup.  
  • A rack of boneless baby back ribs
  • Carrots (cut in large chunks)
  • Potatoes (halved) 
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Onion (quartered)
  • Salt
  • Water

I buy my meat when it is on sale or discounted and then toss it in the freezer, so the ribs were just something I had on hand.  Unfortunately, I didn't stop to think what the long cook time would do to the potatoes and by early afternoon they were disintegrating.  At that point, I pulled them out and let them sit in a casserole dish until just before supper when I heated them in the oven.  In the future, I won't include potatoes, which is fine because they pretty much have no nutritional value anyway.  

Day 2:  This is starting to get really good.  I could have doubled both the meat and vegetables, though.
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Onion (quartered)
  • Rutabagas 
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Water
Just before lunch, I pulled the pot out of the fridge and started reheating it.  I added all my new ingredients to the existing broth and let it simmer all afternoon.  Super simple and I can use all the short cuts I can get in the evening.

Day 3: This is off the chain!
  • Pork shoulder blade steak
  • Beef tip steak
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Hulled Barley
  • Water
The first thing I did this day was to skim the chicken fat off top of my broth, quite a bit had formed in the fridge over night.  Then I tossed in some more of that meat stash from my freezer, added some veg and barley, then went about my business.  Superman and I could have kept going with the soup, but the girls were starting to get a bit tired of it, so we strained the broth and used it for grits the following morning.  I think skause is going to be a staple at our house.  

As for my research, these were my three best finds.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Little Witches, Big Magick

A few mornings ago in spite of the forecast for possible snow we woke up to a cold drizzly rain.  The clouds were low and hunkered down like they planned to stay and the updated forecast confirmed it.

Getting the coffee started, I grumbled about the weather that was going to keep me cooped up inside with three littles all day.  Miss Busy must have heard me, because from the bedroom she shouted her favorite expletive compliments of Superman and dashed into the living room.  Standing in front of the picture window she shook her little fists at the clouds and begin chanting.
"Rain, rain, go away.  Come again another day."

With in seconds, Little Moon was at her side chiming in with,

"Go -way.  Go -way."

Every fiber of their little bodies was given over to the intent of banishing the rain.  Their sweet faces were furrowed with concentration and I had an epiphany.   This was a spell!

My adult brain rushed into the ways I could improve on their work and create a witchy learning experience for the morning.  The moon was waning, so the timing couldn't be better and I had some fun ingredients in my cabinet just waiting to make magick.  When I called them away from the window for their breakfast, I promised to help them banish the rain as soon as they ate.

Soon it was evident that my help was not needed.  With in moments, the rain briefly turned to sleet and just peatered out.  With in an hour the sun was shinning weakly from behind the clouds.  They had banished the rain all by themselves.

Now before anyone misinterprets this and thinks I am claiming my children are magickal geniuses, I will assure you that is not so.  My children are many things mess makers, alternative fashionistas, mud eaters, but not super witches.

Intent!  It was all intent.

With out a doubt, they were 100% sure that they did not want a rainy day.  They boldly and loudly, proclaimed that intent while knowing that they were with out a doubt capable of making the rain stop.  

As witches we talk "intent" all of the time,  but my daughters showed me more about intent in 3 minutes than I could ever put into words.  What they demonstrated is exactly what I need to implement into my craft.  Intent with confidence.

**As a side note.  This makes me wonder what other nursery rhymes may be spells just waiting to be used.  Have you tried nursery rhyme magick?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Miss Busy as Divination Assistant

Today, I had to do some emergency divination.  Superman had a situation and needed my insights.  I usually do small, quick readings on my dresser top altar, but this called for something more.

Once I had the youngest two down for a nap, I set Miss Busy on the couch with a stack of books and started preparing the table for a rather in depth reading.  Miss Busy stayed on the couch just long enough for me to gather my supplies from the dresser and then she was all up in my business.  Looking and touching and learning, but I just wasn't in a teaching mode.  I told her to sit quietly and watch.   

She sat big eyed and silent for about 30 seconds before bouncing over the the record player and spinning some Fleetwood Mac we can call that witchy music today.  I gave her the mommy means business look and pointed dramatically at her chair.  She sat quietly before beginning to rearrange my set up.  I reminded her not to touch andprep to get started.  Somewhere in all this, I failed to get a good light on two separate charcoal disks.

She was doing pretty well at the not touching part, but keeping quiet was getting the best of her.  After shushing her for the third or fourth time, I explained once again that it had to be quiet so I could focus.  It didn't make her any quieter, just redirected her whispered chatter.  "Mommy, focus."  She reminded me over and over. When I reminded her to be quetshe shushed me .  As the cards rustled she very severely shushed them as well.  

The settling factor ended up being the threat of a nap.  Surprisingly, I did end up with a good reading.  Maybe Miss Busy learned something from watching, but I learned alot from her presence.  Firstly that my ability to focus is not as fragile as I believed.  Secondly, that it is time to get Miss Busy more actively involved with the craft.