“The only magic we have is what we make in ourselves, the muscles we build up on the inside, the sense of belief we create from nothing.”
― Dorothy Allison
“Note to self: remember
What Emerson said
That he loved the low
And crickets, suckers
Songs of the carnal,
Songs of what we are.”
― Greg Orr, River Inside the River
For those of you unfamiliar, July has become a festival month of sorts for Loki. Sirius, the dog star, is known as Lokabrenna - Loki's torch or brand. Late July/August is when Sirius rises, and so many of us celebrate Himself in the dog days of summer.
Today I'm making Him this:
It's not quite mead, but here in Florida, I have concerns about the heat messing up the fermentation process. We don't have basements, our ground isn't dirt so much as it is beach sand, so there's not really a dig down and find cool dirt to store things in. In Florida if you dig too deep you hit water. Seriously, I have white sand beneath my grass in my yard - it's the same stuff as the beach. Anyway, a local pal found an apiary right in our zip code, with fresh orange blossom honey, so I got a few pounds of it and we're experimenting. I'm in the cook down process right now, and it smells heavenly, and Loki's very excited....
Herb Robert - Geranium Robertianum, Homegrown.
Working with herbs has been one of the most magical and rewarding experiences in my growth as a Witch. Not only plants heal our spirit and body – they are teachers, they empower us and they reveal the paths to spiritual realms as guardians and shamans....
When a person sees the world, and his/her own life, as something sacred, the last and first days of a cycle have tremendous symbolic importance. In many Spiritual traditions around the world, whatever is done on the last and the first day of the year, and even in the very moment when one year turns into another, will determine or predict the stronger tendencies in the cycle.
Since most Afro Latin traditions follow the Gregorian Calendar, December 31 and January 1 are busy days for practitioners. On December 31, the house must be cleaned, physically and magically, to eliminate negativity and assure that, whatever we want to leave behind, we will. A dirty, cluttered house will call for problems and obstacles in the following year; just so, a clean, energized house will propitiate blessings, good health and luck. Altars get cleaned and refreshed too, and it is considered a call for bad luck to do any work after the sun goes down, so everything must be finished during daylight hours....
I recently read an online post about Japanese food in which the author’s grandmother advised her to chew her first bite of rice eighty-eight times. The process of taking rice from seed to tongue apparently takes eight-eight steps, including the agricultural growing process, harvesting, processing, cooking, and so forth. Chewing eighty-eight times is a way, then, of showing respect to the rice, the farmers, the cooks, and so forth.
I have long been interested in what author Margaret Visser calls “the rituals of dinner” in the book of the same title. Visser has penned several tomes on the anthropological construction of mealtimes, including the aforementioned Rituals of Dinner and Much Depends on Dinner, and she dives into everything from good table manners (children pack their mouths with food because as infants they had taste sensors in their cheeks, for example) to utensil choice to throwing dinner parties to deciding to prepare food oneself or to have it prepared (and take the chance that someone might intentionally poison it). Perhaps my favorite chapter in Rituals, however, is “Dinner is Served,” in which she looks at hand-washing, dinner bells, the role of “tasters” (to avoid those pesky poisons), and most importantly, noticing the food, the host or hostess, the other diners, and other atmospheric elements. Such notice, and the natural expressions of appreciation which accompany it, have become the traditions of saying “grace” or “thanks” for the meal before eating.
We have passed Thanksgiving, and are moving towards the winter holidays at rapid speed. I come from a culture where saying grace before a meal is simply “what’s done,” and while it usually comes with Christian overtones or contexts, the leader of the prayer is solely responsible for its content. Much gets made of the idea of saying grace even within Pagan communities, by way of offering thanks to the plants and animals who have given their lives that we might live, and that we might show appreciation to the gods for the blessing of another meal in the company of those we love. I love the quiet moment of grace before a meal, myself, and find that food is seldom foremost on my mind during such prayers. Instead, the consumption of bodily nourishment becomes secondary to the nourishment provided by gratitude and awareness....
Liv Tyler wasn't always an elf. Robin Tunney wasn't always a witch. Renee Zellweger wasn't always Bridget Jones. Once, they worked at a record store together in that hazy fun that was the 90's.
I came of age during the 90's. I remember when my parents would leave my sister and I home alone we would listen to their records, lying on the floor on our tummies for hours, singing along until we heard the garage door open and we would put everything away quickly so our parents wouldn't get the wrong idea that they could ever possibly own anything that would be considered cool to us.
There aren't as many record stores now. Or music stores for the matter. We can bemoan what was or accept that things have changed. It's a different world now for retailers. But just because we shop more in our pajamas at home sipping on St. Germain (just me? Okay.) doesn't mean that we shouldn't still support our independent business owners during the holidaze....
As some of you know, I’m not afraid to talk about cursework to college students. Everyone likes talking about cursework. It’s exciting, it’s sexy and it shows that you’re not afraid to get all honey badger on someone’s ass.
I maintain that it’s not a great idea to talk about personal cursework/occult fight club publicly but it’s a good idea to know a bit about cursework in my opinion.
1. Are you being cursed?...
Honey pots are used traditionally in Hoodoo to bring money to you and also to potentially sweeten someone towards you (such as an ex you’re trying to win back, your boss, a new love interest, the judge in a court case). I find honey pots to be an inexpensive “slow and steady” way to keep generating income.
I started to say you don’t need a strong background in Hoodoo to use a honey jar, but like all magical practices that depends on what you’re going to do with it. If you want to use it to draw money, that’s pretty basic and can be done by just about anyone. If you’re starting to get into sweetening specific people toward you (i.e. using it as an influencing tool) and potentially bending them to your will. . .Well, you better know what you’re doing, champ, because I’m sure as hell not going to help you out of a mess (and honey,that kind of work is called a messfor a reason). I am not at all opposed to using a honey jar for that purpose, but you need to really be able to assess your magical prowess accurately so that you know if you can really handle any kind of fallout that may come from your working (again, like with any other working) should it go wrong (and in some cases, should it go right!).
How to Make a Honey Jar to Attract Income
A small hinged-lidded glass jar
Honey (you can use other sweetners, dare I say even sweetners like Equal or Splenda but I always use honey, preferably local)
A pinch of Irish Moss (steady flow of money)
A pinch of Chamomile (to hold onto your money)
A pinch of Cinnamon (to attract money quickly, it’s a “heating” herb)
Small green taper candles
Money drawing oil
A small piece of paper bag
Matches (or a gas stove)
1. Write out your petition on your piece of paper bag. Write what you’re trying to draw to you (a new job, a raise, job security, a second income stream, paid artistic gigs, etc.) but make sure your pen doesn’t leave the page. Neatness doesn’t count here, continuity does. Fold it up tightly towards you (to bring the money towards you).
2. Put the petition paper in the jar. Put the herbs in the jar. Pour honey over the herbs and paper until your jar is full. Seal the jar.
3. Pray over your jar. Psalms are typically recommended, if that’s your bag rock out. If not figure out what is. (I usually pray/enchant/put my will into it and end it with “Please do this in the name of God Herself.”)
4. Etch into your candle your intent. It can be words, symbols, runes, again, whatever’s your bag. Dress your candle by putting a little bit of oil on it and rub the oil into the candle *towards* you.
5. If fire scares you, make sure your sink is cleared for this part. Put the honey jar into your cauldron or sink and light the candle. Melt a few drops onto the lid of your jar. Stick the candle onto the melted wax on top of your jar. I find it best to let it burn out in one go which is why I recommend small candles.
7. If you’re on the ball, repeat steps 3-5 weekly. If you’re a slag like myself, monthly has sufficed so far.
Done with your working? The proper way to dispose of it would be to thank it for all its hard work and to release it from its work to go onto other things and leave the honey jar at a crossroads or to bury it. Would I be incredibly tempted to thank/release it and then upend it into my compost heap and recycle the jar as it’s kinder to Gaia? Yes. Is that the “proper” thing to do? No. Would I likely do it anyway for this particular working? Yes.
It has come as a surprise to me, considering my relationship with Odin (the Wanderer and hedge-crosser extraordinaire), but I have been discovering lately that I am far more of a hearth witch than a hedge witch. Don't get me wrong; I do love wandering through the dark woods at night, threading my way through cemeteries, or exploring the Eugene wetlands. I love to explore these liminal places in a light trance state, letting the already-fragile boundaries between the worlds blur so that I can commune with the spirits there. This is part of my practice, and it always will be. (And in the case of the wetlands, I do this every morning on my walk to work, in the early hours when the human world is still barely stirring but the land wights--or land spirits--are awake and going about their day.) But at the heart of my practice, I am a Doorway for my gods and spirits, and to fulfill that function I must be anchored in this world, even as I work at blurring its edges.
I just had an entire week off from my day job, for the first time in years, and found myself spending much of it at my spinning wheel, or gathering supplies to make prayer beads, or in my kitchen learning to make salted caramels, or planning what I will need to begin producing candles and other non-yarn goodies for my Etsy shop. When given a choice between wandering outdoors and busying myself with activities at home, I nearly always choose the latter. Perhaps my physical condition pays a part in this (I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia, and at this point I still work full time so that saps a lot of my energy), but most of the time I find that I would rather be at home, tending a hearth for my gods and for the spirits I honor, rather than out in the world. My trips out in the world fortify and help to shape my hearth; they feed it and strengthen my center. In this I am like Frigga, who puts Her apron aside and rides with Her Husband in the Hunt during the dark half of the year, but the rest of the time concentrates Her efforts on creating a welcoming home for Him to return to after His wanderings.
To get back to the topic of setting up a hearth in your own home if you do not already have one, despite my previous definition of the hearth as a place of fire, there is always the option of interpreting "fire" symbolically. Along these lines, your hearth can be that place that anchors and nourishes your home, that feeds what you love most about it, the "flame" that makes your home a welcoming place. For some people, it would clearly be the kitchen table where the family gathers for dinner to share stories of their day. For some, it might be a place of literal fire, such as the woodburning stove (and do I ever wish I had one!) where herbal oils and brews are prepared.
So before we get too glue gun intensive, it occurred to me that you don't know me very well yet.
Things You Need to Know (in no particular order):
1. I also blog at Charmed, I'm Sure. I talk about charms, hexes, recipes and general hearth witchery related items there....