Tag Archives: witchcraft

Making the most of it

5 Sep

We got a few days off at the office, and I am trying to make the most of it. So far I have visited my older sister and my oldest friend, gone on more runs that any reasonable person would admit to, made muffins, visited some more friends and spent a lot of time catching up on “Orphan Black”. Oh, and I have been writing. But you guessed that already, right?

So, that’s basically it. In my few spare minutes I have been reading up on green witchcraft. Recently … for the past year or two, I guess … I have found most books on witchcraft lacking. Either they are poorly researched, or they portray a kind of witchcraft that is mostly aimed at privileged people with lots of free time and money to waste on crafts material – or maybe I have read the wrong kind of books? I wish there was more material on how to truly merge everyday life and witchcraft in a way that is open to everyone who wishes to travel this path. Playing at fairy-dancing under the full moon (there is a full moon tonight, by chance) is all good and fun, but I still dream of witchcraft to change and better and … heal the world.

The ramblings of an undercaffeinated writer. ^^

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Ours for the taking?

1 Jun

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Witches are a really nature-loving folks. I’m the first to admit it. We use lots of natural ingredients in our spells and rituals, and outdoor rituals are strongly encouraged. At times, however, I wonder whether much of this practice may be “a bit” self-centered.

Some time ago I talked to a fellow witch who insisted on picking up every single feather she found outside, for those were signs for her. Personally. My suggestion that sometimes birds just lose feathers, and that other beings in this world might have better use for random feathers was met with utter surprise. It seemed impossible, in her mind, that the whole universe had not set about evolution, crafted birds from dinosaurs and sent them to shed their feathers in that special place at that time exactly just so she would gain insight into her thirty-whatnotsth spirit guide.

Similar attitudes are kind of regular occurences in the witching community – go and get branches, herbs, flowers, rocks, crystals, snail houses, seeds, basically WHATEVER you fancy, for witches are nature-loving, and as such we have a right to everything we find in nature.

Yeah, or maybe not.

I’ve ranted about the use of crystals and the conditions under which they are extracted repeatedly, so I’ll spare you that. But imagine if everyone started picking flowers in your garden, or on your balcony, how quickly that would turn into a sad wasteland. Or imagine people taking tiny stones from your house, everyone taking just one – eventually your house would collapse.

Now I am not saying that we should never ever take anything from the natural world. As humans we have to compete for ressources with other humans as well as with creatures from other species (or other planes of existance, while we’re at it). This goes for single plants as well as for food, air or water. And while I am not suggesting that we should stop existing so someone else can have our share, I do recommend, strongly, that we should only take what we need, and at the same time think about the ways in which we can give back. A few things I can think of are:

  • Plant wild flowers everywhere. Not just your place. Everywhere you might encounter bees is a great place to drop a few seeds and just walk away. (Of course NOT on other people’s property. But if you live near the forest or have a few meadows nearby, or a park, you might do some guerilla-gardening in favor of bees.)
  • Dry and grind egg shells and bury them in the ground. The minerals help fertilize the soil – and some animals use them as mineral sources as well. (Again, not on other people’s property.)
  • When you head out, collect the things other people drop – empty bottles, plastic wrappers etc. Make it a habit to take a bag with you and see how far you have to go before it is full.
  • Make realistic meal and snack plans before you go out shopping. This is something I often struggle with myself, and I end up buying too much and then throwing out all kinds of food because they have spoiled. What a waste of money, energy and natural ressources!

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?

A review: Jailbreaking the goddess (Lasara Firefox Allen)

28 Feb

Book blurb:

Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physical stages of life, the fivefold model liberates the female experience from the shackles of the reproductive model.

In a woman’s lifetime, she will go through several different cycles of beginnings, potential, creation, mastery, and wisdom. This fivefold model is not an adaption of the threefold. It is a new system that embraces the powerful, fluid nature of the lived experience of women today.

Join Lasara Firefox Allen as she explores the nature of the five archetypes; gives examples of what areas of life each might preside over; lists goddesses that fit within each archetype; suggests ways to begin building relationship with the different archetypes; and provides simple rituals for recognition, transition, and invocation.

 

MY OPINION:

No breakthroughs, only replacing one system of sorting the deities with another. Many of my friends have been raving about this book, but I just can’t find my way into it. First the author explains that the “maiden-mother-crone” system is harmful to modern women because it is too rigid for the modern world. But then she goes and replaces it with a just-as-rigid system consisting of deities such as the “creatrix”, who is nothing but the mother. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the right book for you, but for me – I was hoping for someone to show the deities in all their glory, instead of providing just a different sorting box. The tasks to be performed are mostly theoretical – at least for the part of the book I could make myself read – and lack divine connection. Sorry, just not my type of book.

I’ve tried, really, but …

16 Aug

… I am just not a spiritual person.

This does not mean that I am not a witch – beware! I would rather stop breathing than stop witching. But that whole transcendent, one-with-nature, forgive-your-enemies thing … not for me. I do not even understand why anyone would want the whole thing.

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This is a picture of my altar, taken this morning. Notice the duck? Or the two sheep? My everyday stuff continues creeping into my sacred spaces. I also have some candles in the livingroom which I like to light for some proper down-time. Want to see them?

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I put some shit next to them. And not just some random shit. Pretty cute shit.

In the end, I guess, my practice fits with my everyday life and personality. I AM THE BLOOD OF THE POTATO! (If you don’t get it, just trust me. I’m out of coffee.) I don’t have time for fancy meditations or elaborate rituals. No mantras here, thank you very much. Instead I try to BE a witch – take care of those around me. Be patient, but take no shit. Pick up litter. Defend those who need defending. Listen. Breathe fire (occasionally).

With all these tasks, I still fail spectacularly. I run out of patience. Or I just don’t feel like doing it. Or I have my head (or heart) full of other stuff. But I keep trying. and over all these things I hope, I may slowly be turning into Granny Weatherwax. Although I doubt she had cute shit on her shelves. ^^

This can’t go on!

7 May

Believe it or not, I missed Beltane. The horror! One of my favorite holidays and the one I used to feel in my blood days before it was upon us. Slipped between work, everyday life and deadlines. This is a post by a very, very sad witch.

In the past I have repeatedly said that things need to change. Witching tends to take a back seat when life gets busy, but that is not the way I want it – and most of all, not the way I need it.

Over the next few days I hope to make a few changes – rearrange my home office, take the altar from the bedroom to said office, schedule the coming weeks around moons and seasons.

You see, I am a hypocrite. From my pedestal (which I carefully dusted), I preach to all kinds of people who care or care not that, as women and witches and artists, we should not even try to “have it all”. You know: A clean flat AND a great carreer AND a busy social life AND a great body. I keep telling people that it is okay to compromise. Let the dust sit for a few days, it won’t rise and kill you (unless a spell goes bad). Tell people you don’t have time for coktails to observe that special full moon instead. Skip the workout.

Because I *know* that everyone only gets 24 hours in a day. I tried applying for more, or for a clone to take some of the more mundane tasks, but to no avail. And so I hurry from task to task – kitchen, office, grocery store, office, kitchen, cocktail bar, more office – and try to HAVE it all and DO it all and IMPRESS them all. And on top I try to make it seem like such a fucking easy task. “Oh, that fourteen-layer cake with the marchpane Notre Dame on top? I qhipped it up before breakfast, no biggie. The windows are from spun sugar, totally easy!”

I know you are laughing. And I bet from the outside it looks funny. Might even make a great sitcom. But while I am in the middle of this mess I keep creating around me, I would like to take a few minutes out of the day to beat myself over the head with something heavy. Good thing I have to get that writing assignment done first and cook dinner and tomorrow’s lunch from scratch, no time for self-inflicted wisdom.

Anyway, I will let you know how it goes. If I ever get around to full-time witchy blogging again. Have fun! And don’t forget, words of wisdom spoken from a dusty crate you did NOT build yourself are almost as impressive.

Teachers and teachings

6 Sep

PBP today asked about teachers. Since I did not have any formal teachers – only lots of books and trial and error – I thought about my favorite teachings instead, and what kind of advice I would give a witchling.

Wanna know?

Here it is.

Bake bread.

For me, baking bread is therapeutic. But that is not all. It is also a lot like witchcraft – you take seemingly boring ingredients, put them together exactly the right way, apply some elemental magic (aka “oven heat”) et voilĂ , bread. Bread is something so simple we overlook it most of the time, and can be so delicious. It can be plain grey bread or some elaborate easter bread with nuts and fruit and in fancy braids. It is nourishing for the body as well as for the mind. The grain had to die for you to eat, so you learn about the circle of life and gratitude. Most kinds of bread depend on the weather, so you learn to watch nature. And the best: Everyone can make bread. It is possible to buy “bread mixes” where you don’t have to do anything, just as there are spell kits, but the mixtures you concoct yourself are superior, and although even a beginner will produce a reasonable bread most of the time, practice makes perfect.

If I had a child or a friend who asked to be taught magic, I would tell them to start by baking bread.

What is your first practical advice for a witchling?