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March 1st, 2009

The Moon & Lunar Cycles

Last month I explored the function of the sabbats in attuning oneself with the rhythms of nature with the solar cycle.  This month I will turn to the moon and the significance of its phases.  This luminous body both mystifies and haunts us in the inky darkness of the night sky.  When full it gleams as a brilliant silvery-white orb which dwarfs even the brightest star to seeming insignificance.  Month after month it comes and goes from our perspective, growing to full and once again waning back to darkness.  Yet it always returns as does the sun, and for that reason becomes another powerful symbol of immortality and rebirth.  The sun is vital to life and makes sustenance possible, but it cannot be there to light the way for us in the night and the darkest of times.  That is when we call to our closest companion of all the celestial bodies – the moon.

The moon orbits our planet hundreds of thousands of kilometers away.  It is sometimes mistakenly said to be about a quarter of the size of earth when in fact its diameter is about a quarter that of earth’s.  In terms of comparing two spheres the moon is much smaller than our planet.  We can usually only see it during the night when the sun isn’t overwhelming our view.  The moon does not produce its own light, but instead reflects the sunlight it receives.  The relative positions of the sun, moon and earth are what determine the amount of the moon’s surface that is visible to us, thus creating what we refer to as the “phases” of the moon.  For instance, when the bodies are aligned in the order sun-moon-earth we experience the new or dark moon.  This is because at night we are facing away from the sun and the moon does not appear anywhere in our sky.  When the alignment is sun-earth-moon we likewise see the full moon.  Waxing and waning phases are the transitions between these alignments as the moon rotates around the earth.  Sometimes when the alignment is just right we get what is called an eclipse, when one of the bodies blocks the light from the sun in a temporary but awe-inspiring phenomenon of nature.

Those in the Craft honor the cycles of the moon in several ways.  Just as the eight sabbats mark the solar year and aid us in attuning with the sun, the celebration of what is termed the esbat brings us into alignment with lunar forces.  Esbat traditions vary from group to group and even from individual to individual.  In a lot of ways it is mostly what you make of it.  Many witches choose to do magical workings, spells, and matters of practical concern.  Others hold a special ritual to mark the occasion.  Most select the full moon as the point of the esbat but there is no rule that says it can’t be held at the new moon or even multiple moon phases instead.  Whether focused on magic or simple observance, the purpose of the esbat is attunement with natural cycles via the moon.

The moon completes a full revolution every 29.5 days and therefore esbats are typically monthly affairs.  This is a natural connection for women whose own monthly cycles mimic this pattern.  Indeed, women in particular are frequently able to harness lunar energy and use it to great effect.  The period from new moon to full is referred to as the waxing phase, and is associated with increase and growth.  The waning phase is from full to new and is used for decrease or banishing of negative influences.  Both the full and new moon are times of great power and are culminations of the energies leading up to them.  To be in tune with the moon is to know at any one moment what the current phase and energies are.  Observing and learning the moon’s phases is one of the easiest and most immediate ways to connect with nature.  It is also interesting to note that when trying to begin a new habit or replace an old one people frequently recommend maintaining the activity for about one full moon cycle for the habit to take root.  Lunar cycles and humanity share an intimate connection with deep roots in our psyche.  As the tides rise and fall from the pull of the moon’s gravity, so do our spirits feel the allure of our silent companion, and sit enchanted beneath its pale light.

Journal for the Month of February:

As I write this the new moon has arrived, and it’s time for me to commit to new goals and eliminate useless clutter and stress.  I personally love observing the moon; maybe it’s leftover from picking out constellations in the night sky as a child.  There is something absolutely mesmerizing about it, and for me it has been much easier to connect with lunar cycles than solar ones.  I think that’s partially also because a year is so much longer and a day is just too quick.  A moon cycle is the perfect length of time to plan things, work on them, and bring positive change to any area of life.  For me this month it’s going to be getting on that pre-spring cleaning that so desperately needs to be done!

In this column and the last you may notice that I haven’t really delved into God or Goddess associations with the sun and moon in much depth (or at all).  Deity is such a broad and personal subject that I would rather save that for its own separate entry to give it justice.  These past couple of months I have been giving so much thought and meditation to what God/dess means to me.  I expect it will take me a lifetime to come up with any true answers, but I refuse to take it at face value and leave it at that.  The symbols and correspondences we work with point to deeper meanings that cannot be understood by grazing the surface.  Nor can they be understood using only the intellect.  I think that all of us who began a spiritual journey started it in order to come to more than just book knowledge – we want to experience deity.  We want to awaken the deepest levels of our consciousness and feel something.  Union with the divine.  Realizing our higher selves.  God.  Goddess.  What that something is we find hard to define in words, but we seek it nonetheless.  I am only taking the first steps in that journey, but I hope that one day it will come together.  And I hope that we may all find that which we seek.

Until next month, blessed be! )O(


In the Realm of Magic

For many of us who enjoy a good Harry Potter book or the fairy tales of childhood, there is a special word that draws us to the study of Wicca: magic.  That one mysterious word conjures up a euphoria of wonder and excitement that feels alien in comparison to our daily lives.  Suddenly, anything is possible, and we become more than mere mortals bracing against the tides of fate.  These are certainly the types of emotions the idea of magic can inspire, but daily we are told to keep such notions in the realm of fiction where they belong.  There is the world of reality and the world of the imagination, through which a clear and distinct boundary is drawn.  But is this division as clear as some say?  Is there really a division at all?  These are some of the questions Wiccans open themselves to and ask, allowing for a faith which embraces what others may not even consider possible.

One way to begin to explore these questions is to establish: what do we mean by “reality?”  Many would name the physical world around us as the foundation of the real world.  This is the area accessible to our senses, and we experience it everyday in a reliable manner that gives us little reason to doubt its existence.  Not every aspect of this world can be sensed, which we know through scientific instruments that go beyond our human limitations.  This is the only way we know of ultraviolet light, microwaves, or dark matter for instance.  Even though we cannot see these things ourselves we know they are real when we observe their effects.  Before each of these things was discovered by scientists they most certainly existed, we simply did not have technology suitable to view them.  It is therefore wise to have a healthy dose of open-mindedness alongside skepticism when deciding whether magic may or may not be “real,” as today’s unknowns can always become tomorrows discoveries.

Now let us go back to the separation between reality and imagination.  We have established that reality in common thought corresponds to the material world, both seen and unseen.  Imagination is something altogether distinct.  It is the collection of our thoughts, dreams, and hopes as to what reality should or might be.  I can see a horse and imagine a unicorn.  I can see a problem and imagine its solution.  Our thoughts and mind are our primary way of creating change in the physical world by envisioning what can be instead of what is.  A thought may not be a material object in the way that a chair is, but its effects on the world around us are real and profound in the form of our actions.  This blurs the definition a bit on what constitutes reality.  Is a thought only real if I create it in the material world?  Or is it real because of its affect on my decisions and actions?  A hopeful person may in reality have nothing to look forward to based on the way events play out, but the effect the hope has on the person changes what they do and how they act regardless of the physical reality around them.  Imagination is separate from reality only in that it does not have to conform to the physical world to be real or have an effect, and this is the key to understanding what magic is.

Someone who practices magic in our world does not have lightning bolts shooting from their fingertips and may or may not wear a pointy hat.  There is a certain aspect of romanticism in modern witchcraft that plays to the fantastical and whimsical natures of many of its practitioners.  What all magic shares, regardless of the outer forms, is a disciplined focus of the mind and thoughts aimed to produce an effect.  To believe in magic is merely to believe that thoughts can affect reality, and to practice and hone the craft of doing so.  To a skeptic this may only go so far as to acknowledge that if a person focuses their thoughts with great intensity towards a goal, it would at the very least affect the actions of that person.  If my goal is to find love and I wish to use magic, all of my concentration and focus on that goal would undoubtedly affect what I do and move my actions in line with it.  Most practitioners take it a step further and say that the thoughts you put out affect the energy around you, and that true magic is when that energy is affected enough to bring about your intentions.  That is a harder gap to bridge for those new or foreign to the Craft, but as with all of its aspects Wicca values experience over belief.  It does not require you to believe in magic but rather invites you to experience it and judge for yourself.  As with hope, there is nothing to lose, and everything to gain by choosing to suspend one’s disbelief.  And that is when the boundaries to the realms of reality and imagination blur, uniting to create a truly magical whole.

Journal for the Month of November:

I cannot say that I have yet had a successful experience with a spell.  On the other hand I have had a direct experience with another form of energy work known as Reiki.  A few months back I attended a Reiki attunement for levels I and II.  During this process the student is said to be opened to the flow of universal energy in order to channel it for healing.  I went into the experience very skeptical, but with an open mind.  During one of the guided meditations I experienced a strange sensation, almost as if energy were coursing through my spine at a rapid pace.  The sensation heightened and intensified to the point where I felt as if some torrential waterfall were coursing through me unhindered.  After a time the feeling faded, and as I came back into my regular awareness I learned that our instructor had been focusing on opening our chakras during those moments before.  There was no way I had imagined the experience, and I could not explain it away in rational terms.

Why do I mention this experience here?  For me, it was pivotal in giving the concept of magic a chance.  I firmly believe in the power of the mind and that amazing things can be accomplished through its discipline, but I had a hard time accepting the idea of energy work and its implications.  Magic and Reiki are two very different things, most especially because in Reiki the practitioner never tries to control the flow the energy, and instead focuses on being a clear and open channel for it.  But I can now say that I have literally felt energy working within me, and it has opened my mind to a vast sea of possibilities I may never before have considered.  To anyone else I would say, don’t just believe in something, know it from your experience.  And at the same time you can take the knowledge from others that such things are possible, as long as we are willing to open ourselves to them.

Until next month, blessed be! )O(

*The Hedgewitch lives in the space between the Village and the Forest. Between the mundane and the magical. S/He lives with a foot in both worlds.
This column is dedicated to the Hedgewitches of the planet earth.

February 2009 (sorry for my absence last month, but life called, and I had to answer…)

Creating Sacred Space in A Hectic World

As modern people, we can become so busy that the idea of having time for ritual, The Divine, or even Self can be laughable. Not so much funny- ha ha, but sad, and ironic.
We remember, fondly, times when we were still, and lit candles and meditated or prayed.
When we first came to the Path, we made time for all the wonders of life. Her mysteries were our oyster and we stole precious moments away from responsibilities of everyday mundanity to ponder the magical.
But as we became more sure of ourselves, we took less and less time for the quiet moments.
So many things come to call for our attention, and it can be much easier just to give in to them, allowing our sacred time to become rare and sometimes forgotten, entirely.
But even as the surest thing is that Change will come to our lives, and seasons of hectic and busy abound, there can be sacred space, and time. We can make a commitment to the Magical and to the Divine.
This year, I have renewed my resolution to create Sacred Space. To make time.

We all have different lives, and levels of privacy and free time. This said, I suggest that there are many ways to take advantage of the privacy and free time we have, by being creative about how we use these resources as they present themselves.
Best place for sacred space: The bathroom
The bathroom is a place of guaranteed privacy for at least 15 minutes each day.
I have long used the bathroom for creating sacred space, stemming from requirement, when my husband wasn’t aware of my spirituality. It was my personal Broom Closet.
The bathroom also inherently comes with the benefits of Water and all its many blessings. Cooling, soothing, warming, cleansing, blessing and ritual bathing. Add a stone, or jar of bath salts, a candle, and some incense and you have all 4 elements working together to balance the energy of this powerful room.
Some possible activities to create sacred space might include:

* A ritual bath or shower- excellent for the applications of cleansing, blessing, healing, stress relief and purification.
* “Seated meditation”- at least once a day you are likely to be seated in your bathroom anyway. This time can be used for a mantra, chant or prayer. Focus the mind and allow stress to be released through the feet, placed squarely on the floor.
* Candle Magic- the bathtub can be a wonderful choice for place to light and keep a ritual candle. Spells can be performed, divinations undertaken and scrying can all be done in this space. In households with children and pets there can be precious few places to allow a candle to burn out undisturbed, and the tub can be just the place.

On The Move: The Sacred Car
Many of us have lengthy commutes, during which we are sort of prisoners. Often this can be stressful, and add to our aggravation, rather than help us to relax or become centered.
I have begun to spend my time in the car in a new way. This is the perfect time for a mantra or chant. We already sing with the radio or chat with the family. Why not make up a song to represent the magic you wish to undertake?
Fill the car, and then the world around, with the energy coming from your car.
Take time before you leave the house to come up with a little ditty to sing aloud. Rhyming helps us remember the words, but isn’t necessary.
Some other ideas for the sacred car include:

* adding a cat whisker to the glove box in a ritual manner to help navigation, stealth, and protection from unseen forces.
* Taking time before starting the engine to bless the car and the drive ahead.
* drawing a rune or other protective symbol somewhere inside the car to remind your conscious mind that your car is protected and safe, come what may.
* Meditation can sometimes be tricky in a moving car, but prayer and direction of energy toward the Divine can be easily accomplished while driving.

Good Night Moon: Bed as a sacred space
I have always felt my bed was my most sacred space. I sleep there, relax and read there and retire there when the rest of the world is just too much. I am restored, given dreams and visions, and comforted by this space already.
Once viewed as a place to retreat to the Divine, the possibilities are endless.

* Bed is the ideal place to meditate. Although we often fall asleep while doing it, this should never deter you from meditating there, anyway. Your ensuing sleep is bound to be deep and recuperative, having occurred when you were so relaxed.
* we can often clear our minds and focus more once we lie down than during any other time of the day. Spellwork, healings and all manner of divination can be implemented here.
* Scattering essential oils in the bedroom can help bring the mind into focus of the energies we wish to create. Lavender is excellent for relaxation and for calming, whereas peppermint can bring vitality and sharpen the mind. A few drops on a Kleenex or cloth tucked in the pillowcase can bring about an immersion into the mood you wish to create.
* the bedroom can be a great place to light candles and burn incense, when the rest of the home isn’t free for such things.
* We can take time to journal or write for ourselves when we are swathed in the comfort of our beds.

Taking time to create meaningful space can attune us to the Divine in a way that few other activities can. 5 minutes can make a huge difference in the rest of our lives.
I hope that you will find small ways (or even big ways) to make your daily life sacred, and to feel the deep joy that comes from Our connectedness.
Brightest Blessings of the new Season

The Everyday Witch notices the magic in the mundane and uses the images of her environmental space to conduct effective Spelling.   In order to get to that point in our daily lives, where the magic is obvious, we must have the tools to visualize our space and experience the magic.

For my introductory column, I am supposed to write some flowery stuff about me and my heritage and what I know.  Instead, I will direct you to my new MySpace and The Everyday Witch website to give you the update on me.  I would much prefer for you to be thinking about Correspondences and what they mean to you, what images you personally associate with Fire or with East.  I have included a Correspondence table for you to read.  You can also use this Google Search link which looks for the key words “witchcraft correspondences”.

The first thing one must possess to practice effective Magic is Belief.  Correspondence Witchcraft gives the Witch an edge on Belief.  The corresponding ideas work together to form a synergy which aids in the visualization.  What I would like to focus on for my first column is to give you something useful and relevant to the Correspondences that Everyday Witches use in their Craft.  A project of sorts, timed to the moon and designed to assist you in visualization in time for Ostara 2009.  You will need 6 panels.  A box or heavy paper is sufficient.  If you aren’t the creative type, a journal with 6 entries on 6 pages will suffice.  I do however, believe strongly in visualization as a means to success, so please make an effort to print or draw images during the exercise to help guide your learning process.  This would make an interesting addition to a BOS or a Scrapbook on Wicca. The 6 panels will represent the 6 Cardinal Directions.  North, East, South, West, Above and Below.  It will also encompass the 5 basic elements of Earth, Air Fire Water and Spirit. This is the over arching Theme to my column, Correspondences.  You could call it “Foundations for Successful Witchcraft”.  The best way to classify the information in my column is “The rudimentary knowledge one should have before committing oneself to the Craft”.  I may want to be a Plumber, but without a wrench I’m just a bald guy with bad butt crack.  The tool is very important to the Craft.

While you are deciding between the journal and the box, I will tell you that I have always considered the world around me in a relational sense.  This is related to that through this relationship.  It’s like an odd “six degrees of separation”.  For me, Correspondences make sense of those relationships and gives them an order that no other religion or path of faith has provided me.  Only witchcraft with the belief in the Goddess incorporated into ritual, has provided a sense of order and structure in my life.

I think it is best to say that my column is about the magic of ordinary things.  In the 1970’s, the Scholastic Book Club carried books by Ruth Chew.  What the Witch Left and The Wednesday Witch.  This genre of fairy tales that best describes Witchcraft are those of ordinary household items being magical tools.  The Folk Practices of the 1600’s Scotland included this tradition of Kitchen Witchery for the benefit of healing and family prosperity.  It’s not just a kettle, it’s a magical cauldron!  That is the stalk from which I am raised.  The Hippie Love Flower Child of the 1970’s with a spiritual philosophy of LOVE and The Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales are the tacky metallic wallpaper which cover the walls of my sacred space.  I am a city witch, growing up primarily in the crowded apartment complexes and “designed neighborhood community”, with summer visits to the Southern California Desert and teenage years spent roaming the fields of the Silicon Valley… before it was the Silicon Valley.

You will find a book list in the coming months which focuses on the beginners path, and hopefully there will be some more “advanced” discussions on religion, magic and the need for Ritual in our ordinary lives.  To start with, I use the Seasons of the Witch Planner from 7th House, as I find the information interesting – the mundane stuff like Planetary Hours can be found anywhere on the internet.  Having a good calendar geared for Moon phases, Sabbats, and other helpful information like Astrology and Tarot is very nice to have in practicing the Craft.  I’ve used a lot of them, Seasons of the Witch is by far my most favorite.

The candles, the incense the altar, the chalice, the bread, the wine, all are part of the Witchcraft ritual.  For people on the Catholic path, Witchcraft should appear familiar and easy.  Witchcraft is very ceremonial – but it is not the ceremony which makes the magic, it is the belief and our ability to visualize our intentions.  The ceremony is simply the descriptor for our Sacred Space.

Correspondence Witchcraft takes advantage of the visualization, providing a 6 sided “space” with which to define our environmental space.  Correspondence Witchcraft can be likened to the work of Carl Jung.  The importance of imagery and visualization is very central to both his psychology and his other writings.  The Correspondence Table for my personal brand of Correspondence Witchcraft is included with this column, as mentioned above.  Here’s the link again. Keep in mind that you will most probably have a different path, a different set of Correspondences.  You may be from the Southern Hemisphere reading this column on the Web, and of course it will be very different for you!

The Beginning is very important to one’s beliefs.  While the Wheel of the Year is a pretty picture, there isn’t a lot to guide an inquiring Witch to understanding how the Wheel is read.  So, “ Where do you start?”  I personally start in the East.  When I finish my circle, I want to be standing firmly on the ground, therefore I end my Quarter Calls in the North, or Yule.  Or think of it as, I start on the shoreline with the rising sun on the East and I end on the shoreline in the North.  This makes Imbolg the first ceremony of the new year.  It also makes Imbolg a Cross Quarter Sabbat.  But we will get into all that in a future column.

Only you can decide the start of your Year.  Is your path more Wiccan, does your Wheel start at Samhain, making your first Sabbat of the year Yule?  Or is the wheel not a consideration and you begin every Ritual facing East?  There are a multitude of justifications for where your box should “begin”.  Pick one that is right for you.

My background in Correspondences began when I was a child.  My grandmother and grandfather secretly practiced and taught me the importance of the relationship of “things”. By the age of 34 I had become a Level 2 Energetic Healer and a 2nd Degree Priestess of Sankofa Pride.  It was with Sankofa Pride that I discovered my knack for Correspondences and how easily I could associate colors and stars and goddesses.  I worked with the Temple of Isis, Iseum of Isis Padeusis and remained close with Lady Sankofa.  I established a “Big Witch” Circle in Long Beach CA where ritual witchcraft was practiced on a monthly basis.  The Grotto enjoyed a full year and several months in Long Beach.  I am finding it harder and harder to find the “big witches” simply because most of us, at this point, retire and teach only our family.  I hope that by laying down the basics, I can provide the impetus for a future Big Witch to carry on.

For the month of February, you should be preparing and gathering items to make your box, your 6 scrap book pages or your 6 journal entries.  The craft store Michael’s has some lovely sized affordable boxes to decoupage or paint.  Your thoughts should cover what you want to do – box, panels – how involved you want to be – easy glue on or in depth detailed painting – and of course the visualizations.

I will let you be the guide to your own creativity.  However, may I suggest using the Google Image Search to gather and meditate on your Correspondences?  I have provided a link here for you which searches the Google Images for “witchcraft correspondences East”. That should get you on your way to visualizations!  Mix up the key words and see what comes up for “Animal Totem West” or “Water Undine”.  Save the images you most relate to or that speaks to you strongly.  You will want to print those images in color for later decoupage (gluing) on to the box or panels.

Using basic Wicca concepts, your 6 panels will become the visual representations of North, East, South, West, Above and Below.  Not everyone likes to do Below since the box is sitting on that panel.  For the Ceremonialists reading along, please, note I am including this portion especially for you.

Starting in the East, you will want to sketch out the 4 cardinal points and their correspondences.  You can also use the Season and the Sabbat correspondences to the cardinal points.

All of the panels should be sketched out as you want them by the first weekend of February.  Decide where on your box or object the elementals will be placed, color choices for each Element should be identified and any photos or pictures you want to glue/decoupage on the box should be printed in color and ready for application. The first Elemental Panel (your choice) should be traced or outlined on the box at the very least.  Ideally you should be well underway with painting or applying the first panel.  If you are using a journal or 6 scrapbook pages, you will want the Elemental panels sketched out, and your visual materials ready to be glued or stapled in place.

The Dedication Full Moon is February 9th.  You will want to have the majority of the Elementals Sketches complete by now and well underway.  If you are using a box, the material should be prepped – base coats applied, etc and so on.  During your regular February Full Moon observance, you want to hold each of the elemental panels in your mind and meditate on their magic.  As you attend Full Moon Circle for February, reflect on the images you have chosen to remind you of the Elemental Beings, the Animals and the Star Watch Tower.  In your mind, go through all of the Elemental Beings and the ritual tools and the colors, for East, and for South, for West and for North.  Hold these images in your mind and let them interact, let their synergy mingle. Hold this synergy in your thoughts and dedicate it to your future spells and intentions.  This energy should be channeled into your box, your journal or your pages, for the seeding and planting of the magical tool which will aid your future intentions in magic working yet to come.

For the remainder of February, the Elemental Panels should be completed and/or applied.  Instead of playing Solitaire this month, spend those 3 hours a day researching the Goddess which corresponds to West?  This is the “get your hands dirty” kind of Witchcraft preparation work that inspires the mind.  Spelling is not just about words.  Spelling is about visual images and 3 dimensional ideas we can hold in our mind.

For the March column, we will cover the structure of a Full Moon Spell used in conjunction with a Sabbat Ritual.  You will need your box or your panels as Correspondence will be a central component.

Correspondence is the foundation, Spelling is the structure.

Book List and URL References

The Everyday Witch – http://www.geocities.com/girleegeek/

The Everyday Witch at Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/theeverydaywitch

Correspondence table – http://www.geocities.com/girleegeek/TheEveryDayWitch/Witchcraft_Correspondences.htm

To Ride a Silver Broomstick – Silver Raven Wolf  http://www.amazon.com/Ride-Silver-Broomstick-Generational-Witchcraft/dp/087542791X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232566860&sr=1-1

To Stir a Magic Cauldron – Silver Ravenwolf  http://www.amazon.com/Stir-Magick-Cauldron-Casting-Conjuring/dp/1567184243/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232566860&sr=1-3

Moon Magik – DJ Conway  http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Magick-Recipes-Llewellyns-Practical/dp/1567181678

Thank you for welcoming me back into the Pagan Pages family. It is good to be home.

Knowing if you are pagan is relatively simple, but choosing your path is a little more complex. There are hundreds of pagan paths that a practitioner can follow. Before you choose your path research them. Follow your heart when you make your final decision.

The title of this column is Blessed Be the Kitchen Witch. I am a kitchen witch but I am so also much more. I have brought many more practices into my craft, hearth witchery, cottage witchery, green witchery and garden witchery. I am an earth based witch and all of these practices are centered on the hearth and home so to me all fall into Kitchen Witchery. They are what make me the witch I choose to be. This column will have a little bit of all. It’s easy to be a Kitchen Witch if everything at your kitchen works perfectly. Last time I had some problems with plumbing, all I needed to do was to visit MarinesPlumbing.com and call this contractor. They are real magicians, I should say.

All of the spells, advice, and tips in this column are used with harm to none. Please follow the Wiccan Rede when doing any of the workings found here.

The following was found on the internet and I don’t know who the Author is.

The Kitchen Witch’s Creed

In this pot I stir the sun,

an’ follow the rule of harming none.

Banishment of bane when goin’ windershins;

an’ with water and salt negativity is cleansed.

Household duties are more than chores,

Magick abounds when mopping the floors.

With this broom, I do sweep,

To clean my house and safety keep.

Marigold, Basil, Thyme, and Yarrow,

My spell is cast for a better tomorrow.

Lemons for joy and apples for health,

The pow’r within brings great wealth.

And in this kitchen I do pray,

To truly walk the Witch’s Way.

The tools of a Kitchen Witch do not necessarily have to be bought. A simple wooden spoon can become a wand. A cup or bowl can become a chalice and vessel. Ordinary kitchen knives can be used for an athame and boline. The kitchen broom becomes a staff. The slow cooker or crock pot or a heavy duty cooking pot can be used as a cauldron. A simple coffee grinder takes place of the mortar and pestle. A Kitchen Witch’s magick comes from within, so be sure to use natural materials. Ie: glass, metal, wood, pottery, and ceramics, the broom should be made of straw.

A Kitchen Witch uses essential oils and incense to create balance. He or she turns everyday mundane life into magicak moments. They will take pride in the meals they prepare, and the recipes they create. There are many spells involving a broom and mop. They use these items to cleanse their home which is also their sacred space. He or She will also keep to the rule of harming none as not to jeopardize their magick. Their symbols involve household items such as a cauldron, broom, corn dolls, the triquetra, and a kitchen witch doll. Of course they will use any symbol that is comfortable for them.

A little lore using simple elements from the house.

The refrigerator is the appliance dedicated to air.

Fire dwells within the stove

Water rules over the kitchen sink

All the foods and herbs in the kitchen are ruled by the earth element.

It is thru the use of these basic everyday items from our kitchens that our magick is created.

Even more lore from a Kitchen Witch’s home

Be sure to wash all of your dishes every night is you work with fairy magick. Faries don’t like a dirty kitchen and they won’t let you sleep until you clean it!!

Hang wind chimes in doorways, in front of windows outside, or from a balcony rail to ward off negative energy and keep away intruders.

Sifters and strainers kept in the kitchen are good for protection and will keep the kitchen safe.

If you have a bunch of accidents in your kitchen it is time to magikcally cleanse it.

Sew herbs or magickal powders into the lining of your drapes. Place packets of herbs or magickal powders under your throw rugs. This helps protect and scent the home at the same time.

Herbs for alternate healing


NOTE: Before using any of these remedies please check with your doctor. Some may be bad for your health if you have an existing condition that will interact with the herbs.

Arthritis: Comfrey

Flu: cayenne pepper

Gout: comfrey.  Gout is also in the arthritis family

Headaches: rosemary

Insect Stings: Marigold

Nightmares: chamomile, rosemary

I will have more for you next month.

 

Natural Remedies

Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 min.

Dump Nestea into a bath for sunburn

Use meat tenderizer for bee stings

Puffy eyes? Preparation H….I know it sounds gross but it works…yes I have used it…lol

Use that old time favorite snack jell-o for stinky feet… I know.. now I am really grossing you out, but these really work.

Put Kool-Aid in plain yogurt and let your kids use it for finger paints. Your kids will love it and it won’t hurt them if they eat it.

Use Pam cooking spray for a sticking bike chain

Pam will also remove paint and grease from your hands

Peanut butter will take the ink off the face of dolls

Stay tuned for more

March brings us our Spring Equinox. It is also the sabbat of Ostara. Ostara is celebrated on this equinox. It is also known as Lady Day. Ostara is named after the Goddess Eostre. While modern day Wiccans equate Ostara with the spring equinox, the original Ostara was a lunar holiday celebrated on the 1st full moon following the equinox. The significance of Ostara is the beginning of spring and the renewal and rebirth of nature herself.

The full moon for March is called the Chaste Moon. March is the month when spring is upon us. With spring comes the rebirth of plants and animals. Now is the time for new beginnings, new projects, and planting your flowers and new herbs.

I live in an apartment complex so I don’t have flower beds (the BIG downfall of apartment buildings) I do however have a balcony. Since this is the 1st spring I have been here I am going to try my hand at balcony gardening. I will get planters for the railing and plant some of my favorite flowers and a herb garden. I can’t wait. This month’s gardening will be geared towards the apartment dwellers.

For those of you who have a sunny kitchen window (I don’t) the windowsill full of potted plants and herbs not only looks good, but they release magickal energies into the room. Plant some common herbs that are used in your kitchen. Of course plant some of the herbs you like so you can have their energies too.
This month’s craft

Doorway Protection for those living in an apartment

Items Needed:

1 purple candle   glue gun and glue sticks  wire cutters

¼ yard ½ “ lace, gathered and color of choice

2 yds ¼ “ satin ribbon in your color of choice

4 yds ½ “ satin ribbon in a contrasting color

10 small silk rose buds ( found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels)

Gather these items into your sacred space. Light the purple candle. Before making this protective charm, sit and clear your mind and think of how you want this charm to protect your home. When you are ready begin.

1. Take the broom and “very carefully” pass it thru the flame of the candle, the fire will help infuse your charm with your energy. Do this for each item.
2. With the ¼ “ ribbon tie a double bow and glue to the top of the handle. Cut the wire stems off 2 of the silk rosebuds. Glue these to the center of the bow.
3. Take the ½ “ ribbon and tie it into a triple bow. Glue this to the base of the handle. Cut the wire stems off 4 of the rosebuds. Glue them to the center of the bow.
4. Glue the gathered lace along the bottom edge of the bristles(about 1” from the bottom) Cut the stems off the remaining rosebuds and glue them evenly spaced across the lace.
5. Hold your finished broom in your hands as you visualize its intent.

The following incantation is recommended but now necessary. I know it doesn’t rhyme but I haven’t yet mastered that.

Wrapped in ribbon and lace

This broom is enchanted.

Cleansed in fire, now may my wish be granted.

Magic broom of mine protect from harm,

Ward off negativity

Blessed be.

Hang the broom bristles up over your door.

Allow the candle to burn for a bit then extinguish. Put the candle away and use the next time you work any protection for your apartment.

As I told everyone in June 06, I had a “kitchen witch doll” that hang in 7 different kitchen’s and had made it thru all the moves. Well I had to give her a decent send off as she didn’t make it thru my last move intact. Next month’s craft will be the making of a Kitchen Witch Doll.

In closing: Everyone has their own magickal or sacred place. Mine is my home. I feel the magick of my home as well as work my own magick. For some this is their magickal place too. Whatever your place, make it your own. Decorate it to your taste. For those who’s space is outside, enhance your place by adding nice chairs and pots of flowers that you feel drawn too. This place too can be made your very own. Whether inside or out, have fun making your space. Let it take on your personality as well as keeping its own.

Remember: Magick happens all around us.

See you next month

This month I wanted to focus of Deity. Since this is such a touchy subject for many of us as well as a subject that will start flaming wars, I will be looking at different kitchen/hearth Gods and goddesses. For no other reason than there have been so many different ones throughout history. I do not wish to annoy, anger or irritate anyone… so please read this for only the informational purposes that it was intended for.

I do not mean to seem like I am attacking before I am attacked. But recently I have been getting involved, without meaning to or having the desire to, in arguments about God, Goddess, and Deity. I personally have fairly simple views of Deity and why it is seen so many differing ways.

I see Deity as a jewel/gem. A beautiful and many faceted Jewel. If you look at this graphic you will be able to see the many different ways a stone can be faceted…

hearth1

BUT no matter how you facet it, it will always be a gem. If I see the top of the gem… and someone else sees the side of that same gem it may look like a completely different stone. If you take 1 large stone and divide it into many different many faceted stones… it will ultimately remain 1 large stone in many pieces.

THAT is how I see deity.  It may have broken itself down into male and female faceted gems. Then broken itself even further into smaller versions so that you and I may find the stone we need for that moment in our lives…or the face of Deity that someone needed to cope with whatever was in their life. BUT in the end…Deity is Deity and no matter how many times we break it down to be more manageable and easier to understand or what faceted face we see… it remains the one being in many parts.

The problems start when the human element is brought into play. When My God/dess becomes bigger, better, more, than your God/dess… once we start doing that … we draw the lines in the sand that make other want to prove to you that Their God/dess is better than Yours…so many issues could be and would be avoided if people just saw that the face (facet ) of God/dess they see is the perfect one for THEM…and no one else but them. My God/dess is awesome and amazing and all I need…but I do not want to impose my Deity on anyone else…and I try really hard not to get into a situation that others try to impose THEIR God/dess on me.

So I wanted to show that there are many different facets of Deity that many races needed for their hearths and homes…I hope that you get as much out of this as I did researching and writing it…

TSAO WANG: God of the hearth. Every household has its own Tsao Wang. Every year the hearth god reports on the family to the Jade Emperor, and the family has good or bad luck during the coming year according to his report. The hearth god’s wife records every word spoken by every member of the family. A paper image represents the hearth god and his wife, and incense is burned to them daily. When the time came to make his report to the Jade Emperor, sweetmeats were placed in his mouth, the paper was burned, and firecrackers were lit to speed him on his way. (Chinese)

GENIUS: A guardian who protects both individuals and homes. (Roman)

LAR: God of the house, a cheerful and beautiful youth.(Roman)

HESTIA: Every home had a hearth that was dedicated to the goddess, and each day began and ended with a ritual requesting that she protect and nurture the family within.
As the Goddess of Architecture, Hestia intended that homes should be built from the center out, with the center being a hearth that contained her sacred flame.  As part of the naming ritual, all infants were carried in a circle around the altar of Hestia to secure her blessings. There was an altar to Hestia in the center of every home…it was the fireplace, the hearth, where the family gathered.  Hestia’s vision of a house was that it should truly be a home, a place where one’s body, spirit, and relationships would be nurtured and replenished… a place to “come home to” after exposure to the cold and chaos of the external world.  Hestia is associated with the warmth and comfort of the welcoming fireplace. Just as the flames glowing from the hearth soothe us with their warmth and glowing light, the goddess Hestia gives us security, peace, and comfort and helps us accept the truth of our lives with inner grace (greek)

BOKAM: is the feminized hearth-flame worshipped by the shamanic Ket tribe of Siberia; they dominate the lower basin of the holy Yenisei River in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Krai district (Siberia)

FUCHI or HUCHI: (Huchi-Fuchi (Unchi-Ahchi): (“Grandmother Hearth”) I apologies if my spelling is wrong. Japanese Goddess of the stove and thus the Goddess that heats the tea. The intricate Japanese Tea Ceremony is in part to honor her. Another one of her jobs is to intercede with the Gods on behalf of mortals. The hearth is considered the heart of a home, the vital element that keeps life flowing probably means “Fire”.
She is also a kamui [goddess] of the hearth worshipped by the Ainu aborigines of Japan; and according to one account of her mythic origins she was borne from the spark kindled by a fire drill.(Japanese)

FUJI / FUJIYAMA / SENGN-SAMA: The Japanese hearth-goddess of the native Ainu people, and personification of Mt. Fuji (an extinct volcano), the apex on which her sanctuary was constructed. Due to the predisposition of the Ainu people towards an indigenous form of shamanism, this mountain may have been regarded as an axis mundi serving to unite the “heavenly” world of the gods with the “Underworld” presided over by one’s ancestors.[Japanese)

GHOLUMTA EKE [“Hearth-Mother”]: is another identity of the Mongolian hearth-goddess.

HINUKAN
: is a hearth-goddess worshipped throughout Okinawa, Japan; she ensures the safety of each household. Her rites are conducted by the eldest female residing in the home. However, it is not deemed customary for men to pray at her hearth, probably because males have never been associated with religious authority in this region of Japan. Hinukan is esteemed as the mediator between the gods and mankind. (Japanese)

HWEI-LU or WEI: was originally a Chinese fire-goddess, but gradually came to be recognized as the spirit of the hearth (or Tsao shin) during the end of the seventh-century BCE. The caretaker of an ancestral temple at Lu is thought to have first worshipped her in this guise, sacrificing to the goddess with firewood that he had set ablaze. Her cult assumed a role of only marginal importance within native folk-religion for the next five-hundred years, until the early second-century, when an Emperor from the Han dynasty officially adopted Hwei-lu as a member of the imperial-cult; hitherto the late nineteenth-century CE, however, the presiding spirit of the hearth has come to be regarded as one of the most preeminent deities of China.( Chinese)

Bes: God of Domestic Protection, Childbirth and Family; Protection for Children, Pregnant Women and Families

Beset: Goddess of Domestic Protection and Home Security (Egyptian)

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

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