A Simple Path: Journey of a Hedgewitch

*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.

Hedge Economics Lesson

We are all, no doubt, aware of the economic situation in the United States, at this time, and keenly feel its impact on our own way of lives.
The media gives us cause for concern each time we switch on the set.
The situation for many is dire.
And while this gives most folks a real reason to be fearful, I suggest, perhaps, we Magical People have an opportunity to enjoy a blessing that only people of Faith can.

We pull together as families and communities and covens to meet the needs of those closest to us. Perhaps this is a time to make extra rice or noodles, and invite neighbors for a nourishing meal and heartfelt conversation.
There is much “belt-tightening”, and we clip coupons, find sales and cut back in order to make our budgets stretch further.

But I suggest there is more we can do. And it just so happens, it is the very thing we are the best at!
After much thought and consideration, I have concluded that we can eliminate the feeling of hoarding and lack through a change in our mindset.
We already believe in some form of the concept “as above, so below”.
We believe that we can visualize and manifest the material using our spiritual energy and personal ritual.
I believe that this is a time for using this belief and ability to its fullest potential.

We all know the physical sensations that accompany a wave of fear. The tightening chest, perhaps a bead of unbidden sweat rolling down your temple, pounding heart, accelerated respiration.
When we begin to allow the fears of the unknown (ie, how we will pay the Past Due electric bill, or manifest enough dinner out of the random and unrelated items in our pantries) we can start to feel the sensations of fear creeping in around the edges.
Once allowed to take root, the fear can grow and multiply, until we cannot sleep, or concentrate or even function, if left unchecked for long enough.
We become accustomed to feeling ‘stressed out’.

When this happens, we are feeding energy to the lack in our lives with every fiber of our being. More powerful than the most effective spell, this resident fear has the ability to manifest additional lack in our lives. The situation gets worse and our lives suffer for it.
This is no more phenomenal than the Law of Attraction at work.
What we perceive and give energy to is what manifests in our physical lives.
When we ponder lack and insufficiency, we manifest lack and spiraling despair.

With this understanding, we can utilize this same principle to manifest abundance and hope.
Being able to recognize the physical symptoms of stress, at their onset is key to the success of retraining the psyche to manifest wealth and abundance.
We can head the fear “off at the pass” and realign ourselves with the Divine.
Using nothing more high tech than the breath, we can stave off disaster in the present, in the form of stress and worry, and in the future, in the form of additional problems.
Spending time truly inside your own body, and knowing what it feels like at rest is crucial. Taking a few moments each day to be fully at rest, and breathing deeply and evenly gives us a window into what our body feels like when it is calm.
Then, when the easily-recognizable symptoms of stress and fear begin to happen, we can use this as a trigger to begin to return ourselves to a state of calm. Breathing deeply and evenly, and focusing on nothing but that.

We can grasp the sense that the Divine wants us to be happy, live in abundance and take care of one another. If we truly trust this process, we can calm our minds with the mantra “What is meant to be makes room for itself”.
When things happen that seem to be terrible, we can realize that this is a necessary situation to bring our lives into closer alignment with the authentic life we are meant to be enjoying.
Beginning and ending the day with a prayer, meditation or mantra of this sort can help to train our minds and spirits to react in a calm and trusting way.
When difficulties arise, we can draw from this pool of trust to ease our spirits back into a state of calm, and reaffirm our commitment to live our authentic life.
Changes must often be made in order to bring us into the place where we are ready to receive the blessings we have been clamoring for.
And while change in itself is stressful, and the unknown is so scary sometimes, we can trust that What is Meant To Be makes Room For Itself.

Further, a visual aid can sometimes help retrain the spirit to attract what we need. My personal favorite device is the 3×5 card. Post it Notes are also excellent, as you can affix them to many different types of surfaces.
Having reminders of our intention can be quite useful when we can consciously forget, and be swept away into fear.

* All my needs are met in abundance
* I have more than enough of everything I need
* My pantry (refrigerator/bank account/wallet/etc) is always full.
* Abundance lives here
* I live in harmony and calm.
* More and more I am changing into the person I want to be.
* My life reflects my desires.

Any affirmation can be used, so take these ideas and create some that really specifically suit your situation. Always use positive words for your affirmations, because what you say is what you get (ie, “My needs are always met“. NOT “I don’t want to be poor”. In the same way that children don’t respond to negative words like “don’t!”, the Universe can work more efficiently when we focus on our desire, not what we wish to avoid).

Placing these reminders in areas we are most likely to need them is essential to our success in overcoming our fear-based habits of worry and negative mindsets.
The car, the fridge, the bathroom mirror, the wall in front of the bed- all excellent locations for an affirmation reminder. The more we see them, and say them, the more likely we are to begin to incorporate them into our mindset and our subconscious well of resources.
Eventually, we begin to remind ourselves without them, in situations which call for it, and our conscious brain will hollar out the affirmations when we need them most.

Once we have retrained our spirit to draw to us what we want, rather than what we wish to avoid, our abundance comes to us easily. As if by magic, in fact. The obstacles to our happiness begin to crumble and our truest desires are made manifest.
This is not a fairy tale. This is a practical application of a Universal principle that benefits every aspect of our lives, both spiritually and materially.
Used with due diligence, it can change our lives.

Now, in the meantime, additional practical steps can be taken to help us live a magical life on the budget we currently have to work with.
The best tips I have to offer are as follows:

Ways to Save :
**When using candles (for non-divinatory purposes) keep wicks trimmed, and flames low. Freeze candles for 2 hours prior to burning to prolong their burn time.
Use tea lights for short rituals. They often come in multi-packs, burn for a couple to several hours (depending on type and quality), and are much less expensive for regular use.

**Buy teas in bulk. Almost all magical people drink and use teas. Buying loose teas allows us to buy what we need, without the added expense of having them pre-bagged. A strainer or cloth tea bags are re-usable, and this also allows us to be more ecologically friendly as there is nearly no packaging involved with bulk teas. Store your teas in glass (or plastic) jars with tight fitting lids, in a cool dark location for longest shelf life. Only buy what you think you will use in a month or 2 at the most.

**Form a Magical Co-Op. Many of us need the exact same items, and when we buy in bulk, and divide the product, we can save literally hundreds of dollars a year. For example. An ounce of bulk, dried lavender flowers runs, roughly, $1.75 an ounce, or around $20 a lb. If you can find 4 people to go in on a pound with, the cost is $5 each, and everyone gets 4 oz. each. Each of you have saved $2 on buying it by the ounce, and have 4 oz. to enjoy. Always try to buy in a large quantity, as this is where the discount is.

**Use items gifted by nature in your practice. There are a million and one things we can buy to use in our practices, but the items which are found, and are literally falling off trees, can be our most powerful magical tools. Take walks and begin to notice the amazing number of things which are just lying there, waiting for you. Leaves, rocks, sticks, flowers, feathers, soils all manner of magical items are available to us in abundance, we just have to look for them.

**I know this is going to sound oversimplified, but remember the library. Books are an expense that many of us are not able to afford right now. The library, our old trusted friend from the pre-internet age, is still awaiting our arrival, with many wonderful secrets, stories and diversions to share. All for free! Also, in many libraries, there is free internet access, for those who don’t have their own internet service.

**Make your own! This goes for lotions, potions and foods. The library and internet are jammed with recipes for the most glorious and decadent bath products imaginable, many of which can be made from everyday kitchen items. The product is gorgeous and the benefit of having crafted it with your own hands, and your own specific intentions and empowerment is amazing. Returning to the kitchen to prepare nutritious meals not only saves money, and is better for us, but also gives us another opportunity to bless the utensils, food items and space for abundance to come and thrive.

**In that same vein, we can make our own convenience foods easily and with no more effort than microwaving a single plate. Prepare a large meal one day a week. Then place individual servings of it into microwavable storage containers and freeze them. When you come home late from witching, you are only 3 minutes away from a hot, healthy, home-cooked meal. The containers can be reused, and the process can continue. If you cook more than once a week, always make extra and save it away for another time. The frozen servings are also easy as pie to transport to work, remain mostly frozen until lunch time and save a fortune on take-away food. To say nothing of the health benefits. The same can be done with bagged snacks. We can buy the more economical large bag of chips, crackers or trail mix, and then simply place a serving into a seal-tight sandwich bag and pop it into purse or briefcase for a snack during the day without a trip to the vending machine.

**Clean out the closets and cupboards and make room for new blessings. ‘Tis the season for spring cleaning to begin to creep into our thoughts. Why not start a give-away bag? As you clean, begin to deposit items into the bag for donation. Each item that goes in represents a space you have created in your life for a blessing. There are lots of people who would love to have your gently loved items, and you now have room for something new and fantastic to come into your life.

**If you decide not to donate your items, have a garage sale and sell them. You make a little cash, and someone gets a lovely item they may not have been able to afford new. Make cake, brownies, cookies and/or punch and sell slices or cups at your garage sale, and make a few more bucks. If you have a craft or special talent for making an item, have some available for sale. There are a million tiny ways to generate income, and at this point, every little bit helps.

In a time where many are running around, filled to the brim with uncertainty, this is our time to shine. Be proactive about your situation. Remain hopeful, and cultivate hope in others. Make more than enough dinner and sit down and share it with someone who might not.
Be regularly mindful of what you do have, and shut out thoughts of lack. A little gratitude goes a long way.
I’m sorry for being so long-winded this month, but in these times, I felt compelled to share.
I pray abundance and prosperity comes to live in each one of your homes and lives.
Blessings of Optimism and Renewal