Tag: Kitchen Witchery
Looking at the calendar, the summer solstice is right around the corner. Given that Mercury is moving back direct from its retrograde (I started this post when it was still fully retrograde), I wanted to take some time and reassess how I’m doing on my goals for 2022’s calendar year.
Back in January I posted that I wanted to:
Curate a healthy existence to keep learning while leaning into abundance that comes with knowledge by consistently practicing mindful Magic and Earth healing while writing it all down.
Currently, we’re eating more and more healthily. I am literally harvesting in the morning, a lot of what we will eat in the day. And if it’s not coming from the greenhouse or perennial garden, it’s coming from my larder of food put by the last growing season or from my fellow Grow Food neighbors.
Daily Kitchen Witchery is not only enhancing our life nutritiously, but also spiritually. Living and moving with the seasons feels so natural and right-on that there is a sense of calm I haven’t had in many years. Our healthy existence includes exercise every day by way of yoga, walking, or Tai Chi, the latter of which we are so new in learning, but oh wow is it amazing. I still have to have some dark chocolate, ice cream, or baked goods on occasion, and well those are one of the joys of life. Plus I wanted to lean into abundance. A special ice cream sundae to celebrate goslings being born on the Covenstead is allowed. It’s what makes life worth living sometimes.
Mindful Magic has continued as Runa Troy’s Magical Services & Goods continues to build, slowly but surely. My work doing dream interpretations, Rune Castings, and the like is so fulfilling and its growth has been such a blessing. My intuition is being sharpened by deepening my knowledge of astrology, and intensifying my connection with Runes, my ancestors, and the Spirits beyond the Veil.
Earth Healing is a huge focus now that Spring is in full force (finally!) here in the Pacific Northwest. We have seven goslings, six chicks, and nearly a dozen duck eggs a day coming in. We have planted hops this year, which is new to us, to aid in The Viking’s brew haus activities. I have finally moved all the raspberries from the very bad, no good spot they were in (not by me) and put them in their own garden, which allows for expansion and UPick opportunities down the road. The space where the raspberries once occupied will be a garden of things just for the Beastlings – everything from amaranth grain to kale to sunflowers to zucchini.
Plans are underway to host gatherings here for friends and family because we have the outdoor space to do so safely. We’re excited to share Villa Westwyk’s gorgeous energy with those we love and to celebrate our Patriarch’s 85th birthday, a girls’ weekend or three, and so much more (Can you say Witch Camp ‘22?).
Writing it all down not only includes this blog, but my secret project which is gaining some much needed traction in the right direction. Additionally, I’m in a writing group of other Mystics via The Tarot Lady’s Hierophant Writing Group. With their encouragement I have progressed so much further on this work in the last three months than I would have otherwise. This Writing Circle is powerful Magic and I’m happy to have opened the door to this curation. I’m learning so much as well as producing and that aligns with my goal for this year as well.
Although Mercury Retrograde gets a bad rap and now Saturn is going Retrograde, it’s an opportunity to work with the energies and make even more Magic. Oh and Venus is in Taurus, so love yourself. Love your kindred. And let’s move through the rest of this year taking steps forward curating our truest selves and best life.
In honor of National Pet Rescue Day – DIY Magic Pet Food
May 20 is National Pet Rescue Day. My current ‘Puppers,’ as The Viking and I call them, are rescues. I’ve always preferred to adopt rescues than purchase my pet because I find they are just so loyal and loving. The added benefit that an animal in need is being cared for is a bonus. I’m not about to get into puppy mills and all that nonsense, or the fact that there are likely just as many feral cats in your neighborhood as there are people. Rescues are a kinder way for the animals and our planet. This Witch is all about kinder to animals and the planet.
Enter Kitchen Witchery and Permaculture to solve a problem. In Permaculture, you Design from Patterns to Details and the pattern was non sustainable food for my familiars. The details of what would make it sustainable begin to emerge.
These Witch’s Familiars, our canine yin and yang, are getting up there in age and now have special dietary requirements. Currently they both have medicated kibble. On top of the kibble we put a wet food, because they’ve made it clear the kibble alone is not very satisfying. Kind of how we have to put cinnamon and fruit on our oatmeal to actually eat it. Also much of the nonmedicated kibble is mostly water and does not have the protein that most canines need.
After finding that most of the softer foods out there are so full of things that my puppers do not need, are horribly expensive, and produce so much waste in its packaging, I needed something more economical, sustainable, and that the furkids would enjoy. About this time last year I started experimenting with making my own canned dog food. The idea to even explore that came to me because I often will make a big batch of stew or soup and I either need to preserve the leftovers, or was finding at least one pint would be used to augment Ms. Snicklefritz and Granny Shadow’s dinner. Much like how I approach the food that The Viking and I consume, I really wanted to know what my dogs were eating. I recognized that the best way to do that was to make it myself. The additional opportunity to make the food a ritual and infuse it with Magic, well, I couldn’t resist that.
The intentions I put into each batch are all about protection, health, and, of course, love. I’m sharing this, as mentioned in the title, in honor of National Pet Rescue Day and in hopes that it might inspire you to look a little closer into your own food as well as that of your own familiar. As a Permie Witch, doing this follows the permaculture principle of Producing No Waste. Every part of our resources gets used. It is to a lesser degree aligning with two other of the permaculture principles: Obtain A Yield, and Creatively Use & Respond to Change. A weaker argument could be made for the tenet of Use & Value Renewables. As we begin the growing, hatching, and birthing season here at Villa Westwyk, we eat with the seasons here as much as possible. It’s a slow change, which also is within the permaculture lifestyle: Choose Small, Slow Solutions. Needless to say, we’re all in here at the covenstead with this “chore,” which is really a ritual and spell. This is about the moment when my youngest, Dragon Son, would say, “you feel me?”
I basically take a left over chicken carcass, stew bone, or even the remnants of a whole fish, bring it to a boil, then simmer several hours. You just need enough water to cover the carcass…don’t go crazy unless you plan to make soup or such soon, or can the broth (that’s what I do). I make broth in a pasta maker, that way the carcass and the meat still on it is easily drained, cooled, and picked through. Sometimes I will refrigerate the broth overnight before continuing with the pet food batch, so I can skim the fat off and use an appropriate proportion with it to cook the veggies in. But you could use oil, butter, bacon drippings, whatever you have on hand.
This is where my protein to make the pet food comes in, so you could buy store bought, but the bone broth provides so many nutrients and is a superbly economical way to acquire pet food. If you want to go full-on Midgardening Witchery, you’ll can the extra broth for the human pets in your life. 😉 My 9 half-pint batches start normally with about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of protein. y last batch the protein portion was about 2 cups; I let the protein amount drive the rest of the recipe. If you homeschool, this is a great exercise in fractions and parts of the whole. 😉
I cook up the bite-size veggies with a little bit of fat, add the meat plucked from the bones, make a roux, add the broth, let it cook down a bit and can it up. Alternatively, you may freeze it at this point, or if you can use your batch up within a week’s time, you can keep it in the refrigerator.
If you know how to make biscuits and gravy, or any kind of a roux, this recipe will likely be easy for you. The below recipe makes about 9 half-pint mason jars. If you want to make pint or quart, do the appropriate math. 😉
Broth pot (stew pot with a colander in it, like a pasta cooker)
Cauldron (Dutch oven pot)
Pressure Canner with Jars/Rings/Lids or Freezer containers
1 part Protein (leftover chicken carcass, ham bone, lamb leg bone, etc.)
1/4 part Fat (bacon drippings, schmaltz)
1 part Veggies (cats and dogs need their veggies, too)
1 part Something to help meld it together (sweet potato, beans, potato, brown rice, etc.)
~ 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup Flour
~ 2 cups Broth (double if making quart batches)
- Make your broth. Put soup bones, poultry carcass, etc. in a pot covered with water. You’re only going to need about 2 cups tops to make a batch of pet food (I do 7-9 half pints at a time). But make as much as you like. If what you’re making broth with was unseasoned (not often on my covenstead) feel free to add a pinch or two of salt. Salt is good for your animals, too. But just like us, too much is not good either to taste or for their bodies.
- Once broth is made, remove the bones and separate any meat/skin/giblets out to include in the pet food. As you do this, put the intention of keeping the sick away from your beloved familiars. You are separating the good stuff versus the discard. Set the meat aside and discard the bones. If you’re going to can your pet food, this is where you’ll need to sanitize your jars, lids, and rings and inspect your pressure canner.
- Into your cauldron, add a bit of fat (butter, schmaltz, bacon drippings, oil) and heat on medium heat. Sauté the chopped up vegetables until tender. I put the veggies in saying, “Here’s to my familiar’s health.” Simple, but effective. Each time I stir the veggies I say it again, “Here’s to my familiar’s health.”
- Once the veggies are tender, add back in the meat you plucked from the bone(s), and sauté with the veggies until warmed (about one to two minutes). If you have things like potatoes or beans in your batch, give them a squish with your cooking spoon to help thicken things up in the next step. Mashing the ingredients in is optional, but my somewhat toothless wonders love it this way (just like aging people, pets sometimes lose teeth as they age). I do a simple stir three times clockwise (aka sunwise), putting a whole lotta love for these furkids into the cauldron’s contents.
- Depending on how full your pot is, you’re going to need between 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of flour. You are making a roux with the veggies and meat. Sprinkle the flour on the protein and veggies envisioning the flour as extra protection and mix it all in and let it cook for about two minutes.
- Add in your broth, and simmer until reduced somewhat. You know what wet pet food consistency looks like. You’re looking to get the same. Depending on the size of your batch, this can take five to 20 minutes. My 9 half-pint-jar-batch takes about seven minutes. If you’re filling a canner or freezing quart size containers, then it will go closer to 20 minutes.
- At this point you can package up your food and freeze, but if you’re going to pressure can, I always use half-pint (aka jelly) jars and can get up to 9 jars in my canner. Follow the manufacturers instructions for your personal pressure canner. Can the pet food at 11 pounds pressure for 15 minutes for half pint; 25 minutes for pint; 35 minutes for quart (for you folx with more pets or large pets, quart size might work best).
- Label your food with the ingredients & date and watch your pets gobble it up. Honestly, this is food that humans could eat, too. So, if you don’t label it, no one will be harmed. LOL. Regardless, you know whether man or beast, they are going to dig it. If I’m feeling particularly Witchy, I might put an appropriate sigil on the jar.
- When there’s only one jar left, be sure to make another batch. I also set aside one jar to always have in the pantry to bring abundance for my familiars: food, water, shelter, and love. If you do this “cupboard Magic” be sure to rotate the abundance anchor (your extra jar) so that the food doesn’t go bad. That’s some negative energy there. These will last in your cupboard easily for up to six months.
I hope that this helps you amp up your self sufficiency and self reliance, as well as brings a little Magic for your familiars/pets. Also, please join me in the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy. And please give to your favorite animal advocate nonprofit. The Viking and I support the ASPCA regularly and have been known to gift animal rescue donations in honor of our loved ones.
Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments. May this recipe bless you and your pets. Now go snuggle your familiar. 😉
Pickled Eggs: Beyond The Pub
I received a request for the recipe I use to pickle eggs. And without hesitation, I wanted to provide! Most folks may have been exposed to Pickled Eggs in your local pub or dive bar. I must admit that’s where I came across them; but, travel life brought these to the forefront of my recipe repertoire. They are now a staple, as well, here at Villa Westwyk.
Eggs are associated with the Goddess, the sun, and the elements earth, air, and water. Wow! Of course it’s a symbol of Spring, rebirth, fertility, abundance, beginnings, creativity, and life itself. We’re all well aware of the ancient festivities that elevate the eggs: Passover, Easter, Cascarones (confetti-filled eggs used in Mexico), and many more.
Going to take a moment here and send all my good energy for Ukraine. The Ukrainian culture has have some of the more beautiful rituals with eggs, from their amazing hollowed eggs that are so artistically painted and given as good health charms to those they love, to their ritual where they toss eggshells into moving waters so so their departed can be a part of the celebration. You’ll often find eggs on gravestones left as offerings throughout eastern Europe, including Ukraine.
This recipe I use to reinforce health and creativity in my household. Especially during the Pandemic we are missing our time with friends in the pub to play darts or shoot pool and share a glass and eat some eggs. This let’s us remember those good memories and hope for a return to a time when that’s an option again.
You can find pickle egg recipes just about anywhere, but mine includes a bit of The Craft — if pickling eggs wasn’t Witchy enough for you. So, @fromgoth2boss, this is for you.
- I must warn you, this is a recipe that is a practice in delayed gratification, as you need to let them sit for two weeks before you start nom-nomming down. So about the time that one jar of these are ready to eat, I make another.
- These are great snacks anytime and are super healthy and provide some good gut biome stuff for the eater.
- Whatever jar you use, make sure you can get some tongs or your hand in them in order to get the goodies out. If you don’t use a self-sealing lid/ring system and are just using like an old pickle jar, the “pickling” time will have to be done in the fridge.
- There’s some debate about how long these last. Conservative estimates are three months in the fridge. I don’t put mine in the fridge, but they don’t last near three months. If you think it will take your covenstead more than a couple of weeks to eat a dozen pickled eggs once they are ready or you haven’t used a self-sealing lid, keep them refrigerated.
- The veggies in the jar with the eggs make nice toppings on all kinds of food – salads, nachos, or just for a charcuterie board.
- My favorite way to make boiled eggs is to make sure the pan I boil them in is large enough so the eggs can fit snuggly, but not too hard-pressed, on the bottom of the pan. Fill with water just to cover. Put on stove and put the heat to high. Once it boils, turn the heat down to medium and let cook for 10 to12 minutes. I like my eggs on the just-boiled side. So I tend more towards the 10-minute side. Remove as much of the water as possible and dump a load of ice on them and let them sit for about seven minutes. Drain and set them on a dishtowel on the counter to dry. I swear this makes them easier to peel. Tap each end on the counter (whenever I do this I imagine all negativity being banished in the kitchen) and then rub the egg between your hands, gently, back and forth three times. Peel. Save those eggshells for the garden or your compost, or crush and feed to your chickens. If you’re on a boat 😉 they are adored by the fishes and seabirds (just don’t dump while moored in the marina). If you’re living in an RV, save for your next hike and bury in the woods. 😉
- Be advised that the ACV and pickling spices can impart a tint on the eggs. They have not gone bad. If this bothers you, strain your pickling spices and use white vinegar instead. I prefer the health benefits that ACV provides for that good gut biome.
Deep sauce pan
1/2 gallon glass mason jar with lid and ring, sanitized and warm
Cutting Board & Knife for slicing up vegetables
Liquid and Dry measuring cups and spoons
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of pickling spice
1 teaspoon of salt
2 (or more to your preference) garlic cloves, peeled
1 large bay leaf
1 small shallot sliced thinly
1 jalapeno sliced
- In a medium saucepan, mix together vinegar, water, sugar, pickling spice, and salt. Stir three times sunwise and then widdershins. As you do imagine your covenstead always having eggs in the house.
- Bring brine to a boil; then reduce heat to low until the sugar has dissolved. Add the bay leaf, and when you do know that the web of deceit will be far away from you.
- Remove pan from heat. Let the brine sit in the pan a moment. Breathe in and out three times, imagining all the good energy of Spring enveloping you and all those who imbibe the eggs.
- Layer shallots and jalapenos and garlic on the bottom of the jar. Then put a layer of hard boiled eggs. Repeat with layer of veggies. Then layer of eggs. As you create these layers, imagine stacking health, abundance, and creativity in your life. Really focus on what that might look like in your life. Really visualize. For me that’s writing, walking, yoga, gardening, and reading each day.
- Pour the brine over the eggs, do this slowly. As you do this say: I am strong; I am healthy; I am flourishing. Feel free to repeat until all the brine is in the jar.
- Seal the jar and let it sit on the counter to cool. If you’re using a self-sealing lid, it will seal itself from the heat and air. Keep in a cool dry and dark place for two weeks before eating.
- Label the top of the jar so you know the date you pickled and the date that you can eat. If you want to get really fancy, you can draw/paint, etc. any sigils or bindrunes on the lid to promote health and abundance even further than any egg eating will provide. 😉
- Enjoy (In two weeks!). Honestly you can eat after a few hours, but it’s just not the same taste-wise. So I encourage you to wait.
This is a new feature I’ve been trying to incorporate into this blog/site for some time now. And I’m happy that with the astrological new year I will be able to premiere my Kitchen Witchery of the Week content. For these posts I’ll be incorporating seasonal foods, Wheel of the Year energies, and the Magic and/or spell that goes with it. Long ago when I first began the path of the Craft and still today, Kitchen Witchery allowed me to practice Magic in a very focused way, quietly, and without judgmental eyes. I expect there are many neophyte practitioners that could easily incorporate these workings of Magic into their lives as well. Also, if you’re a crone or well along your path as a Magician, you may find this is an easy addition to your own personal Magical practice. And for those who start their practice, or continue to contain their practice in the proverbial broom closet, this is a great way to walk your path without persecution. I mean, who doesn’t love a good meal? My aim is that you have something yummy, and dripping with Magic to eat and serve your loved ones. So it is.
Because we have begun Aries season and as of today there is a tempermental energy with Mars squaring Uranus, and some of us are still dealing with cruddy winter weather, I’ve put together some Hearth Magic to ease potential or occurring conflicts and bring the hope and the warm cheer of the Equinox and Aries season into our homes and onto our tables.
To work towards this our Kitchen Witchery “spell” is one that features asparagus. The energy of Asparagus is ruled by Mars and Jupiter and the element of fire (think of little green torches). Its masculine energy is also sacred to Zeus. We won’t be using its properties to help fuel male stamina today, instead we’re working with its passion and healing properties. In our workings today we will call out its ability to decrease those anxious heart rates that winter sometimes brings and send a general calm to any part of the body “inflamed.”
Asparagus is a natural and gentle diuretic and is full of strength-building nutrients. It’s a great Spring Tonic to cleanse away the winter doldrums and troubles. It is dense with nutrients, including high levels of folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C, B6, and thiamine.
This recipe includes dairy and meat. If your diet precludes you from those, feel free to experiment and find alternatives. You could replace the meat with some thinly sliced cooked mushrooms (which also have massive healing properties). You could replace the goat cheese with some of the Boursin plant-based “cheese.” I am particular about my cheese, yet find that the Boursin “cheese” is very good.
This recipe is for a small gathering, as it only serves 8 single servings or 4 double servings. I tend to make this for a couples brunch or just for those in the household. Even at our max capacity here on the Covenstead of Villa Westwyk, we could serve all five of the kids and my partner and I. This can be eaten with a fork or hand held in a rustic fashion. You decide.
A couple of notes…
- Funny enough, I have found that each bunch of asparagus in the markets seems to have 24 stalks. I don’t know the history behind this, but it works for this recipe, so thank you, farmers.
- You are a super Witch if you make your own, so don’t feel like you have to make this ingredient! Store bought is fine!
- In regards to the Artichoke Antipasto, Trader Joe’s has a yummy and affordable variety; if you can’t find this you could substitute sun-dried tomato spread.
- For the prosciutto, I prefer to get mine from the butcher or deli counter as the packaged stuff is super thin and hard to work with.
Wrapped Up In Hope Asparagus
Extra Large Cutting Board
Large baking sheet
Small mixing bowl
Non Stick Spray
Candle on your kitchen altar
1 bunch of asparagus (24 stalks), trimmed to length of pastry
Artichoke Antipasto Spread
8 slices of prosciutto
Goat Cheese – about 4 oz.
Egg (for wash)
Herbs de Provence (for sprinkling)
Sea Salt (for sprinkling)
1. Take your time and make sure your space has been cleansed and is ready to perform the Magic. Making sure your space is ready for your working allows you to focus your energy and intention without being distracted. A quick way to do this is to light a small candle (I always have one ready on my kitchen altar). Then I go to the four corners of my kitchen and clap in each corner, which sets a circle quickly and easily (just be sure to keep your intention in mind. Then I stare at the candle for just a moment while taking three cleansing breaths (a little fire magic here) and say my intention out loud. For this working, you can say something like, “Me and Mine find our troubles fading away with every bite and we bring in the fire of the Aries season to motivate us to peace and love.”
2. Defrost your puff pastry. That means you put the package on your counter for about 40 minutes before you’re going to work. Don’t do it longer as the pastry may become hard to work with. The colder it remains, the easier it will do what you want. I also bring out all the other ingredients and bring to room temperature. It makes it easier to work with everything.
3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Lay the defrosted puff pastry out on a very large cutting board and cut each sheet (there will be two in the package) into four squares, so you will have 8 squares in total. As you cut the squares imagine cutting through any conflict with ease and grace.
5. Add about 1 tablespoon of the artichoke spread onto the center of each square and spread it evenly throughout the pastry piece. As you spread this onto the pastry, look at it as a healing balm placed on winter wounds. Spiritually, the artichoke reminds us to have fun on our spiritual path as we peel back the layers within our crown chakra, just as a whole artichoke is peeled to get to the gorgeously satisfying center.
6. Lay a piece of the prosciutto on top of the antipasto spread on each square. As you do this, say, “I lay my worries aside to focus on the love within these walls.”
7. Add at least 3 asparagus tips to each square with the tips into one of the corners of the squares. I think of the stages of life – maiden, mother, crone, as I’m doing this and how the magic of 3 is always so powerful.
8. Crumble goat cheese onto the top of the asparagus evenly throughout the 8 squares. As spring approaches, things like goat cheese are very plentiful. I sprinkle the cheese and envision new abundances coming to us in this season.
9. Lightly whisk the egg in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
10. Carefully fold one side of the pastry square in the middle as if you were beginning to swaddle it with the puff pastry. Dab a little of the egg wash on the side that will meet the other side and pull the other side of the pastry square over that and brush all of the up-facing pastry with egg wash. Be gentle with the pastry, but try to enclose the fillings as tightly as you can. As you do this your intention to wrap your diners in positive energy is an easy focus.
11. Next take your wrapped-in-hope asparagus and place them on your prepared baking sheet, giving them as much room as possible between each. Sprinkle some Herbs de Provence and Sea Salt over the puff pastries. See new abundance and good health sprinkled over you and yours.
12, Bake for 22-25 minutes or until each is golden brown and the asparagus is cooked. While the savory pastries bake, I will sometimes pull some Oracle cards to put at each place setting for my guests/family.
13. Remove from the oven. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. As you and your guests enjoy these packages of hope and the possibilities of Spring, you can feel the warmth of your love and Magic nourishing and blessing all those around your table and hearth.
14. At the end of the feast, be sure to extinguish your candle. So it is.
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments below how it worked for you, both taste and Magic-wise. Post a photo on your social media and tag me.
Next week I’ll be back here with some more Kitchen Witchery! Hope you’ll join me. Happy Spring!
Spring Cleaning time is upon us with the Full Moon in Virgo (3/18) and the Spring Equinox (3/20) right on our Worm Moon’s heels. So I thought I would post a few “cleansing & releasing” tips to make these tasks as magical as possible. Here on the Covenstead of Villa Westwyk, we’re already doing some of these. I hope you’ll join me and start this Aries season off right.
Spring Cleaning as a practitioner of the Craft is about setting intentions to invite prosperity, peace, protection, and good health into your home and life. But before you do that, you need to clear out any negative energy and funk that has dug in over the course of the winter.
Here’s a few tips to consider as you begin your own Spring Cleaning in your own Covenstead, cottage, apartment, or boat (I see you, Sea Witches!).
Refresh Your Broom: If it’s been a hot minute since you’ve either a) cleaned your broom — or vacuum for that matter (I know people who only have one or the other), or b) replaced your broom or vacuum, now is the time to do it. Now I’m not talking about your spell or ritual broom. I mean the one you use to clean (or do sweeping spells). Every three years, I use the Vernal Equinox to procure a new broom. Why three years? With pets and children underfoot, the three year rule seemed appropriate and has its own Magical energy. The number three is the number of harmony, wisdom, and understanding. It’s the past, present, and future; birth, life, death; beginning, middle, end; maiden, mother crone. It is a Divine number. Just go with it. 😉 Do note: When you move from one home to another, don’t bring your old broom (but that’s a whole other blog post).
Although your local handyman will tell you to clean your broom once a month. When I remember on a full moon, I will do that; however, most people I know hardly have time for that. What to do with your old broom? It is thanked and relegated to the shop or garage or other place it may be useful, and when they are no longer useful there, they often end up in either a Summer Solstice or Samhain bonfire – but I digress. When bringing in the new broom to the house, I like to bless it with an herbal first sweep. What’s an herbal sweep? It’s exactly as it sounds. Sprinkle your herbs and sweep. Because you’re decluttering, this is a good time to clear out herbs that have lost some of their potency for your Kitchen Witchery, (seriously, 5 year old rosemary is not helping your Spring Lamb Dish), but the herbs’ energies and properties are perfect for “cleansing” spells. As you do this you make a wish (i.e. set an intention). Because our equinox is coming during a waning moon, anything you want to release from your life has an extra powerful oomph.
Here’s a recipe for a cleansing sweep:
1 part (start with 1 tablespoon) ground bay leaves
1 part dried rosemary
1 part dried thyme
1 part dried citrus
1 part baking soda
1 part coarse salt
(this is great for an average size room, if you want to do the whole home, feel free to make more)
Sprinkle your herbal mixture where you want to cleanse. Work Widdershins (counter clockwise) and towards the exit of the room/house you’re in. Sweep the herbs and dirt out the door and sweep up into a paper bag. Dispose of this either by burning in a fire (don’t bring it back in the house, so outdoor fire pit FTW) or disposing of it away from your home (e.g. a public trash receptacle in a park). Alternatively you could bury at a crossroads you don’t traverse with regularity.
Once that’s done you may also carve into or draw sigils, spells, etc. onto the broom handle (keeping in mind the direction of intention) to help you sweep in goodness and sweep out lameness.
See Clearly. Cleaning our windows after a winter of storms can be eye opening. We want to attract light, abundance, and joy. Dirty windows can’t let all that goodness in. Cleaning windows doesn’t just mean the glass. We need to wipe down the frames, the sills, and those little tracks that just love to collect dust and grime. You don’t need anything fancy to do this:
A sturdy step stool (if you’re short like me)
2 microfiber cloths
A spray bottle of window cleaner (1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil)
One cloth is for the windows, the other for the frames and sills. Again, working Widdershins, clean the first window with one cloth and then use that dampened one for wiping the sills, etc. On the next window, you’ll use the fresh cloth. If the cloth for the sills, etc. gets too dry as you move through your home, just spray one squirt of your homemade window cleaner. Again, because in Spring 2022 we’re releasing, you again want to work from the top down but also from the inside out. Keep your intention of what you’re releasing to make room for attracting goodness in mind whilst you clean your windows. If the weather hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s Spring, at least do the interior and save the outside for perhaps the new moon in Aries (April 1). I play music that allows me to feel free while I do this. Anything that’s meditative may just help you receive some Divine Downloads as you cleanse. I see you Virgos out there, you’ll want a whole playlist. You already have that playlist. Just go clean your windows, Witch. 😉
If you have blinds, this is a good time to wipe these down, too. If you have curtains or drapes, get them laundered, too.
Refresh Your Sanctuary: It’s time to replace the flannel sheets and extra blankets with something lighter and more befitting of Spring. Strip your bed. Then sprinkle some herbal baking soda (recipe follows) on the bare mattress. While you do the Air It Out Cleanse (see below) let the herbed soda remain on your mattress. Put your pillows somewhere they can also air out and get some sunshine. When you’ve finished your “Air It Out” go back and vacuum up the sprinkled herbal mix off the mattress. Be sure to dust and vacuum the rest of the room, too. Remember, work Widdershins. Be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner bag and dispose of as you would your herbal sweep (noted above). Put on fresh sheets, bedding, and make your bed. As you do this see yourself doing all the things you love to do in your bedroom: resting easily throughout the season, having your sexy time, or even cuddling with your familiars. Refresh any dream workings, crystals and other Magical Mojo you have in this room. If you have an altar in this room, refresh that as well.
1 part baking soda
½ part crushed clove
1 part dried rosemary
½ part dried lemon balm
1 part dried lavender
½ part dried mint
I keep this in a “shaker” bottle for sprinkling (an old parmesan cheese container works great).
Air It Out. Take some incense of your choosing (I love something like cedarwood or sandalwood in Spring), if you have some other form of smoke cleansing, this works as well. I have a small vessel that holds a cone incense and allows me to carry it easily as I move about. Again working Widdershins, open each window of your home. It does not have to be wide open, especially if you live in a climate where you’re still running your heater. Just a crack will do. Start at your northernmost window and work counterclockwise. Imagine again, all the negativity in your life leaving, and that you and your home are attracting prosperity and protection. As you move through your home, you could even say something as simple as:
I banish gloom and doom (insert your own adjectives if these don’t speak to you);
This is my will, so it is.
Move to the western side of the house, then the south, then the east. You will leave each window cracked until you’ve made your way back to where you started. By then the incense has likely burned down, if not, I like to place it at my entry way altar. You’ll intuitively know where to put it. Then working in the order you opened, close all your windows. It’s amazing how quickly you can change the energy in your home with this small and simple Magic working.
Here’s a few more practical things that you can do for your Spring Cleansing:
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Counter-clockwise for the warmer weather to come (I hope you were running them clockwise during the cold weather to help bring the warm air back down).
- Change the batteries in your Smoke Alarm.
- Clean your refrigerator (that eggnog from Yule is long past its prime, darling).
- Clean your cleaning machines: dishwashers and washing machines need cleaning, too.
- Replace any light bulbs that have burned out.
There’s so much more that could be done. Do you have a Spring ritual you do without fail? If so, share it below in the comments.
I hope Spring brings welcomed abundance and new paths of enlightenment for all you. May the season bring you unexpected delights and a surer step into the future.
What’s mine and How I arrived here
So often throughout my life as a practitioner of the Craft, I will be asked, “What kind of Witch are you?” For decades I’ve answered that with varying terms: Hedge, Green, Intuitive or Gray when I was feeling particularly salty. However, it was always with a “ish” on the end or a qualifying “sort of.” Many times, I used the umbrella term of Eclectic. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
None of those terms felt true to me. So much of my practice has evolved and aligns with some of all those terms, but not really any of them.
Now before I get too much deeper into this post, I want to address the likely response regarding labels. I know many of you dislike labels. That is the Pagan way. We don’t like it. But we do call ourselves Pagan. We call ourselves Witch. We call ourselves Heathen. Listen, honey, those are labels. Labels are bad when others give them to us. If we embrace them, that’s different (see LGBTQIA community’s taking back of the word Queer). That’s called description. It can very well be super empowering. Besides, such words have power, too. Hence why we don’t like others to label us.
Now if you can’t give yourself clear descriptions right now, it’s perfectly fine. And a pretty normal thing for many following a Witch’s path. Perhaps my journey will help you shine a light on yours. I offer it with the hope that you find something positive out of it.
Understanding and examining myself and my practice had been a focus since about May 2020. Eventually I found myself meditating regularly to clarify my path, my purpose, my understanding of the things I do to make my life Magical. I meditated on how to describe my practice and spirituality over the course of 2021. It came to me about mid year. I almost rebranded my business with this term, but recognized quickly what it really was. It’s my practice, my life, really, all in one phrase: Midgardening Witchery.
Yes, that’s a riff on Midgard, the Norse Mythos realm that is Earth. This particular leaning of paganism is where I find myself called as far as working with deities, magical tools (Runes). Combine this with Gardening as a nod to my Permie Witch* efforts as an Earth Healer, and of course all that I find myself doing as a Crone Hedge Witch. All this cooks in the cauldron and becomes the spiritual stew that is Midgardening Witchery, my personal craft practice. It’s founded in being the Hedge Witch I am, but combines all the passions in my life as well. My introversion has allowed me to pursue living a life that is more suited for me to be my true self and living my best life. Working with the Earth, divine, magic, food, dream interpretation, rune casting, and of course writing, have all brought me here.
Permie Witch is a term I’ve been using to mean a magical viewpoint on the Permaculture Principles and applying them as a path towards my desire to directly care for and live with the earth and its creatures.
Recently I’ve used my freshly minted label to hashtag or footnote a post or photo or social media content. I quickly received messages about what it was about. That in turn prompted this post. Ah, the circle of life. Ask a question. Get an answer. Then explain the answer further.
Here’s a little Venn Diagram to perhaps illustrate how I came up with this term.
All these primary things fed into creating my personal Witchcraft practice.
I share this with you, not only to answer the questions I’ve been asked about my personal practice, and certainly not because I’m starting a new sect or cult (although there has been much tongue-in-cheek planning and laughter about this between The Viking and me). Rather, I do so in order that you can perhaps make your own Venn diagram of things that feed your personal practice and create your own descriptive word. Or perhaps you’re the rare BWitch that is my doppleganger somewhere and this speaks to you directly. If that’s the case, we should probably collaborate.
Lastly, I think it’s a good practice as a follower of magical pathways to really look at what your belief system is. Doing that brought this little diddy to light. Critical thinking about our own devotion can only help us clarify, sharpen, and expand us as we move forward. For me this path has allowed way more harmony and peace. It certainly holds space for me to be my truest self and live my best life (even if the latter is covered in 5 feet of snow right now), which is critical to the self-actualization I seek.
I keep throwing these things out into the universe, called by some unseen pressure, to show & tell about my life in the Craft. It has provided me so much understanding and healing by encouraging my agency and my boundaries (you cannot heal without reinforcing self-protection and physical, emotional, and mental boundaries). I want that goodness for everyone, so here I am, occupying this little cottage in the forest of the internet, talking story into the void. If you’ve come upon this path, please take a moment and make this Crone’s day by leaving a comment about how you came to the Craft, this space, or just your favorite crystal. Let’s chat!
Three Easy Rituals To Incorporate for the Beginning of 2022
Blessed Calendar New Year, All You Magical Beings! The Winter Solstice is just past and we’re three-quarters through the 12 days of Yule.
In the spirit of the season, I wanted to share with you some easy Magic you can incorporate as you freshen up your Muggle calendars from 2021 to 2022. These are traditions that have been a part of my life for years and decades and they bring lots of good energy and abundance for me, I’m sure they could do the same for you. It is my privilege to share this magic with you and if you find some use for it or begin to incorporate it in your own traditions, please take a moment and comment below to let me know. Do note that although this says new years, there’s still time, especially with today’s (recent) Capricorn New Moon, to apply any or all of these to your energy and magical practice for January 2022.
The Good Things Jar/Attitude of Gratitude: I don’t know exactly how long ago we began working this intentional magic of recognizing our embarrassment of abundance and allowing it to energize us to be our truest selves and (thereby) live our best lives. We set the jar up early in our now 16-year marriage (I reckon 2007, but not sure) and put it in a prominent place in our home, one where everyone could access it. Each time we recognized something we were grateful for, you know, the good things in your life, we’d note it on a small piece of paper, fold it, and store it in the jar. Each person was responsible for tending the jar with their gratitude throughout the year. This little ritual of gratitude that happens spontaneously (see photo of examples), typically happened when any of us were alone. I rarely would see The Viking or say, Dragon Son, anyone, honestly, put something in the jar. I often feel like tending Magic is a very personal thing. This ritual that we do seems to follow. But it is “gathered” together to make it stronger. Setting up the jar can be a group activity, or like in my household, the Head Witch In Charge (me!) decorated or created the jar to store the nuggets of thankfulness. It can be as simple or ornate as you like. You don’t need a special jar, ours is just a left-over pickle jar. However, others who I have taught this practice to have made theirs very fancy-like. You do you, Witch. When the kids were younger it was a great New Year’s Day activity that could be done indoors and feed their creativity. During the New Year celebrations – some years we did this New Year’s Eve, some years, New Year’s Day, this year it was NYD – we gather around the fire, typically with cakes and ale (this year it was sparkling wine and Yule cookies), and read out loud each note of gratitude stored in the jar.
We take each note as they are read and place them in a paper sack. Reading the notes often spurs on conversation about the event (e.g. We got the vaccine! Appeared three times in the jar this year). The result of this energy is strengthening bonds within the household/family. After the reading of these strips of written blessings, they are burned in the fire. We hold and pause for an organic amount of silent time imagining the smoke as the energy of our annual recognition & focus on gratitude is set off into the universe to spread that positivity.
We may pray silently, individually for how we want things to improve and grow for the coming year, or just hold space to welcome any and all abundance. We hold one another and thank one another for all we do for one another throughout the year, describing often, in detail, what we appreciate about one another. Then it’s time for eating and drinking and talking about our hopes for happy memories (this year’s conversation was all about creating more gatherings for family and friends here at Villa Westwyk). In short this is about acknowledging the good of the previous year and carrying those good feelings from one calendar year to the next. Each year I have done this gratitude work has helped me get deeper and deeper into the life I’d prefer with the people I love. I am hard pressed to see us stop this well-loved ritual and magical work.
Hoppin’ John and Johnny Cake: Food is definitely a focus of my life. I love creating meals for family and friends. Kitchen Witchery is where I could practice a magical life hidden from the well-meaning view of Muggle and Christian friends and family. I’m way more open about my lifestyle and beliefs now, although there are only a select few who know all about the Magical AND Muggle me. This is a decision in my practice that was long passed down, you know, the whole I am the daughter of the Witch you didn’t burn. Will ever shall the two meet? I have no idea. But for now, Kitchen Witchery is so pronounced in my everyday life, literally, I have meal times each day to create magic through Kitchen Witchcraft.
On New Year’s Day, without fail, you will find me blessing those in my household with foods that bring abundance. Eating this on New Years is a ritual to bring a prosperous and healthy new year. Yule Ham is stretched to make the Hoppin’ John broth and meat the stew. Greens from the garden – we had kale this year – reminds us that the Earth still gives us fresh foods that are so nutritional. Stores from the larder are also used (canned carrots, if there are none in the garden), and of course the dried peas. Although this is traditional for many folx in the Southern United States, born out of the African diaspora, you will find pockets of families in the Midwest (especially Detroit & Chicago) and throughout the Rockies that cook a version of this meal for New Year’s. I continued this tradition when we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Here’s the key ingredients: Black-eyed peas: these legumes symbolize the coins we have in our piggy banks. If you host a Hoppin’ John meal on New Year’s Day, the host leaves a lucky coin under their guests soup bowls. These coins have been blessed and should be carried by the receiver throughout the year to increase their abundance. Leafy Greens (collards, mustard, turnip, kale, chard, etc.): These are the color of money (at least here in the United States). As I mentioned above, for a good portion of North America, you can still be growing these veggies in your kitchen gardens or in mini hoop houses and such. These greens are not only good for you, but keep you healthy so you have more earning potential. Visualize money coming to you. Ham Hocks: As winter approached, smoked meats were a pantry staple for many. Throughout the winter months, bacon, beans and rice are often served throughout the southeastern United States. Hoppin’ John is a celebratory version of this. Note: you can make this vegetarian, or even vegan, but unfortunately, I don’t have a tried-and-true recipe for such. Perhaps I’ll explore that this year. Tell me if you want me to figure one out. Rice: If you have rice, you have a meal, is a school of thought for many cultures. So to eat rice on New Year’s was done to insure your cupboards were full throughout the year. Onions & Garlic: Again, we’ve hit the time of year when long-storing foods would be more plentiful than fresh. Onions & Garlic in Kitchen Witchery are long thought to help repel negativity. Nutritionally they are great antioxidants, decrease inflammation and boost immunity. All good things during winter.
Johnny Cake (aka Cornbread): It’s the color and shape of gold coins. Again, eating abundance to attract abundance. Besides tasting delicious and pairing nicely with Hoppin’ John, Johnny Cake is a great way to get phosphorus for bone health. Other ingredients within the cake/bread are also natural antioxidants as well as boosting sodium in the body, which in winter can be an issue. Eating this to start off the new year is all about not only setting abundance intentions for the new year, but also about stretching the abundance to share with others. If you have enough , and I’ve always known the pot of Hoppin’ John to feed us for a few meals, and you eat it the next day (Jan. 2), it’s called Skipping Jenny and is said to reinforce the magic of eating it on New Year’s Day. Whether you feed a whole tribe or just your love and you, focusing intent into something going inside of you is powerful Magic. Adding the extra fun of the lucky coin (one year I charged the coins under the Solstice Full Moon in the mint bed) for Hoppin John Diners to carry for luck through the year just amps up the ritual. To your health and abundance, include this practice in your New Years! Break that corn bread together in love!
Fire scrying: Every new year, just sitting by the fire with a warm beverage and just meditating, if not getting into full-on trance mode and divining through fire scrying is a traditional part of my magical work and targeted reset for the calendar year. As a Witch, I often do “new year’s” work on Samhain. So the calendar year offers a great check-in time on how I’m progressing on my goals and to redress any tangents that are not serving me. Don’t have a way to sit by a fire? A candle dedicated just for your New Year’s magic works, too. This year we upped our connection to the fire, and did a short yoga practice next to the fire place. If you live where it’s warm and have fire-ring access, this could be such a beautiful ritual. Connecting with your breath before you gaze into the flames is such a great grounding action before letting your higher self take over. Some years, when my psychic energy was lower on the calendar new year, I just did a visualization exercise instead of scrying. I would stare into the fire and see myself accomplishing what I want to do for the coming year. This is a great way to hone your intentions for the new year – being lost and not knowing what direction to go in, often blocks our path. You are not alone, and I offer these alternatives for those times. It happens to every Witch at one point in time in their lives. Sharing my rituals and experience is again why I’m doing this blog.
Bonus- Journal Practice: Each new year I give myself a new journal and again, dedicate time to write down all I’m experiencing in my life and organize my thoughts, feelings, ideas, goals, etc. This year, my journaling practice is going to include more focus on my magical practice, specifically Runes, their meanings and using that medium even more definitely in my life. Your mileage may vary. You may want to focus on something else within your journaling. For years, I’ve added to our family’s collective Good Things practice by starting each day in my journal noting three things I’m grateful for. I’ve also kept track of things like sleep data, other personal health issues (e.g. I didn’t get help for my migraines until I kept detailed records of them and had ‘data’ to show my medical teams and holistic healers), to simply new music I like. It’s amazing how much comes into clear understanding just by writing things down. Synchronicity breeds off of energy put in black and white. Trust.
I hope these little New Year’s rituals are things you can easily use to be the Magic of the World, to be your truest self and live your best life.
*Permie Witch is a term I’ve been using to mean a magical viewpoint on the Permaculture Principles and applying them as a path towards my desire to directly care for and live with the earth and its creatures. Look for future blog posts detailing this deeper.
Yes The Witch Is Still Here
Thank you for still being here. After my last blog post in July (yikes!), permaculture work was demanding and unending. Things have finally slowed down where I can focus some energy back here on my site. And for the most part, I’ll be developing this space more and more through the end of this year and into 2022. When I first started this website/blog it was so I could share my knowledge of the craft and provide a space to share my services & magical items. Sharing that knowledge has been a slow expansion, but it feels strong and sure. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Take a look at all the photos on this post and you’ll see the entire cycle I’ve been living through. So much growth and so much abundance. I’m grateful, but I’m also a bit tired. Not going to lie, this #PermieWitch life squaring with #WritingWitch life trine #RuneCaster & #DreamInterpreter conjunct #KitchenWitchery is non-stop, exciting, rewarding, but a bit fatiguing way to live life. Not sure I’d have it any other way. Chalk it up to my Cancer Moon, Leo Rising, and Scorpio Sun.
So now we’ve tilled, planted, tended, and harvested our way through Summer, and now we’re welcoming Scorpio Season and Samhain Season. My favorite time of year. It doesn’t hurt that this is my Heritage Day time and Birthday Month. I’m dealing with my double pentagram birthday and currently transiting my 3rd house with Neptune and Uranus trining their natal positions in my chart. ;There’s lots of transformation going on, in other words. But I’m going to lean into these changes and not shy away from it. I know this work will benefit my health, business, and relationships. I’m here for it. Hopefully my sharing of this journey will help someone else down the road as well. I’m planning a trip to reset with nature for my birthday weekend. We’ll take our modern Vardo “Siggi” and park next to the ocean. There will be hours of reading, and lounging, beachcombing, familiar snuggling, until our toes curl in delight. After the challenges we’ve encountered this autumn, it’s a much needed break. Nothing fancy, but perfect all the same. Do you plan an adventure for your solar return? I may also mark this occasion with a tattoo. We’ll see. Given COVID-19 and the fact that I’m in a new community and know ZERO tattoo artists, that may have to wait. After that I’ll be celebrating Astrologic Samhain with a deep ancestor ritual. This actually falls on my Heritage Day, so the energy seems ripe for significant progress to be made in my generational healing. Are you celebrating on calendar Samhain, or later, like me? Tell me how you’re celebrating.
Every Witch will tell you that the veil is thinning. It’s the time of year that the energy is so strong to connect with those who have gone before us. I’ve been getting messages strongly, especially in dreams. And some of the dreams have given me some perspective on what would be better use of this little cottage on the internet, as I like to call my website. Other dreams have been so potent and unusual I had to share them on my weekly Instagram Live “Solitary Shenanigans.” A reminder that messages don’t always mean we can help. Much like not every spell is going to work out exactly as you intend. Regardless, this is a public record that the universe has spoken, and I’m trying my best to listen as I walk the path to vibrate my highest. Sharing like I do on Solitary Shenanigans has helped to build friendships and relationships and I am so excited to give that space more energy, too. The positive response plus the messages from the Dream Maker frame this a no-brainer for energy consumption going into 2022. So see you Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) on IG Live?
Continuing to visit me here, you’ll be getting more about dream work; more about being a caregiver of the land and how it aligns with witchcraft, and you’ll be getting regular kitchen witchery as well. If there’s a particular subject you want to know about, please let me know in the comments. I am investigating platforms that will allow me to teach dream work deeper, more practical kitchen witchery, and invite those interested in communing with nature right here to Villa Westwyk. More on that hopefully by Spring 2022.
The past year has been full of so much. My new website here; continued efforts on my business as a dream interpreter, rune caster, and magical goods provider; and tending to the land of Villa Westwyk. In addition to that I’ve found a new community of wonderful people who vibe higher and stronger, which has blessed my life in so many ways.
There are plans a plenty for 2022 to include an expansion of things that were tried out this past year, so hopefully you’ll stick around to find out about that.
In the interim, I’m wishing you all a Happy Witch’s New Year. Deep Samhain Blessings to you.
I had a reminder this past weekend about what it means to be a Witch, to live as a Witch, and how I’ve been doing that most of my life. The philosophies I’ve been living consistently in my life is all about what most, as well as myself, call Witchcraft. To wit, I have been living the Craft all along, even though at moments or in periods of my life it may not have looked like it outwardly. I mean, I knew that pursuing a life centered on Magic is what I wanted; but, It took me deeply dedicating myself to living the life of a Witch, centering my lifestyle and livelihood as a practitioner of the Craft, even achieving Crowned Crone status, to understand that it was all Witchcraft the entire time.
I am so mostly self-taught in my practices as a Witch. And when I say that word, Witch, I mean that wise woman who moves with the environment around her in harmony and deep care and love. That Crone who wants you to learn what she learned so you can live so much better. You don’t make the same mistakes. Make new ones, because that’s how we learn to be a Witch, only doing that for which creates complimentary energies, like that in Permaculture. Please understand there was no coven initiation for me as a Witch; there was no big ceremony, even though I could have done one as a Solitary Practitioner, ala the Crone Crowning I did in October 2020; and there was no direct openly known “hereditary” Witch for me to be taught or told, “You’re a Witch.” Yet here I am, clearly a Witch.
Figuring out how to live my life and with whom has been such a long fucking journey. I just knew that some things felt right. Move here — yes, I’m learning, exploring, trying out new things and lifestyles. Take this job — again another level of exploring, trying out new things and lifestyles. Yes, these people; oh, maybe not. Yes, these lovers; oh, maybe not. I love this dress; nope, I hate this dress. Hell, I own like one dress. My life seems to require pants more. You get the drift.
Some of my best memories of my childhood were when our family was outdoors or camping, or working in the garden or kitchen together. They also were some of the most stressful, but that’s part of the journey, too. We all wish those times were less, but they teach us, too. It takes a long time to become grateful for those terrible times. For many of us it taught us to be someone who fights for justice, or to be a lightworker/healer, or to just be our truest selves and live our best life. And when you are not to the point of having gratitude for those times, the good memories still stand out. And if my family wasn’t outside, we were inside, surrounding ourselves with stories: writing stories, reading stories, hearing stories —especially when family visited— or even sometimes in the evening at home in front of the television or on a Saturday afternoon at the local matinee, we were watching stories.
So I would, in my own way, seek out the activities of that which I have benevolent memories. I would garden. I would cook. I would seek out nature as entertainment. I would gather a family; sometimes, that was all the “Deadbeats” at a particular college campus, or a bunch of lost single Soldiers in the barracks, but family nonetheless. I would create some sort of nest whether for myself or for these hobbled together families. I wrote. I read. I experimented with story in audio and video form. I had articles published; short stories published, even a book (with number two coming soon). I worked in radio. I worked in television. I found that I would repeat this pattern, in slightly different ways. Maybe in this town? With these people? Surviving by myself above in an antique store in Casper, Wyoming. Working as a journalist and editor. Or in a condo with two addicts before heading off to the military. Then finally as a wife and mother wanting to make something work so hard, that I didn’t see how it very much was not working.
Throughout all of that, I would turn to the Craft. It’s mysticism that felt so natural and as an undoubtable fact in my brain. That first seemed to just be whispered to me as a confused 13 year-old, “You feel different; you think differently; you are different: You are a Witch.” I could see and feel the energy in things my family and many peers could not. I was called foolish for talking about colors around people. Spirit visitations were considered imaginary friends and making up stories (it didn’t help that I wrote and wrote and wrote stories from the time I was about 8 years old). When we camped, the animals, birds, and insects would appear when I was about or I would notice them before anyone else.
But as I traveled through life, and about this planet, I found people who felt like me, dug deeper like me, tried to connect and provide the stories of living in our times. I wild foraged or grew food. Then I would make sure that lifeforce is forged into the food to feed our bodies, minds, and souls. We do so with purpose and intent, holistically. It’s Magic. When I finally learned about shadow work and I started to bring all these joys, delights, and lifestyle into fruition. And it’s so high on the scale of good so often that I feel flabbergasted. I can’t believe this is my life. How did I get so blessed? Easy: The Craft. Now before I come off sounding like a privileged ass, my life is not all sundae cones with unicorn sprinkles. I have had to travel some dark roads of abuse, trauma, war, discrimination, rape, loss, grief, sadness, depression, and unbelievable pain. I mean, we’ve all been through a year of death while having to act like things are normal. However, I persevered. I pushed and fought to move forward, with the help of the Craft ala the Runes, my rituals, my knowledge that my words are Magic, that my Energy changes things. As a Witch, you learn, sometimes even naturally understand, that transformation, doing the work to achieve our best and highest good, can be like a ravaging forest fire. From its destruction, new life forms.
Here I am, in another iteration in my life. A new home. A new town. A new direction (Permaculture). Basically, me, but a new me. A new Witch. As I was in the garden this past weekend—our experiment with a perennial growing and market garden space (something to double our efforts and reap a yield) such a knowing of purpose and self washed over me. I was preparing the land to grow onions and cabbage. It has been patiently waiting for me to tend to it, and for which I was patiently waiting for the weather to be right. And out of no where, Spirit (perhaps Gefion or Freyja) whispered to me again, “Yes, Witch, this is good and right.” Of course the dork in me is like, “What’s good and right?” Because Witches are not Witches unless we’re also questioning, yes?
Within a heartbeat of that message, I realized that living like this — to live with the land in a healthy fashion and provide basic needs and then, with luck, needs of the community, is part of the tenets of Witchcraft as well as Permaculture (a deeper blog post on this connection soon). Furthermore my work is that of many witches: to see the good in the world you wish to see, remove suffering, care for, and certainly love. All of those things started with camping trips, loving stories, and picking green beans in the garden. It evolved into a mishmash of Hedge, Green, Kitchen, and Intuitive Witchery that I live and work to elevate everyday, hence practice. And now that Crone-level mix of Witchery is married to Permaculture, and still writing. And if you look at my natal chart, you’ll like say, “but of course that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.”
As if to punctuate it this a-ha moment, I saw my first true butterfly of the season, followed closely on its tail with two dancing dragonflies. That told me my ancestors were behind me. That even if in life they may have disagreed with what they knew about Witchcraft, they could see how I am living is divinely led. And just to really put me in awe and make sure I remembered this moment, the Pileated Woodpecker that I often hear hammering away nearby came and landed in Villa Westwyk’s ancient Willow tree. His visit let me know that I needed to share this moment of self understanding and reassurance of purpose with all of you. To let you know that even when things are confusing or seem hopeless, there is strength in perseverance and doing the work. And the work is good. The confusion, the hopelessness, even fear has taken a backseat to some really spectacular Magic. And I’m here for it. For the long haul.
Wow, what a life. What parts of The Craft am I going to learn next? I’m sure it’s going to be something that continues this journey of peace and harmony and plants, food, and stories, with Magic the center of it all.
How about for you? When have you been reminded of who you are, or who you should be, and how you’ve been living? And if you’ve made it this far to the very end, I send you good Witchy energy for many blessings to you.
Be ready for the Magic.