Social Distancing. Self-Isolation. Quarantine. Whatever you call it, most of us are stuck at home for the foreseeable future.
At the beginning of the month, my kids both had colds, and as the panic over Covid-19 was ramping up, I made an effort to not add to the problem, and decided to keep them home a couple of days until their coughs and runny noses subsided. They were better by the weekend, and I was happy to be able to send them back to school on Monday. Then, on Sunday night, the province closed all public schools. All this is a long way of saying, that in my house, we are on day 15 of social distancing isolation.
These days, most businesses are closed for the next couple of weeks, and we are in the middle of what would have been spring break, so the schools aren’t putting anything out until April to help with the kids education. And since we are doing our part to help #flattenthecurve or #plankthecurve or whatever the hashtag is now, we are finding creative ways to keep busy that involve less screen time, and thus, less fighting.
I will admit it, when I was younger, I loved the dollar store as much as anyone. I could buy all manner of home decor that I never would have been able to afford elsewhere. These days, they have whole aisles dedicated to candles, incense, offering dishes, jars, herbs, just about anything a thrifty witch (or a broke witch, we’ve all been there) would need.
But with the rise of climate change, and our consciousness that the earth really is in trouble, has come the idea of zero waste or low waste and just generally being more mindful of how we live our lives. Thus, is the dollar store really the best place to source your spell materials and tools anymore? Was it ever? Continue reading Mindful Witchcraft on a Budget — Say No to Dollar Stores→
I have seen *so* many videos on this lately. Luckily, most of them appear to be older, so maybe it was just a meme-type thing, but the truth of the matter is, there is only 1 sign that you are a witch. Ready for it?
You practise witchcraft.
That’s it. The end. You can’t really be a witch and not know it. Just like you can’t really be a carpenter and not know it. The word is a descriptor of an action or a trade. It’s something you know you’re doing.
Until you hit that point, you are a Seeker. And there is nothing wrong with that. Being a Seeker is the best! Everything is new and magical and filled with enchantment. Not that I’m saying that that feeling fades with time necessarily.
Even for me, 25ish years later, the spring time feels like life and magic, journeying, and meditation feel like home; but there are few things that carry the same trepidation and exhilaration that venturing down a new path does. It’s incredible. And it should be enjoyed for as long as possible.
In the beginning, having a name for your path can feel like the most important thing in the world. How can you have an legitimacy if your path doesn’t have a name? Let me ask you this: does the tree outside your window have a name? Does the bird flitting about the branches? Do they need one to exist?
Don’t be so quick to slap a label on something that is developing and growing. I can count on one hand the number of times that someone in real life has asked me about my religion, and more often than not, they ask if I attend church. My response is simply, ‘No, we don’t go to church.’ Another perfectly valid answer would be: ‘Sorry, I don’t discuss religion. It causes too much friction.’
Back in the day, our parents and grandparents held to a strict rule of ‘no discussing politics or religion at the dinner table.’ I, personally, pull that into my own life as often as possible. We very much don’t need to know every detail of our neighbours’ business, and they don’t need to know every detail of mine.
Ten Years on, and I’m sad to say that this article is still entirely relevant. I think that the only thing that I would add is that I have removed myself completely from the scene. While there are times that I do feel bad that I didn’t stay in it to provide some manner of ally to the Seekers, I still believe that the best way to deal with Defender Trolls, is to disengage. The wealth of knowledge has grown exponentially in the last ten years. eBooks are a fraction of the cost of their paperback cousins. And only speaking for myself, if fate draws you to my inbox, I still happily answer all the questions I can.
A community is something that most of us strive for. The gathering of souls of a like mind is a very powerful calling. Even those who are not converts from a monotheistic, congregation-style religion seem to seek the simple joys and socialization of worship with others. With the advent of the World Wide Web, that desire can be fulfilled in the space of a nanosecond, and you can find what seems like the whole of Pagan society at your fingertips.
Yet, for all the romantic ideals of people coming together for a common cause and enjoying the company of fellow Pagans, there comes an undeniable truth, that Pagans, just like any other group of people, come in all shapes, sizes and opinions. For those unaccustomed to having their own ideas challenged, the world of Pagan internet forums and email groups can seem like a barrel of…
She changes everything she touches. Everything She touches changes.
This chant has been on my mind lately. And the “She”, to me, is Time.
This post has been in progress for a while now. I have been thinking about where I began on this path so many years ago, what I wanted from it, what I hoped to find in the online Pagan community, what I wanted from life in general, and how all that differs from where I find myself now.
I think it safe to say that I have moved pretty much completely out of the “Maiden” phase of my life (if you subscribe to such a theory). I don’t go looking to be different, to carve out my identity, to find a place and a path that is just the perfect fit.
I’ve done that. For years I did that. Even when I first started trying to make my own way, I was still searching. Still hoping for someone to tell me I was doing it right. Trying so hard to live up to some imaginary standard. Am I eco enough, am I liberal enough, am I honourable enough, am I artistic enough, am I enough? It gets to the point where you feel like you’re drowning.
And then, as they say, Life Happens. Things change, and you find yourself without the time to worry about such things. My life smashed my thumb with a hammer and brought me back to hyper focus. I could no longer force myself to care about the things that used to occupy my mind in my youth.
I lost all interest in the things that made the Pagan Community tick. Aside from the constant fighting and outrage over the misrepresentation of the week, the addiction to study and record keeping lost its lustre for me as well. My sought after project, creating a big book of shadows to pass down to my children, became less and less important once my children actually arrived.
These days, I’d rather capture their smiles with my D80 while running in the sunshine or run with them, than think about herbal remedies or crystal healing. When my baby is cutting a tooth, I reach for the gripe water – the same brand that my mom used when I was a baby. When my little girl scrapes her knee, polysporin goes on the bandage.
There are no poultices or potions. The only thing I still really make myself is hand lotion. The only remedy I really use is honey for a sore throat.
Does this make me less a Witch? Does the lack of a practise or the lack of a solid theology make me less of a Pagan? Does it matter to me any more?
The last one I can answer: Nope.
The practises I used regularly in my youth can still be called on when needed. I can still move energy through my body with a single breath. I use it when I need it (and with a teething baby, trust me, it’s needed).
These days I don’t like to think in terms of differences. I like seeing how many “New Age” practises have been accepted into the mainstream, and just are generally accepted parts of life. I like thinking about people as fundamentally the same. We all think, we all feel, we all need.
So where does that leave us? This blog has evolved slowly over the years, and will probably continue to do so. I have been thinking about what it would take to finish the Wheel of the Year page. And whether I should keep it as a reference. Beltane is coming up. Hopefully, we will be done with snow by then. We’ll see. I have a new book I’m reading for an Animist Book Club dealie. Keep ’em peeled for a post on that.
I may or may not post more on FB. I am tending to prefer IG for my social media right now. Now that it is starting to get sunny and warm, I will have more to post. I’m also going to start-up the 52 Weeks of Calgary BP again. Stay tuned.
The February full moon is known as the Storm Moon. In my random, pre-article web poking, I discovered that Storm Moon is not the most popular name for this Esbat. The most common name appears to be the Quickening Moon.
This name is associated with the season of Imbolc and the quickenings of new life – in animals and in the earth Herself. The first signs of spring are starting to appear, and we use this moon to work our fertility or growing magics.
The other more popular name is Snow Moon. This is likely due to the fact that in much of North America, more snow tends to fall in February than in any other winter month.
First up was my Imbolc article with an almost completely gluten-free menu.¹ I also want to add recipes of my own that I have used and perfected (more or less). This post is the first. After so many test batches that I think my little one will be forever addicted to “scones”², I give you gluten-free ritual cakes.