5/27/12

Gardening & Domestic Magic

As kitchen witch, I have many areas that magic is applied outside of the ritual circle. In my kitchen, for example, I use a lot of magic with my cooking. I bless food to bring health and well being to those who consume it. I will use herbs based on their magical associations in addition to their culinary uses. I (try) to incorporate home blessing magic into all of the cleaning that goes on in the kitchen. A simple pot of chicken soup turns into a powerful 'potion' for healing when you add a little magic. And like any spice, a little magic can go a very long way.

I have also been busy at work striving to employ magic in my gardening. Unlike some other lucky souls, I haven't the space for a big flower bed, vegetable bed, or herb bed. The majority of what I am growing is in pots arranged to get the most sunlight as possible on the back deck. I have a small flower bed that only gets sun in the late afternoon. A few other flowers in pots with some houseplants, and that's the extent of what I can do for gardening. I work, however, to make each thing I am growing or dealing with in my gardening have as many uses as possible.

It is the act of incorporating as many facets of use into my magic that, in my opinion, sets me a part from more ceremonially oriented witches. Kitchen witches don't frequently have the time, resources, or inclination to use a vast array of specialized anything. You will find that our favorite tea cup doubles as a chalice, the favorite knife in the knife block is also the athame, and instead of a crystal studded wand, we use a wooden spoon.

Each item in our home has a potential magical use. I believe that this makes our lives more full of magic. I believe this makes it easier for us to access our magical abilities and more inclined to do so when the situation could call for them. It may be planting according to the moon phase or sowing blessings with each seed, but gardening can be just as big of a source of magical blessings as cooking. I, however, am a little bit biased.

5/20/12

Pagan Blog Project: J - Jewels

Jewels have had a very old association with magic. They have been used in talismans for as long as humanity has been doing some form of magic. They are interesting and quite valuable. I have a special fondness for a few stones because I find their magical properties to be helpful in my life. One may wonder what gems these are that I am so taken with, so please allow me to share this little list of stones.

  • Amethyst - Amethyst has an ancient association with preventing poisoning and drunkenness. It is, I have found, an excellent stone for protection. It is also well aligned with any sort of magic that focuses upon spiritual matters.
  • Amber - Freja's tears are said to be this stone. It is a resin based stone that ties back to ancient times. I find it to be a very good link to my ancestors and the spirits of the land.
  • Agate - Agate has always been a good stone for protection for me. I think it is because of the fact that the majority of agate that I have used has been from geodes, which carry an essence of that protective shell to them.
  • Bloodstone - Bloodstone is a stone of deep strength and healing. It is associated with purification.
  • Hematite - This is an excellent stone for grounding energies. It is a very gentle grounding and works very well for protection magic.
  • Quartz - A stone of purity and clairvoyance, quartz has been a go-to for almost all magical workings for me. I have a special fondness for milky quartz.

Pagan Blog Project: J - Justice

I think we're up to the letter "J" but I am honestly not sure. Life has taken me away from blogging for the past few weeks so I am a little bit lost. I will try to do another post on a different letter later this week. Apologies made, let's move on to the topic, shall we?

Justice is more then just a tarot card or a concept of the legal system.

Justice is also a powerful Aspect of deity. Most people are familiar with the icon of Lady Justice. This is an ancient goddess that we have carried forward iconographically though people generally don't understand the image. Justice is blindfolded to represent objectivity. Her scales are symbolizing the balance of truth and equanimity. Her sword represents reason and justice.

The modern icon of Justice is a synthesis of several ancient goddesses. There's lots more detail upon this at the wikipedia page I linked to earlier. In ancient times, Justice's impartiality was not depicted by a blindfold but rather by her maiden aspect. The addition of the blindfold came in the 15th century when someone decided to be clever in their interpretation of her. It was also a nod to Fortuna. The sword is from the goddess Nemesis, one of the Furies. It is retributive justice in that manifestation.

I think that we very delicately dance around outright propagation of the goddess of Justice. I suspect that if our society were to tend towards polytheism, she would be one of the first goddesses represented in the new pantheon. A part of me says that we should seriously consider this face of deity for worship. I question, however, if we are truly ready for Lady Justice to turn her gaze upon us and judge us for our actions as a people.

5/4/12

Pagan Blog Project: I - Intention

Intent is a very important thing. Unfortunately, people can have very good intentions and their actions have poor results. It is shockingly common to hear "I didn't intend for that to happen" in daily conversations. Failing to align your actions and intentions makes it very difficult to successfully perform magic. Brutal self examination and honesty is required of us when ever we sit down to do a spell or any other form of magic.

I say it is brutal because we must not give quarter to self deception. If we can not say with full certainty that we intend for XYZ to be on our karmic debts, then we shouldn't engage in it. This is not only how one take the measure of a honest person but how we should weed out that which we should not engage in. All of us have different tolerances for unpleasantness. We all have different tolerances for hardship.

We must keep these things in mind when we consider the possible outcomes of our magical actions. Acting with intent and self-understanding allows us to be successful. It keeps us from hamstringing ourselves subconsciously due to a misalignment between intention and act. It keeps us from taking on karmic burdens that we simply can not handle. And, most of all, it keeps us honorable.

That, however, is all my opinion on this. It is the fruit of my own learning experiences. It may be that somewhere down the road, my position changes because I have learned something new.