A Lesson In Advanced Hearth Witchery
Article ID: 14263
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,366
Times Read: 5,501
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Author: Deborah Castellano
Posted: October 31st. 2010
Times Viewed: 5,501
When learning basics, most of us want to rush through and get to the good stuff. When can I start summoning things! When do I get enlightened! When do I light candles with the powers of my mind? What can I say? The movie The Craft was very popular in my teen almost-a-witch years.
Let's say you've been a good little Hearth Witch worker bee, as outlined in my previous WitchVox article. You've learned to iron crisp pleats in your apron, you cook so good your kids don't complain about it, you bring hand poured candles to parties as hostess gifts, you can pull a Flylady drive-by cleaning no problem-o, you can even sew a button and a button hole.
Where's your prize? What's the carrot? How do you power up? How do you achieve enlightenment? Obtain obtainments and other merit badges?
Here's the secret to 300 Level Hearth Witchery: Your hands.
Let that really sink in for a minute so you can understand how much you’re swinging from a trapeze without a safety net. You don't have thousands of years of recorded historical tradition and practice to rely on. While holy men and occasional holy women all over the world were spending their lives in contemplation and recording their thoughts, your Hearth Witch ancestors were busy being pregnant, sowing the fields, burying their children, churning butter, burying their spouse, jarring, canning, sewing, creating fabric, laughing, crying, having sex and making magic from things they had handy around the house. They were never given the luxury to do anything more than that, it’s all they had. Their hands.
Do you think that these midwives, these hedgewitches, these stregas were any less holy because they were not given the luxury of a life of meditation and expensive and obscure spell components, my sisters and brothers of the hearth? Of course not. You are not made any less holy or sacred than your contemporaries who carefully study formal magical systems that have been written down for hundreds of years.
You are too enmeshed in the business of living to have the luxury of devoting your life to a system, even a modern one. Even if we had one, we'd be too busy to follow it. It’s just the way we are. You have children to feed, clothe, and entertain. You have a hearth to manage. You have food to put on the table. You have a day job that you bust your butt at. Your sister is short on rent. Your brother is crying. Your kid needs a new pair of shoes and your spouse needs new buttons on her shirt (again) .
This life, this beautiful, glorious life gets underrepresented and underappreciated in the magical communities. We start to feel that because our magics are simple that they are lesser because we don’t have hours a day to devote to meditation and high ritual. We start to get a sinking feeling we will never be enlightened. We will never be good enough. We will never have magical merit badges. So our altars collect dust, we stop even lighting candles sometimes because, why bother? No one takes us seriously, not even ourselves. We’re relegated to the role of a “dabbler” a “bored housewife witch”.
It’s true, many of us don’t have years of acute study in one particular field of magic, but that doesn’t make us any less powerful. We can’t forget our small daily magics we all do, the secret rituals we keep just to ourselves. The smell of bread and the symbols we etch into it with our fingers. How we absent-mindedly Reiki our spouse’s head with one hand while tying a kid’s shoe in the other. The prayers we say for our loved ones. The tea lights we light in our kitchens in moments of devotion and desperation. The tiny bags of herbs and rocks we stuff into our bras. The makeup and perfume we put on (or don’t) when we want to show we mean business.
The extra dash of rosemary we put into our marinara so that our families and loved ones will be happy. The public rituals we dash to, casserole under our arm and our car keys in our teeth. When we make the act of listening sacred. When we take the tears, vomit, blood and desperate energy thrown at us by loved ones in moments of desperation. How we take that energy and ground it out and take a breath. When we transform that into a healing embrace. The moment of stillness in the house when you can hear yourself breathe just for a moment and your mind goes still.
There is no manual to any of this, my darlings. No manual at all. We have no unifying structure to hold us up, to hold us together in faith. No spirits to compel, no meditation to guide us. All we have is our hands. Your hands to grind herbs from the kitchen from the grocery store with a mortar and pestle you got at a garage sale. Your hands to light candles and say prayers to your gods and goddesses. Your hands to call whatever phone tree you're in charge of. Your hands to scribble down a recipe, a receipt for whatever spell you came up with on the fly that you will use with all your will. Your hands to feed. Your hands to sew. Your hands to write. Your hands to put in soil. Your hands for your children to hold. Your hands covered in blood, sweat, tears, and more terrible things on a bad day.
It's all you're given in this path. It's not glamorous, you'll not win in an occult power wand-waving contest. But you'll get things done. You'll work hard. You'll be able to charm or hex, you'll see results. You'll have the grace that is found in simplicity, even in magic.
Your hands. That's it. End of lesson.
Cooking Dinner Does Not Make You a Kitchen Witch: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usnj and c=words and id=14051
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Location: , New Jersey
Author's Profile: To learn more about Deborah Castellano - Click HERE
Bio: Deborah Castellano has written for magazines such as Witches and Pagans, NewWitch, Venus and SageWoman. Her work has been included in anthologies by Cleis Press and Freya’s Bower. She writes regularly for Demand Studios.
She blogs regularly about Hearth Witchery on Charmed, I’m Sure: http://dropoutdilettante.blogspot.com.
Other Articles: Deborah Castellano has posted 28 additional articles- View them?
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