Boxing. Gloves.

creative_writingI’ve spent the last year doing everything except writing.

For the most part, I didn’t write because I spent most of my time reflecting upon things that I could never transcribe without betraying confidence. Lots of confidences, actually. It seems that 2015 was The Year of the Life Lesson. As a minister, friend, mother, lover, teacher,[1] I’ve held my share of hands in 2015. By the end of the year, my refrain had become, “A’right Universe, no more life lessons; I’m all full up on character building at the moment!” Most of these were not *my* life lessons, mind you—I was part of support systems during others’ life lessons—though there was definitely a learning curve for me in this tale. A Cosmic teachable moment, if you will. I’ll get to that.

The intensity of my year, genuine personal crisis among close kindred after genuine personal crisis among close kindred,

Gennady Golovkin vs Curtis Stevens

Gennady Golovkin vs Curtis Stevens

resulted in a really beautiful summer experience with everyone leaning on each other and taking solace in “not being alone.” And musical theatre. Once fall rolled around, many of the crises had leveled out to manageable; divorces were finalized, custody battles were no longer heated, risky pregnancies were brought to healthy conclusions, abusers were managed by the legal system, and that sort of thing. Two new crises appeared—one cancer diagnosis and one lost job for the family’s sole provider—nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not the power-punch jab-cross-left uppercut-cross combination of spring. Just let me just say, for the record, the last days of September and the first weeks of October sucked. (For a peek at how I approach the cycles of the seasons, have a look at “Deep Winter,” written almost exactly a year ago.) In the vacuum of further crises, however, I saw that patterns of abuse started to appear—some of them wonderfully resolved—others not. That’s where the lesson became mine. At what point do I stop being “support” and start being “crutch”? Here’s what I figured out. Some people come to me because they respect me as a spiritual leader. Once they’ve been ministered to, they are grateful and go back about their lives. Some people come to me and don’t know how to respect the role of service a minister assumes.[2] As spiritual leaders, this is a precarious ledge for us to tread. And entirely our responsibility to regulate.

This is just an interesting side-note and, perhaps, metaphor. My daughter, who works at an assisted-living complex, came home and said, “This lady asked me why we wear gloves when we bus tables. When I told her it was ‘sanitary,’ she said understood why we wore them to serve, but not to bus. I had to tell her, ‘When we serve, we wear gloves to protect you. When we bus, we wear them to protect ourselves.’” Apparently, the lady still didn’t get it. In some circumstances servers are imagined as automatons. But there is a big difference between service and servitude. And sometimes it’s appropriate to put on prophylactic gloves.

The problem with this is that we need to touch[3] and to be touched—physically, metaphorically, you know—and gloves 309038act, by their intended nature, as a barrier. So, when to wear gloves, when not to wear gloves? When do I need to stop directly touching and start protecting myself in this act of service? Yeah.

That’s where I am. Trying to figure out gloves.

And boxing.

In the past three months, though I had decided I was out of the confidential woods enough to write again, I’d not been writing because my life took on some of those elements that required me to learn to lean on someone. It’s odd having the shoe on the other foot. Or glove on the other hand, as it were. Here’s the deal. My kids are grown and my husband and I are looking to relocate—perhaps across the state, perhaps across the country, we haven’t determined that yet. The ambiguity of the situation is naturally riddled with both anticipation and anxiety. Smack dab in the middle of that, we’ve taken in a tenant,[4] a dear friend who has a great opportunity to advance his career but who needs a temporary leg-up to make that happen. Anyone who’s had a long-term house-mate knows there’s a good deal of negotiation involved.

And a good deal of boxing—move this here, that there, put this in storage, etc. In the middle of boxing up a house inhabited for a dozen years, a house in which small children came to adulthood, I needed to relearn to relean on my own support system. Thank the gods I had one. And I made a new discovery along the way; (this is probably the point I want to get to most), I have found a Muse again. It took all the literal and figurative boxing up of the past and all of the precautionary glove-wearing of the present to create room for new things: a safe space.

So, here’s my plan. (If I write it down and post it, I feel more accountable to follow through.) I know I’ve told you a dozen times that I was going to write a book about my nutty experiences in the Pagan arena. Sure, I did all the handbooks and non-fiction religious texts, but not the book idea that was the inspiration for this blog over five years ago. I never could get my hands wrapped around the narrative properly because A) like I said in “Deep Winter,” I didn’t know how the story ended and B) I didn’t have an appropriate Muse to address. Now I have both closure and a Muse. No more excuses. But to keep me in the writing mode, I’m going to hold myself responsible to this blog again too. It’s a good way to keep my spiritual-academic brain in top form. I’ll be writing about the Runes and Heathen lore and practical applications, as usual; but rather than using the English alphabet as many of us did for years a few years ago, I’m going to work my way through the Futhark “alphabet.” (The Elder—not that I won’t wander into the Younger or the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc from time to time.)

With that, I leave you for now. As ever, I’ll tell you how the boxing goes and what I discover about these gloves.

moving-boxes-labeled

 

[1] And add to this list “musical director”! Yay, it’s such an adventure. After my fun with George Bailey, I got to direct Young Frankenstein. On Tuesday, we, The Board of Directors for the local theatre, will vote on the musical for summer 2016. I have the perusal pack for the seemingly unanimous top pick already on my desk. As ever, I’ll let you know. For now, I’ll just say that I may need to build a wooden rabbit.

[2] Servants exist to be persistently retained, right? Um, no. Let’s not get off on entitlement and the creation of a servant-class and the politics of servitude in The Deep South, because this quasi-Marxist Witch could go off. When a teenager from Texas makes a bad choice and lives are destroyed and his momma’s defense is “affluenza”? Huston, we have a problem.

[3] Exciting new change: I’m providing Reiki services at a local wellness studio. It’s grand and I feel “in touch” again.

[4] Who, it just occurred to me as synchronous to this post, “donated” a large box of culinary gloves to our household. Anyone who knows me knows that there is a direct corollary between the Scoville score of a pepper and the likelihood that I will touch a facial membrane after cutting it.

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So This Happened …

Just wanted to share.

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Proof copies from the publisher just arrived. These are for my kindred to preview before open distribution. I’m a little tickled. OK–a lot tickled. I feel like I’m posting pictures of my newborn.

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Also, my magical students now have legit study guides and workbooks. (This is the first of 3-4 sets, btw.) Doesn’t take the place of actual teaching and mentoring, but it sure helps with continuity of tradition as my older students step forward and start teaching.

The ritual book is on its way to finished too. I’m finally ticking off some goals.

Toxicodendron Radicans (Poison Ivy) and Magic

It was just after writing this post that I realized the plant I had been pulling during the opening story in question was poison ivy herself. With my bare hands. When I didn’t flame up, I also realized I was one of the very few who are not affected by her. Nonetheless, I remain diligent and respectful. Just because she’s spared me in the past doesn’t mean I’ve earned a lifelong pass–right?!

Witchcraft From Scratch

As I write this blog, I notice that it winds around like a vine, wrapping itself around whatever it grabs hold of, climbing into crevices where I couldn’t have foreseen it would grow. There should be a joke about irritation here—but I’ll leave it to you to make.

The Wild Hunt by Peter Nicholai Arbo

As we were clearing land for the kindred hof and ve, my husband got into some poison ivy[1] and spent a week learning about cortisol while he was in Scandinavia. As we piled wood for the fire, we had to check to make sure we weren’t sending toxins airborne. Plus, a thing about poison ivy is that the toxin is carried in a non-water-soluble oil, so if you try washing the affected area with water, you will just spread the irritant further.

What’s this got to do with magic?” you ask?

Nothing…

View original post 1,321 more words

Another DIY Thing

Breast cancer is nothing to sniff at.

My sister has recovered from two bouts with cancer: breast and skin. My aunts have as well. Well, some of them. I have had a benign tumor removed and that’s skeery enough for me.

I have always known that there was a link between antiperspirant and cancer–particularly breast cancer. (I know, I know, the medical jury is “out” on the exact science–as they tend to be.) But, I never stopped using mass-produced products. I used “all-natural” and aluminum-free products, but never liked them so went back to the chunks of white antiperspirant: “cancer sticks”–maybe.

I stopped using shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis around 2008 and stopped all-together since I stopped hanging around with horses. A few years back, I started making my own soap and face cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc. Why in the world was I still using store-bought antiperspirant.

Oh–wait–yeah. Deodorant and antiperspirant are not the same thing.

But still.

Here’s some TMI for this DIY post. When I get sweaty and then encounter strangers, they tell me I smell good. No kidding. Folks stop me to ask me why I “smell so good.” I’d like to say that it’s because I have a good diet and that I use (almost) all-natural body-products.

But it happened back when I was younger and not as careful about what I put in and on my bod. I’d leave dance-practice and get actively “sniffed” on the bus. I’d go to work and–after a few hours of moving around under hot lights–have coworkers ask me, “What are you wearing?”

And I guess I smell different to different people. Some folks say I smell like tree bark, some say grass, some say incense, some say other earthy things. You’d think I’d smell like whatever magical concoction I was working on most recently–but nope. No one ever tells me I smell like Abramelin or mugwort. I’d love to tell folks that “I just smell like a witch,” but that would be misleading.

One of my son’s theater friends insists, “pine needles.”

My younger daughter says “bug spray.”

I can only conclude it is a pH thing.

Anyway. I was at this local writer’s shindig and started talking to a grad student about no-poo-shampoo and witch-hazel toner and olive oil soap and honey+egg conditioner. She told me her basic recipe for DIY deodorant. I knew it was a thing but had never talked to anyone I trusted about the results.

Given the dance my genes do with breast cancer, I committed to trying it.

After a week of resisting the urge to Google/Pinterest/WikiHow a zillion recipes, thereby confusing myself into an unworkable tizzy, I decided to research body stank. I knew it was about moisture and warm spots and bacteria, so there were no real surprises.

Then I moved to asking, “What makes DIY deodorant fail?” The top three complaints were:

  • Itchy or drying
  • Reddening or irritating
  • Low melting point
  • Crumbly
  • Less sweat but still stinky

So I put my brain to work and  started looking at the contents of my cabinets.
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Basically, I was told to mix coconut oil and baking soda. That was the start.

  • To combat the itchy dryness, I added raw shea butter and vitamin E oil.
  • To address the irritation, I cut back the baking soda and added arrowroot and bentonite (facial clay) for absorption.
  • I figured the bentonite would also help with the low melting point–especially here in the Bamas.
  • And I added beeswax to help it hold together without crumbling or melting.
  • I added pharmaceutical grade tea tree oil as an antiseptic.
  • Here’s where I think I got brilliant: stank. Stinky pits are caused from bacteria growing, right? What’s the best way to naturally combat nasty bacteria? Yup, I cracked open a probiotic capsule and tossed it in the mix.
  • I also added a couple of essential oils that I thought might compliment my already naturally woodsy aroma. I won’t add lemon grass next time. On account o’ it’s just–well–it’s–I don’t like it.
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The melted ingredients. I put them in a mason jar in a pot on the stove. less cleanup, I figure.

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The powered ingredients. Less clay next time, I think.

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Baby-poop green. At least it’s just armpits. This is before it cools and hardens, btw.

I’m not going to put the measurements here because I’m still working it out. As ever, I’ll let you know when I get there. My first batch was a little softer than I’d like and–well–it’s an ugly green from the clay. Personally, I like the feeling of tea tree oil–but I want to make a new batch and be more sparing with that ingredient for those who are less amenable to the sensation.

I didn’t have an empty deodorant container, so first I poured the melted goo into a silicone cupcake tray thinking I’d make deodorant cakes, but they melted at body temperature and made my hands ooie. So I remelted those and poured it into paper “dixie” cups and figure I can peal away the paper as I need to.

My hubby wants a batch. And that’s a big deal. He usually waits until I get everything “almost just right” before becoming a guinea pig. And a few friends have asked for some. I’m excited.

So–you give it a whirl. Especially those of you already in the practice of making yummy skin things (ehem, Amy — here’s a shameless plug for my friend’s shop: plantcraftbyamy.com). Let me know what proportions work in what climate. Let me know if you come up with better ingredients or combinations.

And, as ever, I’ll let you know.

Waes thu hael and sweet smelling.

Crumblin’ Down

I wrote this back in February, but so much of it still applies that I just edited it up a bit. Back then I was still in the decision phase, now I am in the “action” phase.

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Phew. I don’t know about you but the last time Mercury was in Retrograde (whether you buy into it or not), it kicked my ever-lovein’ arse.

I love this little advice bit on how to keep from get “retrograded.”

After thinking about it for a minute, I’m putting off a necessary action until after the retrograde goes straight. I was going to move forward–and then I remembered.

This decision is one where waiting has been a little nerve-wracking and has felt counter-intuitive. The decision itself wheedled at me and built to a head for about a year. After I made the decision, it’s just been a matter  of  timing. Every time I’ve waited? I’ve been, um, rewarded–we’ll go with “rewarded.” So I’m  going to wait a bit to take action on that decision. I mean, given the number of communication snafus I’ve seen around me during Merc’s Retro–even if it’s not a reliable explanation, I figure it’s better to wait than to tempt wyrd by jumping the gun.

Seriously, the last Retrograde was strange. Sure, a number of communication breakdowns is par for the course in any busy life, but the kinds of things I saw over a two months period would turn your hair white–and I think I have a few more grays to cover as a result of the funtimes known as Late Winter 2014.

Not only that, but my nicely compartmentalized life–work over here, kindred over here, family like so, personal relationships like this, and sacral life and devotions go like that–imploded.

Every boundary I thought I needed in order to keep my psyche functioning at normal capacity disintegrated. I had people form my business-life visit me in the workplace, I had workplace collide with kindred, I’ve always had kindred in the family and family in the–well, you get the picture. There was definitely peanut butter in my chocolate and chocolate in my peanut butter. It was enough to have a girl singing Mellencamp.

Well, that and “Small Town.”

Only, I can’t “breathe here in this here small town” without exhaling on someone tangled up in something.

Crumblin’ walls, man.

As Mercury Retrograde approaches again, I’ve decided to learn from my experience about crumblin’ walls earlier this year–perhaps I have reached a place where I can no longer segregate my life from my life. Nothing “bad” happened from them tumbling walls, but I was left feeling a little nekid.

It’s a good thing I learned long ago not to do things in one part of my life that would embarrass me in another part of my life.

I mean, I’m no saint, but . . .

I’ve known people who have to scurry about day and night just to keep the left hand from finding out what the right hand has been up to. People who can’t leave certain friends and acquaintances in the same room alone for too long, lest some fabricated barrier be rent in twain. Yup, Being forthright and wearing my life on my sleeve is a little boring, but at least I don’t have any lies to keep track of. Those who have to keep their walls up are usually trying to
manipulate people by triangulating them with or isolating them from others.triangulation

My walls aren’t those kinds of walls. My walls are like the differences between “Mom-life” and “Work-life” like I mentioned briefly in my post about Ostara. I think everyone has these. And I could see that mine were all about to disintegrate. All I could do was have faith that this would be a good thing.

Guess what? It was.

Know how we say that the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. have to keep a legal “wall” between intelligence and law enforcement–but at the same time, we wish they could share information more openly? (We’ve gotten better at the balance in the last decade, I think.)

It’s like that–my metaphorical CIA metaphorically ran into my metaphorical NSA while my metaphorical FBI was in the metaphorical room and they all got to talking. Now I have  solid, um, “intelligence” that I wouldn’t have had if those walls hadn’t come down.

Now, the domino effect assures that some other peoples’ walls are coming down along with mine. They might not be so comfortable with the exposure they are about to get. But it can’t be helped. Once they get going, tumblin’ walls gonna tumble.

That’s why it’s best to live with good gefrain–never do anything in one part of your life that you wouldn’t want shared in another part of your life. Walls are not reality and they have a tendency to come crumblin’ down.

It’s like the old saying about wearing clean underpants just in case you are in an accident.

Hunker down. July 1 is just around the corner.

Waes thu hael!

Sweetness

This week has been entirely cool. On Saturday, we installed our bees on the Ve.

Four of us (and our children) began this journey last summer when we first looked into beekeeping in our different counties. A whole group of us had been interested in beekeeping for a good while; so we attended a summer symposium. Four of us stuck it out when, in February, we started learning in earnest. After a winter of learning—and learning that there really are very few prohibitions[1] against beekeeping—we bit the commitment bullet, built our hives, and installed our bees.

Lemme tell ya, it was not as frightening as I expected.

And it brings me to the sweetest magical allegory in town.

I am allergic to everything on this beautiful planet (aside from poison ivy, go figure) and was terrified of what the “bee installation day” experience might bring. Yet, I donned my nerdy protective suit (full-body prophylaxis), walked into the fray where bees were flying by the tens of thousands,[2] and was totally fine. Seriously, I wasn’t even nervous. Not even a little.[3]

It’s like working with magic. Real magic. Not that conk somebody on the head because you lost control of your emotions sort of trifle that so many of us can do—but don’t if we’ve learned better. I’m talking about—whatever your tradition’s analog may be[4]–I’m talking about conjuration and all that jazz.

Let me run this metaphor out.

  • Calm bees stay calm until someone sounds the “alarm.” Then they all switch on a pheromone that makes the whole colony lose their shit. If a human sounds the alarm, well.

o   Even benevolent spirits (entities, daemons, thoughtforms, etc.) can get—um, spooked—we’ll go with “spooked,” if the conjurer gets all bent out of shape and switches on the magical alarm pheromone. And you bet your arse, somebody’s getting stung.

  • The best thing to do is use lots of protection when you are first learning to handle bees. As you get more proficient, as you learn the signals of the bees, you can work with or without gloves, with or without a veil, or with just a smoker. I’ve seen it done. I don’t think I’ll ever get there (my aversion to anaphylaxis and all)—but that doesn’t mean no one does it.

o   Likewise with conjuration. Holy heck, that can sting like the Dickens and lay you out if you aren’t properly protected. Right? Sometimes you need a metaphorical beesuit. But, once you know what’s what—and as long as you don’t have reason to suspect a rogue bee[5]—you might eventually be able to get away with working with fewer accoutrements. Just, you know, make sure you have a well-lit metaphorical smoker.

  • Beekeeping is not for the faint of heart. Some folks are just skeered. Of everything. Dogs, chickens, snakes, spiders, witches, bees. Fear comes from an uncontrolled mind, from anxieties arising out of attachment in the form of anger and hatred. Human fears develop in a direct corollary to our feeling of being threatened. According to Buddhist[6] thought, fears result from our ignorance of Self, the origin of delusions, and thus the root of our fears. If you don’t have a sense of self-presence—knowing exactly who you are (not a delusion of Self) and what you are (actually, not delusionally) capable of—you have no business messing with bees.
Fried Green Tomatoes, "Bee Charmer"

Fried Green Tomatoes, “Bee Charmer”

o   Same goes for magic. If you are a frightened, victimhood-oriented individual you should steer clear of actual magic. If you don’t “Know Thyself,” you won’t be very effectual in the first place; but you shouldn’t go messing around in atmospheres where you have no business. If you are delusional about yourself and your abilities? Let’s just say I’m not going in after you if you decide to jam your hand all down in a metaphorical honey super on a cloudy day like you’re Idgie Threadgoode or something. I’ll call the metaphorical equivalent to 911, but the rest is on you. Literally.

Some people think that if they’ve seen it in a movie it must be real–and that it must apply to them. Mmm’hokay.

  • That leads me to my last point. There are “stock” bees and wild bees. The bees I have are Italian, like most beekeeper bees in the US. They were bred by a specialist who knows how to breed queens that produce calm and unruffled[7] colonies. Like all breeding programs, this is a precise science to which all I can say is, “I don’t know man, I didn’t do it.” Some bees were bred for different things—serenity not being one of them. Or, you know, being lower on the list. This is just to say that even if you know *your* bees, you don’t want to make the same assumptions about another colony or—lords no—wild bees. The rules go out the window in the wild.

o   Not all of the “stuff” one can encounter out in the Aether is of metaphorically “known parentage.” A magician, sorcerer, whatever-you-call-yourself, can be very familiar with and work with great ease with one set of energies. But out of that element? All bets are off. Should you encounter something “wild”? The worst thing you can do is make assumptions about its imperatives and jurisdictions. Some shite will laugh in your face. And then peal it off and eat it just for kicks.

You might not, but I buy it.

It might seem like too much risk for such little payout. After all, the honey doesn’t extrude and jar itself. But bees are a necessary part (a dwindling part) of a functioning eco-system. I started keeping bees because it was the right thing to do. Now I’m discovering that there are rewards to be had well before the honey flows.[8] Likewise with magic. I started doing it for personal development, ego reduction, and self-awareness. Sure, I hoped there’d be plenty of alchemical honey on the other end of the project, but it wasn’t my primary motivation. It was just the right thing to do. And just like with my old “friends,” I’m finding that with my new little friends, there are rewards to be had before I’ve even seen my first comb.

Think about it. The necessity to calm the feck down each and every time, the necessity to have faith in one’s protective measures, the necessity to know—really know—the limits of one’s abilities (and to push them just a little more each time), and the necessity to remember to keep the smoker lit at all times.

There are explicit rewards to finding oneself in the presence of bees.

Wæs þu hæl!

 

[1] I mean, we have limited finances and a slew of animals and pregnant ladies and children and allergies. Honey may be bad for babies but bees are only dangerous if one is allergic. And one would be allergic, pregnant or not. So, there was really no reason not to go for it.

[2] Earlier in the day, my estimate is that there were 1.5 million bees. Assuming that each packaged colony had around 10,000 bees and there were about 150 orders. That’s without the neighborhood bees who came to see all the hullabaloo.

[3] The story was different when I opened the hive wearing only protective gloves the next day. That was a test in bravery. A test I passed with flying colors.

[4] Yes, I believe that various paths have various names and they are all valid—though not the same.

[5] Hive minds don’t really produce many rogues as long as your population is healthy and bred from calm queens. We don’t have the threat of “Africanized” bees in my neck of the woods.

[6] Thanks to one of my Cultural Diversity students who phrased this so eloquently during his presentation in our non-Abrahamic religions unit.

[7] They are also hygienic, varyingly disease resistant, and relatively high-producers.

[8] Not to mention the hope of propolis!

Every Human Effort

I was having a conversation with a student about how I don’t really “do magic” as often as I used to. And that got me t’ruminating.

I was thinking, “Well, I don’t actually need to ‘do magic’ as often as I used to, because lately life just seems to iron everything out if I am patient.” Not always the way I expect that it will, but I really love the universe’s  ability to provide while employing the element of surprise.

Irony is often my favorite outcome.

But in the past few months, I have started to miss “doing magic.” Just the pure drama of outcomes. Then I remember the power of “pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result” and I shush. No need to start tossing all that energy around just out of boredom or impatience. Tends to water things down. And enough water can put out even the most vigorous blaze.

I don’t mean the “drive-by” kind of uncontrolled tossing all the papers out of somebody’s hands in the midst of an emotional snit-fit. I still do that from time to time, though far less frequently than I did in my youth–I try to keep a reign on it since that is simply *not cool* and it really diminishes the power behind actual magic.

I’ve always been of the (fairly traditional) mind that one does not simply “cast” for results unless one has exhausted every human effort to attain the thing in question. I have pissed off more than one client who came to me looking for a magical-quick-fix when I gave them the mandatory “to-do list” that accompanies my willing assistance. It might not fall under the category “unthewful,” but to me, it seems downright rude and fairly presumptuous to ask the universe to provide a thing through magical means if one is not willing to do some basic (and often, not-so-basic) tasks and lay out some human energy to attain the same ends.

I honestly get a kick out of those who say I must have no magical power because I have to resort to mundane work in order to make things happen. (Yup, it’s been said.) Thing is, I have grown to see “mundane” acts as potentially magical. You see, when I was younger, I observed each turn of the moon on my own and celebrated the turning of the wheel. There was a lot of ebb and flow in my first two-decades of serious occult investigation. (This is, aside from the first 17 years in a highly spiritual life–having been introduced to profound spirituality in early childhood.) When I hit my mid-30s, I also hit a stride of daily devotions and constant magical practice. Not so much “spell-casting,” but Ceremonial Magic. Around-about 2007 I began in earnest to make real magical practice and spiritual devotions a regular part of my everyday life; it took about nine-months to sink in, but it finally did. And now it just feels like breathing. Air: in and out. Ond, exchanging energy, letting it flow, building maegen. As natural and as simple (only not simple at all) as blowing out a candle-flame.

Thus, after five or six years of such constancy, I do not separate what I do in the garden, in the kitchen, or in the bedroom from what I do in the temple, in the hof, or at the harrow. My life has become my altar. Every act has become part of The Great Work. To me, nothing is supernatural–as they say, “Magic is just stuff science hasn’t made boring yet.” Don’t get me wrong, I believe in divinity. I just see The Divine and nature as symbiotic manifestations of the same. I only “work” or “cast” or “conjure” when I’ve exhausted every human effort–and I’m pretty inventive when it comes to exhaustion.

And I find that I don’t have to resort to pull-out-all-the-stops spell-casting anymore. Roads open (and close) as easily with well-timed phone calls and properly filed paperwork. Like a good helping of earth tossed on a campfire. The last year or so has only left me with the need to employ “crafted” spellwork for others–those under crossed conditions, those who need a response from an unforthcoming employer, those that need special protections, those that need, you know, stuff. I didn’t realize it while I was doing the early work, but now I understand that it is for these folks that I built up sacral gefrain (if I may coin a phrase to mean god-gefrain used for the benefit of those under one’s sacral leadership), so that I can work on behalf of those that need me–who need the benefits that derive from the years of work I have already done.

So, I retract my statement that “I don’t really ‘do magic’ as often as I used to” and assert that I (try to) do magic with my every act: those that employ public policy, those that employ technology, those that employ the legal system, those that employ established systems of commerce, etc. To those who would claim that “she must have no magical power because she has to resort to mundane work in order to make things happen,” I ask, “How small is your imagination?”

Waes hael!