Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Everyday Life

Tending My Own Magickal “Garden”

T40960a62878703828196c3900d8babe6oday, I read a very fine essay by John Beckett on Patheos entitled, Something Bad Isn’t Coming, It’s Here. In it, Mr. Beckett writes about The Long Descent of society, a term coined by John Michael Greer (whose book The Druidry Handbook, is wonderful). The premise is that every empire in the world has eventually fallen, and ours is probably no exception.

Mr. Beckett cites rising temperatures, strange weather, an economic recovery that really has only been beneficial for the ultra-rich, and the intense discourse in politics as indicators that things are not going well for us. The causes are many, and it did not just happen overnight, and it will be ongoing for hundreds of years.

I would like to say that Mr. Beckett read my mind when he wrote this, but I think there are a lot of us who sense the storm that is brewing. I find that those who are spiritually sensitive, and Gods know most Pagans fit that bill, are especially attuned to this tempest.

I understand that politics has always been contentious. The things said about Abraham Lincoln in his day are no less inflammatory that what is often said today. The main difference today is that the Internet has given everyone a voice, and the malcontented are very vocal. I believe that things started really getting bad way back in the Regan era, when that President refused to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic until he had to give into the mounting devastation.

The Internet truly amplified the sheer awfulness of the the 2008 Presidential race. Once President Obama was elected, it seemed to give the GOP carte blanche to oppose any social, economic, environmental, and rights issue that didn’t fit into their party stance, or more disturbing, their religious beliefs. The GOP seemed emboldened to publicly announce that they would not be cooperating in any way. Ditto for the 2012 re-election. If there is a person on earth who doesn’t think there was a racial undertone to all this, their head is in the sand.

So now, despite the majority of Americans believing in climate change, not much is being done about it. Despite most Americans believing in LGBT rights, and same sex marriage, and despite it being made law, it continues to be under attack by the GOP. Women’s rights are being handcuffed by elderly Republican men. The middle class is evaporating, Wall Street is healthy, and the arctic ice is melting. All the while, the GOP are fiddling.

There is so much adversity in the world, I can’t see a way out of it. It’s here, people are fighting each other at Presidential rallies, and in 2016 Donald Trump followers are yelling “go back to Auschwitz” at Jewish people, and “go back to Africa” at people of color. It’s fucking 2016! Today I read someone wrote on their G+ account that “the Jews’ President puppet landed in Cuba,” and that was one of their milder atrocious posts. We live in a world with a lot of hatred.

I’m a Pagan, a cottage witch with a deep Wiccan background. Whether it is realistic or not, I’ve decided to withdraw into the Scott Cunningham magickal worldview. It is why I’ve moved to cottage witchery from the more formal Wicca path. I feel the need to make a happy, magickal, and peaceful home life. Yes, I have grave concerns about all the aforementioned ills of the world, and I will vote accordingly. I will do my level best to be a friend of the environment, just as I have for the past 12 years. Past that, all I can do is communicate my concerns through a forum such as this. Otherwise, I will use whatever power I have for the betterment of my family. The world is past what I can do on a magickal basis. I’ve basically always practiced folk witchcraft, and it is small witchcraft.

Perhaps others feel they have the magickal power to change society, and I would love that to be so. I will tend to my own garden, with an eye toward having what I do enrich the world, rather than harm it.

Blessed Be.

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft

On Being A Hippie Witch..

ntWSX81gvZu5l57F7CI90ebmJGzsmyz5C3gbMUvZXgpISLf-LsnJMYiM367k3wsQ3-YtJQ7A4vYH_hLU-V0wyjTr4jiUc7zo4EmirQ71Hy1RuYwLOZ-LZllIn1AKXHuaC4sLXDKRkAgvSz3ZwWZJn82LX2Zyk6JeWT33hngW9G4Uw-y0vV4h3tsD0FNlvIiGqq3XW6ojfRYF-FvQUUKwzMzS2yMzZdDnnMy grade/middle/high school years were in the 60’s and 70’s. When I got to middle school I was pretty much as full blown hippie kid that you can be for being in my early teens. I had the requisite army jacket with peace signs and ecology patches that my mom had sewn on for me. In grade school I had become a member of the Audubon Society, when we were raising baby chickens. I continued to have an interest in bird watching into high school. I wore bell bottom jeans, and I carried around a dog-eared copy of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. That was a book detailing the poisoning of our lakes, streams and oceans with pesticides. It was a book that helped with the formation of Earth Day, and the EPA. Of course the GOP want to abolish the EPA these days. You know, all that pesky oversight of big business, and their impact on our health. What’s a little chemical waste in the rivers, huh?

But I digress. When I got to college, I was still in hippie mode. Not quite as much as before, but I loved sociology and psychology. After college came the end of my hippie days. I got into business, got all caught up with making money, having a family, nice cars, nice suits, nice house. Yep, I got caught up in the Me decade.

(As a side note here, if you read my blog that I stupidly deleted, you have read some of this. But I’m rewriting it for those who hadn’t, so bear with me..)

As the 90’s approached, it all came crashing down. Divorce, job loss, family deaths, losing friends, and developing a healthy case of depression and anxiety issues. Gone were the days of self-importance. It became just trying to cope on a daily basis.

Eventually things evened out a bit. I found new love, and rediscovered the joy of parenting. My job situation was tenuous, but it worked somehow. But the depression and anxiety were still there. I had abandoned my birth religion for good in those dark days, and now I needed something spiritual to grab onto. That was how I found Paganism and Wicca in 2004.

So finding those paths rekindled the hippie passions I once had. Not as much at first, but after I found the goth subculture (way of thinking, not way of dressing) I balanced it out with a return to a hippie lifestyle.

Over the past couple of years, that lifestyle has been more pronounced. We (yes, I dragged my wife into all of this!) became avid re-purposers, re-users, and recyclers. We stopped buying extra stuff, and found happiness with the things we already had. We stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Over the past year, I have become more determined to live an even simpler lifestyle. I quit spending $30 bucks a pop for haircuts and cut my own hair. I have less hair these days, so it’s not a huge problem. I blend essential oils and carrier oil for moisturizers, deodorant, and medicinal uses. I have largely gone “water only” for face and hair washing. I make most of our cleaning products, and what I don’t make, I buy brands like 7th Generation or other environmentally friendly brands. We have decluttered, but I still like some decor, rather than a stark look in our home.

This concentration on the home, and keeping things simple was basically the spark that led to cottage witchcraft. It seemed the most logical step in simplifying our lives. Include witchcraft in everyday life, in ordinary chores and actions. In doing so, I’ve found that I actually practice witchcraft more now than I did when I set aside specific times to do rituals or spells. Now magick happens many times a day, rather than just on occasion.

I’ll admit, there is a dose of New Age added to my Craft path. I find it practically impossible to avoid it. Most witches I know work with stones, crystals, aromatherapy, chakras and other practices that have ties to New Age philosophy. I get that some witches are really bothered by that association, but it has just become a part of daily life for me. Most of us find a balance in blending various philosophies and practices in our Craft activities, and that has become a part of mine.

So this is kind of a how-I-got-here post. I’ve found a good degree of peace in both a simpler, hippie-like lifestyle, and a simple cottage witchcraft path. I’ve lived through my share of drama and heart-wrenching times, and it’s nice to find a pathway that is low-key and earthy.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for reading!