Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Hippie Lifestyle

Hippie Witch Renewal

IMG_1231When I wrote this, I hadn’t realized today was the new moon. After reading it with that in mind, I realized it was a reawakening of sorts. Never underestimate the power of the moon.

Enough of a break. And no more declarative announcements about leaving Paganism/Wicca, taking breaks, or anything like that. If I need a break, I’ll simply take it. I’ve exhausted you & myself with that kind of stuff. I value you guys so much, and I need to remember that on a daily basis!

Yesterday was one of those internal, soul-searching days for me. Those are somewhat dangerous for me, as they can morph into a depressive state. There was a bit of that, but mostly I was just thinking about the person I’ve become.

I’ve often said that I’m mostly hippie and slightly goth. True enough, but the hippie is definitely overshadowing the goth. It started when I was pondering the fact that I’m still using store-bought liquid hand soap, which has about 20 ingredients I can’t even pronounce. I’ve decided to cut down on that, hoping to phase it out. Bar soap is healthier, and less drying. I found myself on Amazon, looking up soap holders, thinking these are what I will get.

While I was thinking about that, I was thinking about my deodorant situation. I’ve mostly settled into a patchouli & almond oil blend, similar to what I use as a facial moisturizer, but with a bit more patchouli. I do defer to Degree deodorant if we will be somewhere crowded, where people might be sensitive to patchouli. I’ve noticed that on days when I use the homemade blend, even if I sweat, I don’t stink. I think I’ve detoxed my underarms. Because I’ve gotten some oil stains on a couple of shirts, I am going to cut down on the amount I use, and see how that goes.

Patchouli is my default scent. We are a patchouli family couple, and even my wife loves it now. That’s good, because when I take a load of towels out of the dryer, there is always a faint patchouli scent. Patchouli is an acquired scent, but it took me about 3 seconds to acquire it!

We used to lead a more lavish lifestyle. Not a Donald Trump lavish, but a middle class lavish. With the onset of hippie-witchdom, that all went away. Gone are the days of full closets of clothes, buying unnecessary trinkets, overspending on gifts, or new cars every few years. It took a while to get away from the “I want, want, want” lifestyle, but we’ve managed to do it.

One of the hardest things to overcome was jealousy over some of the things other people have. Coming from a “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle to a self-imposed simple lifestyle is a process. Part of the process is realizing it involves sacrifices. There is a shift in  what makes you happy. Sure, the purchase of a new (fill in the blank) might make you happy for a bit, but we still have lots of stuff sitting in curio cabinets that brought us joy for a bit, but are now largely ignored. Not going out all the time was difficult at first, but spending quality time at home ends up being better.

If I could impart one piece of wisdom on those just starting out on their own it would be this: before you purchase something, ask yourself if that item will bring you happiness, and if so, for how long? If we had all the money we spent on things that brought us only momentary happiness, we’d have a lot more financial security, which would definitely make up happier! Find your base-line joy level, and stick close to it.

It’s hard to not want a lot of things if you spend much time online. My Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds are full of sparkly Pagan goodies that are tempting. Witchcraft can be practiced with no tools, or items at all, but you sure couldn’t tell that by the number of people and companies peddling stones, tools, crystals, oils, herbs, tarot readings, astrology readings, and on and on. I’m not saying to never buy anything. I have plenty of that stuff! And I’m happy people are able to make a living selling it. But it’s so easy to fall into a trap of constantly wanting more stuff. Sometimes to one’s financial detriment.

This has morphed, or perhaps was in the first place, a hippie stream of consciousness. I love how Paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft was able to rekindle my inner hippie. I am happy to have broken free from a total consumerism lifestyle.

I’ve subjected you to enough! Thanks for reading my ramblings, and I hope this finds you healthy and happy.

Peace, and Blessed Be!

 

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Everyday Life

A More Simple Lifestyle

IMG_1242Thought I’d lighten the mood a bit today. In other blogs I’ve written about my personal quest to carve our a more natural, simple lifestyle, but not here. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts. First, let me say I’m a meat eating, pizza loving, booze consuming guy. I grew up in an era where there was not a lot of emphasis on organic or vegetarianism. Our parents smoked in the house and car, and my siblings and I rode in the back part of a station wagon where there were zero seatbelts. The idea of wearing a helmet while riding our bikes occurred to no one. Now in my 50’s, I am a bit more careful, but I don’t think I could give up meat, and I like a cocktail here and there, and there, and there..

However, when my wife and I decided to start living a simpler lifestyle, I began thinking about all the cleaning & personal health care products we drag home from Target. I took a hard look at the list of ingredients and yeah, ick. So I went about making some changes.

For a cleaning spray, I find a vinegar & water mix is quite sufficient in most cases. Add some tea tree oil (careful with pets) or lemon essential oil, and it’s more effective. There are tons of websites with homemade cleaning product recipes. Careful with vinegar on porous surfaces, laminated wood toilet seats and grout. Vinegar eats away at that kind of stuff.

To be very honest, I have gotten lazy and use 7th Generation products a lot. For 3 bucks, their cleaning spray is great, as well as their dishwasher detergent, tub & tile cleaner, and toilet bowl cleaner.

I have mostly stopped using Clorox 2 and Downy. I buy a bottle of Downy a few times a year, and use it sparingly. Honestly, I can’t ever tell the difference if I use Clorox 2 or not. My wife swears by Dawn dish soap, and since I cook and she does the dishes that don’t get washed in the dishwasher, she makes that choice. We used to use Swiffer Wet Jet for our wood and tile floors, but now find that plain water does a fine job in most cases. I will admit that Swiffer floor and hand dusters are great because we have pets.

I still use Tide, but here’s the thing. As it got more “concentrated,” the caps that you use to measure out the detergent stayed the same size. So I use about 1/2 of what they suggest, and I’ve never noticed a difference. Same with Clorox 2 or Downy if you use those. The dryer sheets have disappeared from our home completely.

I’m planning to tackle homemade liquid hand soap. Personally, I think it’s more cost effective to buy it, but take a look at the photo at the top of this post of that list of ingredients of Target hand soap. It’s cringe worthy. Not to single out Target brand. Soft Soap label is almost exactly the same.

As a guy, I don’t use a lot of “beauty” products. I completely stopped using face wash. Water only washing has improved my complexion so much I’m baffled by it. Instead of body wash, a bar of soap suffices in the shower. To be brutally honest, except for a few obvious body areas, you don’t absolutely need soap every time you shower.

I use the water only method for hair washing most of the time. It takes time getting used to. There are tons of websites on water only or “no poo” washing. I will admit to using shampoo on my beard every day. Otherwise, it gets weirdly flaky. For a moisturizer, I fill a 2 ounce dropper bottle with sweet almond oil (I would use jojoba if it didn’t cost an arm and a leg), and I add about 10 or so drops of patchouli oil. I use this while my face and beard are wet, let it sit for a bit, then pat dry with tissue. Again, this has cleared up dry/greasy skin problems, and other complexion problems.

For deodorant, I mostly use the same mixture I use on my face, but that bottle has a few more drops of patchouli. Again, I let it soak in, then pat it dry. I don’t sweat a lot, so I’m lucky there. I will tell you that for awhile, I noticed a bit of odor at the end of the day. But after a month or so, that went away. Your body does adjust. It was 95 yesterday, I used the patchouli/almond oil mixture, and this morning I smell, well, neutral. I do use a regular deodorant if I know I will be in close quarters with others, such as a theater, because I know some people just hate any trace of patchouli. The thing is with the patchouli deodorant and the face moisturizer is balance.  You don’t want to absolutely reek of patchouli. Faint scent is the goal.

For first aid use, essential oils are really helpful. Lavender used on cuts and scrapes is great. I’ve found patchouli, lavender, tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary and ginger are the most useful essential oils for me. Again, there are lots of websites on the use of oils.  They are very concentrated, so please, learn about them before using them!! And I don’t ever use them on or around pets. I know some people do, but that just scares me. I would suggest Mountain Rose Herbs for a supplier, but there are many reputable sellers. But seriously, do some homework before using essential oils.

So those are just some of the changes we’ve made in order to live a bit more naturally and Eco-friendly. It’s not perfect, but it’s head and tails above how we used to live.

Blessed Be!