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Stirring in some Magick for the Holiday

Thanksgiving doesn’t seem like a very magickal holiday.  We shop, clean cook, bake, and get our homes ready for the onslaught of family and friends.  While we are pitching ourselves into the holiday frenzy, let’s not forget that we can always add a little magick to this day. 

Food and family are the cornerstone of this holiday.  What a perfect time for a little Kitchen Witchery. While we may celebrate this day of thanks in a traditional sense with turkey and all the trimmings (sans pilgrims and Indians in this house) or perhaps choose to experiment with our meals, we can stir in some magick while making those mashed potatoes.  Below are a few suggestions you may want to incorporate into your preparations:

  • Use blessed utensils for cooking. – These could be simple wooden spoons or spoons that have been carved or engraved with runes or sigils.  Each clockwise stir will add the energies you desire to your food.
  • Add some magickly imbued spices into your food – Mix in some rosemary into the mashed potatoes for protection.  The sage added into your stuffing will bring prosperity and long life. A pinch or two of thyme in the gravy adds love and a positive outlook on life.
  • Cleanse and consecrate your stove and oven before cooking or baking- Fill it with the energies of love, good health and joy.  Anything that is cooked on or in it will in turn be filled with the same energy.
  • Create a chant to sing while you stir – Write a chant for peace, love, prosperity or even familial harmony.  Repeat the chant with each clockwise stir of your dish.  If there is something you wish to dissipate or be rid of, such as family squabbling or Uncle Harry’s dirty jokes, sing your chant while mixing counter clockwise.
  • Add sigils or runes to the bottom of your serving dishes and plates -Find or create a sigil or rune for such ideals as harmony, prosperity, peace, joy, etc.  Draw these runes or sigils on the bottom of the plate or dish – either with permanent marker or, if you wish them to be invisible to your guests – with consecrated salt water.  As you draw envision the rune/sigil being filled with the energies you desire.
Spoons with wood burned runes.

Decorating can have a definite magickal vibe as well.  The traditional horn of plenty seen on many a Thanksgiving table can be filled with magickal symbols.  Apples for love and healing, oranges for joy and inspiration, pears for fertility, almonds for prosperity. the list is endless. Pick and choose what works best for you. 

Candles used as part of the table decorations can add another element of magickal energy to your celebration.  Empower the candles with the energies you wish by coating them with a corresponding oil or sprinkling herbs in the candle holder.  Holding your celebration in a place where it is inappropriate to have an open flame?  No problem.  You can do the same with the battery operated tealights or tapers.  Just be careful not to place any oil directly on the battery opening.

Feeling really creative and crafty?  Make a magickal holiday wreath for your front door.  Use items that reflect the energy you wish to greet, and share with, your guests.  Rosemary sprigs wound around wire and tied with fall colored ribbons invites love, peace and protection to your home and guests.  Add some acorns for prosperity, and some oak leaves for stability and you’ve created a wonderful addition to your home. Not very crafty?  No problem.  I found the simplest acorn wreath at a local store, just perfect for adding a bit of fall color as well as luck and abundance to my entrance.

Welcoming all with my acorn wreath.

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace, not only will a cozy fire add ambiance to your gathering, the hearth can add its own magick to the festivities.  Decorate the mantel with seasonal swags, candles and nick knacks.  Strew fragrant, magickal herbs around the hearth and directly into the fire.  Before the party goers arrive, write a petition for harmony, love and a peaceful gathering  on a piece of parchment and burn in the fireplace, adding your wishes to the energy of the home and into the Universe through smoke up the chimney. Turn an ordinary hearth broom into a “witchy” accessory by adding a few ribbons, sigils or messages in Theban script on the handle. Same with the fireplace tools, minus the ribbons which would go up in smoke the first time you tried to rearrange a log or two.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to make your holiday a witchy, magickal one. Take some time to think of other ways you can add a bit of yourself and your Craft to this holiday.  Remember that our Craft is as unique and individual as we are. Use that to create the atmosphere, the magick, you want to share with your family and friends. 

Once the turkey has been consumed, the last of the happy guests have gone, the left-overs placed in the fridge, and the mess cleared away, you can finally sit back and relax.  As you put your tired, but happy, feet up, think back on the feeling of the day and how the magick you’ve stirred into your holiday manifested.  Hold onto that magick, knowing that you’ve shared a bit of yourself with those you love, whether they were aware of it or not. May the love and abundance of this season bless you and yours always. 

Blessed Be!

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The Great Holiday Purge

The holidays are looming in front of us and if you are anything like me, I obsess about cleaning when I know that family and friends will be visiting.  It’s not to say that my house is a mess the rest of the year. On the contrary, it’s usually fairly neat and tidy.  I do have a tendency to drop things on the kitchen table and accumulate piles of paperwork I need to organize, but other than that, I can have people drop over unannounced and feel confident they won’t run screaming from my abode.  However, like most individuals, I seem to accumulate way too much stuff. It’s hiding in closets, drawers, cupboards, in the basement and even in my studio/office/witchy cottage. Now, with the threat of hosting my first Thanksgiving in years, I’m spurred into action. The Great Holiday Purge has begun.

If you’ve ever attempted to rid yourself of year’s of accumulated stuff, you understand how difficult it may be.  First, there is convincing yourself that a purge is actually needed.  My internal conversation goes something like this:

“It’s not that bad. I think I can shove one more thing into this closet and still be able to get into it.”   Then there is the, “I know I can close this drawer. Wait. Nope, not happening. Too much stuff.”  Then there is my all-time favorite “If I push really hard I can put XYZ into this cupboard.” – then try to open it later to have half of the contents fall out. Finally, it’s “Hmm, maybe I really do need to get rid of some stuff.”

Success, phase one is complete.  I’ve actually convinced myself that I need to start the purge. Now the second phase, a phase fraught with pitfalls, self-coercion, frustration, lots of swearing and sometimes a few tears.  It is the “choosing what goes” phase. Trust me, this is the most critical and most difficult phase to complete.

My personal strategy for phase two is to pick one area, say the bedroom closet, and pull everything out of it.  I mean everything. Clothes, shoes, bins, whatever is currently in the closet, take it out.  When done there should be nothing but bare closet (or organizer if you are fortunate enough to have one).  Then one by one, pick up each item. Really look at it.  Do you still love it?  Have you used it in the past year?  Does it fit? Is it torn, broken, 20 years out of style? Does it make you happy? As you go through this process create three piles,  one to keep, one for items to throw out (for broken or beyond repair items), and one for donations to a local charity.  Once you’ve got everything sorted, go through your “keep” pile again, but even more critically.  Really look at each and every item.  After looking at it again do you still want it?  Do you truly need it?  Don’t hesitate, follow your gut and then choose wisely.

Last, but most important, when you’ve completed your piles, get rid of them.  Throw it out!  Place your items to donate into a bag and place them in your car – and try to get to the donation center before the holidays are over. Move all your “keep” items neatly back into the assigned closet, drawer or cupboard, after said closet has been vacuumed, dusted or wiped clean of any dirt or debris.

declutter1

Go to the next closet (or drawer or cupboard) and repeat. Now. Just do it.  Don’t forget to include a magickal purge as well. Get into your coven room, shed, sacred space or altar box and clean! Are there old, half melted candles that need to be disposed of?  Do you really need 12 jars of full moon water?  Is your broom loosing its bristles and falling apart? Do your herbs still smell like an herb or have they lost their scent and need to be replaced? Is that altar cloth looking a little ragged or torn?  Use the same three phases of purging and set your magickal house to rights as well.

Yes, the entire process is time-consuming and frustrating, probably why most of us avoid it like the plague.  It’s also not much fun, unless you are channeling Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, in which case you more than likely wouldn’t have this issue to begin with.  Fun or not, once you have gone through and purged your little heart out you will be amazed at how great it makes you feel. Personally, I feel freer, my home feels lighter and less crowded and the energy of my space seems to lift and be revived.  I may have wailed and moaned, procrastinated and avoided, but once completed, I have a new sense of pride in my home and myself.

Now, when the relatives descend en masse and your friends drop by to share some holiday cheer. you won’t have to close the bedroom doors and lock the medicine cabinet.  The Great Holiday Purge will have been a success and now your home will be filled with love, instead of junk. Your family will only see the warmth and joy you have to share and you can relax and enjoy this wonderful time of year.

Blessed Be!