Autumn Update

I’ve been neglecting you all, haven’t I?

It’s not deliberate: I’ve been incredibly busy so far this fall, so busy I even took a brief break from my grove activities! I’ve been doing twice-daily devotionals, working on some study program excitement, engaging in some interesting druidic correspondence, and even trying my hand at a few small works of magic. I took a quick trip to Three Cranes Grove for the autumn equinox, which was very fun: it’s always a delight to see friends and meet new folks. I’ve also been planning for an upcoming all-night Druid Moon.

And that’s not even mentioning my personal and professional life, where things are really cooking, so much so that I’ve finally succumbed to a nasty autumn cold. Yikes. I thought I’d take advantage of the illness-induced slowdown, though, to put down a few musings here.

I spent some time last week reading Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery, which was a truly charming (haha, oh, puns) book. Most of you who read this blog know I’m not really into hardcore magical-practice, that I feel doubtful about spells, ceremonial magic, grimoires, calling on spirits to do my bidding, and other things of the kind. I’m starting to get over my hebejeebs, though, partly for personal spiritual reasons and partly because I’d like to be able to perform workings for those around me.

Household witchery (or domestic magic: pick your own name) has been my gateway magic, if you will. I enjoy crystals, largely because of their beauty and the symbolic magical correspondences assigned to them, though I’d dispute their New Age healing powers I like herbs for the same reasons, though I do credit them with palliative properties. And household magic capitalizes on common, readily available ingredients like kitchen herbs, seeds, candles, and easy-to-acquire stones.

[Sidebar: That's one aspect of Mrs. B's book that I loved: she recommends common ingredients and offers substitutes for the rarer herbs. For example, she recommends using an Earl Grey tea bag for bergamot. Easy, brilliant, and less costly than trying to track down herbs no one keeps in their pantry.]

Herbal magic, candle magic, and the creation of oils or incense: these, to me, all fall into the domestic category. I’d like to create a few basics to use for purifying and consecrating tools, soliciting inspiration, asking for protection, or banishing negativity.

I’m a complete newbie at this side of Druidry, though, so I’m learning as I go. One thing that’s already tripping me up a bit is balancing the spiritual and practical aspects of magic. Am I praying for aid, when asking for inspiration, or putting my own intent for inspiration onto, say, a candle, and willing it into life?

It’s a distinction I need to make for myself, I think. Hmm.

Making the Mundane Magickal

In Episode 46 of Druidcast, T. Thorn Coyle said something that really stuck with me, namely that (and I’m not quoting here) it troubles her when her students mention going back to their “mundane” lives, that we should all strive to integrate the magickal into the mundane.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’ve struggled with this question before, but I’ve been thinking about it in more practical terms lately. While picking the corpse of our local soon-to-be-closed Borders, I snagged two Llewellyn almanacs (Magical and Witches’ Spell-a-Day), as well as, incidentally, a Llewellyn Tarot kit and a Neil Gaiman novel, and the almanacs feature a number of spells and rituals to integrate your magickal practices and spellwork into your daily life. Ways, for instance, to make your housecleaning into a ritual, or to make healing bath charms. Some of them are a little absurd, sure, but some of them are really thought-provoking.

I’ve been trying to come up with some little rituals of my own, like “lighting” an LED candle in honor of Brighid while I’m writing, thinking and praying to her while I’m cleaning, making little offerings to the gods and goddesses from my meals, pouring acknowledgments to the Outdwellers on my doorstep when I’m reading outside, or thanking Manannán mac Lir for his presence in my life in quiet moments. I’d also like to select a deity to whom I can “offer” my nightly guitar practice. I make offerings to the local river, and it’s hard not to feel awed by the Earth Mother when driving through the Chimayó Badlands.

Do you all have any ways of making the mundane more magickal? How do you practice your faith on a daily basis?