Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ooooo, I Like That Term, 'Hearth Keeper'

Witches & Pagans asked if cleaning could be magikal.  One writer answered with Hearth Keepers.

And yes, you absolutely can!  Cleansing your home is no different than cleansing yourself or ritual tools.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Finished!

I finished my first crochet project, my practice scarf:


It's 64 inches of love, frustration, confusion, addiction, and more love.  Single stitch.  And totally "can't" tell where my kids distracted me in the beginning (the right side of image).  I learned to wait until they went to bed.  And I have a better grasp on tension.

I started the scarf on February 6th and finished it on March 6th.

Today I've started on a practice blanket or wash cloth.  I guess we'll see what it turns into.  I'm eager to start on blankets!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Not Earth-Centered, Home-Centered

If you're a reader of my main Pagan/Witch blog Book of Mirrors, you'd know that I've been wondering about whether or not the label/path of 'Kitchen Witch' is suitable for me.  Every since I came across the term "Hearth Witch" I've been drawn to it like a moth to a light.  It was appealing to me due to being devout to Hestia, and Her name means Hearth.  Part of me wondered if it would be a more suitable name and path, than just Kitchen.  Then a local Druid mentioned something about the Hearth Culture of Hellenic Paganism, but when i asked him for more information, he never got back to me, and I haven't done further research on it, yet (if any of you could elaborate about it, that'd be greatly appreciated!  As well as Hearth Witch, the more information, the better!).

I researched and asked questions of many fellow Pagans and Magik Users in various areas of the net.  Someone gave me information from two sources, an Arin Hiscock book and of course, The Domestic Witch.  According these sources, a Kitchen Witch doesn't have deities (they may have House Spirits), whereas a Hearth Witch has Domestic Deities.

"The central concept of hearth spirituality is that the home is sacred. This means the home is a place where we can experience, communicate, and interact with the Divine more easily than other places. This does not mean that other holy sites are not sacred as well, just that one's home is the most sacred of all. However, hearth witchery is about more than making the place where you live sacred. It is the acknowledgment that the day to day experiences and mundane activities you do are sacred as well. You are blessed because you care for and maintain your home. This sacred space is also extremely personal and private. Each home belongs to a specific person or family and not to the rest of the world." ~ The Domestic Witch, The Hearth as the Heart of Your Home

In a post of for The Pagan Experience, I wrote about how I'm not an Earth- Centered Pagan, but a Home-Centered Pagan.  My faith and witchcraft focus on the home and domestic crafts, not on the planet, nature, or animals.  This is a concept that some Pagans don't seem to be able to grasp very well--not saying all are like that, but I've met some negativity with those obsessed with True and Real Pagans and Witches.  Typical annoyances.  Like, the earth is my foundation.  When I started on the path as a Pagan and Witch, I started with the elements and nature, but years later, I've built a house on those foundations.  A tradition that is Home-Centered.  Does that make sense?  Hopefully it makes more sense than the first time I tried explaining it.  It was a hot mess the first time.  

I've done a bit more research since I wrote the post linked in the beginning, and the more I think about it, the more correct I think Hearth Witch is for me.  Honestly, I think Domestic Witch is best, since it deals with a little bit of all the home crafts/traditions (including Hedge), but it feels odd since I've been a reader of The Domestic Witch blog for a couple years, lol.

Although I do separate my faith (Pagan) from my craft (Witch), as a Hearth Witch, those two worlds are combined.  I don't see Witchcraft/Magik as a spiritual path, only as a form of energy manipulation.  It's an art that anyone can practice regardless of faith.  I don't know that I'm comfortable with calling myself a Hearth Witch, Hearth Pagan would be fine.  A Hearth Pagan and a Domestic Witch?  Am I getting too technical?  Splitting hairs?  Eh, I just need to find something that's suitable for my label loving self.

Can You Feel It?

It's still freezing and snowy, but I'm feelin that excitement for spring.  With the equinox means renewal. Warmth. Freshness.  Open windows.  Park visits.  Cleaning!  Out with the old!

Now, of course, I often clean my home; usually before sabbats and holidays, we do a deep cleaning, especially when guests are expected.  But within those three days that I celebrate the Spring Equinox, I do some seriously deep cleaning.  I'm not scrubbing the base boards with a toothbrush and baking soda by any means, but it's the most intense cleaning of the year.  It's usually exhausting, but well worth it.

Then I came across this on my Spring Equinox board.


Why not dedicate a month to cleaning?  Be easier than doing it on within 2-3 days.  And with the kids getting older, I can dedicate more time to spring activities with them.  Course, with little ones, cleaning can become counter productive, too, but ya gotta know how to time it and how to not get angry with your toddlers and babies, because they're helping, learning, and playing.  But yeah, definitely wait until nap time or bedtime for serious cleaning.  

Clean for 20-ish days, then drop off donations during the Spring Equinox.

The only problem is, when I get started, I don't stop until it's done.  I like to work room-by-room, too.  But maybe that's where the Challenge will come from?  It would be nice to also have energy for cooking the sabbats meals, too!

Man, this month would be a perfect time to paint the walls, too...well, symbolically.  Might be best to wait for a warmer sabbat so we can have the window open.

Here's my own little list:
  1. Cleaning Pantry
  2. Bathroom Cabinets and Sink
  3. Toilet and Tub
  4. Bedding Cabinet
  5. Laundry Room (Hubby) / Basement (Me)  Sucks because our basement ceiling is low and we're both quite tall.  We use our basement for laundry, but the basement is huge!  I want to turn it into a larger food and supply pantry, also a place to keep our 72-hours packs when I make them (emergency kit, first aid kit).
  6. Food Pantry, Cabinets, Counter tops, and Sink
  7. Refrigerators and Deep Freezer (top, bottom, sides, insides)
  8. Oven
  9. Playroom (Clean and sort the toys)
  10. Art Cabinet and Bins
  11. Holiday Decorations
  12. Living Room (Dust, Sort DVD's, Sort CD's)
  13. Boy's Room (Mattresses, closet, clothes)
  14. Shrines, Altars, Magikal Cabinet
  15. Broom Closet (transition to a coat closet)
  16. Book Shelf
  17. Our Room (put away laundry, mattress, dressers, closets)
  18. Yard and Garage
  19. Windows (Outside, inside, sills, blinds, curtains)
  20. Floors (Sweep and mop floors and under furniture)
I'm guessing that this will change...a lot.  I may just fail this challenge, lol, but at least my home will be clean.  Spring clean.  Hestia clean.

Some Magik Cleaning Tips:
  • Sprinkle your carpet with any of the below (being aware of allergies, children, and pets), and vacuum it up:
    • Salt
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Black Salt (ash from a protective herb and sea salt, this is just one blend)
    • Baking Soda and any cleansing, harmony promoting dried herb like sage, rosemary, lavender, etc.  Leave the mixture on your carpet for 15 minutes and vacuum.  
  • Add to your mop water/window wash:
    • Salt
    • A bit of sage
    • Rosemary
    • Vinegar
    • Lemon oil/juice (i wouldn't suggest putting this on your windows)
    • Chinese Wash