Bath Ritual is something I learned from my grandmother. She loved her baths and always made it into a time to fortify ones strength and get in touch with her inner Goddess. If she was Pagan she never shared in by word. But in her bathroom she had a picture of Pan, the Three Gracees, red flocked wall paper and very expensive bath salts in beautiful containers. She gave me my first bottle of after bath perfume Jean Nate. Just being in this room as a child stirred a desire to want the same specialness for my own home. She died before I went into seventh grade. And too many things died with her. I remember when I first started my period later that year. My mother and father were so proud that I did not made it a big deal. When my mom told me that I thought to myself “No, that was your job.” But I never said that aloud. And it was an unmarked event. It was a nothing. And if my grandmother had been there I am certain it would have been a something. So when my daughter’s breast started their budding this year, I created a bath ritual just for her. It is not done daily or even weekly. There is no set time for it. But we do it when she is in need of quiet Goddess time. I ready the room by making sure it is clean and put out the best towels. I pour the bath water for her. I have her make a selections of salts, herbs and sometimes flowers for her bath. She sprinkles them in. She is also given a choice of teas (herbal and children’s) to drink in a beautiful albeit plastic teacup. The atmosphere is set off with a lighted plastic battery operated tea light. She is also given a hand mirror “To see her Goddess” and then is left alone. She is eight. She drinks about one cup of tea and is done in about fifteen minutes. Even though it is not a long, lengthy bath she really enjoys her special time. Afterwards, she puts on body lotion and a spray of “Be Enchanted” shimmering light body perfume. I found this perfume at Body and Bathworks and bought it with bath ritual in mind. it is inexpensive, very pretty and lightly scented. Just perfect for our ritual. You may want something different oils or just rubbed fresh flowers. The point for me to get across to her is to take some time and effort for special time, magickal time with just her, herself and her Goddess.
Daughters’ Metamorphosis into magick is this weeks Pagan-Blog-Project for letter D. It could also have been titled. What happened while I wasn’t looking? thought I would be the parent of boys. I have always liked boys and their grown counterparts. I have done some terribly neat things for not being a cub scout. Like creating a lean-two out of a parachute. So, when I was a mother walking down the cereal aisle I never supposed that it would be with a dressed up princess resplendent in crown, dress and cape giving her royal nod as we went. It is nothing I expected. Surprisingly, everything I needed. Just two very fun, very sincere, little girls. Well, I wanted to talk about them because, while I have been on my spiritual quest of trying to find out where I fit in (Druid, Shamanic, Witch, Wiccan? and wonder which Deities it is that respond best to me) it seems that my little ones have been walking their own path. I had not noticed it. I have been too concerned with my own path to notice where they were on their path – and how much further ahead they were/are. They are little and young (8 and 5) and so, I thought I had time. But, they did something that made me readjust my thinking. That gnawed at me long and hard. Then a friend said something to me in passing. A casual comment, if you will. That made me see for the first time what was growing in my home, witches. I realized that I had been in denial, even when powerful, spontaneous spell casting was happening right in front of my eyes. I guess it was the lack of mood setting equipment that threw me: no capes, no candles, no ritual tools. But little girls armed with strong intention and chanting a word. A singular word they learned from Sesame Street that morning. They were running and marching, playing and giggling and sent out a spell. And I looked the other way. Even at the time I felt the energy that surrounded them. Even now I can feel there magick linger (months later) so, I won’t repeat their word.
We, as parents of young children, are still young (at heart) and often think we have eons to search for our path. Until we look around and realize how much responsibility we have accumulated. Have you ever asked yourself who would want you as their parent? I forgot to ask myself that question. But who would want us as parents? Probably some magickal children in their own right. Young witches in this world that are in need of magickal guidance. So, I realized that I am no longer just dealing with my own journey as a new found witch. But a witch in a family of witches. A coven under one roof. And that I better get my act together quickly for who is to say that I will be their leader? By default? No, I don’t think so. For default seldom makes for good leaders. But yes, I will be our family’s High Priestess and I will guide them just as I have in their school work and playtime and taught them how to cross the street safely. I am very glad that my eyes have been opened. For now, I know what path it is I am to walk is not as a solitary witch but as a witch mother and elder.
So my question to you is, who is guiding your children’s magick? Have you thought about it yet? Have you thought about their magickal needs? I am sure many of you will say “Yes” to that answer. That is a very good answer! The next best answer is “Starting today.”
A wonderful book for little witches of all ages is A Kid’s Herb Book. It has wonderful stories, crafts, potions and lotions. A springboard for the imagination. Highly recommended!
Divine Humor reveals itself in countless forms: irony, a funny moment which breaks all tension in the room, children pointing out the flaws in adults with an honest comment…the list is endless as we move through this world. And to have mirth and merriment and to see the absurd in the seriousness of oneself is Divine. It is a gift from the Gods to us mortals. If I was unable to laugh at myself and my own mistakes in this world I would miss out on a lot of belly-rolling, good for the soul laughter. And I do mean a lot! And oh yes I have examples. Once when I was a college student with a “working” scholarship, I worked in the college cafeteria. It was not my usual job but while the football players which were also on working scholarships were playing football the rest of us would fill in for them. It was a small college and everyone almost knew everyone else. And I so had the hots for our school’s living football legend. I did not know if he knew who I was but tall, dark, handsome’s name was very much apart of my daily thoughts. So, there I was serving hot meals as the football players all came in after a later practice. And tall, dark and handsome choose my serving line. He was standing right in front of me. I put on my prettiest smile and leaned in to give him his meal. And just as I looked up to him my good friend Avery Smith (also on the football team) yelled out “Awww Fields you’re sweating like a pig!” There was so much humor in that I could not help but laugh (after an hour or two). I remember laughing as I scrubbed the tables that night muttering something about humiliation and wondering when the Gods would think that I had been “served” enough.
Another time, I completely bitched out a fellow recruit and good friend for not taking our work seriously enough and for almost getting class points taken away from our team. I did this while standing in our classroom in front of a handful of other recruits during a short break in between classes. And in perfect dramatic timing, I stomped out of the room with my best angry face. Once outside, I realized that I had forgot something so, I turned around and went back inside. As I entered the room, my friend and other recruits stared at me wondering what I was doing back there so soon. But I was there because I needed my hat – it was a mandatory part of the uniform when outside. So, I slowly picked it up and everyone at once realized my mistake (having gone outside without being in proper uniform) and started laughing. By stomping out of the classroom without my hat was a far more grievous mistake than I had just bald out my friend for! I could not help but to try to leave as quickly as I could. My mistake was a source of great mirth. It also broke all the tension between my friend and I. We would have needed days to mend our friendship after my pompous, self righteous lecture that I gave him. But instead, great humor and everyone was focused and back on task when class resumed.
Divine Humor is not humor that is mean spirited but honest and helps to remind us who we are…human. It can cut like a knife sometimes, but brings us back down from our loftier selves to our human selves usually making us kinder and more forgiving in the process…more Divine
Casual Comments & Compliments can punch as much magick into a soul as the most well thought, planned and executed spell. A casual comment is stated to people daily. But the Divine comment, a rare gift, will stick and change and alter the soul for a lifetime. It was a casual comment that changed Garth Brooks from an olympian hopeful to a full time musician. There he was lying on his back having just fallen with the pole vaulting bar that he had tried to clear at some pre-trial Olympian event. His mind and body overwhelmed by his own personal tragedy of not clearing the bar, of missing his opportunity. When a woman walking past him said, “Now you can start doing what it is you are suppose to be doing.” Suddenly, all that energy that would have been focused into the sadness of failure turned instead to energy. Energy and an epiphany that what he was suppose to be doing was music.
For my own self there are two casual comments that I know have changed my life. Once, when I was in fifth grade struggling to get out of a lower level math class, I asked the teacher if I could retake the test. I knew, I knew the material. I was bored and embarrassed to be in that class. So, I decided to ask her to take the section test. I was sure that I would easily pass the test and be able to move to the next level. But Mrs. Stitchnough didn’t see it that way. She looked down at me and said, “No, you are right where you belong.” That casual comment fueled a fire in me that still even today almost 40 years later, gets my ire up. That comment did more for my math ability than any tutor, parent or teacher since. That statement put fire of the Divine into my soul that I was able to harness and focus that no other has ever inspired in me by design.
The casual comment is Divine in nature and solely meant and designed for the recipient. Any wording or timing of the comment changed in the slightest and the magick is lost. The casual comment is not a tool witches get to use and pull out of our tool bag. But it is one that we can request the Divine to use on our behalf. “Have my child hear through words not mine how gifted they are, how sublime” is one possible request for its use.
Compliments, they say are a dime a dozen. And it is true they are but, they can also be powerful charms. The power in a compliment relies on the relationship of the one giving the compliment to the one receiving the compliment. The relationship between the two replaces the power of the “INTENT.” Usually, with magick and magickal charms it is the intent which is the most important ingredient. But not with the compliment. The compliment, as a magickal charm relies on the isolation of the target at the time the compliment is given and the person issuing the compliment. As an example, I had a boss that knew of this power and how to use it. This boss was someone who spoke to you everyday. Usually one on one as well as in a group situation. Once about every three months or so, he would look me up and down plaster a big grin on his face and said, “you look great! have you lost a little weight?” I would walk around proud as a peacock for the rest of the month. Feeling good about myself made me down right “chipper!” I am sure my production level rose as well. It was not until months after he left the company when we were all sitting around talking about how great he was that I learned that he did that line to everyone every once in a while just to make them feel good.
When the same comment that my boss said come from my mother or a friend I summarily dismissed the compliment. But because my boss was outside of my support network ( friends, co-workers family) the compliment pierced through the protective armor. Also because it was given very sparingly. It was a rare compliment.
Isolation is also important when the compliment is given. Otherwise, its effect is diluted when the recipient has a friend, family member, or person next to them. There are exceptions but alone they/we are more receptive to the compliment. How many times have you received a compliment taken it to heart and then instantly dismissed it over the look your friend gave you? And it does not matter if the friend agrees or disagrees, smiles and nods or shakes and laughs just them standing there somehow took the magick out of the compliment.
Magick and the Divine are woven in plain sight around us everyday. Compliments and casual comments can easily be overlooked as magick but don’t you be fooled!
Witches, I find are very particular in the way they cast a circle. Many times making it into an art form in itself. Complex rules and rites are written into pages sometimes too numberous to memorize. The effect can be beautiful and entricate. The effect can be cumbersome and awkward.
Getting lost into the art of casting the circle can make us forget its intent. And it is the “intent” that is the most important of all when creating the sacred space. There is not one right way to cast a circle; but many. Many Shamanic people only cast a single circle, by calling of quarters and invoking Mother Earth and Father Sky. Some Witches will cast the circle with their intent alone while sitting in a still place. Others, like to move three or four times round an altar. The act of casting is not as important as the intent behind it. If your intent is to create a sacred space (to commune with the Goddess/the God) then the intent alone is sufficient. The rest (calling the quarters, lighting the candles, circling with holy water) is for your own personal comfort or the mutual comfort with others.
One aspect of creating sacred space that I have not often heard spoken, is the memory and recall of sacred spaces. Sacred Space once created by you, can be closed again without any ceremony or ritual. This is the soulful meaning behind our words of “and never broken.” If the space has responded well to you, it will close willingly for you at your asking. With your mind clear and your intent set/focused then the simple act of walking or being in the space is enough to make it sacred and “closed” again.