In every household I've ever been in, there have been small rituals, family traditions, things some folks might call eccentricities, observed and performed. Oftentimes, without a conscientious thought or effort. Things like humming while cooking, always adding a particular herb or oil to a food or cleaning solution because that's how it's always been. Planting particular herbs or flowers near the garden gate and kitchen door, hanging windchimes in the trees, whispering to the winds, singing while you clean or always having salt on the table for each and every meal.
Little things that to the person doing them, are simply the way things are done. Little things that bring bits of magic and intention to our day to day lives and in some cases, keep folk and family traditions alive.
Happy little green witch and friend, Jen over at Rue and Hyssop wrote about hers recently, calling them "Little Witcheries". I like that phrase to describe the small ways in which we encourage magic to visit our homes and lives and I was amazed by the fact that she and I do some of the very same things, without ever having spoken of them previously. Her post has inspired me to share my own everyday rituals and traditions here, borrowing her idea to break them in to categories. Thank you, Jen, for the inspiration!
* I take a very green approach to cleaning, trying to avoid chemicals as much as possible. When cleaning counters or windows, I use a solution of water, vinegar and a few splashes of Four Thieves vinegar to add an extra bit of magical cleansing and protection (from disease on the countertops, intruders at the windows.)
* Never, ever run out of vinegar.
* Singing, shimmying or chanting while I clean to drum up the energies.
* Once windows and doors have been cleaned, draw refreshed sigils of protection on them.
* When sweeping, sweep towards the doorway or edge of the room, rather than the center, to send negativity packing along with the dirt.
* Kitchen witches abound.
* A candle is lit when I work. I sprinkle herbs in to the warm, soft wax sometimes.
* I use only wooden spoons to stir or move things in the pan. There's spirit and life and memory in them, not the unfeeling rigidity of metal or plastic.
* A chipped blue crockery cauldron and spoon wand reside in the kitchen, used for offerings and quick kitchen spell work.
* I stir food in a clockwise direction, to bring nourishment, contentment (and sometimes a little added magic via particular herbs) in to our lives and bellies. I stir the same way with concoctions where I wish to draw something in. I stir counter-clockwise when I want to send something packing; when I make soup for a cold, add honey to tea for a sore throat or create a concoction to release or banish something.
* I sip my morning coffee at the kitchen table, facing out the large picture window at the backyard. I greet the Sun as he shines his light on dewy rose petals and take in the visiting birds, squirrels and rabbits as they pilfer the kitchen garden. On rare occasions (due primarily to horrendous mosquitoes this year) I'll move my coffee ritual to the patio table.
* I loathe, hate and detest a messy kitchen. Clutter on the table and crap on the counters is a surefire way to put me in a horrendously sour mood and I will remain so until it is once more gleaming. Typically, I work best within, what I like to call, organized Chaos. Not true in the kitchen.
* Always have a candle burning in the heart of the home when company is visiting.
* A wreath on the front door welcomes friends and family and attracts prosperity.
* There are symbols of protection on each and every entrance point in my home, drawn on with a special herb and oil mixture, full moon ocean water or my saliva, depending on what's handy and what feels natural at that moment.
* Gargoyles are placed at the entrances to keep away the nasties. Leave your shit with him, please.
* In the bedroom, there are stones and talismans placed in, above and around the bed to ward my sleep. As someone who used to have nightmares nightly, often waking up breathing heavily, sweating or weeping, these are some of the most important bits of magic that exist in my home. Now my dreams are often incredibly bizarre, but I'm no longer waking up covered in sweat, tears or on rare occasions when I've hurt myself... blood.
* There are acorns all over my house. There are also crystals, stones and dried herbs placed all over as well.
* I leave offerings and libations to the plants, spirits of nature and the fae in my gardens. Usually, honeyed milk, wine, pretty stones, shells and sparkly baubles.
* I whisper and sing to the plants. As I plant the seeds or baby plant, I will whisper my blessings to them. When I tend them, I will hum or sing over them... sometimes I will talk to them as I would an old friend. When I prune them, I explain why I am doing so and ask the plant to help guide me so that I may do it greater good than harm. And when I harvest them, I give them gratitude for their sacrifice.
* When I walk the yard, I touch the leaves and branches of the trees who enjoy it and acknowledge the others by stopping beneath them to gaze at their beauty and speak to them.
I'm a salt tossing, wood-knocking, sky-watcher. Some would call me eccentric, others may call me superstitious or even, in some circles, old fashioned. All of the little things that I do, listed here and not, are ingrained in me for better or worse. Picked up through the years out of observation, superstition, folk tradition or guided by my own heart.
Eclectic, yet cozy and familiar.
The sugar bowl is always out, lavender is planted for luck, a kiss from a bee is a very lucky omen, storms are rolling in when the leaves show their undersides and wishes made on dandelion seeds often come true.
What everyday ritual and little witcheries do you do?