I am a cooking nut, not so much in recent years since having to live with family and all my magical, wonderful kitchen gear is in storage. My inspiration has taken a beating without space of my own to stretch my creative cookery muscles throughout the year.
Autumn does bring a new burst of energy to me with the urge to bake, cook and create. We are very lucky this year to have Pixie's appetite back to healthy levels and in another week we shall have the kitchen to ourselves for two glorious weeks. This means pulling out all of my spices and goodies and do some kitchen magic-creating new recipes! I've not done this is five years or so...Single parenting in addition to schooling, working, and all that has come our way in the last year and a half is not conducive to finding my bliss in the kitchen....plus the kitchen is horrid, often filthy and sucks the life out of me...It's just not *my* magical space.
So I'll be smudging and clearing my heart out all over the place once we have the space to ourselves. I have a ritual or two I'll fire up to welcome in loved ones milling about. My late grandmother, the source of my love of kitchen witchery, will definitely be here soaking in the love and light of the hearth.
The point of this post/blathering is that I had the idea a week or so ago to post recipes each day for the month of October in gearing up for everyone's Samhuinn feasting. I'll be pulling out some recipes from my food columnist days with the now-defunct Pagan Activist as well as sharing old family favorites I've tinkered with and other recipes I've developed over the years. It had been my plan to write a pagan cookery book however life has been throwing curve balls my way so I'll take the sign to not pursue it, at least right now. This month will be spent reveling in kitchen magic with my Pixie and hopefully my nephew Foxy who is exploring his interest in cooking.
Besides, with my love of sharing ideas, info, etc. I think it sets better with me to gift what I can to the world. If I were meant to make money off of it, I would. The only thing I require is that credit is given, if anyone shares these recipes. I've run into some people over the years who have totally ripped off my recipes (copy and pasted no less) and passed it as their own. Not cool.
As an athame is primarily a Wiccan tool I have no need of one. I've never signed on for all the gear and such, preferring simplicity in my altars and practices when it comes to man made tools. When I do rituals the focus of power/energy is through my hands, or more precisely fingers. Usually left finger but these days of ambidextrous living it can be either.
That's not to say that they are not pretty, or reverent in all the ritual pomp and circumstance. I just prefer what Nature supplies and to stay as far away from anything that reminds me of my Catholic upbringing. Not that the priests went around waving athames or daggers, mind you. Maybe if they had I'd have stayed for the entertainment value. ;)
Pillowed on the sea-wrack, brown am I,
On the gleaming white-sheen sand
Lulled by the sweet croon of the waves I lie
Could slumber deep, part thee and me
Far away, my own gruag-ach lone
On the gleaming white-friend reefs
Lies that cause of all my moan
Did slumber deep, part thee and me
On the morrow shall I, o'er the sound O'er the gleaming white-sheen sand Swim until I reach my loved one brown Nor slumber deep, part thee and me
~The Seal-Woman's Croon (An Cadal Trom)
My favorite bit of history/folklore of my sea family are of the selkies/selchies. While I have not inherited the webbed fingers from my great-great grandmother I have inherited the deep love of water and the sea. I joke of us in the family having sea water in our veins, reflective of our devotion to the sea and being in it or near it. It's true though, my maternal grandfather's family have lived at least 1,000 years on or near the sea. It must be genetic. ;)
I was perhaps 5 or 6 years old and sitting in yet another boring Sunday Mass when I became conscious of the content of the sermon and began questioning it. I was raised Catholic as my paternal grandmother was devout Irish Catholic and apparently everyone converted when marrying into the family considering my paternal grandfather and my mother were raised Methodist. So I recall boring Sunday mornings hearing snippets of the homily and thinking in my 5 or 6 yr old mind the equivalent of "WTF?" I turned to whatever parent I was near and commented on it. It was not right! That's what my young mind was telling me. Needless to say I was shut up pretty darn quick and learned not to voice my questions or opinions there. It did plant a seed of questioning what was being said and taught in the Catholic church. I knew by middle school I had to get the heck out. It was legal torture, in my opinion, and sucking my soul out. Meanwhile I was heavily influenced by my maternal grandparents who were children of a long line of farmers and sea-going folk. Peoples who were very connected to the land, earth cycles and respected it. They taught me so much of the old ways, from observing wild life to know what was coming, to planting gardens, anything you can imagine.
I was in junior high school when Freyja made herself known to me. From there it was gentle lessons scattered throughout my teen years. By the time I was 16 and my Irish Nana had just passed away, I dedicated myself to a Pagan path on 26th October and never looked back. I was exposed to "white witches" in high school, became a frequent customer at a crystal shop, there was not the plethora of books and such that there are now. I taught myself, absorbed what my grandparents taught me and knew from instinct what was right for me. I spent maybe 5 minutes in Wicca as a young adult, courtesy of Scott Cunningham. He was a wonderful teacher but that path was not for me as it smacked too much of the ritualistic Catholic upbringing I had. While many feel a need for reverence to those throughout the 1900's who helped to bring Witches and Pagans mainstream, I never have. Most of them give me a sick feeling in my gut that I have never understood. It could simply be to keep me moving on my ever-evolving, eclectic path and to stay away from groups and rituals that are not for me. Organized religion has never been my thing and as far as I am concerned covens are a form of that. So I'll stick with what is best for me.
My ancestry is heavily Celtic and Norse-old Colonial New England ancestors with deep roots throughout Ireland, the UK and Brittany. Norman families with roots up into Scandinavia. These are the histories and lore that make my soul sing and reflect in my spirituality.
In recent years I have been in flux again. The only constant has been my deep abiding love of Nature. It was my soothing balm to any bad day and I spend long hours out escaping in amongst the trees listening to the cacophony of birds and bugs. My witchy practices tend to favor a green/kitchen type witch. I have spent my life studying herbs, crystals, nature, astrology, numerology and fighting my empathic, clairaudient gifts.
When I am a crone and my beloved daughter is grown and off living her life, I will be that white haired old lady (or maybe dyed flame red, who knows!) in a cottage near the sea with a bazillion cats and chickens and taking in every stray that comes my way. Growing my food, flowers and herbs, photographing everything I can and honoring the seasons, Moon, stars, earth, sun with my actions (and cooking!).
For now I am a mother healer who wrestles with her growing psychic gifts and helping anyone I can with them. Raising my wee witchling and trying to reconnect with the rhythms of Nature that I hold so dear. I honor and try to celebrate eat feast day-of which I refer to most of them in their Scots Gaelic names/spellings to honor my ancestors. (i.e. Samhuinn, Bealltainn, Lunasda)
I have been following this on my friend Cordelia's blog and thought I would give this a go.
Below are the topics for the blogs. I will start working on this starting Tuesday 27 September. As I post I will add the link for each one, and add the link back to this page at the bottom of each post.
I have been trying to find a way to write about this, without it sounded disjointed or odd, for weeks now. I have been experiencing, as have friends and acquaintances, an increase in heightened intuition in recent months. I've decided to finally get this written down in hopes that it reaches others experiencing these peculiar happenings.
A few conversations in the last month or so have revealed to me other's beliefs that parallel dimensions/realms are closing in on this one. So the fae, angelic, spirit, etc. realms are beginning to intermingle more frequently and noticeably with many people.
The biggest challenge has been the over-stimulation so many are experiencing and not really able to pinpoint where or why, they are just STRESSED. I have always been easily over-stimulated by lights, sound, even rough textures. Now add to that the emotional overload living as an empath brings, especially if I don't filter or shield. To that comes another layer of increased intuition or whatever you wish to call it.... I have a LOT of chatter in my head and movement all around me. While driving I have nearly scared myself stupid thinking an animal or person is bolting out into the road in front of me and then once everything registers I realise that it's a *shade* or shadow. Nothing malevolent, just a movement or maybe an echo or something. I've share this with others in the last two months and have learned several people have been experiencing the same thing. I had been thinking that it was either a pre or post event happening in that particular area. That I was seeing a deer that either was there at one point or was going to be there....for example.
Another phenomena my mafiosa and I have been trying to figure out and chalking up to perimenopause or menopausal effects are the sensations of a bug or tickle or spider webbing running across our skin. With nothing actually being there. We all agree that the veil is thinning much earlier this year and everything is far more active earlier than usual. Some say this is an energetic shift to get our attention in preparation for 2012. I don't know if it's that but there is definitely some attention-getting going on and a HUGE rush to push many people to a place where they shift energetically as well.
Another interesting happening I am finding is that many people are also experiencing an increase in heightened intuition. I think it's why mine has grown so fast in the last year and a half especially. So if you are experiencing it and think maybe you are losing your mind, you are not. You ARE experiencing a boost in intuition. So focus more on it and work with it, you need this for a reason (no idea what the reason is yet, just know this is very important).
There is also noticeably connection for many people with Native Americans. So far, as it's only recently that I have noticed this pattern, it seems centred around those of Native American descent. I am considering the possibility that it's affecting many people in the Americas because of the location and history. So now I wonder if those in other countries are feeling an increase in connection to their indigenous peoples or ancestry. I am seeing Native American spirit guides more frequently right now around people I have done readings for. So far all of these men and women have ancestry they have identified as Native American. Tonight I had a woman make herself known to me. A beautiful young Native American with the thickest, darkest hair. She was speaking in another language that I did not understand and apparently there is not English override at the moment in my head? So I have no idea what her message what or for whom. I have not found any proof of NA ancestry in my family so I immediately assume this is for someone else as one of my guides is a very old Native American woman. As Pixie is Iroquois and Algonquin (that I know of) this could have been for her but instinct tells me no. So stay tuned, I may have a message to pass along to someone.
A busy end to Summer! I wish you all a blessed Harvest and Autumnal Equinox. May your tables be bountiful!