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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hearth
Pagan savings challenge, week six:  cold and contemplative

I've noted before that I am devoting the money I save during the Pagan savings challenge to buying and installing a fireplace insert.  This week, my family was reminded that this is a really good idea.

We've had all manner of severe winter weather throughout the United States this season, including a cold snap and foot or more of snow in my area.  It was during the cold and dark of that heavy snowfall that my wife realized our heat was no longer on.  We tried hitting the reset button, but no dice.  We called our amazing heating guys, who talked me through several other troubleshooting steps, all which failed to solve or diagnose the problem.  He agreed to come out as soon as he confirmed that the parking lot of his shop had been plowed so he could get the work truck.

It hadn't, and it wasn't until the following morning.  Our fireplace, with some assistance from an electric mattress pad, was our only source of heat.  It was bright, cheery, and reassuringly warm, but it takes a lot of effort for a central fireplace to warm even a modest home.  The fire needed to be rekindled the following morning from cold ashes.  Our house is nearly a hundred years old, but its original primary heat source was a coal furnace, not the fireplace.

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Celebrating Light, Celebrating Life, and all things Inspiring

 

I dream the Goddess a little girl

                                        Happy in yellow daffodil

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Cordial Recipes

 

Many "traditional" cordial recipes don't use simple syrup. I don't like super sweet things, but I have found that if you don't have the simple syrup in your cordials, it's too bitter. I like to be able to drink my cordials with or without a mixer. Champagne or seltzer are good mixers in general for cordials.
Simple Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Boil on medium until it is a syrup. Makes approximately 1/4 cup syrup

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Hearth Witchery

It has come as a surprise to me, considering my relationship with Odin (the  Wanderer and hedge-crosser extraordinaire), but I have been discovering lately that I am far more of a hearth witch than a hedge witch.  Don't get me wrong; I do love wandering through the dark woods at night, threading my way through cemeteries, or exploring the Eugene wetlands.  I love to explore these liminal places in a light trance state, letting the already-fragile boundaries between the worlds blur so that I can commune with the spirits there.  This is part of my practice, and it always will be.  (And in the case of the wetlands, I do this every morning on my walk to work, in the early hours when the human world is still barely stirring but the land wights--or land spirits--are awake and going about their day.) But at the heart of my practice, I am a Doorway for my gods and spirits, and to fulfill that function I must be anchored in this world, even as I work at blurring its edges.  

I just had an entire week off from my day job, for the first time in years, and found myself spending much of it at my spinning wheel, or gathering supplies to make prayer beads, or in my kitchen learning to make salted caramels, or planning what I will need to begin producing candles and other non-yarn goodies for my Etsy shop.   When given a choice between wandering outdoors and busying myself with activities at home, I nearly always choose the latter.  Perhaps my physical condition pays a part in this (I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia, and at this point I still work full time so that saps a lot of my energy), but most of the time I find that I would rather be at home, tending a hearth for my gods and for the spirits I honor, rather than out in the world.  My trips out in the world fortify and help to shape my hearth; they feed it and strengthen my center.  In this I am like Frigga, who puts Her apron aside and rides with Her Husband in the Hunt during the dark half of the year, but the rest of the time concentrates Her efforts on creating a welcoming home for Him to return to after His wanderings.

To get back to the topic of setting up a hearth in your own home if you do not already have one, despite my previous definition of the hearth as a place of fire, there is always the option of interpreting "fire" symbolically.  Along these lines, your hearth can be that place that anchors and nourishes your home, that feeds what you love most about it, the "flame" that makes your home a welcoming place.  For some people, it would clearly be the kitchen table where the family gathers for dinner to share stories of their day.  For some, it might be a place of literal fire, such as the woodburning stove (and do I ever wish I had one!) where herbal oils and brews are prepared.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Art of Career Occultism

Witchcraft gets romanticized a whole lot.  Just look at my picture of the Charmed sisters.  They're off solving problems in mid drift tops living in a huge house, learning about love and sisterhood.  My first reaction is much like yours, it can be summed up as sigh.  But.  If it wasn't for Charmed, my mother and I would be locked in the same stalemate we had been locked in since I was 22.  Charmed made modern Witchcraft accessible to my mom and made her less afraid of whatever I was doing.  

Romantic witchcraft isn't reserved for non-Pagans though.  In Paganism, being able to be a career Witch/Occult Shop Owner/Pagan Writer/Special Shaman Who Talks to Ponies/Whatever has become the dreamy eyed ideal.  And why shouldn't it be?  There's enough of us now to actually support career minded people who want to support themselves off their Craft.  I know a few people who I'm incredibly jealous of who are doing that very thing.  It's not exactly a new concept, communities generally supported an occultist who lived on the fringe of society/in the weird house at the end of the block for ages.  

Let me ask you, how do you see a career occultist?  Do you see her as someone who gets up and does sun salutations, writing in her dream diary over herbal tea and an organic scone, sauntering through a field with an animal companion as she chooses herbs to harvest while wearing something fabulous and floaty, coming home to her gorgeous dedicated workshop for afternoon sketching for new designs?  Because . . .if so, you're going to be greatly disappointed as to what's actually the job.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tom Terrific
    Tom Terrific says #
    I find it difficult to keep separate the idea of devoting oneself to the occult as a career and that of being a priest or priestes
  • Deborah Castellano
    Deborah Castellano says #
    I don't really see myself as clergy really so it's not really an issue for me. But I know there are people who do both, hopefully
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Ah yes, as a fellow Etsy seller and writer I can definitely relate to everything you say here! The occult marker is a difficult n

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

So before we get too glue gun intensive, it occurred to me that you don't know me very well yet.  

Things You Need to Know (in no particular order):

1. I also blog at Charmed, I'm Sure.  I talk about charms, hexes, recipes and general hearth witchery related items there.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    I'm looking forward to your book! Like you, I'm also thinking of starting a second Etsy store for the "Crafty" things I'd like to
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    Welcome from a fellow Pagansquare blogger and Jerseyite!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ancestral Recipes

This time last year, I was looking for somewhere fun to take my sweetie Albert for his birthday. We ended up heading up to Chico for the World Music Festival there. It was a really fun weekend and I highly recommend the event for those who like diverse music and don't like huge crowds. It's smaller and more intimate than other festivals I've attended, and I really felt like I got to connect more with the performers, vendors, and other attendees.

While we were visiting for the festival, an open-air market was happening just outside of town in the more rural farming community where the almond growers make their trade. This was a proper "Hoes Down" kind of affair that felt like a throwback to the festivals of my youth in upstate New York, with folks selling their handmade quilts and rag rugs and knit items, jewel-toned jars of homemade jam and pickles, whimsical yard decor, and a classic car show. I grew up going to events like these in the rural areas around my small hometown of Olean. It was fun to touch that country energy again. Urban farmer's markets in the Bay Area, with highbrow marketing, rapid turnaround, thronging crowds and long lines, are fun and exciting, but they are not quite like these homespun, slow-moving events. Different birds altogether.

I passed a booth where an elderly man was selling a small selection of preserved foods: pickled peppers, beans, and cucumbers. I had been hoping to find a pickled bean vendor, as spicy dill beans are among my favorite snacks. I stepped in to the booth and inquired after a jar of beans: how much? Spicy or not?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Hendley
    Anne Hendley says #
    What a wonderful story! How special for you to honor his wife in such a way. I have found myself trying my hand at gardening and
  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    Oh sure, make me cry at my desk at work!! Lovely story, thank you for sharing and for honoring the woman the way you did.
  • Amy McCune
    Amy McCune says #
    Are you originally from Olean , NY? I'm from Derrick City, PA; right over the hill!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Mysteries of the Hearth

Finally, autumn has come to the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  I say "finally," although summer is brief enough here and most Oregonians would probably wish for a few more weeks of it.  Autumn, however, is my favorite time of year and I look forward to it year-round.  The early morning crispness has changed to a genuine chill that lingers through more of the day, the acorns have started to fall and the squirrels scamper after them, eager to begin fortifying their nests against the winter.  The leaves have begun to turn color and soon their branches will become a canopy of gold, scarlet and pumpkin orange.  It is September, and my thoughts turn to my home, my own nest, and to what fortifications I might make now to make it a welcoming and nourishing place in the months to come.

What is the center of your home, its heart?  For most Americans, the answer would probably be "the television."  However, hopefully that is not the case with the average pagan, and a few of you have probably guessed where I'm going with this: in traditional European pagan cultures from Greece to Scandinavia, the center of a household was the hearth.  However, there is room for a little interpretation in what constitutes the hearth for you.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Justin Patrick Moore
    Justin Patrick Moore says #
    Beth, I forgot to mention... I'll be following your series of posts with great interest!
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Thank you, Justin! *g* Yes, I agree that we definitely need both Hearthkeepers and Husbandsman--and I love that term. It perfect
  • Justin Patrick Moore
    Justin Patrick Moore says #
    I always liked the meal prayer given by poet Gary Snyder ever since I first read it: "Thank you for this food, the work of many ha

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