Practical Magic: Glamoury and Tealight Hearths

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Even the Muse Wears Sweats (Sometimes)

My gods seem to never tire of irony and Law & Order-esque Lenny Briscoe quips.  In the last few weeks I've received many really lovely compliments from my fellow Pagan blogosphere compatriots and friends.  They say how inspiring I am and how I encourage glamour in every day life.

If this was a Martha Stewart pictorial and not my actual life, you would see me smiling graciously in a field of wild flowers, my spinning wheel in the foreground, my husband looking on lovingly while I had some of said flowers woven in my hair, wearing something from Anthropologie, holding a mason jar full of sour cherry cardamom cordial that I would be serving to all my family and friends.

I have been doing my best to learn (Sub)urban Homesteading over the summer as I breezily decided I would do.  It hasn't been perfect, I'm learning, but I have been working on it.

But mostly, this summer has been like every other summer since I was 25 - too hot, too many problems, not enough money, erratic hours, anxiety, sorrows and feeling like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.  

Sure, I don't have a huge life event this year gumming up the works even worse.  I've been to the beach, we actually got pool passes for our neighborhood pool after living there for three years, I'm getting enough hours at work that my finances aren't their usual gnarled yarn knot, I'm working on stock for the busier side of the crafting Wheel of the Year, I have time with my husband, I've learned to make jam, pickles and cordials.  All good things.

Still, I haven't been doing the research for the books I'm trying to write, my house looks more like MTV's Jersey Shore beach house where filthy hamsters reside rather than a gracious if tiny condo, any "extra" money I have gets directly fueled straight into my businesses and I've been quarreling with my sister (again?  still?) and had to put my beloved orange cat down.  He outlasted my first marriage, my last year of college, four moves and scattered romantic relationships so it was incredibly painful for me to do.

It would be hilarious if there was a visual when someone gives me a nice compliment about how glamorous I am.  It's never at my best moments, the ones my other blog's "Manic Mondays" are full of.  Inevitably, I promise you I'm wearing some equivalent of a ratty 1995 team building t shirt with old sweatpants from Old Navy that are too big for me now, my hair is unwashed, the house smells like cat poop, the sink and bedroom are overflowing with dishes and laundry respectively and I'm feeding my family macaroni and cheese out of a box that we will eat in front of the television watching something completely useless.  Usually, I'm feeling some combination of feral, anger, sadness and anxiety.  I'm contemplating what a big rut I'm stuck in and how I'll never amount to anything, as I excel at positive self talk.

Despite all this, my husband and I decided during this time to start really observing the wheel of the year in small ways.  Our schedules have made it increasingly difficult to get to local rituals.  We come from two very different schools of thought.  I started out my spiritual journey over ten years ago primarily as a Dianic Wiccan which was a lot of "the Goddess is forgiving about details!" in my circle and he decided to work on a solitary Hermetic sort of path when he started on his path about ten years ago as well.  Which . . .is about as opposite of what I do as you can get while still being under the same vague umbrella of both being Pagan.  

I mean, we've grown and changed in our belief structures over the years but if we're talking about ritual structure itself, I'm a permissive parent and he's a tiger mom.  

But we pulled together a very simple new moon/full moon ritual structure and figured we'd fight about the high holidays later.

Our new moon/full moon ritual looks like this:

1. Put the new moon/full moon on our Google calendars so we remember when it happens.

2. Pick a pantheon for the new moon/full moon rites that one or both of us follow.  Pick one of our patron deities in that pantheon for the new moon and another for the full moon.  Whoever knows that particular deity better needs to do the heavy lifting for the rite (invocation and offerings).

3. Think of, write and/or Google an invocation for that deity.  Preferably traditional poetry when possible.

3. Go to the grocery store.  Get some things that the particular deity would like.  Generally, some kind of combination of something sweet but not chocolate or raisin like a corn muffin, a fresh piece of fruit, a small dried piece of meat, some kind of booze, some flowers.  We try to give with the wild life/our shared outdoor common area in mind.

4. That night, possibly burn some incense in the house for the deity.  Wear a salve or perfume oil the deity would like.

5. Wait for the neighbors to go inside/moon rise.  Tromp outside with the offerings and smart phone if needed for flashlight/your invocation.  Step away from the condos into the field.  Shoes, bras and wearing ritual wear are optional.  Generally, we wear our pajamas for this as it's close to our bedtime this time of year.

6. One of us holds the offerings and umbrella if needed, the other invokes and offers.

7.  Offerings are left at the offering tree. 

 

The whole process including googling, buying offerings and invoking takes maybe an hour.  We started doing this because we give light, water and incense offerings fairly regularly but we can't afford to give "bigger" offerings to Everyone that often.  This makes it so Everyone will get a Moon day to Themselves where They will get more extravagant offerings just for that deity to have while still being fair to All. 

It's been really nice and it makes us feel more connected with our deities and our land.  Very simple but effective.

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Deborah Castellano is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches&Pagans magazine.  She blogs regular at her blog, Charmed Finishing School. Deborah's book, The Arte of Glamour is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Her craft shop, La Sirene et Le Corbeau specializes in handspun yarn and other goodies.  Her Craft shop, The Glamoury Apothecary specializes in handcrafted items for your magical/occult practice.  Both can be found on Etsy.

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