I’ve been reading Spellcrafting: Strengthen the Power of Your Craft by Creating and Casting Your Own Unique Spells, written by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, over the past many weeks and have been getting quite a bit out of it. As a spiritual practitioner, my main focus over the past many years has been working with my energy body via teachings and practices in kriya yoga. A natural progression of this energy work within myself has led me to start working more intentionally with energy outside myself. Over the past fifteen months or so, I’ve started getting much more intentional about working with setting intentions, using essential oils and incorporating stones, gems, and crystals into my daily practice. I’ve had profound experiences in doing so (especially around sexual healing), which has led me to deeper exploration of these powerful energies. My experiences and my explorations, coupled with the timing of meeting my beloved husband who has practiced magick for many years, has organically led me to Pagan and Wiccan traditions and learning more about witchcraft. And I gotta admit, I am kind of in love with all of it! I now have some very concrete tools to focus and harness all the energy I’ve been learning about and working with for the past many years. It feels like a very natural and organic process. I especially adore that it is all so nature-focused – working with plant energies, stone and gem spirits, planetary energy, and the elements our world is made up of. And I find it very compatible with the Hindu-Kashmir Saivism-Tantra blend that I’ve been trained in. It is also very much in alignment with the Goddess energy I am drawn to and especially powerful for working with Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energies. Oh – how could I forget? Sensuality and sexuality is completely and totally supported, embraced, celebrated, and practiced with! Excellent! No shaming here.
I also really appreciate how supportive these traditions are of people working and exploring on their own – or working in groups. From what I have come to understand, thanks to a thoughtful and thorough titled, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America, by Margot Adler, it feels like a great deal of freedom and creativity is supported and welcomed in this tradition. There are no major rules to follow and no structured hierarchy making any rules. Loving it! This speaks volumes to me and is a big part of the reason I feel so at home in all of this.
I want to take a moment to offer a big shout out to Margot Adler and her awesome book. It felt like a perfect introduction into the history, philosophy, and traditions of witchcraft, Paganism, and Wicca. I feel like I have a fairly solid foundation from which to move forth in my explorations. Highly recommended if you feel these traditions speaking to you. The back of Adler’s book refers to “groups that are non-authoritarian in spirit and share the belief that there is no one single path to divinity.” Yes!
One of the main lessons I have learned over the course of my spiritual path is that we all come to Spirit, Goddess, Source, The Universe in whatever way works best for us. Whatever speaks to us is what speaks to us. We cannot be told by others how to worship or pray or connect with The Universe. We can be pointed in certain directions of course – and get instruction from others on what has worked for them of course – but, ultimately, our path is our own and what works for others may not work for us and vice versa. Too many people have been turned off to a deeper connection with their own heart and soul by being told how they are supposed to be doing it – and how they are not supposed to be doing it. Being told what Source is or isn’t. Who, what, where, why, and how they should or shouldn’t be worshipping, praying, communing, connecting, seeking, journeying. Argh. It just doesn’t work. But, I am not here to get off on a rant about organized religious and spiritual groups – let’s save that for later, shall we?
Now back to the point at hand and the reason I sat down to write this post…cauldrons. As mentioned previously, I’ve been reading and enjoying the Spellcrafting book and finding it rather helpful. One passage I found especially inspiring recently had to do with “kitchen spellcraft.” The author spoke about creating magick in the kitchen with our food and our kitchenware. I’ve been working with being very present and mindful when both eating and with preparing meals with my husband. We work with intention and send love into our food as we are working with it in order to aid in digestion and to give thanks to all that has come together to bring us this food – the plants, the planet, the sun, the elements, the people. It has been a really powerful and beneficial practice for us and is connecting us so much more with these essential life forces and really putting us in deeper connection with gratitude. This particular passage I read kicked it up to an entirely new level for me and feels so in alignment with all of the magick that I am learning about. Murphy-Hiscock spoke of the food ingredients being the magical elements and the kitchenware being our magical tools – likening the pot to a cauldron, the wooden spoon to a wand, and the other cookware to an “agent of magic as well.” That just makes so much sense to me and adds a whole new dimension to the powerful practice we are already working with.
Feeling super excited and inspired, I read the passage aloud to my husband who was lying in bed next to me reading his own book. It totally resonated with him as well and we got inspired to start incorporating this new awareness into our mealtime preparations – taking our magick into the kitchen even more intentionally. I read a few more pages of the book, kissed my husband goodnight, then turned off the light and went to sleep feeling inspired by what I had read and excited to incorporate this new bit of understanding.
Apparently that little passage was even more inspiring than I could have realized. It went to work on me all night long and opened up some important revelations and awarenesses. My spirit team takes advantage of my being asleep to give me what I like to call “downloads” or lessons or visions. These occurrences tend to last most of the night and manifest as wisdom and understanding that is accompanied by color and light of some sort that has an emotional feel to it – or rather the color is the emotion and the wisdom. I don’t exactly know how to put words to it, but the color is a knowing – or the knowing has a color. The color has a feeling. There can be other images too, but mostly it is just an experience of the color and the wisdom. Yes, I think that describes it better – an experience of the color. Hmmm. I’m sure you know how challenging it can be to describe the happenings of our inner world that we journey to at night. I think that is probably the best I am going to do with this one!
Well, so the wisdom that was being shared and that resonated so deeply was that our entire life is a cauldron – with this viewpoint and understanding, we can approach our whole life as magick and alchemy. We are indeed the sorceresses, the magicians, the witches. And all of the elements that get put into our cauldron, our lives, are what creates our reality. We have the power to choose – at least after a certain age we do. When we are very young, the decisions are mostly made for us, but as we grow older and wiser, we get to start making the decisions about what we put into our cauldron. We can choose whether to add more positive or more negative elements – we can put healthy food in our cauldron or we can put a bunch of processed food into it; we can surround ourselves with healthy relationships or we can add more toxic relationships; add exercise or add stagnation; include meditation time or add an abundance of screen time; get out into nature or stay indoors; watch inspirational programs or watch the news. All of these elements blend together in a type of alchemy to create the life and the reality that we are living – for better or for worse. It just felt like such a beautiful way to relate to life and it felt quite empowering to see that I am the one in control, in large part, of what goes into my cauldron.
It feels important to recognize that, though we get to choose, some of these choices definitely take more work and effort on our part if we want to add them to our cauldron. For instance, in this society, depending on which part of the country we live in (and so many other privileges can be taken into account as well!), adding healthy elements into our cauldron is not as easy as adding unhealthy elements. Organic produce is not an option everywhere; not all of us have access to or the resources for a gym membership; some of us live in more toxic environments. There are always many factors at play, but the idea and purpose of this analogy was to help us recognize where we do have power and where we can make decisions that are the most healthy for us – and, yes, we might need to put more effort into making those healthy choices as opposed to taking the path of least resistance. But the reality we will create for ourselves, the alchemy that will happen when we start being more conscious and mindful of our choices, will indeed be magical!
I woke up from the night so inspired and excited to share this with you. May you find inspiration in it as well!
Offering much love and light to you all!
Xo ~ Saidi