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Monday, October 15

Creativity in Practice

I have been playing around lately with the idea of getting a new athame, and have realized that the blades I am considering are not really traditional athames, and may not even be things people normally consider. For example, for a bit I was considering using a straight razor and have now moved on to possibly using throwing knives, which thus far makes more sense. I will expand on the idea of throwing knives as athames once I have that more clearly worked out in my head, but for now I want to address the differences in practice that comes from ideas such as my non-traditional athames.

Never will you hear me say I am like anyone else. I am very proud of the fact that what works for me may work only for me and no one else even has to understand it. However, I am very aware that there are many people out there that believe deviation from the norms of 'Pagan' practice are incorrect. This is not a viewpoint I can stand behind. I have always embraced differences between myself and others. I grab on to symbols and use them specifically because they mean something to me. In this way, I don't consider what others take that symbol to mean when I am using a symbol for myself. I may take bits and pieces of my belief from things I find in other places, for example I am not going to rewrite the symbolism of the pentacle when it already works for me.

But, when we move past symbols, I understand that different traditions have certain restrictions for tools and such. I do not follow a specific tradition, thus I don't feel like these restrictions are important. I mentioned an athame. If the traditional black handled dual edged blade works for you, use it. If you believe you have to make your own blade, good! I like black knives because I like black. My first real athame that I still use has a wood handle. However, it is mass produced and has started to become bland to me. I like flash. Those aspects that put us into magical space work well with my mind. So, at this point, I want an athame that reflects the darker side of me. Now, let's take that a step further. Not only do I think that the athame does not need to follow traditional conventions, I also do not think that the athame has to follow traditional symbolism. In my mind, an athame is not only a phallic representation. A blade can be a symbol of the goddess just as easily as it can be a symbol of the god. Again, I will expand on this in a later post, but for now the basics we just need to realize that traditional conventions do not need to apply if they do not work for you.

Even further, there are ideas in Paganism that most people believe to be universal. My example here is the elements. Most pagans use the directions to represent the same elements such as East for Air. Now, this is a simple convention that is understandable. For some reason, I was never able to memorize the traditional correspondences for direction and element. Only when I examined these things for myself and decided what element should be in what direction was I able to memorize it. Again, not everything works universally for everyone. Embrace that!

I will leave you one more thought on this idea of creativity. Examine every aspect of practice. Just because you have been taught something does not make it true. Perhaps it is true for your teacher, but it doesn't have to be true for you. Re-think everything. Take what you know and question it. Is there something that could do the job more efficiently? Send me your thoughts below.

Monday, October 8

Kitchen Witch Segment - Salsa

Salsa (for 1 or 2)

3 large greenhouse tomatoes (or 6-9 romas), quarters or diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1-2 jalapenos depending on preference, seeded and cut in half
Cilantro (fresh is preferred)
Garlic (powder or fresh)

Add ingredients to blender or electric chopper. Mix until combined and chunks are gone.

Now you notice I don't have measurements on garlic or cilantro - this is preference. I use a lot of both.

This could be a nice addition to serve with your enchiladas we made!

So, let us have some fun. Salsa is a great spell for enhancing love. Be it between lovers or friends/family, this is fantastic. In order for love to remain, we must make sure other people do not come between us and the bond is strong enough to prevent that. So, we have protective elements to keep outside influences from breaking us apart from those we love and share this salsa with. These are garlic and cilantro, which we talked about in the enchiladas, onion, and jalapenos. This time the cilantro enhances love as the protection against outside influences - the love is strong enough to withstand it. Onion is a fun one. It is strong so it is a layer of protection. However an onion has many layers. An onion develops underground, thus represents the desires we hold within. Adding onion, while adding protection, also helps us to acknowledge those layers of desire or emotion within us and in sharing the salsa we share these inner things with each other. Jalapenos are spice which keeps out unwanted elements. They can help to keep out strife and unhappiness as we promote understanding and love.

So what is left? The main element of salsa is tomato. Tomatoes are red, and thus through color representations can easily show love. Also, there are many seeds, so the seed of friendship and love is planted within those who eat it. Oddly enough I have also seen that tomatoes are good for protection, so use that as you will. For me, the tomatoes are the love we are simply adding these other things to enhance the love that is the base of the whole thing.

Serve with corn tortilla chips to promote prosperity and the comfort and nourishment that love brings.

Kitchen Witch Segment - Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas

Corn Tortillas
Cheese (shredded and block)
Enchilada Sauce

Cut the block into rectangles of cheese. Wrap each rectangle in a tortilla and lay it in a sprayed 9x13 or 9x9 pan depending on how many enchiladas you need. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas (1 can for 9x9 pan, 2 for 9x13 or as desired). Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 350*.

Okay, an easy recipe that is super good...and lets you play a little. Most straight foward, I am going to use this for a protection spell. Use for protection of your home and of those who you love that eat this.

First off is the corn tortillas. Corn is a representation of the abundance of the goddess, so as you handle the tortillas call on the earth mother to protect those who consume the gift of corn she has provided you with. Cheese is dairy and thus is again a symbol of abundance, so thank the earth mother for this gift as well. Milk protects growing mammals by giving it the nutrients it needs, so feel free to apply this concept as you wrap the cheese in the tortillas.

Okay, next is the sauce. It is a coating that can serve as a protective barrier. Enchilada sauce contains peppers so it keeps away unwanted energies. Imagine a protective shield engulfing those who eat this as the sauce coats the enchiladas.

Over the sauce you can add spices to enhance the effect. Garlic, cumin, and cilantro are all great for mexican dishes, and all of these are great for protection. See each herb adding a level of protection to that shield we talked about and enriching it in their individual ways. For example garlic is protection by repelling, cilantro is protection though continued health, and cumin, being a spice you don't use a lot of because it is strong, can be protection through personal strength.

Add that last level of cheese as the comforts of the mother again to tie the whole dish together. Enjoy!