Raise Your Voices, Work Your Magicks

I admit that this past few years, I have felt unmotivated to blog much. My life has seemed so much smaller and unimportant than what’s been happening in the world at large. In a way, it felt to me that I would take focus away from where it should be, or that my trying to share thoughts would not add anything of value to the conversations we desperately need to be having, the work that desperately needs doing.

I’ve also thought as my business has grown that it was inappropriate for me to speak about things other than, well, business things, and vaguely about my spiritual path. Even speaking about my spiritual path has fallen into “inappropriateness” because I don’t want to scare customers away.

I believe I am just done with that. The Forest Witch is, of course, the name of my business, but I am The Forest Witch. This blog started out as me sharing my thoughts and things I’ve learned on this path, then turned more towards the shop as that started up, but I am still me, my business is a part of me, my magick flows into everything that I make and offer to all who would buy my items, whether or not they believe in magick. I will not separate myself out of the ways I can communicate with you simply because I worry for my business.

I will not silence myself for the sake of making money, and I will not silence myself when I have a little soapbox to rave from when there is simply too much in the world that enrages. Perhaps my words will encourage you, and the more voices you hear with the encouragement to fight will provide you with the inspiration and strength to start and keep fighting.

 

Let’s do this.


 

I’m livid. I am raging on a daily basis, and just when I think I am on the tipping point of overwhelm, the next week brings even worse news of how the powerful enjoy fucking around with those unfortunate enough to be born anything other than wealthy, rich, white, and male. I know many of you, if not all of you, are feeling this too.

Though it’s obvious that the US is a great source of stress and rage for likely most of the world at the moment, Canadian politicians have clearly been encouraged by the rise of populism and Trumpian bullshit too. (Yes, I’m angry my province voted in Doug Ford, brother to yes, the Bob Ford who smoked crack whilst being mayor of Toronto). There has been so much horrendous denial of the condition of our planet’s (not just Canada’s) climate crisis, wasting billions of tax dollars on a fucking pipeline when the green energy industry is really gaining in leaps and bounds not only in renewable energy, but jobs (which our idiot of a Prime Minister, Trudeau, believes doesn’t stack up to oil jobs that are much fewer, and not as long lasting). Not to mention not properly consulting our Indigenous peoples, nor giving proper due course for investigating the environmental impacts of building such a thing. And, yes, completely ignoring the fact that a recently built pipeline on the West Coast burst 6 months, yes, 6 months after being built.

 

But those things are not what’s on my mind today, yesterday, this past few weeks, these last years after beginning to really see how fucking shitty our patriarchy is to women. They don’t give a single fuck. Not one. Yes, I’m talking Kavanaugh, that piece of excrement. The whole sham of a hearing and confirmation process has been such a fucking wake up call to those who have still been wearing their blinders up until this point. This is the point where the politicians, the senators of the loudest country on earth, have said that no matter how credible a woman is, no matter what the people they are supposed to represent want (look at the massive protests that happened across the country not only today, the day they voted to pass him through, but the entire process of this, and other heinous decisions by the government), they simply DON’T CARE. They don’t care to give due process to a proper investigation. And honestly, even if you didn’t believe Kavanaugh raped anyone, his behaviour in his hearing was completely inappropriate for someone being considered to gain a lifetime appointment as a supreme court judge (and don’t get me started on the fact that lifetime appointments should never be a thing).

Let’s change the perspective also to highlight that had Blasey Ford been anything other than a white woman, that hearing likely would never have happened. So while white women might be waking up to this enormous injustice now… women of colour, LGBTQ+ have been enduring this and much worse for the entire history of being around white people, even here in Canada.

 

This capitalist, corporate, money-owns-those-who-should-justly-represent-us culture is overdue for a thorough burning and cleansing. This time is truly The Tower in energy, we are slowly climbing it to all tumble down, the world turning upside down, and hopefully for the patriarchy and the rich to no longer have the power they have.

As much as I hate all this, as much as I rage, and I weep over all of the things we have to endure during each day’s revelations, I feel these are the things that are needed to incite the rage of the people to finally fucking change this bullshit. We’ve had so many revolutions, periods of when the Bourgeoisie would think they can do and get away with anything, only to find themselves and their kings decapitated. However, the power is never equally distributed, it simply goes to those next in power who had not offended the people overly much. Then their children gain power and forget that their parents’ generation endured a culling. The cycle continues.

 


 

We so long for peaceful times, but peacefulness, and the silence the desire for peace elicits leads to allowing those who wrong others to keep wronging others indefinitely. We come down on those who would break the peace to voice injustice.

Think of the way politicians have been saying things have been uncivil from non-politicians. “Civility”, or “peacefulness”, provides them the ability to quietly keep on gaining at the expense of others without much repercussion.

I believe true peace can only happen when we truly communicate with one another to understand each other, and yes, that will require breaking the peace. True peace can only happen when we respect each other as human beings, and understand that we all need to be taken care of in our very abundant society, we all need to be heard, that we need to resolve our problems with each other, and that ultimately, we need justice, reparations, and true accountability for violence of any kind committed against each other.

 


 

So here’s where we round the path back to our spheres of influence.

Our magick here rests largely in using our voices. In enacting our will for a more just world by actually taking action. This is powerful, strong magick that may not seem like magick, but you will feel the power coursing through you, I guarantee it.

Don’t be fooled, there is risk in using our voices, just as other magickal endeavours. There is possibility for backlash, for people thinking you only desire to cause trouble, to break the peace. Do not fall for it. Fight against it. When others who would remain silent see your courage, that magick will flow through to them and provide them with the strength to speak out as well. This magick is powerful.

Think about protests, of thousands of people lifting their voices together to fight against injustices. We would still be peasants under monarchies, though what we have now leaves MUCH room for improvement, had people not risked themselves to fight for what we all know is right. The powerful need to fall when their actions harm or do not protect those who have no power at all.

 

Use your voice magick by:

Voting

Signing petitions

Joining protests when possible

Donating to just causes that fight the capitalist-corporate patriarchy

Calling out abuse

Have those difficult conversations with loved ones who commit wrongs against you or others.

Call the police if need be

Shame those in power who blatantly abuse said power

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY

As a singer, I know that resting and taking care of myself is just as important as using my voice. So take care of yourself and those who cry out with you as you do this work, this magick. Take breaks when you need to. We need to keep our wells full and know what we’re fighting for if we’re going to take this all the way to the end of the powerful getting away with everything.

 

Live joyfully
Delight in all the beauty this world has to give
Love each other fiercely
And fight for everyone’s ability to do so

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Zodiac Tea Sale!

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So since I want to create more space to begin the Yuletide stockpile of tea, I decided to throw a (very rare) sale on my Zodiac teas! There are between 10-20 bags of each sign, depending on the sign, and they’re all 20% off! You can take a gander here.

Next month, I’ll be making some big orders of ingredients and begin making the teas that sell like hotcakes during the holidays (I’ll give you one guess as to which ones those may be!). It will ease me into the busy season, but also ease the work when it gets really hectic in November & December. I can already tell my future self is going to be very happy that I began making lots of teas early!

In other news, it’s been a busy summer! Lots of visiting people, lots of fun adventures canoeing and tubing on the river nearby. Of course I’ve gone out to the lake a few times, though the water cooled down after a rain last week, I was sad that I couldn’t really swim in it! Oh well, it will level out and I would like to bring myself to the beach if not every week, then every other week. I love Kincardine so, and I loooove lake Huron just as much. I feel so very much like myself in the water ❤

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Renewal

20180610_151725-01This winter/spring cycle has been such a lesson for me on how I work, and what my own body/mind’s cycles are. I’ve noticed for the past 5-6 years now that winter is my dead time, and I was alright with figuring that out, I am totally cool allowing myself to nap and veg in the winter.

This past holiday season really hammered in how being a business owner is going to make that just a solid fact as the gift-giving season is just going to drain what energy I have left from the summer out of me. And that’s fine! January was still pretty busy, but I found myself not wanting to do much of anything at all. It took quite a while for me to get to those Sailor Moon teas, which I had begun working on in the fall, and finally released in April, I believe.

I think what this has led me to realize is that I need to utilize the spring/summer/early autumn energy to the fullest extent for myself, not only for my business, but for myself, for my home, for my friends and family. Even just outlining recipes for new teas for the following months, and creating them as is timely to release. To plan out the things I’d like to accomplish for myself in the year, such as bringing dance back into my daily practice, however, knowing that when the busy gift-giving season comes, that it’s just going to fall to the wayside for that time. And that that is fine. Everything has a season.
Knowing that entertaining and visiting is for the fair weather months for me. I’m not a fan of driving in the winter, and with my body requiring sleep and rest, that’s fine. It’s the few months a year that my body and mind will just use the season to renew itself.

 

The only other thing I think really exacerbated my hard fall into sleepiness after the holidays was the fact that my workspace was just not working very well anymore at all. With makeshift spaces with pieces of furniture that didn’t fit well with each other… it was bringing me down, to say the least! So this late winter/early spring, I came up with a plan…
At first, it was a cute cottage that would have been painted with flowers all over the outside; but that idea then turned into the building of a very efficient desk/shelf system that really utilises the space in which it occupies. The little cottage would have been fabulous, and I still maybe want something like that down the line, however, with the current situation we are in, it was simpler to create the desk/shelf space than build a whole little cottage outside. Especially when we think we’ll be ready to buy our first house in a few years.

But this workspace… I can’t tell you how happy I am with it so far, and I’ve barely had time to use it. I was not so happy with it when I was doing all the work to build it, hehe, but now, I can see how much more efficient the space will be, especially when October comes around, and I’m working longer and longer days leading up to Yule.

Not only did I build this workspace to help me keep encouraged to work better, but we also changed the space of our living room, which has also been a boon. Got rid of a coffee table that sucked up the room in there, and made it a pain to dance or do yoga. We bought a bunch of tall bookshelves to fill up a wall, and take all of our stuff that had no place and just lay on the floor or in other very inconvenient spaces (like the coffee table top), and placed everything in the shelves. I did not realize how much we had until those shelves were pretty much filled! Funny thing, that!
Then we got rid of my husband-man’s old, crummy desk that was a vortex for all the things he was keeping there, and replaced it with the desk I was previously using. A nice, open space that makes it hard for him to just leave everything on to pile up.

It’s been kind of amazing to see how much actually making a space work for us functionally as well as aesthetically has let a lot of my stress and anxiety fall away. The spaces we occupy affect us so much, and it’s so important to understand that and then make it work better for ourselves. I feel the weight of these spaces has gone, and I am excited for the coming holiday season knowing I will have plenty of space to work in, to store orders in process, and lots of tea being made and waiting to be put into an envelope.

 

This has all been very renewing, as the title of this post suggests. There is still a lot of work to be done this summer, however. There’s lots of household projects that have needed doing for a very long time, and we’re going to get on that! I have gardening things that need to be done, as this year, we aren’t dealing with a crazy amount of water soaking the yard.

And finally, I have also worked on getting my website back up! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but as you know, my energy levels to take it on have not been up enough to take on that project until this past week. It was quite a few long days updating product listings, adding my art, playing around with some of the code to get things working just right, and I can see that I’ll likely be continuing to work on it still, a constant thing. I will continue to have an Etsy shop, of course, but it’s nice to have a web space that is all my own, the feel of what I want to put out into the world better represented.

Walking Life’s Path

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around here as much as I once was. Well, that is if you’ve been around for awhile.

Firstly, last month, at the very beginning of June, my beloved companion cat, Sooky, passed away. It was a very hard week after he left his physical body. However, he let me know that he is still with me, and not really going anywhere. I had wondered if he would meet our other cat who passed quite a while ago, and go adventuring with him, but it seems he is quite content to hang out not only with me here, but also in the patch of astral forest I call home where I meet with my Gods. This kind of makes me laugh, because much as in life, I can usually find him sleeping, though there is definitely play too!

Dealing with death is obviously difficult, but also fascinating process. I always kind of keep mental notes of how I feel and react to things, and this was no different. There were many tears, of course, a night of getting drunk and keening, yes. But there was also this interesting and almost immediate acknowledgement that where we laid his body in the ground, his bones and flesh, is no longer where he is. He has left it, so clearly was that point made to me, and I’m sure it was not only my own mind pushing me to that, but him as well.

I certainly miss his physical presence, there’s not a doubt about it, he was quite cuddly, enjoyed belly rubs, and would drool on you the happier he got. Kinda gross, but also fucking adorable.
I would say he will be missed, and his physical self will be, but I don’t have to miss him since I can be with him whenever I want. And even when he wants as well.

Besides our loss, this past while has just been more on the fallow side, spiritually. I recognize that this is to be expected since I had about 5 years of non-stop crap to work through that spurred on pretty much everything from my Gods solidly coming into my life, to finding a career as an entrepreneur, to planning the usual things in life such as getting a vehicle, planning to buy a house, and planning what we’d like our future to be.

A lot of this past year has been focusing on my shop, and seeing where we could go with its success, not only for the shop, but our life in general.

I’m excited for the future, as usual, and I feel a stronger connection to my spirituality right now because of Sooky. I know my Gods will still be around, but I’m also ok with the focus being on my physical, human life right now. Insofar as blogging, though, it makes it kind of boring for a blog that’s about spirituality, connected to a shop that sells things based on that spirituality.

So, if you’d still like to keep up with shop stuff and pictures of nature and my other furry companions, you can follow on Facebook or Instagram. I make no promises to blog as I used to, as I can’t possibly know what I’ll feel about it in the future, but I do plan to continue making tea, and art (yes, there will be some paintings being listed hopefully soon), and perhaps other things as I feel pulled to.

I hope you are all so very well ❤

Getting Organized!

Oh guys, it’s been a while! And if you haven’t read my latest newsletter, I’ve got some plans to be organized and more productive this coming year with bullet journalling! I’m probably going to keep it fairly simple, no crazy art things happening within them, and that’s ok because I plan on arting this year, and likely listing them in my shop 🙂

So… the main reason why I wanted to write this post is because I ordered some passport sized traveller’s journal covers from Beth at her website, Sea Bunny Designs. And man… I’m in love!

Here's what I got in the envelope. The two journals, a lovely bag of tea (I've never had Bigelow's teas yet, so I'm excited to try it!), and a bag of decadent incense of frankincense, myrrh, and clove. *happy sigh*

Here’s what I got in the envelope. The two journals, a lovely bag of tea (I’ve never had Bigelow’s teas yet, so I’m excited to try it!), and a bag of decadent incense of frankincense, myrrh, and clove. *happy sigh*

As you can see, I got a custom one done up with my shop's logo on it for all shop business organization and planning! I gotta say, it's weird seeing my logo on something like this... and so awesome!

As you can see, I got a custom one done up with my shop’s logo on it for all shop business organization and planning! I gotta say, it’s weird seeing my logo on something like this… and so awesome!

These are the inserts Beth made, each journal comes with one. I looove the paper she used for the covers, and the dot graph paper inside is nice and thick too!

These are the inserts Beth made, each journal comes with one. I looove the paper she used for the covers, and the dot graph paper inside is nice and thick too!

Lastly, I made my own inserts while I was waiting for the journal covers to arrive! They're a tad big, so a couple of them that don't have anything written inside yet will get trimmed, and the others will stay the same, no biggie :)

Lastly, I made my own inserts while I was waiting for the journal covers to arrive! They’re a tad big, so a couple of them that don’t have anything written inside yet will get trimmed, and the others will stay the same, no biggie 🙂

So if you’re thinking of getting organized this year too, I’d highly recommend Beth’s journal covers and bullet journalling! You can find the listing for the plain covers here, and custom ones here. She also has Hogwarts houses covers *squee*, and Game of Thrones, as well as River Song’s cover from Doctor Who!

Alright, enough fan-girling, just go check out her shop already!
So, yes, journalling, and keeping things organized! I plan on keeping an insert for tea recipes (I can usually figure out a recipe within one or two tries, so it all goes in the same place), as well as my calendar insert, and perhaps an insert for big picture business plans.
My other purple journal inserts will be for keeping track of my personal life, as well as a journal for spiritual things, of course! Not sure if I’ll need much more than that for that one. Who knows? I could go nuts!

In other news, so long as things keep going well, I’d like to at least look into an herbalism/shamanism course for this year. This one really depends on how well the shop does, as the course is definitely a bit of an investment; however, I think it would do me and the shop quite well, especially in terms of healing teas, broadening my knowledge base, and getting me more connected to the plants I work with for my teas.

This year is looking exciting, I’ve got to say, and it’s all thanks to you guys ❤

Happy new year! May it be filled with all the blessings! ❤

Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. 😀

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia

Hello?

Yes, hello to you! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything non-tea related… though for the millionth time, I LOVE THE TEA… 😉

Well, I suppose there isn’t too much to talk about actually. I’ve been pretty busy with blending teas, filling out spreadsheets, using a cool app to do my accounting, and planning for Yule. Spiritually, it’s been quiet because so much focus is going into the teas. There’s been too much being tired to have enough energy to really hang out with my Gods other than asking Them for advice concerning tea. A fact which is not so happy, however, They are ever supportive.

I have forgotten once again that vitamin D is such a help for me during the winter months (duh). It’s funny because this summer, my brain finally started working more normally again for the first time in a few years (especially in remembering things & focus). Well, I spent quite a bit of time outside… in the sun… yep. Thankfully I still have enough brain power for me to realize a few weeks ago that I definitely need the vitamin D for the dark months. I’m feeling better since I started taking them, still tired, but not in the brain department. No signs of SAD yet, though I didn’t have much last winter (to which I thank the very bright snow, and sunny weather that usually begins in January and runs through till the end of March, the occasional storm breaking it up).

Anywho… There are plans for gingerbread cookies, Scottish shortbread, custard tarts, butter tarts… and the man and I (and whoever else wants some) got our Yule duck to nom on come Christmas day. I have yet to decorate our side of the house, but perhaps tomorrow?
I’m also excited to gift tea to my family and friends here, likely Butterbeer, Yule Father, and Mad Hatter’s Party Blend, unless I come up with a couple other blends before gifting commences!

I am just feeling very content since I began to offer the teas in my shop. I’m always thinking of what kinds of blends I might work on next, and I adore that I can be inspired and guided by my and other Gods to create blends to share with Them. Honestly, I think that’s the best part of making teas. It is so satisfying to create things for Them, to work with Them on something delicious and something that provides such a lovely connection to Them.

Questions of Consent and Problematic Lore

I can’t even tell you how much I agree with this article.

Cast Adrift: My Unmoored Path

(Originally this was to be a response to a comment, but, er, well, it sort of took on a life of its own, and viola, a blog post was born. Thank you, Poppy, for the inspiration. Also note: the you in all this is general you, and I’m using Odin as an example both because He’s one of the two I’m involved with and because He is one of the ones whose name comes up a lot re: abusive gods)

What makes navigating these waters so difficult, at least to my thinking is: how do we judge Them? Do we judge Them as human, in terms of the boundaries we set up and defend, in terms of the cultural mores that we apply to Them or demand They stick to, in terms of the very language we use when talking about our experiences with Them? Ultimately, this is a decision…

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Love notes from Freya, 6/2/15

How very appropriate right now, my Lady!

Silver and Gold

There is no time like the present. The “Now” is when life is fertile, plans can be planted, life can be sown, enemies conquered, struggles put to rest; only NOW everything can you want or need be made manifest. You may have a harvest to reap tomorrow, indeed; but I can guarantee that will not happen unless you do something today.  Get to it. Love, Freya.

Not one to mince words is my Lady.

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Words from Hephaestos: If I was coming to your ritual

Magick From Scratch

For my entire existence, I have struggled with a deformity in my leg. I can walk, but it’s slow, and it hurts me.

Hermes, Apollon, Ares, all the gods, really, would outpace me no matter how slowly they tried to walk. They weren’t ever mean about it. They just always forgot.

Everyone forgot. My own temples had stairs. MY OWN TEMPLES HAD STAIRS. That was just how they made temples, and no one ever gave it a second thought.

I want you to know that there are people out there who you aren’t thinking about. Maybe they have an illness, visible or otherwise, and easily get tired. Maybe they have a physical issue that makes stairs painful or impossible. Maybe they can’t read your handouts because they have a visual impairment. Maybe they can’t hear your inspiring speeches when your back is to them.

This is all I ask: give it…

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