Greetings my Wicked Darlings, and welcome to my cyber cottage! May Pagan Culture infuse your visit with a bit of practical magic fun, and I hope the experience helps you understand the life of a real Eclectic Witch.
Practical Magic is one of my old time favorite witchy movies. I love it because even though it is fiction, it lets the viewer glance into the world of real Witches. No, we can’t bring people back from the dead, or curse someone with instant chicken pox, or cast love spells that work instantaneously (at least I can’t, can you? Do teach if you do!!!), but our witchy hearts, souls and will are powerful enough to twist energy in wonderful magical ways. In the words of the late Isaac Bonewits, “real magic help [us] do the improbable, not the impossible”.
Magic is not a practice exclusive to Witches. Yep, anyone who takes the time to study, understand, honor and respect the forces around us, can do magic too. Take my case as an example, I’m not a very religious Witch – I do not belong to an organized group or coven, and I refuse to follow a particular dogma – I’m a Solitary Eclectic Witch who takes all the goodness the Old Ones have to offer, and uses it to treat others the way I want to be treated.
And my “Others” include everyone and everything, even those things some people would consider annoyances. How many people out there cringe when they see their garden overran by weeds? How many pick up their trusty weed killer and annihilate the creepy intruders? I’m sad to say that many people do. And, my Wicked Darlings, that is not very magical, practical or witchy at all; especially when the intruder is actually a misunderstood weedy native!
One way to do magic is to be nice (and know) our environment. Indeed, I believe that real Witches make friends with everything that shares this wonderful planet with us, even weeds. I have my very own way to honor that belief, but NOT all Witches are like me and that is great, for the world would be a freaking boring place if we were all the same.
My favorite way to do magic is to respect the balance of my local ecosystem. As you already know, we Witches use a lot of herbs and things of the sort to do magic. And we LOVE to grow our own stuff. It is fun, witchy, and it fills our spells with extra power. But what do you do when a spell ask for the petals of a flower that only grows on the other side of the country, or worse, on the other side of the planet? Some might order it online or get it from a shop that sells dried herbs, but not me; I substitute.
I’m doing exactly that for a love rekindling ritual I’m preparing for a couple that has been married for a decade and half, and although they love each other, the sex is not what it used to be. They actually brought their own spell, and asked me to use it as a foundation for my rekindling ritual. I was okay with that, but I told them that I didn’t feel comfortable using the petals of a violet that grows nowhere near New York. I said that I was going to substitute the flower with something else, and thank the Gods they had no objections. Wanna know what I chose? Wood Sorrel!
I’m almost sure my witchy seasoned herbalists out there are going, “What! Wood sorrel is used for healing, particularly for heart disease. What’s wrong with you Witch?” Well, my luvs, crawl out of your orthodox cauldron and check out the Venus and the heart-shaped leaves. Plus, isn’t rekindling sexual love directly connected to the heart? I think it is. In addition, wood sorrel holds a special place in my own witchy heart: it was the first thing my Piano Man gave me, and every time I see the green heart-shaped leaf trio I giggle and get more than a little hot inside. More importantly, this beautiful tasty weed grows wild in my yard, in Staten Island, and in most parks in New York City. So my magic will help maintain the natural balance of my city, and that is WICKED awesome.
I could either use some impersonal dead dried petal powder (try saying that 13 times fast!) from some place I’ve never heard of, or ask my neighborly weedy friend to help rekindle a couple’s sexual love by donating a few of its precious leaves. I KNOW the second choice would make my magic more powerful, and certainly more practical.
Meet the prospective magical donor, whom I transplanted from my yard.
Its next pot neighbor, lemon balm, comes directly from a park located a few blocks from my house.
Say hi to their roommate, the Wickedest Eclectic Witch of Them All!
Enjoy your visit to my cyber cottage and don't forget to crash the rest of the Practical Magic Blog Party!
"Limits of Magic" by Isaac Bonewits, published in the 21st issue of witches & pagans.
Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 2006.
Culperper's Color Herbal edited by David Potterton and BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by Michael Stringer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 2007.