Category Archives: kitchen witchcraft

Full Moon – Harvest Moon Crests (Autumn Equinox, Super Moon)

So, about two weeks ago, I was sick as a dog and making a point of watching that big, beautiful Super Moon come up over the city anyway.
It was my first time out of the house for something like 48 hours, which is no big deal in my neck of the woods, but which bears mentioning since less than a day earlier, I was barely able to get out of bed without getting winded.
My wife had a great time at the Metal Show, by the way, and brought me home an AMAZING chest cold, since you were wondering.
Yeah. She was sick, too. It’s been a great week chez House Of Goat, let me tell you.
 
Anyway. That’s a big part of why I’m only getting around to posting (and writing, um…) my Lunar Cycles post for this paticular cycle now. Sorry about that, folks.
 
I was recently gifted a tarot deck (the “Daughters of the Moon” deck which… is a product of its time, and which kind of fucks with the lay-out of the standard tarot, changing up what the cards tend to mean… This is a bother, since I tend to read with my Zen Tarot deck and use various Little Books to get different perspectives on things. It helps if they’re all interpreting from the same general angle… although maybe that’s weird and silly of me). Regardless, I’m thrilled to have this and really touched that she thought of me when it was time to give her deck a new home.
 
This, of course, has me thinking about “inheritance” in the community sense, and how we pass things along to each other. I have a skirt I want to pass on to someone specific. People keep furniture “in the family” frequently, and we’ve inherited book shelves, a table and chairs, a rocking chair, and a bunch of other stuff from various friends who needed to make space in their own places. Some day, it would be nice to be able to do the same for other folks, not because we’re in money-trouble and need to downsize back to a one-bedroom apartment or something, but because we’re combining houses with a third partner (for example) and are able to pass things along from a place of abundance and generocity. That would be really nice.
 
Thinking About:
Acts of love and pleasure: How creating garments for people I care about, mending their clothes, cooking food that they enjoy and can eat, how these things are acts of pleasure – I like cooking, knitting, spinning, sewing; and I feel accomplished and nurturing and clever when I can solve a problem or have Just The Right Thing when someone needs it – and they’re acts of love, too, because I don’t necessarily do them for people I don’t care for[1].
 
By the time of this posting, Unholy Harvest has come and gone for another year. I’m really touched and happy that I got to do a couple of religiously significant body-mods for people, and I’m also really proud of myself for getting my shawl done (or done enough) in time to wear it for the whole weekend. Not bad for a year-and-a-half worth of work. 🙂
 
The wheel turns on, as it always does, and I’m back home in time for frost warnings and the heavy need to get the last of my canning done (I may or may not be able to rescue another harvest of cherry tomatoes, for example, but there’s still lots of chard and kale to freeze, plus I do want to make a good-sized batch of pumpkin butter, so… Onwards!)
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] That said, in the interests of growing up to be a Community Auntie, I am pushing myself to do this for people I don’t necessarily like and/or people I don’t know (yet) but who need a hand. It’s important. My lovely wife and I are agreed that we need to have an Open Door in this regard.

New Moon – Apple Moon Begins

A friend of mine has an apple tree. She’s invited me to swing by with a back pack and take as many as I can carry home with me.
I’m making her apple butter as a thank you. 🙂
 
Apple Moon is a physical moon, a labour moon. In my case, it’s going to involve about 20lbs of tomatoes and, hopefully, an equal amount of apples, being processed into the main-stays of my winter larder. It’s still hot and humid out, but the days have been getting noticeably shorter (noticeably since Lammas, anyway – just like how, around Imbolg, it’s finally light out at 4pm again) and, even with the heat and easy late nights out dancing (Pride Week is just getting started in these parts, so there’s that), I’m starting to feel the pull of the dark half of the year.
 
As my thoughts move in that direction, towards the season of hospitality in particular (which, in these parts, starts in early October and just keeps going until some time in March), I’m drawn to the idea of “community care” and the importance (as my wife puts it) of having an open door – of taking people in when they need it. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha – one of my favourite femme poets, and a hell of a tarot reader – asks “What kind of Ancestor do you want to be?” The year is bending now towards maturity, towards harvest, towards plans and intentions coming home to roost: The season of the Witch. What kind of community-member do I want to be? What kind of Witching do I want to do?
I once took a leadership course – Leather Leadership – and one of the questions we had to consider what what kind of leader do we (each) want to be?
I want to be the kind of person who is a community Auntie. Someone who’s generally ready with a spare bed or a hot meal or a kind-but-sensible ear (and the sense to only offer advice if it’s asked for, y’all…) when someone needs it, whether or not I think of said hypothetical someone(s) as part of my Nearest and Dearest or not.
Am I up to the hard parts of the task?
Am I worthy?
What steps do I need to take to get myself all the way there?
 
I’ve been coming to terms with what my garden is capable of this year, and whether or not I’m likely to get the perenial bed I want given the soil depth I’ve managed. I’m honestly worried about my (basically unkillable) rhubarb plants (plural) and am wondering what precautions to take in order to make sure they survive the winter and thrive next year and years to come. Simultaneously, and in a similar vein, I find myself looking at projects and wondering whether or not it’s okay to let some of them – like my hoped-for-but-not-happening squash harvest – fall to the wayside. It feels disappointing to consider this – I put a lot of time into them, and to find myself wondering if they’re worth continued, concerted effort is… a little bit demoralizing.
I love watching my wife’s ambitions and goals take off and start flying. That’s fantastic in and of itself, but also (from a D/s perspective) it’s great to see My Project – my Servant and the skillsets I’ve been encouraging for the past five years – starting to really bear fruit! I’m so proud of her, both as her partner/spouse and as her Owner. Be told: My wife is fucking awesome.
In terms of my own projects, though, I find myself wondering if I’m just being a lazy twerp by letting things slide on the Project X front for now. Part of me feels outright foolish for not sticking to my guns and pushing to improve my new skillset. Because it is foolish to do that. The other part of me says “You got into that business to make money (and pretty things). You are now making money much more reliably and much more easily by doing something else that takes up about as much time per week. Quitting may be a stupid option, but scaling things back to half-size production? That’s just fine.” And I think that might be the way to go.
Time will tell, but I’ve been on “Vacation” for about six weeks now, and some action has to be taken if I’m going to keep this project on the go.
 
Anyway. Those are my rambling thoughts at the beginning of Apple Moon.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Rose Moon / Strawberry Moon Begins

The roses are bursting into florid bloom righ tnow. (And, okay, have been for a while). The strawberry plants are setting fruit (so’s almost everything else, but the strawberries and serviceberries are the ones most likley to be ripe in the next two weeks, so…)
I have been harvesting actual food frmmy actual garden for a few weeks now, putting some of it up in the freezer and eating a lot of it fresh, too.
The pole beans are starting to need something to climb (besides each other and the fava bean stalks), the peas and favas (and rappini – woops) are blooming and the bees are visiting my garden. The trellis has yet to be built, but it’s getting towards the point where it won’t wait any longer. we may be able to score some free lumber from up the street (some friends have extra left over froma project) which would definitely help.
The heat has hit, and the humidity with it. The Mystery Greens have turned out to be mustard – prickly leaves which I need to harvest and start cooking. I was thinking of doing something like sag masala or something with them.
 
This is the beginning of “Much Too Much” season, as Tamar at Starving Off The Land would put it, the wanton bride that is Summer. My bioregion is a good 6-12 weeks behind the South-English one where the Wiccan year-wheel was devised. You don’t even have scilla and snowdrops around here at Spring Equinox, not typically, let alone daffodils. So it feels strange to be calling Summer Solstice “midsummer” as if it had been sunny, steamy, and fruitful for two months already rather than just barely into the hot and heady.
 
None the less, energetically speaking, things are taking off. (Maybe that’s just Mercury being out of retrograde, I dunno). Our Archivist has a little bit of interim work and a lead on a longer-term paid contract, which is great news. My wife is ever-so-slightly drowning in army boots and army hats and othe army stuff that needs repairing before tourist season really gets going. Even some of my projects are starting to bear fruit (by which I mean “generate money” or otherwise see results). My chapbook made it off the press, for example, and a few people have picked up copies already.
 
Magically speaking, I’m feeling a push towards a certain kind of glamour – which I’ll probably be blogging about in a little bit, so just bear with me – and have been working a lot of candle magic lately – mostly for other people, though I should aim some to my immediate household as well, and sooner rather than later.
 
I have a ham thawing in the fridge, which I probably won’t get to cook until Friday night (good timing), when I’ll put it with the last of my carrots, my very last apple, one of my numerous cooking onions, and as massive a kale-and-fresh-herbs salad as I can manage. (It’s funny. I’m not sick of greens by any stretch of the imagination – we eat those all year here, thanks to the chest freezer – but I’d really, really like to have something else – snow peas, or shelled fava beans, for example – to add to the salads and stir-fries and such-like. That’s still a few weeks away, though. 😉
 
Anyway. Moving right along.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Hearth, Hospitality, and Home

My fingers are ringing with the bright chill of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. There’s lavender mixed in there, too, and white vinegar, and salt. I swear, the idea was just to deoderize (ye gods) a tea towel and some of my dish cloths, but I wound up sloshing the last of it across my steps, pouring out protections just ’cause I can.
 
That’s the lovely thing about herbal magic. Generally speaking, if it’ll cure a cold or sanitize a diaper, it’ll probably also work in protection magic. That’s how it goes, right? If mint and birch will open up your lungs again, by breathing the steam or drinking the tea, then maybe hanging a bunch of them (to dry, yeah) over your threshold will keep the sickness from your door in the first place. Maybe it’ll keep other bad stuff away, too.
 
So that – along with putting the coffee on – was what I did before 8am this morning. (I know, I know, a whole heap of you folks have to be at a desk by 8am and were doing this with the sun barely over the horizon, but we run on a slightly different schedule here).
 
I’m going to spend the day (a) prepping my set list and numbering chapbooks for my show, but also (b) catching up on various house-wifely and kitchen-witchly tasks that have been needing some attention. Stuff like re-stocking my beeswax candle supply (since I’ll be lighting my altars tonight anyway), doing the laundry in the hand-crank machine, feeding & weeding the garden, patching my wife’s skirt, plus the usual daily tasks like dishes (endless dishes…) and dinner.
 

 
Maybe it’s because Mercury is (fucking finally) out of Retrograde, and the conversations are flowing more freely again, or maybe it’s because I just read S. Bear Bergman’s Blood, Marriage, Wine, and Glitter, but I’ve been thinking (and talking) a lot about hearth, hospitality, and family of late:
Talking with a friend, as I taught her to spin, about “career housewifery” and how some people are happiest and most fulfilled when their paid work is, at most, part-time and, frequently, piecework or casual hours.
Talking with my mom about both my sister’s new baby and my (and my wife’s) new, recently-relocated girlfriend and realizing that my mom is handling the reality of my polyamoury really quite well.
Understanding, more and more, how much hospitality matters to me, how much it feeds me on an emotional, heart-and-soul level, as well as how much it touches on, and overlaps with, my faith and what, in turn, that means in terms of being welcoming and offering people my spare bed to sleep on, whether or not I necessarily want to hang with them for the next 72 hours, or whatever. All that stuff from The Oddyssey, where you invite someone[1] in, feed them a really good meal, and then get around to “So, who are you, anyway?” that’s really relevant here.
 
So much of my day-to-day work/Work is… care-taking. The sheer weight of gratitude when my girfriend gets the interview, my friends (plural) come out of their surgeries safely, my brother gets to change streams, my extended fam gets to keep its reunion for another year. That my devotional candles include my gods, my ancestors, and one dedicated to “family and friends” – to my leather/glitter family close and distant. That the garden I plant, that is connected to and is-flat-out my gods (Misha, Mattaer, in particular), that connects me to my farming (and primarily maternal, though paternal too) ancestors, that I harvest with feeding The Multitude in mind, that it was built by that family (the soil, the bedframes, even some of the plants). That the garden I planted for beauty and the bees is made up almost exculsively of plants given to me by glitter-fam, wine-kin, leather-crew.
 

“Masha, my own, my littlest sister,” the matron called down. “Take this with you.”
She bit off her yarn in her teeth and tossed the red ball to Marya, who caught it and squeezed it like fruit at the market. The yarn was softer than any wool, expertly spun, thick.
“It will always lead you back, to your country, to your home. I make all my children’s stockings with the stuff, so they will know how to come home[…]”
Deathless (Catherynne M. Valente)

 
A million years ago (AKA 2004), in an entirely different house and an entirely different life, or close to it, I commented to one of my witchy friends who’d come for Summer Solstice (a week after I’d moved in) that my religion is garden-kitchen-table religion. It’s the feasting and the feeding, the communion of wine-and-weeding, weekly brunches in untidy homes because family doesn’t care about the mess; of potluck feasting and gifted jars of fruit-butter; of “I can stretch dinner for an extra person” and “Ye gods, please take this bag of zucchini/rhubarb/mint/tomatoes off my hands”. It’s the holiness, and wholeness, that are passed hand-to-hand along with the gravy, the green beans, the goodie bags. It’s the protections stirred into the soup, spun into the yarn, sewn into the patches. Every stitch to keep you safe and bring you home again.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] And, yes, there’s a bit of a “vetting process” as to whom you invite in. In the case of Ancient Greek Nobility, it was “Does he [always he] own his own his own warship? If yes, clearly he’s The Right Sort.” But it’s just as easily understood as Bear’s “shaking the queer tree” method of couch-surfing and finding couches for others to surf based on having a friend in common, wherein said friend’s existence is a tacit approval of both the person who needs the couch and the person who has one available.

Big Gay Aunties R Us! (My Nibbling Was born This Morning!)

My sister gave birth to her first child today. The “official” (read: roughly when said baby was all the way out of my sister’s body) time of birth is ~10:45am Calgary Time (AKA 12:45pm, where I’m at).
This child’s name is a deliberately unisex name. Whether this is because the parents are clueful enough to prep for the possibility that their new-born son may turn out to have been their new-born daughter all along, or just for the sake of some other sort of convenience, I have no idea, but this Big Gay Auntie is happy to see that choice regardless.
 
I finished my nibbling’s baby blanket today, sitting on the back porch in the sun(!) on the first really beautiful, honestly warm day of Spring. New life into the world. Persephone comes above ground again, and this baby came with her. ❤ (Granted, I doubt my non-practicing-but-technically-Abrahamic sister would be totally thrilled about being put in anything resembling the role of Demeter). I sang blessing lulabies into the yarn as I finished off the last rows, blocked it in a bath steeped with lavender and salt.
It's now roughly the size of a couch-throw, so considerably bigger than planned. My hope is that I can schlep it to the laundromat early next week and put it through a hot wash + hot dryer with a load of towels and socks and stuff, so that it'll shrink, felt just a little bit, and, hopefully, set the dye.
 
Right now, I'm trying to speed (Ha!) through a coordinating scarf (I know, I just said it was finally WARM outside, but my sister's getting a coordinating cowl, and I want both the parents to have a Thing to commemorate the birth of their first child that just happens to be completely devoid of Baby Markers if you aren't intimately familiar with a certain Security Blanket that (hopefully) gets dragged around everywhere) for my Brother-in-Law, so that when they eventually all drag themselve to my (Read: my MOM's) end of the country, I can hand them over with all due ceremony.
 
Anyway. Lovely Wife and I were hosting a bunch of people for coffee and similar when the call came in, so I got to announce it to a (small) room full Awesome Queer (and mostly, if not entirely, poly and kinky) Chicks who'd been asking about the knitting project I was trying to finish, so. 😀
 
Welcome to the Family, and the World, kidlet. We're happy to have you here. 🙂

Big-C Crafting, Little-C Crafting, Moving Your Body, and Unblocking Your Magic

As I’m writing this, people I care about are making their way towards my city (and, in a couple of case, my house) for a Leather Family Reunion of sorts. I’ll be bringing my handspinning with me (again, and along with a couple of big vats of food because: this is me we’re talking about) in order to soak up some of The Fam into the yarn I’m spinning (and spinning, and spinning… I’ve been doing this for most of a year now and, possibly because I’ve been deliberately felting the yearn when I wash it, I’m still not finished my various shawl stripes and keep needing to generate more yarn to get the lengths right…).
For a brief little bit (like a couple of hours – there was, to my relief, a bit of a crossed wire there) I was on the hook for a short-notice workshop/craft-and-chatter-session about the work of one’s hands and how it relates to Power (in the kink sense) and also Power (in the spirituality sense).
 
My personal unified theory of How I Function Best has a lot to do with how (and if) I move around. Given that I spend a tonne of my time ensconsed on a couch, or in a chair (less frequently), typing away at All The Things, this may explain why it’s so easy for me to become despondent and generally get bogged down the Swamp of the Psyche (if you’re familiar with Brene Brown, you will probably alreqdy know that this means Shame).
Doing things with my hands – and, more generally, working my body – is a way to combat/avoid this, yes. But It’s the WHY of it that gets my attention from a Witchy perspective. Dancing, singing, blending yin and yang (hatha) yoga, going walking, working in the garden, doing handicrafts, doing the chopping/kneading/general-prep of a slow-cooking meal, even hand-cranking our little, borrowed laundry pod… all of that stuff helps to get my Energy moving freely. No blockages. It shakes off the random, yet never-ending, tiredness. It helps me direct my own energy (practically and magically) towards whatever goals I happen to be wrestling with at the time.
 
I realize that this probably sounds pretty Artists-Way-y, but there it is. Move your body, make things with your hands, and you (or at least I) will find it easier to make things (create things, create changes, make things happen) with your mind and your magic.

New Moon – Cold Moon Begins

Normally, this is Ice Moon, but – in honour of the ice jam covering the north-west corner of our house – we’re actually just coming out of that one.
So “Cold Moon” it is, for this year at least. Having just spent the weekend in the Coldest Spot on the Planet (that being my town, because it was -45 or something with the wind chill, and that’s pretty fucking cold kiddos, pretty fucking cold), I figure it works.
Technically, Cold Moon started about a week ago, around-which-time my father-in-law called to remind me to start my leeks and onions before March turns up.
I don’t even want to grow leeks and onions at this point. I mean, I’m not saying they’re bad things to grow, but since I don’t yet actually have the giant containers for our raised beds yet, I’m really disinclined to start stuff early from seed. I want to make sure I have somewhere to transplant it once it’s ready.
None the less, it’s a good reminder that things are already stirring underground, in spite of the umpteen feet of snow and nasty wind-chill situation happening on the surface.
 
Last week, I got a call to come in for a job interview. Yes, I’m trying to land myself a part-time (mid-afternoon into early evening) job that would net me a few short shifts per week and, as such, give me a couple of hundred extra dollars per month to help keep my income quilt functional and covering everything. The interview is today (so do send me good vibes, right around 1pm, plz), and I’m hoping it’ll go well enough that they decide to hire me. There will definitely be prep-stuff done today to ensure that I’m magically delicious when I walk in the door. 🙂 I’m thinking bay leaves in my (new – arrived yesterday) purse and sweet orange + coconut oil for luck, optimism, and likeability. Maybe some echanecea tea for money-drawing, too, although it would also be for Being Less Sick, which is kind of a thin at the moment.
 
So that’s what’s stirring and (maybe) getting started in my neck of the woods right now. How ’bout you? What wee seeds have you planted in the hopes of making an early start? What ideas are germinating and starting to take shape?
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden. 🙂

Full Moon – Ice Moon Crests

Today’s list of things to do includes:
Buy coffee
Buy food for the parotlet
Buy honey. For the honey pots I’ll be making today. Using old, already empty honey jars, of all things… Maybe I went about this the wrong way?
 
I have leatherwork to mail out (my wife’s work, not mine), the gas bill to pay (in cash, because apparently we’re sketchy in this neck of the woods), and dinner for three to come up with. And all I want to do is soak my ice-cold feet in a hot bath until they thaw out again. The thought of venturing into today’ -30C weather is just… Ick. Don’t wanna!
But you gotta do the work, even (especially) when The Work is the boring, mundane stuff that you’d rather just avoid. Otherwise, nothing gets done.
So.
Errands. Then glamoury and kitchen witchcraft and a hot, HOT shower to warm me up will definitely be part of it! And after that, I can get on with the making of good art and good food.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Personal Practice – Pagan Experience 2015

So my personal practice is somewhat lacadaisical at best.
I have an altar/shrine in my living room that I (ostensibly) light candles at every Friday – a practice that developed partially in conjunction with setting aside time to write three years worth of PBP posts, but also because it gave me an opportunity to almost-meditatively focus on My Hearth and the holiness there-in[1]. I do New Moon Pizza (more or less – I admit the past four months have NOT involved me making pizza dough in ANY way) that features home preserves plus whatever left-over critter (frequently pork shoulder roast, sometimes rabbit or chicken or some kind of cured meat) I have in the fridge and any veggies I can haul out of the garden/freezer/fridge/etc at the time. I do little magics – enchanted baths & makeup, candle spells and honey pots, sigils (lately, at least), and Writing Things Into Being (which works surprisingly… at all, really. Go me?). I try to practice Good Witching in the Terry Pratchett sense of the word – activities that are more in line with grassroots activism than with religious ritual per se, but which still fall under the heading of “village witch” when your village has rainbow flags and homeless kids all over it.
 
In spite of that, I think within my worldview pretty consistently. I’m not a “holy days pagan” in that particular regard, even if my rituals and devotions don’t look like much. I get to know The Neighbours – the non-human (and human) people in the neighbourhood where I live. Learning which local plants I can eat (and where I can harvest them so that I’m not also eating a heap of lead – this is key), which ones make a good dye, and which ones are good for which magics. It also means paying attention to who gets my attention (like how naturalized Catnip kept calling to my sight all last spring and summer, until I went and found out what it was) and trying to figure out why this or that plant is calling to me. It means eating what grows here and growing – now that I have the opportunity to do so – at least some of what we eat. It means greeting the bees, the crows, the spiers, the pigeons, and whoever else happens to be around (like the homeless people, the nieghbourhood friends, and the folks I used to share a building with… just as a for-instance).
 
So that’s a start for what my particular practice looks like. Next week, I’ll (re-)introduce my particular pantheon and talk a little about some of the specific Spirits in my life.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I do a thing called Fabulous Friday Dinner that, in significant part, is meant to signal The Weekend to my work-from-hom brain, but which is also a way to nicely usher it in for my works-two-jobs wife AND a means for me to learn how to cook leftovers-producing pot-dishes that will keep us fed for 2-3 meals in a row (not counting extras for lunches, which is part for the course). But this is also a time to water the house plants, do a little home-maintenance, make the bread for the following week, read (or listen) up on other Pagan Stuff via the interwebs, and generally give myself a day to study and focus when the rest of thew eek needs to be focuses somewhat elsewhere (like on my erswhile novel, or on hustling for modeling gigs).

Resolutions – Pagan Experience 2015

Hi-ho, folks, this is my first promp for The Pagan Experience 2015 blogging challenge. Welcome to any new people who may have turned up and hello again to the rest of you. 🙂
 
So “Resolutions” can actually find some echos in my final Pagan Blog Project post for 2014, and ties nicely to the whole concept outlined in Miss Sugar’s New Year New You ongoing project as well.
Personally, I tend not to make Resolutions. They seem like a generally bad idea – like making a promise when you’re not sure you can actually keep it[1] – BUT I do occasionally set goals for myself in the interests of taking small, manageable steps towards some sort of free-form “end-goal” that may or may not matter in and of itself[2].
 
Magically/Religiously speaking, my goals as a bioregional animist, a musician, a sacred-sexuality Perv, and a kitchen witch include:
 
(A) Grow a garden.
As-(many-of)-you-know-bob, my lovely wife and I moved into a rental house in our neighbourhood (and the heck OUT of our former roach-tastic apartment building – thank you ALL of our gods for that fantastic opportunity!) which has given us the GLORIOUS luxury of a yard. My wife now has a back patio upon-which to do motorcycle maintenance, and I have 1/3 of a shared pack garden in-which to grow All The Veggies (our neighbour has the other 2/3 under cultivation already – I’m okay with this. It’s a containers-required space anyway, since we’re talking a century of lead-poisoning in the soil at the this point, so I’m Just Fine with growing potatoes in a barel, and setting my squash, greens, and tomato plants in second-hand horse troughs (we are in the market for same, fyi, and one of my wife’s girlfriends is looking for them amongst her rural neighbours – wish us luck!). As a bioregional animist, my particular Path is linked with a certain amound of land-guardianship but also with the idea that, when you eat the food that grows where you live, your body becomes more literally and mindfully part of where you live. As in: I’m part of this urban ecosystem already. I shed hair and fingernail clippings here. I breathe here. I shit here. I’m part of this place. But when I make a point of finding/growing/eating food that grew in this province, in this microclimate/valley, in this neighbourhood, in this yard… I’m making a point of acknoweldging and strengthening those ties. And that’s important to me. Likewise… I come from farmers. More recently on my mom’s side than on my dad’s side, but on both sides: Farmers. The last time I had a yard, my farming grandparents were both still alive and both well enough to travel (all of my grandparents are dead at this point, so it’s nice that my ancestors can see what I’m up to and maybe give me some pointers when it comes to growing and harvesting the good stuff)… and I remember my Nana being really happy that I was growing food in my back yard. Like “It’s nice to see this continuing”. That kind of thing. So there’s also a pretty big tie to my herritage to my ancestors, including ancestor that I was able to meet in life, there too. I love the idea of growing the pumpkins that become my pumpkin butter, growing the tomatoes that become my salsa and bruschetta (among numerous other things), the cukes that become my garlic-dill pickles, and – eventually – the rhubarb, sea berries, and currants that become my jams, chutneys, and barbicue sauces. I love the opportunity to sit at the (yet-to-be-scrounged) patio table, drinking iced tea made from my peppermint and dried red currants, watching the bees zip and zoom among the squash and bean and tomato vines, knowing that my own roots in this place are growing deeper and stronger along with them.
 
(B) Keep Writing
I could say “finish the novel” or “finish the poetry manuscript” but… Okay, see above RE: making promises you’re not sure you can keep. I don’t actually trust myself to finish a book-length piece of writing, in spite of having got through nanowrimo successfully at least twice. BUT if I just Keep Writing – do that thing that Neil Gaiman says to do and simply keep putting one word after the other – I will eventually get to the point where I’ve finished the entirety of Draft One. Which hopefully won’t suck completely (my plan is to get a friend to edit the first 1/3 of it – what I’ve got don so far – and see what needs fixing/clarfying/etc… and then go from there). The plan is also to hit up a coffee shop once a week or so and hand-write some poetry, with the plan being to get enough loosely-food-themed poems FINISHED that I can start putting them into place and trying to polish them up. Wish me luck on that one.
 
(C) Wake up my Bone Snake
Which sounds way cooler than “practice culturally appropraited Kundalini Yoga-as-taught-by-white-people”, doesn’t it? Basically, the plan here is to use tantric type breathing techniques and Kundalini movements/poses (as taught by white people, both down the street from me and/or in videos like this one) to free up my own energy in ways that facilitate both my sexuality and my musicianship[3]. Tied to this, of course, are the desires to (a) take further steps into active polyamoury; (b) get my musical self back to pre-University levels of confidence, shiny ability, & performanceship; and (c) Get more magically-delicious from a leather-woo/woo-sexual perspective. I’d love to throw in a Con like Dark Oddyssey (the one in DC), as well, but that’ll have to wait until there’s a good deal more money in the bank.
 
There are other things – like getting physcially stronger, getting better at sewing, getting comfortable wearing more stylish[4] clothes when I’m just plain-old out-and-about, incorporating (functional!) sigils into my magical workings, and having more people over on a casual basis – but those are the big ones, I think.
 
Anyway. That’s where things are at.
Wish me luck, and do stick with me for the rest of 2015.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Like… You can Resolve to Loose Fifteen Pounds – to pick a really common one that turns up at this time of year – but you actually have very little control over whether or not that happens. Dropping five pounds is easy. Any more than that, and it basically becomes some sort of herculean effort full of deprivation for… no results what-so-ever. Just as one example.
 
[2] Like… I want to get stronger, physically speaking. But I don’t set goals like “I can dead-lift X pounds by Y date” because… that seems like setting myself up for failure in no uncertain terms. Instead, I set goals like “Do something physical – lift small weights for X repetitions; do hatha yoga poses for X minutes; go for a walk into the next neighbourhood over and back; work in the garden; go swimming; run up and down the stairs X times; etc – every day”… and, one way or another, I can make that happen most days – even if it’s just because I have to get groceries (walking into the next neighbourhood and back + wieght-lifting (sort of) on the way home) or do laundry (same again) outside the house. They’re tiny, and easy to accomplish in a “Just get up and do it” kind of way (like going up and down the stairs when it’s -32 out and I Just Don’t Wanna), and they add up over time to me being able to take hills more easily or carry heavier groceries home all at once, or other things that effectively add up to more strength and endurance on my part… without making some kind of Resolution for what that’s going to look like 12 months from now. Does that make sense?
 
[3] I’m a singer – meaning that my instrument is my body – and I’ve found (to my surprise, but not exactly) that the energy points that get called Chakras (the big ones that line up along the spine, at any rate) all light up as I’m getting ready to sing. My teacher didn’t teach me how to do this on purpose, this is just what my body does when I’m prepping (properly) to sing. Perhaps unusrprisingly, there’s a HUGE tie-in between my magical ability my musical ability, my creative ability, and my sexuality… and I find that if I do this kind of physical-energetic work (breath of fire, being one, but far from the only one), I open the chanels to do all of that so much better and more freely. So it’s kind of a Thing to make happen this year and – chances are good – all foreseable years into the future.
 
[4] For a given value of “stylish”. Bascially, I have a very nebulous idea of what “my style” actually is… and it does grow and change with time… but I also know that I get a lot of attention when I’m being my fully fabulous Femme Self, and… in spite of being Internationally Tall, it takes a fair amount of practice to be able to handle that degree of attention all the time. I’ve started with charging my mascara (magically-speaking) and one of my perfumes (“Blood Kiss” by BPAL, if you’re wondering), and by routinely weeding my wardrobe in order to get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit… But working my way up to 100% Glamazon Baddass in casual situations is going to take some work. :-\