Welcome to the Urban Pagan Homestead!

A Ginger Beer for You!

So glad you stopped by!  Come in and take a seat and let’s talk about cool things we’ve made and food we’ve cooked and spirits we know.  Let’s converse about our kinship with all creatures and everything, everything!, earthly and unearthly:  chickens and microflora, stars and music and each other.  Let’s feel how we fit into the cycles of the land, the rising and falling of all things within and without.  Let’s explore the deep satisfaction of making our own ways.

The homestead to me is the place where we take responsibility for our deeds, consider carefully where our paths are leading us, and never forget that we are here not only to Serve, but to be in Joy.  We gain the skills we need to become more self-sufficient:  fixing broken things, gathering our resources, the tricks of making. For me, this is an integral part of Witchy magicks.  The spirits that share my home and land remind me daily that our lives are intertwined, and as I go, so they go, and vice versa.  I consider my actions and how they will affect those who are yet to come.  I try to always remember that I can never repay all the gifts that have been given to me by the Sun and the Moon and the River and I pray to remain grateful.

This philosophy has led me to a lifestyle which is filled with elements of nostalgia:  clotheslines, and egg baskets, and knowing the farmer’s name.  We ferment and bake and dye and spin and dehydrate and freeze and can.  We keep chickens for eggs and have recently added meat birds to our flock.  For years, we kept rabbits, but since our kids are grown and mostly moved out, there was only one person in the house interested in eating lapin and it was too much work for that small benefit.

I like being responsive to changing conditions.  That’s part of resiliency.  People change, the environment changes; we can make different choices and free up space for the next right thing.  For my place, I’m leaning towards turkeys and maybe even a couple of dwarf goats!

Many Allies live here

My Practice is rooted in the dirt of my home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  It’s fed by the river that runs back behind us.  Is this urban?  Suburban?  I don’t think much of labels, and I’m not sure it’s that important to draw a line between those things.  I will probably write on some subjects that have no appeal to you no matter where you live!  And hopefully there will also be some stuff that you will find helpful.

We live on a quarter acre zoned ‘Residential’ and only small family animals are allowed.  It’s a decent amount of space, but with lots of big trees around us, so we don’t get much sun for green growing things.  Also, we’re in a drought here in California, with who-knows-what waiting on the horizon for us, meteorologically.  So there are constraints.  But there are always constraints!  Whether it’s neighbors, or landlords, or flora, or climate, there is always something that will make you have to sort out how you’re going to do a thing and the exact answer will be different for everyone.  That’s the exciting part!

3 week old chicks! So cute!

I think of it like this:  I have a way of making chicken gravy.  It’s come down from my family.  It’s a particular process.  You have rosemary in your yard and she is one of your plant allies.  Add her to the mix!  You’re feeling the need for some cleansing today?  Add sage!  The point is that, while there are certain immutable physical and magickal rules, once you understand how it works, there are infinite ways to make gravy. And magick.

I want to share some of my juju and show you how I do it, how I’m learning to do it, how you might choose to do it, if it is your will to make your gravy-magick like mine.  We are learning from the past but not getting stuck there.  If we have no personal past to learn from (meaning that we are not trying to follow in our parent’s or grandparent’s footsteps) there are still lots of places we can gain the knowledge we seek:  books, videos, the intertubez, county fairs and animal shows, the reskilling events that are becoming so popular in so many places.   We can figure out how to do the things we want to do.  That’s part of the craft.

I know a little something about a few little things:  small gods, ginger beer, hoodoo spells, butchering animals, prayers and rituals, spinning fiber.  My recipe for stock is home-made.  I’ve paid attention to those who know more than me and I mostly just use what’s at hand.  My religious practice is the same.  I look forward to hearing your recipes and tips and tricks to help us all along on this fascinating adventure called Life!

Life With Goats~Day 1
Brigid, First of My Mothers (a poem)
Hear from Me this Secret ~ An Imbolc Meditation
A Tiny Winter Meditation
About Jenya T. Beachy

Jenya T. Beachy has been walking the Twisted Path of spiritual seeking for most of her life.  She is the originator of the Shapeshifter line of Anderson Feri tradition Witchcraft and for many years, she’s led classes, retreats, and workshops locally and across the country on Tarot, Practical Magick, Ritual Skills, Personal Empowerment, Shadow Work, Ancestor Connection and much more.  Now the core principles of self-sufficiency, curiosity and creativity so long present in her magick have found expression in homemade chutney and hand-killed meat. She makes her home in the mountains above the ocean in California with her beloved husband, a passel of animals and many, many jars. Find out more at her website:  www.jenyatbeachy.com or join the conversation on FB at the Urban Pagan Homestead group. 

  • Sage Blackthorn

    Oh I think I’m going to like it here :D You had my attention at “Ginger Beer” and as soon as you said “We gain the skills we need to become more self-sufficient: fixing broken things, gathering our resources, the tricks of making,” I’ll admit it, I got excited. I love learning old skills, whether it’s cooking over a camp-fire with a Dutch Oven, or hand tool woodworking, or primitive skills or ancient peoples…. and then you said “there is always something that will make you have to sort out how you’re going to do a thing and the exact answer will be different for everyone. That’s the exciting part!”….. in other words “There is no one right way. No one right way to dig a burrow. No one right way to feather a nest. No one right way to do anything. Why then do so many people think there is only one right way for humans to live?” These are the words I read more than 20 years that opened my eyes and resonated with me and set me to figuring out what works well for me in my life. That started me looking at other ways of doing things. That led me to learning how to do so many of the things I’ve come to enjoy doing. As I said at the beginning, I think I’m going to like it here.

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Welcome! Glad to hear you have an interest in these sorts of subjects. I look forward to many edifying conversations!

      I don’t recognize the quote…where’s it from?

  • d.bella

    Awesome, looking forward to more!

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Thanks! You are one of the people I think of when thinking on these topics :)

  • Jennifer T.

    I’m so happy reading your writings that I could get up and dance on the table! If I don’t recall what I read tomorrow I have the opportunity to read it again! Best wishes, Jenya. Looking forward to seeing you in person!

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Thanks, Jennifer! Dancing on the table is a time-honored ritual of celebration! But make sure it’s sturdy enough. We don’t want anyone getting hurt…

  • http://www.christinehoffkraemer.com Christine Kraemer

    Hooray! Welcome to Patheos as a full-fledged blogger. :)

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Yay! Just like a grown-up!

  • http://www.emancipationconversation.com ninjanurse

    It’s exciting to see nature in the city. My own city of Providence,RI recently legalized keeping chickens. It’s a new day.

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Yes, there is something so profound about being able to recognize how Life finds her way all over! It’s that iconic image of the flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. Literally, green growing things find their way, and figuratively, we find our way to bloom through the things that keep us constrained!

  • Beth Guarneri

    My kind of witch..merry meet!

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      I like to hear that! Blessings to you~

  • Constant Reader

    Glad to see you’ve moved to your own blogging space! You had my attention at ginger beer, too. My boyfriend has become quite the aficionado, and he asked me just the other day if it’s possible to brew your own. Considering that I can’t get him to let me have so much as a caprese salad garden (I’m living in his house), this soda-brewing thing may be the thin end of the wedge, as it were. :)

    I look forward to reading more about your adventures in homesteading.

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Thanks, Constant! I actually started with ginger beer b/c my family so loved it and dang if the good stuff isn’t crazy expensive! I use Sandor Katz’s recipe from Wild Fermentation and make it super spicy…I’ll post that recipe soon :D

  • Lizzy

    Love it! So happy you are putting your fabulous self out there in blog form!

    • http://www.jenyatbeachy.com Jenya T. Beachy

      Thanks, Lizzy! Keep reading and pass it on!