If you’d walked into my grandmothers house back when I was just a little girl, you might not have guessed that she was a witch, certainly she wouldn’t have called herself that. She’d have said she was cunning folk. A wise woman. A grandma. But there was always one part of her house that felt arcane to my young eyes. A certain mystery surrounded its collection of jars, unctions, ointments, fats and oils of every imaginable kind, tinctures, and leftovers. That’s right.
I’m talking about her refrigerator.
Though she grew up in the depression era, Grandma was lucky in that she had land. Chickens. A garden. That was her livelihood, her life, and she struggled to attain it. No matter how hard she worked that land, however, she would never have said that she didn’t have time for a home remedy, a cure for someone ill or in pain, or a pan of homemade gravy and biscuits (probably made with one of those mysterious jars of fat hiding in her fridge) for someone who was hungry. It was just who she was.
The Balance of Creating and Living
One fall evening a couple of years ago after a teaching a class on spirit communication, an attendee said something that stuck with me: ‘You’re lucky. You have the space and time to be a practical witch. I can’t even have a garden.’ I wake up in gratitude every single day that my grandmother left me that patch of dirt to call my own, realizing how deeply fortunate I have been, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how this person thought I somehow had more time for things.
One of those little mysteries that surrounds content creators is how they spend their days, but I think most would be surprised to discover that we are all just as broke/busy/harried as you are. Insane as this might sound most of us are cramming all the creating part of our content on top of our very ordinary lives.
Making Space For Practical Magic
Just because I have space to garden and the trappings of a practical witch lifestyle, doesn’t mean I’m immune to the pressures of modern life and It got me to thinking though about how I’d be “me” if I didn’t have outdoor space to call my own.
It reminded me of grandmas fridge.
Those jars of fat housing the memories of dinners long forgotten, those tinctures, and one jar of wonderment waiting to soothe any ill – her honey lemon jar. No matter what the ill, she was ready to put the pot on to boil, pull out that jar of sunshine, and add a healthy spoonful to a mug of steaming water, sometimes black tea, or if things were real bad, a splash of whiskey. That jar was always in the fridge, ready to heal, ready to bring a smile.
This is one bit of practical magic that no matter your lifestyle, there’s time for.
Magical Correspondences and Practical Use
- Lemons: Happiness, clarity, awareness, and clearing out toxic junk from your energy.
- Ginger: Confidence, protection, healing
- Honey: Abundance, prosperity, healing
- Practical: These ingredients are classic for soothing a cough, sore throat, and opening up your head when it feels full of cotton. For me? This is the ultimate pick-me-up on a day when I just can’t drag myself out of a bad headspace. It’s a little bit of sunshine in a jar.
Step One: Gather your ingredients. You’re going to need a knob of ginger, a few lemons, some local raw honey (that’s most important in my book), a mason jar with lid, a knife, and a rasp grater.
Step Two: Slice your lemons, filling the jar slightly over halfway. (I like to take off the ends, slice in half longways and then each half longways, and then into pieces.)
Step Three: Muddle your lemons, adding more if you like, but making certain that you wind up with about your jar about half full.
Step Four: Using your rasp, grate some fresh ginger on top. How much really depends on how spicy you like it, but I try for around a tablespoon full. Then, finish filling your jar to the top with lemons. At this juncture I’m honor bound to tell you that grandma didn’t put ginger in her remedy, instead favoring birthwort. I personally prefer ginger as it’s easily available, and just like the much beloved poke salad, wild ginger (birthwort) can be toxic if you don’t know how to prepare it.
Step Five: Slowly fill the jar with honey, allowing it to fill all the spaces in the jar.
Step Six: Grate a bit more ginger on top. For me, that means another teaspoon full.
Step Seven: Seal the jar tightly and place in the fridge. It’ll be ready to start using in a day. This would last till the end of time if you didn’t use it up in a month, but I bet you will. Be sure to shake it around once in a while to keep the contents evenly mixed.
Uses: Add 1-3 tablespoons to: hot water, black tea, whiskey, or even sparkling water and ice with a sprig of basil for a spicy lemonade on the go.